Spring 2012 – Week 9 Anime Review

“Say, remember when these were posted on Sundays?  You know, at the end of the week they’re supposed to recap?”

“Nah, sorry, my memory doesn’t go back to 2011…”

Whoops.

Zetman (Episode 9) – Our first glimpse into the background of Hanako’s story revealed more than a schism between Jin’s romantic interest and her unforgiving caretakers.  What also transpired during that scene was how weak and forgettable of a side-story this is.  While the rest of the anime concerns itself with blood-thirsty mutants, heroes who embody justice, public safety, and mysterious pseudo-science, we now have the story of a teenager girl who rebels against her parents.  Seriously, that’s the upsetting story that’s intended for us to care about this unfitting character?  Compared to all the bloodshed, destruction, and death in the series, Hanako’s story comes across as incredibly tame.  The general lack of background information on her made me curious about her involvement in the series, but now I realize why we’ve learned so little about her in this series: her story is in no way appealing to anyone.  Hopefully that’s the last we’ll see of her past now that we unfortunately know the extent of it.

Upotte!! (Episode 9) – When the girls complained about not being able to enter the restricted attraction in this episode, it donned on me how wrong they were.  Besides the fiscal reasons that prevented their admittance, the girls noted that they needed to be 18 or older to enter the building.  But weren’t most of these guns designed and build decades ago?  Aren’t their ages more ranging in the 40s, 50s, and almost pushing 60s?  Despite being placed in the bodies of lolis per the author’s discretion (still going with my idea that this is a self-insert fanfic about lolis that never age), these girls should be able to do everything adults can given the age of when they were designed, produced, and put in service.  Of course, if they were allowed to partake in these adult activities like purchasing alcohol and tobacco, then they should probably appear to be adults and behave like adults, too, and that really wouldn’t fly in an anime about schoolgirls who are training to be the best guns.  Still, the next time you see M16A4, remember that she’s 55 years old.

Tsuritama (Episode 8) – The subgenre of friendship anime are populated with quite a number of titles but few can even begin to compare themselves to the quality that Tsuritama has.  Within this field, Tsuritama stands as one of the best in terms of how it develops and utilizes friendship in terms of the characters and story whereas most friendship anime seem content with episodic stories that provide simple tests and rely more on slice-of-life or comedy to make their shows entertaining.  Few friendship anime are able to do what Tsuritama has already accomplished and we’ve yet to really dive deep into the heart of this anime and submerge ourselves in what’s upcoming in the story.  Even more interesting about this aspect is how the friendships will be affected by these revelations in the story and how these friendships and other relationships will, in turn, affect the new developments in the story.  In regards to the overlooked genre of friendship anime, Tsuritama will end up being one of my all-time favorites.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Episode 9) – The characters have already established that Shadow Yuuko is the one who holds all of Yuuko’s memories, so why are they constantly running away from her when she has all the answers to the questions they’re looking for?  It’s understandable for Yuuko to be fearful of her other self since her existence is defined by this relationship of forcing her memories onto her lesser self so that she can enjoy her ghostly lifestyles.  But the rest have no excuse.  Teiichi should be questioning this frightful spirit for information and then use it to help Yuuko out with her situation.  Kirie, too, though she did question the ghost once and discover the nature of Shadow Yuuko’s existence as a result.  It doesn’t make much sense for the characters to all avoid Shadow Yuuko when she’s the answer they’ve set out to find.  It’s almost like Teiichi has gone back on his word of solving the past of Yuuko and simply wants to become an enabler of her selfish and jealous self.  Well, at least now we’re going to see the past of Yuuko through Teiichi’s contact with the spirit’s body, so maybe we’ll see his true intentions when he returns to the real world with all the information and how he uses it to help or hinder Yuuko.

Space Brothers (Episode 10) – Whether by design or not, every episode of Space Brothers seems to cram itself full of inspiration for which to pass off on the audience as forms of motivation and satisfaction.  With every episode documenting the journey of a man realizing his dreams and surpassing every obstacle on his way to the stars, you can’t help but feel some of this anime rub off on you while watching it.  It’s almost as if it’s trying to get us to get off our asses and start on our dreams and goals and making them realities like Mutta and Hibito and everyone else at JAXA are doing.  If that’s the case, well then Space Brothers has been doing an excellent job of it since it’s something I’ve noticed as a consequence of some of the most recent episodes: I want to get up and accomplish something that truly means something to me.  But of course the feeling is fleeting and I usually just sit back down and progress to the next anime that is in my queue.

Mouretsu Pirates (Episode 22) – So are people dying now?  Like, seriously, are these people dead in Mouretsu Pirates?  I thought this was one of those anime where everything is calm and friendly and happy and nothing bad happens to anyone but… but, yeah, it looks like these pirates are being killed.  Like, probably bloody, horrifying deaths, too, I imagine.  Hell, for an anime that has pirates be virtually entertainers who dress up and play around on luxury liners, I figured that was the worst the anime would do, but nope, we’ve got dead pirates whose remains are drifting lifelessly in the frigid and lonely depths of space.  Too bad the anime didn’t linger on that a bit longer, as it would’ve made this final arc more seriously and carry more weight, but at least the anime has transitioned itself from schoolgirls doing mundane stuff and onto something that involves both space and pirates.

Medaka Box (Episode 9) – The key to Medaka Box’s entertainment and overall charm aren’t found in or even around Medaka herself but in the background cast that supports this anime.  You’ve already heard me sing praises of Shiranui from previous posts, and I would certainly do that same again in this episode as she played an integral part to the entertainment in this episode, so instead let’s talk about Onigase who’s seemingly been pegged as the spectator of this story arc.  Her ambivalence and internal conflict with the current events are intended for us to get further explanation and exposition on the happenings but she’s also been a primary source of comedy, too.  When she’s not in deep thought about the unrestricted violence and questioning her role in the matter, her reactions and lies and whatnot were some of the most amusing aspects of the episode.  That and her jokes in the previous episode have carried over and helped establish the fact that she’s one of the more humorous characters in this anime given her position and personality.  Though I don’t think we’ll continue to see her after this arc, I hope we do since she’s quickly become one of my favorites in this less-than-stellar but always delightful anime.

Lupin III: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (Episode 9) – From out of nowhere, that is until a small explanation near the end of the episode, Fujiko’s personality flipped from a selfish and needy thief to that of a hell-bent psychopath who would stop at nothing to kill an innocent lady who simply reminded Fujiko of her tormented past.  The whole shift in personality seems not only rushed but incredibly forced, going from the past few episodes where Fujiko was stable and content to this desperate state where she intended to kill everyone in her path for personal satisfaction.  Not only is it out-of-place given her character but it’s amiss with the series, too.  Though the series is attempting to have a more adult/darker/serious theme to it, the whole episode felt inappropriate given what we’ve seen in the previous episodes.  The show, however, is nearing its end, so maybe this change was essential given the obscure story we’ve seen to date but we really had no preparation for this nor indication it would happen.  Certainly strange and hopefully it doesn’t stick.  I want the anime to tell its story without forcing its characters to change as drastically as this for no reason at all.

Kore wa Zombie desu ka? OF THE DEAD (Episode 9) – Though everyone is in love with Ayumu in Zombie, no one bothers to figure out who Ayumu is in love with.  Though nothing serious at the moment, you would’ve figured at some point one of his dozen crushes would try to figure out his feelings.  But no, it seems everyone is content with satisfying their selfish desires and hanging around Ayumu rather than expressing their love by helping Ayumu with what he wants.  It’s almost gotten to the point where no one cares what Ayumu does and he just does what he wants without any indication that the relationships are reciprocal.  It’s like they’re all in limited to one-direction where the girls get general responses and Ayumu helps out whoever because he feels like they need his help.  Ugh, the relationships in Zombie now have just become too convoluted in that they’re largely unexplained and haphazard in nature.  Or maybe I just don’t care enough and everything that happens has been explained but I just have ignored it or forgotten it by now. Meh, whatever.

Hyouka (Episode 7) – What Hyouka needs are more stories like these where the mysteries are integrated in with the story and not a story on their own.  Spending the first half of the episode as a normal vacation with subtle hints and clues spread evenly throughout is the best way to document a mystery in a show since it doesn’t make it too obvious for the audience yet it highlights all the important parts for us to use and makes it so the mystery can be explained without seeming random or misleading.  Without a doubt, this turned out to be my favorite episode of Hyouka because of the story of the episode and how the mystery was used within it.  The previous epsiodes with the mystery as the main aspect of the story were decent but this one actually felt like characters living their lives rather than a group who’s mere existence is to satisfy its internal curiosities.  If the stories of Hyouka continue in this style, I can see this quickly becoming a favorite of mine this season, especially since I’ve had this thought since the end of the first mystery which took up way too many episodes.

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  1. #1 by Marina on June 9, 2012 - 2:10 AM

    Hyouka has really grown on me recently, and you voice what may be the reason why! I, too, hope that the episode 7′s combination of mystery with a natural progression of the plot made puzzling everything out more fun and interactive for the viewer.

    And I’m almost positive that Tsuritama will become an anime for me to re-watch over and over again ><

    • #2 by avvesione on June 10, 2012 - 1:23 AM

      After initially being dumped on, it seems quite a few heads have turned to Hyouka as one of the better anime this season and not only in terms of quality and art work. Episodes like this are the strength in the series since they spent time developing the characters and exploring new things rather than being hung up on a simple question that spanned several episodes. Being engaging like this and keeping the mystery limited to one episode (because we really can’t follow it for 20 minutes every week for a month) is what will do this series wonders.

      As for Tsuritama, I’m enjoying it quite a bit, but I’m not entirely sure sometimes. This past episode (#9) was not my favorite but I really loved #8. Guess I should wait for the finale since that will likely be the best time to judge the series rather than trying to rate each episode individually.

      Anyway, glad to hear you and I are both enjoying the same anime!

  2. #3 by tsurugiarashix on June 9, 2012 - 9:15 PM

    Playing catch up with Hyouka, since I am out of ammo for shows to watch (even older finished ones). As for Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, can not wait for the next episode ^^

    • #4 by avvesione on June 10, 2012 - 1:30 AM

      Glad to hear another person is watching Hyouka, especially someone like you who’ve I’ve followed for over a year now (your old blog and now this new one). Hope you’re enjoying it as much I and my other friends are enjoying it!

      As for Tasogare Otome, I’ve gotten hooked into the story more than I originally anticipated. I’m actually pretty interested to see what happens with Yuuko, especially learning about how Shadow Yuuko split off from Yuuko and what is needed to be done to rejoin the two together. That and if Yuuko will change as a result and what the other characters do. Should be fun!

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