Moyashimon Returns – 5, Dog Days’ (S2) – 5, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – 6

Returning home after a lengthy vacation always means a pile of responsibilities waiting for you, in addition to the even larger pile of anime that needs to be watched.  Because of this, among other oddities and obligations, let’s revisit the episodes from the previous week and see what significant or interesting events ensued.

Moyashimon Returns – 5

The original season of Moyashimon found success through its zany, wacky filter on university life by portraying everything as energetic, abnormal, and, unfortunately for the all the students, a requirement.  With the University Harvest Festival upon us for at a minimum, another episode, we’re pulled back to refocus our scope of the series from Professor Itsuki’s lab to the entire student body of the university, which, more often than not, sends the screwball antics of the series through the ceiling.  And this is where Moyashimon is at its best, at its prime.  When it’s tossing around housewives as a murderous stampede over free produce, students as overzealous madmen devoted to sanity (yet beyond it themselves) and revenge, and Misato and Kawahama as passionate over booze, greedy for money and girls, and lazy as hell, the comedy never fails and the entertainment remains undisturbed throughout the entire episode.  Unlike the previous episodes which placed significant weight on its stories and characters and delivered a genuine and thoughtful storyline, this episode of Moyashimon Returns saw the rebirth of its effective silly comedy.  And with that, Moyashimon returns to that familiar style which drew acclaim and applause from the fans who love this show.  It should be no surprise to see an uptick in enthusiasm behind this series after such an episode.

Dog Days’ (S2) – 5

Dog Days has been an anime that often falls victim to its own unconvincing story structure, let alone its even less effective presentation, so it should be no surprise that the series draws this complaint from me: the characters just need to be smarter.  Thought it was obvious from the start, much like it always is in Dog Days, the patron at the restaurant, who later was revealed to be Brioche d’Arquien’s older brother, Isuka Makishima, was revealed to be the hero hunting the vermin that was stripping the local catgirls.  However, when he confronted Nanami who was disguised to be a vulnerable catgirl, he portrayed himself as the targeted pervert by complimenting her dress and claiming she was ripe for a stripping along with an arrogant and patronizing tone and smile.  Why?  Well, it ultimately lead to that confusion that caused a quick skirmish and the girls and audience to perceive him as the threat (which later allowed Jaune and Vert to get stripped by the true villains) but why did Isuka act like that?  Why couldn’t he have been just the slightest bit smarter and act like a true hero, cautioning Nanami about the presence of a pervert and identifying his mission to hunt them down?  Why couldn’t Nanami, Jaune, or Vert confronted him before opening battle and causing this confusion?  Had any of those four characters been just an insignificant amount more intelligent, it would’ve seemed more realistic and shown resolve and wisdom in its cast.  But no, the reason it played out this way was it allowed for the series to include some fanservice in the form of a swift battle between Isuka and Nanami and later, Jaune and Vert being stripped to their panties by the true perverts of this episode.  Yeah, that’s literally what happened here.  It’s a shame Dog Days wrote its characters in such a way that it’d lead to some gratuitous fanservice, but that seems to be the way Dog Days’ operates now, unconcerned that these instances weaken the storytelling of the anime and cheapen its characters.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – 6

The atmosphere in Humanity Has Declined must not be what it is today considering the condition of the satellites, Pioneer and Voyager, upon their reentry.  You could say it’s akin to the atmosphere of the anime, that is the mood, the ambiance, the general feeling of how the anime presents itself.  Humanity Has Declined has a relaxed, minimalistic approach to how it portrays itself and the bizarre situations the characters find themselves in, often having peaks of emotions that are nothing more than Watashi being mildly disturbed or pleased.  The advantage of such a blank style is that it plays well into the humor of the series in addition to remaining diverse in its ideas and themes.  For one, by never reaching any extremes in its momentary emotions, Watashi is always primed for a quick quip or comment on the characters or situation that sustain this anime’s comedy.  By keeping everything mild, Watashi’s commentary is able to make its impression before jumping back to the story without detracting from the scene at all while still providing the much-appreciated comedy that this anime thrives on.  The other is how it impacts the diversity of the series.  By never committing to a specific atmosphere at any open opportunity, the anime can explore a variety of genres ranging from the somber and serious, like this episode with Pion and Oyage, to inspiring and satisfying, such as Y’s revival of manga and the bringing mankind together for their love of homoerotic comics, to the completely psychotic, like everything involving bread and chickens.  Each example retained that minimalistic approach to its atmosphere which is why the series can tackle such a broad spectrum of material for its episodes without creating a schism within the series or feeling like the episodes are jerking back and forth, like an automobile’s failing transmission.  Indeed there are some emotions and mood established in each of these episodes, but it never fully commits itself to these feelings which is why the series has created some continuity between these dissimilar stories.  This tranquil and open atmosphere allows the anime to achieve success in its humor and diversity, so we should be thankful for the seemingly mild atmosphere in Humanity Has Declined.  That and with this atmosphere, it allowed our catgirl and her companion to reenter Earth without too much difficulty or so it seems.

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  1. #1 by Joojoobees on August 8, 2012 - 2:40 AM

    There is a line in the last episode of Jinrui that seems pertinent to your theory about the presence of the fairies. Specifically Watashi asks Pion if she can see the fairy in front of her, and she can’t. Watashi is surprised. I take this as she believes others should be able to see the fairies, but they did not explain the scene’s significance in the show.

    • #2 by avvesione on August 8, 2012 - 3:51 PM

      Yeah, I noticed that, too, and discussed it with a friend. I believe that fairies should be visible to everyone but they only really interact with Watashi since she has a good relationship with them. That was also mentioned as the reason why she was not demoted from her position among the other members of the UN.

      My friend also has a wonderful idea on the reasons behind the decline of humanity and this relationship might play a significant role in its explanation and his theory. I should get him to post it sometime.

  2. #3 by windyturnip on August 8, 2012 - 4:14 PM

    This episode got a tad bit too emotional at the end. If they’re going to start entering that territory they have to be careful because I think they are much more successful with their comedy. All the plots have played out rather quickly, but this one seemed particularly rushed, and there wasn’t a whole lot of substance to it. It wasn’t bad by any measure, but it wasn’t as good as the episodes that preceded it. In any event, they’ve managed to keep me interested, and I’m eagerly awaiting next week’s episode.

    • #4 by avvesione on August 14, 2012 - 12:39 AM

      Having an emotional episode really shows the versatility and diversity of Jinrui (assuming you’re talking about it). It impressed me how well it was able to handle the story, emotions, and characters throughout to make a dramatic and satisfying story like that as opposed to all its silly antics and charming comedy. I’d like to see the anime do more of this since it performed it so well but then that’d mean less of the fantasy and comedy that the series has done so well with, too. Either way, I love the series and will be happy with whatever it does next.

  3. #5 by Tzaphqiel on August 8, 2012 - 4:23 PM

    Let’s see if I can categorize my reply.

    Moyashimon Returns:
    I was surprised (and substantially angered) by the attitude and behavior of the people barging in to get produce, especially when they threatened to storm some of the stands just because they didn’t yet have enough produce to feed a family of 50 and because the people operating the stands weren’t able to restock quickly enough to meet the insatiable demand (read: weren’t super-human restocking machines).
    That aside, the rest of the episode was great.

    Dog Days':
    I didn’t really think about the stupidity involved that lead to the misunderstanding/blatant fanservice, if only because I was glad to get an episode that focused so much on the everyday life of the people of these countries. That aforementioned unfortunate part, and the part where Leonmitchelli and Millhiore stole the show at the end, aside, this was probably my favorite episode of the season thus far.
    I will agree that the misunderstanding was a little ill-conceived, but when you consider that Nanami, Jaune, and Vert are all teenagers, that Nanami might not necessarily have a lot of experience conducting serious investigations (which could also hold true for Jaune and Vert, as they are bodyguards more than anything else), and that they were going after someone (or, rather, something) that was targeting kids and girls like themselves and were, understandably, very upset at the prospect of someone doing such horrible things, their actions will hopefully seem to be a bit more realistic.
    Isuka, however, doesn’t have any of those excuses. It makes me think that Brioche’s comment about him being a “foolish brother” might not be just a side comment, and that we might see more of his poor decisions in the future (which could explain why he has been wandering instead of trying to find steady employment in a position of power or influence; they both require careful thought regarding how other people would react, which clearly isn’t his strong suit). But, I’m willing to put up with that if it means that we’ll see him tease Brioche a bit more (she looked so adorable getting flustered after hearing him call her “Hina”).

    Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita:
    I never noticed it before, but what you said about avoiding extremes does seem to be true for this series, which works very well in its favor. It definitely helps pass along morals to the stories without feeling like it is trying to bash them in through your skull.
    To be honest, this series is starting to feel a lot like Kino’s Journey, between the detached storytelling, the achronologic ordering, and the overall feeling of the cast and setting. Which, for me, is excellent, because Kino’s Journey is one of my all-time favorite series, and it’s nice to see that such work is still being made.

    • #6 by avvesione on August 14, 2012 - 12:47 AM

      Yeah, the emotions in Moyashimon were amusing, especially considering how people get like that in real life during Christmas sales and whatnot. Obviously a comic play on those situations which makes it all the more enjoyable with how well it came out.

      I wanted to gear my post toward Isuka more than the girls but the blame pretty much falls everywhere here. Not that it’s necessarily bad, this either my first or second favorite episode of the new season, but just something that I wish Dog Days’ would improve upon. The story and writing aspects are inexcusable in this series and, though I realize it isn’t intended to be that way and just be a fun, relaxing, enjoyable anime, I want to see an anime I like improve as I watch it and give me satisfaction and hope for the future. Nevertheless, this episode was fun, relaxing, and enjoyable.

      I tend to agree with everything you said about Jinrui, as I am loving pretty much every aspect of the anime. Not much for me to add when you’ve already hit everything I would say in my reply. =P

  4. #7 by foshizzel on August 8, 2012 - 10:42 PM

    Jinrui: Using the names Pioneer and Voyager made me laugh! I was like wait a minute aren’t those space probes!? AWESOME! And just in time for the recent Mars mission…fufufu anyway I loved that random battle with the giant cat vs squid thing? WOW! I swear this series is nailing a lot of fun events and fighting! So what is next? A mecha battle!? Magical girls? Zombies? Kore wa zombie better watch out Jinrui is coming for them xD

    Also when I saw the fairies playing in that slime I was like OH MY GOD amazing! LOLOL

    • #8 by avvesione on August 14, 2012 - 12:52 AM

      Yeah, I’m glad the anime used some real world objects as subjects for its story, really driving home that connection between our world and their own. The anime is incredibly intelligent and aware of itself, so it’s nice to see it putting these talents to use with this story. And, lol, the Mars exploration is impeccable timing for this episode.

      That fight between the slimes/cat vs. fairies/cephalopod was pretty damn fun, makes me really enjoy the humor in this anime when they’re able to pull these stunts while still being serious overall. My favorite scene, though, was when Watashi called for the attack and Pion was unaware because she wasn’t paying attention to the battle despite being the one who suggested she used the microwave attack.

      And when the fairies were playing with the slime, it was so adorable, I had to add it to my post as one of the extra pics. There’s no way you can say no to those fairies.

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