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.