Autumn 2012 – Week 7 Anime Review

This week: Speedwagon is a grave-robber in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, the magnificent world-building in Psycho-Pass, why friendship episodes are better than romance episodes for Little Busters!, and issues with the education system in Shin Sekai Yori.

Best episode of the week: Psycho-Pass

Anime trending up this week: Little Busters!

Anime trending down this week:  Jormungand: Perfect Order

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (Episode 7) – With the sudden infusion of plot into our delightful, delusional comedy, the mentality of our heroine, Rikka, has become a bit more transparent.  From the events of this episode, we can gather that one attribute responsible for her severe case of chuunibyou is due to the death of her father and the secrecy around it.  As a result, it seems that her chuunibyou, in whatever form it happened to be when she was a child, developed into her opportunity to escape from reality.  And this answers a question postulated around the beginning of the series as to why Rikka doesn’t enjoy her fantasy world as much as the others.  It is now clear that, unlike everyone else who has chuunibyou for fun and adventure, Rikka is using this as an excuse to reject her father’s death and to live in a world where she is under his supernatural but comforting protection.  It both amusing and depressing to think that everyone uses Rikka’s chuunibyou as a source for their fun and pleasure while Rikka uses it to prevent herself from being burdened by overwhelming grief and sadness.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Episode 7) – I hope Speedwagon asked Zeppeli’s permission before he robbed his corpse (oh yeah, spoilers btw) of his tremendous and extravagant diamond-patterned top hat. Like, that hat is the physical manifestation of Zeppeli’s flamboyant personality and removing it from him is like removing a piece of his soul.  And the fact that Speedwagon was strolling along, nonchalantly with that notorious heirloom atop his head just reinforces his wanton disrespect for Zeppeli.  That bastard should be bawling for the rest of the series to honor the supreme awesomeness that was Zeppeli, something Speedwagon will never match, and for receiving such an illustrious gift from his extravagant benefactor.  But no, Speedwagon doesn’t care.  Or maybe he doesn’t know that he should care.  Oh well, either way, the hat will live on as a reminder of Zeppeli, and as long as Speedwagon wears it, it will serve as a constant reminder that Zeppeli is always above Speedwagon.  Yeah, he’s still better than Speedwagon from beyond the grave.

K (Episode 7) – So, we understand that Neko has two forms of which she alternates between: an adorable pink cat and a shameless but jovial nudist.  These two forms are possible because she has the power to transform herself due to being a Strain.  However, what’s strange about this is that her human form looks, well, like a real human, like all the other characters in this anime.  Her cat form… well, it’s pretty cartoony compared to everything else in the series.  Like, everything in K looks fairly realistic with the only outlier being Neko in her cat form.  It isn’t so much her diminutive form as much as it is her facial expressions which parallel those of a human.  Like, her cat face is designed in such a way to express every emotion that she feels as a cat but it doesn’t look natural given her form as a cat.  It almost makes me wonder if she’s a human first who can transform into a cat (which is why her cat form isn’t as realistic) than a cat who can transform into a human.  But then her catgirl personality and nudist tendencies contradict this theory unless you assume she’s been a cat for so long that she has forgotten what it’s like to be a human.  Yeah, not sure what Neko is naturally but maybe some more information on what a Strain is exactly will help.

Kamisama Kiss (Episode 7) – I’ve always found it strange that whenever an attractive bishie walks through a school, all we see are girls everywhere fawning over their hotness.  And it’s only Tomoe or Kurama, no one else ever produces this effect.  It was only after this episode that I realized the population of the school must be 99% female because that’s all we ever see.  Like, there are no guys at this school and the addition of Tomoe and Kurama doubled it from just Isobe and his friend who laughed at Nekota’s panties.  Like, yeah, that’s it.  No wonder these girls go crazy every time they see a guy who isn’t an asshole (as we saw from Isobe and friend).  Like, I’d go crazy over any girl I saw if I were at a school with 400 guys and only 4 girls.  So yeah, maybe it makes some sense to see all these girls follow these two guys in hordes around the school and make goo-goo eyes at them all the time.  But yeah, no, seriously now, I detest this trope in shoujo/romance anime since it’s so damn stupid.  Yeah, we get that they’re hot and yeah, we get that girls like them, but you don’t need to show them screaming and flattering them all the time.  It’s probably the biggest disappointment of Kamisama Kiss which is nice since that isn’t much of a problem, just something out of personal preference.

Little Busters! (Episode 7) – The friendship episodes of Little Busters! are significantly improved and superior than the romance ones.  For starters, the friendship episodes utilize the entire cast of the anime, bring together the team that is the Little Busters! to help each other and help others around them.  The scene where everyone pays Kanata for the soda cans that Haruka mysteriously obtained is much more heartwarming and inspiring because of how it occurred.  Rin, Komari, and Masato had no clue what was going on when they arrived at the scene but they stepped up and offered their change to save Haruka from detention after following Riki’s example.  It’s so much better to see four characters act generously than just one as we saw for most of the romance episode (yes, it is debatable, but this neither the time nor the place… but the comments section…).  Another reason for why these friendship episodes are better than the romance ones are that it represents the theme of the anime better, one that shows the Little Busters! as a team of friends who are there to help each other.  So when the opportunity arises where multiple characters can help or receive benefits, it strengthens the theme of this anime as oppose to the romance angle which really doesn’t help.  One more aspect on this matter is that often times romantic feelings are left to be ambiguous and confusing and the relationship are often staled at these critical moments.  When it comes to realizing a friendship, the emotions are straightforward and understandable and these relationships often blossom in these situations and proceed to grow as the series progresses.  So yeah, here’s hoping for more friendship episodes for the remainder of the Little Busters! anime.

Medaka Box Abnormal (S2) (Episode 6) – Considering how rare and irreplaceable the members of the 13 Party are, they were able to replace Maguro pretty quickly and pretty well with Naze.  You figure since they’re all Abnormals that it’d be a long and strenuous process to find the right candidate to replace Maguro but they were able to find someone else just as gifted soon after he left.  And seeing the job that she’s done with Itami Koga, turning a normal middle-school girl into an Abnormal like herself, you kinda wonder if the Flask Plan is better off with Naze in place of Maguro.  It should be fun to see how everything plays out between these two characters as this season continues.

Psycho-Pass (Episode 6) – Sprinkling in insignificant details about the setting through ordinary dialogue rather than by direct narration has made the world-building of Psycho-Pass exceptional and encouraging.  For example, the sixth episode chose to explain the nature of alcohol in this setting through a routine conversation.  Here, every piece of information about this modern world is indirect although explaining the perception of alcohol is the whole purpose of this dialogue.  We’re able to pick up clues on how alcohol is slightly feared as a drug of addiction and that most people, especially wholesome girls like Akane (at first she thought the bottle of wine was juice), have never even tried alcohol.  Still, Shuusei mentioned that he obtained these wine bottles from Masaoka and used it as a social drug to get drunk with Akane.  And because everything about this conversation was indirect information on the setting, we’re left with enough grey-area to make our own conclusions about how alcohol is viewed and used in this world without it being directly shoved down our throats like how other anime choose to develop their settings.  As we’ve seen with other examples, such as social media, virtual clothes, and the justice system, Psycho-Pass prefers to develop its world in a way that I absolutely love.  It is a promising trend in Psycho-Pass and I can’t wait until we learn more about this world through this rousing and wonderful anime.

Shin Sekai Yori (Episode 8) – Judging from the school system in Shin Sekai Yori, when students graduate and enter the real world, they’ll be needing to repair broken bottles, create mirrors out of opaque surfaces, hatch chicks from eggs, and float around aimlessly.  Like, what type of economy or work-force are these kids entering?  I don’t get it, what is their school preparing them for?  Like, do these kids have the skills to make a living for themselves once they’re done with school and living on their own?  Does every job depend on their Cantus, even for things as simple as cooking or cleaning?  If so, then yeah, it makes sense that these kids would play around with these things all day, but it doesn’t feel like their school is preparing them well enough for the real world.  Yeah, even though they’re teaching them practical applications for their Cantus abilities, it doesn’t seem very applicable to the real world setting.  Clearly this whole education is the most surprising and outrageous aspect of Shin Sekai Yori now, following the time-skip.

Sword Art Online (Episode 20) – So am I supposed to imagine that humans are playing ALO?  Everyone acts like an NPC with their stock reactions, personalities and behaviors, there’s really no feeling to these characters besides Kirito and Lyfa.  Hell, even Yui has more personality than every other player we’ve seen thus far and she is an NPC.  Yeah, that’s how poorly these characters are written in SAO, that an NPC has feels more human than the actual humans playing these games.  Like, with all these herd mentalities and alliances and guilds and whatnot, there is no individuality because really shitty villains that take the game way too seriously.  And what the hell was up with that meeting place, out in the middle of nowhere in a game that focuses on PK?  Was that really the best idea these two could come up with?  I don’t get it.  Then again, there’s a lot I don’t get with SAO.

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  1. #1 by Gunisberg on November 22, 2012 - 4:57 AM

    Except Speedwagon supported the Joestars till part 4.

    Sorry Zepelli, Your too weak a crutch character.

    Also, why the fuck would anyone burn such an awesome hat.

    • #2 by avvesione on November 27, 2012 - 2:09 AM

      Well, I don’t know much about what Speedwagon does in the future, but it sounds like he’s indebted to the Joestars. Guess I’ll find out more depending on how far the anime takes us (since I probably won’t go back and read the manga).

      And you make a good point, it’d be a waste to burn that hat.

  2. #3 by LovelyAngel on November 24, 2012 - 9:41 PM

    Yeah… I don’t get SAO either. Actually, none of the characters is deep or interesting. The best character is currently locked in a birdcage and stripped of all power, personality, and dignity. Kirito remains bland, except when he’s superpowered. (o.O)

    • #4 by avvesione on November 27, 2012 - 2:14 AM

      You touch on one of the greatest flaws in SAO and that is how the characters have failed to grow or become more interesting. Kirito and Sugu really haven’t really grown since their introductions besides Kirito becoming more sociable but becoming equally naïve. It’s not really appealing to anyone when they’re stagnant like this, especially with the current storyline has been progressing slowly and been largely an incoherent mess.

      Oh well, there is /some/ appeal to the anime which I guess is why we still continue to watch it.

  3. #5 by Zammael on November 26, 2012 - 4:48 PM

    I’ve dropped the following: Magi and Medaka Box 2 and K: Project. Magi was solid, decent, but a little too cute and trite. I’m generally antipathetic to Saturday morning cartoons, and any anime that hints at such predigested pablum is a waste of time.

    Medaka Box 2 is actually better than the first season, with more NisioIsin styled-writing, but I did not feel arsed enough to watch it. Maybe I’ll pick it back up later, and given the horrendous Winter line-up, that’s a possibility.

    However, K: Project is very disappointing, given its promising opener. While the subsequent episodes did fill in the mystery, i felt like each explanation diminished the show and proved how unambitious the creators really were.

    At least Psycho- Pass has gotten better with each passing episode, and Shinsekai Yori is right up my alley! :)

    • #6 by avvesione on November 27, 2012 - 2:19 AM

      I’m not surprised to hear that you’re dropping Medaka Box or K but Magi… really? I guess it does have some of that vibe and it is a shounen anime, but I feel the adventuring and the detailed settings and fun characters outweigh that. I know that those three are huge weaknesses for me in an anime and that it’s not true for everyone, but it has a simple story that’s supported by fun and adventure.

      As for Medaka Box Abnormal, it is better than the first season, so I’m happy. K is something I love because I don’t really care about the story but I care about the characters and that’s enough for me. Not only that but the art, animation, coloring, lighting, etc. etc. is among my favorite, so K is a keeper for me.

      And yeah, Psycho-Pass and Shin Sekai Yori are wonderful anime, glad to hear you’re enjoying those two.

  4. #7 by Lily on April 14, 2013 - 7:29 PM

    What show is the first picture from?

    • #8 by avvesione on April 14, 2013 - 11:36 PM

      It’s from Zetsuen no Tempest, one of the better anime this past Autumn and Winter.

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