Autumn 2012 – Week 8 Anime Review

This week: anime-original characters in Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, memories as a storytelling device in Shin Sekai Yori, the persistent use of humor in Medaka Box Abnormal, and a duplication of colors in K.

Oh right, was supposed to reverse the order of the anime last week but it slipped my mind.  So yeah, the anime listed below are in reverse alphabetical order now as has always been the case once the series passes its halfway mark.

Best episode of the week: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Anime trending up this week: Shin Sekai Yori

Anime trending down this week: Medaka Box Abnormal

Sword Art Online (Episode 21) – Though Sword Art Online has committed numerous destructive errors and critical flaws, perhaps none are more atrocious or grievous than one that has appeared recently. And what makes this blunder even more vexing is that it will likely never be addressed, corrected and apologized for.  I’m talking about the missing tails from the catgirls.  Sure, yeah, that one Cait Sith leader, Rue, had one in the previous episode but a quick scan through the streets of the capital city Arun shows various catgirls with no tails.  Like, seriously, how do you mess up this badly with something so simple?  It’s ridiculous is what it is.  It’s a thousand times worse than the tentacle whatever that went on, too.  It’s like they’re getting lazy, forgetting the best part, and leaving these characters incomplete and lame.  Kinda like this anime, it’s like they’re purposefully removing all the good parts and leaving us with just this incoherent, incestuous disaster.

Shin Sekai Yori (Episode 9) – The use of characters recalling forgotten memories as a storytelling device has always been and always will be a wearisome and worrisome cliché except in the instance that they are forcefully blocked or removed from the character’s mind.  If that is the case for Shin Sekai Yori, as I am expecting provided that the enigmatic society and unsettling setting would allow for such a device, then it might actually serve as a bonus to the anime.  Why?  With the theory that individuals have the power that can repress or disperse certain memories, it serves the anime well for how society weeds out failures and other oddities without causing an internal uproar or revolt.  Given the example with how Saki potentially lost the memories of her former family members, it shows that the leaders of this society do their best to deceive its citizens for their own self-interested purposes.  The parents, however, must understand these details given the commotion Saki’s mother showed in the first episode, which makes the whole process even more intriguing, especially if it is done again and again to the children throughout their childhood and schooling years.  However, if it’s not a part of a grand system nor if the altered memories are explained, then there’ll be some jeers for Shin Sekai Yori on this missed or fumbled opportunity.

Psycho-Pass (Episode 7) – Kougami has a knack for knowing the right things to say at the right time.  Whether he’s clarifying the cryptic mind of a serial killer or encouraging Akane through supportive words, everything he does seems to be just the right thing.  And while this may ultimately be good or fantastic for the characters of Psycho-Pass, it damages his character by making his character bland and devoid of personality.  It’s as if he’s a robot placed in the Public Safety Bureau to answer questions and assist in solving crimes.  Beyond that and the brief snippets of his past, he really doesn’t possess any hint of emotion nor does he express any interests in anything besides solving crimes, smoking cigarettes and punching robots.  And those minimalistic details on his character aren’t enough to piece together a profile or personality for which to understand Kougami.  It doesn’t help that Masaoka is already the old mentor type and that Ginoza is the serious manager with a short-fuse since those kinda render those traits on Kougami nullified due to their defined personas.  If I had to assign an archetype or personality to Kougami, I suppose I’d say he’s the quiet and reserved type but he seems too interested in his job and others for that to stick.  And if I were to say he’s like the knight-in-shining-armor, I’d have trouble convincing myself since he has only flashed that once or twice all season.  Really, profiling Kougami is rather difficult given what we’ve seen thus far.

Medaka Box Abnormal (S2) (Episode 7) – Despite being well underway in a series of decisive battles, the humor in Medaka Box somehow survives.  It doesn’t matter how serious or dangerous the opponent is, the writing in Medaka Box finds a way to wedge in some joke or comedy in order to help retain the charm of our protagonists or to keep the anime from seeming too dark or dramatic, aspects which the anime seems to perform poorly with given its attempts this season.  The humor and amusement, however, is one of the better qualities of Medaka Box, often showing precise timing and intelligence to make a joke work given the situation and circumstances.  It also helps reinforce the lighthearted nature of the anime which has unfortunately taken a backseat to the story in this sequel.  Nevertheless, the humor has found a way to survive and make a difference in these episodes which has been one of the brighter and better moments of Medaka Box Abnormal.

Little Busters! (Episode 8) – In every decision-making scenario, risk is weighed against reward whether conscious or not.  In the event of Kudryavka accepting the stern and unforgiving Kanata as her new roommate, she’s weighing her risks and her rewards.  And though this may seem way too risky for the kindhearted and naïve Kud to live with Kanata, something that seems like the most ill-fated pairing of all the students thus far, it also has the potential for the greatest reward, too.  Although Kud may be bossed around by Kanata more often, she will be able to develop a friendship with the person who is the most opposite of her.  Not only will she gain one new friend in the process but she will open new routes of access to create more friendships with Kanata’s friends.  Furthermore, if Kud can find a friendship in the person more polarizing to her personality, then it shows that Kud can make friends with anyone she wants.  And for Kanata, she is also evaluating her risks and rewards, too, in deciding to live together with Kud.  Without much known about her and her motivations, there isn’t much to say, but it shouldn’t be surprising to see Kanata see more rewards from inviting Kud to her room than whatever new risks develop.  Hopefully we can find out soon what Kanata hopes to gain from living together with Kud.

Kamisama Kiss (Episode 8) – I can’t help but feel bad for the girls who want a little beefcake or ‘manservice’ in their anime.  Sure, there are gorgeous shots of bishounen constantly being shown in Kamisama Kiss but the first examples of semi-nude males in the series are rather crudely drawn and largely unappealing.  Hell, we even had a zoomed-in pantyshot before any dudes were in speedos or skintight clothing so that’s gotta be a sign of how disappointing the fanservice has been for the female audience.  Still, it’s not like the whole point of Kamisama Kiss is to be the female-audience version of whatever ecchi harem anime are out there, not the mention I’m guessing the general female fan enjoys sparkly bishounen over topless, tan guys in swimsuits, but the shots in this beach episode were pretty disappointing.  Guess I should consider myself lucky or fortunate that there isn’t a whole bunch of fanservice in this anime intended for female viewers.

K (Episode 8) – The whole coloring system in K has been pretty simple thus far with reds being reds and blues being blues, but now something appear that might complicate things: we now have two whites.  Although Adolf K. Weismann is considered the Silver King or the first King, his name clearly has the word ‘white’ in it much like our protagonist Yashiro.  With both characters sharing the same colors, not to mention a little bit of history, too, it’ll be exciting to see how things play out, especially with Weismann assuming the color ‘silver’ and Yashiro being without a color for now.  It certainly seems like there is some conflict between the two characters, so there’s something already going on there, but how it unfolds in regards to the colors scheme will be quite interesting.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Episode 8) – JJBA is an anime without any sense of moderation, always going well beyond the bounds of restraint and reaching out into the extraordinary.  And with this episode, it also seems to have no real sense of pacing either, quickly encompassing the final battle of this arc in the entirety of an episode.  Of course, with such a lengthy manga series, the allotted time of the anime must be appropriately budgeted in order to fit the specified stories in but that is no excuse for having the anime feel as rushed as it did in this episode.  The whole scene with Dire fighting Dio lasted only slightly longer than a heartbeat and was over before anyone wanted.  Like, I’m assuming the time in the manga didn’t last much longer than what was shown in the anime but at least the reader could continue at their own pace and allow the death to sink in and make its lasting impact before moving onto JoJo’s turn.  And though I am conflicted with wanting to get as much JJBA in before the anime’s time is up, I feel that it is a misstep by the series to continue at its current pacing.  And though this is only the first real flaw with JoJo’s, it’s kind of a big one.

Girls und Panzer (Episode 6) – Following the victory by Ooarai over the Saunders, Kei apologized to Miho over Arisa’s inappropriate eavesdropping for providing an unfair advantage to their team.  However, didn’t Yukari provide Ooarai with an unfair advantage, too, by slipping into the Saunders school and spy during their meeting?  Was that detail simply forgotten or is Kei simply inconsistent with her stance on cheating?  Yeah, she addressed the issue with Yukari in the fifth episode, ultimately brushing the situation off and inviting her back to their school sometime, so it seems like she’s indifferent about it, but then she goes out of her way to apologize and then punish Arisa for virtually the same infraction.  Maybe she holds her teammates to a higher standard?  Or, as was my impression, the Yukari spying incident was, like many fine details in anime, simply forgotten.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (Episode 8) – It has come to my attention that Touka Takanashi, Rikka’s older sister and current guardian, is an anime original character.  Same with Kumin and Sanae; both are new to the series, only joining the series when it made the jump from light novel to anime.  Considering their impact on the series and how they’ve influences the characters and the story, I have absolutely no idea what the light novel could possibly be like.  Sure, it still probably shares the same core concepts and themes and whatnot, but I couldn’t imagine this anime without Touka, Kumin or Sanae.  Nor do I want to.  The fact that these three characters (and whoever might be new) are in the anime is something that I find positive for the anime and am ultimately happy to have these three characters included.  There might be benefits or advantages for them to not be in the anime like in the original light novel and I have been known to voice complaints about anime adaptations switching or changing too many things around, but the inclusion and participation of these three characters have had a huge impact on my enjoyment of the series and I can say, without a doubt, that their addition is a definite plus for the anime.

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  1. #1 by Ante on November 28, 2012 - 9:33 PM

    About Girls und Panzer, if I remember correctly, isn’t gathering intel before the match is allowed? It is something you can see through video, historical record, or spying like Yukari…
    The Saunder didn’t do that because they are overconfident in their number I guess…

    Also, the book doesn’t include prying the communication as cheating, it just Key wish to play ‘fair’ or simply want to prove that their number is enough…
    Thus when she knows that Arisa has prying all the time, she cut her number advantage so it will be ‘fair’ once again…

    Thanks

    • #2 by Samuel (@SPambas) on November 30, 2012 - 8:58 AM

      Same with me, I think spying on the other school and going through their past records is ok, cracking the radio on the other end made Miho team a complete prey and gave them no choice.

      As for Medaka Box I guess getting the crazy up to eleven is their advantage, that last episode was really crazy, especially the characters doing completely random and crazy things. Logic is the first casualty each time Medaka Box OP rolls.

      • #3 by avvesione on December 3, 2012 - 12:12 PM

        I remember hearing that you could gather intel, but spying, as what Yukari did, was never mentioned. And if it were allowed, it seems that she was the only one who knew since Saori questioned her about it when she started the video. Either way, it doesn’t matter that much since it was intended to point out a similarity between the two sides, trying to get an advantage over each other with different responses by Kei.

        As for Medaka Box, the humor has been a nice constant throughout this season and it really accents the bizarre fights they have. It isn’t as prevalent as it was during the first season but the comedy is still great, especially during the downtime between fights.

        • #4 by Samuel (@SPambas) on December 4, 2012 - 1:36 PM

          Watching Episode 8 of Girl und Panzer actually now makes it more clear, because of what is at stake since it seems the whole school depends on the Panzerfarhen competition.

        • #5 by avvesione on December 16, 2012 - 6:55 PM

          Yeah, things make more sense now with what’s at stake, but I’m not too happy with the development myself. Kinda wish there was more of an explanation on why this is an issue now with the school instead of putting it out here and just forcing us to accept it without any supporting or explaining information.

  2. #6 by Xiammes on November 29, 2012 - 12:31 AM

    I do like the anime original characters in Chuuni, they really help bring life to the anime.

    I like the Light Novel too, but it hardly makes for a good anime(basing on my experience with the first novel). The first LN follows Yuuta as he helps Rikka study for a math test, a few things such as Shiinka acting as a villain. Also Yuuta isn’t nearly anti-chuunibyou in the LN, he does not try to impose on Rikka’s fun, he will even join in sometimes.

    • #7 by avvesione on December 3, 2012 - 12:16 PM

      Interesting. The only things I’ve heard about the LN is that, when compared to the anime version of itself, it isn’t nearly as good. People have mentioned it’s a bit boring even which is what stirred my interest into seeing how different they really are. Turns out they are by quite a bit. It makes me happy that the anime turned out the way it did with its wider cast of characters and their friendship together. Still, I’m curious about how the whole LN goes without all these characters or how the comedy is since it’s mainly just Yuuta and Rikka together.

      • #8 by Xiammes on December 3, 2012 - 9:22 PM

        The first light novel isn’t that good compared to the anime but its still good. Rikka doesn’t have Sanae or her sister so she is a lot more lonely. The light novel does make good use on the characters they do have.

        Isshiky and Yuuta talk alot more in the light novel, a funny fact that Isshiky’s first conversation with a girl was with Rikka over the phone. Shiinka plays the role of a villain and does a decent job at it. We also have mentions of Yuuta’s Chuunibyou friend from middle school is mentioned quite a lot, I hear she plays a big role in the second novel.

        Its still worth the read, and is only 120 something pages long wouldn’t take more then a few hours a most to read.

        • #9 by Xiammes on December 3, 2012 - 9:25 PM

          goofed the last sentence from the middle paragraph.

          *Yuuta’s Chuuni friend from middle school is mentioned quite a lot and plays a central role without ever appearing, I hear she plays a big role in the second novel.

        • #10 by avvesione on December 16, 2012 - 6:57 PM

          Does sound quite a bit different and rather interesting, but considering how extensive and expansive my backlog is, I don’t think I can even find the time to read it anytime soon. Maybe in the future if I stumble across the LN translated…

  1. Chuunee-san | Failure Gates

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