Winter 2013 – Week 8 Anime Review

maoyuu_maou_yuusha-08-maid_ane-maid_imouto-hug-family-farewell-candle-touching-heartwarmingLike, fifty weeks ago or something: questions about the running gag in Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, the enjoyable school scenes in Chihayafuru 2, solving Haruka’s problems quickly in Kotoura-san, and something I dread with every episode of Space Brothers now.

Best episode of the week: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Anime trending up this week: Tamako Market

Anime trending down this week: Senran Kagura

 

Zetsuen no Tempest (Episode 19)

zetsuen_no_tempest-19-mahiro-serious-happy-calm-collectedDespite Mahiro being a personality blinded by rage and revenge, he still retains a considerate and amiable side to him when it comes to Aika or Yoshino.  During the revelation when Yoshino told Mahiro who had been dating his younger sister, one might expect Mahiro to display signs of anger or confusion, especially since he’s been rather angry and mystified throughout the whole series.  Instead, he remained calm and collected when talking to Yoshino, even after Yoshino provoked him a few times with suggestive or lewd comments on Aika.  It goes to show that even though Mahiro is intent and focused solely on the revenge of Aika’s death, he still has some character to him from before these inexplicable events and it was shown again during the conversation with Yoshino in the cemetery.  You almost wonder if, in the end, that this will be the personality we see from Mahiro and that this whole revenge factor was merely a passing fancy or a rouse for which to direct his anger of the murder of Aika.  I wouldn’t be surprised, especially after this scene.

zetsuen_no_tempest-19-yoshino-surprised-sunset-light zetsuen_no_tempest-19-samon-ill-comedy-phone-agony

 

Tamako Market (Episode 7)

tamako_market-07-choi-fortune_teller-mochi-happy-delicious-food-smileConsidering that Choi is familiar with Dera, knowing him to be rather lazy and unreliable, and considering the fact that she relies on Dera for her fortune-telling capabilities, you really have to question why Dera was sent out on his own to search for a bride for Ouji.  Like, it doesn’t make sense for Dera to go out on his own for such a mission.  Instead, why not pair him up with Choi so that she could continue her fortune-telling capacity from a remote location and ensure communication between the search party and the homeland.  Or better yet, why not send Choi on her own to search for a suitable bride for Ouji?  The fact that the monarchy sent Dera out on his own with no supervision seems rather nonsensical or irresponsible to me, especially after seeing how Choi treats Dera.  Or maybe, it’s actually the opposite.  Maybe Choi sent Dera out on his own knowing that he would be unable to find a bride and then she could make her move on Ouji since she has romantic feelings for him.  Now wouldn’t that be something?

tamako_market-07-choi-fortune_teller-serious-looking_down tamako_market-07-choi-fortune_teller-screaming-panic-embarrassed

 

Space Brothers (Episode 46)

space_brothers-46-mutta-confused-jumpsuit-jaxa-astronautAfter forty-six episodes of Space Brothers, I’m tired of the soundtrack.  Every episode has the same 3-4 songs that they play over and over and over and over and over again, and they’re always played during the same types of scenes, too.  What started off as a pleasant, respectable and enjoyable soundtrack has become exhausted and overplayed throughout the course of the series.  It’s not that they’re bad songs but after hearing them again and again and again episode after episodes after episode about 46 times, it just want to mute the anime and listen to something else.

space_brothers-46-mutta-thinking space_brothers-46-mutta-face

 

Senran Kagura (Episode 8)

senran_kagura-08-rin-hanzou_academy-shinobi-ninja-graduate-mystery-mission-antagonistSo what exactly do these girls do once they graduate?  There has been several mentions of previous shinobi graduating and taking on missions, but who exactly hires them and what do they do on these dangerous missions?  Although we’ll never see this in the anime, I am curious what happens to these girls once they’re finished with their training and are placed out in the real world as professional ninjas.  Do they compete against each other?  Do they work with some of the Serpent girls on joint missions provided they have the same employer?  What kind of job market and prospects are these girls looking at while training at the Hanzou Academy?  And another point, this time about the scrolls, why do they have such valuable artifacts around, looking to use them on students when they already had ninjas advance and graduate through the respective academies already?  I know, I know, I’m thinking too much about an that’s main focus is boobs but it seems odd that we’ve had such an emphasis on graduating when there really is no point to it in this anime.  Maybe I should just focus on the fanservice and fights from now on like I should be doing…

senran_kagura-08-katsuragi-serious-memories-fighting senran_kagura-08-asuka-katsuragi-showers-naked-boobs-fanservice-ecchi

 

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai (Episode 7)

sasami_san@ganbaranai-07-juju-shrine_maiden-priestess-miko-mother-snow-serious-antagonistWe never see the face of Kamiomi, I get that, but is this zany gimmick limited to us, the audience, or are we supposed to recognize that no one sees his face at all?  What I mean to say is, do the characters in Sasami-san see his face at all or is it always obstructed like it is to the audience?  There are plenty of instances where the characters should have a clear view of his face given the positioning of the briefcase or foreground objects but at other times, his face is covered by a bucket or some other object that would block the view of any character looking at him.  To expand on that, none of the characters seem to be surprised or perplexed by his behavior either, so either they accept that he walks with a briefcase on the side or front of his head sometimes or that they never see his face (the same as us) and just don’t care to see what he really looks like.  I’m almost certain that the characters see his face given some of the events and conversations that have occurred but then that would make his behavior more irrational and enigmatic to the characters if they’ve seen his face a few times.  Maybe there’ll be a surprise at the end where we finally see his face and, depending on the reactions of the characters, this question may be answered indirectly.  If not and we never see his face and this gimmick is never explained, well then I’ll pretend that Shaft forgot to hire someone who could draw a man’s face and just said, ‘whatever, let’s roll with it.’

sasami_san@ganbaranai-07-sasami-shrine_maiden-miko-confused sasami_san@ganbaranai-07-tama-crying-tears-god-lost

 

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (Episode 19)

sakurasou_no_pet_na_kanojo-19-sorata-scream-panic-comedyIs it just me or do all these dorm/housing-themed anime always end with the students trying to save their home from being demolished for whatever reason?  Like, it isn’t the most common storyline in anime, but this genre of anime seems to enjoy concluding itself with some event where everyone comes together, strengthens their friendship/romance with each other and saves their cherished building from being destroyed by ‘evil’ outside forces.  If played out well, it might not be a bad turn-of-events for Sakurasou, especially if it provides some resolution to the issues in this anime but, nevertheless, it’s still a cliché ending with everyone now fighting to save Sakurasou from destruction (which I might add, is too late for the anime, but good luck with the building).

sakurasou_no_pet_na_kanojo-19-shiina-confused-head_tilt sakurasou_no_pet_na_kanojo-19-misaki-playful-happy-hot_pot-welcoming_party

 

Pscyho-Pass (Episode 18)

psycho_pass-18-kougami-enforcer-light-wanted-criminalI can’t help but wonder how large and expansive the police force is in Psycho-Pass.  You’d imagine that for a city of this size and stature, that there’d be an extensive police force to manage its population.  Of course, with the Sibyl System constantly scanning everyone and evaluating their brainwaves or thought patterns or other psychobabble scientific gibberish, it makes their lives easier, but it’s not like a crime occurs by every camera or a person snaps right as they’re being scanned.  Additionally, there are quite a few criminals who are able to evade the Sibyl scanners themselves and people take their crimes and rebellious nature online, so you figure there needs to be some force to fill in the holes left by the Swiss-cheese like surveillance of Sibyl.  But the most we’ve seen of the active policing force in Psycho-Pass is about 15-20 officers when being briefed by Director Kasei before engaging with the rioters.  You’ve seen the government building that they work in and the size of the city, but there are less than a couple dozen officers managing this metropolis?  You can’t help but wonder where all the other officers are (other locations?) or how a city of such a massive scale manages with just a few detectives and a handful of enforcers.

psycho_pass-18-kougami-enforcer-police-serious psycho_pass-18-kougami-enforcer-police-detective

 

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (Episode 8)

maoyuu_maou_yuusha-08-onna_mahoutsukai-female_mages-staves-witch's_hat-cloaks-magicians-awesomeSo yeah, what ever happened to the three mages that we saw at the beginning of the series?  Remember, there was that one scene where they went off searching for Hero and then… they’re sleeping in some kinda hourglass thingymabobber?  Yeah, what ever happened to these characters and why are they so far removed from the plot when the sleepy mage was one of the Hero’s companions when he was off to slay the Demon Lord?  I suppose we’ll be owed an explanation sometime, but really, I can’t help but feel this is attributed to the directionless and illogical pacing of the anime where we have no clue what’s really going on in reference to location, timing, plot and purpose.  Oh, and to make things worse, the three mages will probably be the best characters in this anime, too, and they saved them for the final 3 episodes.

maoyuu_maou_yuusha-08-maou-maid_ane-disguise-magic-trick maoyuu_maou_yuusha-08-seinen_shounin-businessman-merchant-smile

 

Little Busters! (Episode 20)

little_busters!-20-rin-protagonist-lead_female-tsundere-blush-shy-romanceEpisodes where Rin takes the focus, that is she’s not the focus but assumes the role of the protagonist, lead me to believe that Little Busters! would be better with Rin as the sole protagonist rather than Riki.  Unlike Riki, Rin is actually genuinely entertaining and fun to be around.  Riki is dull and boring and the only times he’s ever funny is when he’s already making a comment after a joke has occurred.  Further, Rin is able to accomplish various missions, too, albeit being a bit awkward or shy or even stupid in some of her plans but everything works out in the end.  Rin also has a problem that she’s trying to get over too, her shyness, which would combine well with everyone’s storyline since she could be making steps at overcoming her shy personality while helping everyone with their own personal problems.  Oh, and she has a rival too, can’t forget to mention that!  But, because Little Busters! was already developed as a game years ago with Riki as the male protagonist, there was no way that this adaptation would insert Rin over him since it’d completely destroy the dynamic established in the game.  Still, I can’t help but observe that having Rin as the main character throughout would be a significant improvement for the anime, especially when it comes to the best aspect of Little Busters! right now, the comedy.

little_busters!-20-rin-protagonist-main_character-mission_start little_busters!-20-sasasegawa_sasami-rival-softball-laughing-princess-ojou_sama-twintails-beautiful-roses-purple

 

Kotoura-san (Episode 7)

kotoura_san-07-haruka-surprised-cute-adorableIt isn’t so much that Haruka is ostracized due to her psychic powers but rather due to her lack of social awareness and courtesy to others.  If you cure that, you pretty much cure everything for Haruka.  Think about it, if Haruka had the same psychic powers that she always has but never acted on the minds she reads, she’d be having a decent life with her mother and father and at a normal school as any normal student.  Instead, Haruka always has the impulse to blurt out everything she learns like about which girls like which boys, who their parents are secretly dating, and when people are having super lame sexual fantasies about her (yes, Manabe, your fantasies are boring).  You know, it’d be the same for anyone without psychic powers too, who learn of rumors second-hand and blurt them out to all the wrong people.  The psychic powers aren’t the source of the problem for Haruka, it’s her lack of understanding how to act around others and when is the right time to bring up these topics.  You know that if they focused on this problem first rather than anything relating to her psychic powers, then Haruka would be pretty normal and accepted by her classmates, strangers and even her mother that abandoned her.  Too bad Haruka can’t read my mind and figure this out for herself.

kotoura_san-07-haruka-childhood-crying-memories-psychic kotoura_san-07-haruka-ill-bed-phone-sick-worried

 

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Episode 20)

jojo's_bizarre_adventure-20-caesar-zeppeli-family-memories-tribute-blood-screamDamn, you know, JoJo’s knows how to be a satisfying anime.  Really, is there anymore I need to add from this episode?  JoJo’s knows how to keep its audience happy and content and that couldn’t be more apparent with this episode.  Damn, I really can’t wait to see what happens next.

jojo's_bizarre_adventure-20-caesar-fighting-bandana-blonde-ripple jojo's_bizarre_adventure-20-lisa_lisa-shock-serious-stunned

 

Chihayafuru 2 (Episode 7)

chihayafuru_2-07-chihaya-school-notebook-doodles-surpriseOften times, I find the school aspects of anime to be intolerable or dreadful but not with Chihayafuru.  Rather than going on and on about school festivals or stupid romances or whatnot, Chihayafuru actually has some rather endearing and entertaining scenes that take place in the classroom.  Although there are a few that are like every other anime within the school setting, most of these scenes prove to be worthwhile as either an entertaining scene or in some ways, meaningful to the characters.  Not only that, these scenes are often the only times we see anything develop that’s meaningful outside of karuta since most of the progress and advancement that occurs in Chihayafuru is related to karuta in one way or another.  In a way, I actually look forward to the school scenes in Chihayafuru as a way of breaking up the karuta matches and practices.  Not only do they redirect the focus of the series away from the card game to the characters but they’re often amusing and comical which acts as a nice balance to the action and drama of the karuta matches.

chihayafuru_2-07-chihaya-tears-crying-emotional-romantic-friendship chihayafuru_2-07-misusawa_kaurta_club-everyone-surime-akihiro-taichi-chihaya-nishida-tsutomu-kanade

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  1. #1 by Nuu on March 4, 2013 - 12:04 AM

    For when the girls graduate…maybe they enter like a ninja internship. I could see that…lol. But nice summary, I wish I could comment on more, but I gotta do some serious catch up.

    • #2 by avvesione on March 4, 2013 - 3:40 PM

      Yeah, I’ve kinda wondered about what happens to the girls after graduation and what they do with their ninja training. I guess they keep in touch with Kiriya as we saw with Rin but I kinda wonder if they ever work with the Serpent Academy girls or not. And since it seems like they’re always in high school/in training in the games, I doubt we’ll ever see anything beyond this, but it’s fun to think about.

      Hope you’re able to catch up soon.

  2. #3 by Mikey on March 4, 2013 - 12:32 AM

    To give a disagreeing opinion on Little Busters (Because disagreements make for better conversation), I think people (in general) underestimate Riki. While it is true he doesn’t have the quirky nature of Rin, I don’t see quirkiness as something every character has to have. But when you try to compare Riki to other male harem leads, there is a lot that is unconventional about Riki. Where most are super dense, Riki is self aware. Where most would constantly stammer and think up ridiculous ecchi situations for every single little thing, Riki does not (A good example being episode 15. Well there was on moment, but at least its better than most male leads who have ten… in one episode). Where most Key leads (And some male leads) are snarky and sometimes come off as jerks, Riki is kind, understanding and accepting (Emphasis on accepting as you might see this next episode). Where some male leads never realize their flaws, Riki does. (An example being episode 17 with the scene with Kanata where she wonders if life is a zero sum game.) Now take all those qualities and try to find another male lead that fits the bill. So what I’m getting at is Riki is an (almost) completely unconventional male lead and I at least think that is important in the grand scheme of things.

    Now as for the episode itsself, it was pretty hilarious (Especially that rap).

    • #4 by Mikey on March 4, 2013 - 10:49 AM

      Not to belittle Rin or anything though. She’s a good heroine and she’s pretty much representitive of what the show is. Blunt, straight-foward and to-the-point. A little stupid, but charming because of it, instead of being cringe worthy.

    • #5 by avvesione on March 4, 2013 - 3:52 PM

      You do make several strong points on Riki’s character but the main issue I have with him is that he really doesn’t entertain me. He kinda boring or standard. Granted, he isn’t like many harem leads that get into ecchi situations (I hate) or that come off as jerks (I hate), so I don’t hate Riki like I do other lead males, but Riki does come off as plain and nonchalant. With all these strong personalities around him, he just comes off as rather ordinary despite possessing a number of qualities that make him suitable for the lead in this anime.

      Additionally, comedy is by far my favorite genre of anime, so I always tend to favor characters that make me laugh or smile over any other. Rin possesses a number of qualities that make her ideal to be a lead female AND she makes me laugh more than just about everyone (and she’s cute, too!) Not only that but I like that we’ve seen progress on Rin’s shyness throughout, which is why I have enjoyed her storyline more than everyone else thus far. To me, I’d prefer Rin to be a lead in this anime but I understand why she isn’t. It’s a combination of my observations and opinion on why I think she’d be a better lead though Riki is a fine lead as it is.

  3. #6 by Flawfinder on March 4, 2013 - 6:56 AM

    I’m with you on the soundtrack regarding Space Bros. Part of the reason why I decided I had enough of the show was because of overplay killing my investment in what was happening.

    And judging by the way this season has been progressing, LB isn’t going to focus on Rin until next season. What a shame.

    Curious on your thoughts regarding what’s been happening in R;N, but I’m sure you’ll get to that when the time comes.

    • #7 by avvesione on March 4, 2013 - 3:44 PM

      Yeah, the soundtrack on Space Bros has becoming slightly irritating, mainly because I’ve heard the same track at least a thousand times already. I’m glad to hear that others feel the same way.

      Yeah, it’s too bad because Rin is one of my favorite characters, especially when it comes to her personality, how she’s used in the comedy, and how she interacts well between the original five and all the new girls (with Riki being the only other one that really does that well, too). But yeah, that’s a shame if we won’t get to Rin anytime soon.

      As for Robotics;Notes, I had an idea for something to write but I couldn’t articulate it the way I wanted, so ended up scraping it from this post. I’m not too happy with what’s going on in R;N right now but there is the potential for it to pick up at the finale.

  4. #8 by gravethestampede on March 4, 2013 - 9:07 AM

    Thumbs up for Jojo, indeed the best of that week!

    • #9 by avvesione on March 4, 2013 - 3:46 PM

      Yeah, JoJo’s has been an amazing run, really happy to finally watch an anime of it after hearing so much about it from friends who have read the manga. I hope it keeps going strong into the third story and beyond!

  5. #10 by Sammie on March 5, 2013 - 9:21 PM

    Didn’t have anything to say about SSY this week?

    • #11 by avvesione on March 5, 2013 - 10:43 PM

      My original topic got scrapped over a discussion I had with a friend on death-feedback of Cantus and how its ‘somehow’ nullifed in Fiends who are consumed by their Cantus. Was going on about how it didn’t make sense but after arguing about it for an hour, I realized I needed to do some research on it before writing about it. Never did get around to researching for it, so I thought up an alternate topic which was about how shocked Saki always looks. I wasn’t really happy with it, so I scrapped that too and meant to rewrite it… but with everything else already finished, I went ahead and posted it without adding it back in.

      So yeah, if you want my thoughts on SSY from this past week, I don’t like how the Cantus death-feedback is ignored with Fiends and that Saki always looks shocked. Sorry it’s not articulated well.

      • #12 by Sammie on March 6, 2013 - 1:10 AM

        From my understanding the death feedback is part genetic and part hypnotism, its present in all humans but natural fiends have had a genetic defect(most likely caused by their cantus) that allows them to ignore the death feedback after the hypnotism. In the case of the current fiend he has had no hypnotism so it never activated genetically, so he technically isn’t a fiend.

        • #13 by avvesione on March 11, 2013 - 2:30 AM

          You know, you might be right about him being a fiend. I may have to reevaluate how I feel about this though once we learn everything.

  6. #14 by mwnanamai on March 7, 2013 - 2:42 AM

    About Maoyuu Maou Yuusha :

    I have a friend who is a major Lolicon “pervert”, for lack of a better term, and was pretty much excited about the three very Cute mages that are the best characters of the series. I could hear him shout “Kawaiiii”.

    He told me they would introduce them around episode 6 like Saiga was introduced in Ben-to and was pretty excited about it, after episode 7 He can’t even be bothered anymore with the Anime.

    • #15 by avvesione on March 11, 2013 - 2:31 AM

      I don’t think the mages are lolis. They’re cute, yeah, but they don’t seem to be young like the Maid Imouto.

      And yeah, I didn’t watch Ben-To (watched the first 3 episodes), so I’m not sure what you mean with the second part, but I hope we see more of them soon.

      • #16 by mwnanamai on March 11, 2013 - 9:01 AM

        The second half of Ben-to was better than the first half, in part because in episode 6 (I think), they introduced a new character in the person of Saiga the cousin of Saito, complete with her own OP song “my treasure” and a completly crazy episode where she interact with all the cast. if you have time Ben-to is actually nice, give it a chance.

        My friend was hoping that we would get such a similar would happen here, with a full episode dedicate to their antics and cuteness. I am not a strong loli fan, so I trust my friend’s judgment because it is a big passion of his. I really couldn’t tell the difference. ;)

        • #17 by avvesione on March 14, 2013 - 12:23 AM

          I’ve been meaning to go back to Ben-To but I hardly have the time to go back and watch older shows that I dropped previously. If you care, you can see my complaints with my anime on this blog since I did give it three episodes.

          I am hoping for an episode with just the mages but I still don’t see them as being loli characters. They might be a little short or have flat-chests but they don’t look like most loli characters. Maybe your friend likes more than just one type of character.

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