This week: heart failure or a broken heart; a phenomenal use of a literary device in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, issues with explaining the setting rather than exploring the setting in Psycho-Pass, questioning the reality and extent of Koko’s network in Jormungand: Perfect Order, and questioning the enjoyment and pleasure in Rikka’s actions in Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
For this season, the Weekly Reviews will be a bit more random in which anime are included depending on how the episode performs and what material or discussion points there are to bring up. For this first review, pretty much everything will be included except for the shows being routinely followed. However, after this week, who knows what’ll end up here, it all depends on the episode and what I have to offer after watching it. However, seeing as I’m following quite a bit more anime than the past few seasons, you can expect there’ll be quite a bit to talk about during these next few months. Also, to add onto that, certain sections might be smaller than what has been the standard previously, so there’s that, too.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (Episode 2) – You’d figure that, considering the amount of time Rikka spends in that world of hers, that she’d be having quite a bit of fun or enjoyment out of it. In reality, though, it’s quite the opposite. Rikka is constantly under some sort of pressure or stress from her alternative reality, either sealing dangerous monsters or running from her evil sister, so it’s unclear how much she actually likes being in her world. In fact, you could question how much pleasure she derives from constantly living and working through this fantasy world. And considering the amount of physical abuse she takes (in the form of physical humor) and the amount of trouble she causes everyone else around her, you’d figure she’d stop or someone would try to stop her. So, besides the minimal enjoyment and causing trouble for everyone around her, what other reasons does Rikka have for being so absorbed in that world of hers?
Girls und Panzer (Episode 1) – Although the friendship felt rather forced, thin, and artificial, I absolutely loved how Miho’s new friends, Hana and Saori, stood up with her to defy the student council president. Not only did they help support her during the whole ordeal but they spoke their minds and spoke on Miho’s behalf when she was unable to voice her own thoughts and feelings on the issue. They were with her 100%, even if they faced punishment alongside Miho for their actions. And while they ultimately failed when Miho caved in to their overwhelming pressure, I couldn’t be happier that they showed how devoted and encouraging these two girls are. It’s friendship done right in an anime, not some speech to a villain about how they believe in their friends. No, having the friends stand there, together, with the protagonist and fire shots and her enemies, when she couldn’t speak her mind, if the kind of friendship I love to see in anime.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Episode 2) – A persistent cough, stacked pillows, chest pain, and peripheral edema. Yup, George Joestar is presenting the classic symptoms for heart failure, a serious and often fatal condition, even by today’s standards. However, I can’t help but wonder if the heart failure is being used as a literary device to show how George regrets how harsh he was on Jonathan, how unforgiving he was and is beginning to realize how he failed to love him as a father growing up. Given how his compassion and trust toward JoJo is much more apparent and significant in this episode when compared to the first, it seems like a perfect decision to show his making this realization along with the manifestation of this heart disease. Perhaps he’s dying of heart failure due to a broken heart? If this proves to be the case, then bravo to Hirohiko Araki, author of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure for using such a magnificent literary technique such as this to enrich the story so subtlety, yet so profoundly. I can see why JoJo’s has received such acclaim if the writing is this deep throughout the series.
Jormungand: Perfect Order (Episode 13) – Okay, so one of my complaints with the first season was how unrealistic some of the situations were in Jormungand. The new season is off to a decent start, but what’s up with this whole satellite business now? How exactly does Koko manage to build, maintain, and support 126 satellites simultaneously as they circumnavigate the globe? Think of all the employees and infrastructure that must be in place to run such an operation. And all that information being gathered by their constant surveillance, what is she doing with all this data? I could imagine that she’s selling it, but we haven’t had any indication of that happening, let alone any mention of the satellites before. Man, I don’t understand whether we’re supposed to believe this anime or not anymore.
K (Episode 2) – For a few years now, I’ve always had the idea of futuristic walls that, rather than being covered by paint or wallpapers, were more like screens used on a television or computer that were customizable depending on a person’s mood. These walls would be able to switch to any color when selected, or shift to any type of moving picture (clouds soaring by, a tropical beachfront, or a peaceful mountain lookout) or ‘wallpaper’ or whatever. Not only that but being LED or something, they’d be able to project a variable amount of light, suppose a gradient from dark to light at dusk, or automatically dim for movies or whatever. Well, consider my surprise when the walls of Yashiro’s apartment were pretty much that. Yup, that flowery hologram wallpaper is pretty much the basics of my old idea and the first such example I’ve seen of that outside space-age sci-fi flicks and whatnot. So yeah, pretty amazing to see something like that in an anime, especially since I can see the potential flaws in these designs considering how busy or distracting they might be (let alone how expansive they’d be to install in a house).
Kamisama Kiss (Episode 2) – Despite featuring some of the same features as all the other school anime out there, Kamisama Kiss stands out as one that’s a bit different. And although I often harp on school anime almost continuously, I’m rather pleased by how Kamisama Kiss is handling its school segments. The characters are school are largely irrelevant to the story, helping keep the anime focused on the gods/youkai aspect of the anime without diving into the split between her normal high school girl life and managing a shrine as an Earth deity. Not only that but besides that one guy making fun of her, every other character at the school was largely forgettable. Not only that, but Nanami isn’t being stressed out by homework or exams or planning for her future or the cultural festival or any of that bullshit. It’s not to have an anime at school that doesn’t automatically devote itself to all those ‘school’ things that have been done so many times before. So consider that a plus for Kamisama Kiss, for taking the ‘school’ out of the school setting segments.
Little Busters! (Episode 2) – I’m kinda curious if we’ll ever get the origin of the name “Little Busters” or if it’ll even be brought up by any of the characters. It originated sometime before Riki joined the foursome, probably by Kyousuke, so there’s a chance that the protagonist or one of the new girls will ask about it before the anime finishes. If not, then maybe we can attribute it to all the girls in this anime and call them the “Little Busters” for their little busts! (Heh, I am terrible, aren’t I?)
Medaka Box Abnormal (S2) (Episode 1) – How exactly is the Hakoniwa Academy funded? Considering how the school is constantly ravaged by these ultra-powerful students and must be constantly under construction, I wonder how this school manages to balance its budget and stay in the black. You’d figure there’d be liability claims, too, for the students that get injured on campus due to the failure of the school to prevent its students from sustaining these injuries. Man, any normal school like this would be bankrupt before the first class ever graduated. Then again, I think I have an idea of how this school manages to stay in business while paying these lawsuits and rebuilding itself every week. Ever see any teachers around at school? Neither have I. It makes sense that the school doesn’t have any faculty or staff, since they wouldn’t have enough money to pay for both the reconstruction costs and the teacher’s salaries. That also makes sense considering how the students never show up to class either, but now the question becomes, why even have a school like this in the first place? Man, who knew Medaka Box was this deep.
Psycho-Pass (Episode 1) – Whenever an anime relies on explaining its setting to the newbie or the rookie, in this case, all the Psycho-Pass technology, modern weaponry, and the structure of the criminal justice system, I can’t help but feel somewhat letdown or disgusted. It’s one of my least favorite ways to explore the world because it’s unnatural for characters to go into this much detail for no reason. Sure, we don’t know any of this stuff, but I assume Tsunemori who’s live in this world and studied in its police academy for years would know most of this stuff. Maybe not everything about the enforcers, but she’s not a baby or something. Dunno, having the exposition in this episode primarily being Masaoka explaining every single detail to Tsunemori felt pretty elementary and simple to me. And, because there’s nothing worse than an empty argument, here’s how I’d approach the situation: instead of having Tsunemori be totally clueless about everything (like we were), how about have her ask questions that the audience might or show her being corrected by Masaoka. For example, Tsunemori could be going on about “I’ve never used one of these before, how do they work?” or “this is how you work one of these, right?” and then lead to the explainations. Oh well, hopefully this style of exploring the world will be mitigated soon, otherwise, I might have a problem with how this anime explores its vivid and distinct setting.
Shin Sekai Yori (Episode 3) – The choice and style of clothing in this anime is pretty damn awesome, and in this episode, I’d like to point out all the silly hats that everyone was wearing. Just look at them. They are silly but they are awesome. And though it doesn’t really pertain to the characterization or story progression at all, the clothes in this anime are distinctive and very thorough in their detail. It’s impressive at how meticulous the designs are and how descript they are visually and all without much, if any, weight in the story or the characters themselves. Still, it does play a part in enriching the setting and elevating the quality of the anime, and it’s an aspect of this anime I hope receives some recognition with its fans.
Sword Art Online (Episode 15) – What is it with otaku fandom and all this incest subculture? Seriously, why does it have to be so prevalent and obvious? And why is it always, “OH, HEY, WE’RE NOT ACTUALLY BLOOD RELATED, JUST COUSINS SO THAT MAKES IT OKAY NOW.”? No, no it doesn’t make it okay now. They’ve been living together like brother and sister their whole life and now you invent some copout so that it’s okay for them to fuck now? No, that’s not alright. And how about do these situations ever happen? Do families in Japan trade their kids around like birthday cards so they can confuse them emotionally, sexually and potentially mess with their lives? “So, yeah, my son is, like, 2, and you just gave birth to your first daughter. How about I give up my son to your family, for like, ever, and don’t tell him anything, so that way he can have an onii-chan/imouto relationship or something, does that sound alright?” “Yeah, sure, why not?” Because that’s what happened in every incest-oh-wait-no-it-isn’t-incest-cuz-we’re-only-cousins-lol incest anime there are. It’s the worst type of bullshitting an anime can do and now we’re in for more shitty romance in SAO. Fuck, I didn’t even get to complain about the whole new romantic subplot now with some pedophile marrying a comatose teen. Guess that’ll have to wait until next week.