Summer 2013 – Week 11 Anime Review

stella_jogakuin_koutouka_c3_bu-11-yura-crying-alone-depressed-rain-isolated-cuteThis week: how Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu is really an anime analogy of drugs, thoughts on the origins of the walls in Shingeki no Kyojin, the weakness of friendships in Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou and the adorable tanukis of Uchouten Kazoku.

Best episode of the week: Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu

Anime trending up this week: Love Lab

Anime trending down this week: Gatchaman Crowds

 

Uchouten Kazoku (Episode 11)

uchouten_kazoku-11-mother_shimogamo-tanuki-red-cute-worried-crying-sad-adorableThe art and animation in Uchouten Kazoku has always been a favorite aspect of mine; the way the backgrounds are illustrated with intricate details in the lighting and subtle movements to the abundance of motion and fluidity in the animation.  However, what I find underappreciated or overlooked is the art of the tanukis.  With their cartoonish and sometimes silly look, the tanukis of Uchouten Kazoku feel slightly out of place compared to the rest of the visuals of this anime.  Nonetheless, the tanuki art style is another favorite of mine for a number of reasons.  First is that, though they’re all tanukis, each one has their own individual appearance that is traced back to their standard human form.  It not only gives each character a much needed distinction while in animal form but also helps keep characters consistent between their appearances.  Second is the four suites motif on the bellies of the four sons.  You have little patches of off-color fur in the shapes of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs on these tanukis.  It doesn’t mean much in the way of symbolism unless you’re trying to draw tangents to each character but it is a lovely motif for each son to have.  But perhaps the most notable and imperative aspect about the tanuki art style is that they’re all cute.  Even with all this familial and societal drama going on, not to mention the constant threat of being boiled alive and eaten, the tanukis are all still incredibly cute creatures.  And isn’t that the most important thing to have in an anime, having cute characters?  Well, if it isn’t, then I’m watching Uchouten Kazoku for all the wrong reasons.

uchouten_kazoku-11-yaichirou-tanuki-spade-motif-cute-cage-struggle uchouten_kazoku-11-yasaburou-art-background-detailed-rain-gloom

 

Tamayura ~more aggressive~ (Episode 11)

tamayura_more_aggressive-11-kaoru-norie-maon-fu-kanae-surprised-comedy-cuteEven though this episode of Tamayura ~more aggressive~ was unquestionably the most heartwarming, encouraging, inspiring and emotional episodes of the entire franchise… I still can’t get over how short their skirts are.  Like, I know pretty much every anime has schoolgirls in incredibly short miniskirts… but this isn’t like most anime.  Tamayura is supposed to be a healing anime, not an ecchi anime.  It’s supposed to be aimed at a wider audience.  So why do the skirts struggle to reach the girls’ fingertips?  I mean, shouldn’t the skirts be down around the knees instead of arriving just short of their mid-thighs?  Or has anime become so universally fanservicey that every girl in every anime wears a miniskirt that does enough to just cover their panties? (Or in many cases, doesn’t even do that.)  That’s not to say I’m complaining about it, especially knowing my history with anime… it’s just that it doesn’t seem appropriate in an anime of this style and this caliber.

tamayura_more_aggressive-11-norie-kanae-maon-kaoru-friendship-together-photo-viewfinder tamayura_more_aggressive-11-kaoru-norie-maon-kanae-sayomi-new_years_day-sunrise-coats-winter-cold-happy-celebration-memories-photo

 

Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu (Episode 11)

stella_jogakuin_koutouka_c3_bu-11-yura-looking_up-depressed-alone-rain-cold-wet-hopeSo, does anyone else think C3-bu is an analogy of drugs?  Think about it for a second, and it all becomes clear.  It would explain all of Yura’s obsessions and delusions, how they all seem to be realistic and how they compassed her life at the beginning of the series onward.  The drug analogy would also works with the finer details about airsoft, too.  It started out innocent with Yura joining the group with the club’s intent of getting her addicted.  After her first ‘hit’ (getting hit with a pellet… or taking a hit OF DRUGS), she was hooked.  And let’s not forget those little pellets look like small pills, too.  And since that moment, airsoft (OR DRUGS) took over Yura’s life, turning every aspect of it into her obsession.  It would also explain why she went to hang out with a bad crowd, looking to get her fix with her former enemies when her former friends were unable to satisfy her anymore.  And the airsoft guns?  Why, those represent guns of course, further demonstrating the violence and carnage associated with drug culture.  So you see, C3-bu has really been an anime analogy of drugs this entire time.  It’s too perfect not to be.  Now all that remains is Yura to find herself in rehab of some sort and come out clean or something to complete the anime.

stella_jogakuin_koutouka_c3_bu-11-yura-hope-light-salvation-help stella_jogakuin_koutouka_c3_bu-11-sonora-happy-relief-smile-excited-friendly

 

Silver Spoon (Episode 10)

silver_spoon-10-niwatori-shinnosuke-keiji-tamako-mayumi-aki-ichirou-itadakimasu-prayer-thanks_for_the_food-bacon-meat-pork_bowlI blame Silver Spoon for the 10 pounds I’ve gained since I started watching this anime.  Every episode makes the food they’re eating look so delicious, I can’t help myself but go out and buy some bacon or pizzas or cheeses or whatever.  I mean, how could you not when the entire anime is about delicious food and the animals that provide them to us?  Oh well, at least we’re getting a 3-month break in the series for me to lose some weight.  Now, all I need to do is find some exercise anime that isn’t Issho ni Training (Training With Hinako).

silver_spoon-10-mayumi-yugo-shock-yelling-screaming-comedy silver_spoon-10-aki-mayumi-pork_bowl-eating-bacon-rice-chopsticks-delicious

 

Shingeki no Kyojin (Episode 23)

shingeki_no_kyojin-23-mikasa-sword-dramatic-light-seriousThe idea that a select few have the ability to transform themselves into titans is integral and fundamental to Attack on Titan.  Not only does it give the setting a direction for which to explore but it helps mystify the struggle of humanity given these undermining spies bent on eradicating humanity.  However, from this idea comes a tangent in regards to the struggle the titans are having in wiping out mankind: the walls.  The walls Maria, Rose and Sina have kept titans out for more than a century and, even after Maria was breached, have been enough to safeguard humanity after their most recent assaults.  But what exactly is the origin of these walls?  How were they able to construct such colossal and broad walls during a time when humanity was quickly becoming extinct from titans attacking?  It’s very peculiar, especially since some people treat the walls as goddesses that save them from certain death.  My thoughts on the issue?  That these walls were originally people, too.  Maybe not people named Maria, Rose and Sina but that the walls are also the byproduct of human transformation.  My thoughts are that, at the time of the titans attacking were experiments that were able to transform people into titans and people into anti-titans or the three walls that we see standing currently.  There must’ve been some conflict going on but that caused the two sides to split and ultimately began the struggle that we see before us, titans versus walls.

shingeki_no_kyojin-23-annie-blush-enemy-hair_flowing shingeki_no_kyojin-23-armin-cautious-serious-worried-giant_eyes

 

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou (Episode 11)

genei_wo_kakeru_taiyou-11-seira-the_stars-dagger-knife-sword-conflicted-friendship-blue_hairLike every anime ever, the theme of friendship is prominent and studied in Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyou.  Unfortunately for the girls in Genei Taiyou, the friendship shared between the girls has been revealed to be incredibly fickle.  Although they spent most of the series together as a team of four (living together, learning together, eating together and fighting together), all that was needed to dissolve the bonds of friendship were some simple persuasions by one shady character.  Seira taking that knife against Daemonia Luna is just one example but so too is Akari’s sacrifice to go with Cerebrum.  Hell, you could even throw in Luna’s mistakes that led her to her demise at the hands of Cerebrum as another fault in the theme of friendship in Genei Taiyou.  Whatever the reason, the relationships between the girls has been largely superficial, often due to underlying conflicts or incompatible personalities.  It’s rather interesting to see an anime of this theme and this style to have such a degree of hardships in relation to its relationships, but I feel that the anime will have a very anime ending and that everything will be wiped clean, forgotten, and lead to the girls being best friends again without much in the way of intelligence, action or audience satisfaction.  Of course, we shouldn’t expect anything like that from the writing or storytelling of Genei Taiyou given what’s happened throughout the entire series.

genei_wo_kakeru_taiyou-11-seira-the_stars-knife-dagger-determined-angry genei_wo_kakeru_taiyou-11-luna-the_moon-daemonia-werewolf-blood-fangs-claws-battle-fighting-demon

 

Danganronpa the Animation (Episode 11)

danganronpa-11-makoto-execution-death_sentence-sweat-worry-despair-art_style_shiftWhy couldn’t more of Danganronpa be in the same style as those execution scenes?  You know, the scenes where the art style shifts so dramatically that it looks as though we’re watching an entirely different anime?  Why couldn’t we have that more than a select few times?  I know, I know, it’d lessen the impact felt during these scenes where an unlucky cast member makes their final appearance but wouldn’t the anime just look better as a result?  I get that the anime is being adapted from a game and so the visual styles are matched accurately, but why not spice up the detective scenes or classroom trials with an improved style of animation?  Well, I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much since the normal visual style of Danganronpa is actually pretty fun, with its smooth character designs and brilliant use of colors, but still… that animation style is quite unique and fun to watch.  You almost feel a slight bit cheated knowing that you’ll only get to see it a half dozen times throughout the course of this anime.  Then again, I guess we should be lucky we got to see it at all.

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