Last week: questioning the relevance of Isla being a robot in Plastic Memories, considering the skill of the professionals playing the instruments in Hibike! Euphonium, Joseph Joestar’s amazing achievement at the end of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Egypt Arc, and criticizing the monotonous comedy in Ore Monogatari!!
Best episode of the week: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Egypt Arc (S2)
Anime trending up this week: Hibike! Euphonium
Anime trending down this week: Ore Monogatari!!
Plastic Memories (Episode 12)
Is there something special or necessary about Isla being a dying robot? Couldn’t the story of Plastic Memories be just as effective, if not more effective, if Isla was a dying human? To me, the whole issue of robotic deaths – the limited memories, the strict robot lifespans, and the robots that become impractically strong and berserk at a specific time point – have actually detracted from Isla’s story and taken away from her character. Do we need to have such specific and rigid details about these robots for us to understand or care about Isla? Are they necessary tidbits for her death? Rather, couldn’t she just be a human dying from some mysterious anime disease while keeping the same job and thinking about death with these robots? Why have all these details about robotics if they’re not relevant to the story – the story of Isla’s last few months alive? Really, I think Plastic Memories would’ve been better without these unnecessary details and have Isla be a dying human being instead.
Ore Monogatari!! (Episode 11)
Ore Monogatari!! has two jokes and only two jokes. The first is that Takeo is big and strong and super cool. The second is that Takeo doesn’t know how to act around girls, and he’s always awkward, yelling and overreacting over everything. And that’s it… that’s been all the comedy through 11 episodes now; I’ve just summarized the entire Ore Monogatari!! series to date. Had there been some diversity in the humor, or even basic character development, then the series might’ve keep those two jokes serviceable, but not after using them a dozen times in every episode. They’ve been beaten into the ground now. Yes, Takeo has remarkable size and strength. Yes, Takeo has never had a girlfriend before and is super silly when he tries to do things. We get it. What I don’t get is why every episode has to be the same in terms of its style and content. The characters can grow and change, thereby leading to different jokes or humor. Ore Monogatari!! can diversify its humor; it doesn’t need to tell the same joke over and over and over and over again. And by doing this, it makes the series feel uncreative or undeveloped, that it can’t move on beyond, ‘hey, our main character is unusual, isn’t that hilarious?’ Yeah, maybe a couple times, but not when that’s all the series has to offer.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – Egypt Arc (S2) (Episode 48 [Finale])
You’d figure that the finale of Stardust Crusaders would end with Jotaro being the pinnacle of the series. After all, Jotaro is the main character of Part III – he’s the JoJo after all – and it was up to Jotaro to defeat Dio and save the life of his grandfather after his spirit had parted this mortal plane. I mean, it was the perfect ending for him to be the highlight of his own story. But it was Joseph’s revival and subsequent jokes in the ambulance that stole the spotlight from Jotaro, and right at the very end, too. Yes, only someone as awesome as Joseph Joestar could pull off a feat like that. His humor was such that, even in the aftermath of all the action and drama, he could steal the focus from Jotaro’s accomplishments for one final laugh. And after going so long between jokes at the end, it was a refreshing way to reestablish Joseph’s quirky character and charming personality after all he did in Part III. I do feel a bit bad for Jotaro, for being usurped right at the end of his own story, but there really was no better way to end Stardust Crusaders than what we just saw.
Hibike! Euphonium (Episode 11)
One aspect I love about music anime is thinking about the professionals playing the instruments in real life. These people are not only required to play the awe-inspiring, dramatic, and emotional performances, playing to the best of their ability to express the skill and feelings of the greatest characters, but they must also struggle with their instruments, playing pieces like beginners and making errors on simple notes. To me, I find that playing music poorly must be the most challenging aspect of their job, since they are already accustomed to their instruments and know how to play them. Imagine being hired to play an instrument for Hibike! Euphonium and being required to make frequent mistakes in order to play the role of a beginner or bad student. Imagine being the director and needing to listen to these pieces and think if they’re bad enough, or maybe good enough, to fit the scene and the anime. And let’s not forget expressing the character’s personalities or how to coach up these professionals to match what the director thinks is needed for the scene. It must be challenging for these professionals, to do something so different and so much worse than what they’re capable of. And because of these thoughts and realizations, I truly appreciate what these professionals are doing for music anime.
Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV) (Episode 24)
Considering the overwhelming and destructive power of the Holy Grail in FSN, how has the world not been destroyed already? I mean, consider all the different characters participating in the Holy Grail War, what types of personalities they had, what their wishes were, and what they were capable of… and consider that no one has yet made a wish to take over the world or anything of that nature. Or maybe not even taking over the world, but considering the malice and malevolence seen by the participants, how does the world still function the way it does? Perhaps there’s something I’m missing in all this, but I’m surprised the world is normal considering that such a dire force exists in the world, and that malicious people with selfish desires are all competing for its power.