Whenever Week 5 was: zombie behavior and possible social criticisms in Gakkou Gurashi, disappointment with the setting for Classroom Crisis, thoughts on the barrier in Rokka no Yuusha, and questions about the potential invasion of privacy with the cameras in Joukamachi no Dandelion.
Best episode of the week: Rokka no Yuusha
Anime trending up this week: Gakkou Gurashi
Anime trending down this week: Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace
Charlotte (Episode 5)
Given the premise of Charlotte, how is it that Nao and her ragtag band of four high school students are the only ones actively seeking out and rescuing nascent espers from being kidnapped by evil scientists? Rather, who exactly is supporting them and why aren’t they sending out more people (and better qualified people) to save these kids? I mean, if these kids are discovered by evil scientists while out saving others, wouldn’t that jeopardize their safety and the safety of every other esper in their school? And why aren’t they trying to expose the truth about the evil scientists that are kidnapping teenagers and conducting experiments against their will? Is this really the most effective method for resolving the conflict at hand? Then again, maybe we’re not supposed to take this premise as seriously as these questions probe considering the amount of comedy and cartoon violence to date. Still, it seems rather silly that only 5 students are out to save these kids.
Classroom Crisis (Episode 5)
Of all the anime I’ve watched, I have yet to see a show with such an underwhelming use of its setting than Classroom Crisis. Remember that Classroom Crisis has an extraordinary setting, one takes place on Martian colonies, and is set in an era when space flight is a seemingly commonplace and ordinary occurrence. It’s a physical location that’s ripe with potential and possibilities, where technology and intergalactic travel can be utilized to enhance the narrative, themes, and characters. And despite the bait-and-switch of the first episode, which promised action and piloting experimental spacecraft, Classroom Crisis feels the need to park itself in yet another generic high school setting that seems devoid of all the aspects that this sci-fi setting would promise. For example, in this episode, we were treated to a vacation where all the students visited a beach, ryokan, and hot springs… you know, the stuff you’ll never find in Japan or anywhere else on Earth. If Classroom Crisis wanted to focus on the internal politics of multinational corporations, project timelines, balancing a budget, and union labor laws, why not have it on Earth? Why does this anime have to take place on Mars if it’s not going to use it in its story at all? Why not have the anime take place on Earth and be about experimental car or plane designs? Classroom Crisis has failed to capitalize on anything about its futuristic setting and seems to be content with wasting this potential. This is probably the worst space setting of any anime that I can remember.
Durarara!!x2 Ten (Episode 5)
Since the first episode of Durarara!!x2 Ten, we’ve seen hints and seen glimpses of Celty’s and Shinra’s day off. Through the first five episodes, we’ve seeing the daily lives of various subsets of characters, seeing them go about their afternoon with the usual amount of action and excitement that the residents of Ikebukuro are familiar with. And though these episodes have been about other characters, every episode has featured little snippets of Celty’s and Shinra’s day with their excursion out to see various occult oddities. Of course, we haven’t seen much since Shinra has been on his cellphone in every scene, but as we’ve come to expect, it’s sure to be a humorous episode that connects all these individual stories together through Shinra’s character. I’m not sure if it’ll be my favorite new Durarara!! episode, but right now, it’s the one I’m looking forward to the most.
Gakkou Gurashi! (Episode 4)
It amazes me that the zombies in Gakkou Gurashi behave like they were still human, in that the zombies follow set routines or schedules, like going from home to work or school and back home at night. To me, I always think of zombies as monsters that roam aimlessly looking for their next meal, fixated on nothing but brains. But here, in Gakkou Gurashi, the zombies are seemingly humanized and go about their day like they used to before being turned into zombies. Without any idea what caused this zombie apocalypse, I’m curious if there will be social commentary on Japanese citizens with Gakkou Gurashi and how it relates to their daily lives. Perhaps that’s something characteristic of Japanese zombies or the Japanese interpretation of zombies, using this setting and story to explore and critique Japanese social norms or social behavior with zombies as a negative stereotype. Then again, I guess the same thing could be said about American zombies or the American interpretation of zombie, with their sole purpose and obsession of eating.
Gatchaman Crowds Insight (Episode 5)
How many Gatchaman are necessary for the protection of Earth? At the start of the series, there were only 5 Gatchaman. Things seemed to be pretty okay with MESS. When Berg Katze appeared, I can see the need for a sixth, especially since the other 5 were no match for the chaotic and destructive alien. But with his threat neutralized and Earth in seemingly no danger, they’ve added two new Gatchaman for a total of 8. How many Gatcahman are needed? How many Gatchaman are too many Gatchaman?
Joukamachi no Dandelion (Episode 4)
One of the central aspects to Dandelion is the thousands of cameras placed throughout the country that monitor the daily lives of the nine candidates for the next election. But considering that these cameras are everywhere, always on, and monitoring the streets, shouldn’t there be some public backlash over the invasion of privacy present? I mean, these cameras are not only filming the King’s children but also everyone else in the country, too. I’m curious how the country was able to implement those thousands of security cameras without any opposition to their placement. Aren’t these people concerned about the government filming their daily lives too, especially considering the number of cameras in residential zones that could be pointed at windows at any given time? Then again, Dandelion is a rather silly comedy, so maybe I shouldn’t be putting too much thought into the social aspects of this imaginary country.
Rokka no Yuusha (Episode 5)
So how does one exactly survive living within a barrier? Considering that the barrier was constructed in such a dense jungle, far removed from civilization, there is likely to be little to no food storage or food sources in the area for the hero who activates the barrier. And considering that it was intended for only one person to be in the area, and not the seven that we currently see, how do they expect to feed themselves during the duration of the barrier’s activity? It doesn’t seem like anyone brought rations or supplies with them either, and I’m concerned about the lack of fresh water to drink, too. The scenario actually reminds me of an old TV show, possibly an episode of the Twilight Zone, where a group of men are sealed within a nuclear bunker deep under the Earth’s crust. In the episode, the men realize that they’re over capacity and calculate that there isn’t enough oxygen to keep them alive until help arrives. They decide that they must draw lots in order to see who must be sacrificed in order to save everyone else. Of course, I don’t think Rokka no Yuusha will go down such a path with its story, but the situation reminds me of that old episode of some resemblance. I’d love for such a scenario to occur, but I doubt it’ll happen considering the focus is trying to solve the mystery of the 7th member.