This week: why Adlet, the strongest man on Earth, is the weakest brave in Rokka no Yuusha, questioning the origin of Yuki’s psychosis in Gakkou Gurashi, defending Haruka’s egregious probability errors in Joukamachi no Dandelion, and complaints about Ayumi’s lack of character development in Charlotte.
Best episode of the week: Rokka no Yuusha
Anime trending up this week: Ninja Slayer from Animation
Anime trending down this week: Durarara!!x2 Ten
Charlotte (Episode 6)
Although Ayumi has been present throughout Charlotte, playing a lighthearted, comedic sidekick to Yuu’s character at home, the sixth episode was really the first to focus on her as a genuine character. Here, we were finally able to see what her life was like at the new school, who her friends were, and that one crazy bitch wants her dead. That’s fine and all, but given the ending of the episode, with the stairwell collapsing and seemingly killing Ayumi, I can’t help but wonder if the impact was reduced due to the storytelling, pacing, and/or writing. To me, I would’ve preferred some development of Ayumi’s character prior to this episode, one that helped to establish her character beyond a side character. I feel that this episode would’ve had a greater impact had we seen some independence of Ayumi’s character, especially at school, and known who these characters were. It felt rushed to have all of this development in one episode, especially with the conclusion that points toward Ayumi’s death, and I feel some character development for Ayumi prior to this episode would’ve made this episode much more impactful.
Classroom Crisis (Episode 6)
Why does Nagisa continue to go to school despite the fact that he already has a job? And why does he insist on continuing in the A-TEC program despite the curriculum being outside his interest and career path? Is this part of his new job? Is he being paid to be a student? I’m not sure I really understand what’s going on, but if Nagisa already has a job and was brought in to fix the deficiencies in the A-TEC program, why even bother with school?
Gakkou Gurashi! (Episode 5)
It’s quite clear that Yuki suffers from a severe case of psychosis based on her delusions and hallucinations. Although her psychosis is presented as a coping mechanism for all the horror and fear around her, you can’t help but wonder if she has always had psychosis, even before the zombie apocalypse. It’s hard to say since, prior to the zombie invasion, Yuki was portrayed as a stereotypical genki girl; she was always energetic, ecstatic, and dumb as bricks. There, she seemed normal, but the flashbacks enough material to see if she did suffer from delusions or hallucinations in her normal, everyday life. Then again, there were no hints of delusions or hallucinations before the zombie event, and Yuki definitely does not suffer from negative symptoms, like with schizophrenia, or from changes in baseline mood, like with bipolar disorder. Really, it’s difficult to say without seeing more of Yuki’s past, but her personality and behavior really haven’t changed besides her delusions and hallucinations… and it’s really hard to say if the trauma of the zombie apocalypse caused her to develop psychosis or only exacerbated her preexisting condition. I’m not sure we’ll ever know, but I am curious whether Yuki has always had psychosis, and that her classmates know about this and take it into account, or whether this is new and her friends are trying to help her by playing along with her delusions and hallucinations.
Gatchaman Crowds Insight (Episode 6)
What, exactly, are those thought bubbles made out of? When Gel summons the manifestations of people’s moods and emotions, the result is a tangible and visible colorful cloud with a mouth that floats above people’s heads. And after several episodes with this phenomenon, it’s quite clear that people can see these bubbles and can see them change when people change. So my question is, what exactly are these things made out of? Can people touch them? What happens if they get wet or damaged or too hot or too cold? How do they change and response so quickly when someone’s emotions change? I am really curious about his alien technology, especially since it feels like the equivalent to Crowds in this new season. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever receive answers to these questions or the other ones that I didn’t write about, such as how they taste.
Joukamachi no Dandelion (Episode 5)
That’s not how probability works… but then again, Haruka is only 13 and maybe doesn’t fully understand probabilities or how his superpower, Lots of Next, works. When using his ability to calculate the probabilities, he arrived at 8%, 1%, 5%, 1%, 2%, 10%, 50%, and 80%… or a 1.57 chance that someone will win. Haruka, of course, is still in middle school and may not fully understand how to properly report probabilities, especially in a game like this. In Haruka’s defense, these could merely be conditional probabilities for the first round, in that if the first character misses, then the follow probability calculated is the probability that they’d win. To visualize this, you could draw out a decision tree where each branch is either the success of failure of each character breaking the watermelon with each of Haruka’s predicted probabilities at each branch. If that’s the case, then there is a 0.38 probability that everyone before Shiori fails to break the watermelon and a 0.31 probability that she will win from the very beginning. That is to say, perhaps she had a 0.80 probability when it became her turn after calculating the probability that everyone else fails. Hopefully one of these days Haruka learns more about probabilities and can report his calculations in a more appropriate fashion. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll be any time soon since Kanade, in her comments to Haruka, obvious doesn’t understand probabilities either… and maybe the authors of Dandelion should take some classes in probabilities, too.
Ninja Slayer from Animation (Episode 17)
Although the main story of Ninja Slayer is about Kenji’s story of revenge, I find Koki’s story to be the most inspirational and engaging. Koki’s episodes usually focus on her growth and development, not only as a ninja learning new techniques, but also as a person in how she connects with others and fights alongside them. Koki’s episodes are also more entertaining in terms of action and fighting, too, primarily because Koki is one of the weakest ninjas in Ninja Slayer and needs to fight with her friend in order to overcome her opponents. I actually feel that Koki’s character has gone through much more and progressed much more than Kenji at this point. Really, Koki has the best story in Ninja Slayer, and it’s a shame the anime isn’t about her.
Non Non Biyori Repeat (Episode 5)
I always thought the education system in Non Non Biyori was strange, but didn’t think much of it since there are few children in the rural setting and the structure is the best they could do. It wasn’t until this episode when it dawned on me that the system that we see is similar to how home schooling works, where a parent teaches the children, whom are all in different grades except in the case of adoption, twins, or other situations. This perspective doesn’t really revolutionize the anime, but it gives me an understanding of Kazuho’s job and how she probably prepares different lesson plans for each student and how she is able to provide one-on-one time for each character. I don’t think it’ll change how much I enjoy Non Non Biyori, but allow me to appreciate the school system, Kazuho’s character, and how each character is preparing for high school.
Rokka no Yuusha (Episode 6)
Rather than attempt to determine who the seventh brave is, I’m more interested in who the strongest and weakest fighters are. Although we have limited material on the three new characters, there seems to be a general consensus that Chamo is the strongest fighter, and that if she is the seventh brave, that the fight against her might be a struggle. Thanks to the discourse and discussions, finding the strongest was easy, but what about for who of these warriors is the weakest? It’s difficult to say at this point without seeing each of them fight, but I’d wager that Adlet is the weakest, despite his claims that he is the strongest man on Earth. To me, Adlet’s fighting style is reliant on a number of expendable resources, such as bombs and poison-tipped needles and other temporary and situational weapons. Although we’ve seen him use his sword, and he is quite skilled with it, he does rely on a number of tricks to win fights. With that said, I do wonder how limited his resources are and how he’ll fare once he uses them all up. That is to say, I don’t think Adlet is going to be able to resupply his items and that he’ll eventually become weaker as a result of fighting these monsters and that his strategy during fights will need to change as a result. Just through normal fights, Adlet becomes a weaker fighter because he has one less bomb, one less poison needle, and one less trick available for him to use, and that’s why I think he’s the weakest brave despite his self-appointed title of the strongest man on Earth. And if that’s the case, he might struggle in fighting the demons ahead once the veil of fog is removed… that is, if he can survive what’s going on now.