This week: reading between the lines of Miki’s decision and her subsequent character development in Gakkou Gurashi, criticisms over the number of disrupting flashbacks in Gangsta., complaints over the expansion of Hajime’s breasts in Gatchaman Crowds Insight, and chuckling at how Charlotte handles Ayumi’s “death”.
Best episode of the week: Gakkou Gurashi
Anime trending up this week: Joukamachi no Dandelion
Anime trending down this week: Gangsta.
Charlotte (Episode 7)
…or not. Whenever a death happens in an anime, I always need to see a body. You can sum it up as, “No body? No death.” And when a death occurs offscreen, like what happened with Ayumi, there’s a pretty good chance she isn’t dead, especially since the series is just barely halfway over. As for Ayumi’s fate? Pretty simple actually: she was captured by the evil scientists to be experimented on. And how they captured her? With other espers, of course, other kids they’ve captured that work for them. Sorry to burst your bubble, Charlotte, but your sappy episode about Ayumi’s death and Yuu’s spiral into darkness did nothing for me. In fact, when acknowledging the fact that Ayumi probably isn’t dead, this episode was actually pretty hysterical and not in a good way like some of the other comedy in Charlotte thus far.
Classroom Crisis (Episode 7)
These middle episodes of Classroom Crisis have strayed off-course and abandoned the fundamental narrative of the anime for a school-setting slice-of-life one. Really, since episode 5 to now, Classroom Crisis has really failed to expand or progress on its story, with these last few episodes failing to connect the dots or provide substantial progress on the story. I’m not sure where Classroom Crisis is going with this, but these last three episodes probably could’ve been cut without affecting the main story. Of course, there are tidbits of information scattered throughout, but nothing to save the anime from making questionable decisions like the beach episode (complete with spying on the girls in the hot springs), Nagisa sucking at school, and Iris and Hanako Angelina saving some dude. If any of the aspects presented here were, in fact, related to the story of Classroom Crisis, then these bits of content could’ve been salvaged and be used to fill up an episode. There really is no reason for this change in style for Classroom Crisis, unless they realized they couldn’t fill a full season with its story elected to have beach and school episodes to pad the series out.
Durarara!!x2 Ten (Episode 7)
Although I am thoroughly impressed at how convoluted and elaborate Durarara!! is with its intertwining stories and character relationships, I am happy to see the series return to its origins with this episode and touch base on Mikado’s, Masaomi’s and Anri’s characters, as those three are really at the heart that Durarara!! has to offer. That being said, it does seem like their issues won’t be resolved any time soon, and maybe not even before the end of the Winter 2016 season (Durarara!!x2 Ketsu), but I am happy to see the anime develop their story after these three main characters drifted into the background in this sequel. Then again, given the size of the cast and the stories they share, it shouldn’t be too surprising that it’s taken a while to return to their relationships and how everything deteriorated at the end of the first season. That said, I am hoping we learn more of their story soon since it is easily the strongest and most stimulating in the Durarara!! franchise to date.
Gakkou Gurashi! (Episode 6)
If I were in Miki’s shoes, there is no question that I would join up with Yuki, Kurumi and Yuuri after surviving for weeks alone in the mall. However, for Miki, the decision to join the girls more than just teaming up with survivors in this zombie apocalypse. What made Miki’s choice challenging is that she had to weigh what her independence, what her freedom meant to her when she asked to join with the three girls. That is to say, she had to give up her way of thinking and her understanding of reality in order to live with Yuki. As we saw in this episode, Miki doesn’t care for Yuki’s delusions and would rather live without them. But in order for her to assert her own way of thinking, she’d have to leave the group because Yuuri and Kurumi know that Miki’s reality would shatter Yuki’s fragile character, breaking her down, and killing the amusing and exultant flame that keeps these girls going. At this point, I don’t think Miki understand what Yuki means to these girls and her counterculture of accepting the grim and depressing situation for what it is something she needs to part with in order to be accepted by the others. So really, this episode showed up a significant step in Miki’s character, for her to sacrifice her own independence and her reality and to join a group that plays make-believe with students and teachers in a normal Japanese high school. And given that Miki made this decision, it makes me wonder how long she’ll last, and whether it’ll be her or Yuki to be the first to crack.
Gangsta. (Episode 7)
Nothing ruins an anime’s pacing and storytelling quite like having flashbacks every two minutes. At this point, given the frequency and duration of the flashbacks, why not have an episode devoted to this story rather than overlaying it here in this slightly related story arc? The two different narratives would’ve been stronger had they received their discrete focus and attention in their own episodes, rather than splitting time between the past and present ten different times in one episode. But no, Gangsta opted for a more disjointed and haphazard method of storytelling, one in which a half dozen standalone flashbacks, which on their own don’t stand alone in their own scenes, are spliced in with the aftermath of the first major fight of the series as a means of explaining and exploring Nicolas’ and Worick’s backstory. To me, the last two episodes felt messy, jumping between the present and past so much that it felt like a physical workout and not just a mental one. Instead, I would’ve preferred the two stories to be split into separate episodes, with one documenting the fight with Doug and one entirely on the flashback that relates to this story. Unfortunately, that was not the case with episodes 6 and 7. At this point, all I can hope for in future episodes is that Gangsta significantly reduces the number of these quick and fragmented flashbacks.
Gatchaman Crowds Insight (Episode 7)
Hey, Gatchaman Crowds, here’s a helpful bit of advice: when Katze is talking, you don’t need to zoom up on Hajime’s breasts. Alright? We get it; Katze is inside Hajime. And we know that it’s Katze speaking based on Mamoru Miyano’s silky and sexy voice. We aren’t confusing his voice for Hajime. Never have, never will. So please, cut out the shots where it’s just Hajime’s boobs with another character talking over them.
Oh, and another thing, what the hell did you do to Hajime’s breasts? Back in the first season, Hajime had pretty average, reasonably-sized breasts. What possessed the crew of Gatchaman Crowds to suddenly expand her boobs to be four times their size just for the compensation that Katze is now inside Hajime? You realize, you didn’t need to change the size of her boobs for that purpose, right? You could’ve put Katze inside Hajime without *gasp* changing her appearance. Or was this just an example of the show needing an excuse to include more fanservice as a means to attract more fans? I don’t know, but grossly inflating Hajime’s breasts and magnifying them in several shots in every episode is an unwelcome change to Gatchaman Crowds.
Joukamachi no Dandelion (Episode 6)
You know, you could really make an entire comedy anime about Misaki and her clones without any other persons or concepts from Dandelion. What I mean to say is that Misaki, alone, could star in her own anime with just her and her 7 clones doing whatever. There’s more than enough potential given the personalities, characterization, interactions and humor in just this set-up that I think you could make a pretty decent comedy anime out of it alone. And that though leads me to believe that maybe something like that was the original idea for an anime before it evolved into the Dandelion anime that we see before us today. I would love to see the original concepts and designs for the story of the original manga and see how things changed into the anime we have today.
Rokka no Yuusha (Episode 7)
Fremy Speedraw was born and raised by Kyouma, leading me to the question, do the monsters have a society where the Kyouma have family names and each has their own given names? Think about it for a second and you soon realize that Fremy is from the Speeddraw family of Kyouma (or maybe her human father was Speeddraw, can’t really say at this point). It’s not like she came up with that name on her own… it was likely given to her by her mother. So if Fremy has a last name, does every other monster we’ve seen have one, too? And that question raises even more questions, such as the structure and shape of this monster society. If they have a similar naming system to humans, what’s not to say they don’t have cities, agriculture, and governments? As we saw from Tgurneu, the Kyouma leader who approached Adlet in the past, they understand human language and even wear clothes. I’m curious what we’ll see and learn of the Kyouma’s world once the heroes advance into their realm.