I’m putting this out first because the other post can stand by itself, introspection or not. Hey, it’s not March yet.
Category Archives: Hibike! Euphonium
Then go watch the series, it’s really good! Also because there will be spoilers.
It’s hard for me to write about this show, which is, by all means, a trip. By that I mean, like, if you’ve just had a great cruise vacation or a nice international flight, you might be tired by the end but you’re kind of refreshed. To stretch the analogy, when it comes to Flip Flappers, it’s like traveling first class.
To me, though, as someone who always flies economy, the joys and sorrows of flight as an eventer has more to do with bargain shopping, optimizing travel times, doing the best mileage runs, taking advantage of various loyalty programs and promotions, and the ins and outs of frugal traveling. The parallel here is that if you drop a show like Girlish Number on my lap it’s like dropping a CSR on my lap. I like it and can enjoy the various perks, but it is definitely not for everybody. In fact one of my issues with that show is exactly reading the reactions of people who are not familiar with the ins and outs of the seiota world, which is namely everybody who has bothered to review it that I’ve read. “Yeah you may get 3x points on restaurants but you aren’t getting the travel benefits if you don’t travel!” It’s like that.
Flip Flappers is kind of like flying first class. Sure, it might be weird and you definitely don’t understand what’s going on all the time, but Yayaka holds Cocona’s hand throughout the process, and you’re a little bit assured that at the core of the experience is a story about friendship that we are just a little too familiar with.
Too familiar, because episode 5 properly subvert the notion of their relationship in this house of repeating horror looped by the comfort of same-sex familiarity. The yuri is fun to watch and it’s a point of overlap in which Flip Flapper explains itself to the viewer in as many words. I mean it takes fewer words too, compared to, say, post-apocalyptic sand societies. Or Mad Max.
Visually this episode kind of blown me away. Yeah you can make an Utena joke, but we’ve been doing this since the 90s. Flip Flapper actually does something I thought that was kind of trendy in episode 5, which is pairing it with actual horror, and not just the horrifying thought that your yuri ship can sink at any time by the canons of canon. (Heyo, Kyoto Animation. BTW, if Flip Flappers 5 is a first class flight, then Sound Euphonium 5 is definitely a cruise.) Anyways, the magical girls stuff is a vehicle for the fine animators described here to show us just how there is strength in numbers? How many people worked on this show? The art credit is like, a mile high, let alone the key animators.
As you can see I’m just not equipped to gush over animation, even if at times I feel compelled to do so. The dimensionality inside the clock tower is vertically oriented, which allows for the crazy action scenes we sort of saw in episode 3 take place in a constrained space. It made those fanfare slo-mo during the transformation scenes fit. Inside a closed environment we can think of it in more straightforward terms (versus, say, Brave Witches and the requirement for clouds or the ocean in every single air combat scene).
I just don’t think it’s low cal?
PS. Go vote you American pigs!
Just some housekeeping items. Links to relevant quoting. Bolded for topic. Some replies to blogs and some are just seasonal anime musings.
Usagi Drop is a solid anime, don’t let people who follow/read/gets spoiled by the manga tell you anything otherwise. It’s not about morality, but about mode of consumption and letting that dictate what you ought to do, when it might not be a good reason. When I read that post I thought about how anime adaptations sometimes live in this different world than the manga experience. Then again I dig these kind of controversial stuff so I am hardly unbiased.
The only thing I can say about Shirobako’s commercial success is that they sold out of the first run of the Blu-rays pretty fast, but that might have to do with low expectation to begin with. It already has a Blu-ray box on the horizon, too. Given the industry these days it would not be a surprise to hear in a couple years that PA Works will go back to that well. Certainly it would out-delight that recent announcement about Uchoten Kazoku.
I have mixed and some reserved feelings about Girlish Number (PSA: don’t put the (a) in there). I think it is also the anime made just for me. I say this only because a number of us have said this. Are you one of us? For well-intended Americans and Canadians, the show streams on Hulu on Wednesdays with 1 week behind-cast schedule. I might actually do this to rep the show (especially now there’s no more ads for paid service). Anyway, as much as I still have mixed feelings about the whole thing, I can’t expect any more than what it has already given me: a satire on seiota fandom/industry.
Adults are different, but overrated. I would even add a lot of people enjoy adults who act like this, what is the point of being one then… I can confirm this observation, although I made it when I first watched Yuri On Ice. When it comes to pro figure skating, age ranges can run the gamut…of young, as it’s not a sure thing based on the teasers. What’s more interesting isn’t why but what it does. I feel that can make some shows more interesting (Matoi) and some shows tried and tired (3gatsu). Maybe it doesn’t really matter. Man Shaft doing 3gatsu feels just all full of try-hard. I guess when Yamamoto Sayo is directing a girl-pandering anime in the same season, nobody can win against that. On that note, it’s good that we have adults, in the case of children hitting each other with butts and tits seem to call in the moral judgment police–that’s one valid use case.
Matoi and Mahoiku are both good shows to watch together if just for comparison’s sake. I can’t speak about magical girl anime or which tier of nerd hell we’re in in regards to talking about them, but these two approach probably very similar things in a different way. I mean it’s obvious Matoi’s mom will come forward as a key plot item, much like the dying game Mahoiku is doing. Can we get that idol killing game an anime too? (And … Idol Death Game TV TV would be delightful of a name for a TV anime. I kid.)
There’s some Chinese animation that passes for season fare this season. I’m not sure how to feel about all this, other than the toilet humor gag anime does work still. It really comes down to the core staff and material. Also, if the skill and process still need development, try not to create something too ambitious like Bloodivores. Maybe this is related to that one news bit about an animator thinking there are not enough animators to go around. Well, that seems like an obvious thing.
Izetta had me at episode 1 and lost me by the OP. This gun-riding witch thing is hilarious, in that while I’m okay with it as a matter of plot, I’m not so much okay with it when it is the main visual gimmick. It also reminds me of a D&D character I created who would swing around a Spell-Storing Broadsword. I have nobody to blame but myself, to a degree, but this is dissonant when you expect something closer to Indiana Jones and got Guilty Crown (ok not that bad).
Euphon S2 is great. I love what it has going, but I hate how it’s 2 episodes long for a pilot. This show doesn’t hold my attention very well…except if I can marathon it. The voice acting seemed to change even closer to live action. That took a little getting used to.
Nanbaka is dumb. Natsume is chill af, FliFla is weird I guess? I think I would tough it through if it had a good story to tell. Maybe it’s like reading some good writing on news blogs and only to realize the stuff they talk about is dumb and empty. Quality art/passion projects sometimes feel like more an exercise than a thing that can take on life on its own.
What else do I need to name drop? Drifters is OK. Udon no Kuni is not bad, and I like it more than Sweetness & Lightning so far. Trickster is uh, Gackt? I love how 1hope Sniper works in this and that always mean I end watching the episode smiling. Brave Witches is, well, a brave new sequel. I feel like Brave Witches is re-engineered for the present, in that this series incorporates some lesson learned from other franchises and its progeny. I have some hopes for this in fact.
Ping Pong Girls should deserve its own paragraph. It actually is less unlike to Ping Pong than I expected, which speaks volume for something mostly I consider as “throwaway Chinese anime.” Oh wait, I guess that would be Idol Memories (although the Chinese lessons are luls). I mean, what do you call these anime that are clearly made with the, uh, Tencent market in mind?
WWW.Working, on the other hand, seems to be made with the dumb audience in mind. It lacks a lot of craft and charm from the original series, but there’s enough carry-over charm to stick with it. Or maybe because the original series just wasn’t that good so the dropoff in quality doesn’t seem so bad, I’m too stupid to tell. Maybe.
PS. Such cramming for CG4th begins. Let’s see what that does to my viewing schedule. Someone asked me a couple days ago which shows are my top this season, and they were Yuri On Ice, Girlish Number, and maybe Occult 9 or Keijo!!!!!!!!. I don’t know if I have a number 3, but I can see a few shows making strong moves to that spot, with Takkyuu Musume, Matoi and Izetta probably moving up the ranks.