So, the usual.
Category Archives: Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita.
Incoming train of thought–
I took a nice vacation at the end of the year (I guess I’m in the middle of it) so I was able to catch up on a lot of stuff. Like Valvrave. I really enjoyed it, more so than I expected at any rate.
I was wondering if CLAMP designed the characters instead of Hirao-face-looking group that we had, maybe VVV would have more legs. As is, it’s actually a very good story but it just didn’t get to flesh out. The plot and the symbolism and themes all make sense and it is a good, liberal (as in liberalism) message that would resonate with kids. But I don’t know, it feels like the right message but it’s probably preaching to the wrong crowd. It could also use another 2 more episodes to flesh the ending out.
This season is tricky because I couldn’t tell that White Album 2 has another episode, I mean, what. Nagiasu really seems like it went off a cliff this week, because there’s another cour after that? Don’t even bring up Samumenco, geesh. I’m still enjoying Magi, and as far as sports anime goes I really like the past few episodes of Ace of the Diamond, explaining some basic sports mechanics sort of things that are not obvious to most people. It also got “good enough” to be talked about, IMO.
Say what you will about Yuushibu and OBC, both shows are great, and I had a good time with both. I think I enjoyed Yuushibu a lot more in that meta context, also it probably wins some award for dragging out a Star Trek joke the longest. OBC was more of the ideal guilty pleasure sort of anime, because the show didn’t really go anywhere with its soft power digs. I mean, it’s not even bush league. It’s not even softball. It’s more like wiffleball. Kind of like that football game they played–you knew they could do so much better but they just went with whatever, lawl. A shame I guess.
I still think it’s incredible that people walk away from Yuushibu episode 1 and think it’s bad animation quality. It’s insane. I suppose this is how some people feel about Kill la Kill when I say it’s actually not really that great. I think what’s good about it is that it is an anime done in a way and in regards to subject matter common to B-tier Japanese live action TV and movies. Now finally we have an anime like this–full with underboobs. I mean, you can’t do that on TV normally. Studio Trigger’s newsletter is great and it basically confirms all this. Also, maybe it’s because I saw Hentai Kamen live action movie this autumn and it kind of makes me feel like Kill la Kill is an inferior version of that. I get the feeling a lot of people watch anime as a medium don’t venture outside of it, so this is all fresh and exciting stuff.
The best anime this season is a tough call. I would give Kill la Kill the most creds as the most stylish, YZQ for the best sakuga feast, Kyousogiga for the most arthouse and best first episode, VVV for the most daring in terms of story, and Arpeggio will win the “It’s not Girls und Panzer but it’s close enough” award. OBC probably has the best meta fanservice and Yuushibu has some…serious fanservice. Best ED is obviously Unbreakable Machine Doll and best OP might actually go to Galilei Donna. Best concept has to go to Samumenco for not only the most meta but also the best written meta that I’ve seen in a while.
I also feel compelled to give Gundam Build Fighters some kind of recognition, so maybe it will win Aila’s biggest buns trophy or something stupid. Too early to call it the best AU Gundam but it’s definitely up there.
That’s kind of how I feel about White Album 2 too. I really enjoyed the series so far but it lacks a few compelling components in terms of plot. It’s too centered on the girls and not enough on the guy. I mean, I guess I don’t want another Golden Time but Haruki is at least interesting enough to get a little more exposition. Speaking of Golden Time, I’m okay only because I did watch Natsuyuki Rendezvous, so I’m build for it. That said gosh yes Koko is a bitch and the whole ghost-in-the-amnesia thing is dumb can we please just slap everyone and hire Linda to cater to more underground parties? I do give it a lot of credit for making every one of its characters a lot of substance and it’s easy to understand them, even the weirder ones like Miss Denpa.
Golden Time is also surprisingly meta too. That Nana-senpai. Even shows like Tokyo Raven is pretty meta, when it’s a run of the mill kind of a battle mystery story. Is it really necessary? Even I think it’s too much, and I’m someone who loves the meta.
I still want to watch more Sekatsuyo, but I can’t get past episode 4. I should just jump to the Chiaking episodes.
Kyoukai no Kanata was a thing. It all makes sense but it didn’t gel, which is too bad. It is the sort of beautiful nothings that we’re used to seeing from Kyoani, which is by all means something we can never run short of. Did I like it? Yes, but I probably won’t watch it again. It’s funny, but when you lay it side by side to something like, say, Noucome, I would take Noucome every time.
Perhaps Noucome is the ultimate guilty pleasure, sorry OBC. If being funny is a sin, Noucome is worthy a Kotaku post about how sinful it is. Too bad they pegged it as just some solid comedy.
But what does that make Log Horizon? It’s not a guilty pleasure, but it is for me–I’m totally watching it to trip on old school MMORPG feels. That, and Yumi Hara going all osaka, which is only appropriate. It’s a good anime as they say; it’s like if Maoyu got a Fate/Zero treatment, except not quite. I mean, that story could totally be built up better. Log Horizon is appropriately less ambitious in the scope and in turn more down to earth, but it’s also somewhat less epic on the face. I guess you can’t have everything. And that is okay when all it is to me is a guilty pleasure.
In a busy season like this I still watched 4+ episodes of Gingitsune, which is solid, 12 episodes of Infinite Stratos, which is disappointing, and all of Walkure Romanze. Man, that horse show is actually quite good in the way that exploitative eroge about fancy and peaceful setting can be, all because it has a freaking koushien in it. I respect it as one respect a well-polished trope. The fanservice episode clever and outside of the box, which is another thing you kind of didn’t expect a show like that to do. Nakamura Eriko-sensei can speak English to me any time.
When I was watching episode 10 of Yuushibu the thought dawned on me: this is about a new world order. If we take the narrative about the lost generation of Japan to heart, the young adults of Japan has to prime themselves to a new reality where job security is an unicorn and living the life their parents do 40 years earlier is just how things not going to be–until they find the wind beneath their wings. It’s the reality today’s Millennial are dealing with in America, but things are trickier out in Japan.
The big picture view is that Asia, on the whole, are still banging out explosive growths. You can say China may have “landed” but it’s still growing hella fast. India is probably going to get caught up. On the other hand Japan is like the edge of a Red Giant, where fusion go beyond helium and into the heavier elements, eventually crunching back into something more suitable for a dying star. I guess things may go to hell if China and India crash hard enough? I guess that’s kind of a grim analogy.
But that’s exactly how it feels for our protagonists who had to swallow their dreams and go live a part-timer’s life working in a big-box electronics store. And in some ways this is what is truly adult about that sort of a story, it’s not about people living their dreams, doing anything they can. It’s about finding out about yourself as you find a place for yourself in the world. Like a good football defense: bend but not break.
In Hatarake Maousama, the story plays itself out differently but the concept is the same. A fantasy big shot learns to be a great McD assistant manager. But here’s the thing: if you make it as a shift manager at a Wal-mart or Best Buy, you can surely make a decent living? It’s a real salary, although you may have to work a lot of off hours. It’s like Yuusha’s job doing customer service for DoCoMo. I don’t know, but some of these jobs are not entirely terrible.
It’s a much more telling story for All A, I guess.
Here’s exactly the thing. Torn between, say, an inaka narrative, where we always give a lot of face for farmers, doing service jobs or even blue-collar type jobs in today’s cities and suburbs just don’t get the same kind of respect, even if said jobs are often much better and preferred than farming. Or any of the traditional arts of the land–brewing sake for example. Unless you got electron microscopes for eyes? I am not sure what makes the disenchanted feel better. However as far as head tricks go, you can do worse than Yuushibu and Hatarake Maousama. You can do worse than Kyon in Haruhi or Goto in Samumenco. You can do worse, only because it’s like everybody is doing it. Log Horizon? Outbreak Company? LOL Maoyu?? Maybe this is me looking like a hammer because everything seems to fit like a nail, but in 2013 everything looks like it.
All of this just goes and point out Yet Another Reason Why SAO is problematic. It’s the difference between a new world and an old one: it’s a world where the meek conquers the strong as lion rest next to the lamb. As far as fantasies go, it’s a classic, and herbivores sure eat it up. And this is also why nobody is procreating; it’s some new world order. (Versus just jamming it in as if you haven’t done it for two years. Virtually.)
And of course, unless you’ve seen Yuushibu up to episode 10, you might not know what I’m even talking about. Let’s just frame it real-quick-like–domesticated devil queen heiress decides to apply big box retail to the demonic world in a stereotypical fantasy hero-versus-maou setting, people think she’s a fool, but the idea comes across brilliantly.
And this is why Love Lab is one hella good anime that y’all should watch.
Year in Review 2013 Index:
Yep, just random nonsense.
Oh god, Germany is invading France again. [Gotta see the image to make this caption work]
Please let the entire episode next week be 24 minutes of Chiwa Saitou giggling.
This has GENERIC written all over its lovely little red checkered panties.
Sometimes reading blogs on these things I wish I had some kind of contraption that lets me slap someone on the head with a harisen. I mean, anyone who calls Yuushibu “low budget” LOLOLOL. It’s basically got the best animated boobies on this side of Gainax, at least at episode 1. I mean, take it from a pro:
[T]he series does seem to have quite a big budget, but here is the thing: you do not simply assign all of your inbetweeners to your boob shots.
I mean, alternatively, YOU COULD animate on the 2s for all your money shots. I don’t mind. Because no amount of budget can fix poor source material! You might as well spend it on something that is worth the while. Just to drive my point home, Chris B. rated episode 1 an A- and Kill La Kill a B. Although that is probably a pretty biased thing to quote and shows that first impression posts with a letter grade means about as much as nothing.
Kill La Kill: Has it gone Redline? You decide. It’s certainly not yet free-to-watch however (makes me think that this is just a ploy ala Little Witch Academia). It’s basically the one show most people enjoyed watching, even if it’s not necessarily their bag. I think everyone needs to realize this–it’s just not a show for everyone. Same as Redline! And it ain’t gonna save any industry.
Log Horizon: Yawn, but not bad.
Kyoukai no Kanata: Yawn, but sakuga.
Coppelion: I’m waiting for the fanservice part of the thing to start, lol.
Nagiasa: TT. To its credit, it’s the most uncomfortable anime I’ve seen this season.
Miss Monochrome: She works at a Lawson, folks.
Golden Time: Budget harisen aside, did anyone pull the “hey the’re not high school kids” card yet in their blogs, because LOL.
So far this season feels overall more fun than last season, although last season was a pretty solid block without too many outstanding shows. Maybe we’ll get more than one or three this Autumn?