Posted by psgels on 21 March 2009 with categories: Birdy the Mighty Decode



Short Synopsis: Senkawa’s classmates have fun at the school festival, while Nataru continues to pursiut the remaining aliens.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, like expected: the creators plan to finish this series with a huge bang, just like they did with Noein. It’s going to be there where we can see whether or not all the building up can come together in the end. This episode was mostly building up, although there were quite a few surprise twists included.

Most notably, Nakasugi is back, though with her memory erased. I still really like how Senkawa got over his loss of her, and he’s not angsting about her at all. Instead, he provides excellent support for the other main characters, and in a way you can’t call him the main character of this series anymore. The first season was his moment in the spotlights, and he learned well that the new storyline doesn’t centre around himself.

And in a way, that’s the advantage that episodic series have over series with a continuous plot: it’s much easier for them to show different people and flesh out the setting this way, making it come alive, whereas a series with a continuous plot usually just focuses on a fixed set of characters without much time for guest appearances, because it’d be difficult to weave them into this storyline. And that’s another reason why Birdy the Mighty is so amazing, because it combined the best of both: its storyline is definitely continuous, and yet it did succeed wonderfully in making this setting come alive and making it diverse.

One thing that caught my eye was that this series still is continuing to make its setting feel alive, even with only one episode left to go. It’s a bit unconventional, and will definitely leave a few threads hanging open, but on the bright side it really gives that extra spark to the setting: it makes it feel like there’s much more going on in the world than just the problems of our lead characters. The alien in sunglasses in the end never really had an important role, and we hardly know anything about him, but he does return every once in a while to influence parts of the storyline (for example, tricking the girl into killing her former comrade for protection). Nakasugi as well: there is no way that she’s going to have any influence in the story at this point, but it just shows that she too is continuing her life and that Birdy and Nataru may have their issues, but they’re not the centre of the universe. I mean, how many other series have a light hearted school festival at the end of their airtime? The only examples I can think of are the ones in which the school festival leads to some really dramatic climax, but here it’s used for the entire opposite: to brighten up the mood and flesh out the setting.

I really like this, especially since most other series don’t care about this at all, and you can really see the results: in the series, it looks like the entire world is revolving around the lead characters, with hardly anything else. Random by-passers also just feel like a bunch of mannequins, who aren’t important at all. In Birdy the Mighty Decode, though, they all feel so refreshingly alive due to the attention that it’s been paying to flesh out the setting at such a late point in the series. Seriously, I’m really surprised to see that they decided to do this in the second half of the series, which is usually the time when most series are done with the world building and focus on other things. This really is much more apparent than even Noein, and it shows that Kazuki Akane’s style is evolving, and he’s trying and become an even better director than he already was. This guy truly is my favourite director ever.

5 Responses

  1. senerikfred says:

    Subs are slow as hell for this, so obviously I haven’t seen the latest episodes(and shouldn’t even be skimming your Birdy-relevant posts :P), but I wanted to comment on Kazuki Akane. With Birdy, he often seems to be poking fun at his own style(a la Noein and what little I know about Escaflowne), with the antagonizing of ‘chosen’ people, the analysis of the feelings of such people, and the ‘girls protecting guys’ bits.
    For me, while Noein had better characters and a better midpoint climax, Birdy has been winning out in every other aspect, especially with the awesome second season. That Akane has been experimenting like this has made it so much more enjoyable, and while I haven’t seen Escaflowne yet, nor the newer episodes of this, I really think Birdy is going to be my favorite of his three series.

  2. TCoFA says:

    Peter jong, kan jij dit niet subben? ;p God ja ik loop nu al wat? 4 afleveringen achter? Mwa het is gratis en ik mag eigenlijk niet klagen, maar het is wel jammer. Ik lees je blog soms en dan merk ik dat het echt heel erg de goede kant uitgaat. Laatst nog die ene met Birdy’s jeugd gezien, die tweede. Nou die was echt geweldig, dus je kan wel bedenken dat ik meer wil zien. Maar helaas ;p

  3. AlexS says:

    It’s funny because in my case I felt that the plot was more interesting in Noein (time travel, and the end of the world) than in Birdy, where the issue is relatively minor (a little criminal investigation in a backwards planet).

    On the other hand I found the characters of Birdy more engaging than Noein’s, even though because of lack of subs I can’t really be definite about it. Birdy’s characters seem to me more rounded, credible and interesting than those of Noein.

    And since I enjoy slice of life, Birdy defenitely has the advantage here.

  4. senerikfred says:

    AlexS: Sure, the plot in Noein was on a larger scale, but it was the kind of thing where you know that the world will be on the verge of destruction and that the good guys will save it from the faceless enemy. As much as I like physics, I found the characters and the ongoing drama more interesting, as several of them developed, and a lot of time was spent building up for emotional climaxes. Whereas in Birdy, there isn’t as definite a split between the good and bad guys, and the plot itself is somewhat more character-driven. The characters in Birdy were easier to like from the start, and even now they have more of a fun aspect to them than the characters in Noein ever did, but they haven’t developed as much on the whole. Though as another slice-of-life fan, part of Birdy’s advantage is that it’s been more consistently enjoyable, whereas in Noein there were parts early on where I wanted to drop it, and I spent several of the fights waiting for the obvious outcome to get over with so they could switch back to improving the characters. Overall, I still prefer Noein’s characters, but Birdy’s are good in several areas that Noein faltered in-they move the plot forward, and something that really impresses me is that even though they’ve had little to do with what’s going on, the friends are less generic(as is most everyone else who does do stuff), and you can’t even predict who out of them would end up with who(usually the most predictable area of a show :)).

  5. AlexS says:

    senerikfred: I agree on most of what you say, although I may take a slightly different view.

    For instance, in the case of Noein I was much more undecided on what the ending would be. I mean, the world had technically already been destroyed, the stakes were reality itself, and for me it was hard to predict outcomes and survivors.

    In the case of Birdy, I think there is much less room for doubt: The only issue is whether the criminals will be detained or eliminated, and if Nataru will be destroyed or not. Apart from Nataru, I would be extremely surprised if any major “good” character is destroyed, and maximum damage would be a nuclear explosion in Tokyo, which I deem unlikely anyway. In absolute values, the stakes were higher at the end of the first season.

    So contrary to Noein, for me the interesting part in Birdy is to see how the director will lead the story to the expected end, not the end itself.

    In terms of characters, I agree with you and psgels that character development is pretty limited in this series, and this is probably one of the biggest weaknesses of Birdy’s characters: apart from the boy, every character stayed pretty much the same throughout the series (apart from the amnesiac girl, of course). Actually, I find Birdy extremely resistant to change, as she remains the happy-go-lucky girl, even after her “mother”‘s death, or the cohabitation with the boy. Of course she’s worried about Nataru, but by now it’s too late to show much development on her part. In that sense, I think she suffers from an “arrested development” typical of shounen series, where the protagonist invariably maintains a rigid attitude during the whole series.

    I also completely agree with you that the strong points of the series are the diversity in the characters, and depth of the world they evolve in (and I don’t mean only Earth here).

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Rey
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 02:56 AM)
    Can someone send a request shiz to make a movie about the Sonata of Darkness of Melody? It would be pretty interesting…
  • k-off
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 01:49 AM)
    Langrisser certainly makes me appreciate Fates a little bit more, this is the video game equivalent of The Asylum’s rip-off movies.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 01:23 AM)
    @Hellfire: lol I do too. This had good lyrics as well, but the line in Hellfire which says “he made the devil so much stronger than a man!” hits really hard.
  • SuperMario
    (Friday, May 6. 2016 01:12 AM)
    @Bam: yes, This performance was a gem, but truthfully any version would be more faithful than the Disney one. I still prefer Hellfire though :)
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:26 AM)
    What do you think?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:25 AM)
    I met a French art student in a bar tonight, and after getting into Hugo and Notre-Dame de Paris, he suggested a more faithful French theater production of it. He believed that this is a much better portrayal of the conflicted priestly character of Frollo, and specifically offered this Hellfire-esque song sang by the talented Daniel Lavoie as evidence:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5St9zF849o
  • SuperMario
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 08:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: haha. If this film indeed was made I’ll be the first one on the line to watch it.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:32 AM)
    @Mario: This made me laugh far more than it should have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kno3xDw27bY
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:30 AM)
    Anybody else seen Jungle Book yet?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:25 AM)
    @Kaiser: I see. Look retro, so I might actually enjoy.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Bungou Stray Dogs – 05

Bungou Stray Dogs once again goes sidetrack this week, which means that this episode is a filler one and doesn’t advance the plot at all. The main rivalry between the Armed Detective Agency and Port Mafia; which I originally thought to be 4, 5-episodes arc, seems to stretch out until the end of this season, […]

Joker Game – 05

One of the things I wished for joker game to show me was that the spies of D-agency were not superhuman demi-gods who can handle anything. This episode nearly accomplishes that as one of the spies of D-agency is found out and captured. However it falters in that the spy was purposefully sold out and […]

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 05

So Subaru has started his first repeat of this arc and at least this time he’s quick to come to terms with it. Though it is nice to see that he hasn’t shrugged off the progress he made getting wiped out without warning. But this time at least he’s at least making a plan and […]

Kiznaiver – 04

There are certain advantages to keeping your plot in the dark when storytelling. In the beginning stages when your audience is most attentive, if you manage to present questions they are interested in seeing answered then it provides a reason for the viewer to keep watching. However this tactic only continues to work as long […]

Flying witch – 04

Flying witch again delivers strong material this week and I actually think this is their best episode so far. Mostly because the 2 parts are well connected this week, and our new character Inuka is so natural and fit in like a glove, in addition they have an absurd and whimsical story to boost. I […]

Mayoiga – 05

We now back to the status quo on Mayoiga this week, as the group who left the village decided to come back, and the cliffhanger happened last week was never explained probably. I will say this upfront: this is not a good episode. We don’t learn much after it ends. We have even longer conversations […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 03

                There are no brakes on the Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress train even when it goes for a pit stop to pick up some water and say a prayer for the dead. While my fellow writers firmly believe that Koutetsujou no Kabaneri will disintegrate into a trainwreck […]

Bungou Stray Dogs – 04

Bungou Stray Dogs sure never get tired to showcase more new characters every week, and judging from the OP I’m certain that there are more to come. This week there are 3 more new faces and each of them is over the top in their own ways, but that turns out to be for good […]

Joker Game – 04

I am starting to get a little worried about Joker Game. After a very strong start it’s gone down in quality once it revealed it’s episodic format. This episode marks the lowest point of the series so far though I still don’t think of it as bad. Rather than focus on a member of the […]

Latest Reviews

Schwarzesmarken – 65/100

Schwarzesmarken is a strange title in that it has a setting with fantastic potential yet the story is dampened by a rushed pacing and Missing characterisation. Despite this there are signs of a greater story under the hood and at times that story can shine despite haphazard adaption. The Stasi make for a great villain […]

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – 85/100

In the large reservoir of anime it is surprising just how few titles focus on the concept of time travel. There are of course titles which feature time travel but few that make it the core focus. So here we have Boku Machi or ERASED, a tale about a mangaka time traveling to his childhood […]

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]