Posted by psgels on 4 June 2010 with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei



Awesome, this is exactly as I hoped: this show just continues to get better and better. Screw the repetition, every episode manages to add ten new things for everything it recaps. I was a bit fearful of the prospect of having an episode more similar to its predecessor than ever (who knows, perhaps it might even have pulled a “Seraphim Call”), but this episode very skillfully took the the previous episode, and built further upon it.

The overall scenario is pretty much the same as in the previous episode, it’s just the focus and ending are different. Instead we gloss over Hanuki and the pen pal, and instead this episode is about the love triangle around between Watashi, Jougasaki and the love doll. Oh, and Johnny. He has gotten way more extreme with this episode.

This episode really was masterfully written, not just how Watashi’s feelings kept spiralling out of control, but also that Jougasaki kept entrusting Kaori more and more to Watashi in a surprisingly similar way as how we’ve seen him in the second episode. On top of that there were also a ton of parallels with that proxy proxy war of episode four. Seriously, it felt like Ozu kept pestering him even without Watashi’s help. That could explain why he’s been so relatively absent in the past few episodes. It would be pretty awesome if he was some kind of ever-present prankster.

The next episode will be about the pen pal. the end of this episode even hinted at that. But what about episode 10 and 11? Especially Akashi had a really weird role in these episodes, as she was supposed to be the female love interest and instead Watashi has chosen three other girls to fall in love with. Will episode 10 actually be the same as these past two episodes, but on the perspective of Akashi?

It makes me think about the one oddball episode about this series: the one about Higuchi’s disciple. All of the other episodes were about portraying Watashi as some sort of socially awkward loser: the past two episodes were all about his desire to remain pure, and the other episodes really all stressed what a social dork he is. That episode was different, though. His life was miserable there not because of his own actions, but rather only because he ended up choosing the wrong club at the beginning of his university life. That proxy-proxy war was completely different from Watashi’s other struggles, not to mention that really weird scene in which Higuchi suddenly started riding a giant whale.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Puran says:

    I really, really, hope this series has a strong conclusion.

    I am really really enjoying it so far, because I really love its quirkyness both visually and storytelling-wise. But I find it hard to suggest it to other people.

    But if it has s conclusion that is strong and meaningful (as Masaaki Yuasa’s works tend to), it will make it so much easier to recommend it to people and it will put the series in my top 10 list.

  2. Avatar Machi says:

    I think the point about Akashi IS that she’s the opportunity dangling right in front of him, but alas he’s too ignorant or stubborn to notice (lets face it I don’t see the three women he’s trying to pick as being his “ideal”).

    @Puran: I don’t see how this show wouldn’t be meaningful when its painfully stressed its “meaning” or theme so to speak with one recurring motif. Namely grabbing the opportunity that is dangling right in front of you, as the fortune teller repeats without fail or variation (except for the prices XD). Whether you find it weak or strong is up to you, how relevant is that idea to you?

    Though personally I think the style of the show would be enough for me to recommend to others, its different enough to be a breath of fresh air (may not be as good as Kaiba but definitely up there in the efforts of Yuasa, I believe its his first adaptation).

  3. Avatar Michael says:

    The first few episodes deal with Watashi not knowing what he is really seeking: all he wants is a chance at a raven-haired maiden. It goes badly for him, however, so he results to bitterness and bile towards other people. This is for the first two episodes. Things become clearer to him in the third episode: rather than pursuing a raven-haired maiden, it is clear that his focus is primarily only on Akashi. This is obscured in the fifth episode, however, as he tries to pursue not merely a raven-haired woman, but a faceless ideal – he somehow regresses, only to recognize in the next episodes that it is love he desires.

    The problem is that he has deep-seated fears in intimacy and commitment while still pursuing respective ideals: the three women in episode six represent certain ideals. The faceless ideal (the totally impossible), the realistic ideal (Hanuki), and the inanimate ideal (2D complex in Kaori). It is only gradually that he will have to know that reality is far from the ideal – yet despite that there is an opportunity dangling in front of him, the Mochiguman, representative perhaps of Akashi.

    Actually I find it telling (as I’ve written in my own blog entries) that the Mochiguman is connected to the light in his room. At times we see moths circulating it, perhaps representative of his obscurity, but at later episodes there isn’t a moth to be seen in his room: I think this represents that he knows love to be the answer; he just doesn’t reach up to turn the light on.

  4. Avatar Puran says:

    @Machi: I really like the theme, as you described it, but if all there is to it is what the show has told us already, I will be a little disappointed.

  5. Avatar Johnson says:

    Well, you could argue that his failure to quit the proxy war (i.e. his inaction) caused his life to be miserable there, It’s basically the same thing.

  6. Avatar Machi says:

    @Micheal: Interesting theory on the moths but I would have to disagree at one point with them being an obscurity. As from what I can tell about the moths they’re partially a visual cue to reminiscing about the so called promise, during the time Akashi freaked out seeing one. Interestingly that scene with Akashi and Watashi speaking gradually disappears, or loses its luster, as the moths in the light disappear themselves. In that sense as well Akashi has been portrayed more or less “human” (from a frigid genius) without having to resort to the moth scene. Still it is telling that the Mochiguman is attached to light, and so are the moths, all of which relate to a visual cue or a reminder about Akashi.

    One thing to note though about the episodes as they progress Watashi has definitely been less “talkative” as compared to the first episode. I feel far less distracted by dialogue and visuals. I don’t feel they clash at one another, the director seems to have been adjusting or is it part of the plan (?) In any case its been quite a pleasure as of late watching the show.

    @Puran: How can that be all there is to the show? Love is just one point of missed opportunity, I think its quite telling that he described his “ideal” woman this episode and we have Akashi nicely showing up (yet he doesn’t even make a mention of considering her). I feel he is missing his opportunity with love due to his own stubbornness at times, he knows what he really wants but keeps to clinging to his raven haired ideal as an excuse.

    Then you have another variation of the music of failure with Watashi’s lack of or misplaced initiative at times, good example is the English club at first or the movie club as he makes that ‘documentary’.

    Then at times its just plain ignorance or bad decision, the cycling club and lets face it we all know how badly it would go if one only entered a club for the sole purpose of finding love (clubs are about what you’re interested in or what you’re good at, which as of late he is slowly realizing with the English club and the heroic club).

    The theme runs a lot deeper when you think about it, so its definitely not all there is to it. Moreover, there are enough visual cues in the series (and I haven’t even touched that much) for you to decipher or interpret so I see strong replay value with this.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

6 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

DanMachi2 – 6 [City of Lust (Ishtar Familia)]

DanMachi, as an anime, grew up this week. From the show that brought you the cosplaying mechanic of the “Hestia ribbon” comes an episode dealing with largest taboo in hero anime, and in some ways, Japanese conservative culture as a whole. Watching DanMachi this week is like this: you have a friend who you hang […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 20 [Pretend Family]

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for Kimetsu no Yaiba this week. Sadly, I think I came away from it with more criticisms than complements. Perhaps natural, since living up to last week was nigh impossible. But I wasn’t prepared for Yaiba to undercut its best episode either. Welcome to Yaiba, episode 20, […]

Dr.STONE – 7 [Where Two Million Years Have Gone]

Ah today is a good day. The day where Dr.STONE reinforces what I loved about it when I first read it. You see this week Science takes center stage, we meet the ancient sorcerer Chrome, and the legendary Kinro gets his fabled weapon. Enough with the preamble though, welcome to this weeks Dr.STONE and lets […]

Mononoke – 2 [Zashikiwarashi – Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it. Starting off, a […]

Cop Craft – 06 [Need For Speed]

Cop Craft mixes up many unusual elements such as porno magazines, gay policeman, car chases and even romance into its trip this week. The result is that while it’s light in content, it proves to be more entertaining than when it deals with serious plot. While at this point I still prefer the relationship between […]

Kanata no Astra – 08 [Past]

There sure is a lot to unpack in Kanata no Astra this week. Kanata no Astra loves to give clues, and with every reveal it opens up more questions and make it think how all these puzzles fit in a big narrative frame. I must say that I am enjoying the ride so far, it’s […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 6 [A Girl, a Department Store, and a Gift ]

It turns out that next week will be the beginning of the adaption of the source material of volume four and five and this episode marks the end of original anime content. I rather like this episode as it breaks away from Waver solving cases and has a fun little shopping adventure with the three […]

Vinland Saga – 6 [The Journey Begins]

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in! Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while […]

DanMachi2 – 5 [The Hearthfire Mansion (Home)]

DanMachi, you have me scratching my head. It takes you less than 20 minutes of air time to wrap up a 4 episode built, fortune changing battle – and then you spend the next 20 discussing Hestia’s Homebuilding. And what’s more – it was a very enjoyable Fixer-Upper-At-Your-Enemy’s-Expense episode. Just…a bit puzzling pace. Let’s take […]

Latest Reviews

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]