Posted by psgels on 12 May 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

#1: Valvrave The Liberator – 04: Just… wow. Don’t get me wrong, this episode was incredibly cheesy. But at the same time it was just florious with how much confidence it brought that plot twist of its. I guess this is what I meant by this series just going over the top: screw logic, and just focus on creating as much fun as possible. So far, this is what Guilty Crown should have been: the male lead is the only one with special powers, and he just uses them to screw everyone who is against him over. The big potential pitfall right now is the characters. These types of series also seem to think that you don’t need characters to remain entertaining, but the whole trick of making these series last is by keeping them interesting. Otherwise it’ll just get boring!

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 77: I still find the ant designs to look a bit silly (a minor detail perhaps, but it does screw a bit with your first impressions), but I like the idea behind the Chimera ants a lot. The way in which they continue to evolve. And again, it’s completely different from any other arc in Hunter X Hunter before and I really admire that for a shounen series. But do the villains have actual emotional depth? There’s one way to find out!

#3: Yahari Blahblah (I still refuse to use the whole title of this show until it gets actually really good) – 04: What I liked about this episode was the use of that one really popular guy. It was a bit of a narrow-minded episode, but it raised some good points for the characters. At the very least, I’m really glad to see that this didn’t turn out to be yet another one of those brainless school series, but that it actually tries to bring some substance in, even though it’s got a bunch of cliched and annoying characters.

Other Notes:

Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge – 04: Now I see! The thing with this series is that the story is crap, yet the characters and the atmosphere are charming. This may seem negative, but it is what keeps me watching. I couldn’t care less about those killing thingies or whatever plot there is supposed to be, but the creators gathered together an interesting cast that stands out. There are some weird things though. Like that girl who got stranded in this episode. I’m not sure what to think of her.

16 Responses

  1. Airies says:

    Yahari is amazing, you will see.

  2. TheUltimateReaper says:

    I love Crime Edge think the story is fine (minus a few logic/plot leaps) and really like Yahari in its entirety. I don’t see the issue but hey, we’ve all got our tastes and whatnot.

    Valvrave is enough to make you puke by episode 5 though. Man. Ichirō Ōkouchi needs to get his shit together, because it almost feels like the guy is brilliant and ambitious but is too stupid to polish the gems that could be. Why I like him is obvious, but I’m beginning to think it was all he really had to offer.

    • Nayrael says:

      Nah, he is doing a good job this time: Valvrave is intentionally being ridiculous (unlike Guilty Crown which took itself seriously). It is like he woke up and said: “They said Code Geass was ridiculous! They said Guilty Crown was ridiculous! I’LL SHOW YOU HOW RIDICULOUS I CAN BE WHEN I MEAN IT” >:D

      Valvrave is much more enjoyable if you take it as seventy percent satire, 30 percent serious (though I expect it to get more serious later on when he butchers this little student nation and Haruto’s delusions).

      • TheUltimateReaper says:

        Code Geass was awesome. Suspense disbelief was managed, and it was just ambitious enough. I don’t give a shit what anyone says, it was solid, earned a place in anime history and was successful. I will call it a one hit wonder though, because I doubt I’m ever going to get to see another successful anime like it.

        The problem with Valvrave is that it recycles too many of his old ideas, and all of it’s potential isn’t fleshed out. I mean, it had a lot going for it, but right now it’s kinda teetering on the edge of unwatchable and enjoyable.

        It’s a real shame, but I guess that’s just how it is.

        • Nayrael says:

          Heh, I am with you on CG. Still, critics did criticize which is what my point was.

          Be it as it may, it is obvious Valvrave is not taking itself seriously right now (when you see a Big Red Button, you know it is fooling around). However, it is a pre-planned series and I think the whole ridiculousness is just there for entertainment sake so that it would make a bigger impact once this whole charade collapses (and knowing Okuchi, it most certainly will). I expect it to get more serious after that and Haruto accepts L-elf’s contract.

    • Souther says:

      Except that you’re missing the obvious here: Okouchi isn’t trying to make a Planetes or even a Gundam out of Valvrave. He’s not even trying to make Code Geass S1 either. It’s more about over-the-top entertainment than anything else.

      Therefore, accusing him or anyone in the staff of “stupidity” is more like you’re missing the point here.

      For that matter, I found episode 5 to be funny. Which was its purpose, in its own cheesy way. Puking would imply a level of seriousness and cynicism that isn’t supported by the actual content of the show nor by its directorial approach.

      • TheUltimateReaper says:

        Well… if you say so. It’s not like I’m not enjoying it, but it really does nearly make my stomach churn, but hey hopefully it turns out to be enjoyable the whole way through.

  3. Deadlights says:

    Psgels, Yahari’s true brilliance shows in the next two episodes

  4. boa_sting says:

    As much as I want to dismiss it, Valvrave gets me cracked up more often than not. I can’t ever say I’m bored of it… wait, that’s not true. Well at least, usually I’m getting a kick out of it. And it all culminates in that ridiculous ED. If I had to sing “boku janai boku janai boku janai” like that, I’d probably commit seppuku.

    I’m not so sure about brilliance for Oregairu (that abbreviation’s what the show’s site’s URL has) just yet, even up through the sixth episode. But it’s certainly ranking up a pretty high percentile in the school life / club / romcom genre, in my books.

  5. Arno says:

    I loved Dansai Bunri at the beginning, because of its over the top humor and quirky aestheticism.

    However the last “zombies in sweaters” arc left me yawning and looking at the clock.

  6. Ann says:

    I hope Valvare won’t go into the direction Infinite Ryvius went. It wouldn’t be completely terrible if it did, but i rather to see something new.

    On the other hand… I’m not sure what you are talking about, psgels when you say that there are no characters. The whole cast is a waking taking bunch of tropes (even their schoolyard nation is that). This whole show so far is build on tropes and it doesn’t even try to hide it.

  7. Gunslinger says:

    Regarding depth of the HxH villains, wait for a while and you will be surprised. Their lack of depth is understandable considering how long its been since they have had emotions

  8. Houlgrave says:

    Valvrave comes across in some ways as a satire of the whole Gundam franchise in some respects (particularly Gundam Wing). The events at the end of the latest episode in particular reinforces some of that.

    Or maybe I’m just reading into it too much. Valvrave doesn’t take itself as seriously as Geass seemed to though, which makes me think Ōkouchi is simply having a good time for once. :P

  9. Gustavo says:

    Your reviews on HxH are a bit late, since we’re already at episode 80, and things are going up fast. But, dont worry: this is the arc with the more emotional depth in all HxH series. It’s absolutely suberb!

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:32 AM)
    If a series wants to be sophisticated about complex concepts like war and conflict, then it has to presuppose the fact that it is part of human nature. Resources are limited, and even aside from that, greed exists. There is no way to take out a few head figures to stop a war- there will be a vacuum that will almost immediately be filled by a similar, if not worse, individual. A world “where no one cries” or suffers, or dies, etc, cannot exist as long as we have free will.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:26 AM)
    F/SN delved into this deeply with the Shirou/Archer dichotomy, but then it pussied out at the decisive moment. Archer was right, his arguments made perfect sense, yet the arrogant naive Shirou had to pull thru by sheer will alone, and a vague hope and promise that he’ll find a way somehow. I swear, I’m not sure if Nasu gave in to pressure to make a so-called “good prevails” ending, or that he honestly believes in it. Looking at his material, I’ll bet on the former.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:22 AM)
    hehe … that’s why you don’t get me started on Eva or Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:20 AM)
    It also delved into the depth of what a desperate goodie-two-shoes people-pleaser protagonist would actually be like, and the reception he would get from his peers, specially the women. That alone right there was a deconstruction of the majority of shonen main characters.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:00 AM)
    There was no hype machine back then. The internet was still in its infancy. So when a show became this popular there was certainly some merit to it. The organic/machine hybrid mecha was relatively new, and the scene construction and cinematography was for the most part immaculate. There’s a reason why the mecha genre is divided to “pre-Eva” and “post-Eva”.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:53 AM)
    It also didn’t hurt that the character, costume and mecha designs were slick and attractive, done by the under-appreciated Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:31 AM)
    It came up with clever scenarios to common mecha tropes, and answered the questions that would arise from them:
    -Why do we use mechas with melee weapons against alien invaders instead of conventional weapons? AT fields on Angels.
    -Why use kids to pilot them? The Gehrin Project.
    -What happens when you put kids in sever combat situations? Extreme PTSD.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:27 AM)
    These types of deconstruction shows that are run-of-the-mill now didn’t really exist back then. Eva did afterall became the tropemaker for Gainax endings. To see the creator’s psyche twist in front of our eyes was incredible. The show went from a regular monster of the week mecha series to a deranged psycho-thriller by the end of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:23 AM)
    Eva was fresh and quite unique for its time. Not that everything they did was original, but they certainly put their own twist on it. I also enjoyed the “fuck-you” ending of the tv series. Anno always defended it as intentional, but we all know it was really a budgetary constrain. well, at least we got the amazing End of Evangelion movie to supplement it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @K-of: yup Eva geek here, guilty as charged. In my defense, I watched it week-to-week when it aired back in 96, and the landscape of anime was a lot different back then.

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