Posted on 23 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

When I started this season of Rakugo I was under the impression that this would be Konatsu’s and Yotaro’s story seeing as Yakumo’s had reached it’s end. However to my dismay it appeared that halfway through the season Yakumo has hijacked the series. I previously stated that the story of Rakugo has already ended with the last episode and nowhere is this more apparent than this episode. In a rather odd supernatural twist this episode took place entirely in the afterlife with Yakumo meeting Sukeroku and Miyokichi. Overall this episode confirmed one thing, that Yakumo is 100% dead and unfortunately after the previous fake out’s I don’t have any real strong feelings about that. I love the guy for sure but him dying has essentially been the only story going for the last couple of episodes. I don’t think removing this episode would have a major impact on the series and in some cases it would be a good thing seeing as this episode makes it out that the ghost apparitions Yakumo was seeing were indeed real. This show has always been fairly grounded in reality so it’s odd that I now know everything about the afterlife of this world. Of course you could write it off as some sort of fever dream before Yakumo died but in that case it would make this episode a rather sad delusion of his subconscious absolving him of guilt.

From what I see this episode hit a lot of people hard as it certainly was pushing for the so called “feels”. Being the heartless monster I am, I found myself rather unmoved. I will admit to having a soft fuzzy feeling when Yakumo and Sukeroku did a pinky promise on the river zanza but I think this episode was trying a little too hard to that effect. Having Masuda show up as Yakumo’s boatman was an outright sign for “Cry now please” I can’t say I hated this episode but I also can’t deny what it is. Pointless. None of this was really needed and I actually really hate that they tried to explain away Sukeroku’s stabbing as a joke that turned into a horrible accident. Oh she used to wave around a knife and just so happened to trip…bullshit. Where the hell did the knife come from in that hotel room? In a way it sort of cheapens the whole tragedy by showing the two in the afterlife as it makes their death have far less gravitas. Looking back at the first season there won’t be any real emotion in that scene anymore because here they are laughing it up in the afterlife.

That just really bugs me. I am somewhat reminded of the ending of Infinite Regius which attempted to turn the horrible experience the children went through into some fondly loved adventure. It paints the suffering the characters went through as something minor and insignificant. Yakumo gets his emotional sendoff but none of the emotional drama over death has any real meaning anymore. Makes Yakumo’s suicidal thoughts seem almost comical with him getting all worked up over death when it was his big afterlife surprise party I must reiterate that I didn’t hate this episode and still enjoyed it but this show truly has run out of steam. I honestly think it would have been better off giving Rakugo a ten episode run and giving the remaining episodes over to KonoSuba which could have made much more out of them. Next episode has us seeing Yotaro’s and Konatsu’s children grown up and I find myself not really caring all that much. The extended epilogue continues when the majority of the cast has left the stage.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

What am I to say when the majority of the episode is detailing a military operation? I admit that content has become spare in this series as of late and the Tanya vs God battle has more or less been pushed to the sideline. Tanya had one moment here where it looked like her mission could be a bust but thankfully, her subordinates hits gold. There is a certain joy in seeing a plan come together and this plan had echoes of Hannibal’s tactics during the famous battle of Cannae where he managed to surround a far larger army on all sides and rendered their numbers meaningless. We get a small glimpse of the politics of the empire and it’s clear that the army holds significant sway in decisions. They tried to use the retreat as a means of criticising the army’s leadership, only to have the military succeed and render them all silenced. In a way, Zetter’s genius is scary as the man not only won a war but used that victory as a means of retaining political dominance and shut down criticism of the military. As it is now, I would say that the Empire is only a mere facade of democracy and has become a full blown dictatorship.

Anson returns with a bang as he shoots down Grandz. I have my doubts that he’s actually dead as I didn’t see any blood but this does confirm that Anson is the endboss of this series and I more than welcome someone who could make Tanya try for once. The end credits scene shows why Grandz looked rather awkward when Tanya commented if anyone did anything to Viktoriya. If you wanted to look deeper into it you could theorise a level of indoctrination with Tanya’s men as Viktoriya follows her orders to kill even within her dreams. There are rumors that this show will actually be two cours which I find dubious considering that this episode was delayed as well as the clear production troubles the studio has been having. I would most certainly welcome two cours but if it was going to be the case, I would prefer it to be a split cour so the studio can lick it’s wounds. Former madhouse staff or not, this is still their first production as Studio Nut and the last thing we need is them burning themselves out.

Posted on 22 March 2017 with categories: World Animation

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This part offers even more diversity in animation techniques, as well showcase the varied genre of songs. Let’s get right down to it.

 

Lorn “Anvil” by GERIKO

“He allowed us to choose one track from his latest album and gave us full creative freedom to explore and develop bot the narrative and the aesthetic of the piece. It was a great privilege to be awarded so much trust and creative licence by an artist we deeply admire” – GERIKO

Hands down the most ambitious and ambiguous video out of this list. Inspired by Japanese and Belgian comics, most notably Akira, Ghost in the Shell and the Matrix, Helene Jeudy and Antoine Caëcke (aka GERIKO) created a an incredible science fiction universe in a brilliantly stylish black-and-white animation for Lorn’s song “Anvil.” In this dystopian future in which social networks can manifest in physical ways, invade the body and mind and blow them wide open, a young woman chooses to take her life via a machine and we see every bit of process that she emerges herself to that crazy world there. The subsequent journey our main character embarks on is exquisitely detailed, mesmerizing, and truly compelling visual.

 

Jane Bordeaux Band “Ma’agalim” by Uri Lotan

“The inspiration came from a visit a few years back at Musée Mécanique in San Francisco, a museum devoted to antique penny arcade machines. Walking around the museum there was a feeling that time had stopped. The characters inside the machines have been destined to a never ending cycle repeating the same action over and over again. That metaphor worked perfectly with the lyrics.” – Uri Lotan

“Ma’agalim was conceived in an untraditional way. We contacted the band with the intention of creating them a music video. That gave us complete creative freedom, as long as it was in the spirit of the song.”

I’m gonna be honest, this video melted my heart for its beautiful, detailed yet bittersweet feelings it evokes and the fresh and innovative approach for its story. Ma’agalim is a Hebrew word for “circle”, and as the creator mentioned above this is precisely the theme with this video. We see the characters running in circle, getting stuck in a very specific and endearing place, but that’s why this video has a feeling of timelessness. The video centers around an enchanting, innovative CGI animated wooden penny arcade, packed with as many beautifully designed and whimsy characters. As the arcade rotates and our little girl wanders around, the internal workings of the machine are revealed, showing how it brings an everyday life of those characters in that penny arcade world. An intricately designed, beautifully-executed, and gently poignant achievement in CGI. Many people even go so far to compare this video to the worlds of Pixar for good reasons. My personal favorite pick.

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Posted on with categories: ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept., Currently Watching:

Really ACCA? Only one episode left and you’re still in set-up stage, with the coup is lingering in the air, but never comes in real form. In fact, ACCA is a series about setting up. Its deliberate pacing can really test the viewer’s’ patience, and I totally understand if most of you have fallen out with it; but really, ACCA’s getting better by each passing episode. Many plot threads start to come together, and this week we have a major plot development: Jean decided to go along with the Lilium’s plan, which is the worst decision ever. Lilium, in a very definition of true villain archetype, already behaves in a victory-mode for a successful coup, although there isn’t any coup yet (sorry honey, I have to see it first to know if it exists) and starts mapping out his evil plan OUT LOUD for the one person who is capable of changing the situation. I guess this is more of overconfident issue but boy, when you do that I know immediately that the plan is going to fail, hard. And does he really think he can control and manipulate Jean, of all people? Bull. I don’t even think Jean will take the reign. Heck, I don’t even think the coup is going to happen at all. But I do think he plans to put certain someone to the spot instead of himself. He raises that argument when he meets up with Lilium, saying that as long as the next throne isn’t the Prince, he doesn’t really interested to take control the kingdom. So logically, who is the person that Jean would place his bet on knowing that the person can take good care for both ACCA, the people and the kingdom? Of course, it’s Grossular.

But Grossular still has some issues with Lilium. I still wonder why Lilium holds much control over Grossular. I still think Lilium holds a certain secret that Grossular doesn’t want to spread out, but what secret would that be? How is this centenary going to play out next week? I originally thought Qualms the Privy Council President is involved, but based on how limited time he had (if at all), I think the main players for this centenary is going to be Jean, Lilium and the Prince. But then, how’s about Abend? Will he has any role at all in the end? Damn ACCA, you better tie up all loose ends next week.

Nino is finally back and is immediately got shot down, literally. But this is where I find the plot pretty much implausible, for you see it would be much easier (and less dramatic) to just follow those assassins and knock them down before they were going to shoot. Why following them and then run all the way to Jean to shield the bullets? And really, the way the show handles the thriller part is very uneven. Apart from that, I really enjoyed the chemistry between Jean and Nino and I could feel Jean’s emotion stirring up when he talks about Nino’s objective in life. He deeply cares for his friend Nino. Another interesting fact is that Nino’s supervisor doesn’t allow Nino to come to Furawau, and for now my guess is that the supervisor doesn’t want Nino to pry into Lilium’s family, maybe for the sake of Jean and Lotte’s safety. (or just simply because he doesn’t want Nino to catch hay fever. A nasty sickness).

It’s otherwise great to see all the ACC representatives from each district come all over in one place. We saw all of them but many of them don’t have much screentime or that memorable before, but you can sense a very natural easy-going chemistry between them (they obviously know each other well before) and how they can still carry the characteristics of the district they’re currently in. I don’t get why the show spend so much time for Eider’s romance but it’s certainly fun to watch. One thing I find the most interesting was the two ACCA representatives from 2 poorest districts, Warbler and Rocksterra (from Suitsu and Pranetta, respectively) are the ones who actually sense something wrong about following up the coup. They come from the poorest and hardest districts, meaning that they, of all people, should be happy for a wind of change. But quite the contrary, they know that each district has their own voices, and they see far greater benefits under the Dowa Kingdom; even the Prince will be unlikely to break much rules, and those are all valid arguments but they must be very dissatisfied with the Prince (or current Royal system) to the extent that all the 13 districts vote for Jean. Jean did mention that everything need a final push now, what would that be? With only a finale of 20 minutes left and plenty of possibilities next week, I really hope the show can wrap things up in a most satisfying way. You won’t disappoint me, will you, ACCA?

Posted on 20 March 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

We get to an end of 3-gatsu run but it feels more like a new beginning. Like what I feared last week the last episode doesn’t really have a conclusive ending, instead offers us the new semester of Rei and his childhood and his shogi, which in all fairness are the weaker parts of 3-gatsu. In part I understand it’s tricky to make a conclusive ending point when you’re in the middle of the story, especially for a slice-of-life drama like this one, and the series does attempt to bring some out of order material to shows us how Rei has maturing up to that point. Fortunate for us, they greenlighted the second season which will air in this Fall season (I will be there blogging) so I’m not that dread over this “ending”; but they totally could turn last-week episode into the final episode and I’d be completely content with it. Okay, I’m done rambling now so let see what this episode has offered us.

Rei starts a new semester and again he finds himself unable to make new friends. Hayashida-sensei (becoming my favorite teacher that is) suggests him to form a shogi club, so that Rei can make new friends and he can still be Rei’s adviser. In all honesty, I would love to see his shogi club instead of the “shogi science club” and I find that students have zero interest in the old game kind of stretching it a bit (I’d join myself, especially if I know a professional player is the club president). But the merging of the club make sense narratively: if you want result, you need to take action. Rei still wants to go back to study because he wants the feeling of not running away, and lately he actually enjoys himself a bit more so I’m sure joining with those guys will be a great experience for him. Also, Noguchi’s moustache is great.

While this first half is generally light-hearted, the second half delves into Rei’s personal problems from way back: the feeling of a lone wolf that doesn’t feel belong to anywhere and scare that the sit next to him will forever be empty. That little trip in his childhood underlines his loneliness. He hides himself from everyone and eating bento all alone, looking at the ants and reading shogi all by himself. There’s also a sad feeling concerning his childhood, so he devotes himself to shogi. With him, shogi is not only the place to belong, but also the place that offers him his companions, offers him the seat where he knows for sure would be taken by his opponents. Then we have a metaphor of he’s riding a train of shogi, with all the shogi players tagging along into the great shiny shogi paradise. But here lies an interesting bit, the show has constantly showed us that the path of shogi is a path that people keeps wandering ahead in the wasteland-like, lonely and suffered; here we have the totally opposite visual metaphor. I guess it just depends on perspective, on how you choose to look at it huh?

In the end, I still have plenty of good time with this episode but it isn’t among its great ones, let alone be worthy enough to be a final episode of this season. I mean, there’s no three sisters, no Kyouko, even no shogi match this week. Normally I would give the show a proper full review, but since it’s confirmed that we will have a second season, plus the fact that I believe with this kind of story we’re better reviewing it as a complete story, I will hold off my full review for now. Overall, I still believe Shaft did a great job of adapting it, and while the shows still have some tonal issues and problems of adapting too faithfully to the source material, the show really shines whenever it digs deep to the characters and fleshes out their relationships. Rarely a show can write characters that deep and heartfelt so I feel overall pleased that we have the next season to look for. Until then.

Posted on 19 March 2017 with categories: World Animation

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Welcome to the special edition of World Animation where this time I will dig into the doomed child of animation market: the animated music videos. If you have never really give much thoughts about those animated music videos, you’re not alone. It’s the section that hardly get discussed both in the anime fanbase and in the cartoon market, and my guess is that apart from a niche audience who follow music video and the professionals: animators and the bands alike, no one hardly know anything about it.

Animated music videos of course have a totally different approach to animation compare to short films or series, in which not only you have to make the video compelling on its own, but the animation has to support and elevate the song. That mean, you can’t pull off something like this (in which the song is clearly about being there for someone you love, even if she is “beauty queen of only 18”, but the video was about the love affair between the guy and his girlfriend’s mom. Yuck. AND IT WAS A FREAKING HIT). But here’s where it gets interesting: Animated music videos usually carry a strong artistic expressions than other media. The whole process of animating a music video (at least for indie scene) is that the band sends the director/ animator their song and some ideas on the concept of what they want in the video, then they basically leave the rest to the director. That process results in the creators have their full artistic control most of the time, thus the outcome usually one of the more striking piece of animation than the rest of animation medium.

In fact, while compiling this list, I came to a rather surprising realization: I had no setlist as a point of reference at all. There were some sites that recommend some animated videos, but the videos were all over the place; and there was no “best of list” or whatever; as a result I had to come up with the most traditional way: watching all the videos I could get my hands on to do this list. Yup, it means watching 40+ of those videos until all of them just blended and melted in my brains. But I have to say, except from the time consuming and the fatigue it caused me, it was actually a very rewarding process. Then the list I was compiling just kept getting bigger the more I watched, to the point I had made a line somewhere (otherwise I would recommend everything).

So ladies and gents, here are my 15 favorite videos out of last year from multiple music genres, with multiple animated techniques where I will address about their core concept, the style of animation they use, and how they are stand out from the rest. Really, if you have 20 minutes of break, why don’t you listen to some cool music and watch some stunning animation and gain some insights about them in the process? It’s just an episode worth of time anyways, and many of the videos just clock in at 1 minute. So watch them guys and comment which videos you like the best, or even if you like to see this kind of content every now and then; I’m fully aware this is an anime blog so it’s your call. Enjoy!

 

Porter Robinson & Madeon “Shelter” by A-1 Pictures

“I knew I wanted to do an anime, animated produced video in Japan. I wrote the story that happened to connect pretty brilliantly to the lyrics of Shelter. To me the Shelter video is also a story of familial love mixed with some of my own fantasies and sensibilities… There’s a significance that can be derived—passing yourself onto a new generation.” – Porter Robinson

Many of you sure have heard about this one. An original anime music isn’t something new, but for a American DJ artist who specifically requested his song to be anime-style, you know you’re in something special. As a matter of fact, the staffs of A1-Pictures had noted that the most special aspect of the production was to witness the enthusiasm of Porter Robinson about the project. For the records, I have watched Porter Robinson other videos and yup, this guy knows how to tell a good visual storytelling. Moreover, for a medium that focus prominently on mood-building and work mainly as a visual companion for the song, it’s a treat to see some video that actually attempt to tell a complete story (as you will see below, most of the time they don’t bother to try); but Shelter also pulled off an emotional ride, with awe inspiring world building and impressive animation to boost (A1 Pictures did an excellent job). This is clearly a passion project and passion project is always a winner in my heart.

 

Radiohead “Burn the Witch” by Chris Hopewell

“The band wanted the video to raise awareness about Europe’s refugee crisis and the “blaming of different people… the blaming of Muslims and the negativity” currently engulfing European politics”- Virpi Kettu (the video animator)

Paying homage to The Wicked Man in terms of plot and the 1960s British children’s TV programme Camberwick Green in term of its visual, the video’s stop motions character designs and settings are seemingly the most simple and brightest video out there, but the music and the subject matter make it a very unsettling atmosphere (the band purposely want the video to be lighter to what they play to “wake people up”). The topic at hand is about burning the witch after all. Radiohead is no stranger when it comes to building a paranoia mood, and this video helps raising that comfortableness to a new level. Like in Lynch movies, there’s always a sense of something hideous, decay, something really wrong right underneath the normal happy rural life. The video serves as a response against authoritarianism, some even go so far to say it as an attack against Trump’s right-wing policies. And with that paranoia mood they evoked, I believe the song pretty much nailed it.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Scum's Wish

This week the main spotlight is heading back to our beloved Akane and two of her relationships preys, Mugi and Narumi. Although I really like the way the show addresses each of those tainted relationships until finally we’d get to the bare bone of Mugi and Hanabi’s core relationship, this episode for me is just so-so in the way they handle the situations regarding Akame. It’s a bit of a shame because Akame is the most interesting character to talk about. This week, she takes us back to her first sexual experience and notifies us how she becomes the way she is now. But guess what? All of these details we already know about her. She’s enjoying sexual desires from men and jealousy from girls are nothing new. Even the visual trick the shows use concerning Akame doesn’t really give much sense. I can understand when Hanabi (or even Moca) faces off her younger self because she has lose the innocent part of herself in a process by her dark thoughts, but with Akame, she’s basically the same person as her younger self. She’s born that way so for what purpose of putting the two versions face to face in that labyrinth of roses entail? I do think this visual trick has turned into a gimmick this time.

But still, even in her flashback, she realizes that she keeps pushing on that way because it’s the only way she know how. You can’t fault a scorpion for stinging others, it’s just in its nature. She receives all the love from men and give nothing back, doesn’t love anyone but herself. But both Mugi and Narumi end up being the kind of relationships that she never encounter before, thus might be unequipped to deal with. With Mugi, he knows about her true self but he’s the only one to want to really go beyond sex and push forward his love. As of now, Mugi is controlled totally by Akame, even when replying her he has to think first to not upset Akame because he scares that he’d be hated by Akame. And although Akame clearly doesn’t love Mugi, his genuine actions still surprise her because from I understand, nobody have ever approached her that way. Others, they want sex, they have it, end of story. Mugi, he wants to engage in more serious relationship despite knowing he is no match for her. It’s nice to see a bit of development from Mugi, instead of running away like he used to, he actually tries to pursuit his crush for once.

Furthermore, because she’s always at the top of her seducing game, she can never get the reason why Narumi doesn’t feel attracted sexually to her. They had sex on their first date, but afterwards they date like normal couples without love hotel involved and that frustrated Akame (normally in real life when a guy does that it means that he is insecure about his sex performance, but well we’re talking about Saint Four-Eyes sensei here) . She feels like she’s pursuing him and doesn’t let him go; which maybe that’s right after all. Someone like her, who bathed herself into the lust of men and the hatred of girls, need someone who clearly in the other side of her world as Narumi. Someone loves her for her inside, not for her body. Well, that’s a theoretical talk anyways because I still pretty much in doubt if Narumi really loves Akame from the inside or not. First, he’s clearly knows nothing about her, and just learn about her bitchy side like seconds before still holding on to her. Second, the show really doesn’t help us at all to show what the heck this guy is thinking inside his head except that he falls in love with Akame for her long hair that reminded him of his mother in a first place. Meaning that he might fall for her for some goddamn unreal affection. Lastly, he talks like, 3 lines when he grabs her back and those are vague and pretentious as it gets and somehow Akane falls for it. Well, I think his role is good this week but overall he’s still very weak as a character. In fact, the show doesn’t write male characters really well, except for Mugi all the others are really under-written and serve as an obvious plot exposition: just look at that guy Takuya this week. Saying all the stupid, obvious details in a bitchy voice with a lousy attitude while standing with other girl, then running away like a 6 year-old kid? Excuse me but only terrible writing has that kind of laughable characters.

And for a show that consistently pull off many raw emotions week after week, this week is surprisingly light in heart-wrenching moments. My reaction to this episode is rather lukewarm. The show is still pretty solid and progresses strongly so far, but I’m a bit afraid that after we get this far, the end result just can’t pack the emotional punch it has built up for an entire season.

Posted on 16 March 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

I remember seeing a remark someone made that Little Witch Academia would lose half it’s fanbase when the realize that they don’t like Saturday morning cartoons all that much. While most likely said in jest, I find there is a certain degree of truth in that statement. I did enjoy this episode of Little Witch Academia more than the previous two episodes but there is an underlying frustration I am feeling that I find all too familiar. Before finding anime I used to watch a lot of cartoons and I do remember this feeling of wanting the show to give more. To dive into deeper subject matter, to capitalise on characters development or to push forward with romantic relationships. However cartoons rarely gave me that and I remembered feeling aggravated when things returned to zero. The OVA’s gave me a small taste of nostalgia for old Saturday Morning cartoons and the series has delivered in regards to keeping that same magic. However ten episodes into this series and I find myself wanting something more than just that. There are some developments and attempts at world building but they are few and often in the background to today’s hijinks. I admit that perhaps the problem is the wait in between episodes as I watch it weekly. If I was binge watching through the episodes I don’t think I would have the same reservations. The point is that if Little Witch Academia continued with this episodic hijinks for the remainder of it’s runtime, would I be satisfied with the result? In all honestly, No. I would not. The show is currently fun but I do wish to see it develop into something more substantial.

But on to the episode and this week we have a love bee going around making everyone fall in love at the drop of a hat. Trigger certainly is using this to poke fun as for one brief moment DianaXAkko was actually feasible. This episode seems to be pushing for a romantic relationship between Akko and the politicion’s son, Andrew. Some have misgivings about this though I would argue that they are not quite there yet. They certainly do seem to be interesting in one another and both Akko and Andrew do tend to seek each other out. Though I don’t think they have reached the level of love and it’s more fascination at this point. Andrew is enthralled with Akko’s drive to shoot for her dreams when he is locked into the position his father has decided for him. Akko on the other hand looks to have formed a friendship with him after going to the fountain of polaris and is rather determined to prove to him that magic isn’t useless and unnecessary. This seems more along the lines of friendship rather than romance, though there certainly is potential for it to develop into one. Right now I would rule it out after Akko seemed suitably horrified when Andrew started confessing to her after getting stung by the bee. If she had more serious feelings for him I would think her reaction would be a little different. I did find it nice that even after the bees effects worn off, Andrew’s friend Frank still remained interested in Lotte. I don’t really like the idea of pairing up every character in the series but after seeing Lotte get disappointed when the effects worn off it was nice for someone to reaffirm that she does have charm. Plus this would mean he would stop hopelessly chasing after Diana..

Plenty of references this week too, though I think Trigger may be going a little overboard with them. This week saw references to classic shoujo with everyone getting shoujo eyes after being stung by the bee(Pretty funny though.), Cinderella got reference with the signature Bibbity Bobbity boo spell getting parodied and they even threw in a reference to George Orwell’s 1984 of all things with Daicon IV Bunny suit making a brief appearance. We pretty much confirmed that Andrew’s dad will be playing an antagonist role and from how he speaks of witches it seems like this is more personal than just magic being considered useless. Seeing as Andrew’s mother has not been brought up that makes me suspect that his father got together with a witch and she ran off, leaving him bitter about the experience. There is a witch in the opening who is shown briefly in the reflection of the water that could be related and whom I suspect of being a future antagonist. Otherwise it’s nice to see Akko performing magic without messing up as she casts a transformation spell on a squirrel that works perfectly. Thus her claim in front of the fountain feels more than just empty talk as Akko takes small strides towards her dream.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

The extended epilogue continues as Yakumo returns home after the theatre burns down. Some are signifying the burning down of the theatre as the death of Rakugo while others are speaking of it as a new beginning. After all Rakugo can be performed anywhere as long as someone is willing to listen. The members of the theatre seem well aware that Yakumo was the one to start the fire but considering that the theatre was due for renovation regardless and that they owe Yakumo for keeping the place in business, are willing to write it off as an unfortunate accident. Konatsu tells Yotaro that she is pregnant when has me almost as happy as he is. Though I think I missed the point where Yotaro and Konatsu got more romantically intimate. I certainly saw them getting more cosy with each other but I guess I am just annoyed that I didn’t get to see the big kiss moment between the two of them. It’s silly, I know but one thing that bugs me to no end about Clannad is that not once in the two seasons of the shows runtime are Tomoya and Nagisa shown kissing. A kiss almost seems like a final confirmation of a relationship in fiction and to not have it is somewhat unsatisfying.

With the way this episode was conducted I was beginning to think that Rakugo was only going to have a ten episode run as everything in this episode screamed final. Yotaro in a strange twist of fate looks to be carrying on Yakumo’s legacy instead of promoting the writers new works and from the sound of things Yotaro instead wants him to write Rakugo that Konatsu could perform. With Konatsu asking Yakumo to let her be his apprentice it looks like she will be the one to bring change to Rakugo. The final moments with Konatsu finally forgiving Yakumo for what happened to her parents and thanking him for raising her was truly a beautiful moment. In a way Yotaro is to thanked for this as he broke down her walls so well that she can finally be honest with him.

Then when all this fluffy emotion which could just as well serve as a great final episode to cap off the series, we once again see Yakumo’s death being insinuated. Look, it’s the third time already. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, then go to hell. After having this happen two times already I just won’t accept it until Yakumo is in that coffin. It wouldn’t be all that bad for him to die here when all his grievances have been resolved and Konatsu has reconciled with him. It’s somewhat cruel for Konatsu after he agreed to take her on as an apprentice but if they pull a bait and switch with Yakumo’s death yet again then I will really start getting annoyed. For it seems whenever this show is ready to end we once again foreshadow Yakumo’s death to extend it. Look at this episode, shows over. There is literally nothing left to resolve. Unless we are doing some sort of flash forward I don’t really see the point in continuing. We have two more episodes left and there is nothing to fill them with. This is of course a great show but there comes a time when all things must end. Dragging out the final closing of the curtains only degrades the performance.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Saga of Tanya the Evil

A calm before the storm episode as the war with the Republic draws close to its climax. It’s nice to see the episode start off with Tanya trying to rationalize her actions in the previous episode. What may not be apparent from the anime is that Viktoriya has a tendency of coming up with reasons that make Tanya’s actions seem like tough love as opposed to being efficient and ruthless. In that regard, I recommend watching the Youjo Senki shorts as they do a better job fleshing out the cast overall. Here, we have Viktoriya rationalizing to Grantz that Tanya was the one taking all responsibility for the mission while in actuality, Tanya made her subordinates do the dirty work to ensure her hands were as clean as possible but even she seems in doubt. It does remind me of the question asked during war college on who the responsibility lies in regards to war crimes. Based on that the responsibility would rest with the one who gave the order, she shifts the blame onto her superiors despite drafting up the very same policy that would justify killing noncombatants in a occupied urban environment.

I found it rather macabre for Wickya and Grantz to share in a laugh when a soldier was in agonizing pain only a few feet away but after-credits scene comes along and reveals that soldier was suffering from food poisoning by eating a rotten potato. It a bit of dark humour as food supplies were often low and potatoes can be dangerously poisonous as they belong to the same family of plants as the deadly Nightshade. Basically, when a potato starts sprouting it will have elevated levels of Solanine and this stuff can destroy you even with small amounts. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, cardiac dysrhythmia, nightmares, headache and dizziness. It goes without saying that someone ingest enough of this poison, they are going to have a bad time and die. The recent Youjo Senki short even goes into detail with this very same matter. Honestly it’s rather shocking to know that a foodstuff I have been eating my whole life could potentially kill me in the wrong circumstances.

It is rather nice to see Tanya having trouble for once. Members of her battalion are dying, the return of the mad scientist has her being blasted into the enemy headquarters and the defeat of the republic can likely only mean the world war escalating into a greater conflict. There was one moment this episode which had me rather confused. During a war scene it showed a cut to black when Tanya was hit with artillery. This suggested that the ever so invincible Tanya was finally injured on the front lines. However when Tanya is shown later she doesn’t have a single scratch on her and thing continue as usual. I would have liked to see her a little worse for wear as she’s nearing overpowered status. Otherwise the final parts of the episode suitably make the launch of the V1 rockets epic as Tanya once again curses X for throwing her into this situation. Considering how this battle is being built up, I think we will be seeing the return of Anson Sue and possibly the first person to give Tanya a real hard time.

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