Posted by Lenlo on 16 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Welcome to the Fall Season everyone! Let me introduce you to Mahoutsukai no Yome, a piece about a young woman made a Magus’s apprentice and future bride. The first week introduced us to our main characters and some basics of the world. This week sets up our first arc, gives us more information about the world and magic itself. Lets jump in!

Mahoutsukai opens with its OP, which I doubt I will ever tire of. It then shows Chise on a plane, right before she sold herself into slavery. We see glimpses of her past, her family and their treatment of her. Apparently they didn’t want her. This most likely has to do with her being a Sleigh Beggy, something I hope we learn more about. Then the dream ends and we cut to Chise in her bed, waking 2 days after episode 1. She gets up, goes to the kitchen and we see Ainsworth and the maid. Mahoutsukai gives us some information here. That the maid is named Silky and that she is a fairy. A type that does housework, more of a landlady than a maid apparently. It’s just enough information to tide us over while actually addressing her existence. After that Ainsworth details the plans for the episode.

According to Ainsworth they will be venturing to London. There they will meet some people and get Chise the basic items she will need as an apprentice. During this conversation Ainsworth finishes writing a letter. We get to see another bit of quality animation as Ainsworth turns the letter into a sort of bird, which then flies off to its recipient. Then the two head off to the city. To avoid stares because of his odd head, Ainsworth covers it with an illusion. Gives himself blonde hair and tired eyes, its relatively handsome. To bad for him though, Chise thinks it looks fake. Poor Ainsworth.

The pair soon arrives at their destination, a bookstore. That is a front however, as Ainsworth leads Chise to the back, where we see the real purpose of their visit. A room filled with magical creatures, gems and creations. There we meet Angelica Burley, an Magus Artificer. Some light hearted conversation, subtle jokes about clean money and how exactly Ainsworth got Chise. For the most part, its some good humor. The magical animals crawling everywhere are a joy to watch.

Eventually Ainsworth is sent out and Angelica spends some time alone with Chise. She explains some more about magic, the difference between it and sorcery, and what exactly she does. As a bit of a demonstration, Angelica tells Chise to make a flower out of a crystal, detailing how to do it. In line with being a special case though, Chise goes far beyond a simple flower. She thinks back to her time with her mother, a field of flowers. A flash of magic and a good portion of the room becomes covered in crystal as a field of frosted crystal forms. Ainsworth appears, telling Angelica Chise is a Sleigh Beggy, yet his over the shoulder look appears very sinister here. Perhaps he isn’t as good natured as we are lead to believe.

Angelic forgives Chise for what occurred, to her surprise, and simply asks her to clean it up. Meanwhile Angelica herself prepares the items Ainsworth came shopping for in the first place. With their business concluded, Ainsworth and Chise head back home. There is some conversation on the walk, Ainsworth learning more about Chise, before the two arrive home. There we see someone new, a priest named Simon Cullum. No one in the house seems to like Simon, but apparently he has business. He places 3 envelopes on the table and tasks Ainsworth to deal with the problems. Their business concluded, Simon leaves and Ainsworth mentions that its time for their honeymoon.

The episode ends with the two walking across Iceland, bundled up. They arrived to check up on some dragons. In a bit of a rushed way, one suddenly appears in front of Chise, grabbing her and flying away. We see a rider, who mentions that they are heading to the “Last Land of the Dragons”. Cut to the ED. All in all I enjoyed the episode. Lots of pretty scenes, some good information and we appear to have started a new arc. My only concern is the pacing at the end. We rushed right into the whole dragon’s business and Chise getting kidnapped. We needed to jump into an arc, I understand, but this felt a bit rushed.

Regardless I am looking forward to the next episode, and I hope you are to. See you next week!

 

28 Responses

  1. Vonter says:

    Not to offend. But this read more like a summary than an impression of the episode. More than writing point by point on what happened, I think it should be more about the sense you got from the episode, why is it rushed, and any other more proper opinions on what it did good or did bad that stood out.

    What I’m not sure if I like is the premise of Chise selling herself. Unlike the trope of having a bad home like in Harry Potter, it feels odd to me, that selling herself brought her to a (so far) better home.

    The Honeymoon comments could be interpret as romantic yet they sounded out of place, and despite being mentioned twice in the episode, I don’t know if those were a joke or not.

    Finally, the jokes and gags played with chibi character designs feel a bit forced, like the ones Full Metal Alchemist had. I suppose it’s just to add levity.

    • Lenlo says:

      Thank you. I have worried about this for the past few weeks but never knew what others thought. I wanted to put more of my thoughts in, but I have a tendency to be wordy and dont want to get to long.

      I’ll cut down on the point by point and get more general thoughts in. Point-by-point was simply easier to go through everything that occurred in a reasonable order.

      For your other comments. For me the self-slavery will make it or break it by how perfect her life ends up being here. I mentioned the sinister overtones of Ainsworth in certain places, so I expect things to not be all flowers and roses for her.

      Honeymoon comments I think were a joke? I interpreted it as such. Finally, yes the chibi jokes were a bit much. Small things like the clean money gag or the Arcanist pointing out that he bought a girl at a slave auction being suspicious were the ones I prefered more of. The chibi aspect just takes away.

    • Lenlo says:

      I am also covering Inuyashiki this season, so if you are interested in that, make sure to tell me your thoughts there to!

      I expect my writing will change alot this season.

  2. KTravlos says:

    I do think the bride part really is unnecessary for the show IMHO. The apprentice and enter magical world parts could hold it more than enough. That said from what I have read there is a reason for the bride part.

    The slavery issue did not grate as much as I thought. Partly because Chise did not feel like a slave. From the treatment of the “seller” to her own stance it seemed like she was always master of her destiny in the whole scene. We will have to see how it plays out though with the Elias-Chise interaction.

    • Lenlo says:

      From what I have read, we will eventually learn that Ainsworth thinks a bride is actually a “Woman who lives with him”. He has some issues understanding regular human society.

      If this is true, then yay. Id love to see him with some gaps in his knowledge.

      • Bokusenou says:

        That’s interesting, because right now he’s just kind of creeping me out (treating her like a dog & calling her puppy, touching her face without asking, etc), he just keeps reminding me of a possessive boyfriend-type character, which just makes my skin crawl…

        Anyways, thanks for the review! Next time definitely don’t be afraid to add more of your opinions on the series and reactions to certain scenes, etc. It helps give readers like me more of a sense of what you felt was strong or weak about an episode, which is helpful in deciding whether to watch some series or not.

        • Lenlo says:

          I appreciate the feedback. Still new to this. Most of the writing I have done before has been analytical, because of my career, so adding in opinion is something I will be doing more and more of.

          The next episode should hopefully deal with that.

        • Victim says:

          I also agree the show would be better off, it needs no paedophilic connotations, not in the slightest. Humorous or not. Not on top of brushing off slavery and romanticizing the Stockholm syndrome. I’m a slave, but hey I’m free, so it’s cool. And maybe he even likes me!

          So far, the show is falling short of its promises (of the OVAs), selling me some kind of twisted shoujo dream instead. I mean, Chise already had to be saved once and now she gets kidnapped? I sincerely hope the show will start to get it’s shit together. I’m not much hopeful, since the settings and characters all look like from a story that tries to sell ‘living happily ever after in seclusion’.

          Something horribly irks me about it. Is this a psychological horror about magic an escape from reality for little girls?

          • Lenlo says:

            Depends on how she gets out of this kidnapping. If she gets out on her own, then I think its fine. Shes empowering herself. If Ainsworth has to save her again, then there will be issues.

            Based on the OP, I think its not going to be all sunshine and roses forever though. Some shots of Ainsworth give me a sinister overtone to him.

            Personally, I dont see this as stockholm syndrome. Shes not trapped there, she can leave whenever she wants. Ainsworth said as much in the first episode.

          • Victim says:

            He saved her, but in a way that gives him complete power over her. He’s got money, he’s got power, he’s got establishment, he OWNS her. He holds her in moral debt – that’s not how you do relationships. He gives her food, she continues to live because of him. She knows not where she is, why is she there or what’s about to happen. She is a captive. And she likes it (I mean the audience is supposed to).

            Can she do whatever? There certainly is an illusion of that being a case, but let’s not get ahead. Just because he isn’t abusing his power, doesn’t mean he is not holding it. He CAN just command her anything he wants and she would obey, let’s not pretend.

            She left for 5 minutes and he is onto her bringing her back. It does not matter why. The fact is, she can’t just leave. He holds her like she is his property. He gives her commands (when he gets serious). He forces future onto her without much thought about what she wants. He already got her naked.

            It’s just not funny. I see glorified SS pretty clearly, but then again, I’m just a lousy shrink-wannabe.

          • Victim says:

            I think it’s a bit unfair to hold this all against the author, since ultimately, I think this is just another of numerous cases where media presents SS as something useful and meaningful, because the writer himself does not notice, because he himself has been sold the same food for all these years, like everybody else.

            But, I see a problem, so I feel the urge to point it out.

  3. Victim says:

    Since the author appears to appreciate some basic feedback, I’ll happily chip in with my own.

    Didn’t read it.

    As someone who basically just watched the thing, I truly do not need it reiterated in written form. I’m here for opinions (the more eccentric and opinionated, the better), I want people (writers) to tell me I’m wrong and sell me their ideas, if they can’t do that, I leave.

    However, my ultimate point is: who cares about what I think and want. You should write in the format YOU prefer to write in, write about things YOU feel comfortable writing about in length you feel is necessary to make a point and keep doing that, but while striving to reach a balance between what you want, what the blog owner wants and what the readers want. So I guess, take what you can from the feedback, but find your own thing. If you need to make a mistake to find it, so be it.

  4. KTravlos says:

    On a second reading of my post I do think I was being stupid. If I can explain it I do think that coming from the depiction of slavery in Bahamut VS, to the depiction of slavery in Ancient Magus Bride, might had mucked up my empathy meter. Now that I think about it, I am a bit uncomfortable with the whole slavery and bride thing. I will still give the show a chance because the premise beyond that sounds interesting.

    I will point this out though. Chise was suicidal when she decided to sell herself to slavery. There is a part of me that thinks this partly explains her reaction to the whole situation. I guess in one way Elias does stand under an inquisition know. How he uses the undoubtedly real power he has here over her will greatly determine the shows worth for me. On another level how Chise reacts to that situation.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      I also feel the slavery bride stuff is the biggest question mark for me right now. I, on the other hand, agree and believe it’s intentional that Chise was suicidal trying to sell herself to slavery. She’s an emotional damaged girl to the point she basically gave up her whole life (now that I think about it, where does the money go to? Chise or the agency????) Her saying “I don’t handle pain very well” cut me deeply. Really hope they address the bride and slavery thing with reasonable thoughts because they’re playing with fire here.

      • Konstantinos Travlos says:

        Agency got the money. So yes she was sold as a slave even if she was ok with it (in this sense she was like most ancient greek slaves who would be people who sold themselves to slavery to escape debt).

        Yeah, I will really be despondent if they muck it up. Because I actually do like the series vibe a lot, and despite everything think Elias is an interesting character.

  5. Suburbanbanshee says:

    First off, it’s overwhelmingly obvious that this is a show deep in Celtic folklore. And slavery was something that existed in Celtic Britain. There were also various pre-Christian/early medieval forms of marriage in Wales and Ireland (as well as among the Saxons et al), and they were mostly distinguished by “what was the legal/social status of each partner” and “how much does each person own, coming in”.

    The show mixes this up with apprenticeship, which could be either a form of fosterage, or a form of indentured servitude.

    And finally, we mix things up with older attitudes towards age expectations. In most of these societies, Our Heroine would be an adult for most legal purposes, other than selling land.

    If you bring a modern girl into a radically different set of societal norms, of course it is going to be creepy at best. That doesn’t mean that the author is advocating Fairyland Magical Laws For All; in fact, there seems to be some societal satire going on, both of modern and more ancient ways. Throw in the fantasy elements, and it is extremely hard to tell what will happen next.

    But actually, it was extremely important for most Celtic societies to make sure that the guest or new arrival received the full three forms of hospitality: food, drink, and a bath. Usually clothes, too. Nakedness was not all that big a thing, and being shown to the bath by your host or your host’s wife, instead of a servant, was a sign of high status.

    The first ep seems to have been playing a joke with this. Kind of a hentai joke, but a lot of the Celtic legends included as much earthy humor as the Japanese ones.

    • Suburbanbanshee says:

      And of course a Silkie/selkie/selchie is a sealwoman. So either this one has a sealskin somewhere hidden around the house, or somebody burned it or stole it and she’s stuck in this form. (Haven’t read the manga.)

      Anyway… Ainsworth also seems to be “stuck” in another form — that of a dancer wearing a stag-skull costume, such as is worn in the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The fake head has replaced his real head.

      (There’s a lot of speculation, but it actually seems to be a variation on a standard hobbyhorse dance, from relatively modern times. So Ainsworth is probably a newbie, from a fairy’s POV, even though he seems old to the human mages at the slave auction.)

      So it may be that some of the problem is that Ainsworth has been forgetting normal human ways, even from his own time, and replacing them with the magical ones.

      Re: “Bride” meaning “a woman who lives in the same house without marrying or consummating the marriage” — Again, this shows up in a lot of fairy tales and legends. The implication is usually that the guy is inviting the woman to break a curse; then they can get married and live happily ever after.

    • Suburbanbanshee says:

      Actually, even in medieval times in most of Europe, they were very into making sure the guest got a chance to take a nice hot bath, first thing. Partly as a survival of Roman niceties, and partly because there was a lot of cold and wet in Europe.

      So it shows up as a trope in medieval adventure stories and love stories. The knight is more likely to get shown to a bath by his male host if it’s an adventure, and more likely to get shown in by his wife or daughter if it’s a love story. Heh. (Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie parodies this bit at one point.)

    • Victim says:

      “slavery was something that existed”

      There is no problem with depiction of slavery. It’s the way it’s presented. In the same way I hate on glorification of war in western games, I hate on glorification of emotional abuse in romance or objectification of women in harem shows. It is hypocritical, contradictory and plain stupid.

      • Lenlo says:

        I understand the distaste of the glorification of it, but I dont see how its hypocritical or not worth showing.

        The distasteful aspects of things like Slavery or Emotional Abuse deserve to be depicted as well. If everything depicted Slavery and those who practice it as irredeemably evil, things would get stale quickly and I think we would lose something. Does Mahoutsukai depict it poorly? We will find out. But I see no reason to lambast it so early.

        Its also worth noting, Japan doesn’t have the same history with Slavery that the West does. So I am sure there are some very different connotations to it over there.

        • Victim says:

          I dislike hijacking comment section with personal agendas and I do not want to cause a flame, but I suppose as far as we have a civilized discussion, more comments will not hurt anyone. In the end we will have to agree to differences in our opinions, which are always based on intuition coming from the subjective experiences and knowledge we gained through our lives. But expressing them and talking them out may bring about greater understanding, so here I go:

          “The distasteful aspects deserve to be depicted”
          Again, there is never problem with depiction of . It’s always about presentation and the message.

          When someone hurts you, you should be hurt. If you fall in love with that person instead (let’s exaggerate) and it is presented as if everything is ok, we have a problem.

          I’m only judging the 2 episodes here, but any normal person in Chise’s place would gtfo of there. Noone has the right to run my life, not Elias, nor anyone and it does not matter whether they are malicious vampire or good guy Greg. Yet this show says it does not matter as long as the guy has ‘right’ intentions.

          Does anyone buy this? Did Chise actually decide to stay (without being manipulated and basically forced against any will she might have had)? No. Why doesn’t the adult do the responsible thing and ask her directly: “do you want to stay here?”. Would he say ‘okey’ if she said no?

          On top of it, the series has no breaks when it comes to making a joke of all this, like stalking (he saved her so it is alright), intimate physical contact, giving no chance to express yourself, suggesting marriage, or leaving her with more strangers that encourage her to do weird shit (with fairies she almost loses her life, with Angelica’s magic teaching getting out of hand)… Is this for real?

          These would work out, maybe, if she gave consent, but she did not, nor she can because guess what, she is a child! This makes it completely wrong.

          Chise: “Apprentice or bride, which one do I take seriously?”
          How about neither?!
          The show completely ignores this option, taking away any power/freedom she may have. Instead, we have secondary characters that ‘oppose’ Elias and provide an illusion that Chise can, in theory, leave whenever she wants. Right.

          The moment Elias bought Chise and ‘proved’ he is not a pedo was the moment we ‘established’ a premise that everything he says is good and Chise should (and will) do. Elias was intentionally framed as mysterious and powerful when he came to buy Chise and the show definitely wanted to provide catharsis by putting her in position of no control, yet not hurting her, which would (in theory) cause her to realize her fear and hopelessness is just what she perceives, not the reality.

          The problem however left us in situation of Elias doing everything and Chise the doll complying because he ‘is her saviour’ or because he didn’t hurt her before. It’s not about whether he did, is or will hurt her, it is only about whether he can. She has no defenses against him and he IS exploiting it everytime he so much as tells her ‘it’s allright’. It’s manipulation of her will without her intention. It is what parents do. But he is not her parent. He is just a guy. Who bought her! It’s sick. And here it is framed as a natural thing and even romantically.

          Hypocrisy: “feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not”

          I hope I have managed to explain where I’m coming from. I don’t mean this show is bad or terribly wrong, but it commits to fallacies that I can not overlook and it hurts particularly when the show takes itself seriously. This one isn’t objectively portraying Chise’s circumstances. It has a bias to slowly grow them intimate and unfortunately, not in the best way so far.

          TLDR
          One does not simply shock traumatized children back on their feet by isolating them in his magical castle.

          • Lenlo says:

            “like stalking”, dangerous magical forest. Seemed to me like a parent making sure a child got home safe. He only intervened when it got dangerous. Shes only 16 afterall.

            “intimate physical contact”, Im not sure intimate is the correct word here, as it was just putting her in a bath. Remember cultural differences.

            “suggesting marriage”, its been said before, but I dont believe Elias knows what marriage or a bride is. Not as we do atleast. Its part of his character that he knows little of actual society.

            “leaving her with more strangers that encourage her to do weird shit”, The fairies approached her in the middle of the night, so he didnt leave her with them. Magic hardly seems weird, as its suggested what she was doing was innocent enough by the young child of Angelica’s who entered earlier in the scene.

            Personally, I disagree with the assessment. It was her agency that got her here in the first place, as she placed herself into slavery. If she was forced into this, you’d have a point, but its made clear she chose this, for whatever reason. You say no one would stay in that house if given the option to leave, yet is being stranded homeless in a foreign country better?

            I also dont see it as romantic, not yet atleast. More of a surrogate father/daughter.

            Each their own though.

          • Victim says:

            Im not going to respond to each of the points (you’ve made some good arguments and I believe we can leave it at that), instead I’ll focus on the one that is interesting:

            “I dont believe Elias knows what marriage is”

            The knowledge of the character is not what matters here, it is the intended effect of the message the viewer receives. Behind every joke, therein hides a bit of truth. It is not the character that takes a jab at Chise’s predicament, it is the show itself.

            PS: Thx for not leaving me out there like a self-serving lunatic pinning his stupidly long comment badges all over the net.

          • Lenlo says:

            Someone takes the time to write out a long post detailing their opinions and reasons why they believe that, I figure it would be rude to not at the very least acknowledge it.

          • silver says:

            I’m just glad that folks here can discuss such emotionally-charged topics without devolving into slinging ad hominems at each other. It’s a thoughtful exchange, and I’m closer to Lenlo in opinion, so I appreciate Victim’s counterargument.

  6. KTravlos says:

    I think victim has a point. The only defense I might give to the show is the fact that Chise seemed to be between committing suicide and doing what she did. Now I have never been in deep depression in my life (U have been depressed, but not to the suicide point) so I cannot say how people in that condition react. But perhaps Chise’s passiveness might have to do with it. Victim is right, Elias is not her father. But perhaps we should start viewing him as that? The incongruity between what he thinks he is doing “marriage-bride-apprentiship” and what he is doing “father figure” might be part of the goal of the show. I do think if you decide to see Elias as a father-figure (or parent if you wish to leave out the gender relations) things become a bit less weird….except for the bloody marriage thing! If the show is trying to say marriage is a bit like being a parent, that is fallacious. If it is trying to say, ha look at this guy who mixes being a parent/mentor with being married, that is also fallacious. I still think the whole marriage angle was needless (there are other ways to show Elias lack of knowledge of humans).

    Anyway I am choosing to see Elias as a parent-figure, and willing to tolerate, barely the shows terrible attempt at a meta-joke. Because I do like Elias, and do like the premise. So let us see where they are taking it.

    • Victim says:

      It does seem that Chise is currently trying to figure out whether to see Elias as a parent figure or a romantic partner, but first and foremost, she needs to see him as an individual and I think that is where this show is headed to. Whatever will be between them at that point is fine.

      I agree that seeing Elias as a parent puts the show into a better light, but there is a process that is a prerequisite of that and I feel like its been largely skipped over.

      I do believe this will simply stop matter in the episodes to come.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
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Featured Posts

Banana Fish – 12 [To Have and Have Not]

Welcome to the halfway point for Banana Fish. This week Ash prepares for his final showdown with Arthur, he has some moral quandaries, and gets terrified by pumpkin pie. Lets dive in! So, general stuff first, Banana Fish’s pacing this week felt a bit fast to me. Banana Fish covered a lot of ground, from […]

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Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

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