Spring 2017 – Week 13 (END)

I only have 4 episodes to cover for this week. Summer 2017 will kick-off next next week, along with it shows this season that will be carried over.

Sakura Quest – Episode 13

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I’ll be including my Sakura Quest coverage into my weekly seasonal posts. Expect to see more of it this Summer.

Anyways, yeah. I wasn’t expecting this episode to end on a bitter note. Yoshino’s right. 12 episodes in and it still doesn’t feel like they’ve made a very significant ripple to Manoyama. For a town that houses 50,000 people, it feels more like only a handful of people genuinely wanted their place to flourish. To be honest, Sakura Quest kinda reminds me of a micro model of Japan’s national character. I mean, one argument about otaku is that they’re a result of WWII’s impact to the nation’s identity. It isn’t only that. If I read it correctly, they’ve been trying to come up with all sorts of new stuff (remember Sakura Quest‘s various agendas?) to rebuild their own national character from scratch. It’s probably why we may have been seeing these all sorts of weird things from them — tea flavored Kit Kat (which was delish btw), that black-colored burger and whatever you’ve been seeing from the news. American consumerism culture also had a big role to play. Of course, I’m just an outsider to this and I’m no academic so meh. It’s an interesting topic/comparison though.

Little Witch Academia (TV) – Episode 25 (END)

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I ship these two.

 

Thank you, Trigger. That was a magical performance.

I… don’t have anything to say at this point. LWA was practically over to me last week, and I just needed this final hurrah to be able to call it a day. The first half of the episode dragged unbearably. The second half, however, is where the real magic begins. Treated to an absolute kinetic display of animation as Akko and Diana literally rides the wind, LWA made my job easier by making that sequence nothing short of FUN.

While I got what I wanted from the sakuga, I wasn’t expecting that the cherry on top would be Akko finally mustering the ability to fly. I heaved a satisfying sigh right after I saw that. The fact that it took her 25 episodes to fly a broom on her own makes the idea less absurd and more momentous. Oh, well. 25 bumpy episodes or not, I’m still glad I stuck through it until the end.

Tsuki ga Kirei – Episode 12 (END)

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Was there ever a need for Tsuki ga Kirei to be animated? For a story so pragmatic, would it have worked just as well if it was a live-action? Maybe. Maybe not. But given that Tsuki ga Kirei just spawned a perfect episode for its finale, it certainly is foolish of me to consider such a thought in the first place.

A beautiful love story woven through delicate and precise set-pieces, Tsuki ga Kirei has left an indelible mark on my top list of romance/drama anime. I feel like I’ve already said whatever I wanted to say about this show so yeah. If anything, I’m just impressed by how much these kids (or the Japanese in particular) only mentioned I love you twice in a span of a year. The first was with their confession and then during that chase scene. If it was some other couple in the west we they would’ve used the words a hundred times in a day. It speaks of something about their culture, and I’m really really interested with that. They also do love ambiguity and vagueness with their language though at some point , however, you just can’t keep rehashing ‘The moon is beautiful, isn’t it?’ pick up lines. Sometimes… being straightforward is also necessary in any relationship. And that’s just what we got with this episode.

Ah, that ending credit sequence was absolutely genius by the way.

Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukette Moratte Ii desu ka?  – Episode 12 (END)

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I wasn’t expecting that SukaSuka is going to become my #1 favorite from this season.

I thought a finale couldn’t get any better than Tsuki ga Kirei… then comes SukaSuka.

SukaSuka‘s something of a mixed bag to me. I guess it’s one of those anime in which good character writing takes up a bulk of the reason why I’m keeping in touch of it. That’s also to say that it has obvious rooms for improvement. The visuals could’ve used more polished, some episode’s pacing felt meh to the point of being filler-ish, the plot is also something that isn’t spoon fed to you thus you may need extra effort to keep up with what the hell is happening (then again I could also consider this as one of its stronger point).

It reminds me so much of one of my recent favorite, Scrapped Princess. Scrapped Princess takes you on a dubious roadtrip through a winding path of clusterfucked plot. The animation looked clunky even by early 2000s’ standards. But neither of these really mattered to me in the long run. Both the former and the latter had charming, well-developed characters that… you just feel like being with them until the end. There’s a sort of a bond that forms between these fictional characters and the viewers. No, it isn’t moe or anything. I guess one of which is that how they are developed makes their personalities and motivations easier to digest. I don’t question why they act like this or that, I don’t feel bothered if they said something because that’s just how they are: they feel natural. We do have to suspend our disbelief at some point because both the show are set in this sci-fi fantasy setting, but at the same time these organic touch to their characters also allows an easier viewing of their situation/world. It’s the other way around. I don’t have to buy in to the setting or the plot first; I buy in to the characters and the rest will simply follow.

I feel like this is an interesting perspective. I mean, if we are able to buy in to whatever the character says and does, then it will be easier for us to maintain an idea that their world is immersive and/or believable. Think of an alien who visited your house. The alien explains who he is, what he does, what food he likes, what music he listens to, what specie he evolved from, what they do for a living etc etc. Now, you only know about this alien’s personality and some of his ideas, but you’ve never seen his world/habitat. Normally, we’d have to buy in to the idea that an alien civilization or extraterrestrial life is real before we buy in to the idea that aliens do exist. I… hope I’m making sense here lol.

Anyways, SukaSuka‘s ending just clicked together. Everything suddenly looked good and sounds good, and these were honestly just what it was missing during its crucial, high-paced moments. Needless to say… SukaSuka needs a second season. I mean, they’re still alive, right? Right???

Weekly Weekly-chan

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I just finished reading Oyasumi Punpun. I feel like vomiting.

It isn’t offensive or anything. It’s just repulsive to see something that mirrors a memory/past that you don’t want to recall. It’s like looking at a physical manifestation of whatever ugliness that you tried to keep in secret from everyone else. Luckily though I’m already past that point in my life. Albeit the goal I set in front of me is nothing but a carrot dangling in front of a draft horse.

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