Summer 2017 – Week 2

Made in Abyss – Episode 2


Despite being taciturn in its exploration during the first episode, Made in Abyss adapts a more verbose route this time around. Regardless of what its means of exposition is, I still found myself immersed in whatever Made in Abyss shows/tells me. Its world is just that good.

Sadly though, there are some who undermines Made in Abyss‘ real potential by calling it out as pedobait. While the show did, at first glance, exhibited questionable scenes like Riko in an S&M bondage situation, as well as Riko basically proclaiming how Rag’s penis is an item of interest, it just goes to show how narrow some people’s viewing has become, especially after much discussion the topic generated in the recent year.

To start with, this kinda reminds me of that article I read during the time I’m lazying around at work. There’s this mom who’s fond of uploading pictures of her daughter into Instagram (or Tumblr? I don’t remember). Some photos that she uploaded which show her daughter bathing, wearing only a diaper, or any other depiction of nudity were taken down and deemed as ‘inappropriate content’. At this point, the subject that wasn’t really objectified are, well, objectified by those who are protesting against women objectification and/or pedophilia for that matter.

It’s the same case with Made in Abyss. The way I see it, the characters in its world are too curious than your average person. Normally, we shy away and fear that we know nothing of, yet the city’s inhabitants are somewhat drawn in the unknown that lingers deep in the abyss. Riko got a rare find, and it only feels natural for her to peruse every detail of an object foreign to her/them. (and after spoiling myself it turns out that Reg’s member is important to the story later on)

It’s also worthy to mention that the kids at the orphanage may still be at an age where their sexuality isn’t an idea to be flustered about yet. This may just be specific to Asian countries’ (or should I say Philippines and other SEA countries) lower-middle class’ population. Here in Manila (the ‘poor’ side of the city) it isn’t a surprise to see kids running around with nothing but their shirts on, parents washing their children out in the public — decency is blurred, because that obviously isn’t going to be at the top of their worries given their current disposition. Not to mention that Rag is a robot(?), which only makes it easier, if somewhat, for Riko and/or the other kinds to talk about his genitals openly with other boys her age. On the other hand, the bondage scene only brought into my mind the question of why the orphanage has a bunch of torture devices in stock. Of course, the anime did portray these as a sort of comedic relief making it easier to be misinterpreted, but calling it as ‘pedobait’ all throughout without considering the actual text behind it is nothing but hypocrisy.

Anyways, Made in Abyss feels like it’s going to be a contender for AOTY. I could be wrong. I mean, I’m that same guy who hyped Flip Flappers as 2016’s AOTY so yeah. There’s a bunch of other stuff I’d love to talk about. The Curse of the Abyss is one — it reminds of me decompression sickness but… if that’s what it really is then they may have been ascending, not descending.

Princess Principal – Episode 2


Princess Principal‘s second episode is just as flamboyant as its premier, only this time it has the substance to brag about. While there were still instances that feels unnecessarily overemphasized (like that unusual sweeping shot of Ange walking towards the Princess), it didn’t bother me as much this time — then again, what’s the point of asking someone who’s supposed to be flamboyant to stop being  flamboyant — thanks to how engrossing the story is progressing. It’s the main course, after all — a much needed delicacy in anime’s recent drought in good suspense-thriller shows.

Kakegurui – Episodes 1-3


The most in-your-face anime I’ve seen recently, Kakegurui has been delivering an ultrasardonic take on gambling warfare over these last 3 episodes.

It never gets boring with this show. At one point we have these ostensibly prim and proper girls who turn into frenzied maniacs by the time the gauntlets are thrown. They look cute on the outside, but behind the thin veil is nothing but overflowing hubris.

I see Kakegurui as this hyperbolic allegory to our attachment to money and capitalism. Working for half a year as a Customer Service Representative for one of US’ biggest bank taught me that a call is never going to end well when you’re speaking to a customer who has a rent to pay but is deep down in the red because of overdraft fees. The moment you pick up the phone, they turn into rabid animals. They don’t care about the explanation nor your apologies — those doesn’t matter. They want their money back. Fast.

Then again, who can blame them? Nowadays how our life will play out is heavily dependent on how much cash is in your pocket. Not to mention we have money-grubbing capitalists, companies with shady and questionable business practices, government padding your bills with fucking taxes. No. Don’t even get me started with taxes. Point in case, we see these struggles and relation in Kakegurui, especially in the case of the student council body monopolizing the ins and the outs of gambling. There really isn’t any reason for them to label and snub insolvents other than, well…. that’s exactly the point of it — they just keep coming back for it. They’re so behind with their debts, that the only way for them to recoup their lost is to gamble. It’s an endless cycle, and the one who’s more likely going to come out on top are those who has the power and money to rig the situation in their favor.

Anyways, yeah — those are pretty much my initial thoughts with Kakegurui. Yumeko’s so damn based because we get to vicariously shame those hypocrites in their own game. Also, Saori Hayami is at it again. Sakuga of voice acting performance right there.

Nana Maru San Batsu – Episodes 1 & 2


I’m glad I picked up Nana Maru. Pretty sure this is going to fly over most people’s radar, but to those who’s got a thirst of (useless) knowledge and quizzes, you’re going to be in for a treat.

I used to be into quizzes back in highschool. Before we had to use this app on our idiotphones to chat with each other, and out of the ordinary some wise guy decided to blast random questions as a way to kill time. I was well accommodated with books and stuff I learned from video games (trust me video games can teach you a lot), so I naturally joined in for the fun. Most of the people I was up against were probably adults/older than me, but if I have to be arrogant I can brag that I was doing fairly well.

Of course, my childhood experience with quizzes is nowhere near as competitive as what is shown in Nana Maru. The characters here are monsters. It doesn’t help to know that they too have ‘classics’ — questions that I too have familiarized before like that Eclair question (although the only Eclair I’m acquainted with now is a type of cake). I have a notion of what the answer is for a fifth of the questions but… that’s prolly only because most of them are specific to a Japanese’s field of knowledge, general or not. But that’s fine! I mean, regardless of whether or not you’d like to join in (pausing the video to try and answer the question by yourself) at the end of the day you’ll end up being more cerebral, and that very niche-ness is one of the joys in watching this kind of show.

There’s that thing about having a point in the question that you’ll know for certain what the answer is. I still can’t wrap around my head how this exactly works, but maybe that’s only because of how we did quizzes back then. Yeah, we have classics, but recycling the same pool of questions kinda takes the fun out of it, hence we jumble it up a bit. Like, for example… ‘the three biggest festival in Japan is XXX, YYY, and ____?’ but we mix it up so it looks like ‘XXX, YYY, and ZZZ — on what era did ZZZ originated from?’ You get where I’m coming from. It’s a trick question but… hey, it’s a test of how much you know, and not how much you’ve familiarized things anyways.

Characters are great so far. I love how the main guy already has the aptitude for it, and just needed a little bit of polishing to shine — in a way he almost becomes a vehicle for laying out the specifics and rules of how the quiz works. Main grill is also okay. Even learned a new stuff from her. Heh, zettai ryouiki ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Her seiyuu needs a bit more enthusiasm in her performance, but overall she’s still doing her best for her first big role so props whoever she is! If I have to be blunt they could’ve picked up a different seiyuu for the role but… I guess her voice is one of those wherein you get used to it after time.

Sakura Quest – Episode 15


Comedy gold. That’s enough to sum up this episode.

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul – Episode 15


Hands down, highlight of this episode goes to Angel Glasses-chan. Seriously though, I love how everyone’s starting to show a rotten side to themselves. In this way conventional ‘good’ and ‘evil’ aren’t delineated given that these characters are divided into factions suggestion as such.

Re:Creators – Episode 15


The final boss has arrived! Who would’ve thought moe (and, uhh, pr0n) is going to take part in saving the world? As early as now Summer 2017’s finale is starting to look bright with Re:Creators and Virgin Soul both brewing an epic conclusion to their respective stories.

Weekly Weekly-chan


As you can see there’s no Ballroom post this week. Someone’s working on it, so I should probably be able to catch up by next week. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading some manga. Iyashikei stuff in particular.

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