Summer 2017 – Week 8

It’s all Made in Abyss and Princess Principal this week, folks.

Made in Abyss – Episode 8

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Make way, boys. Made in Abyss is coming in HOT this week.

An equal blend of wanderlust ala Man vs. Wild, Marulk’s saccharine and moe appeal contrasted with Ozen’s brutish tsundere-ness, an unexpected tear-inducing send-off, a powerful glimpse into Lyza’s character, more and more baffling rumors, and a new adventure awaiting us… it’s such a wonder to see how much stuff they’re able to assemble within just 20 minutes.

To start with, every scene had its intended impact felt at full force which was something that Made in Abyss lacked last episode. I feel like for something as superlative as its world, it’s imperative for it to keep its construct at its finest. Of course this is just wistful thinking on my part (and, well, who wouldn’t want to see an anime that isn’t at its best) given that we have to consider the resources needed to pull this off. But after seeing what Made in Abyss can achieve when it’s at its peak, it only became difficult to think of it as anything but. One prime example I love from this episode is when the animators put on the airs during the flashback with Lyza and his family — this scene alone had more than enough emotions loaded compared to the whole confrontation with Ozen last week. I fear that I may go off on a tangent to another visuals and narrative argument but you get where I’m coming from.

Anyways, I guess we can safely assume that Lyza is indeed alive, although I’m taking what Ozen said about time getting warped inside the Abyss with a grain of salt. Unless there’s some unknown magic/force at work here (which is more likely the case), I’m led to believe that the whole thing with time passing by slower is simply just a psychological side effect. An effect that not only skews your perception of time, but also drives you nuts the longer you stay in the Abyss. I’m having this extrapolation because in a similar way, time feels like it’s zooming by once I get into auto-pilot mode at work (or to put it simply, it’s that juxtaposition between kariological and chronological time). Then again, it’s obviously ill-advised to use whatever logic we’re known to and apply that to Made in Abyss‘ world.

This uncertainty is also a major contributor to both the uneasiness and curiosity the Abyss induces. We’re fed with hearsays, we’re driven by the desire of understanding something beyond our ken — of finding out the answers. Be it Riko’s unflinching optimism in searching for her mother or Reg’s quest in returning to his origin, these are yet a minutiae of reasons why it keeps us scratching on its surface. After all, the Abyss is undoubtedly a vast and interesting place. It’s akin to having all UNESCO World Heritage sites piled layer upon layer underground and then infused with the arcane. We’ve yet to know more about the relics and what the hell they are, we’ve yet to know more about the residents of the Abyss, human or not.

This expectation may also prove to be a double-edged sword to me. I’m sure that the Abyss has a lot to tell, but we don’t really have control on what it wants to tell. It’s also why my heart kinda skipped a beat when Riko and Reg just spent half of this episode trying to survive in the wilderness. It’s a very rare and opportune time for the Abyss to tell us by itself what it is capable of, and that’s exactly what we got. The Inverted Forest sure is a very peculiar place, and I’m at least glad they gave it a chance to display a part of its anatomy instead of using the location as a simple landmark. Maybe they could’ve gotten into detail with how the inverted trees influences the ecosystem, flora and fauna of the forest, etc.? Whatever the case is… we’re probably never going to know. And that’s the point of it.

And yep, we’re pushing forward with the adventure equipped with mostly I Don’t Knows. I don’t know if we’ll ever see two of the most intriguing characters (Marulk best grill!) we’ve met hitherto ever again. I don’t know what’s inside the Third layer is aside from having the idea that its entrance resembles The Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan. Heck, I don’t even know how Riko and Reg will manage to survive as they go deeper into the Abyss given the meager amount of experience they have. I don’t know, man, but if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that I can’t wait until the next episode.

Ballroom e Youkoso – Episode 8

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It’s a so-so episode, but I guess it’s a good thing they’re saving up the resources for next week? Yeah. Probably. It would be a disgrace not to give Mako’s prominence with a red carpet treatment. Hopefully, that blatant shot composition literally framing Mako as a flower in a painting isn’t just all for show.

Princess Principal – Episode 8

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Make way, boys. Princess Principal is coming in HOTTER this week.

All right. I was honestly half-expecting this kind of twist from Princess Principal, but damn each episodes’ execution are all perfect to a T. The funny thing is that what surprised me more is they’re revealing this as early as now. I thought they were going to save it up for later during the climax. Not that I’m complaining but… if anything, this may just be an indication that it’s going to be a single cour despite having chapters/cases numbering up to the 20th.

Kakegurui – EpisodeS 5 – 8

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Wow. I never thought it’s been four weeks since I’ve talked about Kakegurui. Anything new? Not much, really. The show has been consistently spunky each and every week. It’s simply a rinse of repeat of what it does best: introduce new rules, over exaggerate each characters’ gesture to full throttle. While the gambling mechanics may sometimes prove to be complicated to a fault, it never really got boring for me all due thanks to interactions and reactions the characters partake in. That, and its concept and subtext is also what differentiates Kakegurui from the other gambling anime people are comparing it to. Like seriously. We get it, but Kakegurui isn’t just all about gambling. Even the structure of the confrontations and arcs are widely different, specially when we consider Kakegurui concludes a gamble within a single episode (with the exception of last week’s). It’s a factor I’m sure influences how its gamble is played out, unlike Kaiji or Akagi whose conceit uses its already distinguished activity, namely Mahjong and Pachinko to name a few, as leverage.

Though, what really interests me is how Kakegurui twists humanism and socioeconomic relations. It’s a subject I brushed through for a bit during its earlier episodes, but now that we’re 8 episodes in there’s a somewhat distinct dichotomy emerging from Yumeko and the Student Council. The latter is obsessed with opulence unlike Yumeko who’s pretty much a bona fide gambler. Wealth doesn’t only extend to the material — sex, lust, fame, narcissism have turned most of the students into rabid animals. If anything, the title ‘Compulsive Gambler’ may actually be referring to these people drunk with the idea of wealth (which is true even in real life).

Nana Maru San Batsu – Episodes 5 – 8

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“Oh, gosh! All those smart boys will be coming here!”

Ahh, Nana Maru is certainly a different kind of cool.

It’s finally heating up with with the inter-high competition arc. Despite having a straightforward concept, I’m loving how they’re able to tweak the formats giving it variety and depth.

Koi to Uso – Episodes 7 & 8

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What’s with romcom’s obsession with Romeo & Juliet stage plays? We had Nisekoi, Masamune-kun no Revenge, and then this. Eitherway, the gender role reversal with Koi to Uso‘s case is proving to be interesting, although the subsequent character development is turning out to be a bottleneck. In comparison to Takasaki, the latter’s affection for Yukari feels a lot more genuine whereas we don’t have much idea how the former’s emotions developed. Then again, Takasaki opening up to Yukari this episode felt more like an insult to our intelligence. I mean come on, as if the reasoning behind her actions weren’t that goddamn obvious from the start.

The writing is so atrocious and uneven, Koi to Uso could’ve probably just veered away from getting too serious when it still has underdeveloped characters. This also begs the question of what’s the point of introducing that new friend of Ririna and Nisaka’s dad. At the very least Ririna is an exception, but that’s only because she’s been in more than half of this show’s screentime.

Re:Creators – Episode 19

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Emotions run high this episode as characters take their final bow.

Damn. Looks like Matsubara intended to make the Selesia x Charon ship one sided. Selesia confesses, Charon stabs her anyways. Ouch.

Weekly Weekly-chan

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I know for a fact that my prose is starting to get rusty. Not sure if I’m just losing steam or I need more books to read…

Anyhow, that ARIA manga I ordered weeks ago has arrived. I’m smitten with it. The paper quality is so good I could just caress it forever. The smell of a newly opened book is also making me high. There’s also some magic coming into play when I read it, and I guess it proves why some fans advises to watch the anime first before picking up the manga. I mean, I’m flipping through the pages and I can hear the faint lull of the sea and Choro Club’s strings and piano playing at the back of my head. God, I swear I was having an out of body experience that time.

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