Summer 2017 – Week 9

We’re almost there, boys. This season has redeemed itself to be one of the best I’ve seen recently.

Made in Abyss – Episode 9

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One close call after another, it truly felt like everything in Australia the Abyss is out there to kill you.

This is exactly what I’ve been looking for these past few episodes: a frantic, thrilling ride showcasing a layer’s ecosystem and nuances into the forefront. Who would’ve thought that the otherwise cute and harmless Neritantans (such an adorable name!) can be so dangerous? I laughed at them at first when Riko just hurled them out into the chasm like they were nothing, and now I might not even go near one even with a six-foot pole in hand.

While Reg and Riko managed to brush through the third layer in a single episode, the adventure was more than enough to fill my thirst for wanderlust. Not to mention the almost-cacophonous OST, complimenting the already claustrophobic atmosphere in each
encounter, puts Bloodborne into shame.

Ballroom e Youkoso – Episode 9

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Some parts felt redundant, but with that aside the latter half looked really good though I was kinda hoping they were going to give the whole floor to Mako from the start. What’s interesting here for me is that it now makes more sense why Chinatsu was conceived after this arc. Their personalities polarizes one another, and if Mako, in this episode, engenders Tatara’s aptitude to unselfishly support his partner, Chinatsu puts into question his ability of being a leader. Best partner vs. best grill, anyone?

Princess Principal – Episode 9

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Screw the plot. Character-driven narratives are the best!

Princess Principal HAS to be 2 cour, otherwise it’s going to waste what it’s been building up with during these last two months. It’s extremely rare to see this sort of anachronic formula/structure in something as seemingly elaborate as a cloak and dagger story. Up until now it’s practically in service of contextualizing/giving depth to our protagonists, and despite showing their cards early with last week’s reveal these subsequent chapters doesn’t feel all that weak nor boring.

I was under the impression that the supposedly earlier chapters/cases — if shown at this point of the narrative — may lose its coherency, but episode 9 has proven so otherwise. This may likely be due to the fact that the underlying narrative (the whole Commonwealth vs Kingdom scuffle) itself is still well hidden in the background enough to the point that PriPri can leisurely compromise whatever they want before scrapping the surface of its grand scheme of things.

Of course, the characters themselves play a vital role in how these non-chronological/episodic stories pan out, though thankfully worrying is going to be the least of my problems because they’re just damn fun to watch. Sure, episode 9 may feel like a filler to some, but in a way it substantiates what we’ve seen previously from the later cases (eg. Chise being too heedless during the laundromat episode which was Case 16, Princess feeling more like a legitimate main character compared to the earlier episodes) allowing us to see these girls under a different light. But… I guess it is still filler, albeit a good one? Nah, I don’t know. Haven’t gotten my hands into that topic yet so yeah.

Kakegurui – Episode 9

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Based Kakegurui. I… actually like Yumeko as an idol. Seriously. I know she’s a perfect fit for my oddly specific fetish but /wheeze/ damn son.

Anyways, just a few short thoughts.

  • Saori Hayami is unstoppable… well, yeah, she’s Kaede’s seiyuu in iM@s — one of my favorite iM@s character after all. She’s obviously the perfect seiyuu for Yumeko who demands a wide vocal range due to her character/personality. It’s something Hayami has evidently proven with her previous roles. From the Ice Queen Fubuki (One Punch Man), that sugary and mellow voice of Shirayuki (Shirayuki-hime), to Miyuki’s moe moe charm (Mahouka). Hell, should we even mention how she nailed that Shouko performance in Koe no Katachi?
  • Wasn’t expecting that much effort put into their dancing.
  • It looked a bit rough, but the rotoscoping and the vocals were cute and catchy enough. Would’ve blown my mind if they got veteran dance animators involved (though Megumi Kouno’s style may not blend well with Kakegurui‘s aesthetic).
  • Love how this arc suddenly transitioned into a new one. Like I told you, it never gets boring with this anime.

Nana Maru San Batsu – Episode 9

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Wow. Akira just brought in a different kind of flavor into Nana Maru. Did you guys expect that kind of gimmick? I sure didn’t, but in retrospect it works fair and square! This is why I think the smartest people are the ones who can discern a solution through common sense and logic alone.

Koi to Uso – Episode 9

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Koi to Uso pulling its punches. It wasn’t half bad.

Sakura Quest – Episode 21 & 22

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At its surface, Sakura Quest may be about reviving a decrepit town, but at its heart speaks something more intimate to those young adults having a bit of trouble with life.

Perhaps this is also one characteristic I’m trying to express that defines why an episode is either a hit or a miss. Erika’s arc, for one, is something that I didn’t expect to rub me in a sore spot. Conflicting expectations of dreams and reality, of finding a way to break free from stagnation is undoubtedly an issue that I’ve been wrestling against ever since I stepped my foot out in the world of an adult. You ever have a dream of traveling around the world, or becoming that admirable and cool person you envision to be in the future? It is certainly not impossible, but at the same time, if there’s one thing life hitherto has taught me, it’s that it isn’t easy either.

As such I find that last punchline in this episode every bit hilarious and satirical. There’s the three who buried a supposedly Golden Dragon described to have the ability to grant wishes, a key item needed by Yoshino and the crew to bring their plans one step further into fruition. After a series of dramatic events — and like being at the zenith of the moment before you achieve your dream — the fabled treasure finally unveils itself and it turns out to be… a golden dragon. A plastic toy golden dragon. Ahh, Life. Why must you mock me so?

Despite having my eager anticipation of finding a real treasure vaporizing into thin air, it’s still a goddamn golden dragon, right? It’s a ‘golden dragon’ in as much as the boys achieved their dreams of becoming what they wanted to be when they were little. There’s the dude who wanted to race an F-1 car; he’s happily drifting his days as a bus/Uber driver now. A brazen hero of justice, ready to protect humanity against aliens and Godzillas. Well, he indeed become a hero of justice years later — not by a long shot, though. Close, but no cigar. Should that discourage us from realizing our dreams, however? No, not really. In fact — and just like what Erika’s mom said — it should empower us to give it our best shot.

And, if I read this arc right, Erika’s mom, Shiori, and everybody else aren’t there to hammer in the idea that a kid should think realistically. But rather they are there to remind Erika whether or not she has the conviction to continue pursuing her dream despite life’s countless uncertainties. Throw your teeth out of the window, but you have to aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll hit a star.

(One thing to note is that from the start there really weren’t any right answer to the question of whether the city is better than the sticks or vice versa)

Re:Creators – Episode 20

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NERF ALTAIR PLZ

Seriously. Is there even a real life fictional character that comes close to her pedigree and power? Maybe Hatsune Miku with her plethora of fan creations?

(I love that last part where the piano notes trailed off and transitioned into the ED song)

Nichi Nichi-chan

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I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but lately I’ve been enjoying the companion of trashy manga and anime. Trashy harem AND borderline H, that is. There’s this manga by Yoshinobu Yamada which is all about eroticism on gore and sex, and Parallel Paradise which has mindless sex written all over the plot. To Love-Ru also comes into the fray which, to be frankly honest, is pretty enjoyable. Oh, should I even mention how I can tolerate ero-guro stuff? I guess I just have this really eclectic taste for consumption. Whatever. In a way it’s a good thing for me — the wider my variety of preference is the more I can enjoy whatever it is that’s out there.

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