This week was… extra entertaining for weird reasons. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Darling in the FranXX)
3-gatsu no Lion Season 2 – Episode 14
It sure is hard to imagine that I was bawling my tears out just last week. After the departure from that rather tempestuous arc, we now find ourselves in the path of an inscrutable storm, and the happenings from the previous events suddenly felt distant, like a memory slowly receding into the deeper corners of my consciousness.
I’ve never really had the problem of ‘not enjoying 3-gatsu as much‘ without seeing the Kawamoto sisters. Sure, they are undeniably integral to the story, and it goes without saying that they bring a very pleasant layer to 3-gatsu‘s narrative spectrum, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything else besides the cute sisters and their cats is downplayed. To put it in another way, that’s simply how life is (and to these characters they’re pretty much already playing a shogi of life, if that makes any sense).
Nothing on Earth revolves around a single person. The Kawamoto sisters are a part of Rei as much as Rei is a part of the Kawamoto sisters and so on and so on. Life has happy times, sad times, boring times, a combination of happy and sad and whatever, therefore it’s only natural to feel happier when we see these cute sisters and their cats stuffing their faces with food. However, they’re just part of a grander picture, and that’s what I love about 3-gatsu the most — it’s a collection and mishmash of experiences and emotions, and the fluffy stuff we mostly relish with the Kawamoto sisters won’t be as effective without the other events and encounters we’ve had with Rei, that pigeon-loving dude or whoever.
And so I fully enjoyed the air this up and coming arc brings to the table. I don’t quite know how best to describe it, but I’m always getting goosebumps every time I see Souya on-screen, and all emotions I’ve had so far with 3-gatsu is starting to get sucked into a whirlpool, like matter swallowed up by a black hole into nothingness. For all the emotions this anime is so capable of evoking, Souya’s surreality is a puzzling mystery, a mystery that is only deepened by his paradoxical contrast with the rest of 3-gatsu‘s humanized characters.
P.S. One interesting theory is that Souya is deaf. Or maybe a savant?
Violet Evergarden – Episode 2
It still isn’t crystal clear to me whether Violet is an android or a human. Some things tell me she’s a robot, some things tell me otherwise. For now, I think it makes more logical sense for me to consider her as a human being. To start with, she did look younger during the flashbacks from this and the previous episode, and it’s too farfetched for the world of Violet Evergarden to have the technology of creating an android capable of biological growth (unless there’s some sort of a twist lying around in this anime). Furthermore, prosthetic limbs weren’t really alien during the Victorian era (and centuries prior to it), though of course the bionic limbs back then don’t look as mechanically functional and reliable as compared to what Violet has.
But anyhow, human or not, I’m fully on board the feels train even after only two episodes in, though it seems more like me watching a little sister grow up than following a tragic romantic drama. Violet’s standoffish personality strikes me less as rude and more as innocent, and her ‘coming of age’ and growth does kind of remind of what Rei from 3-gatsu is going through (eg. meeting and learning from other people, and these new acquaintances in turn also learns from Violet) — she’s just the kind of person whom you want to cheer for no matter what. We’re introduced to two new supporting characters as well, and so far they give a nice compliment to Violet’s aloofness, with Erica being the sentimental friend and Iris being the big sister who’s trying to be reliable to her kouhais. (Should I even mention how hot Cattleya is?)
Episode 2’s take on conveying a message/communication is somewhat a sore topic to me as well, given that I’m this kind of reserved guy irl. I don’t really open up to other people, and more often than not what I articulate doesn’t exactly express the meaning behind my intentions. Maybe we just have different tastes, or maybe I’m just that unsociable, but whatever the case is I’ve been doing what I can in engaging with the people surrounding me. I feel like no matter how much you care for them, those feelings will only end up being stuck in your head unless you get a bit closer to them personally.
Yuru Camp – Episode 3
Fujiko and Shimarin chowing on a spicy, piping hot luck pot, a festive harmonica tune playing out, sugary stars sprinkled on an almost cloudless night sky and a grand view of Mt. Fuji in the backdrop… This. Episode. Is. COMFY. Af. Like seriously. They make it so comfy that I can almost taste what they are eating and sniff the fresh, cold, winter air right in my cluttered room.
The other day during lunch I remembered Yuru Camp, and so I made myself a cup noodle (spicy crab flavor) and then poured the entire content onto my rice and hotdog meal. Someone looked at me funny like they wanted to take a bite and find out what it tastes like. Tell you what, cup noodles and rice is a legit combination. What more if I’m eating it under the moonlight with a full view of Mt. Fuji looming ahead?
Sora yori mo Tooi Basho – Episodes 1 – 3
My initial take on Yorimoi was rather lukewarm. It got my curiosity at first, but now after 3 episodes in, it has my full attention.
To be honest, I wasn’t all that excited with the idea of jumping in on the wagon and take a trip all the way down to Antarctica, a premise that on paper is pretty, uh, impractical to imagine. Maybe because a huge chunk of ice is a setting I least expect for a CGDCT anime to take place in — I mean, what else are they going to do there, eat shaved ice and play with penguins? That does sound cute, though.
Then again, I have to admit I was wrong about a bunch of things. One is that Yorimoi isn’t exactly a full-fledged “CGDCT” anime in my dictionary where cute girls are, obviously, doing cute things. Of course, that’s my own mistake for even pigeonholing my expectations in labels and genres, so by the time that it finally clicked on me that this is something entirely different, I swallowed my stupidity and boarded the hype train without a moment’s thought. Yorimoi is a lot more serious than it suggests at first glance, and its impracticality doesn’t translate to impossibility, something which our charming group of girls is making a loud statement about.
Yorimoi has the makings of a great uplifting coming of age story, one that boasts a very fun crew to follow around. The characters’ chemistry with each other truly shines when the four first got together, and it’s kinda amazing how in a span of a single episode they feel as if they already know each other for more than a year. It also helps that our gang is voiced by everyone’s favorite seiyuu, and hearing KanaHana, Inori Minase, Yuka Iguchi, Saori Hayami converse and bicker together is nothing but music to my ears.
If anything, “Antarctica” feels more like a backdrop as of now, but even when they’re nowhere their goals yet, their making it so that we can already feel the adventure in the air, as if I’m some kid who’s very excited for the twists and turns to happen even if the roller coaster hasn’t started its engines yet. There is a convincing level of possibility as well that Antarctica is really just around the corner — an ‘if these girls can do it, then I can do it too!’ attitude – and I guess I kinda do have to thank the art design (to a certain degree) for that. The backgrounds and set pieces have authenticity like it’s plucked out of the real world, and maybe this is why they didn’t go ‘full moe’ with the character designs, too, which, at first, I was dubious about, but it turns out to be an acquired taste later on.
I’ll no longer shame myself by ranking Yoromoi in a lower tier. It’s great, it’s fantastic, it’s hilarious, and I can’t wait to see how far these girls will take us in their universe.
Darling in the FranXX – Episode 2
Wow. So, uh, that just happened.
To put it shortly, they’re having sex inside the cockpit to pilot a robot (called FranXX). Though sex isn’t really the right word (yet), because the characters do look like they are innocent of any sexual connotation — all they know is they’re taught that the correct way to pilot a FranXX is for a girl (pistil) to stick his ass out with a handle on her buttcheeks for the boy (stamen) to control. The ability to pilot a FranXX also doesn’t seem to require any real romantic nor sexual attachment between the two, though what exactly are the prerequisites I don’t know.
Pretty hard to imagine, huh? A twist here is that our main guy (Hiro) seems to be, umm, incapable (or “impotent”) of piloting a FranXX besides Zero Two as his partner. I mean, it looks like this:
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. That’s pretty self-explanatory. I was already half expecting this from last week so I wasn’t really surprised that things are blowing up in online communities (wait until the SJWs in their ivory towers get a wind of this). Objectification? Lacking in urgency? Male empowerment? Female empowerment? A jab at Japan’s decline in birthrate? What’s with the flower names and biology references? I don’t know. We’re only 2 episodes in, and FranXX is slated to run for 24 episodes so that’s plenty of time to develop whatever subtext or narrative they want to present just like with Kill la Kill.
Hakumei to Michiko – Episode 2
What a yawn-inducing episode this was. I don’t mean it’s boring or anything, I just felt sleepy probably because Hakumei to Michiko looks and sounds like a magical bedtime story.
AWW YEAH MONSTER HUNTER WORLD IS OUT THIS WEEK!!!!!!1 GOODBYE, EVERYONE. GOODBYE, WORLD. GOODBYE, SOCIAL LIFE.