Winter 2018 – Week 3

Three weeks and counting and I’ve yet to drop a single series I picked up from this season.

3-gatsu no Lion Season 2 – Episode 15

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That was… one of the most cathartic episode I’ve seen from 3-gatsu. Not in the sense that I feel overjoyed, excited, or happy — it felt more like a blank, empty space in time when I’m in a very deep sleep. As it turns out, Souya really has hearing problems, or to a possible extent, completely deaf, and 3-gatsu did an amazing job of whisking us into his solitary world and headspace, employing sparse color palette, muting the sounds here and there.

Certainly, almost always my favorite part when Souya is around is when 3-gatsu completely blocks off the sound, and I have no choice but to hold my breath and wait for what he is going to do next. The mere sight of his pure, snow-white hair, the way time feels like it’s pausing in his presence… he really has this air of surreality around him, and even Rei was led to imagine that Souya is that of a corporeal character from a book. Needless to say, what I’m more interested in is what 3-gatsu has in store for his character and the kind of dynamic he forms with Rei. I’ve always thought that Souya is the pinnacle of what every shogi professional wanted to achieve, sorta like an impossible and cruel goal God has set for them to test their own capabilities. Will Rei uncover a more human layer in Souya’s enigmatic facade, or is it the other way around, with Souya further fading away in the distance? I’d like to wager on the former. Surely, despite the obvious difference in their shogi abilities, they’re arguably birds of the same feather, and that Souya is “human” to begin with — I think that’s one kind of connection Rei can make with him, kind of like how vulnerable Souya was when he isn’t sitting in front of a shogi board. Though what kind of personality, worries, anxieties, ideas, experiences Souya holds is another story for another chapter.

Violet Evergarden – Episode 3

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Where are the tissues at? Grab me the tissues, bros.

From the looks of it, I might be one of the few who just got emotionally wrecked by this episode (while the rest are yawning their heads out). While I do agree that Violet Evergarden can be a bit too “cheesy”, that never really poses any problem to me given how much I’m already emotionally invested with its characters. Violet’s seemingly hilarious responses like she’s still in the army elicits a rueful smile than a bored smirk from me, because if not for the context that we have of her character I would’ve mistaken her as a chuuni instead. And, I honestly don’t get what the fuss is all about her “lack of characterization”. That and having an aloof personality aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, or maybe they are just mixing up their definition with characterization and a character’s personality (because if anything Violet’s detachment is in itself characterization — it’s more of a matter of what that is in service of).

Anyways, most of the emotional punches I suffered from this episode came from Luculia and every shot that has this overflowing, golden light. Luculia because she’s a very likable character and the first “friend” Violet met on her own, and because despite the fact that she said she “can never find the right words” to say to his brother, she already did put it into words seconds ago! Yes, it’s very ironic, but that very irony only makes it more meaningful, because what are humans than a bunch of walking irony and contradiction? When we think that we can never say the right words to someone, we might already have it in front of us — we just never dared voice it out and share our emotions. Then again, I feel like there’s a distance that has to be covered first before we can articulate our unfiltered emotions with someone, thus why Erica and Luculia opening up to Violet allowed her to understand them better. In some ways, Violet Evergarden reminds me of what Maid-Dragon is also about — connecting with the people close to you, letting them know how much you appreciate them while they’re still with you.

And finally, Violet capped it off with a single sentence. I wasn’t expecting her letter to be so brief, but it only makes sense for it to be that way: the more you add words to a message, the more it loses its true meaning. If anything, what truly set me off at this part is the score and that damn lantern Violet is carrying. Its golden light strikes a contrast to Leiden’s majestic sunset, as if the dim watchtower and its view Luculia’s brother is trying to hold onto took on the form of a lantern with its warm, pleasant glow was suffused from Violet and the letter she has. Evidently, Violet Evergarden‘s visuals ain’t just an eye-candy.

P.S. Thanks to Cattleya and Benedict for sparking an argument. They made a great comedy relief amidst this melancholic episode.

Yuru Camp – Episode 3

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Aki and her deadpan reaction faces are the best. It’s double COMFY this episode as we see our camping girls go their separate ways. Even when they aren’t together it’s still a blast seeing them interact with each other through chat messages. Heck, even Rin — for whatever reason that came into her head — sent a video of herself viewed from a live camera just to let the others know where she is! Truly a best grill of the season contender.

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho – Episode 4

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Yorimoi showing that it can do some murder-thriller drama right from the get-go. I wouldn’t mind seeing this shift its genre and go crazy ala Mountains of Madness on us.

It isn’t much but prolly my favorite part this episode is Mari mentioning why she wanted to go to Antarctica. It’s a sound mentality to have, and I wouldn’t mind adapting it into my perspective, especially that I, uh, feel lost from time to time with what I really want to do. It didn’t really matter to Mari where they were going, because the journey in itself is already the destination. At first going to Antarctica doesn’t sound so cool to me (pardon the pun) with just Shirase and her together, but having the company of other people who make it exponentially fun reshapes the kind of destination she has in mind from Meh to Wow, me and my best buds went here together!

Needless to say, it would be great if Yorimoi can focus on the other girls’ motivation as well (but not necessarily so). I mean, Hinata’s a great character and all but as of now it looks like she’s the odd one out when talking about motivations for going to Antarctica. The other three had convincing reasons to go there, whereas Hinata deciding to join the crew seems more like a whim because… she saw two girls talking about it and wanted to join in on the fun? I don’t know — I still love her though.

Hakumei to Mikochi – Episode 3

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As if Yuru Camp wasn’t enough to satisfy my comfy cravings, Hakumei to Mikochi opened up with a camping chapter. Ahh, I just love these low-key kinds of anime. No fuzz, back to basics, simple, but feels charmingly handcrafted. Sadly though, I’m already dreading the idea of this lasting for a single season. I feel like there’s so much Hakumei to Mikochi wants to tell us about its world and its characters that a mere 12 episodes are nothing but a blatant disservice to it.

Weekly Weekly-chan

I did nothing with my 3-day day off besides grinding in Monster Hunter World. In the span of 78 hours, I logged 34 hours according to my Saved data file. Meh, 34 hours of game time in 3 days pales in comparison to my hey-days with Dota 2.

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