Winter 2018 – Weeks 4 & 5

I thought it’s going to be an uneventful week with 3-gatsu on break until March, but I guess with the rest of anime I’m watching there was no point in worrying. I want to get emotionally wrecked? Representing the Auto Memoir Doll service, Violet Evergarden desu! Looking for some cozy, comfy time? Heck, Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp more than makes up for it, with the latter giving Akari and co’s food talk a run for their money. But how about the comedy, Kindle? Well… there’s Darling in the FranXX.

Violet Evergarden – Episodes 4 & 5

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Violet Evergarden continues its streak of telling the sweetest of love stories in a single episode.

While the time skip in episode 5 may come off as jarring to some, I think it would benefit how the narrative expands itself given that with Violet’s pace previously, we would have taken a couple more episodes for her to develop into what she is now in this recent episode. Violet could barely write a sensible sentence from last week, but now her prose is so flawless it put the poet in me into embarrassing shame. Yet regardless of how flowery and poetic her words were this episode, it’s more in service of maintaining the royalty’s regal image (and to an extent, what the public wanted to hear) and less about what a boy and a girl uncertain with each other’s feelings during that moonlit night really wanted to say. At first glance, there wasn’t anything poetic from their first meeting. Damian met a crying Charlotte, patted her head, and they go their own separate ways bringing along the memory of flowers and the moon. If Violet and Cattleya’s letters were brimming with confidence and adoration, Damian and Charlotte’s still carry their own insecurities from the day they met. Charlotte thinks she’s a crybaby and a bratty chick (which isn’t far too off from the truth), and Damian thinks he isn’t so great of a dude, and perhaps he feels the princess — seeing how famous and well-known she is during her birthday party — is out of his league. Sure, everyone was going nuts over how dreamy their initial exchanges were, but there’s something about seeing two people bicker over naturally, without a care for what their position is in society, that rouses a certain kinship in the commoners, a kind of recognition that will really make you root for them. War is still brewing in Violet’s world, but I can already see a great future ahead of the nations Damian and Charlotte brought together.

Violet is now more perceptive, intuitive, reliable, and, most surprisingly, we were able to see a glimpse of her smile (no, not that part where she was making a comedy routine in front of Charlotte), an emotion I sure wasn’t expecting to come as early as this episode. In some way, a mixture of happiness and nostalgia swept me knowing full well that our 14-year old (really, 14???) is turning out to be a fine, dependable lass, similar to how Alberta was taken aback when Charlotte told her she’s already a grown-up. If anything, it feels more like elderly brother love I feel for Violet than moe attraction which may partly explain why I’m this emotionally invested in her character.

Short thoughts:

  • Lots of small details this episode that I really appreciate, like how Charlotte keeps the roses that came with the letters Damian sent.
  • That last part with Alberta really got me. Like… she was about to open the bed’s curtain thinking Charlotte’s being the usual lazy princess again but it turns out otherwise. Ahh, how fast kids grow up.
  • And speaking of kids growing up what’s wrong with Violet suddenly knowing how to write like a poet? She already has shown aptitude and determination for ghostwriting, and a “few months” time is reasonable enough for her to learn those things.
  • I have a hunch the old butler has a thing or two for Alberta, or maybe that’s just me because the guy showed a reaction when they read Damian’s self-depreciating message.

Yuru Camp – Episodes 4 & 5

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Why. Why. Why am I stuck in a place where there’s literally no camping grounds or whatever, and even hiking a mountain doesn’t sound so enticing? When you go out of town here in my country there’s nothing but fucking beaches, beaches, beaches, beaches, beaches, beaches, beaches, beaches, and even if people had other ideas and camped on a mountain they end up burning the place down.  Not to mention the fact that you’d rather worry about someone else pointing a gun or a knife at you than running out of motherfucking meat to grill. And guess what? Statistics show that motorcycle injuries are leading the numbers in terms of road accidents and fatalities. So much for taking a trip somewhere with Rin’s scooter.

Anyways, rant over. Let’s just accept the fact that Japan is infinitely superior. I know we shouldn’t take what we see in Yuru Camp at face value like those ‘What I expected, what I got’ memes taking a jab at famous tourist spots but hell I’d take Japan’s winter season anytime over the all-year sweltering summer here in my place.

P.S. That old due with awe-inspiring skillet skillz was so random it’s hilarious.

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho – Episodes 5 & 6

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Two perfect episodes, plus they’re hinting at that Hinata chapter I’ve been asking for. What can I say?

Anyways, Yorimoi’s script is too superb each line has the quality of being a meme:

Why would a person sell seashells?

Please leave my arm flab alone…

Bring me an iceberg, okay? (I had to pause and think about this one)

Does your snot freeze in Antartica? (A quick Google search shows it does)

Break up rejected. (Okay, I have to admit this part was over the top dramatic and I like it)

Mari on government employees having weekends off: What the heck? We convenience store clerks work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without rest! The government is stupid! (Yeah, this is an attack on the minority! I spent my Christmas at work, mind you)

I will murder you. (Pffft)

And again, these lines wouldn’t work as well without Yorimoi‘s cast of seiyuu, and it’s kinda funny that this is probably the first time in a recent while I’ve heard HanaKana in such a role.

Hakumei to Mikochi – Episodes 4  & 5

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As someone who has a soft spot for nostalgia, I love how Hakumei to Mikochi attaches history and sentimental value over the smallest of things I would’ve taken for granted. Be it about soap, a slab of stone, a chisel or whatever, each object has their own interesting stories to tell, and Hakumei to Mikochi further leverages on their rich histories to flesh out our charming characters. It’s also a formula which I feel is central to why this anime’s iyashikei works so well. We tend to look at the bigger picture that oftentimes the small things are lost behind us, like footprints on the sand swept away by the constant passing of time, and Hakumei to Mikochi is right there to tell me that the world doesn’t revolve around my desires and anxieties. Who knows, maybe while I’m worrying how I should write this post somewhere in someone’s backyard there are a bunch of lizards and frogs having a drink in a bar after a long day at work.

Darling in the FranXX – Episodes 3 – 5

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All right. How can we forget the true meme this season?

“I feel myself going deeper inside of you.” I still don’t know what Darling in the FranXX is going for with all of these symbolisms and subtexts, so until then I don’t have much to say about it besides having fun with the memes.

Eitherway, episode 5 was marvelous to look at in terms of staging and layout, though I have to say it seems more about where the camera is placed. The result is something that feels handcrafted with thought, shots that have discernible depth, a foreground, middleground, and background. I’m not that invested with FranXX until this episode came out so it’s really nice to see a change in direction… at least in the meantime.

Weekly Weekly-chan

Nothing much going on. Still grinding hard in Monster Hunter World. I’m taking it very slowly as of now and trying to enjoy the game as much as possible until the difficulty cranks up to Bloodborne-level. I guess the only problem I have with Monster Hunter World (and with the franchise in general) is how you’re basically forced to upgrade your gear to one that has better def but has shitty buffs and an ugly look. I mean… def is really important regardless of your rank (unless you’re so pro you can dodge almost any attack). The Odoragon set is my favorite so far, but it’s pretty much just a mid-tier armor set. I’m only keeping up with it because of its critical hit chance buff, badass design, and decent stats, whereas the next armor above it has better def (but shitty look and shitty buffs) which will help you last longer in fights against tougher opponents. I don’t know. I feel like it’s one area of the game the developers should considering tweaking.

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