Weekly Roundup – 2014/03/01

Shows discussed: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren; Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha; Kill la Kill; Mikakunin de Shinkoukei; Noragami; Sakura Trick; Space Dandy; Witch Craft Works.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren – 08

Chuunibyou Ren 08

Dekomori wants real Mori Summer in her life. She had, finally, decided that Nibutani is not the one, she looked for someone else to take the role. New-Summer rather rapid advancements towards Dekomori aside, she turns out not what Deko wanted her to be – she’s not an absolutely good, divine-like person. She can’t be, if she hurts, and effectively separates, her friends from her.

Let’s say Deko is attracted to Nibutani – it hasn’t occurred to me before this episode. (What kiss scene were they referring to? Was it from the OVA I haven’t seen yet or something? I can’t recall it at all…). Or she’s just attracted to Mori Summer (as an idea, not actual person). All she wants is her attention, perhaps she can’t express her feelings in more tangible way. In the fourth episode, when Nibutani opened up to her – taking the role of actual Mori Summer – Deko was delighted. Later on, when Nibutani tore the image of Summer apart at the conference – Dekomori wasn’t just hurt because it was an image of her beloved, spiritual master, but rather because it was an image created (this time) exclusively because of Dekomori. More precisely, because Deko opened up to Nibutani, and Nibutani opened up to her in return; she regarded the ‘comeback’ of Mori Summer as a deeply personal thing. Then, even though she viewed Nibutani as a fake Summer again, she still wanted her attention. But it took this week’s new Summer to let her realize that – she did not want an actual Mori Summer, but just Nibutani all along.

Just a wild thought. All I got is just some innuendos here and there to back it up.

Back to Rikka: I’m curious about the phrase from the very beginning of the episode – “so the world has already been reconstructed”. Did her confession to Yuuta shake her world that much? I’m not surprised though…

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – 07

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

The line between regular heartwarming and overwhelming heartwarming turns out to be really thin. And easy to cross.

That’s just me though! I still think that Inari is one of the most neatly done series I’m watching right now. It knows what it wants to do, and does it great – it is, after all, definitely a story for the younger audience, so I guess that cute moments are more than less in favor. I just wish they were not so cliché – we’ve all seen these suddenly glimmering backgrounds and inexplicably shimmering eyes countless times. It’s one thing to parody such tropes (however that has become a trope of its own), and actually using those without any artistic imput is another.

Nevertheless – the series is inevitably reaching its end, and I don’t suppose we’re yet to see any dramatic romantic twist. There’s no reason to expect change of the steady pace Inari has taken. That being said, relationship between Uka and Touka still feels incredibly pushed and far-fetched. She’s a goddess… And still falls for a boy she’s only played some games with. Seriously? Not to mention the fact she’s watched him grow up since he was just a little kid – and that’s kinda disturbing. I can’t be her moral judge though, right? The genre is, ultimately, all-forgiving.

All in all, this was a solid episode with lots of drama and development, and I want to emphasize that.

Kill la Kill – 20

Kill la Kill 20

I’ve a problem with this. Ryuko is, first of all, a girl who has fought her way forwards with her own hands. Along the way, it was her actions that mattered – teaming up with Senketsu, becoming friends with Mako, and so on. Why does she throw that away now? Being labeled one way or another didn’t mean jack to her two episodes ago, and now everything changes because she discovers what she really is? That’s unbelievable. Did her accomplishments really lost all the meaning? Are we heading towards some ‘your actions define you’ – realization finale?

Or are we, the viewers, being carefully played on to make us dislike Ryuko for some plot twist to come? I say, if we are, if there’s some greater meaning to it, that’s great. It works. I’m in team Satsuki now. And I want to be entertained.

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei (Engaged to the Unidentified) – 08

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei

I wasn’t expecting them to continue where the last week’s story has ended. Mikakunin up to now has shown rather little direct episodes continuity, apart from Kobeni’s illness. But Suetsugi’s role is after all very similar – she’s a basis for plot development with little value of her actual character. Except for craving for Benio’s attention, she’s the same species as Mitsumines… And there is not really more to her. I’d like to see some more depth there, especially after an episode ending this bold. I guess that’s yet to come.

Oh, and as much as last week’s focus on Suetsugi and Niko felt refreshing and well-written, this week, somewhere mid-episode, it seemed like the whole Niko’s article thing was pushed too far.

Benio’s complexes still manage to build the comedy – but for how much longer? I’m sad to say this, but it is getting repetitive. Luckily for us, there’s fun to be found elsewhere – and I’ve much appreciated the self-/genre-parody scenes here. The roof one especially!

Noragami – 08

Noragami 08

The show has lately been straying away from action scenes. Instead of these, we get more drama, more psychological side of the plot brought to light. Usually I’d appreciate that – this time, however, I can’t help but grimace.

I felt like I was forced to watch the characters through tainted glass. There’s just a few scenes, in the whole episode, where any person could not be described with just a sentence.

At the beginning: Right now, Hiyori is concerned. Right now, she’s comical. Right now, she’s considerate. 

Later on: Right now, Kofuku is silly. Right now, she is intimidating.

You get the idea. My point is, there was no in-between moment in any of these situations. There are no gradual changes. It’s like they were bad actors, unable to show – play – the depth of characters. We know there is some, because we can see the whole picture – and perhaps that’s why it gets painful to watch. The pinnacle was the scene after Manabu’s problem was solved – Yato, in about three seconds, changed from a contempt guy who is proud of the boy he helped, to a pain-stricken guy soaking in sweat. I know that it should be sudden, because he’s linked to Yukine and stuff. But it could at least be believable

I have to do Yukine justice. The scene where he was mimicking school life was among one of best in this episode. Kid wants to have normal life, and we know that; it’s tragic. He finally snaps and goes frenzy. We’ve been waiting for it, haven’t we?

If all that drama, a good half of the episode, will go to waste next week; if he’s still gonna be that angsty brat he is, this series will need a miracle.

Does ‘Hiyori punches somebody’ gag still amuse anyone?

On the upside, besides Yukine in the classroom, Manabu’s story was pretty satisfying. It served, obviously, as a framework for the episode – but it has a meaning to itself, and a value as such. What really got my attention though is the ending. I’m interested in how all this will resolve, what will Kofuku do?

Sakura Trick – 08

Sakura Trick 08

The first half was great. You probably know that Japanese is extremely context dependant, thus we get the misunderstandings and nuisances galore. Lovely.

It seems that the last episode was so fanservice-heavy it depleted a pool of some sorts. There was nearly none this time, I’m so glad for that. I wish the series opted for a more serious portrayal of romance, and that’s a step toward it. I don’t suppose, however, that I could reasonably hope for more – Sakura Trick is at its heart a rather frivolous series in that matter.

If only these blissful music BGs from kissing scenes would go the hell away…

Space Dandy – 08

Space Dandy 08 Space Dandy 08

I’m impressed. Not only Space Dandy managed to take an ancient joke of miniature aliens and make it feel fresh, no – it threw in a heart-warming story, multiple faces of Nyan, and ended the episode with a black hole.

Dr. Gel and Bee got their usual roles – they built up some silliness at the beginning and team-rocketed at some point. I thought they were going to have more impact on the story, but hey, they rarely do. I wish they got an episode of their own – their comical appearance with some crazy story would be a blast.

Pup story was really good. It was vague just enough to apply to not only a dog who was sent into space, or a dog who was kicked out of the household, but perhaps a person outcast from society as well. I don’t want to say that there was much constructive meaning to it – but it showed the emotional side pretty well.

Besides that, her story brought more life to Nyan’s character. All his bitterness – desire to be acknowledged by Dandy, his jealousy of how pup was treated, crave for attention – it showed right through the comical exaggeration of his actions. Even if it’s defused by comedy, it’s a part of his personality that needs recognition.

Witch Craft Works – 08

Witch Craft Works 08

As much as I found last episode somewhat lacking, this one did the trick. Perhaps the gags were a little more fresh, perhaps it was due to less of Tower Witches screen time this week, whom I’m not really fond of.

The thing is, I can’t really say with hundred percent confidence that I like or dislike Witch Craft Works. It seems that every time I’m enjoying it there’s something bringing my enthusiasm down; every time I think I’ll drop it, there’s a little something hooking me up again. I guess the comedy is not very consistent – but I can’t put my finger on whether it’s its type, or rather just its execution.

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2 comments

  1. As to KLK, wouldn’t it be fascinating if we find out we’ve been watching the show from the villain’s perspective? I don’t honestly believe this, but now I’m rather fascinated by the concept… xD

    1. OHHH the twists!
      But honestly? Nothing would shock me at this point. Nothing. In the final episode the story will unravel, Ryuko will become one with COVERS’ heart, Ragyo will save humankind and stuff, and I’ll be like ‘yeah, sure, makes sense’. ^^

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