Winter 2017 – Week 1.5

Why week 1.5?  Well, I’m planning on posting each Monday, and after posting the last of the premiers last week I don’t want to wait a week and a half before posting week two and I wanted to get a few more premiers out of the way while they’re fresh.

So, hit the jump and let’s dive in!  Be sure and let us know how your week in anime went, the Lounge is much more about you than it is about me.

Note:  Crunchyroll is still not entirely functional…  wasn’t able to watch any shows Saturday or Sunday night.  They said, a week ago, that they were being DDOSed – but nothing since.  These leaves me behind on a couple of shows I’d hoped to talk about this week.  (And I need to get this written and posted so I can get on with housework… we had a busy weekend and the kitchen is a wreck.)

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Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.

Demi-Chan Ep1

OK, OK – I get it.  It is a dang good show.  Charming slice-of-life, appropriately funny in spots, appropriately serious in others.  The way they turn long infodumps into charming character interviews is especially nice.

I’m curious to see how Kyoko’s interview is handled, as she’s the least (physically) human of the demi-humans.

Fuuka Ep3

The gang takes summer jobs working at a beach hut to earn money so their band can buy instruments.  Well, not “their” band – Fuuka’s band.  The others are merely being dragged along in her wake.  Turns out not to be a beach episode, not in the usual sense, they actually go to work.  Yu’s social anxiety is a handicap, and of course Our Heroine is an instant success – partly due to her bubbly personality, partly due to the fact that’s she’s a stacked teenager in a bikini.  (Truly a major flaw in Fuuka, they keep reaching for the fanservice where it’s not needed at all.)

Through an unlikely series of events, Yu saves Fuuka from drowning, then Fuuka saves Yu from drowning…  and they share their “first kiss”.  (Though I wouldn’t classify rescue breathing as a kiss, it’s not romantic or sexy at all.)  Despite this, and Fuuka’s emotional outburst after he recovers…  they remain ambivalent about their feelings for each other.  While they aren’t quite “real” teenagers as found in Sound Euphonium or Seiren…  It’s a nice touch.

In the finale, the love triangle that is central to the show is introduced.  This is actually the part I’m most interested in seeing…  because the Other Girl isn’t just a classmate or some random girl.  Instead, it’s someone who Fuuka is a fangirl of.

Masamume-Kun’s Revenge Ep2

Last weeks cliffhanger is resolved – the mysterious person from the past is revealed to be the Princess’s servant. Who, for yet-to-be revealed reasons is interested in helping Masamume…   (I don’t think she knows his motivations.)   Also, the Princess rejects Masamume’s attempt to get her email address – in her usual cruel manner.  But really, most of the ep is spent treading water.

Schoolgirl Strikers Ep2

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Look for this line of figures, coming soon to your local retailer!

On the FB page for our local anime group, a gentleman described Strikers as “inoffensive, made-by-committee, paint-by-numbers sentai girls. Generic so far”.  Which I think is pretty apt.  (Though I had it pegged as magical girls, anyone care to enlighten me as to the differences?)  This week, they paint in another color – the training episode.  And of course, after a modest amount of training, they manage to defeat a monster all by themselves!  (A trope I kind of object to…  if they weren’t expected to do just that, why were they recruited and formed into a team in the first place?)

Scum’s Wish Ep1

Honestly, I don’t know quite what to say here.  I read the first chapter of the manga after the show was announced, but set it aside as it didn’t quite grab me.  Checked the anime out because it didn’t exactly repel me either… And I’m still conflicted.

Teenage romance is something covered in many an anime…  Teenage infatuation with adults isn’t exactly unknown either.  But Scum turns both up to 11 and adds a layer of eroticism that leaves me a little uncomfortable.  (Note:  I am not one of those who mistakenly believe that high schoolers are not sexually aware.  Though it was a long time ago, I was one once.)   I’m going to stay with it for a while and see where it goes.

Urara Meirocho Ep1

An interesting premise…  girls seeking fame and fortune as fortune tellers, but very uneven execution.  Urara can’t seem to quite make up it’s mind as to whether it’s going to be an over-the-top comedy or simply silly CGDCT.  It’s not that the two are mutually incompatible, more like the two styles they’ve chosen don’t fit together particuarly well.  The creepy fanservice doesn’t sit well either.   Maybe one ep, maybe two.

10 thoughts on “Winter 2017 – Week 1.5”

  1. Demi-chan: I had a feeling that you missed the deeper themes of this show. Yesterday I found this blog post which has quite an interesting take on it. And episode 2 is already out.

    Fuuka: For some reason, I really like the art style of this show. It’s usually really bright, but can have great darkness-brightness contrast when it wants to. And I really like how the mouth-to-mouth scene was portrayed. (Can’t beat how it was done in Aldnoah.Zero, though.)

    Masamume-Kun’s Revenge: I’d actually say that Aki isn’t as cruel as usual with Masamune. I mean, she went to all the trouble of setting up that trip, and she also didn’t openly shame him to the public. Also, I don’t see anything wrong with this show “threading water”, given that it’s first and foremost a comedy. It’s funny, and I like it that way.

    Scum’s Wish: I don’t see anything wrong with anime being an exaggerated version of reality, and I think that quite a number of high school students are somewhat sexually aware (not on Scum’s Wish levels, but maybe Kokoro Connect levels). Not me though. (FYI, I’m currently a college student.)

    Schoolgirl Strikers, Urara Meirocho: Didn’t watch.

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    1. I forgot to write another thing about Scum’s Wish. I liked how it had self-loathing all over the place. However, of all things, I also liked the banter and comedy. It made Hanabi (the MC) quite likable for me, and it made the relationship of the main “couple” much more interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying Demi Chan. (I have to admit that after the preview I was frightened they’d mess up in episode 2, but they sailed past all the potential pitfalls with a sure hand. Look forward to Kyouko’s episode once Crunchyroll works again for you.)

    I liked Scum’s Wish a lot, actually. But I can see how the atmosphere might not be for everyone. It feels… oppressive to me. There’s a streak of hopelessness and self-loathing in there that’s going to be hard to take if the show chooses to mine it. But there’s also a sense of trust and respect between our two protagonists that might just save the day. It’s probably going to be a hard show to watch, but I don’t think it’s going to be cynical. I looked up the director and it turns out it’s the guy who did White Album 2 and School Live. This bodes well for me.

    Fuuka 3 was a bit of a cringe fest for me. I didn’t really think much of the “kiss” either way; it’s such a cliché at that point. But then anime is also full of “indirect kisses”… I’ve sometimes wondered how I’m supposed to interpret this sort of trope. This is the sort of thing where I lack cultural context. Is this sort of thing supposed to signal innocent desire and naivety? Is it actually just and exaggeration, and are “indirect kisses” actually a thing? I simply don’t know how to take that. Right now, it’s just an anime cliché. I’m also not really looking forward to the love-triangle-fangirling combo. So far, episode 2 remains my favourite.

    I forgot when it airs, but the Crunchyroll outage probably prevented you from watching Seiren? I’ll just say, I thought episode 2 was quite the improvement over 1; or rather I now have a better idea what the show’s doing and I think they’re quite successful. It’s stepping out of the Amagami SS shadow for me. (No details, to avoid spoilers.)

    I’m still undecided about Masamune Kun’s Revenge. I wasn’t as taken with episode 2’s direction, as I was with episode 1’s, but that might have just been me getting used to it and the novelty wearing off. The story continues to be unexceptional, but the writing isn’t bad. I especially like how they portray Masamune’s clumsiness due to old habits dying hard. I’m not sure what to think of the servant character. It’d be no surprise that she’d resent her “master’s” attitude, if she treats her like her suitors, but I get the idea there’s more to it. The thing is: I don’t care much. I don’t like any of the characters, but I don’t hate any of them either. I’m just mildly curious where this goes.

    I’m also a bit confused by Urara Meirochou, but I like the aesthetic, so I’m probably going to sit it out. The fanservice is aweful, though. I’ve dropped Schoolgirl Strikers pretty much directly after the shower scene in episode one. I don’t remember why, and when I see screenshots I keep thinking that I should maybe try again. And then I keep wondering why, and I don’t. What you say about it isn’t enticing either. But neither is it a trun off.

    Random comment: I dropped Idol Jihen pretty quickly during episode one. But for some reason the character designs remind me of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Only as long as I don’t compare pictures, though. Weird.

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    1. You’re a bit more positive on Demi-chan’s second episode than I was! I was mildly uncomfortable with it most of the way through; I really hope they don’t spend much time with the sensei crush…

      Idol Jihen is half off the wall in a good way, half way too dull. It remains to be seen which of those halves ultimately ends up winning out for me.

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      1. I can understand your reaction to Demi-chan. There’s the implicit framing that doesn’t stand out because it’s “anime”: all the Demi’s (so far?) are girls, for example. That’s so typical that even being aware of it I can’t find it in myself to attach too much significance to it. But it is socially significant. I do think they handled the crushing well – as an opportunity for characterisation more than anything.

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      2. Idol Jihen keeps trying to draw me back in. So far, I have been strong enough to resist. But as bad as Urara Meirocho was in it’s first ep… That leaves me with only Gabriel Dropout for any kind of CGDCT this season. Thank heaven GD improved in the second episode.

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    2. The Crunchyroll problems seem to peak on the weekend (this is the second weekend in a row), they were much better last night and we got caught up. The annoying part is that this time around, it’s not like some previous high usage peak period connection problems, which seemed to go away in an hour or so. The site was essentially unusable all weekend.

      Demi 2 was (I think) well done, for the reasons senpai;notes discusses below.

      Seiren ep2 was a delight! I’ll have more to say on that in next week’s post.

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  3. Demi-chan episode 2 isn’t about Machi having a crush on sensei. That’s just what it seems to be about, it is the narrative vehicle that is used to demonstrate what the episode is REALLY about, which is day to day life with a disability, the insecurities that come with it, and the necessity of human connection. The entire episode we are learning of Machi’s various struggles as a Dullahan. The bathroom scene impressed me a lot, because there are a lot of people who need help to use the bathroom, and having been in Hikari’s position before, I can tell you, that’s exactly what it’s like.

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    1. Having some modest physical limitations of my own (though nowhere close to being an actual disability!), I noticed that too. There is stuff I find difficult to do, or have to think before I do, that most people simply take in stride. (And having been born on the low end of the eye-hand coordination bell curve, some common stuff that I simply cannot do.)

      The crush on Sensei… That’s about her need for physical contact, now denied by her parents because she’s “old enough to not need it”. Coming from a family that is fairly physical, I find that saddening.

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