Spring 2017 – Week 8

Despite being busy, I did manage to catch up on most shows, and even managed time for a couple of mini marathons.  (And dropped one show and added another.  I never learn.)

Once again, I have way too much to say about Sakura Quest…  I know I said I’d take a break, but it keeps giving me so much to chew on.  I even say some nice things this week!

So, let’s hit the jump and talk about this week!

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

Man, it was a busy weekend.  Had a lot of fun though, picked up a geocache I’ve had my eye on for the better part of year and took a number of photographs.  Overall, we found eight caches, didn’t find two, and waved off on two more.  Not finding is annoying, but doesn’t particularly bother me – if they were all easy, what would be the point?

I hadn’t expected to be able to watch much anime, but when you’re all tuckered out after hiking, anime proved just the thing while flopped on the couch.

I’m caught up on some (most), behind on others…  So let’s work through where I am at the moment.

Alice & Zoroku (Ep 7, one ep behind)

I loved the slice-of-life in ep 7, it was interesting to learn more about Sana’s background and her relationship with the twins.  (And having the twins show up in the first place, rather than just being put on a bus, was a nice touch.)

Anonymous Noise (Ep 6, two eps behind)

(No entry, just a status placeholder.)

Atom: The Beginning (Ep5, one ep behind)

Atom‘s propensity to zig between plot advancement and ill-conceived filler is really  starting to grate.  (As is Ran being increasingly used for nothing but monosyllabic responses for other characters.)  Episode 5’s idiotic ‘fight’ between Umataro and Hiroshi was particularly galling even if they did sneak some back story into the episode.

Attack on Titan 2 (Ep 9)

Speaking of galling filler…  this episode, consisting of nothing but four characters sitting around monologuing and talking, was a particular waste of time.  Doubly so since there was way, way too much Eren.

My Hero Academia 2 (Ep 9)

Many electrons have been spent dissecting this episode over the last couple of days…  But for me, it was frankly one of the better if not the best episode of MHA this season.   Once again we see that even though Bakugo is a serious jerk he is neither stupid nor the proto villain so many want him to be.  He took Ochako very seriously rather than simply assuming he could easily win.  For her part, Ochako was incredibly clever – in a fight way above her weight class, she fought with brains to make up for her lack of brawn and damn near managed to pull off a win.  She might have too, except for those meddling kids stupid-ass announcers.

I feel a bit sorry for her character – her loss was foreordained because they’re setting up for either Deku x. Bakugo or Todoroki x. Bakugo in the tournament finale.  (I presume…  I didn’t look closely enough at the tournament bracket to see what the possibilities were.)

Saekano 2 (Ep 7)

Finally Tomoya gets it through his thick skull that his actions and words affect the girls…  But he quickly recovers and gets to work on Blessing Software’s next project rather than patching things up with Megumi.  (If such a thing is even possible.)  Annoying, even if expected, a harem drama/comedy won’t long survive the male lead actually having a clue.

Sakura Quest (Ep 8)

Honestly, with the ‘Movie Production’ mini-arc (eps 6-7), Sakura matured a great deal as all the gears started to mesh.  Here with the ‘Culinary Specialty’ mini-arc, it’s backsliding just a wee bit…  Sakura‘s biggest flaw is their clumsy handling of the ensemble cast, and this week that trips them up.  Our main characters are (still) not quite well enough established for the show to stand adding (six!) more, and once again they try to rely on not well thought out comedy that relies the viewer’s knowledge of the (less than completely flesh out) characters.

I don’t expect characters to be well-developed in ep 1, but by ep 8 I’d certainly expect way more than the broad outlines we generally have so far.  CRISPYN64 at There goes my Kokoro has some interesting things to say in that respect in his post “A Rough Start to a Sakura Quest“.

Still, it was nice to see Shiori (who is slowly becoming the best established character) finally step up to the plate and take some real responsibility.   She’s pretty much the ‘town surrogate’ character, and I expect her to play a larger role as we get into the middle third of Sakura‘s run.  There could also be some nice interplay between Shiori in that role and her sister Sayuri as one who has left the town.

Sayuri herself represents an archetype not previously seen in Sakura – One Who Is Leaving.  Kumano represents another new archetype and a nice counterbalance – One Who Has Returned.   Kumano and his determination to run a restaurant fiercely devoted to modern cookery and seasonal local products could add a fascinating dimension if they keep up with it. This kind of cuisine is currently very trendy in the culinary world (a chance for tourism!), and represents both the “connection with Manoyama” angle and the “past versus the future” conflict that we see elsewhere.  (I.E.  The endless turf wars between the Merchants Association and the Tourism Board.)

What I really hope is that they remember to keep up with What Has Gone Before…   Will the ranma play a future role?  Now that romance is being introduced, will Sanae’s brief ‘fling’ with Tatsua return?  Once again, even as they backslide they give me hope…   The role the manju played this week was a nice touch in that department, as was tying it back into “but how does it relate to Manoyama?”.

SukaSuka (Ep 5, two episodes behind)  Dropped

Honestly, each week it’s been harder and harder to work up any enthusiasm for SukaSuka.   Increasingly tropish, ever-increasing pacing problems, and increasingly generic…  Though it has good points, the problems have become harder and harder to ignore as the weeks have gone by.

Anonymous Noise also annoys me, but after pondering it does so less than SukaSuka.  Since I’m picking up Re:CREATORS (more on that below), something has to give – and that something is SukaSuka.

Tsuki Ga Kirei (Ep 7)

Once again, Tsuki delivers an outstanding episode…  I really felt for poor Chinatsu as she realized that there was no hope and not even a point to confessing to Kotarou.  The way they framed and staged that sequence was outstanding, even in a series that’s consistently set itself such a high bar.

And am I dense or did they not really foreshadow Takumi’s feelings for Akane?  He obviously cared for her, but it didn’t seem to be a prequel to confessing.

More importantly though, Akane and Kotarou’s relationship is now completely out in the open, so there’s going to be fallout from that.

Re:Creators (Eps 1-8)

I’ve been hearing good things about Re:Creators all season, but with an already overfull schedule I’d been avoiding it.  Then on Saturday Bless over at Mage in A Barrel posted an article on it…  When senpai Bless notices a show enough to write about it, generally if he isn’t over thinking something, he’s on to something good.   Since I was flat tired on Sunday evening, I decided to check it out…  and by the end of the second ep I knew I was in for a marathon.  Re:Creators is in fact something very good.

There’s been a lot of flap about isekai over the last few days after Kadokawa banned it from its upcoming light novel contest.  As I said on Twitter the other day, “Banning isekai means we’ll never have another Grimgar.  But we’ll also never have to sit through another Overlord“.  Now I’d add “or something as good as Re:Creators”.  As usual, the problem isn’t genre overload, or even the genre itself…  The problem is that there’s been so dang many bad shows in the genre.  The publishers and production companies may have been giving the public what it wants, but they certainly share in the blame.  (But all that is a rant for another time.)

Re:Creators shows us how an overtired genre can still be done well…  by paying attention to production qualities, to plot, and to characters.  And most importantly by taking a fresh look from a different perspective.   Rather than Our Hero being the stranger in a strange land, he’s having to deal with others who are the strangers in his land.  (And they’re very strange indeed – and they can break the laws of physics.)

The strangers also have an agenda that isn’t “survive” or “find a way home”.  And the agenda differs by character and between groups of protagonists and antagonists.  There’s also a third agenda on the part of the residents, and the residents having a real role and part in the plot is itself rather refreshing itself.

After the cliffhanger that ended ep 8, I’m eagerly looking forward to more…  They’ve written themselves into a rather interesting corner, but my money says they’ll find an interesting way out.

Speaking of looking forward…  I’d be surprised if I get to watch anything over the next week.  tomorrow morning the pedal goes to the metal for the Faire and doesn’t really let up until late Sunday afternoon.  (And if history is any guide, it will be Tuesday or Wednesday next week before I have any energy and my head comes above water.)  Either way, I’ll post something to stick with my resolution to never again skip a week unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.

I’m seeing a lot of people use Curious Cat on Twitter, but I don’t care much for its ephemeral one-shot nature.  Maybe I’ll do an AM(A)A post later in June to celebrate making it through six months…  Speaking of which, what do folks think of the non-anime things that find their way into the blog?  Though I’m writing about 2D, I actually live a 3D life…

Oops!  Mentioned two mini-marathons way back at the beginning, and didn’t catch that I didn’t mention the second until I was on my final editing pass before hitting “publish”!  Last night (Monday) I needed something mindless and fun to watch to pass some time… and decided to watch the endlessly cute CGDCT/ero-eating of Gourmet Girl Graffiti.

One of the best parts of Gourmet Girl is of course the inventive previews of next weeks episode…

The perfect thing to relax for a bit before bedtime.

So, that’s all for now – drop a comment and let me know how your week went!

4 thoughts on “Spring 2017 – Week 8”

  1. So you found your way to Re:Creators? It’s a fun show, I find. I especially love the cross-genre bonding scenes like Alice/Mamika or Yuuya/Rui. Those look so effortless yet could easily go wrong. I also greatly enjoy Maaya Sakamoto’s voice work as Magane; one of the scariest characters this season (her dialogue isn’t only well delivered, it’s also extremely well written). I like this show better than both of the other Saturday Night shows (AoT, MHA). It’s more consistent and doesn’t trigger any of my dislikes.

    Kofuku Graffity was cute. I still remember the ending: Taberuuuuu….

    @Tsuki ga Kirei: “…not even a point in confessing”. My impression about anime confessions is that – even if there’s no chance – getting your feelings out there is important. It’s not just about certainty; it’s also about being understood. There’s a sense of accepting the feelings but rejecting the relationship, a sort of constellation that’s missing mostly from western romances. As a result, I’ve seen a lot of people dislike/mistrust Chinatsu in a way I don’t. I suppose Akane’s sister’s advice to dump her immediately hasn’t helped in that respect. To me, Chinatsu comes across as fairly straightfoward and caring, but also emotionally clumsy (because she’s so straightforward, she might not really get [or underestimate] the stress she’s causing Akane).

    Also, after an exceptionally strong episode of Uchouten Kazuko 2 they follow up with an equally strong episode. I was skeptical at the beginning of season 2 that they could keep up with season 1, but, boy, do they ever! One of my favourite anime ever is still going strong. This is very likely going to be my anime of the year.

    I have little to say about anything else. Still enjoying Alice & Zouroku & others. Good season for me. Lots of fun shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny, I just got home and my wife was catching up on Re:Creators and she made almost the same comment WRT Magane… Scary, powerful, and totally without scruples.

      Nice thoughts on Chinatsu, they do make sense thinking about her character.

      Like

  2. Hey, what do you mean “if I’m not overthinking something”!!

    Also, P.S. that Re:Creators isn’t technically isekai since the world comes to Sota, rather than the reverse (and also he’s been so little the protagonist that it’s hard to think of him as more than just one more characters in Rei Hiroe’s whirling dervish of a story. :P

    Like

    1. I was teasing… it sounded teasing in my head…

      It’s not technically isekai from Sato’s POV, and that’s what makes it so good a look at the genre – it upends and lampshades it. OTOH, it is isekai from the POV of Selesia, Metoria, Mamika and the rest of the Created.

      Like

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