Busy, busy week… But I managed to comment most of the shows! Hit the jump and let’s dive in.
Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.
Atom: The Beginning – Ep 8
The big day arrives – the Robot Wrestling tournament. Despite the amount of exposition (where robo-wres is explained to our protagonists and thus to us in the cheap seats), it was a pretty enjoyable episode overall. I particularly like how they played the over-the-top nature of wrestling completely straight.
Overall, Atom is still a mess… but it can occasionally produce something decent.
@Dawnstorm I know you’ve watched wrestling and watch wrestling anime, if you have access to Amazon I’d be curious to know your thoughts.
Attack on Titan – Ep 11
Honestly, I have absolutely no clue what’s going on anymore – or why. They’ve been zigzagging all over the dang place. While there was plenty of action this week, narrative advancement was practically nil.
My Hero Academia – Ep 11
Mostly a filler-and-setup episode… But none the less an important one. Todoroki is confronted by his father, and has actually (thanks to Midoryia) become more ambivalent about the situation. But he can’t forget what has happened in the past either… Speaking of Midoryia, he’s in a bit of pickle now, as Recovery Girl has announced that she will no longer heal him of injuries caused by using All For One.
The big story is Lida… Or, more correctly, his brother, seemingly slain by a villain. A villain subsequently scouted (recruited) by a member of the League of Villains (the bad guys from the last arc of the first season). This does not bode well…
Karandi over at 100 Words Anime posted an interesting article on MHA last week: My Hero Academia and Hero Culture, an interesting look at how the culture of the setting defines and determines the type(s) of people who become heroes and the effects of heroes essentially becoming commercial commodities. Particularly insightful was putting the Sports Festival on par with the ongoing plague of reality shows.
Sakura Quest – Ep 10
Against the background of Team Sakura tackling a romance tour (bringing city women out to the country to meet country me), Ririko’s character story plays out. The tale is less about personal growth and moving forward (as it was with the earlier stories) and more about how Ririko simply doesn’t fit in with the town around her… But honestly, it’s not working as well as it might because despite (theoretically) being a main character, in practice she’s been more of a side or supporting character. Though it mostly works, they’re having to work awful hard to ‘sell’ the story.
The Team Sakura side of the story plays out much more briskly. Unlike earlier arcs this one is less about preparations (the girls have some experience after all) and more about the execution. Until the cliffhanger, everything went fairly smoothly – a new development in and of itself. Seeing the rest of the team working hard and enjoying themselves made for a poignant contrast with the scenes of Ririko walking home alone.
This episode, we see a partial return of the “close-ups” that were such a problem early on… But here, they really work as they’re often used to emphasize Ririko’s increasingly distant relationship to the main action, to the town, and to the larger story.
The previews make it look like they’re going to tie the tale of the dragon to the dragons that appear in Manoyama’s traditional ranmas. That may be a bit ambitious, but will be interesting to see what they do with it.
Tsuki Ga Kirei – Ep 9
It was nice to see our young couple growing closer and actually being more comfortable being around each other. Kotaro treasuring the squeezy Akane gave him was especially touching. But it’s only episode 9, and dramatic necessity means it couldn’t be smooth sailing much longer.
Though they hinted at it a bit, I hoped they wouldn’t bring back the love rival angle and I wasn’t disappointed. While being involuntarily separated is something of a trope, you don’t see it quite as often. (Usually when it does appear, it’s back story to set up the narrative.) While I was never separated from a relationship, we moved a lot when I was growing up (and we weren’t even military!) and I left a lot of friends behind… So I really feel at least a little of what they’re going through. And back in the 70’s, there were no cell phones (and long distance was expensive), no email, etc… Even with those things, and Kotaro and Akane have used them to mediate their relationship, they’re no substitute for physical proximity.
If, like me, you were a little confused by the geography involved this useful map was posted on Twitter last week:
— Inksquid43 (@inksquid43) June 9, 2017
Using Google Earth I just now measured the distance city-center to city-center at 41 miles. 41 miles! I measured off the same distance from my home, and it really hit me how far that was… I have friends that live the same distance away, and though we keep in contact on Facebook I’d practically never see them if we weren’t in the same club and saw them on a regular basis at club events. (Unlike Kotoro and Akane, I’m an adult with more freedom to travel and my own transportation.) I can scarcely imagine how distant that must feel to them.
It will be interesting to see how they resolve this… Hopefully they won’t go all wishy-washy.