Spring 2017 – Week 10

Busy, busy week…  But I managed to comment most of the shows!  Hit the jump and let’s dive in.

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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.

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.

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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:

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.

7 thoughts on “Spring 2017 – Week 10”

  1. @Atom the Beginning and Wrestling: I didn’t think of robo-wrestling as wrestling at all; that is in the sense of sports entertainment. What makes this different from shows like Tiger Mask W is the lack of narrative: wrestling is more performance than competition, the competition is scripted along a usually rather simple heroes vs. villains narrative, with the odd weirdo thrown in. I’ll have to add that I watched wrestling from around the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties: a lot has happened since then. That wrestling matches were scripted to a degree used to be an open secret; everyone knew it, really, but nobody would admit it (google the term “kayfabe”). A few scandals changed that, and people talk more openly about this now. What wrestling narratives have in common with shounen anime narratives is their simplicity: it’s just so compatible. And this is why a show like Tiger Mask W, which pretends it’s all real (because anime-fiction and wrestling-fiction tug in the same direction) works so well. And because of the recent changes in wrestling performance type, both the presentation of the anime itself and the type of wrestling narrative invoke a similar sense of nostalgia (there was an earlier Tiger Mask anime [sixties, actually – older than I am], and there was actually a real Japanese pro-Wrestler called “Tiger Mask”).

    The Robowrestling in Atom feels more like your regular shounen sports event (such as you’d see in school-club anime). It’s directly comparable to the event in Robotics;Notes, I’d say. It does have the crowd-playing aspect (Robotics;Notes, too, had that flamboyant guy in a “Star-Driver” outfit…), and there’s going to be a rivalry, but it doesn’t have the cheap sense of “sides”, of secret identies, betrayals, etc. It’s just straightforward competition. I’m not sure I explained that very well. I can see substantial similarities if I try, but instinctively it’s two completely different categories for me.

    @Attack on Titan: I don’t care much about story. The episode was a sufficiently mad-cap romp. If they were all like that, I’d be happy. I mean the episode ended with titan tossing.

    @MHA: I really, really hope the Hero Killer refuses to join the Villain team. Would be much more interesting that way. But then, MHA doesn’t usually go the way I would find more interesting. For example: the existance of support group at the academy is full of potential. I’d have been much more interested in the show if quirkless Deku had signed up for the support division due to his non quirky notebook-skills. Instead I get a rather tired underdog story that pushes hero values I find distasteful.

    Thanks for the link; haven’t read it yet, but it sounds like an excellent read.

    @Tsuki ga Kirei: Yup, that’s quite the distance considering their circumstance. Of course, I make that distance twice daily in my commute to work. (Well, around 3 miles less, but still…) Also, I like the way the show doesn’t beat around the bush.

    @Re:Creators: A middling episode, I found. A few more world-building details is what I got out of it, but other than that, it wasn’t the most fun free-for-all, the show had offered.

    Not goint to talk about Sakura Quest, since I’m fairly fresh from the “next episode”.

    Finally, it strikes me that we’re 2 to 3 weeks away from the new season. Anything interesting? Centaur no Nayami is a no-brainer for me, and Isekai Shokudou maybe… There are a few holdovers from this season, but so far nothing looks too promising. I’m not really excited for the new season, partly because I’m really enjoying this one, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure I explained that very well. I can see substantial similarities if I try, but instinctively it’s two completely different categories for me.

      @Atom: Well, I know now more about wrestling than I did a couple of hours ago… (Though admittedly that’s a pretty low bar.) Your explanation makes sense, I was keying off the crowd involvement by the participants which isn’t a normal feature of a regular ‘school event’ type of competition. But that’s only one face of wrestling events.

      @Re:Creators: Yeah, that’s why I didn’t say much about it. Magane is not strong enough or interesting enough to carry episodes the way they’ve tried to have her do this episode and last. And so much of the plot right now depends on the characters (particularly Alicetelia) being bone stupid. They started out awful strong, but with one thing and another now I wonder how they’re going to pull off two cour.

      @Sakura: Yeah, I’ve seen the next ep now too… and I’m not entirely sure I like the developments.

      I’ve got a post perking along on my choices for next season, but I keep getting distracted by other things… Isekai Shokudou is also high on my list, as is Princess Principal.


  2. “If, like me, you were a little confused by the geography involved this useful map was posted on Twitter last week”

    I actually was confused and I really appreciate your following clarification on this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing the link.
    I’m thinking I’ll have to pick up Tsuki ga Kirei again either before this season ends or as a catch up next season given it is currently killing my poll for best anime of the season. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, it was a good piece.

      I’m not surprised it’s killing your poll, it’s that good. (Not that I’m biased or anything.) I think a lot of people dropped it early on, when it was so slow going, but starting with ep 7 all that prep work has really been paying off.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I got to episode 2, but it really was incredibly slow. That said, Kimi ni Todoke is painfully slow too and yet I really love that so maybe when Tsuki ga Kirei is finished I should try to marathon it. Maybe without the week break in between episodes I won’t have time to feel how slow it is.

        Liked by 1 person

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