A busy, busy week in anime… The final arcs of the season are in full swing, and most shows have turned it up to 11.
Let’s hit the break and see how the week went!
Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.
Alice & Zoroku – Ep 11
I was actually pretty pleased with myself as I figured out the hook about five minutes before the shoe dropped… We’ve been very wrong about what’s going on right from Day One. Wonderland isn’t Sana’s creation, Sana is Wonderland’s creation – it’s living embodiment. Because of this I found Sana and Hatori’s rapprochement pretty interesting because it tells us so much about about Sana and Wonderland. Despite being what she is, Sana displays an amazing amount of humanity in realizing just how much she and Hatori have in common and how wrong she was for the punishment she’d attempted to extract. Even if she is the creation of something that at it’s core may be inhuman, she displays an amazing amount of free will and capacity for emotion, growth, and change.
We also see hints of what’s going on in Wonderland’s core. While it doesn’t actively hinder Zoroku and Sanae, it does take care to separate (and presumably isolate) Ichijo – the one Dream user in Wonderland who isn’t currently depowered. And speaking of that, I wonder why it depowered Sana? (Presuming it depowered her… which is something of a leap.)
And while all this is going on… Zoroku is his usual straightforward and imperturbable self while he searches Wonderland for Sana. No matter what happens around him, he doesn’t stand for any crooked stuff and he will protect Sana. She’s family now.
Now more than five episodes behind, I haven’t been able to muster any desire to catch up. Though it’s storytelling is flawed, it does hit some nice character moments… But it’s really mostly me. When I get this far behind, I pretty much never get caught up unless it’s an external event that lead to getting behind.
Therefore, I’m making it official and dropping Noise.
Atom: The Beginning – Ep 9
The robo-wres tournament continues… The most interesting thing this episode is the growing split between Tenma and Ochanomizu over what exactly Six is and what he represents. Though the split is canon (because it drives the plot in Astro Boy) I do have to give the writers kudos for how naturally they’ve made it flow here in Atom. (I know how I’ve complained about how they’ve screwed up other things, but fair is fair.)
One other thing that really caught my eye is the increasing number of times we’re seeing his creators through Six’s eyes. this episode.. I don’t know what it portends though.
Attack on Titan – Episode 12 (Season finale)
The episode was titled “Scream”, and honestly that’s what I wanted to do as the ED rolled… A grand and glorious trainwreck of an episode that provided no answers and almost no closure.
My Hero Academia – Ep 12
An interesting episode that for the first time in awhile that we get inside Bakugo’s head. He’s such an interesting character because of his naked drive to truly stand at the top of the heap. A more ordinary character would have been satisfied with the win, but Bakugo is furious because from his point of view Todoroki all but rolled over and threw the match. He didn’t have to work as hard as Midoriya did, and that cheapens the win to the point where it’s valueless.
From the outside, Bakugo appears to be a jerk… but in his own eyes, he’s actually quite principled. He doesn’t just want to be at the top, he wants to demonstrate that he belongs at the top. He could rely on his sheer power, but he pairs that power with cunning and creativity in battle almost on par with Midoryia’s. (Also demonstrated a few episodes back in his final move against Uraraka.) Merely winning is insufficient, he has to be seen winning against the best of the best on his own merits rather than simply on points or through technicalities.
On another note, I’m not caught up in the manga to the same point as the show… I think I’m going to wait to read the next portion until after it’s adaptation airs. That’s the way I started the show so it just makes sense to stick with that.
Re:Creators – Ep 11
One of the slowest episodes to date, but frankly one of the most awesome too. We finally get a look at the world through the eyes of Creator and then through the eyes of a Creation. And both of them provide rather unexpected views of the world.
Less awesome and the major contributor to the slowness was Sota finally owning up to his knowledge of and role in Altair’s origin. The big problem with this infodump is that it’s all been heavily foreshadowed and we the audience have already figured the important points out.
Saekano – Ep 10
The penultimate episode, and Utaha-senpai and Eriri’s story gets closed out… As good as Saekano has been, it’s rarely hit these depths of emotion. The girls are truly heartbroken as they realize that in order to move forward and grow, they have to leave Tomoya behind.
But the real punch in the feels… lies in the resolution of one of the longest lasting and strongest sources of tension in the show. Utaha-senpai and Eriri finally acknowledge each other as Creatives. Their rivalry is buried, and a new partnership is born.
Sakura Quest – Ep 11
Frankly, this episode was a huge step backwards. Once again they reach for the ass-pull of discovering “something” in Manoyama’s past that neatly solves the dilemma of the present. Frankly, it’s lazy writing. This tendency to pull the same rabbit out of the hat was a flaw in Shirobako as well… But Sakura hasn’t reached quite the same point of characterization where it can get away with that.
Speaking of characterization, I really hate what they did to poor Ririko – changing her characterization almost 180° for no reason other than to neatly wrap up the episode and tie it up with a nice pretty bow. In the same vein, giving a mundane explanation for why Sandals is in Manoyama and demystifying his character will do them no favors down the line. When the mask is off, the interest is gone.
Tsuki ga Kirei – Episode 10
At first, I was a little annoyed at this episode, as it seemed to pack in a bit too much. But on reflection, I’m much more pleased with it… Poor Kotaru has to put up with just a bit too much, between Akane’s upcoming move, his anxiety over his writing, and then he sees another guy confessing to Akane. (Something she’s not happy about either, especially when he mildly disses Kotaru.) Frankly, when he and Akane finally get some time together he acts like a jackass. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d tossed him in the can at that point. But Tsuki plays to it’s strengths – he’s unhappy in the moment, but also still certain where he wants his future to be. When Akane discovers he’s applying to the same school (which will be a killer commute for him) she runs out to catch up with him, and in one of the best scenes yet Kotaru reaffirms his feelings and apologize for being a butt head. Akane then makes one of the boldest moves she ever has – leaning up to kiss him. Our young lovers are resolved to face the future, together.
I think I’ve said “one of the best scenes yet” every other week or so, but honestly Tsuki just keeps knocking ’em out of the park.
Some other scenes of note this week: When Akane was watching Kotaro perform and pass by on the festival float, her simple joy at seeing him was wonderfully articulated… and it balanced nicely with his second shift on the float, where he performed exactly as he’d practiced and performed before while Akane was crying in the alley after their bad ‘date’.
Whew… another week in the can. But now that this entry is done, I can enjoy my reward:
The Euph LN! Can’t wait to dive in.