Winter 2018 – Week 4

Whew…  MarchUniverse, Magus Bride, and Yuru Camp all turn in stellar episodes this week!

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Hit the jump and let’s get right to it!

The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.  Question marks denote shows not watched yet (during the premiere weeks), and strike through marks dropped shows.

A place further than the Universe / Uchuu yorimo Toui Basho – Ep 5

blink blink Ok, everyone expected a “last day/setting out” ep – but who expected that?

Having someone sad that a character is setting off on a journey is hardly unusual…  But having a person actively attempting to sabotage the journey for selfish reasons?  That’s a new one.  (I’m not counting romantic partners here.)  Megumi wasn’t even trying to replace Mari – she was angry and sad and mixed up because she had been replaced.

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I can see why Mari would forgive her so easily, but I don’t know that I could.

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I wonder if they’re going to do anything with this…  Though they’ve become friends, Yutsuki is still something of an outsider.

Over at the Lily Garden, Remy posted Visual Cues and Clues in Sora yori mo Tooi Basho Episode 5 – well worth checking out!

Ancient Magus Bride – Ep 16

After Elias and Chise return from the land of fairy’s, it’s time to prepare for Yule.  While the montage of their preparations was interesting, some exposition on what they were doing (and why) would have been welcome.  Afterwards, Chise snuck off to London to meet up with Alice (Renfred’s apprentice/bodyguard) so that both of them could shop for Christmas gifts for their respective Masters.  (An interesting fusion of traditions there…)  Speaking of fusion, it’s also interesting that she reaches out to Alice who is really her only peer despite them (or at least their Masters) being opposed.

We also got a look at Alice’s history (tragic, naturally) and the origin of her fierce devotion to Renfred.

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The episode ends on a lovely note…  Chise snuggling the teddy bear that was a Christmas Eve gift from Elias.  A childhood toy, given by Elias who doesn’t really understand, but a perfect gift.

An epilogue of sorts follows with yet another cliffhanger.  I hope we’d get a Christmas Day scene and learn what the rest of Chise’s gifts were, but probably not.

That being said, we got to open one Christmas gift on Christmas eve, and opened the balance Christmas morning…  What was your family’s tradition?

citrus – Ep 4

And now it’s a trashy exploitive love triangle – with the childhood friend putting her hat in the ring and her hand up Mei’s skirt.

How to Keep a Mummy / Miira no Kaikata – Ep 3

Mostly harmless, Sora catches a cold and Mii-kun helps him get over it.

Katana Maidens / Toji No Miko – Ep 4

OK… Now there’s four factions involved in the game.  The first are Our Heroines, out to kill the monster controlling the Religious Military.  Second, a person or persons unknown (but probably one or both of the two school presidents) within the Religious Military aiding Our Heroines.  Second, the Religious Military itself (under the control of a monster that said military is dedicated to wiping out) hunting down the “traitors” (Our Heroines).  And now, a previously unknown faction with access to the Religious Military’s tech and controlling two of the Toji and also opposing our Our Heroines.   And that’s not bringing up the Religious Military’s security branch haring off on its own, or the unrest within the Elite Guards of the Religious Military.

Yeah, in just a few episodes it’s gone from pretty simple to bordering on way too much going on.

March comes in like a Lion – Ep 15

In some ways, another transitional episode, setting the stage for the confrontation between Rei and Meijin Souya.  (The history of the title of Meijin is actually interesting.  Originally hereditary, but changed to competitive in 1935.)  The match itself was disposed of pretty quickly…  but that makes sense.  Rei is severely outclassed here, and will probably lose.  Has he lost any time in the series so far?  I can’t recall.

Their interaction during the review was fascinating, it was pretty much the only time during the match when Souya acknowledged Rei’s existence.

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The back half of the episode was by far the most interesting…  Though in some ways, Rei had to lead Souya like a child – in others he was plainly competent though otherworldly.  And an interesting question is raised…  Is he deaf, or does he actually live in a disconnected world?  (Possibly mentally ill?  Or does he have some form of savant syndrome?)

Märchen Mädchen – Ep 3

The week, we learn the purpose of the Hexennacht…  It’s not just a battle tournament, it’s also (somehow) part of a cleansing ritual.  The tournament will rid the school’s library of demons trying to eat the stories stored there and thus power themselves up into reality threatening monsters.  (Wanna bet one shows up before the series is over and MC-chan is instrumental in its defeat?)  This is part of the Mädchen’s role in protecting humanity from said monsters.  Cheers for the semi-original conception, jeers for waiting until ep 3 to finally make things clear.

Only…  there’s a catch.  The local team must first make it through the preliminaries in order to win a berth in the tourney they themselves are hosting…  and Hazuki is still nowhere near being ready to participate.  (What was their plan before she suddenly showed up?)  The school trustees are so gung-ho about winning, they’re willing to consider wiping her memory.

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san  Ep 4

Koizumi seems to be settling into a groove where it’s at least “tolerable”.  Other than that, it’s a one-trick pony that leaves little else to comment on.  I probably should add this as boilerplate on my template for weekly posts this season as I have a feeling I’ll be saying it quite regularly.

Slow Start – Ep4

Hana meets Hiroe – a hikikomori girl in much the same situation…  Hiroe missed college entrance exams and became withdrawn due to embarrassment.  Hana and her friends basically bully help to ease her out of her shell – and Hana learns a little about acceptance.

Yuru Camp / Laid-Back Camp – Ep 4

Not much camping this week, but plenty of preparations.  The Outdoor Activity Club trying to figure out how to, and then setting off on a winter camping trip…  Contrasted nicely by Rin’s solo travels.  But, she and they are texting back and forth now so it can’t be long before all the musketeers are together.

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If you haven’t seen it, here’s the actual link to the cam!  Also, if Kuragamine seems to be a familiar name – it should be.  It was climbed by the girls in Encouragement of Climb (Yama no Susume).  I’ve read that the director of Yuru Camp was influenced by Encouragement, so that’s a nice nod.

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I loved the scene of Rin setting out and her mother watching her.  Not the first time she’s solo camped, but the first time off on a motorscooter with a brand new license.  The shot composition here was very nicely done.

Chris at Peach’s Almanac posted a lovely look at Yuru Camp this afternoon.

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And that’s it for this week!  It was fun to write, as I’m trying to go back to the lighter “hit the high points and memorable moments” style I was having such success with last year.  Or you could call it “whatever random sh*t pops into Derek’s head” if you like, and you wouldn’t always be far wrong.

Also realized that I’d gotten out of the habit of linking to cool and thoughtful entries elsewhere on this week’s – getting back to that now.

How did your week go?  Thoughts on the new style?  Let me know down in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Winter 2018 – Week 4”

  1. I still need to see March Comes In Like a Lion, and I was surprised they used the term Meijin in Shogi, too. I first heard of that title in Hikaru no Go with the Toya Meijin character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. March is a good series, well worth checking out!

      I didn’t know Meijin was used in Go until I went searching for information on it as Shogi title… :)

      Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you around again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely. I just need some time when I’m not working or other things. Haha!

        Looks like we both learned something about the Meijin title recently. I didn’t know it was used in Shogi and you learned that it was used in Go. Have you seen HnG, by any chance?

        No problem, Derek!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t have too much to say this week; the shows are pretty much what they are. If you remember, one of my main fears for Universe was that the show might be a tad too dramatic, maybe too much pathos. Now, even with actual drama, it’s clear they won’t. It’s just so… energetic and fun to watch.

    Interesting to hear that the director of Yuru Camp has been inspired by Yama no Suzume. Especially the product placement bits are very similar.

    I’m still trying to figure out whether I should watch season 2 of Nanatsu no Taizei or not. It’s not really a lock-in, but it airs on a slower day, and season 1 wavered between fun and annoying.

    Oh, and the latest episode of Toji no Miko didn’t really do anything to change my mind one way or another – but I do think, by now, they at least know what they’re doing. I’m fairly sure the Aratama situation is more complex than “fight them” (especially with the Aratama/Nigitama distinction in mind). It’s been clear from episode 2, there’s a lot of politicking going on behind the scene, and it’s possible that all the school heads are playing out their students in some way (how many schools are there?).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re: Yuru – product placement?

      re: Toji – There’s seven schools IIRC, they tell us back in the first ep but I’ve forgotten. OK, I seem to have missed the Aratama/Nigitama bit… I only recall the former.

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      1. It’s not product placement. I didn’t really know what to call it, but there’s a generalised sense of advertisment that goes beyond “camping tips” (say the emphasis on price and what you can afford or not). Yuru Camp, IMO, isn’t just showing sleeping bags or tents; it’s showing them “products to be purchased”, but not in a way that profits a particular brand [I think]. I had that exact same feeling Yama no Suzume, too. There’s a sense of diffuse advertisment to both shows; not really more subtle than, say, Sanrio Boys, but far less specific. I’m not sure that makes sense outside my head.

        You haven’t missed anything, unless I’ve missed it, too. They only mention “Aratama” (and I think they use a variant, “Aradama”, though I’m not sure). The problem is that, culturally, you can’t think “Aratama” without invoking “Nigitama” (component parts of the soul; roughtly “courage” and “kindness”, or “agression” and “gentleness” – I’m no expert). That’s like thinking “Yang” without invoking “yin”. Now, of course, if a type of “demon” were to appear you can name it after the concept of “Aratama”, and then you’d just have something to fight with that name. And that’s in-world what I believe happens; but I think on a meta-level, there’s a metaphor here. What I think is that, metaphorically, fighting the “Aratama” is itself an expression of “Aratama” – but I’m not quite sure yet how that will play out in the show. Could be a “become what you fight” á la Madoka; could be a “you don’t know what they want; you’re not told the truth”, as in every conspiracy theory show ever. Or something else.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Re: Yuru OK, I think I understand that… It’s not so much advertisement maybe, as advising on the gear required and what to think about? I’ve seen it done far worse in a couple of anime! :)

          re: Toji OK, that makes sense. I wasn’t aware they were two sides of a coin. Will have to do some research in my copious spare time.

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          1. Yeah, advising is part of it – but it’s also actively trying to encourage you to do these things because they’re fun, I feel. (I mean, it’s in the “suzume/encougagement” part of the name, even).

            It’s a bit more complicated than “two sides of the same coin”, especially since there’s also the Kushitama/Sakitama pair, and the two pairs form another pair around “here and now vs. past/future”. And it gets even more confusing if you add in kami, because kami aren’t necessarily complete, and one kami may be any part of a higher-level kami (in the sense that one kami might be the aratama/nigitama aspect of a higher level kami, or even only the aratama aspect)… I didn’t quite get all of it, when I was first researching it (around the time I played Persona 3). Related terms: Mitama, Ichirei Shikon.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Also, that talk between Hiyori and Kanami re the blade that destroys/protects feels like it might be going in the aratama/nigitama direction. Not sure I really understand the distinction, though.

            Liked by 1 person

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