Summer 2020 – Week 10 – Smokey skies edition

As if things weren’t crazy and stressful enough, this week turns it up to 11! Anyhow, I watched a few anime since my last post, and I’ll do my best to say at least a little about them…

Also, some surprising parallels between Sword Art Online and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Curious to know what you think.

Hit the jump, and let’s get to it!

The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italicsstrikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.

A Certain Scientific Railgun T Episode 23

No comment this week… It was mostly typical episode, lots of exposition followed by lots of action. I’m not saying much mostly because the back half of the Dream Ranker arc seems mostly rushed and hollow. Definitely not up to Railgun‘s usual standards.

Deca-Dence Episode 11

So much of the episode was so predictable. Setting up for the Final Battle… Against the Gadoll. Against the System. And the seams in the loose worldbuilding are really starting to grate. Everything has been subordinated to The Theme, and it’s hurting the show overall.

Fruits Basket 2nd Season Episode24

Everyone was acting so… normal at the banquet. I know there’s a certain amount of “go along to get along” among the Curse Bearers… But there wasn’t even a whiff of the tension that we, the audience, know is there. Even after Akiko snapped…

This isn’t accidental. And I can’t fathom what they’re trying to tell/show us…

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax Episode 10
(Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Kan)

The prom goes off without a hitch… But everything is still in flux. Hachiman, Yui, Yukino – none of them want to break it off, all of them know it’s coming.

Also, it was painful watching Iroha’s “Senpai, notice me!” (For at least the second time this season.) Her attempts aren’t pathetic or anything, she has genuine feelings. She’s in Hachiman’s orbit every bit as much as the others, though not quite as self aware… She’s not really in the center of things and misses a lot of subtext.

Rent-A-Girlfriend Episode 10
(Kanojo, Okarishimasu)

When he wants to… Turns out Kazuya can actually be a decent human being. (Still don’t grasp why Chizuru hasn’t dumped him though.)

But… Giving and granting the “plot” has always been paper thin… He just gave away what he’s been trying so very to keep secret: That Chizuru is a rental girlfriend. If he were actually taking Ruka seriously, this might make sense… But he isn’t, and he doesn’t.

I mean, I’m not looking for great literature from a trashy rom-com – but I don’t think consistency is too much to ask. Because it’s damn sure he doesn’t have a Grand Plan for dealing with the inevitable leakage.

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld: Part II Episode 10

“I am the culmination of one man’s dream. This is not ego, or vanity. But when Dr. Soong created me, he added to the substance of the universe. If, by your experiments, I am destroyed, something unique, something wonderful will be lost. I cannot permit that. I must protect his dream.”

Lt. Commander Data, “Measure of a Man”, Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Now, the decision you reach here today will determine how we will regard this — creation of our genius. It will reveal the kind of a people we are, what he is destined to be; it will reach far beyond this courtroom and this — one android. It could significantly redefine the boundaries of personal liberty and freedom; expanding them for some — savagely curtailing them for others. Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life; well, there it sits.; Waiting.”

Capt. Picard, “Measure of a Man”, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Watching Alice at the press conference I was thinking “This is really good, and I’ve seen something like it before”. Then I remembered the Next Generation episode “Measure of a Man“. I can’t say that one was better than the other… But damm, they both make you think you really hard. Despite all my gripes about Alicization, this is probably one of the finest scenes in the series, if not in the entire franchise.

Kirito… I wondered why he was in a hurry for his memories to be erased, but then I pondered what a burden two centuries worth of memories must be. (Also visible in his face, and audible in his voice.) But the price of that – his emotional wounds over Eugeo’s death are once again fresh and deep. Suguha has however gained a lot of wisdom since the “Fairy Dance” days…

And the elephant in the room… the two hundred year old elephant… the copy of Kirito. Damm. Damm. Damm. He’s grasped what Alice knows in her bones, and what hasn’t sunk in for the rest of the Real Worlders (except for Asuna).

Shutting down the Underworld is tantamount to murder.

No.

Tantamount to genocide.

Damm, damm, damm. Only one episode to go, and I really think this needs more than that.

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Episode 10
(Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!)

Uzaki-Chan could have gone for subtle… That would have made for some great character and plot development. But, though it has tried now and again, Uzaki-Chan can’t consistently manage subtle. They kept pile-driving the point home, and the result was a rather disappointing episode.

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Though the video is from two years ago, this is what everything around me has looked for most of the week…. Today (Thursday) is only the second day I’ve seen the sun since Saturday.

Nasty icky stuff…

And it goes without saying, not going outside any more than actually necessary, on top of the ongoing lockdown has been stressful as heck. I hope your week has gone better than mine.

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Drop a comment and let’s chat!

4 thoughts on “Summer 2020 – Week 10 – Smokey skies edition”

  1. Oh man, all that smoke. I hope things get better soon. Still getting enough air?

    DecaDence: okay, so they’re living in an orbital station? Honestly, this is the sort of loose fabric that folds in all the wrong places and irritates you all day. The saving grace, for me, are the characters. I really do like them.

    Rent-a-Girlfriend: They’ve seriously alluded to the final girl in a completely unrelated manner at the end of the episode, and she has all of two episode to even be there. Really, I wish this was more like Nisekoi, where you knew from episode one that the plot’s a sham to keep shenanigans going. Instead they insist the on the ocassional isolated genuine moment that goes nowhere.

    Oregairu. To be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to Iroha. I think you’re right about her, and in fact I just come from the next episode, where a single shot of her expresses this perfectly. I’ve got latest-episode interference now, so I’m unsure, but I sort of felt the prom was over and done with a little to quickly, even though I wasn’t all that interested. Yukinoshita mum might be the scariest person this season.

    Uzaki-chan: Yeah, not my fave episode either. Lots of Kitaro reference, too, so it felt a little like an hommage excursion, too. I’m enjoying the show, but I’m not going to miss it.

    Come to think of it, of the new shows, I think the only thing I’ll be missing is Appare Ranman of all things. I actually really enjoy this wacky show. I’m going to see where this lands on my PA Works hitlist. Hey, it actually makes my top 5 (on some days, today at least, and only if you count Eccentric Family as one entry, but still…):

    Uchouten Kazoku (1 & 2)
    True Tears
    Hanasaku Iroha
    Tari Tari
    Appare Ranman
    Uma Musume
    Iroduku
    Shirobako
    Sakura Quest
    Nagi no Asukara
    CANAAN
    Kuromukuro
    Red Data Girl
    Glasslip
    Sirius the Jäger
    Fairy Gone
    Haruchika
    Another
    Angel Beats
    Charlotte

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Things are getting better… Today we’re finally at an air quality where you can leave the house if you need to, but it’s not recommended to stay outdoors any longer than needed.

      re:Deca-Dence: We’re largely in agreement I suspect.

      re: Oregairu: Yeah, this week’s ep was… something indeed. I’ve been screwed by that all season, that my post comes out too close to the next week’s ep. But really there was no choice, earlier in the week is very hard because of my weekend schedule.

      Several shows I’ll miss, Oregairu and Fruits Basket chief among them. But I’m not seeing any real chances of re-watchability.

      If I get a chance, I’ll work out my PA Works hitlist – they are, next to KyoAni, probably my favorite studio.

      Like

  2. That was a great catch to see the parallel between SAO and Next Gen. I’d missed it, right up until the instant you pointed it out.

    As much as I loved the Star Trek franchise, I have a feeling that Alice did a better job defending herself than Data. Maybe it was all of her combat training?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life; well, there it sits.”

      That’s long been my favorite line in ST:TNG… so it wasn’t a big leap. :)

      “I have a feeling that Alice did a better job defending herself than Data. Maybe it was all of her combat training?”

      Hmm… I think more that once the Right Eye Seal is gone, she has a bit of a temper and not always the greatest self/impulse control. I mean, look at the stunt she pulled in the finale!

      Liked by 1 person

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