Category Archives: Spring 2014

Gokukoku no Brnyhildr – 6

Sorry for the slow updates – I’m kinda on vacation, but that doesn’t stop me or Melissa from watching anime. What else do you do late at night when everything is closed? It is the weekend before memorial day after all! Although I must say that things have picked up today..Er, back on task!

Kotori, as I surmised last week, isn’t quite as evil as the manipulative camera angles and forced perspective made her out to be – she just smiles when under stress because that’s what she was trained to do. This episode does raise the point of what the girls will do when they run out of pills though – raid another laboratory, perhaps? What else can they do? It seems Routa has the idea that they can reproduce or artificially recreate the pills with the help of his scientist friend who’s help he enlisted at the end of the episode in what was an entertaining battle of science versus magic (seriously, I got excited watching this.)

Hopefully things pan out, but I suspect they will not be so easy – no doubt there will be some large hurdle to overcome before the magician’s magic pill can be flawlessly reproduced. No doubt Kuroha and the others will continue to be hunted down in the meantime, as well – I’d hate to see more than one A or AA magician chase after them. Given their previous encounters, I don’t think they’d survive without any heavy casualties.

I’m a bit surprised a AA didn’t have any hand-to-hand capabilities – this leads me to question how ranks among magicians are given out? How is it determined how strong they are – by the raw ability of their one forte? That seems a bit, uh, inconclusive and short sighted if so. The ranking system reminds me of the ranking system for espers in Index and Railgun – although there does seem to be rhyme and reason to those rankings.

Rankings are essentially “power levels lolol” but I still like talking about them. Curious to see how things will play out from here.

Hitsugi no Chaika – 5 & 6

The thing about Chaika’s, man – apparently there’s more than one of them?!

It turns out that not only is there more than one of them, there’s potentially several Chaika’s running around out there! While our heroes have postulated that it would not be uncommon for the late emperor to have had many wives and thus many children, there are not certain as to the true origins of the Red, more capable Chaika and their own demure white Chaika. Just what is going on here?

Again, the show has proved that time and time again it can entertain the hell out of me. What we had was a classic juxtaposition / stockholm syndrome with the reversal of two Chaikas. Neither group of saboteurs is really so bad as they are just on opposite sides of the same goal – both want the same thing and are inevitably going clash over it. These episodes do raise a good question though – how many other Chaika’s are out there gather the emperor’s remains? That, uh, “remains” to be seen for the moment (god please kill me).

Gillete has also been taken off the task of catching Chaika as the rulers wisely ruled it a “waste of time” (Thank god!) so now our own Chaika is free of pursuers…except every other Chaika. Yeah, I may have forgotten about them. I somehow also doubt that Gillete will let himself be taken off this task so easily – my bets are on him going rogue. We’ll see for sure.

Toru and Akari are really awesome. I love how the show just lets them be themselves without force-feeding their personalities down our throats – this leaves a lot of room for some naturally character development and lets the viewer form a bond with them in their own way, all the while forming their own conclusions about what type of people they are and what they value (as opposed to having this explicitly pointed out for you rather than shown). So far the show nails it in storytelling, character building, and pacing – how can it keep this up? That’s a question better saved for next week!

Hitsugi no Chaika – 3 & 4

“Chaika destroy 100 breads. Shocking truth!” ~ Chaika, never.

While I must say that the first two episodes didn’t exactly blow me away (They were still pretty good!), I have to concede that the show has really hit home with me now. The pacing in the 3rd episode was phenomonal and the world building was genuinely interesting. I never thought I would have liked the show so much judging from its onset – if I have any complaints, it’s that Tooru and his sister, er, their design anyway appears to be a bit uninspired. That doesn’t mean they haven’t grown on me exceptionally, though – I commend BONES for not giving Tooru’s sister an extremely forceful personality or shoving it down our throats every second they get, it’s made me like her considerably more.

Yes, the pacing was completely outstanding here. The intrigue on “the ruler”, the “dragoon” she has, her mansion, the ensuing mystery – all handled perfectly and I have not a single complaint. I was completely enthralled the whole time and the character building didn’t kill the pace nearly as much as it does in lesser shows.

Dominica, or rather, the dragoon masquerading as Dominica was completely awesome. I found myself smiling at what a good sport she was – even so cocky as to tell Tooru her weakness! It’s just awesome – there aren’t enough villains that respect their opponents like this in fiction, and especially anime. While I kinda had hoped she would have kept her form as “Dominica”, that’s ok – as long as they have a giant, dragon-esque dragoon in their company I’m sure they’ll give Gillete a run for his money later.

These episodes were really a treat and now I can count this show as one of my absolute favorites this season. What lies in store for us next, I wonder? I never thought I’d be looking forward to what is essentially “Fetch Quest: The anime” but consider my curiosity piqued. Let’s get those, uh, ‘body parts’ or something. Yuck.

Atelier Escha & Logy – 5

A new recruit? And she’s a bona-fide 12 year old? Say it ain’t so!

But it IS so, and as it turns out, “ain’t” isn’t a word! As it turns out, Lucille is a new recruit for the R&D division and now Escha has a kuhai. She seems very capable and even takes on manufacturing a cure to an epidemic on her own, which turns out overwhelming the poor little bugger. While somewhat expected, the lesson here rings very true – daunting tasks are much less scary when you have friends to help you out. I know that’s very CBS, but it IS true and I must admit I found the resolution with her father heartwarming. It made me smile, which this show tends to do to me. What else can I ask of it?

The humonculi were really funny – I was expecting something humanoid looking but that wasn’t the case. The little guys were awfully chatty but it was interesting to see how they fit into the world and what they were being used for. Solle seems to have taken a liking to them – probably the first demonstration that the man has a soul that we’ve seen yet!

I’d also like to talk briefly about how funny it was to see that there were two different parties following Lucille’s accomplishment – the kid’s table (escha’s party) and the adult one (Logy’s, Threia, etc.) Do anime women always complain about being single when they’re out drinking? Real women might do that too, but I wouldn’t know – Melissa is not the drinking type.

Damn, Threia is really cool too. The cape thing was the icing on the cake, but she’s just wickedly cool in the way that she holds herself; it’s not hard to see why she can be described as “kinda scary.”

I uh, also may have skipped the ED sequence in the 3rd episode. Oops. I do remember somebody saying something about feeling as though one was “awakened”. I might have to partially rewatch the episode.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 5

Hey, since when has teleportation been a lame ability? Threatening is another story, but lame? It’s totally got uses!

The main ensemble discovers that our very mikuru-esque friend is a magician who apparently has the ability to teleport. But that’s not threatening, is it? Apparently it is: Kana has a vision that this girl will kill Kuroha at a nearby lake. But is that really the case? The deception here seems a bit too obvious: the girl is nearby where Kuroha lies dead, but she doesn’t explicitly see her kill her. What does that mean? Maybe she was just nearby while she got killed. Perhaps this whole train of thought is completely wrong and she’s just deceiving them. Want to know why I think otherwise?

She’s in the opening featured prominently alongside our main characters. A stupid reason? Perhaps on the surface, but would they really show a character in such a spot if she weren’t important or one of the main characters? I’m inclined to believe we’re being victim to a large deception here – perhaps she’s rebelled against those who sent her? Not sure – although she did look pretty evil at the end of the previous episode. It could just be the director wishing to shed some ambiguity on the situation though.

I must admit that the situation Kuroha jumped into towards the end of the episode was fairly frightening – but once their fellow magician was unceremoniously killed, she should retreat the fuck out of there. It’s highly likely THIS is the AA+ magician the man at the council spoke of rather than Kotori. The show is trying just a little too hard to make her seem suspicious – just enough that it makes me believe she’s innocent. The example made of the weaker unarmed magician was a grim reminder just how dangerous the world in Brynhildr actually is – people die, and if you’re weak, you’re dead. There’s no lame deus ex machinas to help you escape a situation that should kill you.

Looks like we’ve got quite a battle ahead of us next week – consider me excited. This show has been one of the very strongest this season.

Soul Eater Not! – 5

So, Kim is a witch. Have we ever known a witch in this series that was actually good? I don’t think so. And no, Blair doesn’t count. Did you forget? She’s not actually a witch at all! (Hence the problem in the first episode of the original Soul Eater series)

Jacqueline seems to have a bit of a crush on Miss Kim – interesting but not entirely unexpected in a show like this! However, later she seems to have sorted her feelings as “confused” and “idol worship” – seems to fit her a bit more. I always liked her but I was surprised at how much we got to know her this week. What a fiery personality lies beneath that figure – er, no pun intended!

I found it quite humorous to see the girls drive Jacqueline closer to Kim in various ways even if they all ended up in failure. Likening the vindictive woman to a tanuki doesn’t seem that far off from the mark! She seems to have evaded any chances at growing closer with our favorite “Straight laced chick” in all instances! I wonder if this means we’ll be seeing more of Jacqueline in the future…

Cid is such a big important dude in this show. While I’m still getting used to the idea of seeing him in human form I gotta say he’s looking pretty damn ghetto. It also seems as though he’s in the loop and aware of TRAITOR’s presence, including the types of students they are attacking. Nobody is sure why, though.

Also, it seems that TRAITOR has begun to make their move. Ever notice how many grinch faces the villains in the soul eater universe make? We should have a grinch face tic-tac-toe or crossword puzzle or something. Everytime you see medusa / TRAITOR girl make a grinch face, you can cross off another or something. Seriously what’s up with that?

So what happens now? Hopefully we get a bit more action next week – it seems as though we switch between character building and action / plot episodes. That is not to say it will necessarily keep that formula – but only time will tell.

Atelier Escha & Logy – 4

So what’s in a tail, anyway?

Escha’s tail was all the rage this week, it seems. I always had thought it a fourth-wall-breaking-its-not-actually-moving-and-is-only-moving-because-of-artistic-freedom-and-this-is-a-cartoon kinda thing, and forgive me for the insanely long word there. The point is that I never had actually thought it was really moving, as stupid as that may sound to you. It is though! But only through the power of alchemy, which is somehow fitting.

Can you mass market a tail? If you think so, I have a tale for you.

GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY, PLEASE KILL ME GENTLY IN MY SLEEP!

Anyways, continuing on, the small fast-talking market girl sure seems to think so, but Escha is not sure how to make one. Her mother made the tail for her before passing away. All the heroes attempts at making one end up failing unfortunately, but we do have some hilarity and small character building to make up for it along the way, thankfully. Would have been quite the waste otherwise!

The part where the tail began hobbling about town possessing just about goddamn near everyone was hysterical because of how everyone came from offscreen out of NOWHERE comically and got possessed. Like, goddamn everybody in the entire fucking cast was just hanging out around the corner and rounded it just so that they could get their shot in at getting possessed. If that isn’t hilarious, I don’t know what is. I was in stitches at how convenient it was that they just all happened to be there. It was like a stage where every other line was *CUE ACTOR 3 & 4* or something!

Escha seems to know mysteriously little about her mother despite remembering much about what she did with her and how she treated her. There certainly are a lot of mysterious mothers in the Atelier series (Totori’s mother included!) What’s up with her forgetting what she looked like? It’s too hard to predict what it might be – if the tone of this show were more sinister I’d be more inclined to believe that it was brainwashing by the android in their family or something, but the show is too innocent for that sort of thing…or so it appears. We’ll see!

Atelier Escha & Logy – 3

Remember how I was complaining that there wasn’t enough action in this show? Well, first of all, I am an idiot – combat is never the focus of Atelier games and this show has made it bloody obvious what kind of pace we can expect and two – It happened in this episode. Our company got to fight a monster. I was thrilled.

So adventure takes us to a cave and we meet two suspicious wannabe “looters” and a strong, somewhat scary lady (This is evident by her posture – no hands in your long coat = badass) who goes by Threi Hazelgrimm. Threi is apparently an archeologist who is examining the ruins. But wait, why are we even in this cavern to begin with? Well, as it turns out, we only provided a band-aid solution to the water pollution problem. To fix this, our heroes venture to the source with our witch friend and her companion and encounter a monster protecting a small dam which appears to be the culprit for the reduced water supply AND the dirty water.

The monster in question also kinda kicked everyone’s ass pretty bad and after being helped by everyone and their mother, Escha did him in with a well placed stick of dynamite. That bastard was pretty resiliant.

So, we’ve permanently solved the water flow problem and now we can return to maybe doing some real R&D? Maybe guys? Just kidding – please, more excuses for exploring and action are fine with me. I don’t even care that you just wear the R&D badge as a fancy title – really I don’t!

Did I ever mention that I love the ending theme for this show? It’s so serene and peaceful – really a wonderful little tune to close out each episode on and fits the theme and feel of the show quite well. I wonder if we’ll find out who that girl is in the ED soon? I certainly hope so. I’m looking forward to the endgame of this show where we finally explore the floating ruins also, please. You can’t tease us with that and not show us what’s up there!

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? – 4

I’m beginning to think I bit off a bit more than I could chew taking on so many shows this season – between getting engaged and other life activities (AMV for Otakon), I’ve hardly had anytime to watch these shows save blog about them or say anything remotely interesting. That said, I will do my very best anyway, for whatever that matters.

Being short is a struggle – being in constant contact with another who is short has shown me the daily struggles they must endure. One of those situations involves a common scenario: Need to reach something high on a shelf? You are out of luck. While we’re on that subject, it’s probably a good idea to never work in a restaurant if you are short – they are NOT made for short people at all. Of course, I am referring to Sharo attempting to reach the, uh, turtle broth on the top shelf in the grocery store only to be saved by Rize who mistakes their activity as a “new training regiment”. Oh dear.

Of the most note this episode was the activity of telling one’s fortune through coffee – I wasn’t aware this was a thing but given the Japanese penchant to tell fortunes, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. Cocoa makes some wildly outrageous fortunes that all come true in some capacity; while it was a bit predictable, it was still hilarious to see in action. I don’t think I’d ever grow tired of such antics.

Sharo is surprisingly smart – or is it really that surprising at all? She seems responsible despite her scatterbrained-ness and we know that in anime land, that means you’re booksmart and have good habits. Also – Cocoa as a lawyer? Hmm, sounds like someone else I know…. I wonder who it could be? She knows who she is.

Loving the lazy pace of this show and enjoying the beautiful scenery. It might be nothing totally special or anything radically unique, but I still enjoy it for what it is rather than what it isn’t – and honestly, I find that’s the best way to watch any show. The point of life is to be happy after all, is it not? Why not take away all the good you can from something? Not saying you should watch bad shows – but even decent shows will likely have something to offer you. This show is more than decent though – it’s a nice breather from a busy week.

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? – 3

What is a SOL without a bit of hero-worship bordering on the evil side of yuri? Enter Sharo Kirima, neighbor and childhood friend of the adorable Chiya. She’s uh, a student at the elite school Rize attends but unlike what everyone thinks, she’s actually poor as dirt and lacks the refined mannerisms of a rich young lady. She also seems to like Rize quite a bit – bordering a bit on the yuri side. It could just be simple hero worship but it sometimes becomes more than just that when Sharo is blushing like mad. It’s cute for some reason, though.

I am completely unsurprised that Chiya has the ability to make friends so easily when she’s so amiable and kind, but I must confess that watching her reactions to Sharo are highly entertaining.

Each episode that goes by I’m further convinced that Rize is Kagami after a growth spurt and an art style change. Somehow she escaped the Lucky Star universe, killed Tsukasa, and started a new life – even took up gunsmanship as a new hobby! But she can’t fool us; that demeanor, temperament, handling of the MC, slightly loneliness, responsibility….You’re Kagami. Please, just admit it. All of the personality traits just blend together too perfectly.

It seems that the show is abiding by a strict diet of one new character a week. I love all the characters that have been introduced so far but I’m beginning to feel a bit inundated – let me digest who we’ve met thus far before continuing to introduce anyone else, there’s much we have yet to learn about them!

SOL’s usually have sleepover episodes but I found myself looking forward to this one; when done properly it’s a character building exercise that leaves you smiling.

Off topic (I know I’m REALLY meandering this post) but the MGS reference with the rations was worth a bit more than a chuckle. It doesn’t surprise me that Rize would be a fan of those games – I bet she’d like to participate in a real mission involving espionage.

My final words – Cocoa, weeds are not herbal supplements, but thank you for the laugh.