Inou-Battle: Act 2

 

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Yes we’re playing catch up. This seems like the best compromise because I don’t have the hours to throw at this stuff right now.

Episode 4 begins well enough, focusing on Chifuyu. And as you’ll recall, she is one of only two actually funny characters here.

This episode starts off rather silly. It has a good “Chifuyu abuses Andou with superior intellect” gag, passable cosplay humor (but nothing really funny), and some interesting character study emerges about Chifuyu. There’s some shots fired at socially-directed peer groups, and a good examination of jealousy and friendship.

Of course this is wrapped up in several layers of pedophilia jokes so take what you can.

Chifuyu’s reactions are pretty good.  Slightly flanderized, but this can be attributed to her age and her well established personality. The way she hides behind her plushie on paper sounds like too much, but as played across from the blunt and intimidating Satomi, it feels incredibly natural. So good on that high water mark.

In all, not an offensive episode. Probably because this managed to focus on Chifuyu’s personal drama and not how she was a harem hen. Let’s see if they can go another 22 minutes without fucking this up.

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Andou has a guitar. Yay I guess. I’ve never understood guitars. Sorry. Chifuyu has presented a game, copying it and making him choose.  In a bout of outthinking himself, Andou assumes both to be fakes and smashes them both.

But the true crux of this episode is Andou/Tomoyo bonding.  There are actually a few good jokes here, so I’ll let this pass.

It seems Tomoyo wants to be a writer, and she’s submitting a novice light novel.  Light novels have a bad rap, but really they’re just genre books that we’ve had in the West for fifty years.

…Damn wish I had the power to stop time when I work on my books.

And I have a personal connection to this little story now. So you can believe how much I tell you this is BORING. Oh god is it boring. The episode loses momentum around the 9:00 mark, and the rest was a test of will to not skip through the whole thing and take the cliff notes.

It’s the “Douchebag Effect”. Writers aren’t allowed to write about writers. It just comes off as petty and self-absorbed. Like when all the news could only report on that one journalist who died in Iraq…in an attack where eight people died.  It just makes you look like a douchebag and I generally disapprove of a story being ABOUT a writer. Good ones exist (Misery) but on the whole, this should be a rule. This episode is a good example why.  It is so drab, so dull.

Well the pace picks up a BIT when we get into the “Date but Not A Date” territory. But not much. It is still boring, still unfunny, still trite and cut and paste. Nothing new…but it’s presented so WELL.

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Episode 6 begins…interestingly.  Well this can’t last long, it’s like a rule of physics at this point.

We’re in like a play/stage acting, but we find out soon enough it’s a video game. It’s a present for Andou, because only penis deserves something like a present.

Sayumi stays home sick, prompting a visit from Andou. We get some tired dialogue and character background. Sayumi used to be on the student council in middle school. That stopped after the Literature Club got their powers.

This is interspersed with flashbacks when the girls were debating erasing their powers using Sayumi’s power. Which of course wouldn’t work. But we’ll pretend the reason why is drama.

At the premiere I mentioned that Inou-Battle is definitely a Trigger series.  Well that’s all the more true.

Like KILL la KILL, it is well crafted and has a bit of a self awareness about itself. At the same time, it’s using tropes and cliches without CONTRIBUTING anything to them.  So, if you wanted to see KILL la KILL as a harem school comedy, this is it.

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