Death Parade: Episode 3

You ride upon perfection; You ride upon the tears of newbs.


This week begins with a scene of two little kids waving goodbye to each other. I’m sure this won’t end tragically for them.

After credits, wake up with your male lead this episode, Miura. They get the same explanation as Takashi and Machiko did last time, with the added bonus of the intern counting down the rules. She’s been here for some time by now, it seems.

Our lady protagonist, though, can’t remember anything. She doesn’t know her name, nor what she was doing before she died.

A good time to use this card, by the way.  Last time, Decim had said this game only exists for souls who died in the same related incident.  While we have no reason to presume he was lying, we still don’t TECHNICALLY know if we can believe that point yet, so it’s a little thing to stir the suspense.

Decim tells her she will probably remember more of her life’s details if she plays the game.  She concedes, and Miura, having the hots for her, goes along with it.

Bowling! And each bowling ball is the opponent’s heart. Complete with body temperature and pulse rate. Generally, things go amicably, and we see that, at least for Miura’s end, he was the boy we saw in the opening scene, but that girl he played with disappeared long ago.  This girl reminds him of her, but that’s probably impossible.

Miura makes a wager. If he wins, will she go out with him? How cute. This certainly won’t spiral into a bout of homicidal rage.  At this, the girl begins remembering things. She remembers Miura, vaguely, but as an adult. So that’s curious.

But her next flashback is that childhood scene. It IS the same girl! Well don’t that beat all.  They’re both overjoyed for this. I’m sure this won’t end in obsessive stalker behavior for either one of them. Continue reading


Yuri Kuma Arashi: Act 1

With 31 flavors of lesbian.


I was originally going to just catch up this series one by one in the traditional manner like a beast. But…it had to be THIS show. Only now, at the Ep. 3 mark, is the form of the series taking shape. And even then, it is JUST the shape, the shadow on the wall as the pieces assemble together.

Which is, to be sure, a serious weakness in this first act. And it comes down to intent. One phrase was used in the marketing of Yuri Kuma Arashi that raised eyebrows and palmed faces the world over.

“Intellectual fantasy”.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of symbolism as a story-telling medium (not as a narrative tool, that’s different). Saying your piece is “intellectual” is often an easy screen to hide behind because, duh, it’s not SUPPOSED to make sense! It’s SUPPOSED to confound you and make you wonder who’s dick got blown to get it on the screen! Just as often, it’s an easy defense screen to hide behind, “It’s intellectual, you dope! You wouldn’t need it explained if you were who it was MEANT FOR!” like certain anime whose title rhymes with bill la bill.

Yuri Kuma Arashi may not be this type of show exactly, but you’re probably driving through that neighborhood to get there.

But, it’s still early. Perhaps it won’t be this bad looking back. Perhaps there will be a Madoka effect where the most seemingly innocuous, distracting conversation takes on a whole new shade on second viewing.

And in that vein, I will describing things as they appear from hindsight, not as the information is originally delivered, because that would be two episodes of me saying “Then X happens…for some reason.”

Some years ago a planet exploded, raining fragments on the earth that caused bears to rise up and begin preying exclusively on humans.  Because of this, Humanity has begun to build, well, what the Funimation dub has chosen to call “the Severance Wall”, but it could just as easily go “Extinction wall”…again, TOO MUCH SYMBOLISM to determine which translation works best for now. So I’m going with the guys in a somewhat official capacity.

We are in the land of Yuri. Is it all of Humanity? Or a bubble universe where this small town of Yuri is what constitutes “Humanity”? Hard to say. I mean we SEE a map of Japan in news broadcasts but then why is the world this…weird way? But in this world every girl has a “Yuri-” name, as either given or surnames. Every one, except one of the protagonists BUT I’M GETTING TO THAT! The entirety of Humanity is female, and every girl is a lesbian it would seem.

Again, this is just what’s on screen. But hell at least Sakura Trick ACKNOWLEDGED (and later, showed us) fathers and other male attachments. No such luck yet in this series. So it’s confusing.

But not only that! Apparently there are STILL social pressures about BEING lesbians…for some crazy reason.  I have two theories about this, one hilarious and one glare-inducing, but I’ll get to them. For now, just keep that nugget of info to yourself. Continue reading

Inou Battle: Episode 3


Why is the best stuff the stuff your show ISN’T about?


This week we open on a new character, Sagami, and Andou in their teacher’s room.  The pair get into a fight over what kind of nerds they are.  I love the teacher, Satomi. Can I say that? Her expressions perfectly mirror my own to this HILARIOUS comedy. She then does what many wish they could do with this show: Throw it out on its ass.

So, no doubt, this week Inou Battle embraces its harem elements entirely. Especially in terms of camera angles

Hey. Hey guys. Where’s your KILL la KILL “it’s being done ironically” shit now?

Perhaps that’s unfair. This is way worse than KILL la KILL ever was.  Between Satomi using her feet to grab everything and having conversations with the girls’ bare legs, this week is extremely obnoxious. We even get an upskirt on Hatoko.

Oh, it’s fine. It’s an underskirt. That’s not as embarassing as seeing panties, this is what underskirts are there for, after all.

Tomoyo then says that it doesn’t matter how he justifies it, no girl really likes getting peeped on.

…It’s a rare harem series that both bullshits its way through an upskirt, and then proceeds to tell us the protagonist was STILL morally repugnant.

It’s sports day, and OH GOD THIS IS BORING. Trigger how you so boring?

We then learn why Hatoko loves Andou: he stopped the kids from calling her a dumb nickname.  Oh, well…it’s a little trite but I’ve heard worse, and having a Hatoko episode will be…

Wait, they’re ALL going to explain why they love Andou now?  Really? We’re doing a sewing circle of how great Andou’s dick is?

Well to save us from this, is Andou.  Yep. Andou is the comic highlight of this episode.

I’ll just give us all a moment to let this sink in. Continue reading

Madan no Ou to Vanadis: Episode 3

My Lord, the tide of battle seems to have turned against us!


So we open recapping the off-screen battle (or mostly off-screen battle) from last time.  While the Thernadier’s lost 300 of their 3,000, Ellen’s forces have lost 100, so this basically keeps things at an even split, both forces losing about 10%.

Now for a moment that’s…almost surreal. We get a map-cut-away after seeing Geoffrey…I mean, Zion…going insane in his tent.  It’s like one of those battle documentaries that specialize in ancient fights.  Little divisions are laid out on the field, we’re told the strengths of the forces…I don’t expect this to go anywhere, but the juxtaposition of the military documentary and trite harem bullshit at least raises the eyebrow of curiosity from me.

Oh, speaking of trite harem shit, here’s Titties! Totally ruining the drama of the war room with her insecure vagina problems. Women, amirite, fellas?

Ellen splits her forces up, and we follow the main one, led by her and Tigre.  The fight’s okay.  The slightly-above-average combat is balanced by the not-even-total-war standards of the establishment shots.

Things go well for our heroes, but then Vernadier launches its dragon into the melee.  Ah, the fight we’ve actually been waiting for.

…Which Ellen ends in a single move…well..damn. Continue reading

Double Feature: Gokukoku no Brynhildr 3+4

There isn’t a word in English to express the manufactured conflict this time.


We’re off to a bad start. Kuroha walks into school all bandaged up.  Why? Well we’re supposed to get one impression, but from what we see that impression isn’t true.  Either way, Ryota is rightly concerned, so he goes to the girls’ home to find Kuroha bleeding from her…everywhere, and curled up on the floor.  She asks him to bring her to the kitchen, where she takes a pill.  She may be suffering horribly, but she can exposit that these are what I am going to call “death pills”, if they aren’t taken every day, the witch’s body breaks down.  And since we saw one melt from losing her implant, it’s a safe bet to say that’s in play here.

Kuroha laments she doesn’t have enough to get her to the ocean.  Oh, wow, how touching. Faced with imminent death, the only thing she wants is an innocent trip to the beach…

Cue Ryota, “She’s pushing herself all because I invited her to the ocean”.  Yeah, everything’s about you, asshole.

Kuroha lies down, and this is where the intro runs straight into a brick wall, as when she wakes up a couple minutes later she’s completely healed.  It took far less time for her wounds to close and wash the blood away than it would have to bandage herself up in such an attention-grabbing manner.

So the beach trip is in about a week.  This leaves Kuroha with, what, five pills?  So naturally, she has to burn the house down boiling water.  Yes, really.  So NOW it’s drama!  Because five days to live isn’t enough of a ticking clock.  And Kana’s already starting to bleed, she has HOURS TO LIVE! We must find replacements!

…Jack Bauer has more time than this. Continue reading

Double Feature: Black Bullet 3+4

Holes, more holes in your body, which is totally not a yaoi joke.


Black Bullet is a pleasant surprise that is quickly becoming the series I look forward to most.  With a few caveats, but we’ll get into those at the very end.  Because while there’s a few logical hiccups so far, it’s a good action series that carries you along without much complaint.

Rentaro is venting to our cute doctor, but she’s just bored, calling his problems average. She says all this to get him motivated and understand he is Enju’s family.

Nice feel good, but did we miss a scene? Why is this necessary when he said he’d search every block for her?

Enju shows up at her school, trying to force her peers to accept her humanity….but you didn’t honestly expect that to work, did you?  Ordinary Humans seem to regard Cursed Children as full Gastrea, and as we’ll later learn, they are indeed in danger of turning if their “blood toxicity” rises above a certain threshold.  It does seem a -little- harsh that not one of them is sympathetic, though maybe the ones on the fence are staying out of it, letting the loud obnoxious ones block her way.

In some good news, the case has been found.  Enju just dives right in, and relentlessly beat the flying spider thing like a boxing champion fighting a fat kid.

But her bravado turns out to be compensation, and she’s on the verge of tears, lamenting that she killed it in order to protect those she considered her friends at school, and she breaks down. Continue reading

Double Feature: Knights of Sidonia 2 +3

Predictable yet rather unsettling.


It’s been a long while internet.  Where have I been? Certainly not detained by the police in relation to my alter ego, supervillainess The Sinister Scissorer and my Aerial Simian Army.

But in short it’s good to be back and I will be doing a lot of catch up. There may or may not have been scares regarding complications in my recovery, among other problems involving the roof caving in.

Knights of Sidonia returns where we left off last time, the Gauna attacking the students.

Flashing back, we have a bit of a bonding moment as some of the trainees are warding off bad luck with a handshake ritual. Yamano is of course a snooty bitch about how it’s childish nonsense.  Mostly, she’s rather bitter about Tanikaze being made a pilot for basically no other reason than he tickles the Captain in the right places.  Apparently GARDES pilots are something of special forces in Sidonia.  Not just anyone can be accepted into the ACADEMY, let alone graduate.

Yamano is devoured by the Gauna.  Sucks to be you. Perhaps you should have been more friendly with the Chosen One.

Sorry, it just feels heavy handed here.  We’re going to see the recurring theme that the best of the best are no match for the power of Tanikaze’s….heart. Not his dick his heart.  Because of course.  Notable though, is that the Gauna fights after the mechs to get the tasty Human candy inside.  So either it is able to differentiate energy signals between the robot and the Human, or, the more pants-soiling option, this is a Gauna who has experience with Humans and knows how to fight them.

Sidonia readies a Mass Driver, and fires it at the Gauna.  It’s, strangely, like an oil drum that they designed for this specific weapon. The show doesn’t explain this, so I will, as while this may be a science fiction staple, many of you may not be here for the sci-fi. A Mass Driver is basically a giant railgun.  The idea is that you can harness asteroids and other space debris as a weapon.  It is a purely kinetic energy weapon, which is why Sidonia is using it to distance itself from the Gauna by altering the Gauna’s momentum.  But these seem to be engineered projectiles.  Kind of a waste of all that metal when your colony is scraping by.  The trainees are given the evacuation order.

Except for Tanikaze, who engages the Gauna even after being killed by heart failure.  This doesn’t seem to phase the commander at all.

He’s rescued from his bloodlust by his teammates, and the Mass Driver impacts, obliterating the asteroid and sending the Gauna into deep space. Continue reading

Blade and Soul: Episode 3

Bad show but hot criminal…


Ah, a productive weekend with some outstanding anime.  Let’s keep going!

…Oh. Hello Blade and Soul. …Damnit.

I’m currently of the opinion that Blade and Soul isn’t going to be exploring its flimsy pretense for a story and is more like an amusement park ride for people who have played the game.  Using your nostalgia to see various in-game areas on screen.

Too bad I haven’t played the game.

We open on tomb raider, and our Lora Croft for this universe is…insanely more hot than Lora Croft. She introduces herself as Dan Loana. Her little group of treasure hunters here is called “the Pleasure Gang” and they don’t like Palam, so naturally they just instantly know Alka has trouble with them and invite her in for some bondage. BONDING! I said bonding, you can’t prove otherwise.

Back in Palam, the bad guys have assembled a pacification squad.  Apparently unrest is rising so they’re going to wipe out a few rebels.  This is actually interesting. Naturally we won’t be spending a lot of time on it.

Back at the hideout, Alka is being treated quite nicely by Moaner Loana.  To the point where it’s suspicious.  Interesting character detail regarding Loana’s camaraderie and hospitality…or weak plot point? Do I really need to tell you? Continue reading

Akuma no Riddle: Episode 3

I sense a disturbance in the dorms…


Akuma no Riddle moves into its “Ten Little Indians” style plot now.  Or, so I think.  Manga readers have been barking up a storm of late that the anime seems to be diverting from the source material, as assassination attempts are much slower in print, or something.

I don’t really mind in and of itself, but I hope the pace slows because otherwise we’re going to be running into some of the same problems as Danganronpa.

Opening on the BAD. ASS. cliffhanger, Sharkdere (okay okay, her name’s Nio) seems to celebrate the fact that Haru has a “new human shield”…

Really? Really? Sweet.

Is Haru infectious? Maybe. We see two instances of that (perhaps), so it seems like a possible direction to take this.  And it brings us to the part of the OP where Tokaku is smiling, covered in blood.  I am eager to see if Haru breaks through that brainwashing of hers by making her more crazy.

Nio calls up the bigshot lady, who cuts her off with her approval at this turn of events.  She’s the one who seemed to be treating the Black Class as a test for -Haru-, if you’ll recall episode 1.  More layers are added to this mystery, and everyone in authority here seems to be going along with Tokaku’s heel-face turn.

We come back from credits to two of our assassin roomies: Otoya, primary antagonist this episode, and Shiena, whom is like an assassin Mitsuki-kaichou.  So cute…  Otoya readies her invitation. She’s going to take the first shot at Haru.

It’s interesting to see Tokaku still contemplating she could take the first shot at Haru.  But it’s not something she seriously considers, mostly as a solution now that she finds herself not understanding “the plan”.

So…anyone who still thinks Akuma no Riddle doesn’t have a healthy self-awareness must take back those words as Hanabusa, the executive’s daughter (or something, enough for the principal here to call her “Hanabusa-sama”) has this huge, thousand dollar desk that looks like it was too big to fit through the doors installed for her comfort. Continue reading

Playing Catch Up: Noragami: Episodes 3 + 4

Nora…I’m going to look away for thirty seconds, and if things just happen to my body nobody will be to blame…please?


Noragami begins its universe building this episode.  And it’s quite welcome.  The whole series has basically spent its collateral of gushy fun fun time.  But now it’s time to get into something so this doesn’t quickly become a forgettable piece.

While Yukine is learning about the harsh life he’ll be living with Yato, that is, hungry and cold all the time.  Yato resolves to settle the matter, and soon the pair are with Hiyori in a restaurant, the latter still demanding to know when Yato will handle her problem now that he has a regalia weapon. We learn here that Yato CAN be seen by Humans, but there is, to borrow Doctor Who terminology, a perception filter at work for the kami and their regalia (and presumably phantoms).  Your eyes naturally avoid them, but if they draw you to their presence, they will notice.

Yato is called in for a job.  He needs to whack a guy. Or several.

Cue the kami of knowledge, Tenjin.  There are a lot of good gags here with Yukine and Hiyori treating Tenjin like a REAL god and snubbing Yato.  Importantly, Tenjin informs Yukine that, as a regalia, he does not need to kneel. We’re starting to see the hierarchy here, how regalia are considered a “part” of their master, and are thus considered part of the same “social strata” if you will.

We also meet Mayu. Or, wasn’t her name Tomone? Yes, the regalia who quit Yato’s employ is now…a pipe? For Tenjin.  Tenjin of course uses all female regalia, the dirty, dirty old man.  But by taking on a new master, she acquires a new given name.

Tenjin actually has a job for Yato.  Mayu leads him to it, and it turns out it is just…killing phantoms.  Yato outright refuses, and we see some of his philosophy shine through. People who chose to die deserve what they get. But he gives in when Hiyori jumps in and Mayu points out Yato accepted payment in advance.

While we’ve toyed with the idea that Yato has a harder side, it really has come across mostly as “competent” than “hard”.  But this is the first time we have seen Yato’s lack of compassion, for lack of a better way to describe it.  But that’s not really what it is.  I’ll be explaining this more later.  But this is the first where Yato has seemed “apart” from Hiyori, and us the audience as fellow human beings.  His utter lack of pity here speaks to how deeply this strikes him.  Suicide corrupts the soul by acknowledging despair.

I am want to point out that we often hate the things in others we see in ourselves.  While suicide seems impossible for a kami…perhaps something that Yato was accessory to?

Yato explains that he couldn’t let people throw their lives away in front of the regalia.  Hiyori deduces that this means none of the regalia wanted to die at all. That they probably struggled until the bitter end.  Combined with what Yato may have seen in Yukine’s memory, it seems quite plausible that all regalia suffer from some bitter life that they still manage to hold out hope in.

I also like that Hiyori is able to piece this together without being blatantly told.  It would be very tiresome for her to just be the naive girl who kicks over the hornet’s nest with poignant observation.  But in being able to put this together, she shows promise that she will grow with this world. Continue reading