Double Feature: Death Parade 5+6

Yeah yeah, we get it, Shinji-kami, enough already.

death-parade-21

These two episodes are rather light, so let’s get to em.

Kurokami is having a dream in picture book style. It’s a little story about a boy who sees a constantly smiling girl outside, goes out to play, falls through the snow, but is rescued by the girl he came to play with.

Kurokami awakes with a start. Seems this is a dream she’s been having for some time.  She spies a dress in her wardrobe that seems unfamiliar, but doesn’t really pay it much mind.

She goes to greet Decim, and they have guests coming. But something goes wrong with the memory transfer.  Unlike previous guests, one of the guys here just wants a drink. To which Decim shrugs and obliges. Neither of the contestants has any memory of their lives.

Nona is playing pool with…god, I guess? He calls himself the closest thing to. Presumably high judge of the damned, or something, as he’s likely Nona’s boss, overseeing all the departments of the afterlife. He actually makes a rather serious aside that God is long gone. He makes several comments over the course of their game, such as how Nona is like Decim, how he’s surprised she lasted as an arbiter because she lacks self control.

Back in the bar, the big guy panics. He has flashes of memory to the bar, rather than his life. Decim restrains him fairly easily, and Kurokami tends to the boy. But she collapses, drawing Decim’s attention.  The boy is a bit abrasive, but Decim eventually manages to subdue him.  He identifies him as Ginti, a fellow arbiter, and his disguise melts away.

Seems Ginti is confused by Kurokami’s presence, the fact a Human is long term helping with judgments baffles him. They fight and fight, when Nona arrives, clotheslining Ginti in the most adorable way.  She comments Decim usually never rises to Ginti’s bait. Implicit is that Kurokami is becoming something of a blind spot for Decim. Continue reading

Advertisements

Yuri Kuma Arashi: Act 2

Sure, Hunnylingus is a word.

1423508719789

Let’s embark on a tour of plot entering this series.

Episode 4 begins as a backstory episode.  It’s rather cute, with the Judges narrating Lulu’s life.  She was nobility, apparently royalty if the tale is to be believed as 100% accurate, but again, you can’t trust everything you see as is. She was doted on by her parents. But as soon as her little brother is born (see: the new heir is born) she begins to miss her old life of privilege as everyone’s attention turns to the young prince.

And credit where it’s due, this little story takes on the form of a western fairy tale, even incorporating the “trial of three”, something modern retellings generally abandon.

Speaking of our trial of three, it comes in the form of Lulu putting her little brother in a box and kicking him down a cliff to his death. From which he returns almost completely unharmed.  He does this to earn Lulu’s “promise kiss”, because he wants to marry his big sister (he is like, three).  This is the first mention, but it will recur many times from now on, and it seems to be something within Bear lore similar to “true love’s first kiss”.  And yet, the choice the judges present her is the following.

“Will you give up on love? Or will you give up on kisses?”

So is the kiss PERSONAL love, while love in general is just the concept? Or what? Who knows, still up for debate.

Lulu’s little brother dies trying to bring her a pot of pure honey.  Ginko, however, is the one who returns it to her.  She is a “criminal bear”, and is off to the other side of the Wall of Severance. Lulu, feeling a combination that she owes Ginko a debt and that she must repay the favor of a promise kiss by helping Ginko claim hers, will join her. Continue reading

Madan no Ou to Vanadis: Act 2

Boobs are one hell of a drug.

madan-no-ou-to-vanadis-31

Catch up continues here on DDA.  And it opens with Wonder Woman mounting Green Arrow…

No, bad Doll, play nice. This is the series that at least pretends it has aspirations.

So after a bit of “how AWESOME is Tigre?” from the girls, we actually get consequences for what’s occurred so far.

Yes, you do have permission to take a breath. We might not be so lucky in the future.

Both Tigre and Ellen are on the Thernadier radar now.  And as bad guys would have it, they’re no longer considering Tigre “warm up” practice for the inexperienced men.  He’s now a legitimate military target, as is Zchted. To counter Ellen’s power as a battle maiden, Thernadier will be sending its own Battle Maiden. Escalation!

Unfortunately for the bad guys, they don’t have the self-awareness to realize they’re in a harem series. Sending anything with a vagina to take care of the protagonist is like trying to send a twelve year old girl into a mall alone to go to church.  If you’re lucky, she comes within sight of the target before being distracted by the cutest plushie in Build-a-Bear.

Ellen’s having a hearing with her king.  Yes king. This is unexpected. How is Tigre going to win a GUY over with the power of his dick? And not an attractive one, at that.  This is ruining all of my immersion. Continue reading

Inou-Battle: Act 2

 

dmsc20

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. Continue reading

Double Feature: Knights of Sidonia 6+7

After this I’m never trusting Japan with the giant robots who can save the Earth.

knights-of-sidonia-7

After a recap of pee the last few minutes of the rescue plot, we see a news report being watched by Kunato.  He seems to be moving past his knee-jerk reaction to Tanikaze.  Wow, that is just swell of him for such a complete douchebag until now!

Well Tanikaze is walking down the halls and everyone’s his super best friend now that he’s a hero.  Wow, you people sure aren’t shallow at all.

Kobayashi is having a council meeting with the immortal wiggling computer jackasses.  She rather openly mocks them.

So, a few things I’m still unclear of about this council.  They SEEM to be in charge, as they believe that they can just order Kobayashi to execute Tanikaze at their whim when he becomes inconvenient.  But at the same time we see she ignored their decisions for the route the Sidonia is currently traveling, and she openly mocks them for only caring about their own immortality.

…Admittedly hard to live forever when you’re walking through the Gauna’s backyard, Kobayashi.

Still, the fact that it’s implied Kobayashi knew this was a possibility suggests something to her motives, but what those are isn’t entirely clear yet.  And we see some of those in a discussion with her secretary, saying she may need to take drastic measures to deal with the anti-war movement.  The Gauna certainly exist, no one can argue that anymore like before, but the cost with the manufactured earthquake and shit is causing lots of people to reconsider their leadership’s stance.

…I’m going to be very disappointed if Kobayashi only wants a totalitarian society she can effectively control so she can masturbate over how everyone jumps when she tells them to.

…Actually that’d be kind of hot. I’m torn. Continue reading

Akuma no Riddle: Episode 6

Why for didst thou kick us in the feels?

1399843850149

I know I’m late getting to this one. I’m also the latest in a long line of admitting this was the best episode so far.

The play is this week, and while there might be a lot of silly festival episodes that lean heavily on the base themes, Akuma no Riddle took it several steps further with many literary allusions that make this episode a treat.  You know, for people way more well read than me.

This week starts with Chitaru and Kirigaya, and if you remember our rule about imprinting, yeah. They’re screwed.  We see how they met, and just like that, they’re holding hands and happy to play background lesbian couple.  We see them at the Anniversary celebration, carnival games and the like. Kirigaya says she remembered that Chitaru said Haru was not her target here.  Chitaru says her target is someone known as Angel Trumpet, “angel’s trumpet” being a very toxic plant. And there is a tremor in Kirigaya’s expression.

Yes, we know how this can only end in tears.  But, in true Shakespearean fashion, it is not the story, but the way it is presented that engages us.

The girls are all having fun bonding, and Shiena continues to be awesome.

The reason this is, sadly, is because she’s prepping to drop Haru her note.  Kirigaya knocks her out with a spray of poison.

…I don’t mean to rules lawyer our completely arbitrary competition, but I feel like this is dirty pool. You mean I just have to knock out a fellow assassin and leave her where Haru can find her with an advance letter and it counts? This whole game should have been over in a week.

Kirigaya remains the badass we hoped she’d be.

Chitaru, in a very Shakespearean moment of Hillarious Sitcom Misunderstandings, assumes just by the accusation by Isuke that Tokaku dealt with Shiena, and the knowledge that Shiena was poisoned, that naturally Tokaku must be Angel Trumpet. Right. How did you get in this class again?  The best way to rationalize this is…somewhere, deep down, Chitaru already knows. But she is misdirecting blame to anyone convenient so she doesn’t have to outright confront Kirigaya.

Then again so much Shakespeare is founded on misunderstandings, that it seems like the assumption is intended to be genuine.

Chitaru and Kirigaya are getting ready for the play, and the subject of motivation comes up.  Chitaru’s master had a daughter killed by Angel Trumpet, and the reason remains unknown.  Chitaru only met her once, but it’s clear she’s doing this for loyalty to her superior.  Much like the Romeo and Juliet encounter, Chitaru throws everything she has into a quest for someone she only ever met once.

Isuke steals the show as the announcer. That is all. Continue reading

Blade and Soul: Episode 6

…Wow.

vlcsnap-2014-05-18-21h10m13s222

“Doctor…I think I’m going insane.”

“That might be harsh, but why do you think that of yourself?”

“Well, I was watching Blade and Soul…”

“Ah, let me stop you there.  Blade and Soul is enough to drive anyone a little mad.  It’s a momentary madness that will pass with time.”

“No, Doctor, it was worse than that.”

“Worse?”

“I was watching Episode 6 and…this normally doesn’t happen to me but…I…I think I liked it.”

*monocle intensifies*

Yes, believe it or not…I enjoyed this one.  Is it the depression from Brynhildr and Akuma no Riddle failing to live up to hope, and Black Bullet faceplanting into the ground?  Is it that, by comparison to last week’s crime against Humanity, my expectations were so low that a passable episode of this trainwreck caught me off guard and now I am pleasantly surprised?

Am I just a sucker for evil lesbians?

Let’s be clear, there are some serious contrivances and all the usual Blade and Soul nonsense.  But I think it’s no small coincidence that the first episode to depart from Alka’s trail of tears is probably the best in the series so far.  We focused on the villains and supporting cast this time.  Even Hazuki started acting like a normal fucking human being.  I know! Let’s get into this deeper. Continue reading

Black Bullet: Episode 6

…Nnggguh…

1400060393835

Well, it’s over.  Officially over.  Everything was going so well, Black Bullet.  Sure, our first date kind of had problems, and we haven’t sat down for a nice slow evening yet.  But it was all so exciting and your flaws still held a certain charm to them, like boyish immaturity instead of frat boy immaturity.

But now your anniversary card just scratched out your ex’s name and sloppily wrote mine. You didn’t even try that hard, it got all scrunched up towards the leaf of the card. And you missed a letter.  It’s like you don’t even care anymore.  So neither do I.

My acting aside, We have just about crossed the line of no return.  Actually, yes. Yes we have. Only a stalwart protagonist with gutsy determination, poor grades, and excellent flying abilities could save us from Black Hole Bullet, but we aren’t lucky enough to be on THAT ship.

We have a new OP! I don’t like it.  I realize it is more “proper” than the other, but…it lacks that charm.  There was a certain something about the way the old one emphasized dark tones, disturbing imagery, and pace.  Now everything’s so….bright.  And fast.  Which I guess just means it reflects the show now!  Yeah I am not nearly as excited by this one.

Last week I uttered the words “Strike the Blood” when discussing the “new” Black Bullet.  And how.  The atmosphere is almost identical.  That is to say: Non-threatening.

And I come back to the OP. I don’t know why this bothers me so much.  But, even if the old one was clearly done in an hour on Windows Movie Maker, it emphasized the dread of this world, as the last story arc did.

Now, we have managed to make the apocalypse BORING.

So, getting into Black Bullet the Abridged Series, Rentaro is hanging out with Tina. Because sure. Why not. This would make way more sense if we had confirmation that Rentaro knew Tina was Cursed. But we don’t have that yet. Like many things, I’m assuming we skipped that chapter.

And we are naturally fed a scene where Rentaro has so shove balls in Tina’s mouth while she whimpers.  Yeah, I am on the record: Sexualization and lolis do not bother me.  But when even I am rolling my eyes, we have gone too far.

They bond some, but since we already know Tina is the assassin, we know what’s coming.  And Romeo and Juliet, you are not, Black Adder. Continue reading

Sakura Trick: Episode 6

My feels!

1392367668394

What else do you do for a Valentine’s Day episode? Well it wasn’t thematic or anything.  At least not in-universe.  But structurally, Sakura Trick celebrated the day of love by paying attention to all three of the relationships on display. Yep. Three. Even Yuzu and Kaede, as only-friends and straight-men as they are, got some development this week.  It was quite lovely all around, I must say.

The girls are still working on their play, sewing costumes and making a few set pieces for mood.  Kotone and Yuzu scheme to have the party spend the night at the school. Yuzu asks the teacher…who tells them to fill out the forms in a voice that is the essence of not-giving-a-fuck.  Everyone seems on board for the plan, though Yuu and especially Shizuku seem more reluctant.

Some reminiscing about middle school, and the girls realize that Shizuku went to her own middle school by herself (at least among the class).  We get some backstory about how she and Kotone got along growing up, being cousins and all.  Kotone says they were just swell friends, but Shizuku remembers it as Kotone constantly enjoying seeing her cry.

…Mental note, add a check mark under the column of things I share with Kotone.

Kotone, in a fit of flirting, hits Shizuku for embarrassing her.  Oh yes, definitely a dominant sadist.

…What? Continue reading

Nobunagun: Episode 6

I wonder if Shio’s contract means she still gets paid for this episode…

DcH6ccGW6Ws

So, this episode I am lovingly calling, “John Carpenter’s Dominatrix Cut Away”. It’s a bit of a throwback of sorts to the classic 1960s era monster story, sometimes lovingly referred to as the “base under siege” story.  An isolated location, stressful, outside contact trying to destroy them, a traitor within, and the arriving heroes to make it all better.  If that sounds familiar, a lot of the greats have run with it, including Alien.

Only this time, our heroes, from squad 1, have arrived just a little too late.  Though while Squad 2 seems to be the squad of perverts, Squad 1 is the squad of assholes.  They’ve arrived at the tail end of the base under siege, and that is just so typically Nobunagun-dark I can’t help but grin.

There just isn’t much to say this week. It’s a homage to story types long passed.  We learn nothing new about the Evos, really.  And in all it’s hard to say that this episode will bear any weight on the future weeks.  It was a cute stand alone, and enjoyable for someone like me who likes these structural aspects to the stories in anime, not just the purty purty and dah feelz.

It introduces the squad 1 members, though they never even give one a proper name, body or E-gene, so it’s really hard to feel it’s a serious examination of the characters here. Continue reading