Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weekly Digest: 5/14/12 – Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Kimi to Boku 2, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_12.21_[2012.05.14_13.59.14] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.04_[2012.05.14_15.54.40] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.22_[2012.05.14_17.00.04]

Mary, Mary, where you goin’ to?
Mary, Mary, can I go too?
The one thing I will vow ya
I’d rather die than live without ya,
Mary, Mary, where ya goin’ to?
 Mobile Suit Gundame AGE – 31
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_00.54_[2012.05.14_13.48.47] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_05.59_[2012.05.14_13.52.52] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_08.19_[2012.05.14_13.55.12]
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_09.58_[2012.05.14_13.56.51] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_13.59_[2012.05.14_14.00.52] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_14.45_[2012.05.14_14.01.38]
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_14.58_[2012.05.14_14.01.51] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_17.06_[2012.05.14_14.03.59] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_17.46_[2012.05.14_14.04.39]
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_19.44_[2012.05.14_14.06.37] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_20.48_[2012.05.14_14.07.40] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_21.00_[2012.05.14_14.07.53]
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_21.18_[2012.05.14_14.08.11] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_21.29_[2012.05.14_14.08.22] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_31_[720p][10bit][B8D2246A].mkv_snapshot_21.49_[2012.05.14_14.08.42]


A whole slew of new characters made their first meaningful appearances this week, but by far the most significant impact was made by Mallen Shanalua (Paku Romi) who we briefly met last week.  It’s always great to have the legendary Paku-sama in a cast, but her character is the one person in the series that has the common sense to be horrified by what’s happening to Kio.  As is unfortunately too often the case with AGE the dialogue spelling this out is subtle as a sledgehammer, but at least the grotesque nature of a 13 year-old smiling delightedly after killing dozens of people is acknowledged.  Seemingly, Flit is going to be set up at one end of the spectrum here with Shanalua at the other, with Abis (still the best part of every scene he’s in) in the center – except that Shanalua is probably the spy hinted at in the preview, which means she’ll likely be leaving us soon (robbing Kio of a potential love interest, based on her behavior this week).

I can’t help but laugh sometimes at how conveniently everyone’s descendants always end up together, and we have Dique’s grandson Wootbit (seriously, Gundam?) joining the Diva crew as one of Rody’s assistance.  Wootbit (Oohata Shintarou, who also played Dique) is part of a rather contrived subplot where he resents Kio for all the attention he gets as an Asuno, then ends up befriending him after seeing what an efficient killing machine he is first hand.  The other interesting element of the episode is seeing Einus continually humiliated on her own bridge.  As an old military man, Flit should know that a Captain is always the Captain of their own ship, even when an Admiral is aboard (never mind a retired one).  Rather than shouting at her and belittling her, he should be trying to use his experience to help her rise to the level of her position.  Frankly, she could have him clapped in irons for what he’s doing now – he has no military standing on her bridge whatsoever, yet he’s the one giving orders.

Kimi to Boku 2 – 07
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.34_[2012.05.14_17.35.23] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.37_[2012.05.14_17.35.15] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.09_[2012.05.14_15.44.45]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.51_[2012.05.14_15.45.27] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.04_[2012.05.14_15.48.40] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.19_[2012.05.14_15.48.55]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.57_[2012.05.14_15.50.33] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.00_[2012.05.14_15.51.35] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.06_[2012.05.14_15.52.41]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.00_[2012.05.14_15.53.36] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.55_[2012.05.14_15.55.30] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.40_[2012.05.14_16.00.16]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.00_[2012.05.14_16.00.36] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.53_[2012.05.14_16.01.28] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.17_[2012.05.14_16.01.53]

It’s funny how the romance in this series is much more compelling for me than it is in most series that are much more about the romance.  I don’t even especially like Mary all that much – she’s fine, but a little irritating to be honest – but there’s a sort of purity to the way she feels about Shun and the way Chizuru feels about her that feels pretty authentic to the whole “first crush” experience.

Purity aside, Chizuru did have a sexy dream about her of course – about the most surprising moment in a season and a half of KtB.  There’s certainly much more impetus to this series when he and Mary are at center – it’s about the only time the show feels like it’s really about something.  It’s no secret that Chizuru is the most interesting character in this cast for me, so any eps built around him have something of a head start anyway.  This one even managed to build up a fair amount of suspense using the tired old Valentine’s Day premise, especially as regards Shun and the girl from another school who confessed.  It’s not unfair to wonder just what’s up with Shun and relationships – the series could hardly drop any broader hints (“When did you turn into a teenaged  girl?”) that dating girls might not be his thing – and he’s oblivious to Mary’s feelings and seemed shocked when the new girl confessed.  I don’t suppose we’ll ever really get an answer as to why he said no, but it’s interesting to speculate.

Mostly the ep was about Chizuru and Mary-saki, though, and I must confess I find his chivalrous attitude towards her rather gallant.  Surely it would be best if she forgot about Shun and considered the guy who actually likes her, but in the meantime Chizuru is always there to catch her when she falls and buck her up, even if she never seems to appreciate it.  Kudos to Chizuru for boldly going where this series has never gone before and having him confess to her openly, and quite matter-of-factly – it puts the onus squarely on Mary to at least give him an answer, and signals that the frustrating triangle that isn’t might finally be coming to an end.

Tasogara Otome x Amnesia – 06
[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.06_[2012.05.14_16.56.49] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.32_[2012.05.14_16.57.15] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.29_[2012.05.14_16.58.12]
[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.50_[2012.05.14_17.03.33] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.26_[2012.05.14_17.07.09] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.59_[2012.05.14_17.08.41]
[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.06_[2012.05.14_17.10.49] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.34_[2012.05.14_17.13.17] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_23.35_[2012.05.14_17.15.09]

I’m dropping this one for blogging purposes, as I think I’ve reached that point in a series where the things that bother you really grate, and the resistance to the good things gets stronger and stronger.  This isn’t a bad show but it just doesn’t work for me, mainly because I find Yuuko rather annoying and Niiya pretty bland as a lead.  Plus, Shin-san’s tics and tricks are so predictable and played out by now, I feel as if I can practically predict each one before he drags it out.  I don’t doubt the source material is better and could have been a fine anime in the right hands, but Dusk Maiden the anime is just too confused about what kind of show it is to be be any kind of show especially well.

As for this episode, again, not bad – I certainly prefer this series in darker mode to slapstick mode.  But as is so often the case I think the reach exceeds the grasp, and we just don’t see the ideas executed very well.  In concept the idea of a living Yuuko pissed off about the ghost Yuuko rumors is an interesting one, but her plot was quite silly and made very little sense.  It was supposed to be scary but didn’t really pull that off, because I never took it seriously enough.  About the only thing I find consistently pleasing in this show is Kirie (Kitamura Eri really is a great actress) but she’s basically an accessory, and she’s just not enough to keep me covering it.


12 comments:

  1. The thing about Tasogare is that the anime is structured like the manga. You know where the mangaka will probably have to go eventually, but he's taking his time.

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    1. And I should add that Kirie might well end up doing something significant for her great aunt (conjecture on my part).

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  2. Tasogare Otome:
    Funny. It's not.
    Moe. It's not.
    Sexy. It's not.
    Plot? What plot?

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  3. I know why KtB is a compelling romance. Its because in most romances you can tell what the end relationship(s) are by the opening/ending. With KtB you can't, simply because we never know whether any of the links will actual reach completion. It's much more about going through these moments of our life than the moment itself.

    The intangible, like Federer, is what describes KtB best. Plus the twins are always funny.

    Also I came up with some stand up from it:

    1) Shun rejected that girl because from the start he's had a reverse harem end in mind.

    2) So why did Chizuru dive back under the blanket to complete his dream and have a box of tissues nearby. Not so pure pure boy when you're alone, eh.

    That's all for tonight folks.

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  4. I've dropped Tasogara Otome x Amnesia after episode 4. A season this filled with above average shows, no point in beating yourself over a slightly lower than average show.

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  5. Tasogare X otome only work in manga format, i don't really enjoy the episode when they skip too many chapter.

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  6. Enzo, what, if anything, could prompt you to actually comment on how Gundam AGE treats female characters?

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  7. @Enzo, you have never been remotely near an army before have you?
    The earth's army is full of sucky people.
    1. True that captains technically have the right of way. But in the army the only thing more powerful than rank is respect.
    2. That engineer kid sucks. Fighting own allies gets one to DB. Guess in this case the engineers are outsourced, non-army people. Must be that Mobile suits are far more complicated than battle cruisers and tanks to have army personnel handle them?? (lousy reason though)

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  8. "Even the enemy has a family."

    Ya, we know. We also know that if you prepared to attack others you must be prepared to die. Dont pick up a sword unless you are ready to die. Seeing that the Vegans are all about murder and slaughter I dont think they care. Their family members probably died in some other battle elsewhere anyway.

    I just dont really like agressors.

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  9. 2 points. First, the only Vagan (not Vegan, BTW) we ever see are the military so I don't think it's fair to assume all of them are the same. Second, for me it's not a question of not killing Vagan who are invading Earth. It's a matter of teaching a child to kill them and not giving him any context as to why he shouldn't be so thrilled to be doing it.

    In a very, very, very crude way there are some echoes of Ender's Game in Kio's story.

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  10. Flit is slowly but surely raising his perfect weapon for the Vagan with Kio here. Shanalua might be convincing Kio now about his attitude towards fighting in the war but I don't think it will last long as she's obviously the traitor. Too bad, I like her. And Paku Romi getting a side role in Gundam. Oh Sunrise, you and your high tier seiyuu cast.
    Wootbit should just die though.

    I quite liked the KtB episode. Shun isn't a background design anymore with that rejection and Yuki is such a bro. Chizuru's pretty bold to hug her and then confess so props to that. Now how about some focus on Kaname?

    And yeah, I was actually expecting that Tasogare's coverage will get dropped this episode. The mystery came and went by so fast really that there wasn't any buildup. This arc was 3 chapters in the manga.
    I would have liked it that Kirishima showed up/got introduced in the previous episode like in the manga as a cliffhanger, then cue this episode. To further build up the Akahito-san mystery. Oh well, YMMV. I quite liked that taunting with the faces and the letters part, albeit a bit long. And the shadow, yeah they're just teasing it so much I really hope they do something about it sooner or later. At least it pops up...mostly.

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    Replies
    1. That's it, each episode feels like standalone story, just like Doraemon. Only that Doraemon is funnier.

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