Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weekly Digest: 5/7/12 – Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, Kimi to Boku 2, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san

[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.05_[2012.05.07_15.46.09] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.46_[2012.05.07_16.56.05] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.40_[2012.05.07_20.33.22]

Most unwise pinky swear ever…

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia – 05
[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.56_[2012.05.07_15.34.52] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.26_[2012.05.07_15.35.22] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.58_[2012.05.07_15.36.03]
[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.18_[2012.05.07_15.38.22] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.45_[2012.05.07_15.40.50] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.55_[2012.05.07_15.42.59]
[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.18_[2012.05.07_15.45.22] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.49_[2012.05.07_15.46.53] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.33_[2012.05.07_15.50.37]
[HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.26_[2012.05.07_15.49.30] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.21_[2012.05.07_15.52.25] [HorribleSubs] Dusk Maiden of Amnesia - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.42_[2012.05.07_15.53.47]

If there’s one series of the Spring that I’m almost exactly on the fence about, it’s this one.  It pleases me, bores me and irritates me in just about equal amounts.

I really do like Kirie as a character – have from the beginning, if you’ve been reading my posts – and so it was nice to see an episode centered around her character.  But I feel as in the anime version anyway, the concept of this series usually exceeds the execution.  It’s an interesting premise and an interesting dynamic, but has some flaws that are close to deal-breakers for me (and they’re interrelated).  First off, it tries to be a screwball comedy too often and that’s a problem in that I rarely find it funny.  The writing is so self-aware  that the characters do all but pause and wait for adoring laughter every time a joke is executed, and the gags – not that funny to begin with – are becoming repetitive.  Which is part of the second problem, Yuuko.  The bit with her sexually embarrassing the hell out of Teiichi is exactly the same every time – it’s like a “Groundhog Day” effect, the same situation over and over.  Enough already, I get it.

Can I like this series if I find the main character annoying?  And that’s where I find myself, because Yuuko is really getting on my nerves.  The series is much, much better when it tries to be serious than when it tries to be funny, and that certainly applies to her too.  Her situation is pretty sad when you consider it, and I have empathy for the character – in concept.  In practice, I just find her grating – though it’s better when things stay fairly grounded.  Kirie is definitely the best part of the show for me, and the more we get into her issues the more interested I’ll be.  It was certainly obvious she was falling for Teiichi, and it’s clever to have her feeling jealous and competitive towards a dead relative – a new twist on old adolescent insecurities.  I don’t necessarily need to see her brought down to Okonogi’s level as she was this week – she’s certainly cute as a little sister maid with nekomimi, but I find her more attractive when she’s being her usual self. 

After next week the show will be half-over, so I suppose the onus is one me to make a firm decision one way or the other.  It’s weird to be undecided this late in the game, but Dusk Maiden is a weird show.  I suppose I’ll give it another episode and see where it takes me.

Kimi to Boku 2 – 06
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.56_[2012.05.07_16.37.47] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.59_[2012.05.07_16.39.39] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.55_[2012.05.07_16.42.14]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.22_[2012.05.07_16.42.42] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.18_[2012.05.07_16.50.38] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.48_[2012.05.07_16.53.07]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.16_[2012.05.07_16.53.36] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.41_[2012.05.07_16.54.00] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.27_[2012.05.07_16.54.46]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.40_[2012.05.07_16.56.59] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.52_[2012.05.07_16.58.11] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 06 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.34_[2012.05.07_16.58.54]

Why doesn’t it surprise me that Yuuki reads shoujo manga?

It says something about how perversely addicted to the mundane KtB is that one show about collecting Anpanda stickers wasn’t enough – it had to give us a second.  But this was really more about real-life concerns than konbini stickers, and the subplot featuring Kayo the cafeteria girl and her cougar of a Mom has always been more entertaining than average for this show.  It seems as if the twins have been more in focus this season than last, and the spotlight was squarely on Yuuki this time.  Clearly, this is a guy who lacks motivation in life to a ridiculous degree – so much so that Yuta is prone to worrying over it and prodding him to do things like join the basketball club.  But what’s obvious to us is that there is something Yuuki feels passionate about, though among his pals only “National Treasure” Shun (“You too, Miss”) seems to have a clue about it.

Anime about first crushes tend to be pretty formulaic, but this episode was quite effective.  You’d expect no less than an extremely understated treatment from Kimi to Boku and that’s exactly what we got, but the relationship between Yuuki and Kayo – she just old enough to not take him seriously as a potential love interest – is surprisingly sad and authentic.  With Kayo quitting to go back to pursuing her original vocation as a hair and makeup stylist, he’s understandably in a funk (even by his standards) but Yuuki conjures up enough courage to at least face Kayo on her last day and say goodbye – and to give her the precious second-gen Anpanda plate he’d been saving for (I half-expected her to refuse it).  Given the film noir fantasy playing out in his mind I almost (but not quite) thought he might be bold and try to kiss her – but that would be a different series.  Instead, like so many relationships in our teenage years, this one was just a brief flash in time and both parties went their separate ways.

I hope that bad relationship karma doesn’t bode ill for Chizuru, as next week’s ep looks as if it’ll focus on my favorite KtB sidebar, his pursuit of Mary-saki.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san – 05
[HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.01_[2012.05.07_20.17.57] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.32_[2012.05.07_20.18.28] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.58_[2012.05.07_20.20.02]
[HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.08_[2012.05.07_20.22.12] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.42_[2012.05.07_20.23.46] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.44_[2012.05.07_20.24.48]
[HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.07_[2012.05.07_20.27.11] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.21_[2012.05.07_20.28.25] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.26_[2012.05.07_20.32.07]
[HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.30_[2012.05.07_20.31.52] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.54_[2012.05.07_20.33.36] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.11_[2012.05.07_20.34.53]
[HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.43_[2012.05.07_20.35.25] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.57_[2012.05.07_20.36.38] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.59_[2012.05.07_20.36.41]

So this thing wasn’t on track to move enough Blu-rays, now they add BL to the mix?  This show just doesn’t miss a trick.

Speaking of which, just within the first five minutes we had Kuroshitsuji and Pokemon references, and then  the DeLorean showed up.  I think my favorite moment of the episode, though, was certainly the “Nephren-car” – and all the more so because it came out of a Pokeball .  Seriously, I don’t know who stays up all night coming up with this stuff, but there are some wonderful drugs now that just might be able to help.  Or could that be the problem?

So just why did Cthulhu tell Yoriko-san that whichever side that possessed her could rule the universe – and when did Yoriko (and then Kuuko) willingly get in her DeLorean and speed off after she whispered something in their ear?  I don’t especially care and I doubt you do either, and it’s pretty safe to assume it’s going to be something very stupid.  And that’s just how we’ll like it.  It’s much more fun to focus on the season’s weirdest love quadrangle, with genderless yet female Nyaruko after Mahiro, genderless yet lesbian Kuuko after Nyaruko and genderless yet shota Hastur after Mahiro, too.  It's funny how many fans are taking the same self-delusional track as Mahiro to deal with their budding Hasturcon feelings...  You just keep telling yourself he’s a guy and it doesn’t count, Mahiro – I can see your resistance melting away already.  That 25 million year promise might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but The Old Ones have very long memories…


11 comments:

  1. I agree with you about Yuuko and Teichi. Their interactions can get real stale (she teases, he blushes), so I was glad in the latest episode that they focused on Kirie (who I prefer with short hair). However I do understand why Yuuko likes him. I don't quite get why Kirie does other than the fact that he's the male lead...

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    1. I forgot not to use safari... had to rewrite this post.

      I have read the manga, and as far as i can remember i too dunno why she likes him.

      two possible reasons
      1. She was crying in the dark, he helped her.
      2. First friend she ever had? She did hint that she "now has friends". Means she does not have friends before. Possibly due to the power her grandma weights on the school (previous episode remember?) [Everyone is nice to you due to your power but no one dares get too close]

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  2. Nyaruko-san is one of those series that, when the BluRay rips hit, needs a second subtitle track just listing the references as they happen. It'd probably put screen text at the top the entire time.

    And did I catch an Eureka 7 reference with Flywheel/Launch?

    I loved the head petting scene. That was a solid LOL moment.

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  3. Nyaruko seems to mash up as many different kinds of comedy together and see what happens. I think they've really succeeded at that and in a season without any other ROFL comedies, Nyaruko has the stand up act all to itself.

    KtB really is understated. In fact it defines understated, being as relaxed and slow as possible. Everything just flows down the river of simple plot. I've also figured out the difference between KtB and all-girl slice of lifes. It's that in the girl ones each episode is about bringing out as much moe content as possible (Natsuiro Kiseki is testament) while with KtB it really is a slice of life anime about the simple things in a real life.

    I think I'll drop Tasogare. I agree with GE that Kirei is the only interesting character but the fact is that Teichi and Yuuko are the main couple and we'll get far more of them. I don't hate them but just find them incredibly boring to watch. the sexual harrasement wasn't funny the first time and it isn't the 17th time.

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  4. You said it about Tasogare! I'm thankful that I finally found someone with a similar opinion. Most forums or posts I go to say how they love it, etc. Frankly, I'm disappointed with Tasogare. One of my anticipated Spring animes turned out to be so bland. The main problem is that it didn't do anything beyond the premise that was given over the preview. I keep hoping they'll turn serious but they keep poking around fun. I'm not a fan of ecchi moments but if there was meaning to it, I wouldn't mind- this anime seems to use it only for fan service thus less time to actually develop a plausible story. I'm sad thinking this is 12 episode and they wasted already 5 episodes on nothing. I agree Kirie is my favorite! Best episodes are always about her.

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    1. Tasogare is a lot like Denpa Onna or Natsu no Arashi (which our director also directed) with some suspense elements and a Ghost.

      Which lowers its artistic and dramatic qualities, but raises quite a lot of the enjoyability, at least for me. It's not Sakamichi by any stretch, but I still enjoy each episode.

      And the fact this is a SHAFTling series really helps. This is a different take on comedy, not a different take on Horror. But, if you're a manga reader, I could see being annoyed.

      But, if you don't like the SHAFT style (unfortunately, I've found I very much do, doh), then there isn't a lot here with this series outside of competent visuals. It's not really trying to press you on anything. It's, to me, enjoyable but no intellectual in its approach. Which probably means it'll sell well.

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    2. Actually, looking more at the production staff, this is pretty much Natsu no Arashi 3, with a different setting. I really didn't enjoy that series too much, but I can see a whole lot of similar setup, right down to the opening episode.

      Oh, and the series comp also did Mirai Nikki. :)

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    3. For, me, NNA was much, much better than this series so far. The characters were layered and comparatively believable, the balance between comedy and drama better, and most importantly, the comedy was actually funny.

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    4. As a manga reader, I honestly think this adaptation is pretty horrible. Everything feels so silly. All the characters overact and lack any subtlety or tact (and Teichi's wimpy voice... god, I hate it so much), the BGM is terrible, the comedy is dumb and awfully timed. And then there is the manga's atmosphere, that constant creepiness which I don't think the anime managed to capture, along with the pure horror aspect.

      There is also the fact that the anime doesn't seem to be bothered to follow the main plot line. It skips the most relevant arcs and eliminates important parts. The interesting aspect about Tasogare is how most - if not all - mysteries are somehow linked to Yuuko and her past, so you slowly get to learn about her and the way and the reason she died. Yet last week this adaptation left out the part about the cursed stone's true nature and how it was tightly connected to Yuuko and now jumps to the more slife-of-life couple of chapters.

      I honestly don't understand why there aren't more people complaining about this adaptation, especially manga readers. I'm even considering dropping it (and I'm someone who can enjoy adaptations such as Bakuman's and Zetman's).

      @azuredaydreamer: if it's serious story arcs you are looking for then you should give the manga a chance.

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    5. @SQA- I have to agree with Enzo here. NNA is way better than Tasogare. Aside from the fact, it was funny. The comedy added another dimension to the characters. They used it effectively and not milk it for what it's worth like in Tasogare.

      @Murkel- Sure, I'll give it a shot. I'm glad to know that the manga is a whole lot better than the anime.

      Delete
  5. I'm close to the point of losing all faith in Shin Oonuma. Nothing he's done for quite a while has been consistently good. He's ripping himself off constantly, and seems to make a lot of poor adaptation decisions.

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