Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sankarea – 14 (OVA)

[Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_05.47_[2013.01.22_23.07.24] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_13.13_[2013.01.22_23.15.41] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_21.42_[2013.01.22_23.24.58]

I’ve seen nothing in the two OVAs to make me question my original conclusion – Sankarea is a damn good show.

2012 was a very good year for anime, and it seems as if Sankarea was very much lost in the shuffle – a good series in a year full of excellent ones (and airing in the superb Spring season to boot).  More than that, it seems to have generally been received in mediocre fashion, both by manga readers and not – BD/DVD sales were mediocre, and the tenor of most of the commentary wasn’t especially positive.  There are undeniably issues with the show, but I’m a bit baffled that it doesn't get more affection.

In the first place, in terms of combining animation quality and style, this is one of the finest series DEEN has ever produced.  Director Omata Shinichi (who used the alias Hatakeyama Mamoru here for some reason) is a SHAFT alumnus but his style is sort of post-SHAFT here, incorporating some of Shinbou’s bag of tricks but in a subtler fashion than we’re used to seeing.  It’s a great-looking show period, not just a great-looking DEEN show, and Omata stamps himself as a director to watch.  The OP is very good, the ED fantastic, the cast uniformly excellent.  There were certainly inconsistencies in the overall narrative, and the series didn’t come remotely close to giving us an ending – plus the Wanko character was the most cliché element in the series and far too much in focus late.  But on the whole it was an interesting and often emotionally powerful series, full of mood swings and surprises, and it deserves a better fate than what it’s received.

Like the first OVA, this one teases us with some of the questions the series left unanswered, yet stubbornly refuses to answer them.  Is DEEN fishing for a second season here?  Perhaps – and I certainly would like to see it – yet it’s undeniably frustrating not to receive a little more exposition than the series is willing to give.  This time around the plot surrounds a mysterious girl who Mero finds sleeping under the temple.  She doesn’t speak, and appears to have gossamer wings – but seemingly only when Rea is looking at her.  She’s a strange girl from the outset, and before long it’s clear she has a special grudge against Rea.  This manifests in the destruction of the temple’s hydrangea plants, a push down the stairs, and numerous attempts to kiss (at the least) Chihiro in the middle of the night.

I’m not precisely sure what we’re to make of the way the episode was resolved.  It might have all been a dream by Rea’s mother – who we know is insanely jealous of her daughter and desperately for physical companionship with a man, preferably Chihiro.  But it appears that Rea and Chihiro has the same dream, which significance I cannot begin to guess.  It almost doesn’t matter, because the atmosphere is – as usual – terrific (almost no Wanko doesn’t hurt) – and the episode is full of the striking visual moments and dark emotions that the anime supplied on a regular basis.  As a bridge to a possible season, this OVA works very well – as a series finale, not so much.  Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of Sankarea, because there’s a lot of things I’d really like to have explained.

[Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_09.52_[2013.01.22_23.11.42] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_09.56_[2013.01.22_23.11.46] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_10.27_[2013.01.22_23.12.17]
[Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_10.56_[2013.01.22_23.13.14] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_11.01_[2013.01.22_23.13.20] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_14.00_[2013.01.22_23.16.43]
[Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_14.03_[2013.01.22_23.16.32] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_14.05_[2013.01.22_23.16.48] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_15.42_[2013.01.22_23.18.26]
[Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_16.14_[2013.01.22_23.18.57] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_16.45_[2013.01.22_23.19.29] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_17.26_[2013.01.22_23.20.09]
[Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_18.21_[2013.01.22_23.21.04] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_19.18_[2013.01.22_23.22.22] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_19.50_[2013.01.22_23.22.54]
[Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_20.11_[2013.01.22_23.23.27] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_21.25_[2013.01.22_23.24.42] [Eveyuu] Sankarea 14 [DVD Hi10P 720x480 H264] [FF741818].mkv_snapshot_22.03_[2013.01.22_23.25.19]


10 comments:

  1. Enzo,did you watch OVA episode 13? While probably not as good as this one, it also teased a bit with possible 2nd season. It is subbed by HiryuuFansubs even though MAL doesn't show it. :) http://www.hiryuufansubs.com/sankarea/sankarea-13

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    Replies
    1. No, I missed that one, thinking the first OVA was "episode 13". I'll check it out, thanks.

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  2. Sankarea's a show that I seem to hold in higher regard in hindsight than when I was watching it. The competition it had in the spring was fierce is quite a lot of it, but the two OVA's did a lot to prolong its mindshare.

    If there's one thing I wish was different about the show, it's that Rea was less of a shrinking violet. She really does exemplify the 'little flower held in your hand' imagery that the ED and the show promote.

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  3. Where do you guys go to get DVD sales info? Would love to be able to go somewhere and see what the top 10 anime DVD sales are from week to week.

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    Replies
    1. Go to MyAnimeList. They always post newest BD, DVD & CD rankings. :)

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    2. Try this forum's thread. You can skim past all of the speculation on preorder and sales numbers if it isn't your bag (baby) and find the translated data without much hassle.

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  4. Hey Guardian Enzo,

    Ever thought about resuming your blogging work on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure?

    I know that you've already blogged on the first three episodes. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on the show as it is right now (the show's on episode 15), because it is far wackier and more outrageous than anything the first three episodes had to offer.

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  5. What would be the point of that other than him pointing out how unsubtle it is each week?

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  6. ''in terms of combining animation quality and style, this is one of the finest series DEEN has ever produced. ''

    Hmm, I would think you need to watch something like Hiiro no Kakera before saying that though.

    Still, this was a good series. WOuldn't mind if they did go with a full on OVA route though (which I think is the better option here).

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  7. I really liked this show too and when it ended I didn't even realize. I was always checking for episode 13 but it never came. I was devistated.
    So when I found these OVAs that made me happy. But I also wish a second season is granted. There were sooo many questions left that they still pop into my mind from time to time. I want answers!!!

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