Mekakucity Actors Episode 2 Notes – “You’re All Style and No Substance!” – Akiyuki Shinbou

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

Real talk. Last episode had been pretty, and interesting, but also self-indulgent as all hell. However much you wanted to get us to understand Ene, this was just giving her more time than was necessary, for fun. Or perhaps because you didn’t have enough material, so you wanted to drag it along. As a result, regardless of whether Ene was loveable or annoying, very little actually happened last week.

And although that episode was filled with nearly non-stop chatter, very little of consequence was actually said.

We’ve got a big cast, and I suspect each episode will be quite different tonally. Well, an episode without Ene is bound to feel different, so let’s see what we’ve got on our hands.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Meet Momo. Silly and Loveable. Our Idol!:

Mekakucity Actors Episode 2 anime notes - Kisaragi Momo doesn't want to repeat a class

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Spring 2014 Week 2 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

Another week! Most of the weak shows actually improved, some even did so dramatically! Also covering first impressions for the following shows: Ping Pong, Hitsugi no Chaika (Chaika the Coffin Princess), Mekakucity Actors, and Knights of Sidonia (Sidonia no Kishi).

Each episode’s title links to my full episodic notes for the episode in question, in case you’d like my in-depth reactions. Shows are listed in the order of my enjoyment of the relevant episodes, not the show as a whole. Some shows are listed higher than others though I consider them worse, because I’ve enjoyed this week’s episode more.

1) Mushishi S2 episode 2

Mushishi second season episode 2 anime overview

 From APR – Last week’s Mushishi was “Mushishi good”, which means it was very good, and small, that it didn’t scream its existence to the world. This episode though had been great even by Mushishi standards. We’ve had a case where the Mushishi situation reflects the situation of the humans, /twice over/. We had small sad moments, we had moments that had been down to earth, and moments where the supernatural had been allowed to shine in all of its glory. I have the feeling most of the voice actors in Mushishi aren’t professional full-time actors, and if anything, it makes things feel so much more real. May every episode be like this.

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Durarara!! – The Sound and Fury of Life

Durarara!! AnimeShortly before Winter’s season was ending, I was feeling a bit meh over all the anime I was watching, and didn’t feel like tackling all the shows I already started, so picked a new show to watch, with the intention of marathoning it. In short? I loved Durarara!! It made my heart swell, it made my thoughts race, as I’m filled with an inexplicable joy and feelings of overwhelming love for the whole world. That show invigorated me and made me want to run, and act.

Durarara!! (DRRR for short) had been written by Narita Ryogo, the author behind fan-favourite Baccano! (meaning “ruckus”), and their anime adaptations also share a director. I hadn’t watched Baccano! yet, but they both are light novel adaptations displaying a very varied cast, and both deal with noise, if only thematically. DRRR is a very loud anime, not in decibels, but there’s music that is somewhat ill-belonging present in almost every scene. The music disarms you, the music forces you to enter the world, to weather the fury, to embrace it. Repeating sounds are what draws you into a ritualistic mindset, and it’s very present here.

While they are Light Novel adaptations, I think these are exactly the stories that benefit from being adapted into a visual medium, as the intersecting story-lines and characters can be seen in the background, as we see this breathing world, without attention being drawn to it by the author. It’s a word which different characters share, and we get to see things from various angles. As much as it is a story of the characters, Durarara!! is very much the story of Ikebukuro, a district within Tokyo. It’s the story of the world inhabited and created by the cast.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be premise spoilers, but while I might spoil what some of the situations are, I won’t spoil how they are resolved.)

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Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 Notes – Shinbo Presents: Clippy! Wait, What?!

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

This is an interesting show for me, one of the shows I’m most interested and intrigued by, but have the least “hype” for, just because I have no idea what to expect, so I have nothing concrete to hope for. I don’t even know “genre”. I’m just going to watch it and see what it is.

Took 20 screenshots this episode. Mostly starring Ene-blue and Shinbo-Sky-Mustard.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Shinbo being Shinbo (Shaft being Shaft):

Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 anime notes - Tsubomi Kido

1) Boy’s hair fluttering makes me think of Araragi from Monogatari. Gears of a clock as we talk of time-travel or repeating time-loops (I’m guessing) is an easy motif.

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Spring 2014 First Impressions – (Week 1 Anime Power Ranking)

I ran out of energy and desire to cover the final weeks of the Winter 2014 season (I’m so glad it’s over). But we’ve got a new season, so it’s time to see how the first episodes fared! The episodes are those I’ve watched from Wednesday to Wednesday, and are listed in the order of my enjoyment of them.

Each episode’s title links to my full episodic notes for the episode in question, in case you’d like my in-depth reactions.

(Shows Covered, in alphabetical order: Akuma no Riddle, Black Bullet, Brynhildr no Gokukoku (Brynhildr in the Darkness), Captain Earth, Fairy Tail (2014), Isshuukan Friends (One Week Friends), JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic High School), Mushishi S2, Nagi no Asukara, Nisekoi, “No Game, No Life”, and Selector Infected WIXOSS.)

Note, Originally Selector Infected WIXOSS and Nagi no Asukara had been placed just above Akuma no Riddle. Then I decided to embrace fun and bumped them down for the faults I enumerate in my write-ups, basically for being muddled and not brave enough.

1) Captain Earth episode 1

Captain Earth episode 1 anime overview

From APR – This show was fun. I actually wanted to watch episode 2 immediately after! While people say it reminds them of Star Driver, not having seen that I thought of Eureka 7. It’s fun seeing a mecha show by people other than Sunrise who had really been off their game lately. This show was very shiny, and we not only got hammered with an extra-heavy dose of “mystical prophecy / portentous memories/dreams”, but we actually got to see the origin, and see the truth behind them. Father being a “Captain” is something many shows would’ve dragged to reveal in who knows how many episodes, but we’ve got it all in the first episode.

This show was gorgeous, it was well-directed, well-acted, and it was interesting. The need for everything to have secrets/symbolism and psychology (really, Freud?) consistent in Bones’ anime is a bit tiring, but guess that’s what post-NGE mecha are about. Still, an extremely strong showing.

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Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion – Being Unable to Let Go.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion movie -  Akemi Homura animeLast week I’ve finally had the chance to watch the long-awaited Puella Magi Madoka Magica movie 3: Rebellion, known in Japanese as Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: Hangyaku no Monogatari (Story of the Rebellion). Wait, what?! Third movie? Where did that come from? That had been my thoughts when the third film had been announced.

The first two movies are a recap of the 12 episode series, with better visuals but a worse story – they cut on some of the nuances, the nuances which are all that give the third movie anything to stand on. I strongly suggest watching the series instead of the film, it’s only 40 minutes longer. The story told within the series and first two movies is complete and self-contained, so much so that Madoka Magica is a series I consider to be one of the best anime series I’ve ever watched – everything tying up thematically plays a large part of it.

When the film had been announced, as true fans of the series, many of us had been excited and curious to see what the new film will bring about. Curious, and filled with a slight sense of unease, that the film is “merely” trying to make more money, and is nothing but fan-service. A few months ago the movie had been released in the states and opinions had been divided between the movie being great, the movie being a fan-service-directed money-grab, and opinions thinking that both are true.

(I’m going to spoil the entirety of the Madoka franchise, from the series to the third film, beyond this point.)

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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Episode 1 – Inferiority Complex, Memento Mori, Adaptation Thoughts

On Resentment and Feelings of Superiority:

It’s easy to understand the resentment felt by Course 1 students towards Course 2 students. Course 2 students are “replacements”. 100 students in each course, every year, so what are replacements for?

Replacements are there in case you lose the ability to use magic, or get hurt. To be constantly around people whose mere existence reminds you that you can lose the gift which you have, or even your life. To constantly be surrounded by people vying to take your spot. It’s unsurprising that resentment builds up.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei / The Irregular at Magic High School episode 1 - Standoff, Shibata Mizuki, Morisaki, Saijou Leonheart, Chiba Erika, Mitsui Honoka, Shizuku

The Course 2 students are essentially “memento mori”, a reminder that you are mortal, and replaceable (Later on there’ll be some talk that’ll make this more relevant, though they don’t touch on it again, just my own thought that makes all of this even more ridiculous, I’ll touch upon it when it comes up).

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