OreGairu Season 2 Episode 3 – Scabbing Normalcy, Scarring Unchange

So, we’re already past an arc! The first arc doubled down on reminding us why the characters work as they do, and gave us insight as to their characters – they’re lonely, even as they cling to others. They’re suffering, and they hate themselves. But they, like everyone else, has to make do with the situation they’re in, which includes lying to themselves about their suffering, and thus, hating themselves even more.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Keeping Up Appearances:

OreGairu S2 episode 3 anime notes - Hikigaya Hachiman is running away

1) “But I think any news is better than no news.” – Hachiman is bored. You know why he’s bored? Because he’s alone, because no one will interact with him, or make him part of their activities. Though it goes both ways, it means he’s not going out of his way to interact with others. As he keeps demonstrating, he thinks his only real strength is his loneliness, so he will not let it go.

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Spring 2015 Anime Overview – Week 2 (Anime Power Ranking)

The season started! Premier write-ups for Punch Line, Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!), and Sidonia no Kishi S2 (Knights of Sidonia), and episode 2 write-ups for everything else. While most episodes this week were decent, I felt it was weaker than last week.

As always, the list is ordered by how much I liked the episodes, combined with how good I thought they were, in a descending order (first is best, last is worst).

1) OreGairu S2 Episode 2 (SNAFU Too!):

OreGairu S2 episode 2 anime overview - Ebina Hina hate herself

I sure had a lot to say about this episode. I mean, here’s a full episodic notes post for it, and here’s a lengthy post-episode editorial detailing the show’s breakdown of self-loathing, and how it relates to the wish of maintaining the status quo, and both leads to self-loathing, and is one’s “punishing” of one’s self for said self-loathing. This season seems to go straight for the jugular in how much it directly attacks the manner in which the characters are built, and how they interact with one another. Or perhaps I just notice it even more since it builds on all that came before.

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Media Month in Review – March 2015

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic. Highlights this month: Pillars of Eternity kickstarter delivered, Sherlock and The Blacklist, anime of the heaviest and least-heavy sorts.

Movies:

Big Hero 6 - Baymax and Hiro - Non huggable armour

Big Hero 6 – This movie sort of exemplifies the problem I’ve had with the third Harry Potter film. I really liked the book, but the film sort of ticked all the plot-boxes, without actually spending any time on characterization. Likewise, this film ticked all the “Feel good” boxes, the group support, the don’t give into the darkness, believe in yourself, etc. It had beautiful vistas, some good action sequences, and a couple of emotional scenes, but again, everything according to the standardized mix. The film was empty calories, even if enjoyable, in a standardized enjoyment way.

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OreGairu Season 2 Episode 2 – Protective Self-Loathing

So, what did we have this episode? What did we really have this episode? First of all, we’ve had “someone acting strange.” Hachiman was speaking of Hayama not being his usual effusive and helpful self, and rather being unhelpful, but watching the episode you also have Ebina acting somewhat weird and giving off “sad vibes”, and Miura actually being aggressive for the sake of others. And you have Hachiman and Yukino hold onto the note they pass for too long.

OreGairu S2 episode 2 anime - Hayato Hayama fears change

That last one seems irrelevant, but that is the point. Everyone is acting “weird”, because everyone is trying to deal with the tension of desiring for the status quo to remain, because everything else is scary and you risk losing what you already have, and the constant desire to have something better, something more. In terms of a community, this struggle is a bit more complex, but still similar, and ranges the gamut from desiring your friends to be happy in the status quo, to them being happier if things change, to the risk that not only your friends will not be happier if things turn out badly, but that as a result everyone else will suffer as well.

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Spring 2015 First Impressions

Having watched seven shows, all of the ones premiering on the first week of the season, it’s time for a short round-up post where I share my impressions of them. As I actually wrote something longer for each of these shows, I’ll keep it brief, and link to the lengthier impressions post.

As always, the list is ordered by how much I liked the episodes, combined with how good I thought they were, in a descending order (first is best, last is worst).

1) Plastic Memories Episode 1:

Plastic Memories episode 1 anime - Unrewarding work

Plastic Memories is off to a great start. Its direction has a great knack for comic timing, and even if all the gags are physical or old hand, they take just the right amount of time, or are carried so fluidly and naturally that they don’t draw undue attention when they don’t wish to. The drama tearworks were reserved for the episode finale, and even there, the choice of what to show and when to show had greatly enhanced the effect.

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Plastic Memories Episode 1 – The Means of Soul Production

Oh man, this was really good. I’m going to have to stop myself, because otherwise my post on the first episode could easily balloon into a couple thousand words. But in short? This was really good.

Presentation:

Plastic Memories episode 1 anime notes -Welcoming Michiru

Not a lot to say here, so I’ll keep this short. The art is fine, more of a style I associate with slice-of-life comedies. Rather soft. It’s… fine. The palette is very blue-centric, with blues and green-blues, alongside with outright neons everywhere helping to give this a more futuristic look.

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Episode 13 – Betrayals, Love Confessions, and Regret

(To clarify, this is the first episode in the 2nd cour.)

So, where did last cour’s finale leave us? With Saber taken by Caster, to be turned into darkness (“defiled”, ahem), with Shirou being left behind by Rin and Garcher. I do think it was a very awkward place to stop the cour, not on any high note of action or drama, honestly. That episode sort of robbed the tension at the spot it chose to end.

As most of my knowledge revolves around the first route, and here it’s more hearsay, plenty of stuff to surprise me is expected! This show is very chuuni, and takes itself way too seriously, but it’s still overall enjoyable to watch. The comedy was actually enjoyable, and hopefully we’ll get a lot more action in this cour.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Catching Up – Submission:

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works (TV) anime episode 13 notes - - Captive Saber

/Blech/.

1) Weak and helpess Shirou is reminded of how helpless he is, and so, his thoughts turn to the last time he was entirely powerless.So, another turn around the rosie with Shirou’s ideals, but seems this time he actually reflects on them, rather than declaring them to convince others, to convince himself: He wants to become a hero, to make others happy. He is willing to sacrifice himself. Why? Because he wants to prove him existing in the world is worth it. Not by his existence, but by what he’ll do for others, because his life, his wishes, no longer matter. He’s someone who should be dead, so this second life isn’t his.

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