(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.)
Though I rated other shows higher, due to enjoyment, and this show still needing to stretch its legs and prove to us, this show fills me with much excitement, it might be my writeup darling of the season, it might be my Gatchaman Crowds. It has a lot of interesting themes, and characters, and is moving things along briskly. I’m excited to see where they’re taking us next.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) On Truth and Lies (Nietzsche reference? Surely not!):
1) Hm, it’s always interesting, when champions of truth and justice hide their faces, what sort of message are they sending? The masks, the ridiculous riddle, the “White Light”, they are as ridiculous as Zvezda. No, pay attention, they are exactly as ridiciulous as Zvezda. “White Light”, to counter “May the Light of Zvezda shine upon you.” – They try to spread their message, they try to control the world, from the shadows.
Zvezda is a public entity, they try to show the truth of the world, whereas the “White Light” tries to blind you to the truth of the world. It’s almost a religious battle, one within the family, as the two sides are so similar in how they operate and see things, it’s just the goal that differs. It might be “What?”, but it’s definitely also a fight over “Who?“.
2) “Their faces are jammed in every photo, so we couldn’t identify their members. This is the sort of fearsome technology they have in their possessions.” and then we continue right along with “The West Okubo Tea Party” and “Large amount of Ude Sweet Buns Appear at the Diet Building” – Yes, the last one is a greatpun, wonder if they’ve gone for it knowingly. Diet being the name of the Japanese parliament, for those who don’t know. Anyway, these things being “A distinctive mark left on the dark area of modern history” really makes you wonder what sort of nutcases we’re dealing with here. No, I’m not talking of Zvezda, but those who mark them as their “arch-nemesis”.
3) Yes, I’m glad we’ve seen the prologue last episode, so we know this is serious. Still makes me wonder, are these actions by Zvezda truly meaningful, are they symbolic, is this chaos magic (see Grant Morrison’s comic series, The Invisibles, which has more than a few similarities to this show, and also deals with chaos magic and symbolism-based attacks)? Or are they just actions meant to obfuscate their true goals? I don’t know, and I’m not sure we’ll ever find out. Also, “Dark area of modern history” might be “Unseen” or “undercover”? In which case, meaning only the conspiracy theorists have seen them.
4) “Take flight, my little birds” and the way they look, quite Gatchaman, eh? The classic show, not the Crowds revision.
2) “RomCom” Returns for a Visit:
1) Those two still have a RomCom couple air about them. I’m actually quite surprised, Jimon Asuta is actually going to school. I’ll admit, out of all the crazy things in this show, this is the one I expected the least O.O
Huh, it just hit me, why we actually give Komadori-san so much screen-time, why we bother with her. She’s one of the members of White Light. She’s as crazy as everyone else in this show.
Ok, this clinches it – “I help people who are in trouble! I beat up bad guys on sight!” – A-yup. And she thinks it’s normal, just like all the crazies around here :3
2) By the way, they’re doing a good job of tying it all together – Kate had a sweet bun, something left from the “attack” on (the) Diet. Nothing here is random, though seemingly everything is.
3) Pink hearts, rhinestones, a cat-strap, on our katana-hilt, because even if you’re a badass pirate-ninja-fencer, who wears an eye-patch, no one said you can’t be fashionable, right?
4) Heh, this line is straight out of a book, “They even use her name to scare little kids!” Her name’s “Plamya” which means “Flame”, so the image is fitting, at least.
3) Dinner is Serious Business™:
1) A very common truth in anime – never refuse a girl’s offer of feeding you. Not unless you don’t value your life, that is.
3) Such words of wisdom, such abominable penmanship, though. If you eat together, then you’re friends, you’re family. Also an old rule of hospitality. You cannot kill someone with whom you’ve dined. And yet, the concept of toasting wine is because not everyone acted by this rule. Toasts for those who don’t know exist so wine from the different cups will intermingle, so if you poison one cup, you’ll have to partake of the poison as well – which is also why when you order wine, the person who invited everyone else sips it first. Culture? Ha! Think again.
But, considering some people here are quick to anger and quite powerful, a reminder can’t hurt.
4) Watching this show together, even one of the KuruKuri, they truly feel like a family. Considering Kate’s lines about how you can’t replace people, there’s definitely some back-story there.
5) And then, there were three. One’s a robot who doesn’t eat, and the other the leader who is strapped to her kiddy-chair. Ok, I laughed – a gag now and then is quite nice. Somehow it’s always like this, when a girl gets angry at you refusing their cooking, they’re horrible cooks. Also, these guys – everyone’s here, you can tell who’s cooking dinner by whoever’s missing :3
4) On Friendship and Obfuscation:
1) This is actually interesting – eating something so spicy he explodes and finds himself out of the building, and then someone comes across him and goes “oh no!” but this is a serious enemy (no, I can’t say that seriously), and he still can’t pull himself back. This isn’t “silly anime tropes”, it’s the opposite. Everything here is serious, and happens literally. He did explode, he did take serious damage, from that food-stuff, and now it affects the story.
And just after I say that, things keep distracting her from seeing the sign signaling the secret base of the secret society of Zvezda. Heh. But still, all these things happen “straight” within the show, rather than played for laughs, which is neat.
2) How could you refuse such a magnificent leader? It’s interesting, both times Zvezda had been forced to act it’s been due to Odin. They must make do with a situation not entirely of their design, but certainly one for which they are to blame.
3) Jimon Asuta, I thought we’ve been through this – you don’t besmirch the lady’s cooking. Not if you want to live.
4) “Don’t pick silly fights, always pick fights that are entertaining” – As a show watcher, I vehemently agree. “However, never pick fights with the enemy; when we battle the enemy, it’s war. But, if you pick a fight, you have to make up later.” – Such words of wisdom. When you “pick a fight”, it’s with a friend, so make sure it’s fun, light, and make sure to not turn them into enemies. But when it’s someone who’s already the enemy, it’s all-out warfare.
5) And the building disappeared. There’s more than meets the eye here. “Light of Zvezda”? It’s all about obfuscation and misdirection here. It’s KuruKurus all the way down.
6) Next episode’s title ties perfectly into what I touched on above – “Hiding behind smoke and mirrors” – With all this symbolism and seemingly random acts, I truly am curious what is going on here.
- Ooooh, just looked it up. Venera is the Russian name for “Venus”, and after all, “Zvezda” is star. The goddess of love and beauty, the Roman name for Aphrodite. She conquers them, she declaws them, she makes them her willing servants? Also, I used the term “declaw” last week to describe Kate’s “conquest”, and this week the White Light line was “Claw your ways to victory.”
- The robot just went out of the bathroom, and flushed. I don’t even know where to begin :3
- Why do they translate what is clearly “Hamburger” to “Salisbury steak”? Beats me. Well, you can’t expect much when your cook’s name is “Flame” and she keeps threatening to torch people.
- I just noticed, the eye-patch has a cute cat and crossed-skulls :3
Post Episode Notes:
This was very interesting. Anime-tropes? Ok, we’ve had them. But nothing in this show was simply played for laughs (ok, nearly nothing) – and nothing was played for laughs in a single scene and then ignored, because it was only there for a joke. Every single thing actually carried over, and mattered, and affected how the plot progressed. Plot, not just a random series of jokes.
The concept of obfuscation and symbolism deeply intrigues me, but this episode combined with the last one, especially if we consider Odin to be Pepel’s son, and all of the times Kate speaks of how people can’t be replaced and family, then the concept is one of human relationships, one of surrogate families, and families you make, and choose. It’s about helping humanity reconquer the world.
May the light of Zvezda shine upon you, and I will see you next week.