April 26th, 2014.
The Great Political Philosopher Ignores Worldly Temptation
Soon, the time for my Big Rant™ will be upon us. Man, the first arc is dragging on and is boring. The LNs had me wondering what Tatsuya’s secret is, now I don’t even have that keeping me interested. We remove a lot of the dross of internal monologues, but yeah, as is often the case, that leaves our main character even less interesting.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Tatsuya Rules:
1) Heh, they paint Tatsuya giving Juumonji some male-service. He describes females in detail in the books, so it’d make sense for him to describe males as well with his all-seeing observation powers, right? Well, in the books, they don’t discuss the males with this sort of detail. The females? They really do.
2) Tatsuya, ever the one to be precise in every deed, word, or thought. Only Kirihara used magic, because Tatsuya stopped his allies from being able to cast any. Mari did not ask if others had tried to cast magic, after all. He’s a dirty rules-lawyer, he’s more like a GM. And we all know the GM (Game Master, tabletop RPG term) is God.
3) “Of course, no one can defeat my honoured brother! Of course I’m not worried about someone attacking him with a sword!” Oh my.
And the soft music begins just as the Shibas get all lovey-dovey with one another. If someone had tuned into this show at this scene, and they had removed the word “Brother”, you’d think for sure they were a couple. Yeah, they’re really pushing this angle hard. No, they’re not going to stop.
Yes, the other characters keep calling them out, and then getting frustrated. No, it just makes it even more awkward. I think it’s the lip-service by the author to say, “You know you want this stuff, but it’s “not ok”.” Heck, he keeps reminding us it’s not ok, because that’s part of the allure. They’re basically screaming “incest” at you, but out of the straight of their mouth they keep saying “Just kidding”.
4) Tatsuya is… Dark Flame Master! ;-) (Chuunibyou reference)
2) Everyone Else Drools:
2) Being ignored as an impetus to rail against the world. How… high school of her. Everyone here is still at the top of their game, compared to “mundanes”, but no matter where you are, you compare yourself to others around you, and here it’s the have and have-nots, based on magic. It’s as if she joined a magic-focused high school and then complains that’s the focus. And that’s more or less what Tatsuya is going to tell her.
3) This is a common trick. You want a character to come off as genius. You don’t know how to write a genius because you’re not one yourself. Just write all the other characters a bit less intelligent than usual. “So you are going to make an argument to the Student Council, and what then?” “:O” On that note, in Xena: Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless is pretty short, so they hired mostly really short actors, or dug some grooves into the ground to lower other actors’ stature in comparison to her.
4) Man, Haruka’s voice is so ill-fitting to me. Guess they really are pushing the “Easily flustered, mostly a failure” direction for her character. Disappointing, but in line with the slightly more “amusing” portrayal of characters thus far, and especially the adults (Poor Kokonoe – the ninja-monk).
Teacher dressing and acting provocatively toward Tatsuya, Tatsuya telling her he doesn’t trust her while asking for her “true motives”. Yeah, that scene was ham-handed. It was that way in the books as well.
Oh yeah, another shot of the counselor’s pantyhose, cause why not?
5) “Equality, a beautiful lie.” Man, I’m working on a big rant on this whole toxic subtext. I didn’t get it done in time for this episode, so expect it soon. And don’t forget, “Anyone who is arguing for equality between magicians and non-magicians is actually a terrorist bent on weakening our country!” This ode to meritocracy, this song to capitalism, this sonata to objectivism. Man.
3) Exposition and Hints:
“We might have to go back to being Yotsubas!” Well, I guess they realized the books are too slow, and don’t drop enough actual hints, being merely obtuse. In the books, it was more like, “The Ten Master Clans will surely do something, especially the Yotsuba.” And they left it at that. No “our aunt” and no “We’ll have to return to being Yotsubas” till much later.
“No matter their number, I won’t let them destroy this life of ours.” He isn’t talking about “numerous”, but “Number”, such as the 10 Master Clans, or the 100 families, whose names contain numbers. Yotsuba contains the number “Four”.
The whole bit about “You’ve made a good friend in Leo, Mizuki and Erika” felt a bit weird, since they’re hisfriends.
I didn’t plan for a full episodic notes for this episode, but I knew this is where my mega-rant would have its content, so it just sort of happened. Expect that write-up tomorrow or the day after.
The music continues to be intrusive and never-fitting, the brother-sister stuff is stuff I’ve gotten used to. They are trying to blast through the first arc, at least. I hope by episode 6 we’ll be done with it. It’s weak, nothing can be said about it. They’re also revealing information “prematurely”, but I think it’s the right call. Adults continue to get the short end of the stick, and Tatsuya understands politics better than the government! Then again, many teenagers/college students share the same sort of conviction, so there’s not much to be said about it, really.
Mibu’s actress is doing a good job. The whole Mari and Mayumi situations are feeling quite anemic, on the other hand, and the whole “gang” (Erika, Mizuki, Leo) are almost not there at all. But I guess it can’t be helped, they want to move us through the plot rather than give us “Slice of life”.