This is the second post of this week’s ‘anime coverage (log)’. (I guess I will stick with this cheesy intro until find something more constructive to say in the intro).
The shows that are covered in this post are: Masamune’s Revenge, Saga of Tanya the Evil, Fuuka, Blue Exorcist, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, March Comes in Like a Lion and Interviews with Monster Girls.
Masamune-kun’s Revenge (Episode 3)
What happens in this episode: Masamune challenges Adagaki in their proficiency tests and it ends in a draw. But Masamune still wins somehow and ends up having a date with Miss-Princess! But Miss-Princess wants to be a Mahou-Shoujo and cosplays to ‘break the ice’- well it does end up breaking her hubris at the end of the episode.
My thoughts: This show is just sinking slowly into the swamp of tropey-ness that most shows of its nature do. This was just another boring episode. The show seems to be going to nowhere except incessantly hinting at us that they will get together in the end. This is an empty vessel of a show.
Saga of Tanya the Evil (Episode 3)
What happens in this episode: Tanya just doesn’t want to join the front lines and so she is appointed as a guinea-pig to test out a weapon. And of course, she hates it. Being X confronts her after 10 years and forces her to… pray. Yeah, most of this episode is about praying. The episode ends with Tanya going to military academy.
My thoughts: I would just like to say that this show doesn’t have any plot progression at all (yet); like I said last week- this show seems to be a character study of a bitter, lazy asshole. The character that was portrayed in the first episode is really different from that developed in these two episodes; she isn’t an evil monster like she was in the first episode- she is a disengaging grump. Save that, I’m liking this anime so far. I commend this show on how it cleverly handles the digital animation parts (during the flying sequences). Not really sure where the show is going in terms of narrative.
Fuuka (Episode 4)
What happens in this episode: Fuuka and Yuu get into a fight because of a misunderstanding. Yuu apologizes and Fuuka, being a stubborn female dog, refuses. But later in the episode, Fuuka (she seems so lazily written) wanted to apologize too. Thanks to the blond guy, they make up and sing at the end.
My thoughts: Maybe I was not in the mood, but this was a very dragged out and frustrating episode. I was constantly checking the time when I was watching this episode. Koyuki disappears from the scene suddenly and the HEDGEHOGS appear from nowhere- the sudden scene changes seemed jarring to the slow-pacing of the dialogue in this episode (but it just might be me). But I guess we can all agree that the song played at the end was well sung but horribly animated. A very lazy episode for me.
Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga (Episode 3)
What happens in this episode: Rin is training to control his flames, Konekomaru is questioning Renzo about his friendliness with Rin. Shiemi finally gets some screen time and a really cute self-loathing-and-later-get-encouragement-by-Kamiki sequence follows. Oh yeah, Tatsuma and his gang gets mixed up in the business involving the Impure King’s Right Eye- and the bottom line is that Tatsuma is behind it all (judging from the ending scene).
My thoughts: The story seems to be going slow for me. Content-wise, this was a dilute episode but definitely wasn’t boring to watch. I am still waiting for some exorcist fighting that I loved in the first season. That’s it for Blue Exorcist for this week.
Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju (Episode 3)
What happens in this episode (heavily interrupted by my thoughts): The episode starts off with this beautiful scene where Yotaro recites angry rakugo (dialogue of a carpenter) against the sky exploding, seemingly rhythmically, with fireworks; and he is shortly joined by Higuchi who questions why the carpenter (in the rakugo) suddenly go off on such an angry rant. This scene reminded me how poetic this anime is in its dialogue (obviously) and visuals. This episode gave us a very intimate take on Yotaro’s personal life (more than the previous episodes). The biological father turns out to be, in fact, the umbrella holder (who is also the leader of the gang Yotaro used to be in) at the end of the previous episode. Yotaro unintentionally finds his ‘own rakugo’ by going off on a swearing-poem inspired by the rakugo performed in the first scene of this episode. Yotaro claims that he is the ‘real’ father of Konatsu’s son through this rakugo-rant.
My thoughts: I really like the chemistry between Konatsu and Yotaro (although I do find it a bit weird that Yotaro to still calling Konatsu ‘Sis’): it establishes such a strong contrast between the feelings and dialogue Konatsu has for Yotaro. As you can tell by my incredibly interruption-riddled synopsis: I really loved this episode. This episode made my weekend of anime. I look forward to more drama development, and judging by the preview of the second episode- the series will have a timeskip (the kid looked older).
You may have noticed that my Rakugo section is significantly more lengthy than the others. This is because despite the anime being a rather patiently paced series: an episode always seems to be packed with a wealth of visual and dialogue subtleties and symbolism to be explored. I can write a 1000-word breakdown of an episode of this show. This anime is a joy to talk about and rewatch: for me, at least. Again, this episode reminded me of the strangely alluring beauty this show has.
I can’t just end this week’s Rakugo coverage without sharing this one-liner, again, by Yotaro:
And this adorable father-son moment:
March Comes in Like a Lion (Episode 14)
What happens in this episode: Rei finally loses a match (so much for the Rei vs. Gotou match) and a dehydrated depression sequence follows. His teacher, Takashi, shares advice on Rei’s future and tells him to join Shimada’s workshop.
My thoughts: I’m glad the show exhibited Rei’s stubbornness and arrogance so patiently throughout the first nine minutes of this episode. This is a character trait that I expected Rei to have (come on, he is a 17 year old professional shogi player) and was waiting for the show to play this out. The anime hardly left any stones unturned in terms of Rei’s overarching depression monologue when it showed us Rei looking through a job magazine and then later realizing that shogi is all that he has to pay his rent. I really admire how patient this show is in developing the character of Rei. Now, I don’t know what to expect from this show-except that Rei is going to join Shimada’s workshop- but I guess that’s a good thing.
Interviews with Monster Girls (Episode 3)
What happens in this episode: Sakie the succubus takes the center stage and the show upholds her lonely life. Meanwhile, Hikari has a funny conversation with her teacher about the correlation between blood sucking and sex. Kusakabe is also highlighted- basically all the monster girls have their moments in this episode.
My thoughts: I liked how the show humanizes Sakie and the other monster girls. I liked how the show emphasized Sakie’s life of solitude through shot composition and music. There was also a mild shock-value moment between Hikari and her sensei. Hm… maybe this show isn’t as chill and funny as I thought it would be.But it’s still interesting.
That’s all for today. You can check out the first part of this week’s ‘anime coverage’ in Anilog #4 (You can find it if you scroll down the homepage).
Thank you for reading.