Anilog #22: Last Week of Winter 2017

So it has been a season of Anilog. I didn’t end up being super-consistent, but I am satisfied with the posting. As for the writing, I am still pretty lazy in that aspect and I hope I can become a bit more well-worded and verbose in my future Anilog posts in the coming season.

Almost all the shows from Winter 2017 ended this week, with the exception of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: where Kobayashi and Tohru’s meeting was finally animated and Tohru’s first meeting with a human was told- overall, it was a well-written and well-paced Tohru episode. Gintama ended this (sort of) disappointing arc with some hype and a hilarious comedy routine after the credits (now that’s Gintama I love!). Gabriel Dropout ended with a Gabriel episode featuring a hilarious psychological show-down between she and her sister. Little Witch Academia showed more love for Diana and Akko and set up a mini-arc. ACCA ended things in its own chilled style; and Scum’s Wish ended on a disappointing note with some shallow hasty lines (where’s Akane’s final words?).

Gintama. (Episode 12)

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Okay, maybe I was a bit too defensive about the pacing of the anime in these final two episodes (because I am a disgusting fanboy). Oboro’s lightning, script-heavy arc tied up this week with some reconciliatory dialogue and the subject’s death and Utsuro got some predictably obvious backstory out of the way and revealed his ingenious plan to start a universal war on earth.

Wow, I didn’t expect that; now that is some hype inducer. I also enjoyed the meta comedy routine after the credits: hilariously voiced as always.

Little Witch Academia (Episode 12)

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Yeah, the last episode introduced a plot point and this episode correlated that to Diana’s motivation as a witch: which made Akko find renewed admiration for her. Akko herself has a short-term goal too- become the Moonlit Witch at the Samhain Festival.

This episode, like the last episode, seemed to indulge more on setting up plot points for the upcoming arc. Akko’s demotivated moments have more heft now, and this also made her ending line (‘I know what I can do now!’) have more punch. By giving a walk through Diana’s life also made me appreciate her as a character more.

Gabriel Dropout (Episode 12)

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Gabriel’s super-strict-and-powerful big sister pays a visit to check up on her. Gabriel panics and comes up an elaborate plan to deceive her sister. Unfortunately, her sister sees through her and pulls her up to heaven to discipline her. The next day, Gabriel is back to acting like she did in the first 5 minutes of the first episode. Vigne, Satania and Raphiel become concerned and begs her to change back to Umariel. A comical double cross game takes the central stage as Gabriel reveals that her acting was spot-on and again, her sister appears. As her last resort she says:

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And her sister is convinced.

The reason I (badly) described the sibling (comical) psychological game is because I found it really entertaining (which is a pretty irrational reason).  Gabriel’s sister is not a well-written character but I enjoyed seeing Gabriel in an uncomfortable position and acted like the title character for once in this anime.

ACCA: 13- Territory Inspection Department (Episode 12)

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I was initially caught off-guard at the twist of the narrative; but looking back, this is typical of ACCA. This show has been a master of subverting expectations this whole season and this was well executed. I am happy that Jean came to terms with Mauve but I hoped that Rail and Lotta got together, but hey, romance isn’t a sub-genre of this show. I also liked the way the anime joined the dots about Jean receiving a cigarette from Furawu way back from the episode in Schwan’s birthday party. Speaking of Schwan, in the end, he is a ‘baka-prince’ after all.

The realized that the reason I had so little to say in my ACCA episodic thoughts in most of my Anilog is because this show is really adept at staying faithful to its style of narrative and I just had misjudged expectations. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I was enthusiastic and intrigued by the plot progression. The insert song at the end was as enjoyable as the OP song.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Episode 12)

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This is the episode that I looked forward to from mid-season and the thematic set-up made this episode not just made of amusing vignettes but rather more cohesive than usual. Kanna had less screen time, but Tohru’s sentiment was a warming watch. This episode also convinced me that Kobayashi did change from being an angry alcoholic to a warm-hearted caring human being. What is with the sudden dramatic tension at the end and in the preview? I don’t know that can be well tied up in one episode.

Scum’s Wish (Episode 12)

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I wanted this ending in terms of the relationship status between Mugi and Hanabi, minus the lack of Akane’s closing monologue (I also wanted something crazy to go down near the end). At the beginning of the season, I remember being intrigued by Hanabi’s poetic monologue (especially the way they transitioned to the ending sequence) but this episode made them sound airy and shallow. I am disappointed with the slow pacing (yet it had a hasty script) and the fact that the narrative was solely dedicated to Hanabi’s point of view- which made this anime has a loosely tied ending. The ending lines, like I said, had the skeleton of a massage but wasn’t presented in a favorable way; it ended up as a shallow soliloquy with nothing new to say (pretension is an accurate yet over-used term). Then again, if you have read my previous episodic thoughts, I had a pseudo-cynical tone when laying out the synopses- and that shows that I just thought this anime was entertaining as hell and nothing else.

That’s all for the last week of the Winter 2017 season. I’ll be back on Anilog with Spring 2017 impressions on April 9th. But before then, I will be putting up Winter 2017 Roundup posts within the next couple of days.

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