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Posts Tagged ‘Summer 2012 Season’

I remember how I was back in July, my rosy-cheeked, shiny-eyed self untainted by the overwhelming sludge of mediocrity that was the summer season. It was a time when Hyouka was more contemptible and exploitative than Violence Jack, and Jinrui was sitting high on the pantheon of greatest things in all history ever; admittedly, beginning the season in a drunken haze probably didn’t help to ease this strange disconnect.

But then Yuru Yuri Two Eighth-Notes and Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse aired, and I gained some perspective on things. No longer was I a rosy-eyed, shiny-cheeked youth, but a grizzled blogger who had seen it all, man. It was at that point when all hope seemed lost that something weird happened: Hyouka somehow got better, and Jinrui slowly descended in quality from godlike to merely pretty good. What made this strange is these two results were caused by the same change in focus: from plot to character development. (more…)

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I don’t know what’s been up with these last few episodes of Uta Koi. Maybe something’s circulating in the water that makes writing good mid-Heian period pieces a 100% certainty, but hot damn has it picked up in quality since the Sei Shonagon arc ended. It’s not that Sei Shonagon was a bad character by herself, it’s that her and everyone in the emperor’s court romances like they’ve been huffing paint for the better part of their tenure, making their endeavors more exercises in patience than heartbreaking tragedy. It’s been such a highpoint in my anime viewing these past few weeks that they make almost everything preceding it (relatively) look like total crap.

Episode 11 was so damn good that I don’t feel it’s ever too late to cover  it in addition to Episode 12, something that I’ll hopefully get to by the end of the weekend. So enjoy some more late gushing about how wonderful this was. (more…)

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Stop smiling, you little fuckers

I didn’t think that Jinrui could shock me with any antagonist that it could conjure up at this point. We’ve had headless chickens, corrupt corporate pawns that care for little more than climbing the corporate ladder, and anthropomorphized space probes, so the level of quirkiness would have to be off the charts to even register with me at this point. That’s why, even considering the simple yet effective fever dream-like quality of the plot and the way that it hinted at their involvement along the way, I didn’t expect that the fairies would finally take an active role as antagonists.

Of all the zany shenanigans that comprise most of Jinrui, very few have been a direct, conscious result of the fairies. In spite of the pivotal role that they play, they’ve been portrayed more as brilliant, if careless creatures rather than manipulative or self-serving; most of their goods are made to help a far-gone, dependent human society on its last gasp, rather than directly suit their own needs. This is the first episode that’s established the mischievous nature hiding behind their perpetual faces of surprised joy, and the effect is only eerier when examined with more scrutiny. (more…)

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From what I’ve seen of Uta Koi so far, I want to dislike it. I want to watch an episode, feel a familiar pit of vitriolic loathing swell in my stomach, and vomit it through my fingers onto the keyboard to truly express in written form why it’s the scum of the earth, and tangentially bring up why ARIA is the best thing ever. But unfortunately I can’t do that for everything in life, even when talking about anime that examines possible catalysts behind the famous One-Hundred Poets’ writings. There’s something about Uta Koi that’s so pure, so wonderful, that it shines through the many faults and manages to give me something to love about each episode. (more…)

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There’s a lot to say about the indomitability of human ingenuity. After all, we discovered how to use fire and agriculture to stake claims on formerly rugged land, etching out the outline of civilization on the wild skeleton of Mother Nature. Electricity, space travel, and penicillin are all monuments to the sheer breadth of boundless creativity that the human mind plays host to. As wonderful as these achievements are, they’re all the products of undoubtedly brilliant men that stand leagues above the herd. Yet, when it comes to the trivial things that we all use to distract from the stress of our lives, we all have it in us to make MacGyver weep in an impotent rage.

Tragically or hilariously, your viewpoint depending on how much schadenfreude you want in your life on any given day, this drive seems to (mostly) only apply to what people want. Do they want to distribute stories of sweaty gay sex across famine-stricken land? They’ll set up a system more efficient than anything run by the government or intervening parties in order to give the huddled masses their daily dose of musky man ‘mance. That’s the third episode of Jinrui in a nutshell: Post-apocalyptic distribution of female-oriented literature featuring male on male romance and intercourse. And it’s enjoyable as fuck.

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If somebody would have told me a year ago that a show about a guy not trying to accidentally fuck his sister would end up an impenetrable psychological labyrinth rivaling that of Satoshi Kon’s masterworks, I would have been mildly perturbed at some stranger running up to me to scream something akin to “WHO IS IMOUTO IS DEEP SHIT, WATCH IT.”

If somebody did the same only a week ago, I still would have been unable to process what was being said. I mean how could a dull harem anime about an innocent teenager trying to avoid incestuous hi-jinks match up to the peerless mindfuckery of ‘Paprika’ and such? Well, episode two of ‘Who Is Imouto’ gave me my answer, and it’s every bit as disturbing and 100% not based on baseless speculation as one would expect it to be.

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“Hello, OnStar?”

Despite being only two episodes in, I feel that I’ve learned a wealth of information from Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. First, eating super chunky jambalaya is a terrible idea when watching people get torn apart by gnashing alien jaws, their blood and vitals giving the drab walls of an abandoned building a sorely needed festive flair. Second, the reason that the main characters in Total Eclipse are almost exclusively angsty young women is for the sake of having their inevitable, increasingly gruesome deaths and ever-growing mental trauma resonate with the audience to a greater degree, something that worked as well as my plans to polish off leftovers while watching a show that seems tailor-made to churn stomachs like fleshy butter. (more…)

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