27 Feb 2011

Anime Weekly 4

A short post every Sunday, 9pm (I hope!) summarizing what I've watched in the past 7 days. Notable episodes this week have a (*) beside the episode number.

Spoiler policy: From this point on, I will not post spoilerific images. As for plot, I will try to keep spoilers at a minimum, briefly mentioning certain moments in the episode without fully describing it in detail.

Star Driver 20 (*)

Finally! The plot moves! This episode delved into the past to reveal Head's secrets. Things start to make sense. Their actions and the seemingly slow progress in trying to defeat Takuto has a reason behind it, so it's not just the producers trying to pad out the story to make it 26 episodes. Previously, most of the kiraboshi characters are rather shallow and mysterious. Some still are (the 2 evil lesbian members for example), but at least major characters like Head are getting some back story and motivations. I like how some guy in kiraboshi found out about this plan and decided to quickly trigger the next phase himself. He did it intelligently too, injuring Takuto outside of zero-time and then going in for the kill in zero-time without much delay.

Right now, the only character left to develop would be Keito (the East Maiden). If studio Bones wants to trump the Mizuno arc, they better make it more her a more compelling character!

Wandering Son 6

As I said in the last Anime Weekly, Wandering Son is a character-driven show. The plot is not the main focus here. With that said, I think this Cultural Festival arc brought out some unexpected nuances in the characters. Mako-chan is much more nervous and shy than Nitori, lacking in confidence even though he is the one that Nitori confides in. Their relationship is more of one that encourages each other, with both parties actually being rather weak on their own. Both put on a front to encourage the other. Saori, on the other hand, is the direct opposite from them. She puts up a front of being cold, uncaring, and eternally suffering. Her kindness to Mako in this episode kind of came out of left field. Perhaps she is being kind to a fellow sufferer?

After episode 4, Wandering Son stopped being as awesome as it once was. I'm not sure why, but it seemed to lack that same level of drama, atmosphere and music that made episode 1 and 2 so great. It's still good though, one of the best stories this season (as evident of me choosing to blog this instead of any of the other shows), and the art continues to look great.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica 8 (*)

I don't know how, but Shaft has managed to shock us for 3 episodes in a row, never ever slowing down! There are lots of speculation out there (speculah!), and some of them actually turn out to be true. I don't think this discredits the writer in any way, as the speculators are throwing out A LOT of different weird and far-fetched theories too, so a few of them are bound to be true. But still, this episode continues to astound viewers with perfect pacing, appropriately disturbing imagery, and a knack for pulling out surprising moves. Homura's character finally gets some development and revelation. I like how they did not blatantly show her past like what Star Driver did with Head, but instead put out even more theories. A lot of things are not spelled out in this show, providing for a lot of speculation and interpretations, creating buzz and sending fans into a frenzy. I think most of us saw the witch transformation coming, as well as Homura's time-based abilities, but the details of these things have not been revealed, making all the more interesting as the writer could simply be trolling us. After all, Madoka has yet to become a Mahou Shoujo even after 8 episodes!

3 more episodes to go. Urobuchi Gen has proven to us that he can continue to surprise us all the way. A number of questions remain unanswered as of this episode, so it seems like there will be more than enough ammunition for Shaft and Gen to use.

/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

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