5 Jun 2013

Anime Weekly 05/06/13

Opps! This is slightly late, but I wanted to take a minute to gather my thoughts on Makoto Shinkai's Kotonoha no Niwa for the end of this post. Anyway, on to the 2nd instalment of Anime Weekly.

I find it hard to say anything about Hataraku Maou-sama!, hayate cuties, and oregairu. They are all good, but not exciting enough. I guess the best way to describe it, is that they are doing well in their respective genres, but not doing anything out of the ordinary. With that said, Touyama Nao (voice of Chiho from hataraku maou-sama, and Yuigahama from oregairu) is starting to catch my attention. This 21-year-old is pretty good. She is not exactly new though, having had quite a number of roles under her belt already, but still eligible for the Best Debut award. I think all she needs now is a huge, impactful role.

This week's henneko was kind of confusing, but do you see a pattern there? There always seems to be a second wish mixing up with the first wish to keep you guessing. Things are never that straight forward. I should probably give credit to the writing but... it remains quite cheap. I don't ever feel emotionally invested in any of the characters. A shame though, considering they have Tamura Yukari and Ishihara Kaori on board.

Aku no Hana continues to spiral downwards into despair. While not as awe inspiring as episode 7, we do see the effects of that episode in a slow-motion explosion as first Saeki and then Kasuga's mum finds out about it. The girl he loves, his family, and next will be society (or maybe just his class). I really hope he stays away from school though. Exploring this sort of depression, while on the run and not knowing how much is out of the bag, can be incredibly stressful as his self-doubt is at a all-time high.

While some are sad to see kuroneko's arc end, I'm actually quite excited to see oreimo dive right into Ayase's arc. I think that's mostly because I've only read the synopsis and am very interested to see how Ayase's character change in this short period of time. The anime is chewing through the original material at a rate of roughly half a book per episode. Some scenes actually feel slightly disjointed, its almost like they are just animating a summary instead of covering every scene in the light novels. Ah well, at least they seem to be on track to finish all the material.

Shingeki no Kyojin really knows how to make some fucking awesome cliffhangers. Not much else to say about it though, as all they did was stand there and negotiate. The little flashbacks seem to hint that Eren's father injected something into him to grant him these powers, and that more will be revealed once Eren and gang get back to the basement of their house. Leaking out information gradually like this, in a very controlled way, is much better than the countless shounen manga out there that just withhold details till they need to get their ratings up again.

This week on Suisei no Gargantia, Urobuchi Gen finally shows his hand. It wasn't that big of a surprise, and the reveal was simply a video archive, so it failed in both shock value and execution. Even the subsequent Eva-like moment failed to do anything for me because it felt so cheap. How I wish I could innocently relive the moment in Madoka where Kyubey says Madoka has thrown her friend away, or when Homura first kills Kyubey. Those were absolute GOLD and the main reason why I always look for the opportunity to introduce friends to Madoka. Gen's ideas need to be paired with some visionary storyboarding and directing to really make it work.

I was a little skeptical of Makoto Shinkai's latest movie at first. His last movie, Hoshi o Ou Kodomo, wasn't very good. But alas, the simplest stories are simply the best. Set in modern day Japan, Kotonoha no Niwa tells the story of two people trying to find their place in society. A simple love story set to beautiful backgrounds and music, that's what Makoto Shinkai does best. Also, it's only 46 minutes long, so it never overstays its welcome. He should just release mini-movies like this every 2 years or so. Every time Makoto Shinkai releases a new film, it feels like he's years ahead of the rest of the anime industry. This time it's no different.

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