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Weekly Reflections 08 (End of season edition)

April 4, 2014

Weekly Reflections - Yuuko xxxHOLiC Mirror

Well it’s that time when everything seems to be ending – my watching list has emptied dramatically over the past week as I’ve managed to finish quite a substantial amount of shows!  Time to give some opinions on them I suppose…..they’re in the order I finished them, because I’ve been writing bits and pieces whenever I can manage it.

(Very late because pain in my arm and neck is back with an unholy vengeance.  Suppose it was too much to hope I have been miraculously cured….I am seriously allergic to work!)

Noragami - 12

Noragami

While I enjoyed the action in the final couple of episodes of Noragami, the story left me a bit cold as it didn’t really seem to have much point.  Rabo didn’t really have a compelling reason for wanting Yato to revert to his former God of Calamity self, seeming to just be infatuated with the idea of Yato killing him while in that frame of mind.  The romance thing with Hiyori also felt awkward to me.  Hiyori is in middle-school.  Yato is a centuries old god and acts like he’s in his early 20s…..it is a bit ewww.  I can accept that he feels protective of her since he doesn’t have many friends, and she’s a touch infatuated with him because he’s saved her life before, but any proper romance just feels awkward and unnecessary.

The emotional climax of the series was Yukine’s redemption, really the series should have ended with that, this anime original arc just didn’t have the same punch.  I really liked Noragami and would certainly be happy with another season, however it isn’t going to be massively memorable in the long run.  Extremely pretty (gorgeous art direction and superb animation), but rather shallow over all.

d-frag-12

D-Frag

D-Frag surprised me by being pretty entertaining for much of its run.  Not much happened and I don’t actually know the characters names, but I still giggled at the majority of episodes – D-Frag had a lot of energy.  This final arc was rather meh though, the former student council just weren’t all that interesting.

Witch-Craft-Works-12

Witch Craft Works

Witch Craft Works was one that I dropped after a couple of episodes and then went back to a couple of weeks ago after hearing positive things about it on Twitter.  It was surprisingly not awful for a magical girlfriend show!  The main couple are pretty dull, but the side characters are wonderfully quirky…..also that ED is fecking addictive.  The ending was okay – I’m not a huge fan of reset endings, but this was acceptable since it had inexplicable penguins.

hamatora-ep-12

Hamatora

This fecking show.  I have no idea what the hell it wants to be!  And then it ends by bringing back the dead, killing the antagonist and leaving us with a cliffhanger about the fate of the main character……yeah, I don’t want another season of your shite Hamatora, but now I’m interested!!  Goddamnit.

Tokyo ravens

Tokyo Ravens

Tokyo Ravens is one of those instantly forgettable, yet oddly watchable series I seem to end up watching with alarming regularity.  This final episode was full of random ass-pulls – I don’t buy Harutora as a badass just because he now has an eyepatch.

phi brain s3

Phi Brain S3

In terms of having a coherent and linear plot, this was probably the best season of Phi Brain – but I have much more love for the earlier, goofier seasons.  I mean Raetsel is a wonderful character – a well developed and capable female character in the hilariously misogynistic world of Phi Brain (a girl who is a brilliant Solver!? What madness is this!?), but she just doesn’t appeal to me the way crazy Rook and Freecell did.  Raetsel isn’t even obsessed with Kaito (another huge departure from previous seasons), being more interested in their shared mentor Jin!  Still this was a pretty satisfying end to a wonderful season of fabulous puzzling – even if it did have some rather lazy explanations for bringing back the dead.

I’m perfectly happy to leave Phi Brain here -although if another season does suddenly materialise I will be more than happy to sit through it with a grin on my face……hopefully there will be more dubstep eyecatches in the future.

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Strange+

This show is aptly named.  Pointless, short and madcap – an enjoyable way to spend a couple of minutes.

Gin no Saji Second Season 11

Silver Spoon S2

Silver Spoon has a strange way of just getting right into your mind and staying there.  It has remarkably well written characters and some really astute observations about how difficult realising your dreams is in reality.  It isn’t the most dynamic of shows and this final episode wasn’t exactly exciting, but it has phenomenal character development and a mature approach to the difficulties many people from agricultural backgrounds face – and somehow does it without getting too dry, the humour is top notch.  Hachiken has come a long way since the start of the show, his finally standing up to his stone-faced dickhead of a father was cathartic, if ineffective, although it did spur his mother into trying to understand her youngest son’s current lifestyle a bit better which was sweet.

I’ll be more than happy to watch another season of Silver Spoon.

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Golden Time

Thank all that is holy this show is over.  Golden Time quickly morphed from a fun college themed romcom with quirky characters, into a show about people with serious mental problems and their disastrous relationships.  It became an absolute chore to watch – in direct correlation to the amount of screentime Ghost!Banri had.  The ending was just the worst possible solution – Banri’s mental issues aren’t resolved, he could just be having another moment of clarity and could forget Koko all over again at the drop of a hat.  He should be seeking psychiatric help, not dragging Koko into a committed relationship!  Although Koko also has issues – her hardcore stalking and obsessive tendencies don’t really spell healthy relationship to me……which really should have made Golden Time interesting, but that potential for angsty drama was mostly ignored in favour of Banri flipping out and crying.

God I am so glad I don’t have to watch any more of this crap!!

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Pupa

I have no fucking clue what this last episode was.  I didn’t have much of a clue what the whole show was about, but could piece together a fair bit from the symbolism and limited dialogue.  This just felt like a different show all together!  Pupa felt like a nightmarish fever dream for the majority of the time – it was an interesting experiment, but the short running time and censoring pretty much destroyed any impact the series may of had.  I don’t have any real desire to pick up the manga to find out what the true story is about this series – the general impression I’m left with is that the subject matter isn’t something I want to explore any further.

Kill la Kill - 24

Kill la Kill

Perfectly awesome ending to Kill la Kill – everything gets ramped up to 110 with the ultimate forms of Ragyo and Ryuuko having their final battle IN SPACE!  Ending with our heroines going on a girly date and getting to wear whatever the hell they want.  Massive amounts of fun were had – thanks for the ride Trigger!

Samurai Flamenco - 22

Samurai Flamenco

So I was only half kidding about Masayoshi suddenly declaring his love for Goto and saving him from Haiji’s clutches – imagine my glee when Masayoshi suddenly proposes to Goto…..with bonus nudity!  In all seriousness I really liked this rather low key end to the show – things are wrapped up nicely without being overly neat and tidy.  Goto’s mental issues aren’t fully resolved, but he’s starting to let go of his dead girlfriend.  Masayoshi isn’t quite ready to stop playing hero, but is trying to find some degree of satisfaction in mundane heroics rather than overblown saving the world antics.  Things have sort of gone back to the way they where pre-Guillotine Gorilla, and that is a rather nice way to finish the show.

I hugely enjoyed Samurai Flamenco – the middle section lost me completely for a while, but it managed to pull it back in the end.  More shows with the balls to pull this kind of crap please!

[HorribleSubs] Space Dandy - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.01_[2014.03.30_23.05.56]

Space Dandy

Well the final episode of this half of Space Dandy was focused on QT, and while it wasn’t my favourite episode ever, it had some pretty nice animation in the giant robot battle, and some nice things to say about love and emotions.  Looking forward to more Space Dandy randomness in Summer.

[HorribleSubs] Kuroko's Basketball 2 - 50 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.34_[2014.03.30_23.10.03]

Kuroko no Basuke S2

Eagerly awaiting news of a third season – we can’t just leave it here in the middle of the Winter Cup!  I want to see some of the other Generation of Miracles players clash!!  Week isn’t going to be the same without some Magical BL Basketball fun, really going to miss Kuroko.

[HorribleSubs] Sekai Seifuku - Bouryaku no Zvezda - 12 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.03_[2014.03.30_23.04.21]

Sekai Seifuku Bouryaku no Zvezda

Final episode of Sekai Seifuku didn’t disappoint – ultimate forms, conquering galore and a return to the mundane normalcy of the earlier episodes – basically all I really wanted from this show.  Sekai Seifuku was a very solid show from beginning to end, quite happily doing its own quirky thing without too much fanfare.

[HorribleSubs] Nobunagun - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.48_[2014.03.30_23.18.02]

Nobunagun

So the explanation for Jack the Ripper was pretty interesting……that’s about the extent of the praise I can muster up for this series.  I liked the idea of the E-genes, but the characters were just meh and the alien threat way too boring and lacking presence.  There are only so many episodes of watching people squish bugs of various sizes that a girl can stand.  Not a terrible show, but messy and very forgettable.

[HorribleSubs] Wizard Barristers - Benmashi Cecil - 12 [720p].mkv_snapshot_23.34_[2014.03.30_23.21.05]

Wizard Barristers

Apparently we’re just going to forget about the fact Lucifer is chilling in the law firm…..ah well life goes on.  I can’t believe I watched the entirety of this series, there is nothing of value to be had – not even Norio Wakamoto voicing the pervy frog.

Tonari no Seki-kun - 13

Tonari no Seki-kun

Pretty fitting that the final episode focused on Yokoi playing with the robot family rather than Seki – her rampant imagination has been threatening to eclipse his for a while now.  Tonari no Seki-kun is a sterling example of how to best use the shot format – every episode made great use of its time.  Brilliant little show, hopefully there will be more in the future.

[Anime-Koi] Buddy Complex - 13 [h264-720p][9000A4E5].mkv_snapshot_23.38_[2014.04.02_22.27.41]Buddy Complex

This show makes me laugh from start to end – it is just that dumb.  See Bizon up there being all old and creepy – yeah, I can’t wait for season 2 just to see how batshit insane he is now!  Also all there are so many things wrong with the time travel in this series that it doesn’t bare thinking about.  What a stupid show….I enjoyed it.

[HorribleSubs] Magi S2 - 25 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.35_[2014.04.02_22.31.29]

Magi: The Kingdom of Magic

Weird to have this arc all wrapped up – felt really quick, I remember thinking the battle went on forever when reading the manga!  All the good stuff was in there though, I really like Magi.  Don’t think there will be another season of the anime any time soon though, the post Kingdom of Magic stuff is heavy on political wrangling and light on action.

[HorribleSubs] Gundam Build Fighters - 25 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.33_[2014.04.02_22.29.24]

Gundam Build Fighters

You don’t even know how happy this show makes me.  You just don’t.  I loved this final episode – loved it!  The fighting, the character dynamics, the shipping – it all made me deliriously happy.  Sunrise really outdid themselves with Build Fighters – the love they have for the Gundam franchise was clear to see even as they unabashedly advertised their toys.  I don’t know how they’re going to top this – it was just so much fun!

[HorribleSubs] Hozuki no Reitetsu - 13 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.18_[2014.04.03_23.12.15]

Hozuki no Reitetsu

That nod to the fate of the goldfish flowers in the ED killed me – so perfect.  Hozuki no Reitetsu was enjoyable – not massively memorable (aside from that wonderful OP), but pretty fun to watch.  Very heavy on Japanese folklore, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I have an interest in the subject matter so I found it fun and interesting for the most part.  I’m also hardcore shipping Hozuki with Hakutaku…..but I imagine that surprises no one.

[HorribleSubs] Nagi no Asukara - 26 [720p].mkv_snapshot_23.11_[2014.04.03_23.14.23]

Nagi no Asukara

So all the drama gets resolved in a lovely neat manner, life returns to normal thanks to the power of love, via a sea of tears and feelings.  Sure is Mari Okada in here.  I ended up really quite liking Nagi no Asukara, mainly due to the way the characters grew on me and came into their own.  The world setting was always fascinating, and while that was mostly swept aside in favour of tangled love polygons and interpersonal drama, it still made for a wonderful backdrop for the series.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And that is my watching list more or less empty now, all ready for the Spring season to start in earnest!  The only things I have carrying on are Hunter x Hunter, Yowamushi Pedal, Ace of Diamond and Nobunaga the Fool, so have loads of room for new stuff!  Need to get my best of Winter post done before that though……if my arm co-operates.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2014 12:33 am

    I completely agree with you about Silver Spoon. These last couple of episodes did really make me wonder about Hachiken’s father, though – or actually more specifically, his mother. I assume that there has to be SOMETHING good about the man for her to marry him in the first place, and moreover, we never see her mention a single word against him – or even act as though anything’s wrong to begin with, for that matter. Does she really think that this is totally normal and acceptable behaviour, or is she just keeping all her real feelings hidden? Either way, that’s one screwed-up family.

    • April 4, 2014 8:14 pm

      I suppose we’re seeing Hachiken’s family through his filter – his dad must have some good points, but it is damn difficult to see them and his mum just seems really flighty (kinda like his older brother). But yeah, the Hachiken household is a really messed up one.

  2. April 4, 2014 1:08 am

    Witchcraft is one of those series where I think the faults that would usually doom shows ends up working in its favor. Sure its paced too fast to digest stuff and there’s way too many side characters, but considering that the main story and couple are “meh” at best and the side characters are hilarious, that ends up being a good thing. I don’t care if I don’t know who those girls that own the llama are or what they add to the story. The llama’s mere existence is hilarious enough to justify them.

    • April 4, 2014 8:15 pm

      The antics of the side characters are what made the show for me – couldn’t have cared less about the main characters, but the side characters were gold.

  3. April 4, 2014 4:56 pm

    Watching GBF with you, CrazyDave and ExecutiveOtaku was some of the most fun anime viewing I’ve had for ages.

    And I’m now fully into shipping thanks to it.

    • April 4, 2014 8:17 pm

      I think watching the show with you lot made it even more fun for me.

      Welcome to the strange world of shipping – anime will never be the same again.

      • April 4, 2014 8:49 pm

        I think in retrospect I first felt the pangs of shipping with how adorable Renton and Eureka are…

  4. April 5, 2014 12:34 am

    Noragami: I really wanted to like this more than I actually did, but like you, I was left wondering what the point of the anime was exactly. I also found the Yukine arc too drawn out, which caused his subsequent redemption to fall flat in my eyes.
    Samurai Flamenco: The final episode had me alternating between tears and bursts of laughter with Goto’s sad past and all the naked arguing. Really liked how everything in this zany series came full circle in the end, with simply a man and his strong sense of justice. Like you say, it ended neatly, but not too neatly, which a great way to end it.
    Nobunagun: In some strange way, I actually really enjoyed this series… It was just silly enough to keep me curious and I liked all the action/bug killing. One of those “sit back, turn off the brain, and watch the action unfold” types of anime.
    Buddy Complex: I may have scoffed out loud at old man Bizon… I’m with you when you say it was stupid but enjoyable. Ridiculous stuff, really.
    Nagi no Asukara: Liked it, didn’t love it, sadly. The second half felt like things were just going round in circles with all the relationships, and by the end, I think I was just tired of it all. The nice and neat ending did help smooth things over, even if it was entirely convenient.
    Didn’t watch much of the others (so glad I dropped Hamatora and Wizard Barristers), but I will definitely have to watch Silver Spoon S2 now sooner rather than later!

    • April 6, 2014 9:28 pm

      Yukine’s arc was certainly much longer than it needed to be and we weren’t given an awful lot of reason to care about him before hand.

      SamFlam was one of those divisive shows were you either really liked it or it left you cold – I liked it a lot.

      Nobunagun was certainly action of the brainless variety, can’t help but feel it would have been so much better with a more ominous enemy and better character dynamics.

      Yes! Watch Silver Spoon – so well written!

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