Hey there, friends! Put on your duckfaces, because it's time for Annotated Anime, the one recap around that intends to document selective human breeding attempts over the next two centuries. We're calling the effort "idol anime". We do it for science!
Besides science and AKB0048's terrifying look at the future, we've also got synopses and commentary on all the latest and greatest in Japanese cartoon tomfoolery, including Natsuiro Kiseki, Moretsu Pirates, Accel World, Upotte!!, Kids on the Slope, Sankarea, Phi Brain, Mysterious Girlfriend X, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Medaka Box, Gundam AGE, Fate/Zero, and Lupin III!
Natsuiro Kiseki Episode 8
Finally, the story takes a long form approach to tackle the main conflict: dealing with Saki's eventual departure. The four girls decides to treasure their last foreseeable summer together by going on a trip. Saki is getting pretty depressed and not in the best spirits, so the girls ends up going to where Saki will be moving to: Tokyo.
The trick was that it isn't actually the metropolis Tokyo that we know, but one of the islands governed by Tokyo prefecture, hundreds of miles south of the city. The girls had to take an overnight ferry to get to it, which probably makes it the Izu Islands, I guess. (You can get some bonus points for remembering that the Tokyo metro government is still trying to buy the Senkaku Islands, which is a similar thing.)
It turns out that Saki's dad is a doctor (which we got to see last week when her parents were treating the injured from the festival) and it is his dream to work in the rural islands. Saki is doing what she can to support her father to pursuit that opportunity. Natsumi, however, doesn't quite understand it.
Much of this week's installment is just Yuka running around like an excited little girl--I suppose that's exactly who she is, a thirteen-year-old or something. Running around the various train stations and on board the ferry (which is quite large) it does give the episode a school trip vibe. The short flirt with drama towards the end aside, Yuka manages to dominate all the lines and still drown in the preview segment, thankfully (or not) saved by a mysterious islander. Hopefully we're finally getting something dramatic?
Sankarea Episode 8
Ah Chihiro, will you ever understand what Rea really wants? It seems that he is still oblivious so far but I think we start making a little more progress this time around.
Chihiro is still doing his study of Rea. Filming her constantly, writing in his diary, and just making sure that he is catching everything that can or might happen with her. He sees everything so far, except her feelings of wanting a normal life. Come on, Chihiro. She has only told you this a dozen times or so, geez. Boys, am I right ladies?
Well, Rea doesn’t want to wait any longer to do normal stuff and drags Chihiro to a shopping center a town over. Rea gets to shop and act like a normal girl for a little while. She is as happy as can be. But wait, what is this? They are not alone. They are being followed by some henchmen. Looks like Papa is back and this time, he means business.
Trouble happens when Chihiro goes to get a bite to eat and leaves Rea by herself. The henchmen jump into action to abduct her. Little did they know that zombies are powerful. Rea easily make big time trouble for them, beating them up with a bench none the less. Chihiro finally arrives to see the kind of damage she has done. While questioning one of the henchmen, Chihiro is picked up and kidnapped instead! What is going to happen to Chihiro when he has to meet Papa?
[Be whisked away at Crunchyroll]
Mysterious Girlfriend X Episode 8
Well, well, well. What kind of episode do we have here? A very soft and firm one it feels like.
Looks like it’s time to take this relationship to a whole new level. Tsubaki wakes up from a dream he has where he gets to touch Urabe’s breast. This is exciting and troublesome for the young man because he cannot get the feeling to go away from his hand. We have all be there, right fellas? He goes outside to try and clear his head a bit, heading back to the spot where they walk each day after school. Curious, Tsubaki starts heading in the direction of where Urabe goes. While looking around, Urabe pulls up on a bike with groceries. She asks him why he is around here, to which he replies that he was just walking around. Smooth. Anyway, Urabe invites him to come up to her place and have a drink. What happens next is a bit of a shocker.
They enjoy some friendly banter back and forth. Tsubaki is trying his hardest not to give away what’s troubling him. Urabe is not buying it. Suddenly a rain storm appears, trapping Tsubaki inside with Urabe. Lucky guy. Thunder claps and Urabe falls right into Tsubaki’s arms. Noticing this, his hand is in just the right position to cop the feel his has been dreaming about. But alas, he hesitates and gets caught. Tsubaki then spills his guts out about the whole thing. Urabe goes ahead and gives him the drool version of what he felt. Then the real thing!
I’m going to write this next part like a romance novel because it seems appropriate.
She drops down to her knees, telling him that he can feel her body with his own flesh. There is a clap of thunder in the distance. The chance he has been wanting is right in front of him. But no, his feelings are pure toward her. Proclaiming that their love is what matters most and not the temptations of the flesh. She tells him that if you don’t do it now, you will lose this chance. Not hesitating, he reaches out and grabs her breast firmly. Their hearts pound as one, faster and faster as the excitement grows. Not being able to control himself, he pounces forward on top of her like an animal. Startled, she asks him to wait, but he cannot control his lust for her. Without warning, he gently starts to lick her ear. This starts a new sensation running through her body. Then, a tear forms in her eye.
What conclude is Tsubaki running out of her house upset with himself on what he had done. The two later come to terms with it on the way home after school and find out a bit more about each other. I can’t wait for next week’s episode. Looks like someone is going to get their hair cut.
[Grab a handful at Crunchyroll]
AKB0048 episode 5
I did say, AKB0048's terrifying look into the future, yes? Let's get into that for a second, also ignoring my original advice of divorcing the viewing of this show from its core purpose as a marketing vehicle for the real-life AKB48. I'm ignoring my advice in part because it amps up the terror/hilarity, but also because the show itself is prompting us to do so.
At this point in time Nagisa, Chieri and the other AKB48-voiced members of the cast are part of the 77th "generation" of the AKB idol franchise (plus a Kanata and Mimori from the 75th). Now, since we're talking idol generations, a given generation lasts, at best, 5-10 years. Add to that idol subgroups, generation overlap (as the previous gen mentors the next), and the actual progression gets murkier.
Where am I going with this? Well, based on this episode, the "struggle" by AKB to represent entertainment and creative expression has gone on for a long time. Long enough that entire family clans have sprung up around the idea of maintaining membership in the group as some kind of dynastic heritage.
I'm talking about Tomochin the 13th! Her whole family has instituted selective breeding to MAINTAIN THE IDEAL TOMOMI ITANO DUCKFACE. They have a forty-eight volume handbook dedicated to being Tomomi Itano! They say that "the blood of the original Tomochin is strong in our family"!
And don't even get me started about "Sensei-sensei".
They're idols! LITERALLY!
Best show ever made.
Accel World episode 8
Except, of all the shows I've watched this season, of Upotte and AKB and others, it's something as arguably bland and generic as Accel World (that's what a lot of folks have called it and I don't strongly disagree) would rub up against those slowly receding boundaries. Maybe it's because it's skewed as young as it has, with the maximum age for every major character pegged at 15 (complete with lore justification). Maybe it's how flustered Haru gets when the loli (who possesses the second most distorted bodily proportions of the show) fawns over him and he wonders, "is this what it's like to have a little sister"?
NO! Having a sister, elder or younger, is closer to not getting all shy and possibly aroused and shared bathing!
What saves it this week is seeing Haru keep his investigative cool as he confronts his "sister" and why the Red Queen would even bother infiltrating his house. Also, she has a giant battle robot.
Upotte episode 8
Another disappointing week. There's simply not enough gun trivia! We may be running into the limits of Upotte's school setting. At least in the likes of Strike Witches there was a war on that WWII inspirations could be cribbed from.
Either way, a lot of lame gags this episode, few of them even having to do with guns! At least portraying the school festival as something akin to a military parade was creative.
Moretsu Pirates episode 21
I think this is the first time anyone has actually managed to hit the Bentenmaru! It's both a testament to the quality of it and its crew, and an indicator of just how laid-back the show is, that it took taking a spaceship into atmosphere (protip: not a good move) to expose the girl to enemy fire.
Otherwise, the week is notable mainly for showing just how crazy Hakuoh apparently is (or its Yacht Club at least), as well as finally, hopefully, retiring the schoolgirls to their proper place. With five episodes to go, the preview looks like it'll tread into a plot of true consequence: how the pirates deal with a pirate-hunter.
Looking forward to it!
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia Episode 8
You can call this episode a "break up" episode in so far as Niiya is dealing with not being with Yuuko. She dumps him hard when Niiya bumps into her in the club room and figures out that she forced her own memories to be blanked out. Hell, he can't even see the cute ghost after their "break up." Niiya ends up spending a lot more time with Momoe, which affects Kirie quite a bit. Subsequently, we see that Yuuko is pretty bummed out as well.
It takes him most of the episode, but Niiya finally admits to himself that he loves Yuuko and goes back to the club room to try and contact her again. He finds her, takes her to the roof of the school and confesses to her. He staggers over to Yuuko and stumbles onto her, which seems to trigger the return of her memories. She returns his affections and the show seems to return back to normal. The episode ends with Kirie confronting Shadow Yuuko, which seems to have also lost its memory.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Episode 33
After Shanalua went up in flames, Zeheart goes out to distract the Federation from finding the bombs he planted in the base. This of course doesn't stop Kio from being more than a match for the pretty boy. Thanks to some clever thinking, they find the bombs on the base and begin the process of removing /disarming them. Lucky for the Federation, Kio is a bad ass X-Rounder and manages to find the last hidden bomb. After questioning Ezelcant's plot for Earth, Zeheart meets Fram Nara, the purple-haired loli that is always necessary in a Gundam show. As the Diva heads off into space, we find out that the Vagan have control of Earth orbit and about 40% of the surface. Oh, and we finally get to see the supremely awesome looking Dark Hound next episode!
Medaka Box Episode 8
It's the Student Council versus the Disciplinary Committee! I present to you Onigase Harigane, a young pink haired lady who has just taken top spot as my favorite character in the series!
I was glad to see both parts of this episode again focus on a single idea. This time the awesomeness of Onigase, and the Exhibitionist Committee! The whole chemistry between Shiranu and Onigase was quite classic. I originally criticized the anime for being bait too weird, and no understanding it, but it's starting to really feel right at home. In fact, I would go as far as saying the anime is feeling a bit old school.
The strong ideas the characters represent, and the signature looks and one liners you hope to hear them say every episode give me something to look forward to. Perhaps this episode wasn't quite as funny as the last one, but it did feel like it had some story consequence! Is a story arc beginning to build?
I'm looking forward to next week! Medaka's explanation and justification of cleavage was enough to float the whole episode.
[Pick a side over at Crunchyroll]
Fate/Zero Episode 21
I could probably go on for pages about why this episode was so good, but instead I'll keep it short and sweet.
Saber has a high speed duel with Rider, despite realizing that he and his master likely had nothing to do with Iris' kidnapping from last week. It's pretty easy to assume that she realized that there was no way they were simply going to just let her go after making the first move, so she opts to put everything into a final strike from Excalibur. With Rider and Waver both surviving, Saber retreats.
Elsewhere we learn that Kariya and Kirie are working together, with the latter promising that if the former heads to the church later in the evening he'll finally be able to meet Tokiomi. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned and Kariya discovers the former mage dead on arrival. Even worse, Aoi just happens to stumble upon him standing over Tokiomi's dead body. Bad things happen, Kariya snaps and in a brilliantly chilling scene, he strangles the former love of his life to death.
There were a lot of high points in episode 21, not the least of which was the extremely well directed battle on the road between Saber and Rider. Yet Kariya's murder of Aoi was easily the most memorable sequence. It's clearly cut in a way that will initially get the viewers to assume she's raped. Even Kariya's subtle movements, at first glance, appear to be somewhat sexual in nature as he squeezes the life out of Aoi. It's an incredibly uncomfortable sequence with some masterful direction.
Bring on 22.
[Catch Fate/Zero via Nico Nico]
Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine Episode 8
This episode really didn't do much for me. The story was interesting, but I just couldn't help but feel it was all pretty irrelevant. Linking Lupin to a series of deaths is cool and all, but when the police pose no threat to the guy, it's not really putting me on edge. Still, getting to see Lupin and Jigen teaming up properly for the first time certainly makes it better.
What this episode did do was set up some plot for later on, both by emphasising that Fujiko will kill without a second thought, as well as another of the weird childhood flashbacks. It certainly seems that we'll be learning of a childhood trauma sooner or later, and I'm still pretty confident that this show will deliver it correctly.
[You can watch this show for free on Funimation? What a steal!]
Phi Brain Season 2 Episode 8
It surprises me that Sunrise can even let an episode like this slip onto air, considering the themes discussed in the episode. For those of you not in the know, Ana is constantly talking about his 'Howawan', something that he never so much goes into detail about, but seems to be intent on showing Kaito. I don't think it takes much to work out what the theme of the show is, but there is no doubt that it is packed full of sexual innuendo.
Ana implies that it is this 'Howawan' that can cheer you up and make you happy. He does this while never explaining explicitly what he means by this, hiding it behind a puzzle, a metaphor for his feelings. However, we already know that the only thing that can cheer you up when confronted by an organisation hellbent on taking over the world is plain old sexy time. Of course they couldn't state this outright, this is a family show after all, but it's treading some unstable ground by doing so. All it'll take is for the other viewer to launch a formal complaint and the show could get pulled. Watch out, Phi Brain.
[You could watch this on Crunchyroll, or you could do something more fun, like vacuum your eyes]
Kids on the Slope Episodes 6 & 7
A new school year has started, and while Kaoru and Ritsuko are in the same class again, Sentaro finds himself separated from his two friends. When the spirited Seiji asks Sentaro to help him out by drumming in his Beatles-inspired rock band for a little while, Sentaro agrees, much to the dismay of Kaoru, who feels like he's being abandoned by a friend once again. Meanwhile, Jun has resurfaced, having had some sort of breakdown. He accidentally interrupts Sentaro's attempt to capture Yurika's affections, leading to tensions between the two.
Kaoru and Ritsuko are both nominated to help run the school festival, and eventually Seiji's band is performing. All the girls love it until there's a power problem, rendering the guitars and mics silent. While trying to fix it, Kaoru overhears Sentaro's reason for helping Seiji -- he wants to get famous and make money to help his poor family -- and realizes how childish he's been. While the power is out, Kaoru starts jamming on a piano, with Sentaro joining in. A massive crowd gathers, amazed at their music; their friendship is rekindled as the two run out into the streets.
These episodes bothered me more than any other part so far. I know that Kaoru has issues opening up to people and has felt alone before, but in this episode we see him acting like a jealous girlfriend. Sentaro wasn't leaving for good, he was just playing with some other guys for maybe a month! It's not like he hates Kaoru's guts, and it's not like he even likes rock music that much! Thankfully, the resolution to their awkward stand-off felt great, with a lively musical performance that made everything better. I'm still curious to find out what's going on with Jun, though. Maybe next episode?
[Watch Kids on the Slope on Crunchyroll]
From other sites around the web