Welcome to another week of Annotated Anime, the only anime recap that truly treasures even the haters. Every "meh", every "OLD", every "I liked this recap better when the other guy was in charge", we love you all!
But enough about that, it's E3 week, and we're loaded for bear, bringing with almost as many recaps as E3 trailers*, including Hiiro no Kakera, Jormungand, Space Bros, Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Of The Dead, Eureka 7 AO, Hyouka, Fate/Zero, Moretsu Pirates, Accel World, Natsuiro Kiseki, AKB0048, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Gundam AGE, Mysterious Girlfriend X, Phi Brain, Sankarea, Medaka Box, Upotte! and Lupin III!
Natsuiro Kiseki Episode 9
I guess this show is just rotating each magical and whimsical plot device. It's almost a late 80s-early 90s kind of feel. This week, Saki gets to streak around the tropical island while remaining invisible. Why is this I do not know, but it seems that the magical rock back home has a relative here at the island.
As expected, Saki and friends got their fair share of island hospitality. Unfortunately for most of the locals, they couldn't even catch a glimpse of their new doctor's daughter since she was invisible most of the time. Yuka and Rinko had some nice moments together, and Natsumi fretted over their (and Saki's) predicament, but came up big time by carrying a change of clothes when Saki disengaged her cloaking device over a friendly sunset as they made up with Koharu.
I'm not too sure what's going on, but the point of this week's Natsukise seems to explain the motivation behind Saki's decision to move. Making new friends on the island and finding a meaningful cause behind Saki's dad's decision (rather than the usual corporate HR re-organization excuse) make the situation more complicated, not less. How will they able to wrap it up?
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia Episode 9
Despite things looking they've gone back to normal, things with Yuuko are pretty strange. She's expressing emotion when she didn't before, things that would've been pushed unto the Shadow Yuuko. Not only that, but Yuuko has lost all memories of the investigations she has done with Niiya and Co…despite regaining her memories of her relationship. Kirie guesses that Niiya making Yuuko remember something she forcefully excised has brought back emotions that she used to repress.
When Niiya leaves the school, Yuuko feels despair for the first time in a while, especially when she begins to recall old memories. Shadow Yuuko appears and taunts the friendly ghost while taking her form. Shadow Yuuko nearly takes Yuuko, but Niiya comes in and saves his ghostly gal. The Shadow persists, leading Niiya to tackle it and get mentally dragged into Yuuko's past.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Episode 34
Space pirates! Just what AGE needed, another group of antagonists. After leaving the Earth's atmosphere, the Diva gets ambushed by the Bisidian pirates, so they send out their troops for some good ol' fashioned space combat. Most importantly, we finally see the über sexy Dark Hound…piloted by Asemu. Well, isn't THAT a shock! What's amusing is that Flit is able to figure out that it's Asemu in the Hound. Actually, what's even more amusing is how much a crappy father Asemu is. As good of a pilot as he's become, he's still the same moron.
Anyway, Asemu saves Kio and helps defeat a couple of Vagan who interrupted the fight. Asemu attaches something onto the AGE-3 before heading out. Back on the Diva, Flit reveals to Kio that the pilot of the Dark Hound was his father while we find out that Asemu's band of pirates have been attacking Federation ships that were supporting the Vagan. Aww, so he's not so bad of a guy after all.
Hiiro no Kakera Episodes 9-10
I guess we've reached the point in the show where Tamaki starts to turn her pathetic situation into a less pathetic one due to the beginnings of love and all that. The story has very quickly turned into one where instead of bumbling around like a lost puppy all over the place, she's learned two crucial pieces of knowledge. One is that she's the reason why the boys can't overpower Logos, and two is that the boys suddenly aren't just following orders by protecting her so much as protecting her because they want to.
Sure, I guess that's good pacing. Wait... no, it isn't. How does Takuma suddenly seem to have feelings for this girl, and how come Mahiro only blew her off for all of, like, forever before he realized everything is going to be A-OK? I feel like I missed a few subtle hints, somewhere in between all the dialogue where Tamaki is being constantly reassured. Suddenly, the dialog from Takuma is "stop worrying." Oh, and he smiles now. Whoa.
I'm more interested in what this dog guy is up to, following Shinji and sniffing around the Tamayori business. He's got this whole, "oh I'm so wild and I'm such a bad boy" vibe to him, but who knows. Maybe he'll be a total softy puppy dog when the time comes for him to actually take any action.
Either way, we'll see.
[Check it out on Crunchyroll]
Kore wa Zombie desu Ka? of the Dead Episode 8-9
Now that there's some actual plot development going on this season for Kore wa Zombie, I'd expect that this series at least takes its attempts to tell a story a bit more seriously. With the addition of the only other person as strong as Chris seemingly helping out Ayumu and the crew, a female warrior and acquaintance of Yuu named Naegleria (Nene for short), there's no better time than now to actually get into the more darker elements of what made the first season as great as it was.
Of course, things remain as comedic as ever, and in some regards it becomes as repetitive as ever. This series really doesn't need that much comedy to do well, but there's still a lot of really tedious attempts to halt a newly developing storyline for a really weak joke that have been used for the past 10 or so weeks it seems.
Of course, even with that minor complaint, this is still the same Zombie desu Ka? that we know and love... and specially enough, a nice twist was thrown on at the end of these most recent episodes, teasing at the relationship between Nene and Chris, especially if they are in cahoots together, or if they simply spend a lot of bitter, critical time together as rivals. Very interesting stuff is in the works, I'm sure.
Eureka Seven: AO Episode 7-8
I am really surprised how Fleur actually turn out to become an actual cool and interesting character, because she seemed like an especially wicked case of useless and wasteful of space from my first reactions of her during the premiere of the series. Her and Ao really hit it off in these episode (more so specifically in episode eight), so even with the now horrible problem of Naru being kidnapped on hand, there's more to look forward to in the romance portion of our sci-fi drama.
The Truth approaching and effortlessly destroying inside Generation Bleu really pushes on exactly how strong of a villain this motherfucker is. I can understand that a main bad guy has to be strong enough to be scary, but weak enough for the hero to defeat him, but this dude really can screw over Ao and the gang on a whim, as proven in episode seven.
It's interesting stuff that still continues to go on in Eureka Seven: AO that make it worth watching each week. Sure, it's not really great or original, but it's so far a really nice compliment to the franchise overall. For now.
Hyouka Episode 6
This week, we take FOREVER to understand why people become angry. Don't get me wrong about this week's AA write-up: I really do like this show and everything, but it's so amazing to imagine these odd fuckers at KyoAni not being bored out of their wits trying to find a way to storyboard how four teenagers explain the obvious.
Chitanda is ironically not a very bright girl... the gang in the Classics Club almost have to coax her into learning simple common sense, like "What are emotions?" after asking herself why she got angry in her homeroom earlier that day... these guys sure do like to waste a lot of time with BS and inferences and hypotheses and other basic things doing with the scientific method or whatever they follow. I understand the need of having a mystery, but taking a really mudane and menial issue like yelling in class and making it into an unnecessarily complex breakdown really is an obvious sign of trying too hard to make something out of nothing.
...and I'm still coming back every week. Why must this show be so stupidly overdone, but so full of beautiful things?
Sankarea Episode 9
A mostly Mero episode after what went down last week? Really?
I’m not sure what this is episode is accounting for but whatever it is I’m not liking it. Today, we follow Mero around to find out what makes her tick. Yup, I got nothing. There are only two things that this confirmed for me. One, that Mero knows about Rae being a zombie and is cool with it. Previously, I didn’t know if she did or didn’t. Second, that something happened to her mother that might not be quite kosher. I guess that we will find out more about this later. My money is on that she was a zombie as well at some point. Grandpa didn’t take good enough care of her in that form and she didn’t survive or had to be put down.
Well hopefully next week we will start to find out what will happen to Chihiro after last episodes kidnapping.
[Find melancholy at Funimation]
Mysterious Girlfriend X Episode 9
It was kind of a letdown episode this week. At least, nothing that really wowed me. The hair style was nice thou.
We start off this episode with what I can tell is a nude sleeping Urabe. Your guess is as good as mine on what part you think you see in the beginning. Anyways, Urabe goes to school with some major bed head. Oka helps her out by giving her a fresh new do. All the boys seem to like it now that they can see Urabe’s face. Well, this does not go over well with Tsubaki having all the boys start to drool for her. So, he asks her to change it back for him. He’s being a bit selfish but it’s completely understandable.
Come to find out, Urabe looks like an up and coming idol. Tsubaki gets wind of this and rushes to the bookstore to find out. Sure enough, this new idol has the same type of eyes as Urabe. He is tickled pink at all the lovely photos of someone that kind of looks like Urabe. Wouldn’t you know that Urabe finds out about it as well. Urabe then asks Tsubaki to bring it to her to see it. After perusing, she asks him which one does he like best. Personally, I figured that she might imitate which ever pose or facial expression he chooses. Nope, wrong again. The panty scissors come out, the book never stood a chance. This is probably the lowest episode so far for me, but I can wait to see what next week is going to be about.
[Styling at Crunchyroll]
Medaka Box Episode 9
The battle between the Student Council and the Discipline Committee come to an exciting crossroads! Could it be… a story arc is forming? For the first time we are left with a cliff hanger and a real continuation of the issues of the previous episode! Even the violence seemed to have some effect and consequence!
What I really liked about the episode is how they really have established Medaka as a true undefeatable monster at this point. Her abilities are seemingly unstoppable, anther will is second to none. It seems that she did take some damage actually though, I'm excited to see how this place out next week!
There is one person more scary. Is Shiranu pulling the string behind everything? What really is her back story and her relationship with the gang? Why does she hate Medaka so?
[Wonder about what Shiranu will eat next over at Crunchyroll]
Fate/Zero Episode 22
Bros for life.
There was a lot going on this week, but Rider and Waver easily stole the show. With the final showdown closing in on the remaining participants, Waver is confronted by his fake grandfather; the man he had brainwashed early in the series. Sitting on the roof of a house while waiting for the sun to rise, the old man reveals that he knows that Waver isn't his grandson. There's a touching moment shared between the two in which the man tells Waver that there are few things in life worth giving your life over. Waver seems to take these words to heart.
Preparing to ride off to final battle, Rider is confronted by a Waver that uses all three of his command seals to essentially free his servant. Waver dismisses his former partner, commenting that he's no longer a master now that all of his command seals have been used up. Not to be outdone, Rider grabs his bro and places him on his horse. The great conqueror tells Waver that after all the battles and hardships they've faced together, there's no doubt in his mind that they're friends. Waver finally breaks down into tears as the whiny little kid from episode 1 is no more.
Other things happened, but these two were at the heart of the story this week. I'm still extremely nervous about where Waver's fate rests, but it's looking more and more like we're going to find out next week.
Please don't die. Pretty please?
[Catch The 4th Holy Grail War over at Nico Nico]
AKB0048 episode 6
An episode about "haters" and nasty fan mail (and the fact that that stuff gets screened, 'natch)? That's hardly "over the top" and "crazy"! Hell, nasty fan mail and haters happen to everyone!
Except here the hilarious part isn't so much the fact they exist two hundred years into the far future and still act just as they are wont to do (bomb threats and all), but the intense sanitizing job AKB0048 has done on both its fans and its events.
Let's make the hater an earnest pre-teen with a stupid hat (though his infatuation with Rino Sashihara sharpens the edge) instead of a middle-aged salaryman or sweaty nerd! Let's have these new girls' very first fans not be middle-aged men or the crazies (NSFW) who get handshake events into the headlines, but a wholesome housewife and child!
Of course, they could simply be fair and balanced here. The weirdos and crazies are in the weird/crazy minority, just as we shouldn't judge Call of Duty or WoW players by the words and actions of Anders Breivik. Still, it feels just a bit...off, especially since the very first scene of their debut video is a bikini shot.
The cutest whitewash here, though, goes for the Wota (term for "idol otaku"). Here they're the valiant defenders of the Entertainment Protection Zone, with their own lightsaber glowsticks and ita-mecha. Nope. Not dangerous at all, except to the space marines raiding all planets with the temerity to like idols.
Moretsu Pirates episode 22
Finally! Finally finally finally! The "plot of galactic significance" folks were hoping would happen around, say, episode 5 or six, finally happens, complete with a mysterious, overpowering battleship, fellow hardcore, non-show pirates getting wiped out, and an encounter with...the narrator(!) as he stands on top of his ship in full vacuum wearing a grand cape, Simon-style.
You might lament how long it took to get to this point, but in my opinion, should this story arc be done right, the payoff will be right perfect in terms of character development and attitude. Only after such a long period of preamble can you really appreciate how well Marika's grown into all her new responsibilities.
I look forward to seeing how this'll play out.
Accel World episode 9
Woah, Brain Burst is a pretty rough game. Dick around your guild a bit and suddenly the guildmaster can kick you out of the game for good? Then again, it's clearly big enough to support the kinds of long-running urban legends and rumor-mongering that is more or less impossible in today's massive online games. Did it really take the conception of a fully realized virtual world to kill the age of the Wikia? If Brain Burst weren't the way it is - kind of like EVE Online recontextualized as a fighting game - Red King/Yuniko could probably just look up the Armor of Catastrophe online and start whining on the forums about a hotfix or complain about nerfing Judgment Blow for ranged characters. Then quit in a huff.
It seems that in 2047 console games as we know them are relics of a bygone time, with the "sensibilities" of "western games" considered quaint and hipster-nostalgic. If you've been reading some of the more pedantic hand-wringing in the critics' circles over the prevalence of violent games at this year's E3, as I have, it's almost comforting to know that my children or grandchildren will think my bloodlust a "weird old-people thing".
Otherwise, the character moments here are cute. The boyfriend/girlfriend moments in Haru's elevator and the bickering and catfighting between Snow Black (are they going to keep her real name a running joke?) and Yuniko really hammer home that no matter how seriously they seem to take themselves and their guild duties, and how miraculous the power of burst linking, they're still kids playing a game that the adults will never even know about.
Upotte!! episode 9
You'd think that this show would take the opportunity of a beach episode to get into things like salt-water-tolerance on assault rifles or shooting at targets underwater or beach landings something vaguely gun-knowledgeable, but no. We get a pun on the name for the HK33, a reference to military knot-tying, and what looks another cooked-up conflict with kitsune-mask-wearing AK-derivatives.
If nothing else the aggressors' complaints about the girls at Seishou ring true: "You guns have lost your true way."
Also, isn't William Tell in the public domain? Why obscure it like you would WacDonald's or Starbox Coffee?
I AM DISAPPOINT, and that's tough given how low default expectations for this farce are.
Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine Episode 9
This is certainly a step up from the last episode, as we get to learn a lot more about Fujiko. While it seemed a little obvious what her back story concerned, we more or less have confirmation that she was abused as a child, and this is likely the reason why she explored a career as a thief. Whatever the medium, it's going to be a touchy subject, so let's hope it's done well.
We also get to see some classic Lupin action when both he and Jigen team up to protect the 'art' lady, be it makeshift transport, disguises or water pistols. I do like the serious tone this new series has taken, but some goofy Lupin certainly doesn't go amiss either.
[You can watch this show for free on Funimation? What a steal!]
Jormungand Episode 9
Seeing as I haven't recapped Jormungand before, I figure I should start by telling you what I think of it. Quite frankly, I think it's one of the best of the season! I mean, it has its flaws, but it has the right amount of action and banter to keep me hooked. It's just a more loco version of Black Lagoon, as far as I'm concerned.
It's certainly a doozy of an episode to jump in on too, with Koko being told to smuggle some doctors into a not so friendly country that happens to want her weapons. Of course, with so many guns involved, we weren't going to be satisfied without a bit of a gunfight! Seems Koko and co are in a spot of trouble, starting a gunfight with the local militia. It's certainly dropped them in the deep end, but it's going to be great seeing Koko's finest showing off their skills. I just hope the science guy with the family makes it to the end.
Also, beach episode.
[Get loco with Koko over at Funimation]
Phi Brain Season 2 Episode 9
Puzzle time is an intimate thing. It's a natural occurrence that happens between young, budding puzzlers and should not be something to be embarrassed about. It's just part of being a human, finding mates to be able to play with before engaging in puzzle time. It's just a small part of how we better ourselves as a species. Still, while I hold a very open opinion about puzzle time and who should engage in it, I believe this show has crossed a boundary,
Puzzle time between two consenting males is a wonderful thing. To be able to show the world that you can solve the toughest of situations together as a pair is one of the most inspiring things you can see. Freecell freely admits that he would like to engage in puzzle time with Kaito, showing that he is a strong individual. Even if Kaito doesn't return the same feelings, it's still an incredible thing to see. However, this shows writers should feel ashamed of themselves for trying to detract from this.
Tag-team puzzle time? I'm sorry Phi Brain, but solving puzzles is something you should do with a partner that likes the same things you do, and is not something that you should freely engage in while in groups. It takes something incredibly special and destroys it, it's that simple. I used to think this show was beautiful, but I feel I was gravely mistaken.
[You could watch this on Crunchyroll, or you could do something more fun, like have real puzzle time]
Space Bros. Episode 10
Our afro-topped hero finds himself shocked when the 'eight' remaining candidates turn out to be fifteen. The next exam involves Gon and Killua being transported to a secret location, which means chilling out in a coach without being able to out the windows. Unfortunately he doesn't get to chill out with Serika for the whole thing, but I think sitting next to ol' Phoenix Wright is a pretty good deal too.
To seemingly prevent (encourage?) boredom, the JAXA folk ask the candidates to participate in ten minute ice-breakers. I'm sure there will be some mighty interesting gossip for them to go over in the recordings, but it makes you wonder why the arrogant fella, who mentioned that he knew about the cameras, acted the way he did. Still, with such a top secret facility it makes you wonder what they could be in for next. Perhaps Namba will be able to proceed to the next round by making bubbles with his hair.
[This show is blasting off again via Crunchyroll]
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