Welcome to Thursday, the day after hump day and the day for Annotated Anime, the weekly anime recap that's not too disappointed by its 118/84 win/loss ratio. Sure, it's not great, but we're watching anime, not playing Call of Duty. This ain't no race!
What we did race for, however, is to write sweet recaps of your favorite shows from the week, and in The Ambition of Nobuna Oda's case, the last six weeks!
Head on in, if you please, to check out our word on Muv-Luv Total Eclipse, Accel World, Dog Days', Tari Tari, Hyouka, Moyashimon, Joshiraku, Humanity Has Declined, and Natsuyuki Rendezvous!
Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse Episode 7
Well, so much for Cryska taking actual human interest in another human. All the Soviet Ice Queen sees is a sub-par pilot that her little sister is interested in. I'm sensing a jealous sister here. Then again, she might just be crazy, who knows?
Anyway, Yuuya comes back and lets the girls know that their boat has floated away. Cryska joins Yuuya for some stick gathering and some sisterly interrogating. She, of course, takes another dive and Yuuya has to catch her. He does find out about her fear of the ocean, which would explain Inia's freakout in the previous episode. Yui walks in on Yuuya holding up Cryska, so that means that she has to get all tsun tsun. Considering the strength that she's shown so far, it's a little disappointing that they're relying on that old crutch. However, that does get Yuuya to at least talk about the racism he grew up with. Small steps, small steps.
The episode ends with the three of them getting saved by the respective team mates and Yui having to pose in a bikini for morale purposes. She's quite reticent to show her goods, but after the Scarlet Twins come out in some 'classic' school swimsuits, she finally takes off her robe. It's nice in a visual sense, but I'm ready for things to get a bit more serious.
[You can watch Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse over at Cruncyroll!]
Joshiraku Episode 4
Tari Tari Episodes 6 & 7
Well, Wakana and her depressing mood has now been cured in favor of a more optimistic girl these past two weeks on Tari Tari. No longer under the burden of her death, Wakana sets out to finish the song her mother began... and possibly by the time it is finished, it'll be sung at the gang's final school event that wins over the terribly unhappy vice-principal in a move that'll sweep the nation or something like that...
As much as I appreciate the show giving Wakana the complete 180 she needed, now we have to deal with Sawa acting as the melodramatic victim in her place. Parents in film and TV suck most of the time when it comes to following your dreams (especially in Japan), and what's a better foil to stupid parents than their stupid kids doing even stupider shit? Sawa decides to rebel against her dad's better wishes I guess by starving herself (why?!), which leads to a cliffhanger as Sawa takes a pretty nasty fall while practicing horseback archery. As much as parents just don't understand, women are even harder to get... heheh am I right, fellas?!??!??! High-five!
Hyouka Episodes 16 & 17
Juumoji has been caught this week on Hyouka, and who else but Houtarou could've found the culprit? The gang considers this a victory, no? Well, not quite everyone...
Satoshi's envy towards Houtarou's deduction has now seeped into hatred, yet he's still nothing but smiles around the club as he feigns knowledge of knowing Houtarou's behind-the-scenes schemes. Even though our lazy protagonist was actually in on the final target, i.e. the Classics Club, he's looking out for the gang in the long run, reaping in the benefits of popularity, profit, and piece-of-mind thanks to the wild events going on at the festival.
It certainly was an interesting arc; fo' sho' one that had me guessing and fooled quite a bit during its course. Personally, I thought that one of our main characters was in on it the whole time. Satoshi certainly was at all of the target spots during the course of the festival and is known to try anything to finally outsmart his good "friend". Or perhaps Houtarou and all the spare time he had chilling alone in the Classic Club selling anthologies proved that when dealing with a lot of time on his hands, he's capable of a grand scheme that'll rake in the money spent on the damn books in the first place.
Of course, the fun in solving a mystery is never ruling out the options and going to the extremes. Of course Satoshi couldn't have been Juumoji because he was too obsessed about catching the asshole in the first place (plus, he's not really that sleezy of a guy, anyway), and Houtarou couldn't have orchestrated the whole thing because, even though he ended up outsmarting the culprit in the end, this dude is just way too goddamn lazy to do anything more than blackmail. So then... what else could we have gone on while trying to break the case? Was it too foolish to believe in coincidences when figuring in A Corpse by Evening as being a major clue back on the first day of the festival? Should we have followed the rules of Knox's Commandments as explained in episode eight to understand that every clue is a set-up for the truth, no matter how small and insignificant it is?
I think the real amazing part about this mystery is that it was also easily solvable by the audience... we were just so worked up about the other 95% of the mystery to really bother with the boring part, referring to the words written in the foreword of A Corpse by Evening. I don't feel cheated though; had I the same knowledge of trivial stuff Satoshi had or the integrity to go the distance Houtarou had gone, then even an average Joe like me could have cracked the case. Honestly, as straight-forward and logical of a mystery this ended up being, I couldn't have imagined respecting it as much as I do now if there had been a third-party involved to throw a curve-ball at the audience.
What we're left with is a broken-hearted Satoshi and a tragic loss for a manga that never will be... and as sad and somber a note to leave on what was initially a fun set of episodes around a harmless mystery, it weighs heavy on my heart to realize what the real motive for these shenanigans were, as well as the actual outcome. It's perfect Sherlock: a mystery solved, but at what price? There's no real happiness to finding out who the serial killer is in an Agatha Christine novel, all that's left is a crazed person locked up and a grieving family left with the damage he/she caused. Similarly, this mystery ends with no real happy ending, just a desperate message that goes unanswered, and a couple of friends affected by the jealousy one has towards the other.
Accel World episode 18
"Everyone is the protagonist of his own life story."
This week's episode of Accel World begins with these words, or words to similar effect, spoken by Haruyuki. I'd like to think that we've all watched or read enough serial fiction to know a side story when we see it, so this brief preamble is wholly unnecessary. Yes, we know it's character development episode focusing on Snow Black and her best friend Megumi (that huge-eyed girl who's adorably supportive of Snow's relationship with Haru). It's cute and threatens to be touching that Snow regards her best friend as a real touchstone for not getting too absorbed in the world of Brain Burst.
Delivery of the message is muddled somewhat by both characters constant references to being "in a whole other world". Yes, Brain Burst very much is another world, but if it's a secret to the general public (and if it were not blindingly obvious that Megumi is a Burst Linker or will be soon), references like that could be to anything. Is Megumi impressed by Snow's involvement in the "whole other world" of...meth? But again, a minor point that's more the fault of vague Japanese than anything else.
Beyond that, we have a brief interlude with a pair of Okinawa-speakin' lolis and their master, who is apparently an old pal of Snow's. Next week, they will likely team up to fight a big monster. Didn't they do that last time? Well, that was during Haruyuki's story, and I guess Snow Black is the protagonist of this one.
[Be pro-fat-kid relationships on Hulu]
Humanity Has Declined episode 7
Uh...hmm. I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to look at this episode, or what kind of commentary I can read into it, if there's anything at all to read, so I'll take the easy way out and spell out the events for you.
Our heroine is off to meet her Assistant (another seemingly out-of-sequence event), who only recalls wears a Hawaiian shirt. The fairies find ways to feed our heroine rigged bananas that trap her in a time loop where she encounters endless time-clones of herself making sweets for the fairies. Why her? Apparently the knowledge of making confection buckets is one that's on the decline, and the fairies want to shore up their supply chain. There's also something in there about a sundial wristwatch, our heroines boss on a Roman chariot, and endless dogs.
If I were to stop at nothing to find some subtext in this episode, it would be that maybe it's some kind of commentary on how creativity and brave creators (our heroine and her confectionery know-how) are on the decline, and the lengths otaku (fairies) will go to get their fix of trope-filled schlock (sweets), up to and including time-travel.
OK, maybe that analysis falls apart at the last bit. It was very entertaining to watch at least. The entire episode was somehow shot too brightly, with the oppressive glow and a vaguely sinister undertone that reminded me of the Endless Eight story in Haruhi. Very effective, and not nearly as annoying.
Dog Days' Episode 6
As we segue into the return of the war games, Cou decides to run a little test on Cinque. Little did she know, what ended up being a harmless experiment ended up resulting in all of Flonyard falling into chaos.
Now if this was any other fantasy show, then our heroes will be in a huge pickle right now. Since this is Dog Days Prime, that great evil gets played a little bit differently. Instead we get some perverted hijinks that reward us with a new direction that will lead to even more fun. With Dog Days Prime getting close to its halfway point, I think that the show still has some energy left in it.
Based on the end result that came out of today, I think it is safe to say that Pastillage will have a huge tactical advantage when the next war game starts. If anything, they might be close to reaching god-tier in the next battle.
[You can take a peek into Dog Days Prime at Crunchyroll]
Natsuyuki Rendezvous Episode 6
Wow, this show depresses the heck out of me. The episode was definitely cute, exploring Shimao's and continuing his possession of Ryosukse's body. However, at times it's painful to watch. The episode carries a lot of beautiful ideas and scenes, but its just screwing with me now.
The show tries really hard to evoke an emotional response, which at times, is a bit too much. I don't mind emotional stories, but the shoes is becoming an emotional mind f*ck. I get Rokka has a hard time moving on in her relationship, but come on. Quit showing Shimao curled up and dying in his bed already, it ruins my day.
Maybe it's the music that's depressing me...
[Get depressed over at Crunchyroll]
Moyashimon Episode 6
As the summer festival rolls on it uh...umm really goes all over the place.
We end up finishing day one of the festival and start in on day two. One, of many, things that struck me as weird is that no one knew where Hasagawa was. I thought at least some one knew where she went or want had happened. It looks like I was wrong because this episode is all about them finding out what happened to her. To jog your memory it’s go to France and get married to a guy she doesn’t like.
The bar seems to be doing very well at the festival with all the help that they received from Aya. They look to be able to sell out of the pulque at this rate. They even have special sake to sell later for even more money through an auction. Rabid fans be crazy for this one. What are they going to do with all the riches that they raise? Well since they now know what has happened to Hasagawa, they intend on bringing her back. Isn’t that sweet.
The fact that this might be the big plot of the entire series bugs me a bit, but I will wait and see if anything else turns up that might actually make this season good.
Microbe Theater: Selective Breeding
[Pre-chew at Crunchyroll]
From other sites around the web