Thanks to a personal "project", I have a lot of time in my hands right now. No, I'm not homeless nor unemployed, but I do have a lot of time to watch animes and write about them. That's why you can see me all the time spamming Japanator with long, useless walls of text. Sorry about that.
Meanwhile, I'm covering some shows that Jtor's staff obviously hate. Or ignored for some other reason. And I'll post some other random stuff too, mainly recommendations on j-music.
We have 100% less punches this week and the next, as Ippo is taking a end-of-the-year vacation. But there's no reason to fret, since Magi and Log Horizon delivered two excellent episodes, setting up big events that are about to start, so let's see how worlds end/begin!
Magi Season 2 Episode 11
Hey, anime industry? Can I have a moment of your attention? I want you to have a look at Morgiana. See how she can be fully clothed, and still be beautiful? See how she look young, but not too young? See how she has personality, without the need to try to look cute all the time? Yes, this is how you make a strong, likeable female character. Take notes and learn from her, dear anime industry.
Yes, this week we have Morgiana on screen for most of the time! Contrary to Alibaba, Morgiana finds her destination, the Dark Continent, without hassle. The problem is, as Masrur already told her beforehand, it's just a vast land without much to be seen. Soon enough, Morgiana arrives at an almost abandoned town, where some guys think of a plan to capture her and sell her as a slave, after seeing she is a Fanali.
Before Morg can break their faces, Alibaba's half-brothers, Sahbmad and Ahbmad, convinces the fools that they could never defeat a Fanali. The brothers are now working for Sindria, traveling to learn more about Tran tribes and their language, which are often encountered in dungeons. The elder of the Tran tribe tells Morg there are Fanalis still living beyond The Great Rift, but once she passes it, she can't get back. Confident in her strength, Morg decides to cross it to meet the Fanalis.
His eyes tell war is about to start
Turns out The Great Rift is a deep, dark hole where the more you descend, the darker it gets, until everything is pitch black. With the help of her Household Vessel's chains, Morg goes down the hole, overcoming the fear and insanity that comes with the journey. At the bottom, she finally meets Yunan, who proclaims he can take Morg to the other side of the valley, where the Fanalis are, but can't bring her back. Or wouldn't want to, since a world war is starting right now. Next scene shows said war starting, when Ren Kouha declares war on Magnostadt. I might be missing something here, as the "war" looks like it already started when messengers interrupt the reunion between the Kou Empire's prince and the old man from Magnostadt, but what matters is a major war is starting, so there you go.
Log Horizon episode 11
The plot thickens... in a beach episode! Talk about unexpected things! Naotsugu and Akatsuki are helping Touya and Minori level up, when we learn the Samurai is the worst class in Elder Tale, since its abilities have long cooldowns and leave its user paralyzed after using it. Why the hell would anyone want to be a Samurai, then?
The Round Table Alliance decides to hold a summer camp training at the beach, to help new players to level up. Meanwhile, the NPCs continue to behave like normal people, and the nobles of Eastal call representants of the Round Table Alliance to know more about player characters. The reunion is held in an aristocratic fashion, with nobles of Eastal holding a party at a huge palace. Shiroe notes that, while it's a great opportunity to learn more about this world and how to get out of it, this meeting may also put them inside the nobles' political business. Meanwhile, at the training camp, Naotsugu and Nyanta act as teachers to the new players, and tell them that the very first challenge is to go to the Forest of Lagranda by themselves.
Good strategy, standing between your enemies so they can attack you on both sides
Basically, that's what happened in this episode, but I wrote that in a really simplistic manner. We see Log Horizon begins to explore two interesting fronts this time. The training camp finally brings us back to showing how this is still a game, with players battling monsters and leveling up. While Shiroe's group going to a meeting with the nobles of Eastal shows the political side of things, and how, besides this happening inside a game, it's much more about building a new world instead of getting out of it.
Not watching, but probably what happened in:
BlazBlue whatever the subtitle is: quarter circle front + punch makes some characters throw magic out of their hands. Other characters will just crouch, take a step foward and make a short-ranged attack. The more you know.
Generally, the drummer sets the rhythm from the back, with guitarists, bassists and vocalists up front, closer to the crowd of passionate fans, hogging all the spotlight for themselves. That's not the case with today's entry, one-woman-band Shishido Kavka. Ok, I'm exaggerating here, as she does need other people playing other instruments, but this drummer takes front spot and captivates her fans with smooth vocals and high energy beats.
Back in september, Shishido Kavka released her first major album, properly titled "Kavkanize". I thought it would be a shame to let that slip under Japanator's attention, so you can check in the video above some of her songs performed live. And below, the only full video I could find in her channel, Lovecorrida, which is kinda different from the rest of her songs, with a sugar-pop vibe. Hopefully, at this point, you already know how she sounds for most of the time after watching the first video up there.
Things got ugly this week. On Ippo, there's a guy hitting women. On Magi, a poor animal got beaten and slashed with a sword. And on Log Horizon, there's a man blackmailing people to join his business. So, with so much filthy going on, make sure to keep the police on speed dial and let's see what these horrible criminals are up to lately.
Hajime no Ippo: Rising episode 10
The good news is Ippo developed an evolution for the Dempsey Roll capable of overcoming its huge weakness against counters, thus being usable against Sawamura. The bad news is Ippo overworked his body in order to pull it off, and Dr. Yamaguchi, while treating his injuries, says he is only allowed to use the Dempsey Roll twice during the fight.
Meanwhile, Sawamura is riding his bike around the city and makes a stop to beat up a gang who was seeking revenge against him. Things heat up during the weigh-in, as Sawamura wants to start the fight right there. Hoping to have a date with Ippo after that, Kumi awaits for him outside, but getting there, Ippo meets Mashiba Ryo too. The 3 of them are walking down the street, when Sawamura appears out of nowhere and punches Kumi in the face. Poor Kumi, she is being accompanied by 2 japanese champions, and a random punk is able to hit her. Way to go, Ippo and Mashiba. You fail so badly at being bodyguards...
The episode ends right at the start of the match, so next week we can expect to see Sawamura not hitting defenseless girls.
Magi Season 2 episode 10
This episode is filled with action right from the start. In the Colisseum, only normal weapons are allowed, so Alibaba is given a regular, non-magical sword to fight with. Being quick on his feet, Alibaba is capable of dodging the giant Garda's initial attacks, but without the sword of Amon, he can't cut through his opponent's thick muscles, and ends being punched and slammed heavily into the ground. Injured, Alibaba admits his defeat, but as one would expect in a gladiators match, this is a fight to the death.
Garda lifts Alibaba and bites his left arm. Fangs deep into Alibaba's flesh, I think he should be dead from blood loss. Or at least lose his left arm forever. But being one of the protagonists of this show, of course Alibaba can't die like that, and remembering the old times with his friend Kassim, he finally makes peace with the two kinds of magoi inside his body, and decides he is too young to die.
Alibaba makes Garda destroy a statue, pierces his opponent's left hand and finally defeats the monster with multiple attacks. At the Colisseum, Scheherazade is watching the fight, and after talking for too long with Mu, she says she decided to protect the Reim Empire. After the fight, Alibaba turns Garda into his first pokémon, and starts his journey to defeat the Elite Four. Ok, I might be wrong in this last part, but next week we finally get to see Morgiana! And I wonder, if she wanted to meet more of her people, she should go to Reim, as this episode showed the higher concentration of Fanali ever in Magi.
Log Horizon episode 10
Log Horizon turned to be a completely different show than I was expecting it to be, not that that's a bad thing at all. Of course, like many people watching its first episode knowing nothing about the light novels, I thought it would be a SAO ripoff. Then, there was an entire episode about a fight between the heroes and a guild of bad guys, and it was awesome. "Hey, the action is better than SAO's, if they don't shoehorn a love story in it, this may be a great show!", I thought to myself.
This turned out to be a good show, but not an action one. No one seems to be worried about leaving the world of the MMORPG they are all trapped in. Instead, Shiroe is using all his efforts to... build a new world inside it! How, you ask? Well, he formed the Round Table Alliance by basically blackmailing all the major guilds of Akihabara, then by realizing people are unhappy because they have nothing to do, so he invents... THE ECONOMY!
After cleaning Log Horizon's new home, they accept Minori and Touya as new members, and everybody enjoy a curry party. And as Shiroe noted, the NPCs are acting like people, first by being gentle and all, but with suspicious people wandering the city like creepy spies. Also, mysterious characters end the episode with mysterious close-ups! Oh my!
Aaaaannnnnd, in this week's "Not watching but what probably happened in:"
Gundam Build Fighters: someone lost a piece from his brand new toy! It's impossible to finish the assemble of Gundam S045G-Z without the sckinirinphus propeller, so the old men stop playing with their robots and go on a quest to find the missing piece.
Usually, I prefer to not go with the usual "the next somebody" route. It may be unfair to compare different people, especially one starting his/her career to another established one. And even if you use the comparison to compliment, you may be diminishing one's effort to be unique. But I wanted to draw attention to this amazingly talented girl, so I used the name of a singer people worldwide love, so, yeah, deal with that.
Cheap use of a famous name aside, after watching some videos from Ueda Marie's official channel, Shiina Ringo really did come to my mind. The way her voice is sometimes high pitched, the soft tones mixed with aggressiveness, the slow melody turning into fast rock and vice versa, and how it's hard to classify the style of her music. All of these made me think of Shiina Ringo while watching Ueda Marie's videos. It's not like I find both of them that similar, but it's obvious this young singer just overflows with talent.
And she may be young, but it seems she already has an extensive career. Her music videos are incredibly fun to watch, and luckily, her official channel has plenty of live videos aswell. Up there is her most recent PV, Kokoro to Karada. And to finish things nicely, below is my favorite song so far, Sentimentalism.
What is this? Not a girlband? This is nonsense! Yes, fellow Japanator members, make room in your playlist to add the rocking, wolf-headed MAN WITH A MISSION! The above song, database, is the opening to Log Horizon, and from what I can see in the comments section, there's not a lot of people watching it, so this great song may have flown under your radar, and I'm here to make things right!
The use of rapping vocals mix really well with this fast paced rock song, to create something that just evokes adrenaline. I wonder how these guys can endure all the heat inside the wolf masks while performing such energetic songs. And yes, they use the same wolf heads in every public appearance, not only for this video.
Captain Komamura aproves MAN WITH A MISSION, so go listen to it now!
There's a saying that goes something like "if you run into an asshole, you ran into an asshole, but if you run into a lot of assholes, you are the asshole". That's why I can't decide if almost nothing really happened on all 3 shows I'm covering this week, or if I didn't pay enough attention.
Anyway, even if there wasn't a lot of punching/bankai-ing/PVPing, let's go and see what little happened on episodes 9 of Hajime no Ippo, Magi and Log Horizon!
Hajime no Ippo: Rising 09
Coming back from a long hiatus, Volg first needs to regain his strengh, stamina and overall fighting ability, so he trains with all his might in Kamogawa Gym, while waiting for the Coach to call his friend over in America, where Volg is aiming to restart his boxing career. At first, Itagaki seems a little reluctant to ask Volg to help Ippo with his training, but then he acknowledges that Volg is their best option to show the weakness of the Dempsey Roll. Volg himself knows he won't be of any help in his current state, out of shape and being a long time since the last time he fought, but he trains beyond limits to help Ippo and his friends.
Coach Kamogawa finally receives a response from Hama Dankichi, his old friend that is living in America, saying he agrees on training Volg. In his last day in Japan, Volg decides to give Ippo a farewell gift: knocking him unconscious. What a good friend. No, really, he spars with Ippo to show how the Dempsey Roll is weak against counters. Stepping back, Volg is able to see the hook coming from what was a blind spot, and is able to deliver a well-timed counter, which completely knocks Ippo out. Then, Coach Kamogawa says Volg didn't hit with full strengh, and as Sawamura won't be so merciful, Ippo might die if he gets hit with a proper counter.
Ashita no Joe? No? Well, instead of getting depressed, Ippo man-up and decides to evolve the Dempsey Roll. During an epiphany, Ippo discovers a way to make the Dempsey Roll less predictable, and the episode ended with me still talking to the screen like a lunatic, almost screaming to Ippo to crush Sawamura's skull with regular punches. Really, if this goes on, they should change the anime title to Hajime no Dempsey Roll.
Magi Season 2 episode 09
Sorry, Magi fans. I just realized I was writting Magi's title wrong all this time. Only the first season was called "The Labyrinth of Magic", while this second season is "The Kingdom of Magic". I will not edit previous posts, so you can go back to them, point and laugh, like "lol what stupid poser writing about a show he knows nothing!"...
Other than that, nothing really important happens. Sure, Alibaba is more and more gaining Ichigo's powers, but more on that later. I really liked the previous episode's pacing, as so much happened with Aladdin, but this time, it's the opposite. Alibaba got robbed in his ship to Reim Empire, so he has no money and is starving to death. He also doesn't have the recommendation letter that Sinbad wrote to him, so he must defeat the girl Toto, in order to join the school that trains swordsmen. Starving, he is easily defeated. Then, he is saved by a bunch of guys I don't remember at all, but are apparently his friends.
In his second attempt to defeat Toto, Alibaba wins by undressing her. After that, the old man who was acting like a regular drunk old man in the casino revealed to be Shambal Ramal, one of the Yambala Gladiators. Via acupuncture, the old man says that Alibaba has two kinds of Magoi inside his body, so that's why he can't use his Djinn Equip to its full extent.
The episode ends with Alibaba facing a huge monster in the gladiators' arena, to make some money and pay for his training. I bet the other Magoi kind is an inner hollow, but we will see. That, and Toto using the Kaioken was interesting, too.
Log Horizon episode 09
It seems Log Horizon concentrated all its action in one episode. It was episode 4, if I remember right, when Shiroe, Naotsugu, Akatsuki and Nyanta fought against the guild who was dominating Susukino. The weird thing is, I just googled "Susukino" and learned that it's actually a red-light district in Sapporo, Hokkaido. What makes a whole lot creepier the fact that that guild in the north was trying to capture the obviously under-aged Serara...
I'm not saying Log Horizon is boring, just that it's not so full of action as the beginning made me believe it would be. This episode shows all the major local guilds gathering to discuss about the future of Akihabara. Shiroe's objective is to unite both fighting power, by calling the strongest guilds, to financial power, by calling the richest trade guilds. His trump card is, well, he bought the building that hosts Akihabara's bank. With this, only people who Shiroe allows in the building are capable of extract their money and items. That's why he needed those 5 millions of Gold, to basically buy the most important building of Akihabara and obtain a huge advantage over everyone else.
This makes me wonder, if this building was so important, why none of the richest guilds thought about buying it in the first place? Also, the slave children are finally freed from that evil guild, but... why couldn't they fight back earlier? Even if they got killed, all that would have happened was that they would respawn at the cathedral.
But enough with serious political business. It's time to try to make some people angry, with my favorite weekly corner!
Not watching, but probably what happened in:
Kill La Kill: Thanks to the huge success of this show, for next season, the studio is seriously considering paying a professional drawing artist! On other news, the janitor who is drawing this season's 5 frames per episode, will go back to his regular duties.