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Annotated Anime: Spring 2013 Week 10

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A Frenda in need is a Frenda indeed

Welcome and welcome to a grand, glitzy week of Annotated Anime, where the hits never stop getting recapped (unless you're Devil Survivor 2, that is)! We've set up our big-ass booth in the hall, and won't make you check in every day!

We trust you, dear readers, and you're free to trade in our looks at the latest Japanese cartoons in for whatever store credit you can wrangle. Why not browse our free-to-read shelves, with the newest from Railgun S, Nyarlko W, Oreimo 2, Majestic Prince, Flowers of Evil, Attack on Titan, Gargantia, Henneko, RomCom SNAFU, Maou-sama!, and Valvrave!

Trust us, we're your Frenda!

Brad Rice

My Teenage RomCom Snafu episode 10


Well, thanks to all the awkward tension, Yukino is about to disband the Volunteer Club, when one of the popular girls comes in requesting "help" with the Student Council Celebration plans. Really, she's looking to shift responsibility onto someone else, but Yukino volunteers to help out with it. Of course, it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

With Yukino running the show, she's asking all the hard questions and really taking people to task. When giving reports of "things are all good," Yukino busts them about all the little details. And then someone calls in Yukino's older sister to "help." Why you'd call in someone who graduated three years ago, I have no idea, except to advance the plot with artificial conflict.

And now things are complete by the end of the episode, where Yukino has taken full control of the meeting, and Ms. Popular is off to the races at Funland. Next episode will see things collapse, as Yukino worked herself sick. I think you can guess the lesson of all this: take responsibility for your work!

So everything falls apart. The girl learns her lesson while in a puddle of tears. And we move on, not much closer to a romantic conclusion or real character development. A few small facts have been realized, and otherwise we've seen these characters barely evolve over 10 episodes. Fan-freakin'-tastic. With only three episodes left (I hope), I'm ready to be done with this show.

 

 

Jeff Chuang

Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos W episode 9


Another mostly filler episode, the whole plot hinges on an evil galactic scheme to have Mahiru's schoolmates playtest the next smash-hit CCG for the universe, or something. Really, it just sets the stage for a giant Kuune joke. Or was it the Cyclone Joker joke? I lost track during this week's Nyaruko-san W.

What was more memorable this week is Kuuko's kiss. It's almost like Tamako Market's sneezing-on-the-bird; we don't really know what a kiss on the right cheek means for these Old Ones. With only a few episodes left, maybe the overall plot might take a clue from the opening joke this week, that took 3 previous episodes to build up. As with the rest of season 2, Nyaruko-san W has an uneven quality that might reflect more how well you can withstand a torrent of Kamen Rider jokes rather than how good the show actually is.

[Transform into Cyclone Joker on Crunchyroll!]

 

Chris Walden

Space Bros. Episode 61

I think, for what was just a single stretched out episode on a return to Earth, that they did pretty well to keep the suspense going for a full twenty minutes. It seems to be a recurring theme with Space Bros, being able to create tension when you know full well that they can't afford for their JAXA advert to start killing off characters. Still, it has a way of making your mind wander. This is probably what they want too, seeing as they're essentially selling you space. 

But yeah, not much to say when it was just a bunch of people waiting around for a lump of metal to fall out of the sky. It was nice to see Pico making the effort for the event, and you couldn't help but feel good for him that the parachute worked without an issue (must have been all the love that the women put into folding it). 

MOON ROCK.

[Space pugs can be found on Crunchyroll!]

 

OreImo Season 2 Episode 10

The beginning of the end. Welcome...to die!

I like the relationship between Ayase and Kousaka. Perhaps a little more than I should, considering Ayase is your typical yandere girl and Kousaka is your typical emotionless brick-with-legs protagonist. But there is something about these two that I find entertaining, and on a level so much higher than any other pair of characters (besides season one Kuroneko).

Bud besides her adorable misunderstandings at the beginning of the episode, there just wasn't much going on. Actually, you may well have loved it if you're into Kousaka in a suit and/or Kirino in a wedding dress. Maybe even if you're into those terrifying bicycles. It just seemed to serve as a way to progress the brother-sister relationship, and I'm just about done with that, I think.

Bleh.

[Drift towards inevitably questionable relationships on Crunchyroll]

 

Elliot Gay

Attack on Titan Episode 10


Not exactly a great episode.

Far too much time was spent in slow motion mode, with Eren and his crew taking forever to come to a decision. I didn't have issues with Armin's realization that his friends rely on him just as much as he relies on them. It was a sweet character moment undermined by the arbitrary time limit imposed within the episode. They have literal seconds to figure out how to avoid being killed, yet full minutes are devoted to them having a dialogue about what to do. I'm typically fine with slowing down time to get into a character's head, but this was too much. It certainly doesn't help that very little actually happened this week.

The best part of episode 10 was when Commander Pixis stepped in to give Eren a chance to prove himself. Thus far he's proven to be one of the only adult figures with a head on his shoulders. I'm looking forward to seeing Eren kick some Titan ass next week if all goes well. Production values this week were lackluster, with the usual off model character animation and still frames. At this point I've resigned myself to the fact that outside of action sequences, Attack on Titan is going to be an uneven looking show.

[Catch Attack on Titan over at Crunchyroll]

 

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Episode 10


Goddammit, Pinion.

After last week's episode of Gargantia, I explained that I had no idea what sort of direction Murata was planning to take the series. Let's just say this wasn't what I was expecting.

With all the squid people massacred by Ledo and his Tomokazu Sugita death machine, Pinion digs in deep and recovers a host of lost technology, most of it extremely deadly. Beam cannons, long range weapons, and more things used to kill people are the order of the day. This power goes to Pinion's head, and he declares to everybody within range that his new fleet is badass. Of course, this brings the heat upon him, but with a host of new weapons, all challengers are defeated handily.

Meanwhile, Ledo is having an existential crisis after realizing the entire purpose of his life was bullshit. Tomokazu Sugita then goes on to explain that their mission hasn't lost its meaning at all, because the squid people would wipe out humanity the first chance they get. It's cold, it's machine-like, and Ledo isn't particularly happy to have that information thrown in his face.

The surprise reveal that Commander Kugel may very well still be alive (along with weird cultists) got a mixed reaction out of me. It feels like it's coming out of left field, but I'm willing to give Murata and his crew the benefit of the doubt for now.

[Watch Tomokazu Sugita and Ledo squish baby squid people over at Crunchyroll]

 

Josh Totman

Henneko: The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat Episode 9


Wishes and lies are all over the place!

This episode was just crazy with plot twists. From the little sister’s background and wishes to what happens to Azusa. Sure it was still a fun episode, but it was a little hard to follow. You really wasn't sure who wished for what half the time. The only one I can say for sure that is still “pure” is Tsukiko.

Not sure how to feel about the stony cat just giving away wishes to anyone as long as they have some sort of stony cat device around them. It’s just like making an order over the phone as long as you can get a signal. What’s also crazy is that everyone doesn't seem to care about the random stuff going on. I’m not entirely sure that everyone’s memories are reset as well when a wish is cancelled, but it does seem that way. Well, all but our main cast that is.

By the end of the episode seems back to normal, but we appear to have a new enemy that has emerged. Or it could be that we already took care of it by the end of the episode. AH! I’m so confused on where we’re going with this! I think we are back to normal or are we starting the final arc? Maybe its better that I don’t know and just be surprised. I’m going with that. Yup.

 [Wishes all over the place at Crunchyroll]

 

Josh Tolentino

The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 10


When you're running a show that's pretty squarely a comedy, plot and continuity aren't usually much of a concern. Just look at productions like Joshiraku, Daily Lives of Highschool Boys, Nichijou and more. They rarely have much connective tissue between episodes besides developing various running jokes that can be played for more, deeper laughs later on (Nichijou was particularly adept at this). The issue here is that Maou-sama is an action-comedy, and early on opted for plot over gags, and relying more on its craft than deliberate incitement to deliver the chuckles. 

What I'm getting at is that despite being the tenth episode (of an estimated 12), we're kicking around in what feels like filler material, an obligatory pool episode that delivers little new to the table (besides of course the invaluable reaction faces that are Maou-sama's forte). Maou gets called to a poolside MgRonald's to show the newbs there how it's done, and Chiho enlists Emi and Suzuno to join her in stalking Maou. Some literal monkeyshines later, Maou uses some magic to...become the Crocodile Whisperer. Yeah, that happened.

That said, even a perfunctory episode of Maou-sama brings some worthwhile moments to the table, in the form a good "boob envy" gag and some of the creepiest "horror house" scenes I've ever witnessed. That's not much coming from me, as I'm no horror fan (despite loving Amnesia: The Dark Descent), but it's good stuff. There're also a few plot hints, setting up the antagonist likely to fill out the rest of the season.

Protip: It's probably the guy running Sentucky.

 

Valvrave the Liberator episodes 8 and 9


Just when you thought Valvrave couldn't pile on any more absurdity, it pulls out episode 8, formally establishing L-Elf and Haruto's series-defining partnership. Haruto's boundless optimism and L-Elf's unrelenting pragmatism combine for a ridiculously effective combo, they're Naruto and Sasuke, Suzaku and Lelouch, Golgo 13 and Silence, but more than anything, they're sweet cream and bitter coffee. I'm not making that last one up.

Of course, let's not downplay the independent state of Module 77 suffering its first wartime casualty, that's a bad thing, obviously, but if nothing else it provides a reason to introduce the next two Valvraves and their pilots: Kyuma in the long-range bow-wielding Blue Valvrave, and Thunder the delinquent in the beefy, multi-armed Yellow Valvarave. Their individual gimmicks aren't as compelling as Saki's freaky leg-dance, but Space Vampire Sentai Valvranger is finally filling out. All that's left is the fifth, Purple Valvrave to join the crew, and then we'll be ready for the next barrage of insane twists. 

Actually, forget waiting for the next Valvrave, keep hitting us with twists! The last one, the revelation that Module 77, the school, and all its students and faculty save the ditzy swimming coach, were all test subjects for the Valvrave program, is a bit overused.

 

A Certain Scientific Railgun S episodes 8 and 9

I may not have been especially warm to some previous episodes for their time-wasting antics, but the latest two

Railgun offerings really brought it, with the most intense action scenes of the series so far as Mikoto takes on ITEM, yet another of Academy City's oddly-named groups (not to be confused with the group that's named GROUP, of course). With Mugino, the 4th-ranked Level 5 Esper, as well as the location-sensing Takitsubo and lovely Frenda, the most adorable Unabomber ever, the girls of ITEM manage to pack more characterization in a couple of fight scenes than most of Mikoto's own friends displayed in a half-season. 

On the other side of the city Shinobu drops loanwords and sabotage, hoping to take out the last remaining Level 6 Shift lab while Mikoto occupies the defenses. Not much gets done, though the seeds of the eventual end of the program (which happens during Index's first season) are planted.

But of course, the thing we're really waiting for is to see if the OP sequence is borne out, and hoping in breathless anticipation for Touma to make an appearance. We watch Touma's show, Index, and get impatient for Mikoto to show up. Then we watch Railgun, Mikoto's show, and can't wait to see Touma drop by. That's a hallmark of Index-verse viewership, I'd say.

 

Majestic Prince episodes 9 and 10

I ladled some praise on the big battle of Ceres two weeks ago because it showed

Majestic Prince at its best, parading gloriously animated CG mecha fights. Unfortunately, the next two episodes have spent their time (and to an extent, my goodwill) dumping exposition and talking, none of which succeeds at elevating Majestic Prince beyond its pleasantly mediocre niche. Izuru and the rest finally learn more about the Wulgaru from the MJP program's secret benefactor, an escaped Wulgaru princess named Lacus Clyne Teoria. Turns out the Wulgaru seem to be a mix of  Star Trek's Hirogen Hunters, the evil Earthlings from Vandread, and the classic Gamilans of Space Battleship Yamato. Teoria herself is also apparently the source for Team Rabbits' mecha units and their unique Juria System.

And...well, that's that. Majestic Prince has officially set up it's back story, and much to my chagrin, I find there's not much I can say beyond "When's the next fight?" Ideally, soon.

 

 

Brittany Vincent

The Flowers of Evil episode 10



It's been a long time coming, but the confrontation between Kasuga, Nakamura, and Saeki is finally at hand. The series has started on its gradual descent into complete and utter depravity. Don't believe me? Get caught up on the manga and see how tame you can call the series up until now. This is a pivotal point in the narrative. If you were looking for a neat wrap-up or a happy ending to the 13-episode spread, you're going to be sorely disappointed. 

 

We discover Nakamura may actually have a bit of human being in her as she and Kasuga find shelter from the rain. She obviously doesn't want to be lonely, but she can't come out and ask him to "go to the other side" with her. And Saeki? Well, it appears she's actually a spineless lapdog with little regard for reality. If Kasuga does it, she must be okay with it. Because she loves him, and he loves her. Right? 

Riiiiight. 

I've enjoyed this roller coaster ride for many reasons, mainly because I was never sure what was going to happen. But now, after Kasuga's reactions, confessions, and outbursts, I know he's found a way to shed his once complacent (if frail) skin. Things are about to heat up considerably. But who's going to get burned? If you've been reading the manga, don't spoil it -- but what do you think is going to end up to this sordid triangle?

[Keep up with the drama at Crunchyroll!]

 

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures


 


 


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