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Annotated Anime: Spring 2013 Week 11

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Did Valvrave just do what we think it did?

It's time for another installment of Annotated Anime, the recap that comes out of nowhere, hitting you like a ragdoll full of steel!

This week we feel as blindsided as poor Mugino must be, except not by heavy dolls but by the latest episode of Valvrave! In fact, we were so dumbstruck that we'll be, er, "liberating" our Valvrave recap this week into its own separate discussion, which we'll post soon! 

In the meantime, we've come loaded for bear with the latest episodes of Henneko, Attack on Titan, Space Bros., The Devil is a Part-timer, Flowers of Evil, Nyaruko-san, Gargantia, Railgun S, RomCom SNAFU, and OreImo 2!

Now quick, before more huge revelations and disturbing twists get you! Read on and tell us your reactions to the latest in Japanese cartoon tomfoolery! 

Josh Tolentino

A Certain Scientific Railgun S episode 11

Hey, it's Touma! Now that that's done I can drop this turkey of a show!

I kid, I kid! I like Railgun S, and the way it's finally put a bit of context to Touma and Mikoto's first meeting*, with Mikoto just recently recovered from a big fat battle with Mugino, complete with Rurouni Kenshin-style in-the-moment combat analysis, and a couple of cute gimmicks that are all Frenda's fault. Bad Frenda!

Anyway, seeing the Meltdowner and the Railgun duke it out was pretty refreshing, and certainly much less one-sided than Railgun vs. Accelerator way back when. Though Mikoto herself was at a disadvantage thanks to having run the gauntlet previously, it's not hard to imagine how cool a battle between the two at their peak would be. 

We may yet get the chance, if nothing else, as I continue to hold out hope that Touma and the ITEM girls will continue to play a role in the rest of the storyline. Someone has to replicate that scenario from the OP animation, right? Right?! There's got to be some kind of law against setting up bait-and-switches in your theme sequences! 


The Devil is a Part-Timer! episode 11

Maou-sama gains a bit of traction once again as it sets up the season closer, and reveals more about Suzuno, the Sentucky guy, and the continuing descent of the church into open villainy back in Ente Isla. I say, if the bit about the church being dirty weren't as common a JRPG trope as it is, one might almost think that Japanese anime had something against organized religion. Then again, how could I hate a church with such adorable assassins? Especially one whose assassins carry around comically large hammers as their main weapons? I can't, that's what.

Besides moving the pieces around for the final confrontation we also get a more philosophical one, about the merits of simply burying Maou while he's weak and on Earth, in punishment for his crimes in Ente Isla. Despite Chiho's clear bias, Emi's ambivalence, and Maou's present behavior, Suzuno presents a somewhat compelling case. That said, it would carry more weight if we actually knew that Maou was a genuinely awful dude back in Ente Isla. Suzuno being a member of a corrupt, power-hungry church that not even its greatest Hero can trust isn't good for credibility.

This gets back to the heart of the whole "this anti-hero is too heroic" issue that weighs Maou-sama down, and with barely two episodes to go before the season is over and no sequel confirmed as yet, I doubt it will be one that will see resolution. At least we get some laughs out of seeing Maou rush to the rescue on a bike, toting a broom, though.

 

Elliot Gay

Attack on Titan Episode 11


Armin manages to convince Pixis that Eren might be humanity's last hope of regaining territory, and a plan is constructed to plug the hole in the wall. The problem? This entire idea is based around the idea that Eren can actively control his ability, and manage to lift a giant boulder much larger than his entire body. Countless lives are riding on this mission, and Pixis somehow gets the soldiers to put their lives on the line despite how suicidal it seems. Eren is escorted to the boulder by Mikasa, Ian, Rico, and Mitabi. Things seem to be going well, and our hero transforms Ultraman-style into the fierce Titan from before. Mikasa thinks about how awesome and heroic her bro is, right up until the point that he turns around and viciously attacks her.

Whoops.

Hey Wit, I dunno if anybody has pointed it out to you yet, but this week's episode of Attack on Titan was really, really ugly. I know this hurts to hear, but episode 11 was significantly worse looking than any of the previous episodes. You guys need to step up your game. This week's Titan is plagued with still frames, repeated shots, and lots of talking heads. One sequence towards the end looks fantastic (Wit does a great job with the high speed movement), but everything else is kind of a mess. 

[Attack the Titans over at Crunchyroll]

 

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Episode 11


Gargantia go home. You're drunk.

This was strange episode on multiple levels. Animation and art quality took a major drop out of seemingly nowhere. For a series that has been delightfully consistent for 10 episodes, I can't help but wonder what happened this week. Character faces were off, movement felt stilted, and the whole thing just seemed rushed.

The story is going in a direction that very much so reminds me of the final act of Full Metal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos. Gargantia is suffering from putting attention on a forced plot twist that didn't need to exist in order to create conflict. I have faith that Murata can pull it together for the final two episodes (much like Sacred Star of Milos), but I wish we didn't have to take this strange detour in order to get to our final destination.

[Catch Gargantia over at Crunchyroll

 

Josh Totman

Henneko: The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat Episode 10


Barbara-san! NOOOOOO!!!

I do have to say that I’m enjoying the interactions of everyone on this show. The feelings between everyone are very tight and make me feel closer to each character. I mean, Tsukiko was so nice to help Yoto with organizing his porn collection by getting rid of anything with big breasts and keeping all the small breasted ones. Just so he can stay on the “right path”. How nice of her...

Anyways, the main reason of this episode is for Tsukiko to figure out if she has known Yoto the longest. The one thing she feels that she has over everyone else. You really get to see more and more of Tsukiko’s feeling coming out the further along we go even though she cannot actually show said emotions. I’m actually amazed that she has been able to keep this up through the whole show so far. This is just a guess, but I believe that she will finally break it when Yoto finally confesses to her. At least I hope that is the way they are going to go with it. If they keep it open at the end they better have the announcement of a second season ready. I’d really hate to see this through without closure.

At least the humor is ramping back up some. It made this episode more enjoyable overall. Plus I was happy to see Yoto get one over the vice president of the running club. She has had it coming for awhile now.

[Beware of bunnies at Crunchyroll]

 

Brad Rice

My Teenage RomCom Snafu episode 11


Well, we got to see more of Totsuka, so the show wasn't a total waste. Unfortunately, he's being used simply as BL fodder for the stage play, instead of snatching Hachiman away from those conniving women. It'll happen soon, I'm sure.

Oh, yeah, there's an actual episode here to talk about. The cultural festival goes underway. Hachiman and Yui mount a rescue to return Yukino to school, even though she's only been out for a day or so. We see just how rich her family is, and with only a little bit of prodding, she says she'll come back to school. Well no shit she will -- she's just sick, and it's not like she's a terrible delinquent.

We see the Cultural Committee President get a comeuppance of sorts, enjoyable only if your heart is already dead inside, where she is paralyzed by stage fright and the entire audience laughs her off. The big plot point is that Yui's asked Hachiman for a date.

The fight is on, lady. Don't be surprised if you wind up dead with a tennis racket in your back.

 

Brittany Vincent

Flowers of Evil episode 11


After the drama of last week, things have settled down -- at least as much as they'll be "settled" in the world of Flowers of Evil. After being picked up last week and returned home, our trio returns to a life of dull, bleak normalcy -- like what their parents think they want. Nothing has been resolved, as the three frustrated adolescents are still suffering in their own unique ways. Kasuga's parents are out of their mind with grief at the atrocities their son has committed, but they allow him to live out his days at home without too much outside involvement. It seems they've all begun ignoring each other in public, perhaps as the only way they know to cope with what's happened. 

In fact, it seems as though the trio is fit to never speak again, until Saeki's friend sees fit to confront Kasuga about why he's being so cold and ignoring the girl he once called his "muse." Kasuga knows this can't last, and perhaps deep down he knows this can never work again, that he has some sort of stirring for Nakamura in his heart, so he very stiffly and cordially advises Saeki that he's breaking up with her. Saeki seems decidedly less psychotic and even at peace with the fact, and for a while things resume as if nothing has happened. Except Kasuga yearns for Nakamura. He knows she's alone. He knows he must be her rock, the one person who believes in her. By the end of this stoic episode, Kasuga has vowed to understand her, and to do anything to make her happy. He wants to make sure her faith in him is built back up the way it was before everything crumbled. How he's going to achieve that is anyone's guess (unless you've read the manga) -- as the anime careens toward an ending, how will things wrap up? Will there be a second season? I'm certainly hoping so.

 

Chris Walden

Space Bros. Episode 62

Why is the plot being pushed along by a crazy premonition? I know this show is more than just an advert for astronauts, but I'd really like to see things moving along without the need for cryptic messages and stereotyping. Sharon being ill is a legitimate plot point, we certainly didn't need Amanti to get involved. 

That aside, it looks like things are going to get upsetting pretty soon. I'm not entirely sure Sharon is going to die, but I think we now have our end point. The space brothers are going to land on the moon to build Sharon's telescope. Seems good to me. I'm certainly leaning more towards it being a memorial and named after her, but I'll wait and see. This show hasn't killed anyone off just yet.

It was also interesting to see Hibito recovering from his trip to the moon. It seems obvious that astronauts would have to re-learn to cope with Earth's atmosphere, but it really wasn't something I'd thought about. Also, Apo ways six times more to Hibito? Apozilla. 

[Space pugs can be found on Crunchyroll!]

 

OreImo Season 2 Episode 11

I...think that I'm having a change of heart? No, I haven't suddenly decided that I'm enjoying the second season of this show, but rather I may be slowly converting from team Kuroneko to team Ayase. Pretty much every character besides the featureless childhood friend are in some way tsundere, but it's only really Ayase that makes it enjoyable to watch. I certainly preferred Kuroneko when she wasn't spending most of her time fawning over Kousaka because she's too silly to just go out with the guy properly. 

Plus there's that yandere side. Not really been much of a fan of them (disregarding Yuno Gasai, as she was pretty entertaining) but Ayase seems to be pulling it off better than the others I've seen. This is probably a dangerous road to be walking down. 

So Kousaka was kicked out of the house because his whole family thinks he's getting romantically attached to his sister. I'm glad someone noticed. 

[Drift towards inevitably questionable relationships on Crunchyroll]

 

Jeff Chuang

Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos W episode 10


I found myself drifting into the twilight zone of meta-land. It's like as if the fourth wall was an actual wall, and every time I put on Nyaruko-san, I am actually taking a stroll on top of said wall, like a disposable Red Shirt patrolling the walls from Attack on Titan. Sometimes the Great Old Ones will crack a good joke and get me, other times I would finish my walk disappointed with how season 2 is somehow not as fun to watch as season 1. What I don't quite understand is how a couple of times, both things can happen within the same episode.

Episode 10 of Nyaruko-san W is one of those times when the giant punch line in the episode smashes me silly and sideways, but after when it's all said and done, I can only bury my forehead in my palm like an image macro. The problem isn't that every other line is some kind of reference or trope; in fact at this point to "Nyarko" is to live, swim and breathe in references. Yes, I remember love, and yes, this is why the most important joke in the episode works. But it might not work for you because, I don't know, you might not purvey a certain mecha anime with idols in them.

Still, the deed is done. Nyaruko gets sick in this week's installment, prompting Kuuko and Hausta to substitute for her when a rogue Yuggoth enters earth in order to fund an evil scheme involving an elaborate Dream C Club reference. Despite their attempts, Nyaruko can't get well enough to beat up the bad guys, but instead the gang find a way to defeat the alien invaders.

To explain how Nyaruko did it means to butcher a pretty elaborate joke, so I will spare both of us from the horror of peeling off the skin off this Old One, and let's just say that this episode is the essence of Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos in a nutshell. Yes, it's a great laugh, but I'm not sure if there's anything else to the show besides that out-of-the-box joke.

[Crunchyroll has your back, Nyarko!]

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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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