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Annotated Anime: Spring 2013 Week 12

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You walked right into that one!

Welcome to another week of Annotated Anime, Japanator's weekly recap of the latest in Glorious Nippon's animated offerings! We're on the cusp of the Summer anime season, and despite the many glories of spring, there are shows coming soon that have all the impact of a hard uppercut to the jaw on a moonlit night. That's a pretty strong impact, in case you're wondering.

Today we've got a full slate of recapping goodness assembled for you, including Railgun S, RomCom SNAFU, Henneko, Gargantia, Majestic Prince, Nyaruko-san W, Attack on Titan, Space Bros., and OreImo 2! And in case you're wondering where our Valvrave recap is, the momentous (and rather problematic) events of the last two weeks necessitated a bit of special one-on-one time with the show. Check out the straight-talk "Special Episode" recap here, featuring myself, Jeff, Hiroko, and Kristina!

Brad Rice

My Teenage RomCom SNAFU episode 12


You know, I have to give it Hikigaya every once in a while. Sometimes he takes his "I'm a waste of life and shun everyone" attitude and puts it to some use. This week, in finding the council president, he calls her out for being the vapid and attention-starved person that she is. Of course, everyone rushes to her defense and spits on Hikki, but she knows he sees her as she is.

But here we stand, with the next episode being a "bonus episode," and absolutely no rom-com advancement. Well, the show fooled around with the idea of each character, but never made a serious advance, or gave us more backstory as what went on that fateful day. My guess is they're hoping for a second season or something, but with how the show has been, I'm more than a little wary.

Also, Hikki's heart absolutely melts when Totsuka gives him a sideways glance and a wave. We know who he'll end up with...in all the doujin!

In all seriousness, though, I'm not too thrilled if this is where the whole thing ends. At this point, I feel like we've moved back to square one, and unless Hikki absconds with Totsuka, any romantic advancement will come out of left field.

 

Elliot Gay

Attack on Titan Episode 12


It's kind of impressive how Eren spends 90% of the episode sitting on the ground. 

Another week of Attack on Titan, another week of minimal plot progression. At least this time around some of the characters get to engage in combat, and Wit gets to animate stuff. Save for some strange faces here and there, episode 12 is a solid looking entry that gives me some far flung hope that Wit hasn't collapsed upon itself. 

On the plus side, Armin has a few good moments in episode 12, as he returns to the field of battle to try and wake Eren from his little coma. Mikasa gets to kill things, and Jean runs around while being chased by a Titan. Things are sort of happening!

The pacing has been awful these past few weeks and I'm concerned that with 14 being a recap episode, things aren't going to be on the upswing anytime soon. Eren awakens from his slumber next week, so hopefully we get a solid chunk of action before we hit recap land. 

[Catch Attack on Titan over at Crunchyroll]

 

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Episode 12

See Gargantia? That's why you shouldn't drink and animate at the same time. It's great to have you back.

After last week's lackluster showing of poor animation/art, odd writing, and bad pacing, Gargantia returns in full force and knocks it out of the park. All of Ledo's character development comes to a head in a natural, organic kind of way. His decision here is completely in line with the changes he's undergone over the past eleven episodes, and it feels good to see it work.

Yes, a lot of these plot points have been predictable, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Murata laid out the seeds throughout the series, so when things finally hit the fan and everything came together, it didn't feel completely out of place. I was initially a bit cold on the whole Heart of Darkness plot twist last week, but the way things climax in episode 12 fix a lot of the problems I had with it. After a few weeks of Pinion being a dumbass, he finally gets a grip on himself and proceeds to be badass all over the place. I can dig it. 

Production values are on the up again, with some gorgeous animation at work especially in the Chamber/Striker battle. There are a few cuts inside of Chamber's cockpit that feature meticulously detailed layouts and crazy frame work. This is the Gargantia team at their best, and it shows. 

One episode left, and Gargantia is back in my good graces. Come on Murata, take it all the way.

[Catch Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet over at Crunchyroll]

 

Josh Tolentino

A Certain Scientific Railgun S episode 11


Ah, Touma. You have been missed. And yet, this is not how I anticipated seeing you make your brief debut in Railgun

Indeed, rather than seeing him bring his Right Hand of Doom to bear as seen in the OP sequence, we get a replay of Touma's first interactions with Mikoto and the Sisters from Index season 1. Except, it's not quite the same, with each scene playing out slightly differently from Index, with extra gags and lines from the perspective of Mikoto and Kuroko rather than Touma.

While I'm not quite sure I like the way the scenes have been altered - everyone, Kuroko in particular, seems to be overacting slightly, almost in self-parody - they certainly are much better-looking from a production standpoint, and some of the fanservice moments have been retconned out tastefully (with little of value lost).

Of course, this episode's more a case of getting the dessert before the vegetables, as its main purpose is to set Mikoto up for a real will-breaking revelation - that the Level 6 Shift project is still active and ongoing, with the remaining sisters and data spread among 183 separate labs. The slaughter will continue, with Mikoto even more powerless to stop it than before. Even knowing how this story ends it's a genuine downer to see Mikoto's spirit crushed like that.

There's also some extra background on Accelerator's own history, with a flashback to his recruitment for the project, as well as some expansion on the role of Dr. Amai, whose involvement would later lead to Accelerator's meeting Last Order in Index. I can't imagine how little any of this would mean to someone who watches only Railgun, but to an Index fan it's a fun lore-gasm, and helps flesh out some plot points left unaddressed in the "main" show. 

With the fate of the sisters more or less out of Mikoto's hand (and soon to fall into Touma's), Railgun's set to move on to tackle the "Tree Diagram" arc. At that point I'll be in unknown territory with regards to my knowledge of the larger plot, so it'll be interesting to see how these events turn out and how they fit into Index's own chain of incidents.

 

Majestic Prince episode 12

It only took about half the show, but Team Rabbits is finally, officially not a group of losers. Majestic Prince finally makes good on the whole "Majestic Prince" moniker, casting the Fail Five as the heroes of Earth and up-and-coming celebrities.

Not that that's shown a huge amount, as it's another downtime episode, with the boys hanging out and the girls taken on a PR tour. That seems mildly sexist to me. Why do the boys get to stay on base and hang out with their pit crews while Tamaki and Kei have to go on the idol circuit? Asagi and Izuru are certainly pretty enough to get all Jupiter, and yet they're free to take a loli out on a quasi-date and draw, respectively. Suruga, meanwhile, spends the whole day waiting in space for...something. Given his character, I'd wager it's a gun or something.

 

Chris Walden

Space Bros. Episode 63

Huh. Well, it may have been obvious that Sharon was ill, but it was a neat twist to loop it back in with the illness that killed Serika's father. In fact, having Serika essentially diagnose Sharon made for far better impact than if it had happened in a doctors office. I'm not sure we ever found out what survival chances were like for this mystery disease, or whether it's a terminal illness, so Sharon's fate isn't quite clear. However, Serika's reaction certainly says as much, but I'm curious if this isn't just because it's reminding her of her father.

My thoughts? I still think that she'll die to give the space brothers another reason to want to go to the moon, as well as one that should also get them there. This latter reason is still valid if she survives, but I'd wager my money on this show wanting to make the eventual dual-landing more emotional. If it happened next episode, I don't think I'd really care that much.

This'll also leave Serika in an interesting position, largely because the lady she idolises is dying. Perhaps Sharon will live long enough for Serika to develop this miracle space cure and it'll be a happy ending, but there are some interesting places it can go if this doesn't happen. Hmm.

[Space pugs can be found on Crunchyroll!]

 

OreImo Season 2 Episode 12

No. No. Nope. No.

Oh OreImo, you sure do know how to twist that knife, don't you? I finally come around to Ayase, and after she plucks up the courage to confess to Kousaka without using violence, he flat out denies her. Damn it man, you've got quite the harem these days and you're heading worryingly close to incest-central.

I did appreciate Kuroneko's sister showing up to the house while Ayase was showering. She's quite the funny character, so it's a little surprising that we had to wait so long to have her show up. At least, show up and do something worth mentioning. 

But yeah, for the short while it lasted, wife-Ayase was pretty darn adorable. Perhaps if the next episode starts heading in ways I don't want it to, I'll just rewatch the first half of this episode a bunch of times until I forget about it. 

[Drift towards inevitably questionable relationships on Crunchyroll]

 

Josh Totman

Henneko: The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat Episode 11


Time traveling adventure!

I am always amazed when they can do an episode in a silly way while still having a serious story. Yoto and Tsukiko are transported 10 years into the past because of a wish from Tsukiko to find out if she really was the first one that he meets. What transpires is Tsukiko running into her mother that passed away when she was little. What they find is that the memories that they have of her are not quite right. The lovely looking woman in the picture on the shrine is actually a delinquent.

It’s quite the surprise that you find out that the mother you thought you knew was a bad ass with a heart of gold. We also learn that she not with her daughters for most of their childhood. When their father died suddenly, Tsukiko’s mother Tsukasa decided to give up her daughters to her late husband’s parents in Italy. She figured that it would only be for a little while, but something happened and she was not allowed on planes so she could not go get them as promised. Then, while talking with Tsukiko about all this, she collapse. What a way to end an episode.

The good part though is that it was still entertaining and not just full of drama. I like how they balance that out so it’s not just a depressing episode so close to the end. Also seeing everyone in their child forms was absolutely adorable!

[Funny pajamas at Crunchyroll]

 

Jeff Chuang

Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos W episode 11


I don't get it.

There's a world of difference when you get the big setup jokes in your average Nyaruko W episode and when you don't. It's not like it wasn't funny, per se; you see the form and the parts of the joke--the set up, the timing, the punchline. It came at me at slow motion but I still didn't laugh. Someone please help?

This week, Nyaruko and crew went to the riverside for a grill-out. It quickly turns into swimsuit harem in haunted house, on top of which everyone except Mahiru has taken a love potion in the form of Old One Chocolate candies. Naturally from his mother to Hasuta wants to make babies with the guy. The saving grace, perhaps, is when Yoichi turned to form the final gag along with our alien fujoshi slash doujinshi artist.

Still I just don't find this week's Nyaruko-san W really worth the time. It's not quite another beach episode, it doesn't look quite like dinosaurs meat, but I guess it is delicious? I'm as suspicious as Mahiru about all of this.

[Save me from this SAN point pinch, 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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