Annotated Anime: Summer 2013 Week 11


Redefining chest size priorities

Hello, and welcome to another installment of Annotated Anime, your weekly dose of cartoon recapping goodness! Today we bring you not only looks at the latest in Nippon's animated offerings, but also sage advice on what really matters when it comes to busoms, courtesy of Neptunia's Vert!

Besides Vert and her, err..philosophies, we've also got hot looks at Gatchaman Crowds, Rozen Maiden, Genshiken, Uchouten Kazoku, Danganronpa, WataMote, Day Break Illusion, Servant x Service, and Silver Spoon!

Hiroko Yamamura

Gatchaman Crowds Episode 9

It's time for a revolution. It's time to occupy GALAX! The Neo-Hundred are now in control, given access to the CROWDS by way to Katse's copying of Rui. With the control masks on, things are starting to look like classic Gatchaman.

The real Rui and the Gatchaman team have formed an unlikely team, and the Gatchannel is born! Along with it is some annoying Gatchaman tunes! Yeah, overall it was kind of an irritating episode. We were lacking Joe, and it looks like Hajime's carefree attitude has rubbed off on the team… in a bad way. At least we found out that there is some previous relationship between Katse and OD.

As usual, the only significant things in the episode happened in the last few minutes. While the show tends to redeem itself often at this point, the formula is getting a bit stale. I started out having a lot of doubts about the show, then started to enjoy it. Now, I just want it to get to the freaking point already. Everything that's been done in nine episodes really could be boiled down to like 4 or five at this point. While I still find the show bearable, I'm starting to find it hard to look forward to next week.

[I'm still waiting for the God Phoenix over at Crunchyroll]


Chris Walden

Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen Episode 10

Ehhhh. I still don't think I know how I feel about this episode. On one hand there were some pretty cool moments between six of the seven sisters, and everything seemed interesting at the very least. Trouble is that I don't really understand what is going on. I know that they've made the transition from emo-Jun's world to Kirakisho's world, but all that stuff with the doors with Kanaria? The meeting with young-Jun? I have no idea what was happening.

I did notice that Kanaria's umbrella floated away, disappeared for a few minutes, then showed up again a bit later. I'd say that was an error, but hell, she probably has a magic umbrella if these other dolls can pelt each other with petals and feathers.

I do enjoy her comic relief though, as I think it injects a little bit more life into what otherwise would be a super depressing case of living doll body-snatching. It's a nice preventative measure to unclog the flow of odd terminology this show loves sending your way.

I must say that I sympathise with Kirakisho, weirdly enough. She seems genuinely upset at her lack of a body (and come on, Gepetto, sort that out) and considering how she's only really just started interacting with the other sisters, would she even know how to deal with that whole thing? We know she doesn't care about becoming Alice, and the other dolls certainly hadn't met her before this whole thing. Being Kirakisho is suffering.

Oh, also, what's with that whole Souseiseki booting her out of the body when Jun makes a contract with her? She was missing her Rosa Mystica, so I don't see any reason why that would happen. If having a master meant her body couldn't be occupied, then surely her old master should count for this? If she lost her old master when she died, why would she be able to get a new master? I don't understaaaaaaaaaand. 

[Dollfie 2.0 has advanced previews on Crunchyroll]


Genshiken Nidaime Episode 10

Can I contact the author of Genshiken and request some romances? Because I don't know about you guys, but I thought big-eyed girl coming to check up on Hato was pretty darn adorable. It'd be nice if this isn't a throwaway scenario, as I'd like to see some Hato romance. Not sure about Madarame, if they're even going to make that anything more than a joke, but hey, he needs lovin' too. He can have Sue. Sue is cool.

But really, where did this admiration of his brothers soon-to-be wife come from? I mean, sure, I can see that he'd be really curious to see her drawings, but the person herself? I guess we didn't see a whole lot of his past, but it did only see to be big-eyes that actually bothered to pay him any attention. Was there a misunderstanding? I just don't see the room for romance here, but hey, whatever.

I'm pretty happy that the show deviated pretty quickly from the usual 'school fair' scenario. It's just one of those common themes, along with beach episodes, that shows try so hard to include and also differentiate from other anime doing the same. It usually ends up a mess, but it's good to see Genshiken just using it as nothing more than a background setting, and an excuse to get some of Hato's old friends into the school. 

[The fujoshi club is chilling out on Crunchyroll]


Brittany Vincent

Uchouten Kazoku Episode 10

The series is, unfortunately rapidly drawing to a close, and this episode made things extremely evident, drawing up some questions and loose ends that continually remind us of this fact. Who's going to win the election? We still don't know. And who's going to end up in the tanuki hot pot? We don't have all the answers we need, but perhaps soon all will be revealed.

This episode marks a decidedly more depressing turn for what originally looked to be a sunnier series. It turns out that Benten definitely had a hand in trapping Papa Tanuki to be cooked and eaten, which poses interesting questions about her morality since she and Yasaburou have been getting friendly. Kaisei is shown to do whatever she personally feels is right, true to her portrayal as that of a more progressive female character. The Ebisugawa family are up to their old tricks, and it's hard to say what they're planning. Will our Shimogamo family come out stronger for all their hardships? What's to come of Benten and Yasaburou? More importantly, when these 13 episodes are up, could we ever see another season of this simple yet briliantly complex series?

[Tanuki drama unfolds at Crunchyroll]

Danganronpa Episode 10

The students are exploring the fifth floor of the school. As things are careening toward a climax, it's about to get real up in here. Real ridiculous. The fifth floor has a botanical garden and an entire classroom with dried blood in it. Interestingly enough, it's actually red, unlike the usual neon pink we see during executions and in murder scenes. Kyouko's alter ego rears its ugly head once more, with Byakuya investigating her dorm room since she has convenient amnesia. After some particularly grisly events transpire, Monobear reveals to the remaining students that everything they've been doing has been broadcasted to the entire world. It's a huge bombshell to drop on the unsuspecting youths, but not surprising considering Monobear's sense of humor. There's another trial coming up, for the murder of Mukuro Ikusuba. I'm curious to see how the ending will play out considering there are only a handful of episodes left. There's going to have to be a massive amount of plot exposition from here on out, even more so than usual. How's everyone feeling about the pacing? Is anyone inspired to pick up the game yet?


Watamote Episode 10

The new semester of school has begun, and Tomoko still finds herself struggling to fit in. What else is new? The only difference between this episode and the rest is the fact that there's little humor to be had during this one. Instead, it focuses more on the crushing loneliness Tomoko finds herself dealing with on a day to day basis. She has a new seat in class smack dab in the middle of her classmates, and this is just too much for her to handle. Tomoko thrills in sitting somewhere secluded during lunch to escape the stress, realizing she's at her loneliest state ever after winning a big prize from a crane game.

It's usually easy to point and laugh at Tomoko as her plans crash and burn, but this episode was painful in many ways. Finding a place you belong in, especially during high school, is confusing and sometimes terrifying. We've all had times in our lives where we felt like outsiders. This was an emotional reminder for me as it's an issue I still find myself struggling with, feeling as though there's a place I truly belong. I have my video games, anime, writing, and otaku culture, but at the end of the day I need people too. I hope next week Watamote is up to its usual antics,but this was an interesting change of pace.

[Tomoko's adventures continue at Crunchyroll]


Jeff Chuang

Day Break Illusion Episode 10

With Luna as a bad guy and the main villain slowly getting more screen time while his details are being teased out, Day Break Illusion is shifting gears to run down the home stretch. Akari is being set up as someone who battles alone, with Seira taken out of commission. She tries her best to be positive, but the wear and tear on her emotions may have gotten to the best of her as Akari seeks solace with her dead mother.

The run in with the little girl in the graveyard might highlight the moment of Akari's weakness, but rather than forcing through this tough time with her internal strength, Akari is saved by a phone call. I'm not sure if I like this development, but I suppose that might just be a tease for the final climatic moment.

Meanwhile, Luna stands at large. She might not have completely turned, true to genre tropes or our expectation of Luna's tragic turn of events last week, but does this mean Luna could still be saved? Who will put her out of her miseries? While I'm glad that the talking animals are finally somewhat cooperating, the strange riot is, well, strange. What does it accomplish?

[Watch Day Break Illusion on Crunchyroll and Daisuki!]


Servant x Service Episode 10

The circle of regret is Part A of the episode this week--also we see how Chihaya makes a valiant effort to move her relationship with the Ichinoyas forward by telling Toko the truth. Part B has to do with the big reveal between Toko and the section chief, meanwhile the chief's daughter Kanon evaluates the department and rates everyone as weird. This week's Servant x Service is a more laid-back, slower paced episode where the jokes fill themselves out based on the setup that we're told in the prior episodes, and still keep the fire going between the potential couples.

Of course, compared to the previous two weeks, the romantic tension in Servant x Service has eased somewhat. The Toko segment in the beginning is just a big joke on one well-used punchline. The second half is definitely more of a surrealist take, and is a lot funnier, but it's not really anything that funny or memorable.

It does make you wonder how will Jyoji Tanaka is going to pair up, if at all, with anybody. Whichever direction it goes, Servant x Service is laying the foundation now.

[Watch Servant x Service on Crunchyroll and Daisuki!]


Brad Rice

Silver Spoon episode 9

Pork Bowl is getting ready for the slaughter. I can only imagine a few more episodes until we deal with the inevitable truth: he's going to make some tasty food. But until then, Hachiken is dedicated to making him the best damn pig that he can.

I really appreciated the heavy-handed line that the pig teacher had, about how Hachiken's presence in the group is providing a sort of evolution for the rest of the students. Because the kid keeps running into issues he wouldn't normally deal with, he's forced to confront them with everyone else. Frank discussions happen, and the group as a whole evolves.

And that's what we've seen pretty consistently up until this point. Hachiken's exposure to all these different ways of life had a real impact on him, and he's almost at a point of full maturity. Now we've got the opportunity to flip the script and see how Hachiken's presence will affect everyone else.

I've got to say, I'm so glad this show exists. It's one of those shows I look forward to watching each week, and I feel like for just about anyone -- anime fan or not -- it's a good show to watch.


Salvador G-Rodiles

Hyperdimension Neptunia Episode 9

Head for the hills! Neptunia: The Animation is getting dramatic again, and I’m not getting any good vibes from this. Thankfully, we’ve had more time to spend with the cast, so the mediocre blow wasn't that bad. On top of that, Vert’s jealousy over Peashy’s CPU form’s assets and Uni being more expressive are some of the elements that made this arc better than the Arfoire one.

Despite Rei’s submissive nature, I have a feeling that she might be the real person that’s pulling the strings. Her protest against the Goddesses may be harmless, but there might be a side to her that we don’t know about. Also, we have yet to know the identity of the person that the flamboyant robot is working for, so there are still some big twists that Neptunia: The Animation is holding out from us – unless if you managed to play the games.

If there’s one thing that’s still holding back, it would have to be the fight scenes. While I have clarified that they are not the focus of David Production’s budget for the series, I’m still disappointed that we are not getting those frames that show the impact of each blow. One example is where Peashy charges at Plutia, but we don’t see the attack that knocks her down. Yes, they used Neptune’s reaction shot as an excuse this time, but it’s still a shame, since the studio did such a great job with the fight scenes in 2012’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. But let’s face it, this is going to be a flaw that I will always go back to from time to time, so I will just have to deal with it for now. On the more positive side, I still have hopes that rest of this arc will deliver; therefore, I'll keep hitting the continue button until the game is over. 

[You can become jealous of Neptunia: The Animation's breast size at FUNimation.]


Josh Tolentino

A Certain Scientific Railgun S episode 22

This week we learn more about Febri - who isn't an android so much as a "chemicaloid", which is something is entirely redundant. I mean, as Fullmetal Alchemist and Breaking Bad have taught us, all humans are little more than masses of interacting chemicals arranged into a pleasing shape. We are all Chemicaloids. 

Of course, a name as dumb as "Chemicaloid" could only come from a show that would title its new evil-underground-group-on-the-block "STUDY", so this is really just Railgun/Index being on form. Anyway, STUDY is assemblage of asshole students with a chip on their shoulder where their ethics used to be. Though this arc is filler, STUDY does fill an odd little niche that the Index-verse has left empty. For shows set in a place called "Academy City", we learn surprisingly little about actual academics. A lot of high schoolers with superpowers, but very few publish-or-perish professors, or even anyone who looks like they would be doing actual research. Turns out that Shinobu was working with them in an attempt to liberate Febri from their clutches and secure the formula to the lollipops the loli needs to live. 

Meanwhile, Mikoto meets with Therestina, the main villain of season one for a chat about darkness or somesuch, and the girls of ITEM get to show off in their swimsuits for a bit, which, as we know, is the real takeaway here.

[See the scandalousness of Frenda's swimsuit on FUNimation!]

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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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