Prison School 3
I found this episode to be much funnier than the last. There were still some creepy parts on occasion, but the tense atmosphere significantly increased the effect of the comedy. The humor delved into gag and reactions plaguing anime, but the contrast of the serious facial expression and the ridiculous situations provided more depth than their counterparts in other shows. It wasn’t as fast paced as the first episode, but still easily outdid the slow speed of the second. I firmly believe that this is the secret to good comedic timing. Especially in Prison School, when jokes overstay their welcome it turns out disturbing rather than funny. I also have to applaud the artwork and shading in this show. The mood of Prison School is almost entirely built on the dark shading around the character’s faces to capture their urgent expressions.
God Eater 3
God Eater continues to be the most generic show I have ever seen. It abuses cliches and makes character’s dumber than stones. Alicia would rather risk the lives of all the people on the plane by fighting Renka instead of trying to explain the situation. Any reasonable person would go with the latter option. She ended up gaining their support, but beating up Renka probably didn’t help with that. Whenever God Eater tries to up the tension, or play to the audience’s emotions, they fail so terribly its almost comical. A good example of this was the slow mo walk featuring Renka, Alicia, and Lindow. Watching them fight the Amagami was somewhat entertaining but had no sense of urgency. The enemies never did anything but call more to be slaughtered. Nothing ever fought back against the God Eaters and it was just watching them do jumps and flips while swinging their weapons around.
Rokka: Brave of the Six Flowers 4
The fights in Rokka also have the same problem God Eater has. The enemies never retaliate and all the audience watches is a glorified bloodbath of CG enemies. And Rokka doesn’t benefit from Ufotable’s impressive animation and CG integration skills. Rokka has some moments of inconsistent animation even without considering the computer graphics. This episode in particular had Adlet and Flamie be off model for over twenty seconds. Studio Passione at least has the intelligence to have scenes with bad animation tend to be unimportant, or at least more idle. I don’t have too many issue with the rest of Rokka. It is a bit dull at times, following a typical fantasy plot to save the world. But I did find Nashetania’s panic attack a bit out of character. I am assuming the scene will be further explained by some past experience later on in the show.
The whole episode was devoted to one battle where Ains Ooal Gown further showed the extent of his power. When the Head Warrior was leading the battle it actually had some tension and enemies that fought back, something sorely missing in the action this week. Though the CG fodder soldiers were difficult to watch, I was impressed by the CG backgrounds movement in conjunction with Stronoff’s martial skills. Once Ains swapped places with Stronoff, Overlord became a power trip show. Ains stomping his opponents into the ground reminded me of spawn camping back when I played WoW. There is just a sick satisfaction out of abusing ones powers on noobs.
Overlord also continues with its world building, adding a new religious faction. I find it odd many fantasy worlds present religion with such fanatical characters. Religious factions are always seen as blind and destructive. I do believe religion can inspire those traits within people, but I haven’t seen many anime lately use religion as a sign of hope and inspiration.
Durarara x2 16
Back to focusing on the more entertaining characters I actually care for. I find the rumours surrounding Shizuo to be hilarious. I can totally see a town talking about a man in this way, and how inaccurate they are is a testament to how stories spiral out of control. Even in a world with pole throwing bartenders, things like this stay the same. A lot of this season has a focus on characters with an obsessions with other people. Izaya is obsessed with humanity, and Namie and Mika are obsessed with Seiji. Vorona and Akane are also added to the list this episode with their obsession with Shizuo. Durarara seems to be turning the focus to the fascination of humanity. Every character in Durarara has intriguing traits and brings the idea that each person is an individual with an exciting life. We may not know or remember them all, but everyone has a story to be told.
Gangsta is great at using the show’s visuals to express small character details while having natural exposition. I loved the way they explained Worick and Nicholas’ past together in one flashback. They showed how their camaraderie grew by both being abused by their caretakers, while not mentioning verbally. The character’s don’t openly talk about their tragic past, making it easier to sympathize with them and making them feel real. Alex’s scene where she was scared of returning back to her old life was also endearing. No one wants to go back after finally achieving a satisfactory standard of living. Gangsta also showed how much she wanted to stay with the Handymen by the sign language book nearby her. These small touches really show Manglobe’s expertise at bringing a character to life.