Rokka: Brave of the Six Flowers 8
Rokka begins with a dynamic action sequence with frames focusing on showing the actions of the characters. This particular directing style appeals to me over the more flashy fights because I enjoy watching the fights play out move by move. A lot of anime nowadays have been leaning toward a rapid transition of shots, making it difficult to follow the action. It’s nice to see some studio still stick with the classic style I still enjoy watching. But after the short-lived glory of a decently animated fight scene, Rokka immediately returns the monotonous exposition that continues to destroy this show. Hans trusts Adlet, Nachetania shuts down the jealousy of Goldov, and Maura raises the I am the seventh Brave flag. All the progression within the dialogue which could have been conveyed in so many different ways. Anime is a medium with endless possibilities, and Passione chooses the most lifeless of them every time.
The start of this episode was disappointing. Gangsta relied on breasts and anal sex for gags to pull the show along to get to the second half. The jokes weren’t terrible, but it is definitely below the standard I have come to expect from Gangsta. The only comedy I truly enjoyed in this episode was the tsundere grandma. She may not add much to the story of Gangsta, but I enjoy her personality and she is being used well as an explainer of how some things work in Ergastulum. At least outside of the comedy we had some strong points present in the first half. Alex forgetting her younger brother stresses the trauma she went through, without having to list every crummy thing that happened. Whenever shows decide to tell the audience about every terrible event the characters goes through, it lessens the emotional blow. Instead, Manglobe decides to show the end results and let the viewers interpret the rest, while also doubling as the brother’s introduction for future episodes.
Thankfully Gangsta returned to full strength in the second half. Gangsta used its great sound direction to the max with the music setting the tone throughout the rest of the episode. When the action first began, Alex’s one moment of peace was interrupted by gunshots from the anti-twilights. The audience was interrupted in the same way by the intense Inception style sounds. Gangsta continues to push us into Alex’s perspective, preparing us for my favorite scene of the season so far. The contrast between the chill Japanese blues and the events happening outside show that even in the worst conditions, one can find peace and happiness. Gangsta understands the allure of the drama is not the flashy fights, but the stakes and consequences behind them. The tensions between the Anti-twilights and twilights are reaching a boiling point. Striking too close to home, considering all the racial tension in the news lately.
God Eater 6
Yet another week without an episode of God Eater. The production must be a rushed travesty, if it’s being delayed this much. It could also be a contributing factor to God Eater’s poor directing. Though I don’t think Ufotable has ever been great at anything but animation and fight choreography, they usually take enough care to be less blatant with fan service. Now it’s just a perverted camera making all the moves on the women in this show, because Lenka is definitely too serious for some of those shots.
Prison School 7
I’m not sure if it’s the censoring or the general direction of Prison School, but I really find the manga much funnier than the anime. The only ecchi thing I enjoyed this episode was the new girl seducing Shingo. Her character design reminds me of Mitsuzuri from Fate/Stay Night, which is one of my favorite female character designs. Shingo is beginning to move toward what Kiyoshi did a couple episodes ago. Risk a longer prison sentence for a cute girl. But I can’t feel sympathetic for him because he alienated Kiyoshi for this same reason.
While the perverted gags may get old, at least friendship doesn’t. Prison School did a great job setting up the climax of this episode to have huge stakes. Gakuto has sacrificed a lot to get his limited edition Guan Yu figurine, dignity, integrity, friendship with Kiyoshi, and a nice prison uniform. The audience understands how much Gakuto loves the Three Kingdoms, and it makes his actions more admirable. Gakuto transforms his guilt for abandoning Kiyoshi into a single moment of self-sacrifice for others. Even ecchi shows can instill good values in people.
Durarara x2 20
Watching Izaya play his games makes me reminisce about the first season of Durarara. The episode still had tons of characters I didn’t know or care about, but it didn’t matter as much since Izaya played them like a fiddle. Durarara played with the expectations of the viewer constantly and it remained ambiguous whether or not Izaya was truly being tortured. This effect came out from the chaotic story telling inherent to Durarara, but it was amplified by the ordering of the events shown to the viewer in this episode. Allowing the audience to stay on edge, and be astonished by Izaya’s brilliant plans. It wasn’t a question of if Izaya could outwit them, it was about how he would do it. With all that said, I still don’t understand how this episode contributes to the overall theme of Durarara. The whole idea is every human being is unique and interesting. Every new character I met this episode had underwhelming presence within the show, and didn’t have any particularly special traits.
Overlord took a foray away from its usual light hearted adventures and is worse off for it. I have been dreading this episode for weeks. Overlord finally had the pure evil duo take the spotlight, and it was as atrocious as I thought it would be. The attempt at raising tension failed and all that was left was for Momonga to soundly defeat them. Since the world hasn’t shown us anything remotely close to Momonga’s power level, I have no reason to worry about our hero losing. It’s almost the same situation as Izaya. It is all about how Momonga defeats his enemies. Things like the random game mechanics about locating enemy players in PvP bring back the MMO element, but don’t really add much to anything else. But sometimes, it’s just fun to watch a hero cleave through monsters.