Rokka: Brave of the Six Flowers 9
Out of all the characters in Rokka, Chamot is my favorite concept. The whole idea behind Chamot’s character is the contrast between destructive tendencies and innocence. A child’s casual cruelty promoted by confidence in her own power. She is a typical school yard bully, enhanced by the fantasy world and receiving a Saints power. But as much as I like the idea behind Chamot, I don’t think it works out in Rokka. She just doesn’t look threatening enough when fighting to create the contrast of a deadly child. The fiends she pukes out look too much like bubbles rather than monsters, and it ruins the perception of her character.
I have talked a ridiculous amount about how I hate the dialogue in this show. Instead I am going to stay positive and remember what I actually enjoy about Rokka. The various backgrounds in Rokka, lend to a vast world with many powers. Adlet has gone from an Egyption culture, to various ruins, and now a rain forest. I am interested to see how Passione portrays the fiend’s territory, but am afraid they won’t get to it at their current pace. Flamie also mentioned some limitations to the Saints, and would love for Rokka to establish the rules for their powers.
Tensions reaching a boil between twilights and anti-twilights, this episode had a lot of action which is the weakest portion of Gangsta. This episode in particular had several scenes with significant dips in visual quality. With so many shortcuts in dialogue scenes, one would expect the action to take it up a notch. But as one could see from the picture above, Manglobe just doesn’t have the ability to execute. The animation and fight choreography just doesn’t hold up to current standards, and leaves the show lifeless without its great storytelling to the lead the way. There was still tons of the stuff which makes Gangsta great in this episode, but it’s just hard to enjoy them with all the terrible images being thrown on the screen. Definitely a huge step down from last week.
God Eater 6
Because of the week break between episode 5 and 6 I almost forgot the ridiculous “ending credits” God Eater left off on. Surprise, surprise, I return to discover Lenka is still alive after a hole being created in his stomach, and somehow becoming conscious enough to save Alisa. I’m going to disregard how impossible this seems and just go into why I think its bad for God Eater’s narrative. Scenes like this destroy any sense of consequence to the characters. Because Lenka has lived through the most extreme circumstances, it would seem odd for him ever die. Showing Lenka can thrive through any dire situations through nature of being the main character ruins any suspense God Eater may have.
Moving on to the other featured character this episode, Alisa. Yet another damsel in distress in anime who has no personality traits other than being a jerk to the people around her. I understand she was trying to get revenge for her parents and was using the medicine to suppress her fears, but it’s difficult to be invested in her dilemma. The parents death was portrayed in an emotionally manipulative way where it plays to the audience sympathy for orphans. The viewers don’t actually know anything about the parents or their relationship with Alisa. The only part of the flashback I enjoyed was the camera work when the parents died. The way the camera was fixed watching the Vajra devour Alisa’s parents mirrored Alisa’s inability to look away. Then the transition fit perfectly with the crack in the door when the flashback ended. Ufotable needs to start picking out better source material and then maybe their animation and cinematography can be put to good use.
Prison School 8
A hilarious episode of Prison School with life lessons, sliding doors, masochist enlightenment, and friendship spirit bombs. If nothing else, Prison School is a unique experience I doubt will be ever emulated again. The comedy was much more effective this episode because it didn’t rely on the ridiculous ecchi gags to generate humor, though there was plenty of that too. Instead, Prison School had rising tension with operation DTO being executed with multiple ironic events leading up to a cathartic climax centered around friendship. At the core of the show is the friendship between the boys. Learning to forgive each other’s mistakes and move on, except for issues revolving around women. My favorite line of this episode was “miracles don’t happen by waiting around” immediately after their emotions reached Shingo and saved his life. This show is really a testament to how crazy anime can get. I don’t think Prison School will hold up for a second viewing without the surprises, but the events can get so ludicrous one can’t help but smile.
Durarara x2 21
Everyone has their own story, and most of us go through life without learning about many others. Durarara attempts to tell all of these stories within Ikebukuro to show how interesting people can be. The audience gets a glimpse into the lives of gangsters, apparitions, monsters and sushi chefs. They are all interconnected in absurd ways, but the characters themselves don’t get to see the connections we do. I don’t know the connections between the strangers across the street and me, but maybe I would see them in a new light after hearing their life story.
I get the idea behind Durarara, but it seems so difficult to make entertaining. Because of the ridiculous list of characters needed to convey this point, I never actually develop any personal interest for them. I see the characters on the screen for a few minutes and then I never see them again. Durarara would work better as a bunch of separate short stories that tie together rather than a whole season of anime. Each story could be a couple of episodes that really develop the character and tie them into the universe. Then it would be easy to move on to the next. Whenever I watch Durarara in this seasonal format, the narrative goes all over the place and there is never enough focus for me to enjoy what is happening.
This image sums up the idea of Overlord pretty well. Being completely in control over someone else’s life can be an appealing power trip, but is also sickeningly cruel. Overlord attempts to pass over the cruelty in multiple ways to make sure the viewer doesn’t empathize with the victim. It’s primarily the stuck in an MMO premise. Unlike SAO, where every character is a human being, the people being controlled are Non-player characters. Overlord also purposefully strays away from Log Horizon’s motif of NPC characters becoming human like with nothing differentiating them in the game. Then add on the MMO elements: buffing, spells, martial skills, and we see life from the video game perspective. The secondary reason why Momonga’s cruel actions don’t hit home is because the villains are written as pure evil and the audience doesn’t have anything to relate to. The combination of these factors allow the viewer to experience Momonga’s dominance without any of the guilty strings attached. It’s almost as if we are the skeleton overlords.