I apologize for the lateness of the post this week. I ended up going to my college’s career fair and picked up a few interviews for software development internships. The combination of that, my two coding assignments, and a biology test ended up making it difficult for me to watch anime. This week of anime ended up being a dud for almost all the shows, which is disappointing because some of them were finales. Prison School had a stand out episode which matched last week’s shenanigans but everything else was plain boring. Good thing I am looking forward to quite a few shows in the Fall season, and am planning to have the return of my time stamped episodic posts like I did for Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works.
Rokka: Brave of the Six Flowers 12
The final episode of Rokka ended up being anti-climactic and unsatisfying. Instead of wrapping up the mystery which have stalled our heroes for 12 episodes, they only raise more question to lure in new customers for the light novel. Disregarding the business model and addressing Rokka as its own self contained story, I can’t say I am intrigued. Rokka tries to build suspense about who is the seventh brave, but I could honestly care less who it is. I am not particularly fond of any of the characters. Though I was surprised by who ended up being the culprit, nothing got resolved by finding out the seventh brave. They barely had any content after the reveal, just a small fight scene then poof Nachetania was gone. It’s also hard to take the yandere bunny girl as a threatening villain. Afterwards the show proceeded to have an undeserved victory lap for 10 minutes. Adlet rested up then touched base with all of the characters before heading out to the Land of the Howling Demons. Then the show destroyed any sense of progression it had by introducing another seventh Brave and prolonging the same mystery. The only difference is Flamie becoming moe and Adlet building his harem with the new cow looking girl. Overall, I can’t praise the execution of Rokka, but at least I can say it’s not the worst show I have ever watched. I probably wouldn’t waste my time watching Rokka if Passione ever released a second season.
Gangsta returned to form this week with some spectacular scenes showcasing endearing character moments. As I have said before, Gangsta understands less is more and the image above is great for showcasing their skill with the idea. By showing the kiss through the reflection in the glass it allows the audience to see Connie’s body language. Seeing Connie lean into Adriano for the passionate kiss adds the extra details to exhibit her affection for Adriano. I didn’t expect to be so invested in the side characters highlighted by the episode, but Gangsta pulled emotion out of me through their connections to other people. Humans are social creatures, and we are often defined by the people we are around. It makes sense for Gangsta to use these relationships as a way to bring the most out of these side characters in the little screen time they have. Doug’s death hit me hard not because I cared for Doug, but because Galahad did. I empathized with Galahad’s send off and the way he comforted Doug was one of the sweetest moments in the show.
Another way Gangsta correctly portrays their characters is not allowing them to be defined by a singular trait. Gangsta understands people are more complex than a single word. A good example of this in today’s episode was the wake up scene between the guild leader and Ginger. They are obviously in a lesbian relationship, but their personality isn’t solely based after lusting for women. Each character in Gangsta has those extra dimension which makes them human, and the show special.
Durarara x2 23
Durarara finally seems to be pulling the strings together, but I still can’t imagine the full picture. Maybe the directors are going for a message about how life doesn’t seem to have a definitive purpose, yet each of the people who inhabit it can find their own goals. All the people living in Ikebukuro have a passion which they strive for without hesitation. Namie’s obsession with her little brother, the otaku duo of Erika and Walker, and finally Mikado with his vision of peace for the Dollars. The cast of Durarara is full of drive despite the shows erratic nature. Too bad all of these ideas are layered under piles of boring dialogue and exposition. It’s difficult to appreciate these aspects of Durarara when I am too bored with the scene to even pay attention. Durarara loves to tease the audience by building suspense about future events. They use this tactic so often it loses its weight, and the show feels hollow. Despite the multitude of personalities and craziness within the show, the combination of the aforementioned factors end up making Durarara have an extremely slow pacing. Only one episode to go, and I can’t imagine them being able to wrap up all the loose ends.
Prison School 11
Hana has always been my favorite from the Underground student council. We don’t learn enough about the president and the vice president’s humor is riddled with more traditional fan service. Hana also has fan service, but it ends up being tied to ridiculous situations and fetishes more than just being direct camera shots of breasts and ass. The music selection also fits Hana’s personality. The way she switches from acting normally to physically attacking the prisoners matches the contrasting music in Prison School. The show often has silly music which is cut off by dramatic guitar riffs and melodrama. I also appreciated how absurd the symbolism was in this week’s episode. The use of mushrooms as a phallic symbol isn’t exactly a new idea, but the way it was held by the chopsticks was hilarious. It mirrors how Hana had control over Kiyoshi and made him limp until medusa came out. The other big metaphor of the episode which I had never heard of before yet makes total sense. Needless to say, I lost it and couldn’t stop grinning for the rest of the episode.
Momonga finally confronts the controlled Shaltear in a battle to the death. The fight reminds me of old shounen classics such as Dragonball Z and Yu Yu Hakusho where every character shouts out their super power before using it. At least in Overlord it makes sense because they need to say the words to activate the skill, but watching two characters scream at each other can get a little boring. Where as in the shounen shows they emphasize the finality of such moves to build up to a dramatic moment, Overlord just saturates every scene with them. This leads to the viewer not caring about what the characters say or do, while watching the animation. Although the animation and general production had a significant jump in quality this episode, the shortcomings just overpowered any additional enjoyment I would have gotten from Overlord. The show also falls into one of the common pitfalls of power fantasy anime. There was no tension during the fight because Momonga seems so powerful. The episode focused on how Momonga had such terrible odds against Shaltear, but it never seemed like he was in trouble. Sure he got beat up a bit, but it never felt like he didn’t have control over the situation. Overlord has moved away from the light hearted adventuring I enjoyed during the earlier half. I just want to see Momonga wreck some low level mobs.