Impressions: Winter 2016, Week Two

Inspired by the spirit of Kekkai Sensen’s finale, this post is finally here, better late than never!

Myriad Colours Phantom World

More phantoms are banished in a whirl of colourful nonsense underpinned by complicated ideas referred to as ‘useless trivia’ by the show’s cast of objectified drawings with breasts. I won’t call these characters ‘girls’ or ‘women’ because I have more respect for both.

Even our cold newcomer is simply going to be the one we don’t see close-up shots of insert-sexualized-body-part-here until later in the series. Still, her character at this point could have been exciting if the story hadn’t introduced us to her ‘amazing’ power by giving us something conveniently and complexly able to counter it. That and her monotone scream and prior chant are lacking in any style worth getting excited about.

It’d also be easier to take the show as a silly romp if it didn’t start and end every episode with these notions about the ‘phantoms’ and their significance. A phantom can be anything, and our heroes can have any power the show wants them to have, including the ability to make up a new ‘parole’ themselves. Are there any limits on what people are allowed to do in this fantasy world?

A few laughs from Haruhiko’s penchant for flying through a window offer a little hope, though. Mustn’t forget that Amaburi bored me early on but shone through in the end.

GATE: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

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Oh, the joys of what lies beyond the GATE.

Surprised, and overjoyed, to see such a quick but effective payoff for the Rapist Prince’s character. He’ll only develop further from being absolutely pwned, by my, that palace shooting scene was a feast for the action-lovers and theme-explorers. Kyrabyashi’s getting more and more of Rory in her. How will it continue to reflect on the SDF as a whole?

The Prince’s different slaves also offered a really nice style of characterization. We begin with one resisting, then see one giving herself up to him, and then discover how he ‘chose’ (eugh) a Japanese slave. It emphasises one of the often unseen horrors of war. His disgusting, perverted nature is even more welcome, especially if he gets beaten up more. Not enough shows have scumbags with the prospect of regularly becoming punching bags.

Diabo’s entrance was also nice and understated (unlike The Rapist’s), makes me think he’ll be a mover in the shadow. Also liked the contrast between SDF and the Japanese government reflected the Emperor’s warning, even though it was countered, of ‘barbarians’ tearing down those with power. Ironic that such a term should go to suit-clad politicians.

Great stuff. Or should I say, GATE stuff.

Come on. It was funnier than Sushi Police.

Ojisan to Marshmallow

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This week’s short made me realise I loved last week’s for its innocence and playfulness. Wakabayashi’s pseudo-pornographic slant may have packed more laughs into two minutes than a lot of comedies can do in twenty, but it took away from her likeability a little. Sweetness is one thing; sluttiness is another.

I won’t comment on the for-some-reason-thirty-four-seconds-long cooking show that followed, since it wasn’t animated. And it was weird. Very weird.

Ooyasan wa Shishunki! 

Ah, there’s my shot glass of hilariously innocent anime romance! I should have watched this earlier to include it in my article on the power of brevity. The comedy rushes by like a bunch of one-liners, but each of them packs a great punch. The whole set-up also has a Hayate no Gotoku vibe, as Chie’s combo of middle-school obsessions and adult responsibilities promises a great scope for hilarious antics.

Wish it was three minutes instead of two, and that the credits didn’t take up almost a third of that.

Dagashi Kashi

I swear this show should be funny, but the production isn’t there. The character design of Hotaru hurts my eyes – her eyes and always-evident breasts just look bleugh, and she moves and talks like the ideal of a crazy girlfriend rather than a realistically crazy girlfriend – and whenever a funny scene gets going, inane, droll music starts playing in the background and submerges everything in a sea of meh. Even drunk-on-non-alcoholic-beer Hotaru, regardless of how cute she was, failed to entertain with the studio’s direction in the way.

Regardless, the cast’s too small and full of caricatures to offer anything other than sequential five-minute gag reels. It’s not like this is going to turn into a Maeda flick. I’m out.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi

It’s hard to write an impression when you’re in love with everything.

Gripped from start to finish, the cinematography and sound design framing every scene with emotion, tension and exceptional pacing. The variety of scenes on offer is breathtaking; a host of new characters are convincingly established in twenty minutes; Kayo’s essay simply blew me away.

Identity in this show is a feast for the psychologist. We have the adult in the child, relating to a child who sounds like an adult, commenting on his younger self in-the-moment, conscious of the future and his irregularity in the present, knowing he’s pretending, knowing how he used to pretend, discovering how Kayo is pretending, and all with a sinister child-killer pretending in his own way in the background of the narrative. Dynamics like these are what fiction is for. We have comedy as well. Brilliant, intensifying momentary reprieves of bliss.

The OP and ED are fantastic, revealing that we’ll see more of who we saw in the first episode, which is yet another hook on this show’s giant coat-rack of plot developments that snag the viewer and never let them go.

The anime thriller has gone through a Revival in only two episodes. Never been more excited for the next one.

On the Catch-up List:

  • Durarara!!x2 Ketsu. Still haven’t finished Ten.
  • Divine Gate. Even with the lateness of this post, I didn’t have time to watch it.
  • Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu. Need some slice-of-life better than Myriad Colours but not as serious as Boku Machi. Hopefully it’ll deliver.

In the Drop Zone:

  • Sushi Police. Funny title. Pointless to give an impression of what I watched this week. Pointless to watch.
  • Dagashi Kashi. The two shorts I’m watching are funnier than this in a fraction of the time.
  • Assassination Classroom S2. I’m not going to have the time to finish, and attempt to enjoy, the end of last season in order to attempt this one, let alone finish it.

What did you think about the week that was? Disagree with any of my thoughts? Have your say in the comments below!

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Current theme music: Illenium – Afterlife

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6 thoughts on “Impressions: Winter 2016, Week Two”

  1. Seems like we’re on the same page for Dagashi Kashi. People have been saying that it’s funny but I just can’t see which part is supposed to make me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I haven’t looked into any of the upcoming anime for this year, your impressions and first thoughts for Boku dake ga Inai Machi gives me some hope. Ooyasan wa Shishunki excites me too, as I’m a huge fan of romantic comedies! I’m currently watching Black Bullet for my blog, and have a long list of other anime that I have to see before I start with this year’s shows. Enjoy your anime binge watching!

    Like

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