Impressions! Spring 2016, Week Three

Better late than never! Netoge keeps its harem hilarious, while Kiznaiver declares war on character cliches. Meanwhile, Flying Witch is as blissful as ever.

Exams may suck, but this season is only getting better and better (especailly now that my watch-list is more manageable!).

Boku no Hero

Our hero inherits ‘All for One’, but everyone in his school is against him. His training – cleaning up a beach full of trash – speaks boldly of how much ‘trash’ heroes have to clean up, and what that ‘trash’ really is; the fundamental recklessness of humanity.

New faces emerge too. Uraraka proves instant character development depends on the protagonist’s reactions, while another student who can only speak in class reports subtlely raised the profile of the academy Deku is competing to enter.

Deku’s scream atop the trash, though, was a cry of conquest that brought all the emotional weight of this build-up so far together. Moving, exhilarating stuff.

Netoge

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You’d expect this kind of plot progression to happen at the end of a series, after an episodic gag-fest of stalling for a lack of material. But Netoge has a high-speed connection to what its characters want. Each episode continues to dodge fan-service and instead serve the fun and genuinely pressing issue of the barrier between the real and the virtual.

Sure, sometimes the cast signpost developments too simply, but underneath remains a lot of subtlety. Nishimura’s harsh when talking to Ako in the game, but jittery calmness to the club room. When the cast drop bombshells of his own character development on him, he similarly switches from immersion in his own path to realisation of the bigger picture.

‘The game and reality are separate’ may be frequently stated, but there’s something even bigger brewing underneath the issue, irrespective of technology.

Kiznaiver

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The types are torn apart for twenty-five glorious minutes. Ought to facilitate discomfort, going from character to character as they turn their appearances upside-down, but the revelations flow smoothly, each more entertaining than the last.

We become both voyeurs of their torment and tormented with them as the barrier break down further. Isn’t the whole outcry against character types directed at how such cut-outs can’t give the viewer an emotional push – and isn’t it incredible that these characters already have, having only just done their ‘self-introductions’.

More proof that all you need is tenacity, not time, to get your characters into the heart of your audience.

Haifuri

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Kouko’s imagination gets a good workout this week. It reminds us a lot of how isolating naval warfare is, and how isolated these girls must feel from their comrades and their dreams. Making humorous stories of enemy ships is a great way to soften the blow of their barrage.

The tension wasn’t too high, but Haifuri is more about watching these girls bond in a sticky situation. Being over-dramatic never helps when success depends on keeping a cool head.

With a new girl on board, and the Musashi calling out for help, there’s plenty of promise that this ship won’t be stalling.

Flying Witch

https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/scHTVZE.jpg

The forces of nature can sometimes be scary, but the gifts they bring soften the heart. Still, not every flower that blooms can be appreciated by the young.

Half of the pleasure of Flying Witch is watching Chinatsu stare in awe at the magic of nature; the other half is Makoto’s sweet bumbling around its banality, getting used to the normal bits of slice-of-life we’re so familair with. But her magical ways make everything feel fresh.

Great food can be found by the side of the road. Great food for thought can be found in unsuspecting places too.

Kabaneri

Mumei ended the premiere with her mix of tradition and badassery, and this week she stole the spotlight by showing what balls of steel the bushi could have if their owed their duty to more than their fears.

But her strength leads to the weakness of fighting the Kabane – the only people who can stop them are those society would throw out of their steampunk trains. Literally. Ikoma lives out an Attack on Titan-esque type-scene of death and rebirth for the salvation of the people. But the bushi have taken the role of the titans, and look to be the real monsters of this show.

May this never delayed by an Earthquake again.

Short-Cuts

  • Space Patrol Luluco. It ought to be only a gag-fest, but every episode Luluco ends with powerful notes of progress and parody. Space gun-play romances will never be the same again.
  • (I should really pick up another short to justify the plural of that heading…)

The Drop Zone

  • Mayoiga. The real mystery is how this went from an avant-garde psychological drama to such a slow, pointless clownfiesta of characterless crap.
  • Sousei no Onmyouji. Becoming too boring fantasy fare, and I don’t have the time to spare.

That’s it for this week! Until next time!

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2 thoughts on “Impressions! Spring 2016, Week Three”

    1. Got too much uni on my plate to enjoy it in that way; Musaigen no Phantom World had more of a draw for being KyoAni. Mayoiga just feels more abstractly disappointing after every episode.

      Like

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