Impressions! Spring 2016, Week Twelve

The season’s ended and I’m a week behind! You can tell how tired I still am from my exams finishing and such.

At least I can find my energy again with all these great finales and the build=up to them; though it wasn’t enough energy to get this out on time…

Flying Witch

‘Seeing’ the whale means riding upon it. There’s an incredible message here: once you see the magic of something, the next step is t become part of it. That’s what Chinatsu’s done by wanting to be a witch. It’s not enough to just witness beautiful things; we should partake in their beauty and see more beauty through them, too. But all of this can’t supercede the fundamentals of living; giant stony whales are amazing, but they don’t put food in your stomach.

Anzu’s knowledge about food is just as riveting as her research of the whale, though. Another pointer in the direction of how the magic and the real shouldn’t be thought of as separate at all. Anzu studying under a cat also resonated against Chinatsu following Chito some episodes back.

Flying Witch’s ethos isn’t that ‘curiosity killed the cat’. It’s that a cat’s curiosity is what makes us understand our world for the better.

Re:Zero

I get why people find Suffaru insufferable, but the start of this new arc fills me with the hope that his Main Character Syndrome is going to get more and more challenged by the world he tries to fit around him.

Previously Emilia demonstrated a wealth of trust in him that saved him from the suspicion of the maids. Now he’s gone against her word almost purely because he doesn’t want to be left out of her narrative. He doesn’t accept her autonomy like he should. And it feels dumb, and it should feel dumb. The more the royal proceedings progress, the more out-of-place Subaru seems.

Perhaps the snappy rudeness of the other candidates possess is a reason why Subaru’s rudeness is often ignored by Emilia. I’m excited to see how Felt tries to fit into royal robes that don’t seem made for her. Who should we be rooting for? The big ellipsis is why we should root for any of them. I don’t trust anyone. Especially if they live in the same house as Roswaal, after what he said at the end of the last arc.

Boku no Hero Academia

A battle against All Might is a battle against the strength of all humanity and how we use that strength for peace. Him giving ‘more than 100%’ might seem mathematically impossible, but already we’ve seen him surpass what he thought were his limits. By surpassing what others think of him, and breaking the limit of Nomu’s absorption, and blasting the creature beyond the world it sought to destabilize by killing All Might, he has proven what ‘Plus Ultra’ means. What it means to be a hero.

We go beyond not just to protect what humanity is, but to advance humanity. Nomu is genetically engineered; the height of research, sure, but artificial. He grows his arms back, but he won’t evolve himself. He’s not the peak of human evolution; he’s the height of where our stubbornness can get us, when we freeze our power in place and expect it to overcome something that is always getting stronger.

The best fight I’ve seen in anime for a long time. Bones really went beyond on the adaptation of this one.

Netoge

Culture festivals usually come mid-way through a story, and the show doesn’t feel like it ‘finishes’ with this episode. But equally, it doesn’t feel much progress has been made for Ako. ‘The game and reality are separate’ used to be an interesting point of discussion; now it’s more like a catchphrase that only reminds me how little of Ako has been addressed. And if you wanted to talk about ‘reality’, could you not have written the interruption of the kissing scene in such a cliche way? It only reeks of fiction.

The siege warfare itself was grand, though. Good subtlety in how the Alley Cats beat their foes with the tacits those people forced them to perform before as an insult. But deciding that master should just win like Master was a sour note for me. The sentiment that the expenditure for something so small doesn’t carry through when the ‘virtual’ ought to be a world where wealth in the ‘real’ doesn’t affect anything. That’s what school clubs are about, after all: bringing different people together. Master’s use of all her money only separated her further from the rest in my eyes.

It’s been hit-and-miss, but a lot of the humour landed, and for a while I wanted to play LA myself. Things got a bit stale towards the end, and the fanservice a bit much, and the sentiments of the story are all over the place. At the very least, this is a sign of where harem comedies should be heading towards.

Kabaneri

Screw whoever doesn’t like Biba as a villain. His character might have a touch of the pantomime, but his use of the Kabane and the fears of the people goes right back to what we were saying at the start of this show. Of course the biggest enemy to humanity is its own fear. But he doesn’t eradicate it; it’s his weapon. He exacerbates it by playing upon the unknown. He’s a hypocrite, fearless as he may be himself.

And now Ikoma has taken on the power of the Kabane, without fear. He wants to save Mumei because he couldn’t save his sister; in the end, he’s projecting brotherhood far more than Biba. Mumei clung to Biba because no-one else would carry her through this cruel world. But Ikoma wants to drag Mumei out of the death she’s living, and I’m sure he can succeed, as much as I’m sure Biba has one more trick up his sleeve.

It’s a thrilling buildup to what ought to make for a spectacular climax.

Kiznaiver

Katsuhira’s found his pain – it’s in other people. Not how Sonozaki found everyone else’s pain inside her. Beyond the Kizna system, the artifice for reminding people what it’s like to empathize, is true empathy itself. And it’s beautiful that as Katsuhira has begun to provoke empathy in his friends, so too has he begun to provoke it in us.

We’ve empathized with Chidori, Nico and Maki when the cast still barely were. We empathized with them because of the barriers they were pushing against. And the barrier Katushira pushes against is the strongest; he wants to be able to empathize with himself. His past self. His memories and his prospects for the future. In all of this, now we know where he came from, we have to keep asking – where is he going?

Chidori and Sonozaki call him an idiot, but his understanding of himself, even without emotion, is an incredible feat, and it fills those around him with his pain even if he still can’t feel it himself. Mesmerizing characterization.

Short-Cuts

  • Space Patrol Luluco. Trust Trigger to get me thinking ‘this is a lot like Kiznaiver’ and then slap a Kizna symbol on Nova’s back. They can even parody their ongoing projects. But it’s not a parody for laughs; it’s a microcosm of everything I love about their bigger shows. A jocular celebration. I hope they keep making stories as much as Lululco could reproduce her love.

That’s all for this week. See you next time!

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