AniFriday Issue #7 (December 20th 2013)
This has been a tiring and hectic week for me, but it has also been a week with one of the best moments of my life. Sunday my sister graduated from the UNC Chapel Hill! I don’t know what her major is, I think it has something to do with some holistic medicine, witch doctor mumbo-jumbo. But that doesn’t matter right now. I’m intensely proud (and a bit jealous) of her. And if she gets to read this (because I didn’t really talk that much that day), I wish her all the happiness in the world, and a good job, too.
Now then, onto the anime and manga commentary. Here’s what I’ll be covering this week, in order.
- Tokyo Ravens ep11
- Ms. MONOCHROME ep12
- Valvrave ep22
- Coppelion ep12
- One Piece ch732
- Naruto ch659
- Bleach ch562
- Team Medical Dragon ch90
- The World God Only Knows
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the change in titling for these posts from being named parts to issues; I’m attempting to go with the magazine theme I love so much. I know this is a blog, but humour me. This is a hobby after all, I’m gonna f*ck around and experiment any chance I get.
Well, this certainly isn’t my idea of a fun episode. It’s mostly a tease and a waste of time. But I guess that so long as Kon is adorable and stupid, the students continue to lack good sense, then this will be mildly entertaining.
It looks like I was painfully wrong about Suzuka not knowing Natsume was a chick. She immediately puts that knowledge to use by blackmailing her and Harutora into being her slaves. This all culminates with her bullying her way into Harutora’s dorm room, and then Natsume’s, much to Natsume’s great protest. Whatever was in there had to be pretty incriminating, because she went to great effort to keep anyone out of her closet. What ends up happening is she throws Kon into Suzuka as she’s attempting to break down the closet’s barrier. This leads to the strange and unfortunate side effect of Kon being unable to dematerialize. And that leads to utter mayhem at the school, as Kon’s presence ends up scaring the hell out of students who see her in Harutora’s vintage jacket with a tiger’s face on the back. The jacket and Kon’s bushy tail for some reason cause a rumour to spread that there’s a live tiger on the campus, calling in all sorts of agents and back up. Suzuka catches on to what’s happening and attempts to help get Kon out of the school so she doesn’t get in trouble for being the cause of a familiar not being able to dematerialize. The bullying may also have been a problem, too. It’s all for naught though, as Mr. Ohtomo catches them. Though he does solve Kon’s problem after b*tching the two of them out.
End of episode.
In regards to this show, I’ve said this before – I don’t find the school hijinx episodes engaging, at all. It progresses the Suzuka’s relationship with the group a little bit, but it already seemed clear that she had a crush on Harutora, so I didn’t care for much more on that point. And overall, I just don’t find the show to be that funny. It’s more cute, than funny at this point. I am interested to know more about what sordid material Natsume is keeping in her closet though. My guess is that it’s a bunch of pics of Harutora, or a pair of his worn boxers. You know, something really dirty.
So Ms. Monochrome finally meets her long time rival/friend Kikuko-san in person. She also meets the true villain of the story – that little b*tch who took off with her 19.3 billion yen, Mana. It was pretty cute and touching to see them finally meet in person, though I still don’t quite get what’s going on. I guess Kikuko was reincarnated, though given their long time relationship, I thought she was a goddess or something.
It was pretty creepy when Kikuko pointed out the value of never aging as an idol and then pronouncing herself “forever seventeen”. It’s probably just my personal issues with idol culture speaking to me, but I find that a little disheartening though painfully realistic. It’s like the audience finds value not in feminine beauty itself, but in youth and pureness without anything thought to her actually being a woman and individual. Hmmm, perhaps I should save this sort of pessimism for my review of the series…
Reality sucks. This show surprisingly does not.
In the midst of this show’s absolutely darkest hour, you have to pull hope from a very, very dark place. It’s impressive how this episode perfectly illustrated that. If L-Elf had not been a whiny little snot, mired in depression; if Haruto had not – well, had not been himself; if the two of them didn’t have that moment to fight and air out their secrets and grievances; then their epiphany may never have happened. It’s very likely that they would have died of oxygen deprivation. The same miraculous happenstance also applies to Saki, she went through hell to get to this point. If she had not been buried alive with A-drei, then she likely would not have gotten him the information he needed to put his own plans into motion. Their mistakes cost a lot of people their lives, they’ll have to do a lot to make up for that.
A cliffhanger for this episode that I skipped over in my admiration of its storytelling is Shouko’s decision to pilot the Valvrave or not. We now know that it’s not just a decision to pilot the machine, we now know that she’ll essential become a Magius by doing so. I find it almost painfully convenient how the normally quiet (or at least reserved) Pino is able to just pull up everything that explains Haruto’s actions to Shouko. Why is she even recording this stuff? I thought she only cared about runes. She must be really bored in that machine. Then again this is Valvrave, and if this is the most I can complain about, then this show is doing pretty good.
Other little bits of praise I’d like to throw on this show, are scenes like the one where get to see Haruto and L-elf come to terms with their own issues visually, as if they’re Newtypes. Though if the dead people they cared about are coming back to them in dreams, then they should follow standard Gundam/Newtype rules. They should all be naked and sans genitalia.
There are standards people! You can’t just be doing this stuff anyway you want!
Though it gave me bad reminders of my current watch of Golden Time, I thought it was a really touching moment to see what is essentially the Haruto that died the moment he gave up his humanity come back and ask him not to waste the efforts he’s made so far. If you think about it, it’s pretty heavy stuff to see a past version of yourself come back to you, only to tell you that you’re f*cking up and disappointing. Thankfully, that didn’t further bum Haruto out. He clearly saw that those dead people in his wake died for a good cause and effort, a cause and effort that aren’t complete, yet. The same goes for L-elf. I was impressed at how he put together the bombshell that was learning the love of his life was a Magius, to the memories and words of that woman and came up with her life’s goal. He figured out what Liselotte wanted only in death, sadly. But he did figure it out.
The idea of perfectly united Haruto and L-elf is an enticing one. It’s exciting for the show, and a hell of a lot more tolerable to watch than seeing Haruto be a whiny b*tch, and L-elf be a smug know-it-all. It may finally be damn time these two put it all together.
Excellent episode! I can’t wait for more of this.
Oh for the love of-! This is ridiculous! How much drama can you shove in a single episode?! There’s the fight to get the Ozu sisters and the 1st Division away from train so they can board. Then there’s the ongoing pregnancy/labor that’s been going on for what feels like half the season. Then they have to power past the Zone. And now they’re being chased by the eldest Ozu sister as she uses her electricity to pilot the giant steel spider and kill them!
First of all, that’s not how electricity works! It’s not like pouring salt water on a squid. You can’t just apply electricity and control the damn thing. Secondly, what’s up with the 1st Division goons getting to hop on the train after trying to kill everyone? One minute it’s “die and suffer like we suffered!” The next minute it’s “well, we ain’t got sh*t to do, we may as well get on this train.” And thirdly, I just do NOT have any feelings for the drama involved with Ibara’s learning that Haruto died. Ever since last episode, it felt very forced how he was just given all the death flags, and how Ibara was getting all attached to him suddenly. They never seemed very close. Sure, they shared camaraderie and a goal. But that was only briefly. I’m not saying that she can’t more, just that her reaction was a little strong in my opinion.
I’m already anticipating flak for that statement.
All in all, it just seemed like too much in one episode. And it reminded me quite a bit of the problems I had with the show in its early episodes. It’s forced drama, and anything that’s forced and worked through is just going to feel shallow. I don’t have anything else to say about this episode. With everyone “safely” out of the Zone, the remaining problems are the Caesarean section now being performed, the last Ozu sister’s final attack – oh! And whether one of these coppelion are going to drop dead before they make it out of the old capital totally. They’ve talked about it enough, there’s no way it’s not going to happen.
Note: I can’t believe that the Vice-Principal just now gets the balls to say screw the conference and actually go help the girls. This sub-plot is so stupid to me that it gives me violent thoughts.
I was almost too busy staring at Robin’s legs to remember the plot.
Her figure aside (and it does look nice from the side too), it looks
like the real battles are about to start in earnest. We’re already
seeing the freaks come out, and it looks like Donquixote has more than
enough flunkies to keep the Strawhats busy. Though judging by how
some of the elites have already gotten their butts kicked, you can
forgive me for thinking that not all of them are top of the lot.
It looks like the ones to really worry about are the three captains,
Sugar, Lao G and Gladius from appearances. Violet I believe has
already gone turncoat, Jora, Buffalo and Baby 5 all already got their
Note: for any One Piece fans out there. I have been asked if One Piece was worth getting into. My answer was a resounding “YES”. I stated the show’s case, and I really hope this weird but wonderful series will be getting at least one more new fan soon. God help him though. That’s a hell of a lot of material to read/watch.
Well we may as well name this part of the story “The Rise of Madara”, huh? Everyone’s just
stuck gawking at the dark king of the battlefield as he is just standing in
front of everyone, all the most powerful forces on the planet, and
everyone else blinks.
I guess the point of Madara’s moves so far has been to collect all the
necessary pieces he needs from the battlefield. All the tailed beasts
are here. It looks like he needs a fresh Rinnegan, and he just has to
wrestle it from Obito’s corpse before the Minato and Kakashi can cut
down Black Zetsu. He even was able to summon the giant Demonic Statue
of the Outer Path. It’s all Madara’s game now, and I can see why he’s
been so calm and confident up to this point. The Great Ninja War and
the set up for it were all tools to conveniently get everything where
he wanted it.
I’m even understanding why he chose to ditch his Edo Tensei form, as
he forgo immortality to gain the potency of a real body, plus his
forced merger with Hashirama has given him ridiculous regenerative
abilities along with his power.
Going forward, it seems the trick is to keep Madara from getting a new
fresh Rinnegan, and given that this is a shounen battle manga, that’s
not going to work. The enemy always reaches maximum power in these
kinds of stories, it’s up to the main protagonist to beat them at
their own game, or maybe talk them down in battle. And since Madara
doesn’t seem capable of being talked down (unlike Obito), then I’m
guessing that a massive new show of force will be necessary to take
Who’s up for a brand new power up, or a Genki Dama?!
If this ain’t the most classic Dragonball Z set up in the world, then
I don’t know what is. Renji and Rukia may as well have come from the
Room of Spirit and Time. This muscle-bound Superstar dork looks to be
totally outclassed. Which probably means that he’s got one more
ridiculous power up left to challenge Renji.
There’s not much more to say here. This is just a clowning. And I
couldn’t be happier to see Renji look like a badass again.
Now that I got that little baby amount of analysis out of the way: how hype are you to see Ichigo, Renji and Rukia finally be the most powerful characters in the story and whoop some ass with their new powers?! Huh?! I know I’m more hyped than I can remember being in a chapter of Bleach probably since Ichigo got his shinigami powers back! I’m geeking out here!! Seriously! Look at all these exclamation points!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and more!)
Team Medical Dragon
I figure, if I’m going to be covering manga that I’m enjoying, I have to cover this series. As far as pure manga go (manga I’ve only enjoyed as manga, not animated), Team Medical Dragon is in my top TWO! It strikes a little close to home for me, and I find it an absolutely compelling and inspiring read. I admire the good guys, even when they’re arrogant a-holes, or are just callous and tunnel-visioned professional because there’s always an interesting story behind them. I loathe the villains, because in the end they care more about their positions, their power and other selfish and cowardly goals to actually make a difference or help people. It’s a cut-throat world, where even the enemy isn’t necessarily a bad guy, just somebody with a different approach to the solution. And I’m reading this in the sincerest hopes that it will be completed to satisfaction, even knowing the manga’s tragic backstory.
For now, I’m doing my best to try to figure out where I left off in the series. I haven’t read a chapter in probably over a year, and the series has moved on quite a bit without me. Right now I’ve browsed to about chapter 90, and I’m hoping I figure out where things are going without running into spoilers. At the moment, the third candidate for the highly contested professor-ship has finally shown up, so it can’t be too much longer before I’m caught up. I’m considering covering the manga from the very beginning. In terms of manga, ninety chapters isn’t a daunting amount of material when you take into consideration series like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Hunter X Hunter, One Piece and Hajime no Ippo.
This pitiful and budding manga section is going to need more diverse material than just shounen battle manga. What could be more different, yet still keeping in that badass uplifting spirit than this most manly of medical dramas?
The World God Only Knows
It’s amazing, I took a peek at the manga that I haven’t read in so long and I’m amazed at how little of the manga seems to have been covered. Now I haven’t seen the third season yet, that’s a major project for me at the beginning of this new year, but even looking at the material for third season I’m realizing that not too much has been hacked through, it doesn’t even reach the material I stopped at yet. Still, I’m not really complaining. I didn’t really have much of a problem with the pacing of the TV series much in the second season. And given my history with shounen battle manga, I’m extremely grateful to have a series I love not be plagued with those sort of issues, nor do I have to worry about the show catching up with the manga and making those issues any time soon.
Now whether I’m going to start viewing the anime and reading the manga at the same time I’m still intensely internally debating. It’s because I’m so caught up on One Piece and Naruto that I don’t really watch the anime right now. And when I do, I do it in long marathon sessions that cover entire arcs at once. And even then it’s something I haven’t done in two years.
Sheesh! This post is veering into editorial material. I better stop things before they being to ramble and get angry. Thanks to any and all reading this post! I hope it was worth your time. Next week is Christmas, so I likely won’t be doing another one of these until the New Year. So until next time – Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And a Happy New Year!