AniFriday Issue #11 (January 31st, 2014): the Snowed in Special Edition
It’s been a hell of a week or two for me. As an adult, I don’t think weather has kicked my ass as much and as hard as it has this month. I’ve had to evacuate my house twice because the heater couldn’t keep up with the below freezing temperatures. People are getting injured left and right, and being on the roads is the worst thing you can do. But at least I have time to watch some anime and read some manga. All I need is electricity, water and tea leaves.
Here are the anime I’ll be covering this week, in order of appearance:
- Golden Time ep15
- Tokyo Ravens ep14
- Tonari no Seki-kun ep1
- Bleach ch566
- One Piece ch736
- Team Medical Dragon ch95
No, I haven’t demoted this show to AniFriday status, permanently. I just haven’t had time to touch on the episode fully. So I’ll start here since my anime watching schedule has been shot to hell this week.
At first I was worried that this would be a really boring episode. Mr. 2D is just in a really crappy mood at the beginning. Everyone is on pins and needles around Mitsuo when he shows up. And Banri’s spirit is once again being a royal pain in the ass. But all this is fine, and a great set up for how the episode plays out and ends. It shows that Banri and his friends won’t be defeated by mere circumstance and ill will. But it looks like they may not survive this curse despite that.
The day upon everyone for the beach trip, we see Banri and Koko taking the train to meet up with Mr. 2D. We then go from spot to spot, meeting up with unfortunate circumstances every step of the way. As everyone seems to have trouble following Mr. 2D’s instructions on where to meet. And then things get super awkward when Mistuo hops in the care with everyone else, as Chinami especially is being standoffish to him. Their misfortune just continue to build as they seem to spend hours in traffic, and then it rains on everyone once they finally get to the beach. Banri’s spirit just seems to be getting worse and worse with every passing hour. But as the old saying goes, it takes Banri to fight Banri (or something similar). As he gets the brilliant idea to just run out in the rain and have fun, since they’re all wearing swimsuits underneath their clothes anyway. With that move, it seems that Banri is able to power his friends through their summer funk, as they spend the rest of the afternoon and evening having a hell of a time. The only left to do is head home. You can quickly see where things are going when Mr. 2D starts complaining about being terribly sleepy. He’s not the only one with a license though, as Koko volunteers to take the wheel. It doesn’t matter though, as Banri’s spirit is steadily making everyone sleepy, including Banri and Koko. It looks like the whole cast is soon to be dead as Koko finally passes out. It’s only do to Banri waking up at the very last moment is able to slam on the breaks – and hopefuly missing slamming through the guard rail on the road and off the cliff.
At the end as everyone has fallen asleep and it looks like everyone is going to crash, we see Banri’s spirit actually showing emotion, panicking as he rushes and begs to undo his actions. What the hell did he think was going to happen when he made everyone in a moving vehicle fall asleep? Man, I hate this character. He’s a horrible combination of ex-boyfriend, annoying little brother (I know, technically he’s been around much longer) and backstabbing friend. The sooner he is exorcised, or learns to move on from his regrets, the better. On the flip side, I’m happy for the current Banri and his friends. They were able to squash some of the curse that was laid on Banri and have a good time. I was so tired of this show being emotional and dour, while trying to still be romantic. It mostly wasn’t working for me. And while I’ve been rooting for the coupling of Banri and Koko, I just couldn’t believe in its authenticity until now. Before they just seemed to be going with their desires and feelings, but they didn’t seem in love to me. It looked like this episode that maybe they would be able to get past their hangups and allow themselves to genuinely fall in love with each other. While I always believed that Banri wanted to be with Koko, the business with Linda clouded things badly. And Koko’s always been hard to judge due to her habit of being obsessive. I genuinely hope this moves forward. Not the car though. I desperately want that thing to stop before it kills most of the cast.
Well that was exciting! While I’m no fan of the combat of this show, it worked out pretty well. As we see Doman Ashiya’s plan play out, we get to experience the fleeting bits of power and teamwork this talented group of students have.
Not much time was spent on Doman tricking one of the students into breaking the barrier, and I’m glad, too. Instead we get to see the kids scuffle with Doman’s toys, and then we get to see a blockbuster of a battler between Ohtomo-sensei and him. As a former member of the Twelve Divine Generals, I was expecting something big from him, and I wasn’t disappointed. I was also expecting him to die, and I’m glad I was disappointed in that respect.
The battle was quick, yet spectacular. And this show still shows plenty of promise, despite early signs that it’s a rather generic shounen battle anime. I can at least say that it’s doing everything it needs to succeed. I’m just waiting for it to do something really special and unique to knock my socks off. When it does that, I’ll truly be impressed.
Note: heh, I like this little twist where the creepy little girl that has been following Harutora around and molesting Kon, being Doman’s familiar. On top of Doman showing this episode that he’s not even human, and is pretty much immortal, this little bit of new info gets my attention quite a bit.
Note 2: Zenjirō Kogure gives me huge Ichigo Kurosaki vibes! I mean, it’s like they took Ichigo and shoved him in this series. Then again, Ichigo’s archetype is a pretty standard one for shounen battle manga/anime.
Tonari no Seki-kun
Guess what? I’m watching something on Crunchyroll now. I’m not a big fan of streaming, mostly because American internet suck donkey butt. But I wanted to watch the next episode of Nourin and unfortunately there was no way it would be available during my stay in Lockdown. So I decided to find a streamed version of it on Crunchyroll. No luck! So I decided to give this anime a shot. I’ll probably end up dropping Nourin anyway anyway.
This was actually pretty damn fun to watch for such a short little thing. The buzz has already made it around that this short series is pretty entertaining, and I can see why. Rumi Yokoi is a humble looking high school student, who just so happens to sit next to the most interesting person at her school. His name is Toshinari Seki, and like to faff about at his desk in elaborate ways (this episode he does so with dominoes). Somehow he always gets away with it, while Rumi manages to consistently get in trouble for being a distraction.
I was looking forward to trying another short series this season, since I unexpectedly had plenty of fun last season watching Ms. MONOCHROME. I’m going to keep watching in hopes that this turns out to be much better. Anyway, how could I resist trying a show that requires so little commitment?
How appropriate that if Byakuya can’t be around to take on this freak, his sister-in-law should have the pleasure instead. I’ve waited so long to see this character full of promise finally come to fruition, and now it’s just about here. I so want to see Rukia overcome this character that seems to rely on fear and possibly poison. It will help prove that she could be a great female character – if this series would just let her. Fairy Tail’s done it for years.
Also, Renji’s being stalked by some creepy black dude that watches him while he sleeps. This is manga people. I’m not even fazed by this level of weirdness anymore.
The Flutter~Flutter fruit? It’s not nearly as badass as some of the fruits I’ve seen wielded by other, the Navy’s admirals are a good example, but I have no doubt that Oda is going to put these new fruit to great use.
DonQuixote has planned his defense well. But even he can’t be sure how this is going to turn out. He’s got a bunch of loose cannons (I mean that literally in Luffy’s case), and this battle will end up being a battle man for man to see how tough his family is against Luffy’s “family”. Things I’m looking forward to is seeing the new admiral take on one of the Straw Hats, possibly Zoro. Anyone who has read up to this point knows that the admirals are very nearly the peak in power for this series. All four of the ones we’ve seen up to now have been insanely powerful, powerful enough to even make the Four Emperors hesitate to fight them. So this guy should be nigh unbeatable for anyone right now.
Team Medical Dragon
I love Gunji’s rebuttal to his half-sister’s attack on him after his speech to the veteran doctors. She and the readers of the manga see him as a despicable person, a lowly and calculating man who uses his scheme and harsh methods to make up for his lack of talent. But what Gunji does here is take those things and flips them from a different perspective. When he’s called ordinary by Miki, he accepts that and thanks Miki and Asada for showing him the truth. He admits to not being able to measure up to a prodigy like her boyfriend. But he also says that he cares about what no one else is considering. The doctors who are already working at the hospital. And amazingly he uses the pitiful Kihara as an example. He’s an ordinary person, who even as a doctor doesn’t stand out. And through this, he shows how truly powerful and unique he is. His fall from grace has made it possible for him to understand and touch the hearts of ordinary people. In essence, he may be more suited to a public office than the field of medicine. These elections may be his very best strength.
While this chapter follows the proven and effective technique of giving a “villain” a backstory that could allow the audience to connect with them emotionally, Gunji does it piercingly and directly. It’s clear to those who are reading that he’s talking to anyone who has had a rough time or a hard day. He’s putting himself out there as their shield and respite. And to top things off, he even fires a salvo towards Miki, stating that not only does Asada not care about the doctors of this hospital, he does truly care about her, either.
Another great chapter.
Well that’s it for this week. Hopefully I can catch up to more anime when I’m not stuck inside staring Old Man Winter as takes a fluffy white shat all over my town. I plan on having a lot more regular anime to talk about. Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to go find a heated blanket and boil some water.