I don’t really have a reason for this month’s post to be as late as it is. Mostly it’s just been laziness, although I’ve kinda been wanting to avoid this post because I know some of my thoughts on recent shows are not going to go over well.
As always, if you want to read last month’s post to compare how I previously felt about a series or see what else I’ve been watching lately, you can read last month’s report here.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Part 2 – Egyptian Arc
Stardust Crusaders has finally ended! Most longtime fans already know that Part 3 isn’t all that great, and the animation quality of the adaptation this arc wasn’t really helping improve the quality of the show. Still, it’s JoJo, which helps make it slightly more enjoyable than most shonen shows, even at its worst.
It was a long wait until we’d finally get to the big finale with Dio, but thankfully, they didn’t fuck it up. Not entirely, at least. The animation quality and choices made to avoid censorship, while surrounded by scenes where body parts kept getting black borders over them was getting especially grating near the end. The final episode finally brought the show’s animation quality where it should have been as a standard, so it feels wrong to praise the quality of it. Still, the big fight with Dio is the one thing everyone was watching for, so it’s a good thing the animation quality finally picked up by the time it got there.
Here’s hoping we get a Diamond is Unbreakable anime, and that if we do, the animation quality goes back to where it was during the Part 2 anime.
Also as an aside, how fucking cool was it when they changed the final part of the intro during the last two episodes?
Probably the most alienating show for a lot of people this season. Opening with typical moe fanservice in a slightly atypical harem setting, and ending with a post-modern story involving time travel, gas masks, superhuman abilities, and massive conspiracy theories. It seems the biggest difference between people who appreciated Punch Line or got frustrated and upset with how they couldn’t understand it seems to be how familiar they were with Uchikoshi Kotaro’s works, because the story in Punch Line is pretty much exactly in line with his work on the Zero Escape franchise. Considering I’ve been a fan of that since 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors, I was pretty set to have a good time. Because of that, it’s unfortunate that a lot of fans of his works are skeptical of Punch Line because it presents itself as a typical fanservice show though.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the ending. Most of the characters haven’t really seem to moved from one point to another or have really grown since the start of the series. A timeloop has been established to help start the previously repeatedly loop of most of the show. So maybe the feeling of nothing major having changes is intentional. I might have to watch it again to see if I missed anything for the ending to feel more satisfactory.
The frustration continues. I’m very close to dropping Arslan Senki. I don’t even know why I haven’t yet.
Still very enjoyable. I expected nothing from this show, but somehow it’s been one of the more consistently enjoyable shows to watch most weeks as there’s very little that just outright bad or wrong about it. It’s just good food porn.
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
Unlimited Blade Works is probably the best anime version of Fate/stay night we’re going to get. For a show not about the fight sequences, it has some incredibly good ones, even if they’re covered in CG magic spam. The pacing is perfect for the kind of story it’s trying to tell. All of this just shows how hard Deen dropped the ball back when they made their anime version almost 10 years ago.
That said, I do still have a lot of issues with the Unlimited Blade Works anime, and most of them might sound unfair because they’re just a natural part of a direct transition from visual novel to anime.
Emiya Shirou has no character. He’s got a few things he’s good at, and he has a set of morals that aren’t his own that he follows. There’s nothing that really defines him as a person because he’s a main character in a visual novel. You, the player, are supposed to fill the blanks, relating to a character through a lack of things unlike one another instead of things in common. This doesn’t work anywhere near as well in an anime as it does in a visual novel. An anime needs a good leading character to carry the series as this is the character you will spend most time with. Instead, characters like Gilgamesh seem much more appealing in contrast because they’re defined, established characters with a personality. In Fate/stay night’s case, it also doesn’t help that it’s not just Emiya Shirou who lacks a character, it’s Saber two. The two characters at the center of everything have nothing to really add to anything around them.
This is not a knock on the Fate/stay franchise or the quality of the anime. It’s just a sign that not every story works as well on every format.
It’s amazing how much of a human element there could be in the real-life situations in an anime that partially takes place inside an MMO. In fact, Summer Wars was incredibly frustrating to watch for me because of this.
The MMO isn’t the main focus, I know. The characters and how they grow in the situation they’ve found themselves is. And in that respect, Summer Wars is fantastic. What’s irritating is how it kept using the MMO as an excuse for the entire situation to exist when none of the logic even made sense internally. Suspension of disbelief is a thing, but it’s already spread thin when you see the way the online world is constructed in Summer Wars. Not only is it an MMO with bright, colorful avatars that adults also use. But everything electrical is run through it, including all financial systems and satellites. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the understanding of technology is surprisingly in-depth when the movie needs it to be, while just entirely ignoring how at any point, the systems could be turned off and rolled back to a previous point in time. If something like that is not possible, then a system like that should have never been able to grow to the size it has without being taken over by a hostile entity during its growth.
No matter how good the human interaction, the body language, and the dialogue was in the parts that took place outside of the MMO, I couldn’t help but get annoyed that none of this should have happened, and honestly, couldn’t feel bad for a world that let this bad a system become that big.
That said, the grandmother was a fucking boss.