Terror in Resonance and the Shadow Children

“When heaven has a line around the corner,
we shouldn’t have to wait around and hope to get in
if we can carpenter a home in our heart right now
and carve a palace from within.”
The Antlers

“Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.”
Bruce Springsteen

The world is against us, but the world is at our backs. The future could be ours, or there might just not be a future. There’s no “outside” of what we’re escaping, but we move forward anyway. Our only certainties are the wind, the darkness, and the distant horizon.

We live in the shadow of a great and terrible machine. That’s Terror in Resonance’s opening assumption; an assumption the show often takes very literally. Its characters weave in and out of society’s sunlit face and shadowed reality, and the rigidity of our modern social order is perhaps the show’s single constant antagonist. Whether they struggle against it or accept its presence, it is always there, always dictating the lives they may live. Terror in Resonance is a story of adolescent rebellion and societal alienation. It is a story of what the world demands of us, and what we become in its eyes. It is a story of anyone who is cast as a child by the world, and of the things only children can do.

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Sword Art Online 2 – Episode 15

And Sword Art Online returns. My post on ANN is relatively polite about this episode – it’s slow and boring and basically meaningless, but I keep it civil. To get the real story of my thoughts on this episode, you really have to head to twitter. So let’s actually run this episode down:

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Log Horizon 2 – Episodes 1-3

Fall’s first ANN episode post is up! Starting off with Log Horizon, where in this week’s post I mainly focus on the conscience choices Log Horizon makes to sacrifice grace for clarity. It’s an interesting choice – most shows (well, most decent shows) aren’t nearly as bold as Log Horizon in overtly infodumping at their audience, but in this case, it actually feeds directly into the show’s strengths. Log Horizon wants you to understand exactly what is going on, and goddamnit it’s gonna sit you down and explain some shit if it has to!

Log Horizon

Fall 2014 – Week 2 in Review

The week in review returns! Nice to finally be back covering stuff here again. This post is gonna be all second episodes – I know some first episodes came out in the past week, but I wrote about every goddamn one of them over on the preview guide. Right now, I’m in “what the fuck can I actually drop” mode – after a slow start, this season ended up giving me somewhere around fifteen shows I wanted to continue, and the physics of that kind of schedule just don’t work out. In light of that, I’m gonna try to be pretty ruthless in what I drop throughout the week. Unfortunately, enough shows seem to be holding together that I’m likely going to be in “anime or sleep” mode for a while yet. Let’s run them down!

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Gundam Reconguista in G – Episodes 1/2

Management: Yeah, I’m aware episode 3 is out. This is the writeup I wrote just in case G Reco got picked up for streaming – but the preview guide’s over now, so I figured you guys might appreciate my thoughts anyway. Complete with ANN scoring and everything!

Rating: 3

I have very, very strange feelings about these first two episodes. On paper, they did a bunch of the standard things mecha shows like this tend to. We started off with an upbeat, overachieving protagonist, Bellri, out on a space elevator ride when a space pirate attacks. Bellri uses his training suit to defeat the pirate, his superiors capture her familiar-looking mobile suit, and Bellri is immediately starstruck by the dashing pirate lady. Then in the second episode, the ostensible pirate’s teammates attempt to free her from Bellri’s academy-slash-military-base, and Bellri this time ends up using her mobile suit to fight off the attackers. Throw in a mysterious amnesiac girl, a few school buddies, some scattered adults, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a standard mecha drama. But it’s really the way those pieces came together, or didn’t, that both intrigued and distanced me here.

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Fall 2014 – Virtually Every First Episode Retrospective

I have been very busy these last couple weekends! Working on the ANN preview guide has meant I’ve had to watch and write about virtually every full-length show that premiered this fall – I believe the only ones we missed were G Reco, Amagi Brilliant Park, and Seven Deadly Sins, and I actually wrote about the first one and took notes on the second anyway. Of course, since all that was for ANN, you guys over here haven’t had heard as much from me. So in light of that, I’ve decided to do a hyper-speed mega-Week in Review rundown of my most summarized thoughts on every goddamn show, complete with links to individual ANN pages where you can find the small essays I wrote on every single one of them. If you want to hear me praise stuff, stick to the top, if you want to hear me tear shit apart, check out the bottom. There’s been a wide, wide range of shows this season, and every one of them has earned a whole bunch of words. LET’S DO THIS.

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Fall 2014 – First Episode Reflections, Part Three

I WOULD LIKE TO GET OFF THIS RIDE NOW PLEASE. Since my last post, I’ve checked out ParasyteDaitoshokan no HitsujitaiChaika: Avenging BattleGaro the AnimationShirobakoPsycho-Pass 2Your lie in April, and How The Fuck Did They Approve a Show That’s Basically Just One Joke About Twintails. You can check out episodic posts about every single one of these shows on ANN.

Of this group, I strongly recommend Parasyte and Shirobako, also enjoyed Garo and Your lie in April, and was perfectly content with both the Chaika and Psycho-Pass sequels. Daitoshokan and Twintails have essentially no reason for existing, and their continued existence in spite of this is baffling and faintly disturbing. So yeah, Of these eight shows, I actually solidly enjoyed six of them – I’m pretty happy with that ratio!