Sword Art Online II – Episode 12

Sword Art Online pulled its classic trick this week, attaching half of a pretty solid episode to half of a really terrible one. I really don’t know how it does it – pretty much every time the show pulls itself together, it’s basically guaranteed to exist directly in the presence of some of the show’s worst bullcrap. This time it was a half-episode where literally nothing happens. But hey, at least we got to see some animation afterwards!

Sword Art Online

Hunter x Hunter – Episode 147

Hunter x Hunter, why do you have to remind me of all the reasons it’ll be so hard to say goodbye to you?!? Uuugh.

I didn’t really expect this episode to start with a ten minute monologue on karmic cycles, the nature of the soul, and the ways human failings perpetuate themselves, but given everything that’s happened so far, it ended up being pretty damn appropriate! This was essentially a bookend to the themes and questions of Chimera Ant, and served to tie it in nicely with the questions of consequence and forgiveness that have dominated the Election Arc. Just like Ging tells his son, Kite tells our penitent koala that you can’t run away from the consequences of your actions. The koala (I wish he had a name, it’s kind of absurd to refer to him that way, but eh, HxH) gets pretty esoteric in his musings on the nature of fate and consequence, which is appropriate for the tone of Chimera Ant. That arc struggled constantly with the awkward contradictions of our nature – but here, with Kite actually present, the answer appears simple. “No one will allow you to take your own life and hit the reset button. You must live, and apologize to me every day.” Our natural instincts may perpetuate cycles of violence, but we can individually rise above that instinct. When you apologize, you have to promise to do things differently next time.

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Summer 2014 – Week 11 in Review

No crazy shakeups to report this week – my lineup’s approaching the end with relative grace, and everything I’d hoped to be good or at least okay has been good or at least okay. This is disappointing! I miss being able to tell you guys something is absolutely awful and wretched and a wonderful thing to get really childishly disappointed about! Hopefully next season will fix this – I’m planning on checking out way too many shows, and have no idea what I’ll end up covering for ANN, so there’s a solid chance I’ll have something to be a big jerk about again. Until then, please accept these humble reflections on shows that are actually pretty good.

Incidentally, I haven’t gotten to this week’s Hunter x Hunter, but I’ll likely watch that later tonight and either add my comments or make an additional mini-post. Busy week!

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Shounen Hollywood – Episode 11, Barakamon – Episode 10

Great episodes from both Barakamon and Shounen Hollywood this week. The two shows actually kind of play off each other, in a weird way – both are tackling questions of making a career out of art and performance, and both cushion those questions with strongly grounded slice of life. They’re a nice pair.

Barakamon

Zankyou no Terror – Episode 9

Time again for terror! Lisa’s been captured, Twelve’s made his choice, and Nine stands alone. With three episodes left, it seems unlikely this will all end in smiles and rainbows, but I’d sure like for Lisa and Twelve to get out of this, at least. That may defeat the show’s purpose, though – Nine’s anger is just as understandable as their connection, and no one can really escape the world they’re born into. All you can do is adapt or burn the damn thing down.

Incidentally, vestenet made a great post about Zankyou’s historical context over at Isn’t It Electrifying. I’d definitely check that out to see some of the more specific unrest and political circumstances Zankyou’s building on!

Alright, let’s get to terror.

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