Nichijou – Episode 9

We’re back to Nichijou, for one more round of exuberant and nigh-useless notes. But hey, you guys are only paying a slightly overpriced movie ticket’s price for them, so let’s just huddle in and enjoy the madness together. Anything can happen in this ridiculous friggin’ show, so let’s see what portion of anything today will provide!

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Doamygar-D – Review

So today I’ve got a review of a short I’m pretty sure nobody actually watched, and for good reason – it’s basically just a loyal spoof of classic super robot shows, offering nothing of interest to anyone who isn’t a fan of super robots, Kyoto cooking, and extremely harmless comedy. It wasn’t a painful watch or anything, but also not a watch I’d really recommend for any reason. Although I did like the goofy accent of the American character!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below.

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Why It Works: The Chromatic Battle of Koichi and Kira

I guess I just can’t help myself. I returned to the JoJo well once again this week, since Koichi and Kira’s fight offered such a handy demonstration of one more of the show’s myriad strengths. You could probably do some further writing on how JoJo manages the hues of its palette shifts to echo their emotional intent, but I stuck to the basics this time – most great comic/animation artists give their characters distinctive visual signatures, and JoJo is able to use those signatures combined with its own style tricks to create some profoundly impactful battles. Let’s get to it!

Why It Works: The Chromatic Battle of Koichi and Kira

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Synthetic Love and Her

Her opens with a sequence that appears to be a heartfelt confession, as protagonist Theodore Twombly addresses both an old love and the screen itself. As fond memories are extolled and warm feelings expressed, his words gradually land false – Theodore is neither the assumed writer nor recipient of this letter, and everything he’s recalling applies to a life that isn’t his. And when the screen pulls out, we see Theodore is not alone in his fabrication – in fact, he’s one in a long line of cubicled workers expressing the same thoughts, a factory producing emotional catharsis. Theodore works for Beautiful Handwritten Letters Dot Com, a company that has risen to meet the public’s need for thoughts so poignant and personal we can’t express them ourselves.

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Nichijou – Episode 8

And we’re back! Last episode saw Nichijou’s various subgroups nearly approaching a meeting, which I’m sure portends good things for the future. I’ve regularly heard this show actually improves as it goes along, and considering its quality is already best-in-class among anime comedies, I’m excited to see how that’s possible. Let’s dive right in to another friggin’ episode of Nichijou!

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The Rolling Girls – Review

Welp, I went back to check out the Rolling Girls one more time, and it… went pretty much the same as the first time. The Rolling Girls is full of so much stuff I absolutely love, from its art design to its character focus to its worldbuilding, that it’s kinda painful to reflect on how the final product couldn’t pull itself together. The show had everything going for it, but its team just couldn’t write their way out of a paper bag. It’s a terrible shame.

You can check out my full review over at ANN.

The Rolling Girls

Summer 2016 – Week 12 in Review

Oh god it’s happening. We’re already halfway through September, final episodes are beginning to broadcast, and the season is well and truly ending. While I’ve gotten somewhat used to the seasonal panic of the preview guide, I certainly haven’t gotten used to the fact that we’re all that much closer to death. Fortunately, that’s exactly what anime is good for – frittering away the idle hours with cartoon entertainment to avoid the lurking specter of our own inevitable mortality. So let’s set aside our dreary, perpetually fraying existence for a while, and RUN DOWN SOME SHOWS!

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Mob Psycho 100 – Episode 11

Reigen was ascendant in this week’s Mob Psycho, making the most of his reentrance from the first minute to last. I was very curious about how he’d actually fit into this arc, and having him start off by accidentally winning the loyalty of all the Claw also-rans was a pretty great start. This episode also had plenty of Mob Psycho’s usual pleasures – some visually creative reactions, some truly gorgeous highlight cuts, and a light sprinkling of emotionally satisfying reunions and conversations. Mob has really grown into a great character by now – I was skeptical for a while, but at this point, he can easily sell moments like his genuine relief on seeing his brother okay. Earned character warmth is an extremely valuable dramatic quality.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!

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Mawaru Penguindrum – Episode 10

Shoma awakes in Penguindrum’s tenth episode, and seems not much worse for wear. In fact, Ringo seems far more changed by Shoma’s accident than Shoma himself – standing outside in the hallway, she seems legitimately concerned for Shoma for perhaps the first time. Now, with the diary torn in half, Ringo’s own mission seems somehow less important than the health of someone she can actually call a friend. The two have aired all their baggage now, and as Ringo listens outside, she learns Shoma doesn’t even blame her for the accident. For once, it seems like a tragedy might actually bring Penguindrum’s characters closer together.

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Orange – Episode 12

Orange continued to rally this week, offering an episode that felt even more sharp than last week’s shrine visit disaster. Actually getting inside Kakeru’s head made for a poignant and claustrophobic experience, giving a real tangible weight to his feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Naho can’t tell Kakeru the truth because she’s Naho – Kakeru can’t tell his friends the truth because he’s trapped in a cycle of self-loathing that only isolates him more and more over time. Orange is handling its heaviest elements with some real sensitivity here.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my brief notes below!

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