Ashes and Embers in Heaven’s Feel

Alright, I’ll confess: I wasn’t able to get a meaningful distance into Heaven’s Feel. I got through all of the pre-route scenes that involved Sakura, and I had a nice long chat with Kotomine at the church, and then I got nearly murdered by Ilya, and then Rin finished me off with an interminable conversation about magical energy. All of that took several hours of clicking through, but it didn’t really accomplish anything narrative-wise – I’m still basically in the introduction phase of the route, and there’s no indication that that’s going to end any time soon.

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Planetes – Episode 13

Having long explored the winding corridors of Seven, spent at least a dozen missions cramped inside the Toy Box, and twice visited the moon, this week’s Planetes took us somewhere the show had never visited – the earth itself. With Fee’s heroic exploits leaving the crew without a ship, the debris team was given some needed time off to visit friends and family. And so we finally visited Hachi’s home, as Tanabe and Yuri tagged along to meet his mother and brother.

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Summer 2016 – Week 13 in Review

The season well and truly ended this week, offering conclusions to Orange, Mob Psycho, Love Live, Thunderbolt Fantasy, and… well, JoJo is apparently eternal, so Not JoJo. Oh wait, Thunderbolt Fantasy also didn’t end, it’s still got an episode left. So I guess this week was actually just a clusterfuck of endings and non-endings, and we’re not going to get a break between seasons after all, and we’re just going to have to live with that. Either way, I can conclusively say that episodes of anime did in fact air this week, and I had at least a couple things to say about several of them. SO LET’S DO THAT!

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Mob Psycho 100 – Episode 12

Mob Psycho had a pretty fiery conclusion this week, one that actually arrived at a more or less satisfying thematic endpoint. ONE’s thoughts on society are clearly still deeply conflicted, but his analysis of Claw seemed pretty sharp here, and concluding on Reigen’s call for kindness felt like basically the only way to positively react to his view on the world in general. And of course, the big action highlights were as excellent as ever, and it was nice to check in with everyone before finishing up. Mob Psycho turned out to likely be the strongest show of the season, something I really wouldn’t have guessed coming in. Nice work, everyone!

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

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Orange – Episode 13

Welp, Orange finally finished up this week, offering sturdy conclusions to both the Naho/Kakeru romantic drama and the gang’s attempts to save Kakeru in general. Those two scenes basically justified this episode, even if the connective tissue was a little shaky – the first offered one of the sharpest descriptions of depression this show has managed, and the second was just a richly earned moment of friendship and catharsis for everyone involved. Orange didn’t really end up a good show, but it certainly had its moments.

You can check out my full review over at ANN!

Orange

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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