My catch-up article on Parasyte is posted, where I scratch at a few of the things that make this show so damn engaging. It’ll be nice to actually get to dig into a show with some thematic richness on ANN – I did that somewhat last season as well, but nobody was actually watching Shounen Hollywood and very few of Barakamon/SAO’s fans seemed interested in that stuff, so this might be the first time this stuff is actually welcome. Hurray!
At the beginning of fall, this year was not really looking good. I had maybe five or six shows I’d be comfortable putting on a top shows list, and the fall season featured a lineup of ambiguous sequels and unknown originals. But holy shit has this season overperformed like crazy. This lineup is a goddamn bounty of riches – there’s at least four shows that would be comfortable top picks in any normal season (Shirobako, KimiUso, Parasyte, Rage of Bahamut), and the shows immediately below this aren’t even that far off – I could easily see Fate/stay night, Amagi, or Psycho-Pass 2 overperforming and vaulting over the competition at any time. Fall seasons tend to be fairly stacked in general, but this one in particular is one of the best seasons I’ve seen. It’s a good time to love cartoons!
“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.
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:
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!
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!
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!
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.