Welp, the comments aren’t promising, but I guess these characters are likable enough, and Gainax still does some fine work with character animation. It’s not much, but on the other hand, Gatchaman Crowds isn’t out yet. Lez do it.
0:21 – The crippling sweets-addiction at the heart of all moe SoL isbrutally revealed
0:40 – Oshit, are Yura’s delusions contagious?
2:21 – Directly addressing this silliness is cute, but it’s still making a joke about something that was already a joke
4:21 – Gainax still do know their way around a silly gag
5:57 – Flag-dancing, adventures in America, the war… Kanbaru has a lot to be nostalgic about
6:58 – They do use Yura’s insecurity pretty well, and her overcompensating need to prove her value will almost certainly (in fact there’s no “almost” about it, the direction cues make it obvious) lead to a pretty organic conflict when directly clashed against Kanbaru’s kinda contradictory attitude towards what they’re doing (play to have fun, but no surrendering, apparently). That’s pretty standard character conflict, but “standard character conflict” based out of inherent character history and personality is actually a lot better than what anime often resort to for conflict. I’d still prefer that “Yura can actually change the goddamn world” angle, though, even if this is more in line with the sports/SoL-juggling genre we’re working with
7:55 – The fuck did Kanbaru get this immense target-shooting machine? Jeez, her war buddy connections run deep
8:16 – Yeah, sure
9:48 – Yeah, I guess if they run with Yura’s issues in a satisfying way, this show can still hold its’ own. Focusing on a character with deeply-felt anxieties (and clashing her with a character who has her own issues, but a very different way of dealing with them) basically knocks out a great deal of my usual complaints with SoL – the lack of relatable characters, the absence of any narrative hook, and the idolizing of a fantastical “untroubled world” where every day is Himari Day
13:01 – Fleeced by dat moe
13:15 – Honoka is kinda stealing this episode with her shameless embrace of capitalism
14:00 – Gainax seriously it’s three in the morning put down the phone
17:06 – By all means
18:36 – Excellent. I think this whole sequence was fantastically done. Not only was it just a nice visual/aural setpiece (the crackly vocal effects were a nice touch), but they also doubled on perspective by framing the shots from Kanbaru’s viewpoint but the world itself from Yura’s perspective, implying both of their interpretations of the moment without an actual word wasted. That was a damn fucking good piece of directing right there
Hm. Well, it’s not getting ambitious in the way I’d hoped, and on the face of it that was no more than the school fair episode following the beach episode, but it certainly had its’ moments. This show is a pretty high-caliber (lulz) version of a thing I normally don’t really care about, but it actually gives me more to talk about than I would expect. The writing, directing, and animation are all just higher quality than this stuff usually gets, even if it’s executing a pretty standard genre exercise… it’s airy, but it’s not stupid. Yura herself is definitely a huge part of what gives this show some actual bite – hopefully they continue to use her personality and imagination as well as they did this week