With Mushishi still on break and One Week Friends kinda stumbling around, this week was a little below-average. Ping Pong is still fantastic though, and I feel like Sidonia is actually getting better every week. This season’s still a pretty good place to be!
Hitsugi no Chaika 8: It was kind of interesting to hear that magic is essentially a kind of fossil fuel in this universe. That’s both just a neat detail and also kind of reflective of the show’s themes, so gold star for that one. Magic as a form of science is actually a good idea – you just can’t, you know, bury your show in explaining how neat your system is.
Aside from that, this was really just an isolated adventure episode, and worked well enough as that. I like this cast, so it’s nice spending time with them, and I enjoy seeing Toru lose more and more of his practicality as his goals become more vague and human. Rescuing Julia is a terrible idea from the perspective of their mission, but it makes Chaika happy, so he does it.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 9: Goddamnit Kakyoin stop doing that tongue thing it is the worst.
Fine Jojo episode this week! We’ve definitely settled into something of a monster-of-the-week formula at this point, which is less interesting than Jojo at its best, but still perfectly entertaining. Especially when that weekly monster does awful tongue-cherry tricks and gives Joseph an opportunity to look enraged or disgusted about various things. My favorite Jojo moment this week was the throwaway gag when the real Kakyoin came back from sunbathing in his full school uniform. Sometimes it’s the little things, not the beetle-eating and severed dog heads.
Knights of Sidonia 8: First off, the fight scenes in this episode were great. Fast-paced, claustrophobic, thrillingly staged – this show really knows how to make the CG work for it. Even the actual human fight scene at the end was great, which is surprising and encouraging.
But more importantly, this episode really, really dove into some of the most compelling ideas of this series – questions of the nature of mankind, and of transhumanism. Using brain transplants to counteract aging, the variable treatment of a clone as either a child or resource, and even the Gauna apparently adopting human characteristics – all of these are wonderful choices in a show that’s already demonstrated a fascination with exploring the limits of what “humanity” really means, as well as whether that’s even a relevant question. All of this was capped off with the captain’s command at the end – “your life is no longer in your hands. Your experience and sagacity are Sidonia’s!” “What will we do to survive” is a fair enough question by itself, but “what will we become to survive” is possibly even richer, and Sidonia seems interested in exploring that on both the individual and societal level.
All of which makes me kind of concerned that we’re already eight episodes into the show. But I’ve heard it’s selling well, so hopefully this is a story we’ll get to see continue soon enough.
One Week Friends 9: This week was mainly dominated by the main characters derping around together again, and while that’s pleasant enough, I’ve kind of lost any real enthusiasm for it. The ending also actually frustrated me – obviously we need to deal with Fujimiya’s root issue, but having her reset the amnesia seems like an incredibly contrived way to do that. In light of that, the main thing I want to point out this episode is how ridiculously clueless Hase looks to Fujimiya’s obvious/oblivious advances at pretty much all times. Goddamn man. Get a clue.
Ping Pong 8: This week, I wrote about shoes.