Spring 2014 – Week 13 in Review

The season’s ending is upon us, meaning I get to slack off and only do like half a post, hurray. And in the spirit of that, I’m tired of writing this intro and am stopping now.

Hitsugi no Chaika 12: I didn’t find this episode quite as stellar as 11, mainly due to some kinda awkward pacing in the first half, but it was still pretty great. Frederica chestbursting herself was awesome, and a nice subversion of how you’d expect her death-fakeout to resolve. Toru’s “what you’re doing isn’t fighting – you’re just stabbing people” was kind of hilarious, but also really works for where he’s at in his narrative. The little psychopath is uncomfortably close to what he maybe could have become – Toru was originally searching for a reason to justify his fighting, and this kid has basically arrived at “violence just because.” But as someone who now fights purely to protect someone, it’s understandable Toru would be disgusted as this possible shadow-self.

And then Chaika blew away Blue Chaika and rescued Toru! And then they almost kissed! And Gillette got lasered to death, and then Vivi actually became a goddamn Chaika! So yeah, plenty of shit went down this episode. Chaika’s always been a kind of humbly solid show, and this week once again demonstrated that it is very much Adventure Done Right.

Hitsugi no Chaika

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 13: Jotaro’s thoughtful “it could be a stand user… or it could just be some random asshole” has to be one of the highlights from this week, but it shares the bill with the JoJo crew just totally ramming that dude off the road PRE-stand-knowledge and muttering “well, that guy sure was a dick. Guess he got what he deserved.” And also deciding the best way to find the guy they want to beat up is to beat up EVERY GUY. JoJo heroes DO NOT FUCK AROUND. This was a pretty silly episode, but silly JoJo episodes are solid JoJo episodes, and it at least ended with that absurd group laugh. I’m not really sure what the show’s going to do once we kill off the fortune teller lady – apparently this season is going to go on for over fifty episodes, and I’ve heard we don’t actually run into Dio until the last quarter, so I guess we’ve got a whole lot of nonsense ahead of us. It’s clear this season is unlikely to reach the breakneck speed and creativity of Battle Tendency, but I’m still solidly along for the ride.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Knights of Sidonia 12: Normally, a season finale will at least attempt to offer some element of resolution, and maybe at least gesture towards clarifying a few of its threads. But Sidonia’s getting a second season either way, so instead of resolving a goddamn thing, its finale was just one giant action scene. And it was great! Tanikaze had an insane duel with Benisuzume, the rest of the team staged a daring attack on the core of the Death Star, and Izana even got to do something! Action scenes have always been one of this series’ premier strengths, and it went out on a great one, ably demonstrating how well this CG lends itself to manic choreography. Although it did leave time to offer a couple cliffhangers, Sidonia primarily decided to go out guns blazing, and remind of us what we’ll all be missing. I’m ready for the next act.

Knights of Sidonia

20 thoughts on “Spring 2014 – Week 13 in Review

  1. I didn’t think that Vivi turned into a Chiaka myself, I just thought it was an extreme case of “stress turns your hair gray” (I remember Gosick had something like that too) but you’re not the only person out there with that thought it seems.

  2. Picked up Chaika on your recommendation for a good popcorn show a while back and ended up liking it a lot more than expected. It wasn’t emotionally affecting by any means but it was such a solid action fantasy show with actually likeable characters. I’m pretty excited for the second half.

  3. Jojo heroes have a kind of delirium of persecution, paranoids even. Is funny how each chapter they are no longer expecting to have a nice trip, at the minimum threat they are jumping into their “let’s fight whatever comes our way” mode, and that´s funny. But also, poor guys, they must suffer some post-traumatic stress after all of this. Or maybe not, maybe they are just nuts and enjoy the silly battles and smashing their enemies into nothing.
    In fact, Joseph doesn´t seem to care too much by the past events, like peeping on his own mother, the death of his best friend, fighting against a god an so on.
    By the way, the only thing that bothers me is that little girl, she was kind of interesting until she came back to flock around Jotaro like a fangirl for, well, the same reason every other girl have done, but still, I thought she would be more than that, and… for what I have read, she doesn´t seem too relevant to the story. I mean, she doesn´t even got a name! At least in the 90’s they called her Ann (sigh). Still, Jojo SC will have a 4 core adaptation! Yikes, that´s great, a lot of crazy stand users ahead!

    • “Jojo heroes have a kind of delirium of persecution, paranoids even.”

      Really? I’d actually say the opposite: someone tries to murder them with paranormal powers every other day, and yet, when they meet something strange and outlandish, their first reaction is to treat it as a mere oddity rather than immediately being on their toes for the imminent attack. Case in point: last Friday’s episode where a freaky village engulfed in fog where women have weird suppurating sores and do not pay attention to dead corpses in the middle of the road didn’t immediately alert their Jojo senses. Jotaro was in fact the only sensible one of the bunch.

      • Maybe they are becoming insensibles, because before that, at the minimum threat they threw everything out of the window, like when they try to eat, I haven´t seen them finishing their food! I wonder if they even sleep at all? poor guys

    • I wouldn’t blame JoJo’s heroes for being kind of paranoid after all the shit they get up to! When basically everyone you meet is trying to kill you with secret powers, a healthy sense of suspicion seems like a good thing.

  4. Just one note on this week’s Chaika: If you go back and watch that close-up of Gillette’s face when he gets laser’d, you’ll notice two of Guy in the background. So yeah, I’mma just say that his death is rather suspect.

  5. Looking forward to seeing where Chaika takes us in season 2 – solidly done adventures like it are a joy.
    Also, chestburster Frederica FTW.

    • Yeah, I think this first half left us at a really good place – all the characters seem to be coming into their own at this point (except for maybe Akari, who’s stuck being kind of a joke).

  6. Sidonia’s action sequence is probably one of the best I’ve seen in anime in terms of pure thrill and energy. Not gonna lie, I thought the full CG was a really dumb idea until the series got to its serious-business action.

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