This Week: Kill la Kill, Nagi No Asukara, Miss Monochrome, Coppelion, Non Non Biyori, Gingitsune: Messenger of the Fox Gods, and Gundam Build Fighters.
I’m actually wearing a suit while typing up this week of episodes, so even if not every show is fancy, at least I can be!
Kill La Kill (Episode 9)
We may have a throwdown to get to, but Gamagoori is a pretty standup Disciplinary Committee Chair though because despite all this one still needs to keep to the school schedule!
On the one level, sure, I could just ramble off jokes about ball gags and bondage, self flagellation and an ultimate whip of love. That’d be a super fun post, even. But, we need to think about that, yes, things like BDSM and the like do actually require quite a bit of resolve and dedication to follow-through. Certainly, the front part of that (Bondage and Discipline) is represented in the actual construction and format of Gamagoori’s uniform itself, while the second half comes from the execution: Masochism in taking abuse as a means of generating energy, and Sadism in applying that energy.
Not just the whipping and the like either, but most critically in his attempt to quite literally mold Ryuuko into a “proper female student” with an actual honest to goodness mold. The control of that, the melding of someone into a different form, to get that sensation of them submitting to such whims. And then in how such focus and resolve comes back around and become in its own way a type of arrogance and downfall.
Now this is all framed with flashbacks to Gamagoori’s past, which is critical as a whole part of this. There are a lot of reasons one gets into BDSM. Some folks find value in being under the power of a controlling entity, generating a sense of security. Others get a lot of pleasure from maintaining approval from that figure. It can even become adopted a means of escape, where the responsibilities or stresses they have can melt away into a sea of helplessness and obedience. Any number of which, in their own ways, reflect the relationship vectors Gamagoori has with Satsuki given what he has gone through to get to this point.
And thus when Ryuuko calls him out for declaring her uniform slutty and asks what of the school president? Well, “she’s an exception!”
And I’ll be interested in how his defeat affects that relationship and its control protocols going forwards.
Nagi No Asukara (Episode 9)
In a paraphrase of Hikari this week: Parents! They suck! They all keep everything secret!
And yet likewise: the hope they are eating well and are not drinking too much.
So we’re sticking with the sea slug thing that Miuna and Tsumugu bring up with their own ways, and I admit whenever a character states something like “I don’t dislike how you are right now“ in a show, that tends to get a large number of alarm bells ringing in my head. Tsumugu – Chisaki isn’t really a situation I had been considering, and admittedly Tsumugu is tricky to get a good read on. But I may also be looking into a single line too much, as I still get worried this show is going to somehow pull the carpet out from under me in how it approaches itself and end up betraying me with buckets of blunt hammers.
I also reason that, given the story that Tsumugu came to his current residence when he was nine and we were shown a photograph of him with their parents (complete with the shot cutting off before the heads) while runnaging around where the apron apparently was, Manaka was likely striking action ladle cooking poses with the dinner prep wear of Tsumugu’s dead mom. I don’t actually know that she has passed away of course, but it seems like a logical conclusion given the story. Maybe Manaka even looks like her too!
I really hope we get more explanation on the Sea God next episode, as at the moment they lack much definition other than “very vengeful about young adult relationships.” I’m sure it’s the sort of thing that has been building for a while, I’d just like to see some of that cause and effect gameplan.
Miss Monochrome (Episode 10)
KND13 certainly is a nod to AKB48, though it is interesting that they are going with referring the real life version over the AKB0048 anime idol warfare television version. But perhaps we merely had enough interplanetary destruction last episode.
So we instead turn to the misadventures of handshakes, and where they can take us.
Specifically, the likes of Mike Tyson, Hulk Hogan, and I’m fairly certain a gentleman who must be Jacques Rogge, former President of the International Olympic Committee. Complete with the return of high level weightlifting! Including her previous achievements in sport, such as her victory in the racing event she was supposed to be a “mere” race queen for, she has racked up quite a list of trophy level achievements and whatever associated viewership would come from that. Clearly, her physical achievements such as these are noticed, as it allows her to climb the multitude of sporting ladders and events this episode.
At the same time, it’s the wrong kind of fame, in that she would still of course like to be an idol.
As this series has made economics a subtext theme: things like Olympic events don’t particularly pay all that well. Many of those athletes really do work crazy hours at retail establishments and the like just to get by. Everyone may be cheering for them on television or in the stands one night, but then generally be forgotten soon thereafter. Such is the life of Monochrome.
Coppelion (Episode 10)
Slow speed chases on the shallow seas via foot peddle swan boats and chibi characters on maps when explaining escape and rescue attempts.
Honestly, if Coppelion just went full on and actually embraced itself as a comedy rather than anything resembling an actual drama, we would all benefit.
No-Sense continues to be the best character in this whole production, with (comparatively speaking) the most understandable reactions and something resembling an actual arc to go with their purple prose dialogue. They have effectively paired the robot butler up with Aoi in what I can only imagine will turn into some kind of emotional scenario, and thus causing them to share lots of screen time together. And I still would more than accept that so No-Sense can give their opinions and reactions than I would tracking most of anyone else. I just want someone to drop a “Can love bloom on the battlefield?” line.
Aoi can also fly now, which is a routine enough ability I’m actually shocked we hadn’t seen it already given our forays into spliced electric eel DNA. Even as a dormant stress triggered ability, one would think would be something that she might have actualized when she was captured by the 1st Division way back when. Times were different then, I suppose. The times before she came to truly know No-Sense.
I had mentioned closer to the start of this series that it took all the worse kinds of lessons from the Hollywood lessons of digital effects shenanigans, and this virus seems to have played true in the trailer as well: they showed us what effectively seems to be the finale in the advertising, as the giant robot Wild Wild West spider at long last makes its arrival with few episodes to spare.
So that’s anticlimactic.
Non Non Biyori (Episode 9)
I really like festival episodes, generally speaking. I think they tend to visually stir things up with different costumes, provide some endearing sights, and perhaps even some nice sentimentality.
There’s a certain kind of chaos, magic, or oddness one can work into that little setting for a time, depending on the approach.
The student population of Asahigaoka Branch School is tiny. We even very barely were even able to acquire a café table of four side characters. A one room cultural festival. So the method of making it the more offbeat and disaster oriented style of these affairs was fitting. And I did get a silly smile with them finding a way to break out the classic animation “character head in a black hole that blips out” bit.
Clearly divided, the more sentimental stuff is then kicked to the second primary half involving old toys and other closet nonsense: Slinky’s, those pop up half circle things, what was originally a VHS recording of Pretty Cure from like 10 years ago, etc.
It was a nice and serviceable bit there isn’t really much to say more about, other than it got me to think about what must be lying around in my own old room closet by this point. Which, really, is probably the best reaction they could hope to generate with that piece anyway.
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Fox Gods (Episode 9)
I know I’ve come to this conclusion before, but I do think this show has steddied the ship with enough episode again so I’m not in that period of dread I was in during that more middle stretch.
Very little may have objectively happened this episode, but I think that is fine in this case. With most of the cast out of the way for large stretches of the episode, the Haru and Gintaro herald partnership can stretch out more. I just really hope the program doesn’t genuinely take them into full blown Fox Wedding territory.
We essentially have a straightforward morality play this week. Kids playing around at the shrine alone end up breaking something? Yeah, that’s super stressful, but you should definitely go apologize and make good on it! Haru gets so blustery they end up pushing others away and then being so down they are potentially unable to ask for help or find their way home? Also not so great, pipsqueak! I think Haru having more time that can be given here to their thought processes rather than just the usual quips and yelling of smart remarks does help them more here than the flashback episode did.
If Haru (spirit) grabs an orange (solid) and then throws it at Gintaro (spirit), can others without that ability to see the heralds see what happens to the orange during this process?
That seems like something pretty straightforward that Tatsu should be able to pick up on.
Gundam Build Fighters (Episode 9)
Bearguy in Wonder Forest.
Part of me just wants to write that alone and drop the mic. But I figure this does a disservice to the actual Gunpla of our honey guzzling Winnie-the-Pooh inspired friend, since we finally get to see them in action.
A girl focused episode again, and it is leagues better than the last time they tried that. I’m glad we’re getting back around to the idea that the Gunpla are, you know, effectively just models. Toys, really. I feel that is something that sort of gets lost in the mix by the show at times, which on the one hand is funny that it is taken so seriously but at times loses track of the Gunpla as physical objects outside of the battle arena.
Of course one could be stuffed full of cotton, because of course one can make a unique backstory for the unit where the mobile suit was originally a teddy bear plushie. That’s a part of the imagination in action, and it’s a healthy thing that if you ever owned any kind of toy at all likely did a whole bunch, making up a narrative for toys on a whim that may have little to do with their “real” one.
I’m glad that caught everyone off guard, as they have always mentioned the art and physical construction of the Gunpla plays into what it can do, but it was always so serious in an attempt to mimic the shows themselves. Even Sei realizes he was too caught up in the Gundam setting and worldview to really see beyond that. Ideally, while I certainly wouldn’t want every unit to turn into some wacky hijinks machine, this leads to unique applications of other building materials in the future.
Hangers is a weekly series containing my passing thoughts on currently airing anime productions. Opinions, as always, are subject to change.