This Week: Kill la Kill, Nagi No Asukara, Miss Monochrome, Coppelion, Non Non Biyori, Gingitsune: Messenger of the Fox Gods, and Gundam Build Fighters.
Lots of second to last episodes this week as the season winds down.
As much as I may miss a few of them, I have to say, I can’t really complain about being able to wipe my schedule after giving a big go at a more formalized weekly write-up on presently airing shows. I will certainly look to cut down the number of productions for next time, both for my own benefit and possibly as well for those actually reading.
Kill La Kill (Episode 11)
“Gosh everyone seems to be having so much fun!”
Yes we are my main maniacal Grand Courier lady person. You have a most excellent point.
As we have been working on, Ryuuko’s recklessness has been getting higher and higher, to the point of Senketsu noting it out loud as her signature move when she makes a renegade go at Satsuki during the Nonon fight. Which then immediately fails. As it should, as that is a ridiculous level of hubris. And things are only going to get a lot worse.
That she did not realize that a Goku uniform based around concepts of performance, music, and otherwise showcasing a grand nature would have an encore is one thing. That Uzu Sanageyama’s entire getup is destroyed in a single twist of a fingernail by Nui Harime after Satsuki herself of all people is visibly rattled and yelling at him to get back is another. And while Ryuuko can’t see them, we have our Nudist Beach folks a bit unsettled as well from their distant position.
Incidentally, at this time I do not fully think Nui Harime may be the one who killed Isshin Matoi? I mean, it would certainly fit within her capabilities, given what we have seen. And she has an appropriate blade (Purple being on the opposite end of the light spectrum from Red, and we’ve already seen a lot of the warping of the light spectrum in this show). And she did say she did it. I think she may just want to get the immediate rise out of Ryuuko though, even if Nui may have been at the event in question with intent to kill. Someone else may have ended up doing the actual blade insertion however, perhaps accidentally due to a fight. There’s a zone of leeway for pulling a blade out versus putting one in for instance, and why the full pair of scissors was broken down to component blades before or during the murder. This likely has to do with what Mr. Matoi wanted to tell Ryuuko as he was dying, before she ran off chasing someone that night.
We’ve been playing with small fries, in any event, as the larger Kiryuuin ownership and production empire, wedding dresses, and branch meetings comes more into the forefront.
Even with all this going on, Mako interactions were a particularly strong showing. Snappy one liners, climbing on Gamori, even resulting in his eventual “You voluntarily admit to being an underachiever? That’s the spirit!” reaction. Given the commentary in the Trigger newsletter this week, they were originally going to have multiple scriptwriters for this series, but Nakashima in the end is tackling the whole thing because Mako was incredibly difficult to keep consistent between different writing parties. And I certainly more than believe that. Are you reading the Trigger newsletter? You really should be!
Shame, then, that someone in this cast is likely ending up on the cutting room floor next week for the final episode of the year. Maybe Senketsu, perhaps Mako, could be Ryuuko, possibly a wildcard. I trust Trigger enough for them to try to fully capitalize on pulling some stunt to drive people nuts to carry them over the production break.
Nagi No Asukara (Episode 11)
An episode of many heavy piano keys and Hikari occasionally talking in voiceovers about present events in the story from some position in the future.
So they sure are gunning for a big end of season finale to set the tone for whatever will come in the second half of the show.
Kaname’s behavior has gone from being just sort of quietly below the surface of things to giant grins and “I just confessed my feelings to your daughter” smart remarks, and it does not sit right with me at all. Which is to say, I’m now viewing him more as an antagonistic force, someone who may provide some variety of sabotage or the like in the future. He’s too slick for his own good here, and is not acting in a way that cares an iota about Chisaki’s actual reactions. Hikari voiceovers speaking in flashback or reflective tones of regarding them and the normality or not of how they are acting in the present also supports this notion
The big mermaid sleep coming down on the day of Ofunehiki seems, well, reasonable enough given the religious overtones. Likewise, the fishery collective asking Hikari to still perform the event rings well enough now that everyone is basically in survival mode. It still bugs me that we still have those tastes of “Oh, well, I didn’t say that, you merely inferred it” aggravations this week, presented now via Uroko-sama remarks about if the Ofunehiki and actually getting the surface folks mobilized would really solve anything at all. It is easy drama sure, but it also is really not the way anyone in a position in authority should be screwing around when talking to kids during what we are continuously told is basically an apocalyptic scenario. I’m sure that will definitely fertilize a really great crop of well adjusted youngin’s to carry on the future of the civilization once the sleep is over all right.
The Akari – Itaru marriage registration sit down was nice, as is her notion of wanting to be playing the part of the Ofunehiki figure offering itself. Her dad will probably see her from down in the sea, so that reaction will ideally go somewhere.
I do not really expect the show to reach the midseries finale point without killing someone though. We already had our big nod to the notion of historical sacrifice at the outset of the production, and right about now would be a time for it to follow through on that.
Miss Monochrome (Episode 12)
The first series that entered the door for my autumn season, and… I actually have no idea if this show is over or not? Some places saying it is twelve episodes, others thirteen. But there might be something on Christmas Day, which is different from the normal Tuesday? Given the sub-four minute run times and theoretical faster turn around, it is hard to say. I guess we’ll find out next week.
With Monochrome actually accomplishing a pretty swell gig last week, Producer Takishita allows her to get to be a little walk on in a television drama and observe a singing program. Which is literally true: she was a background character in a recent episode of Golden Time. Naturally, Ru-chan the Roomba is along for the ride and to take part in activities as well.
…As well as Mana-chan. The incredibly giddy, endlessly opportunistic swindler who embezzled 19.3 billion of Monochrome’s fortune at the start of this whole series of escapades. Who now, incidentally, has a conspicuously gigantic ruby ring. Which is the sort of personal thing that catches Monochrome’s interest. Repeatedly.
As it goes, she’s managing Kikuko then, the pop idol star Monochrome has been looking towards meeting with (again) after so many millennia. The ensuing conversation I think is noteworthy, concerning the nature of Monochrome’s inability to age. Kikuko denotes this as the real strength of any idol, which is something that can operate on a few levels here. Certainly, the idol industry is notorious for being a meat grinder process that is so incredibly superficial and primed to spit folks out at the drop of a hat. As much as Kikuko says this is why she will be forever seventeen and the like, we all know this is impossible. It is something she would know herself as well. It’s a tricky thing to come to terms with, really.
It gets a bit more meta then when we consider that in real life, Miss Monochrome is a virtual singer. A show made of a process of holograms and other machines, backed by the voice and creative design processes of Yui Horie. She has her own music career with projects like Aice5, and it is interesting to consider this whole operation as a sort of industry hedge in a post-Vocaloid entertainment environment. Monochrome will always look exactly as she should for a given appearance, no matter the years.
It’s a bit funny on one level, and yet also a bit biting, which has been the course of this program on the whole regardless of if this is really the end or not.
Coppelion (Episode 12)
We open with footage from last time of Haruto reaching out as he dies to The Wind. Which is unfortunate, as I did not really mind all that much when he died last week either.
Aoi coming to and yelling “Did Aoi screw up again?” though, well, at least she’s generally aware of her own tendency to do that. But, she did beat the Iron Spider with Bubble God Powers, so credit for that.
I mentioned during the previous episode writeup that I had generally forgotten about folks like the Prime minister and the conference, and low and behold here we are again. And Japan is being a giant wrench in the entire gear system of the international community. The Vice Principal’s “We’re not security guards, it is out duty to save lives!” remarks are the sort of thing that tends to happen in these stories, but, it has been so long since we’ve seen them and characterization is so thin across the board that it’s hard to really get any feeling out of it.
Ibara is shocked, shocked I tell you, at the notion that someone would suggest that the Coppelion were created for purposes aside from saving lives. Which dovetails a bit oddly as well with that fact that she had the hots for Hartuo for so long, and he was always all Humans Are Worthless up until maybe a few bits before the end. We’ve got a train coming though, and we have a baby to deliver on that train, so we have a full shootout and showdown and it’s… really oddly choreographed with a poor sense of proximity or geography. How on Earth the 1st Division made it on to the train after standing around on the platform watching Ibara chase it eludes me.
You know what’s a really bad way to guide a calm childbirth in a high pressure situation? When only person who knows how to yelling “You’ll find out soon enough!” over a walkie talkie to the person who needs to actually do the procedure when the one doing the delivery asks why something is happening.
Iron Spider 2: Electric Eel Revengance Boogaloo is next week, which I’m sure will be just as underwhelming as the last.
I feel bad for Coppelion, honestly, because the very nice array of website search statistics and the like tells me that a fair number of folks somehow consistently end up here here looking for material about it or the pictures I select, but if I’m being honest it does not even make a particularly good hate watch of a program, let alone when it comes to surrounding it all with actual blog writing. So I’m not really sure what kind of genuine internet need I’m fulfilling here. But, you can be the featured image this week Coppelion, in all of your train car barnyard going off the rails toxic splendor.
Non Non Biyori (Episode 11)
Looks like we are back to a spring episode next week for the finale, so we need to cram in as much winter while we still can.
We need snow. Lots of snow. Snow everywhere, for every bit. And here we are.
Three full primary group sketches then, as we have kids snowed in at school without enough futons, countryside snow in the moonlight sky (and potential aliens), and daytime skiing and snow house building shenanigans. As is often the case to varying extents with the show on the whole and then the group episodes in particular, these tend to scale over the duration of the episode.
Different little contests for figuring out how to solve the futon crisis are kicked around until the Obvious Solution is reached. Not really remarkable, but it is not like it faceplanted either. The middle bit, with a nice and generally quiet nod to evening countryside winter serenity from Hotaru’s perspective is a comfortable transition while at the same time entertaining the more fanciful qualities of a youthful interpretation of the country regarding alien activity. Our snow day and by extension ski day event then comes by and large courtesy of various rentals from Kaede. Who certainly more than makes sure to market all the other ways that she can provide goods and services outside of just the candy store aspect of things. Be sure to tell your parents.
It is a bit strange though, as on the aggregate for the episodes fitting for the calendar winter season I find myself in at the moment, I enjoyed the episode last week far more, yet it also generally was not really about winter much at all since it was more flashback focused towards another time and season.
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Fox Gods (Episode 11)
I would watch an entire episode about Tatsuo Saeki and Gintaro watching period samurai dramas on the household television. That sounds pretty delightful, actually, and would give an opportunity to explore of the day to day mechanics of being at the shrine from both the priest and the heralds positions.
It’s not the episode we get, and it won’t be the one next week either, but I can dream.
There is a lot of talk this episode about futures and brides and all the rest, and I hope it all leads to a pretty sweet little cleaning ceremony series finale episode next week. In the meantime though, some things felt a bit odd in the path to get us there.
Hiwako’s deer in headlights look regarding older men is understandable enough as we have already touched upon that territory previously. I’m not sure I’m OK with Tatuso’s despondent “When you were a kid you said you wanted to be my bride” reaction when Makoto chastises him about his ceremony prep work. We may see him each episode or so, but it is really only a few statements a week or so.
He seems like a swell and chill enough dad, but we really do not know all that very much about him on an actual detail level. I’m not sure how much of his reaction he may be screwing around, using that line as a part of a larger “ouch, my daughter is growing up” bit, or actually seriously depressed she won’t be a good little quiet housewife to him. I want to say it is a combination of the former two of course, but again, for all the characters they fit into this show, we have little more than surface level characterization for the majority of them. That all makes it a harder sell, unfortunately. The show hasn’t put in much of the effort to show us many of these relationships to as seamlessly pull off those jokes.
At any rate, the ex-priest groping the daughter of his good friend doesn’t seem like something they should be allowing. At least Makoto punches him for the effort.
Mixed up in all this is the idea that Gintaro can not tell the future of those with the Sight. We have done very little with Gintaro himself, really, and he touches on the sentimentality of the benefit of having that restriction to his powers, as it prevents him from learning when they will die. I would rather we got to hear more of these kinds of things from him than as much talk as we did about teen lovers and older men.
Or just more of the herald watching TV, either way.
Gundam Build Fighters (Episode 11)
I still think it is weird the Plavsky Particle System Engineering folks are allowed to have their own fighter in the World Tournament. It’s not even hidden information or anything, the announcer outright broadcasted it, and they have a god tier level Meijin personality thing to go along with it all.
The number of problems that raises boggles my mind, even for a show for younger demographics. At least the PPSE CEO minorly realizes “being too strong” is an issue regarding their standard bearer.
So Aila Jyrkiäinen and Reiji will be a thing, even if only in just a raw slapstick manner aside from any romantic implications. Sei gets to talk on the phone with China late enough where she’s basically in pajamas, so they’re staying in the loop with everything going on. Otherwise, we get a big ol’ Battle Royale, where we just throw all the championship participants in the same combat area stew and see who gets left standing. It’s functional, if not really as interesting as the duel aspects are. A lot of the cannon fodder folks it cycles through are literally in canon fodder mobile suits as well, which is actually rather disappointing on a certain level. If the duels just happened off screen and we were told the results, we could at least imagine more extravagant units.
The aspect of Reiji not really being of this Earthly plane of existence comes up again, courtesy of a reaction closeup on the PPSE CEO spilling wine all over his own crotch. The show itself has brought it up before with Reiji outright teleporting away from Sei, but who knows if they will actually want to do something with the idea this time.
We also have a Really Super Big Giant Zaku now in play for our folks to tackle next episode. I understand they make Gunpla in such larger scales, but really, it just leaves me wondering – why not showcase Big Zam?
Hangers is a weekly series containing my passing thoughts on currently airing anime productions. Opinions, as always, are subject to change.