Space Dandy Season Two Hair Wisp Farewell After Doomsday Machine Super Hulkider

Hangers: Summer 2014 Anime, Week Thirteen Season Shutdown

This Week: Barakamon, M3: The Dark Metal, Mobile Suit Gundam-san, Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro!!, Space☆Dandy Season Two, and Tokyo ESP.

Game over, for everyone, in multiple ways.

Next week: an entirely new board!

As a reminder, after weekly shows conclude for the season, I now collect my episode remarks and move them into separate posts with the other episodes of the same show for future reader convenience.  These will be coming out over the next several days one at a time, so as to avoid flooding feeds.

They are not being released in any particular order relating to my opinion of the shows.

Barakamon

Barakamon [Episode twelve]

Nothing much left to do but get Seishuu back to the island, make sure his place is ready for when he (re)arrives, and find out where his finale calligraphy project places in competition. Nothing wrong with that.

Emi Handa, Seishuu’s mom, gets a lot of understandable focus this episode. She was around last week as well of course, but her presence here stands out all the more in the series of family events and interactions to see if her son is allowed to leave again. Namely, well, she is tonally really amped up and hyperactive compared to everything else. She can not just be against her son going to the island again, she needs to plaster his entire room in small signs to that effect. She needs to hurl hundreds of punches like a cartoon character (she is a cartoon character, but work with me here).

When the other three people of the four involved in the debate regarding if Seishuu gets to leave again, and they are all presented as more level headed guys (including Seishuu’s dad), she just comes off to me more as Anime Mom over Seishuu’s Mom. It is not a huge deal, but the dissonance of her character portrayal against how the others come off make her viewpoint regarding keeping her son at home much harder to identity with. Then again, it is pretty much a forgone conclusion that Seishuu will be going back. But, I do have the feeling it could have made warmer humor of her reactions rather than making her seem like a crazy person if they were not as extreme compared to everyone else. That could be more of my own sense of humor speaking though.

Barakamon Naru Kotoishi Tamako Arai Akihiko Arai Hina Kubota Kentarou Oohama Miwa Yamamura Hiroshi Kido Jumping To Seishuu Handa Return Confetti

But dad was on the island back in his day and has the photos to prove it and reflect on, and in conjunction with the care package from the islanders for Seishuu him mom changes her mind and we are on our way back. Same old airport, same oceanside tractor ride back to town, and all the same faces we have been used to seeing this whole time. And Handa is ok with that, despite coming in fifth place in the competition he had entered with his special calligraphy of everyone’s names. And they are ok with that, insofar as they only want to know if he is happy with how he placed, and he is. Long will their adventures continue into the future.

I have been back and forth a lot with this show over the course of the season, which has been gnawing at me as I know for numerous others Barakamon has been amongst their surprise favorites of the season. It never really sunk down too deep on my internal scales though, so I can not say I was ever too dire in my opinions of it. It just never soared for me like it did for many, especially when it is held against recent rural slice of life anime series competition such as Non Non Biyori and Silver Spoon, both of which I enjoyed more.

That said, I think it is a nice little above average slice of life show, and I do not regret watching it.

M3 The Dark Metal

M3: The Dark Metal (M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane) [Episode twenty four]

The episode title this week is “Original Sin, Past and Future.”

With that in mind, once more, with feeling:

  • Junichi Sato: Director and Co-Original Creator
  • Mari Okada: Series Composition, Script, and Co-Original Creator
  • Shoji Kawamori: Mechanical Design (among others) and Executive Director of Satelight Inc.

In the event you ever have the opportunity to ask any of them a question at a convention, consider inquiring over M3.

I will not begrudge you, of course, should you choose to ask about Sailor Moon, Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, or Macross. Or anything else from their creative backgrounds. But there is a story here, somewhere. Something, I feel, went very, very wrong. On every possible level it could have failed, from their website, to botched animation, and the heavily delayed the home video release. Episodes of this series are still not available for purchase, as of this writing, and this is a 24 episode show which started in the Spring 2014 season. The first blu-rays come out November 5th. To their credit, I suppose, it will be as a box containing 12 of 24 episodes rather than a more drawn out series of singles, and the base price of ¥27,000 is available sliced down to ¥19,643 as a Amazon preorder.

It is still junk, mind you. But Satelight’s best option may be to treat this as some sort of a tax write off, if they can swing it. At minimum, they are performing a fair amount of corporate gymnastics for the few folks who would ever consider possibly buying this series. I would be interested in what the blu-ray comparisons look like, but this would mean someone needs to buy the show and sufficiently capture screens. That is an exhausting prospect on multiple levels.

I have not even started talking about the finale episode yet.

I have mentioned before various feelings relating to if this series was an older spec script pulling surface level ideas from various Popular Things such as Evangelion and such. Or perhaps a computer yoinking popular TVTropes webpages and slapping them together as a approved by a business class group project spreadsheet program. I have watched every episode of M3, and so no, it is not like I was expecting the ending to wow me or suddenly change gears. I just want the closure, really. How was it going to choose to end it all.

We begin with Susan trying to tell Tsugumi none of this, the rapid expansion of the Lightless Realm, the changed form of the Corpse, and Minashi’s going completely off the mental deep end, is her fault. I will maybe award the third, as Minashi has turned into our antagonist for seemingly no other reason than we are just out of other options if Tsugumi can not be the villain. And if designated hero Akashi defeats him it would break down some vectors of the love polyhedron and leave the two islander girls. Everything else though, well, Tsugumi is responsible for the necrometal deaths of an untold number of people over a decade long span of time. Sure, she had her inner rage due to thinking her childhood crush was taken from her, when the time they were all little kids and ran away were really just scared out of their minds by the horrors of the Lightless Realm. But, I mean, she has been fueled by this seemingly broken crush and in turn has fueled an engine of death and destruction which has rendered a nice multi-mile area of Japan inhospitable for years, in addition to further deaths via investigative efforts within it. Given everything the series has done with framing her position, and even into all but this episode times having given big “Everyone should die for their sins against me!” lines, I do not exactly feel particularly sorry for her despite the series now trying to say I should be.

Minashi continues as best he can the trend of pushing for assault imagery, as his arms turn to tentacles and provides “You want this” style lines to Akashi regarding resonance with him as the appendages latch on to his arms. He can not quite pull it off the same as Heito did in his heyday though, or even the psychic projection of Heito last episode.

Then the projection of Sasame finally shows up, resonates with Akashi, and Minashi is sad. So sad, that the Corpse melts down and collapses as it turns to goo like it was channeling Judge Doom at his worst nightmare moment in Who Framed Roger Rabbit because, and I am quoting, “too much torment.” It has just built up so much sadness over the years, and the Corpse can not handle this one last straw. Our characters speak of how they could ever possibly connect, as Minashi only wanted to infect everyone with necrometal so the world could understand each other. Reaching out with their hands and hearts, as that too is like linking and making connections to each other, is provided as the answer and to act the message of this program.

M3 The Dark Metal M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane Corpse Waving To Sun From Tree With Tsugumi Izuriha

Cue finale montage, Lightless Realm all gone now, IX in trouble for its actions, research on how to restore those affected by necrometal contamination, and so on. And there is so little feeling to any of it; IX has clearly supposed to be akin to running our NERV equivalent throughout the show, but so nameless and perspectiveless has been the handling of the leadership officials we still just do not know anything about them. I can not say “Well, they thought they had a good reason for what they did” or even “Good riddance.” They are just some dudes who ran an organization we barely learned much about. Then we have our character section, which is understandable as a note to end on.

Mammu reading to the impaired Emiru her short fiction relating to her fictional character based on herself of Mahsa, that is a nice conceptual moment. We barely got to see them do much together over the course of the series, and the show sabotaged their best moment a few episodes ago, so I can not say it has much weight or resonance. But, it is inoffensive and tries to somehow tie Mammu’s story writing back into the fold. Material relating to why some of said writing was alarmingly accurate to present events early on in the series before it just flat out forgot about that plot point has never been touched on. I guess Tsugumi must have also read the fiction journal at some point ten years ago, and Mammu has been using the exact same book ever since? That is about all I can think of.

Akashi and Tsugumi: “If i untangle the clump of resentful hearts, are there warm feelings among them?”

I suppose those are words which form a grammatically correct sentence.

Heito is giddy and happy because he has his old snuggly wuggly teddy bear now.

Keep in mind, this is a character who has committed multiple sexual assaults, physical by his own hands and body and mental via LIM unit psychic connections, across the course of the series to no retribution at all. Characters have feared him for this. In other areas, he hurled knives and such at his teammates early on, tried to kill them multiple times for his own amusement, and brutalized a security officer even in his introductory scene by slicing him up and gouging his eyes out for kicks. But, he has a teddy bear now, and is reminded of the delight of a child.

The Corpse is now some kind of baby Digimon thing, as it waves us off in the light of a new day.

Honest, I feel bad for everyone involved in this production. Nothing went right at any point for them, be it beyond their control or within their own power.

Okada’s screenplay is a swamp which seems akin to something one charts out when writing an entire plot in one go without ever going back around for sufficient finer editing or seeing if earlier events line up with later ones as intended. Sato’s direction is one of incredible disinterest in elevating the material, if not outright boredom. This series has an episode where two character psychically converse in a blobby grayscale CGI mess of a world for half an episode, and all we do is snap back and forth between their faces as they mind talk. And Okada and Sato are the original creators! Kawamori did some of the mechanical designs, some of which are at least passable in a boxy robot sort of way, but his greater role as an Executive Director of the company means quite a lot as well. M3 even has multiple upcoming video games which were in development and are still on track for launch.

So why is everyone so, well, tired and uninterested?

If it was a passion project with industry friends and M3 flubbed up the execution, that would at least be understandable. Highly successful creative people still crank out duds sometimes. But, if they believed in what they were doing, one would at least be able to suss some of that passion out somewhere over the course of twenty four episodes, right? Even if it did flop? I have been able to do that in all manner of other overall crummy films or shows over the years, where one can at least tell the team is trying and has their heart set on indulging something.

I’m sure Okada and Sato had good intentions at the start, and they clearly have a sizable professional history together as these things go. So to create something together as an anime original property, I am with them on that. We could always use more of those! But, yeah, just… I do not know how this so thoroughly misses virtually every possible mark it tries to hit. I can point to maybe two or three sequences in the entire show where I think I was really appreciating what it was doing rather well, and thankfully, I guess, they revolve around trying to make Mammu a better character than that gif where she is smacked around via sporting equipment so she wiggles. Mammu has the best character arc in the show, though that is saying exceptionally little given the competition.

Like, there is that super swell Roger Ebert quote “‘It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.” So if M3 as a script and screenplay was just a walking pile of cliches or something, well, that would not be instant death. Ho-hum and not very exiting maybe, but treading water would not be the worst fate in the world. Heck, maybe with strong direction, you even end up on the positive end of the spectrum, with solid pacing, editing, camera work, and the like. But the show is so flat a lot of the time, especially as it goes on, and such camera and storyboarding work really doesn’t help hide the animation strains that crop up or allow one to take their mind more off how machine generated the words being said come off as in context. Then when it wants to deal with a few instances of “rape as drama” or the like, it implodes all the further as it does not have the right tones to deal with it.

M3 has left me with the television series equivalent of watching a flatline on a heart monitor. For almost ten hours.

I am writing this on October 1st, a day most folks agree we can collectively bust out all manner of Halloween decorations with, among other things, the undead and re-manufactured monsters. But, I do not think M3 ever had the spark of life to begin with.

Mobile Suit Gundam-san

Mobile Suit Gundam-san (Kidou Senshi Gundam-san) [Episode thirteen]

In a sense, we return to where we started: Lalah and Char, in space together while one makes jokes at the others expense.

Before, it was Char being silly about things such as the red paint on his mobile suit, and Lalah making some snide remarks about him. Now that the roles are reversed, we have… Char mocking Lalah for the bindi she wears. If she can shoot lasers from her forehead, he goes and places one via light fixtures to her Elmeth mobile armor, having conversations with Dr. Flanagan if he is suuure she can not shoot lasers from her head, and so on.

Oh dear.

Mobile Suit Gundam-san Kidou Senshi Gundam-san Lalah Sune Char Aznable Beam Bindi Laser Shoot

To her credit, I suppose, Lalah chooses to mess with Char’s mind after a while and pretend she actually can shoot laser beams from her forehead.

And then proceeds to kick the ever loving stuffing out of him with her fists and feet.

Repeatedly.

Which, I can not say I blame her for.

For what is ostensibly a comedy and parody series, I did not find too many of the jokes over the course of its entire run all that amusing. I do not particularly feel a series that can tap the whole of the original Mobile Suit Gundam with an all access pass to use the characters however it wants needs to rely on the more sexiality toned fanservice episodes or the humor this episode tries to punch for. It makes the entire operation seem all the cheaper, as if it is either afraid of using Gundam jokes more extravagantly out of fear of making established fans mad or it genuinely thinks this is the best possible material it could be pulling out of the source comic. Most of these sequences throughout the show, the Angry Bird scenes and all, would generally working with entirely different and interchangeable kinds of material with relatively minor alterations.

Gundam-san has wrapped up its television series run, and is said to be coming via Gundam Channel. As an advertising vehicle for either the continuing adventures, or the original comic, I do not think it works unless one is already reading Gundam-san.

There were a few nicer episodes, like the Haro-man one, and the Char vs his avian look alike were at least classically relatable in a Tom and Jerry way. Plus, the episodes only last as long as two and a half minutes including the credits. But a lot of the series seemed like it was not for me and my sense of humor, given its tonal and subject matter choices. And I enjoy Gundam.

Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro

Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro!! (Abarenbou Kishi!! Matsutarou) [Episode twenty three]

While some folks could easily go back and forth over the visual style of the series, trying to evoke 1970’s animation techniques as it is, one can not deny the show has the animation and storyboarding resources poured in for more “important” episodes. Matsutaro returning home, that sort of thing.

For a season finale then, this is by far the best looking and most technically complex episodes of the series, which is nice to see having been planned out for. The camera work is more dynamic to follow character actions without cuts, there are more layers of shading, special shots for things like watching characters act through the eyes of another. It is a treat, and regardless of if the show was ended ahead of any kind of potentially longer floating schedule those who stuck with it and were enjoying their time are rewarded with a proper conclusion than something more slapped together. As the intended audience of this series likely skews a lot older, it is a pleasant piece of customer service rather than throwing them under the metaphorical bus. It means someone is more likely to watch the next time a revival project such as this comes along, or perhaps to indeed look into the source material more due to leaving with a more positive opinion.

So, if it was not already clear, this was a solid episode to a series that caused a lot of people to drop it right away due to the rude and rowdy lead character.

Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou Sakaguchi Beat Up Bruised After Street Brawl

Most of our sumo stable have been sufficiently frustrated at Matsutaro to want to end his career, and so it was they who were shrouded in shadow at the end of our previous episode. The series remains some of its humor even now, through instances like our hero inquiring if his stablemates managed to time travel if they already know he will not be wrestling tomorrow. While Tanaka was able to talk down Matsutaro from jumping off a temple because of his unrequited feelings for Reiko via insulting him sufficiently, here he lays more on the love approach, and that his heart was also broken at the time and he needs to get out of here as soon as possible if he wants to have a career at all. And effectively, it does manage to work, which I appreciate. Matsutaro was at first confused, then prepped for a serious bout against multiple assailants, and now transitions to “I don’t even wanna fight anymore” mode.

Which is all well and good, so long the the opponent does not throw a punch. And that this is precisely what they showed up to to, that is what goes down. So this brawl is not directly Matsutaro’s fault, in that he did not begin the hurling of blows here, though his series long aggravations coming to a boiling point amongst his teammates could be seen as one.

And every last one of them, from Matsutaro and Tanaka one down, gets the daylights knocked out of each other. Which is not itself enough to keep Matsutaro from waking up at enough of a reasonable hour, drag himself to the championship bout, bandage himself up, and get to the ring for the Kondo game. It is a solid fight, going in and out of consciousness as he is and general missing of moves, as this is something he is forcing himself through via that sheer force of iron forged willpower that made him such a pain to others on different days.

Reiko was even at the match to see him. Her mom even arranging for them to get to go together. And then they are sure to leave together in the middle of the match. So the message is clear: this is a much more prominent shutdown of Matsutaro than he received before, with more purpose and less opportunity for him to mope about it.

Thus, he collapses. He loses the match, the championship, and a chance for promotion. He is laid up in the hospital with his compounded injuries. In conjunction with the prior street fight being blamed on him, he loses his career. Characters like our Raijin stablemaster and Ino-zeki discuss how his was nothing more than scum all along, and they were wrong to think they could ever change him. I mentioned last week Matsutaro’s family were supposed to visit to cheer him on for this match, and so indeed they too are here and put through having to deal with all of this.

So in the end, we are back where we started, though perhaps a little older and wiser for it. Our conclusion is that our interview suited Matsutaro and Tanaka effectively head off together, looking for new opportunities elsewhere.

A “bad ending,” for sure, insofar as our sport playing lead character failed to sufficiently climb the ranks and circumstances culminated in the loss of everything. No longer does he have that profession, and the girl of his dreams has shut him down twice. But, as a character progression, I feel this works out. He grew and yet regressed at various points, he had good times and bad. In the end it was his larger lack of concern for so many others over a long period of time that fostered an environment which allowed them the room to engineer his competitive downfall. Plus, I appreciate how Reiko not nudged along as Matsutaro’s love interest. She was never really interested in him that way from the start, and while it can be understandably troubling to know you have broken their heart when he confessed and was turned down, it is important to be assertive and ensure they get the message over acquiescing. I like how Reiko is not made into a more of a trite wishy washy prize here.

I feel the series took a long time to find its groove, and as the topics a given episodes can swing from everything from fart jokes to serious business it runs a tonal gamut. I am under the impression the more older animation, and especially older animated sitcoms, one watches the better they will fair with this series. Especially if they are interested in how it tries to simulate 1970’s designs and animation methods. I would say it definitely improves over the course of the show, and by and large the second half of episodes are demonstrably stronger than the first. But the barrier to entry is quite high from the outset, as a lot of folks did not take well the obnoxious “would actually steal candy from a baby” lead character when this series premiered. That is an understable reaction, and indeed the one most of the characters the show tend to have towards him over the course of it.

In the end, I am of the disposition it turned out better than expected, especially for fishing around for a legacy manga property as old as this one. While he may no longer be in the league, I give Matsutaro positive marks, though it took him a while before he managed to shift my opinions out of a more neutral mode.

Space Dandy

Space☆Dandy Season Two [Episode Thirteen]

Episode Director: Shingo Natsume, Animation Director: Yoshiyuki Ito, Gosei Oda (mechanical and effects) Storyboard: Shingo Natsume, Script: Shinichiro Watanabe

At this point, for our grand finale, there is actually rather little to say within these team spotlight sections.

Watanabe and Ito have shown up enough other times where their roles and skillsets are pretty well covered, for one thing. Shingo Natsume is the crucial but often less mentioned Director of Space☆Dandy under Watanabe’s Chief Director position, and then all of the various Episode Director’s under him. So he has been absolutely essential over the course of this franchise as part of juggling staff oversight responsibilities, approving who gets to do what, what freedoms they are allowed, and all manner of other things. By and large this series has allowed its creative team to leave their unique personal handprints all over it in their individual episodes and scenes, and in that respect having Natsume directing the finale (just as he did in season one) becomes more of a raw workflow situation. The ending of this show should, appropriately, be an animation celebration. Especially as this is, after all, the episode that was advertised as having a significantly ramped up budget and animation team, to the point where the second to last one took a significant but forewarned visual drop.

Gosei Oda is brought in for the only instance of a full blown Mechanical Animation Director and Effects Animation Director in this season, and for good reason. Given the more elaborate nature of the episode, there is a whole lot more animation material to manage, and dedicated eyes for the effects and mecha details that will really make their antic pop is especially welcome. If you remember Dandy and Meow’s transportation to the Phantom Ramen stall in episode two of season one, Oda drew that in all of its blobby space time warping glory. So his oversight here, especially where so many key animators were going to be going hog wild in general with their assigned cuts, is appreciated to ensure a certain level of additional production feedback to the animators and a final consistent punch to robots, explosions, and all the rest at the end of the day.

Space Dandy Season Two Hair Wisp Farewell After Doomsday Machine Super Hulkider

Picking up from last week then in our only bit of genuine episode-to-episode continuity then, Dandy has been captured by the Gogol Empire. His friends must try and get them to unhand him, even if it means full scale interstellar war, due to his often mentioned pyonium concentration allowing him to act as the key to an all powerful universe destroying weapon.

Works for me.

I treat this series a lot as an animation playground, so the plot itself here is not my biggest concern. Really, bringing full scale Jaicro armadas to assault the Gogol home planet is essentially the fasted way to bring our most familiar characters together as quickly as possible. Dr. Gel, Bee, and Admiral Perry will all be there, Honey, Scarlett, QT, and Meow in the Aloha Oe, and we can even bring back Johnny given his leadership of the Jaicro Empire. It means plenty of other characters used previously in the show through its episodic tales do not make a return, but the tradeoff then becomes one where we can instead here focus more on the race against time to get to Dandy. I am willing to accept that, as I do not think this episode would quite work the same on a pacing level trying to give screentime to everyone.

In that respect then, this was a huge send up to so many different grand finale battles from a variety of franchises. To even attempt to list them all here would be a titanic task on my part, and even then I would surely miss a bunch on my own without the help of others. That said, even if none of the nods work at all for a viewer, the episode flows on its own as a visual piece without incident. That the Jaicro empire is fielding a robot that is part Ideon, Guncannon, and GaoGaiGar while storming the Gogol forces in what may as well be the Macross: Do You Remember Love? final assault sans-idol music is just a bonus. And that has been such an important thing for a lot of Space☆Dandy episodes: the references and media callbacks are rarely ever in a position to disrupt the narrative chain of events to someone who does not catch them. That remains true here, especially as I personally can guarantee you I did not notice every finale nod this episode tried to throw at me.

The battles were lush, the chase scenes had very dynamic camera work and long takes, and one can definitely tell the team were not kidding around when it was said right from the start this final episode was going to have so much extra work poured into it. The end of this very creative series, and a universe where a man turns down the ability to be God because that would mean he could no longer go to his favorite restaurant and hit on the ladies.

While not all of the episodes hit their mark for me, even in what I consider to be this stronger second season, if one was enjoying the show to any significant degree during its run I feel this was as larger than life and flashy of an ending party as we could have asked for. As I feel it needed to be, given the dandiest man in space.

It was the show I looked forward to writing about the most each week during a very packed Summer 2014 selection.

I can only leave you as the series itself itself does: “May be continued?”

Tokyo ESP

Tokyo ESP [Episode twelve]

There are effectively two big fights which have to happen this episode.

First up, Rinka and Minami need to have their showdown. Given the way this series has handled everything about them, even this fight has to be all set to them working out their issues regarding Kyoutarou. We took him from who, who has what feelings, Rinka yelling that if Minami had just believed in Kyoutarou more humanity could have walked a different path. Kyoutarou may as well be a mythological figure at this point, as he has spent so much time away from other characters, yet they know so much about his apparent philosophy. Keeping in mind of course this is a teenage boy who has literally stated “What is wrong is wrong,” so interpretations of his ideals of justice and the heart of the human spirit may not be the deepest of pools to be playing in. Nevermind how the entire arc of Rinka is based directly around her having immense feelings for a boy she has very little interaction with over the course of the series.

She may be the main character by requirement, but everything is framed in such a way where this may as well be an audience interest piece where the girl is entirely reliant on some milquetoast boy to even be able to bring herself to lift a finger against direct threats to her. The series desperately wants to work the star crossed love story angle, and I can respect that. But their collected time together over the course of the show is so small, and there are so many other characters desperately crammed in given the size of the cast, to where her continued emphasis on this one singular point is amplified in how strained it already would have been with fewer folks about.

What should be a showpiece fight between Rinka and Minami on opposite sides of the esper terrorism question, something the series seems to want to have built toward, is entirely about a boy and who likes him more.

Tokyo ESP Kyoutarou Azuma Rinka Urushiba Peggy The Penguin Guard Surrounded By Esper Fish

This leaves showdown with The Professor, who has set up all the nonsense going on with the floating Diet building so he could get in position elsewhere to open the Arc of the Covenant to spread psychic fish throughout Tokyo unopposed.

Which is a better plan in context than it probably sounds written out. Peggy, bless their little avian heart, needs to fly both Rinka and Kobushi across Tokyo as they swim through the onslaught of fish. Which is kind of a nice idea of a sight, taken on its own right. Though the polygonal nature of the fish causes them to stand out a lot more in such numbers on a night sky when they completely surround the hand drawn characters in motion. And out comes our series of interactions, verbal exchanges, power use, and counter power use. Including Pelico showing up to neutralize a telepathic freeze ability of The Proffessor, state that they did so and how, and this is the extent of Pelico’s entire use in the show after arriving last week. All of this from distance.

Then characters who have never been seen before, save for perhaps two lines earlier this episode, show up and attack him.

Apparently this was his plan all along, to draw whoever these folks are out and take them out with him, as he entirely changes his philosophical positions. Who they are and why they are here is not covered at all. I imagine they are supposed to be related in some way to the larger international conspiracy relating to the Arc and the death of his wife and entire research team, but even that is me ascribing information to the series it does not provide. Forget anything relating to affiliations, background, and what their goals are. They just show up with dwindling final minutes remaining. And then they are gone.

To say this is anticlimactic is a rather severe understatement.

Not that our heroes themselves explicitly need to take him in or take him out so as to enact justice, but this plot point is really a disservice to anyone watching the series. This is the kind of ending that is wholly banking on having a second season to reach any kind of resolution or getting to the bottom to the Arc conspiracy The Professor was looking into. And I do not find that acceptable, as for a standalone media product this treats the viewers like, well, fish on a lure.

But the bait is very lackluster as a combined package of episodes, let alone this one.

Most of what I have read from those who are familiar with the source material have been incredibly disappointed by this adaption and how it has chosen to go about itself, and I can believe that. Even without manga knowledge, as a television show this has not been a very engaging journey. Too many characters in too small a package, in turn poorly handled motivation establishments for any of them, very basic action over any kind of more creative cinematography that the psychic powers can easily justify, and so on.

Tokyo ESP has some nice ideas sometimes that it could explore or build a scene around. Murasaki being able to see the past through objects, for instance. But the production is in such a rush to hurl in so many characters that everyone’s abilities and much of their screen time are essentially reduced to one shot fighting game super moves. There is not so much time to build engaging character scenes around them, or explore their potential.

The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning this has not been.

It would not even qualify as a feeder academy.

Hangers is a weekly series containing my passing thoughts on currently airing anime productions. Opinions, as always, are subject to change.

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