This week, we talk about the P.A. Works’ lesser-spoken-of masterstroke, Hanasaku Iroha. We discuss the balance it strikes between lighthearted story and drama, its extensive development of its characters, both main and side, and evisceration (but, you know, not like a bad evisceration).
This podcast was recorded on June 15th, 2017.
I think that at this point in the season, I’ve become attuned to the fact that SukaSuka is a show where it feels like, and often is the case that surprisingly little happens with each passing episode. The show often manages to delve deep into some worldbuilding, or some deep discussions between characters, but often, much of what passes the time for each episode comes across as being interesting, but ultimately inconsequential with regards to the rest of the show. Although it does still dabble in some of these issues, episode 10 is different. Episode 10 has a lot to say, and what it does say at its crucial points are important. In ways that some prior episodes did not quite reach, it manages to give us the drama, the heartfelt, touching moments, and meaningful worldbuilding that some of the earliest episodes used to inspire such faith in the show in me.
Well, here we are. It’s another rousing week of SukaSuka. I’d like to say that I’ve been constantly entertained by the series so far, but sadly, I can’t. SukaSuka rides the line between boring and enthralling, depending on how each episode captures Chtholly and Willem in a beautiful romantic light. When it decides to pull out all the stops, it does a pretty good job of being entertaining and keeping my attention. However, the times that it does shine are few and far between, and I think this inconsistency is one of the largest downfalls of the series itself. Sometimes an episode will pull out a captivating moment, only to fill the rest of its run-time with needless exposition that had already been shown to us through smaller moments. Episode 9 is similar to episode 8, a prime examples of exactly why I like the show, and also why I find this anime with such a unique premise so uninteresting as it progresses.
Where I live in America, there’s a decent amount of stigma about mental health that’s held some people up on the subject. I always seem to see those satirical skits and comics online comparing the responses people with a debilitating mental issue get with someone telling a guy with no legs to “walk it off”. So, given that those had to have been in answer to something, I assume this is a widespread issue in various parts of Western civilization. It seems most people don’t realize that mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s getting better, though, and I’ve received way less stigma from others for attempting to find a psychologist in my area for a general check up on things. Though, that still doesn’t mean there’s full acceptance of it.
This week, we talk about the decidedly beautiful, weird show that is The Tatami Galaxy. We discuss how strongly the story and visuals are intertwined thematically, how its Groundhog Day-esque story hinge works so well, and why we’re watching another show that involves the protag’s genitalia being referred to as “Johnny.”
This podcast was recorded on May 25th, 2017.
Outro Song: Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei OST – Track 26 – Unmei no Akai Ito Kuroi Ito by Michiru Oshima
Whoo, boy. This one’s gonna be a doozy.
If nothing else, I will say SukaSuka has been a ride, though not for all the right reasons. First and foremost, let me state that this show continues to impress me because when it hits, it hits solidly. I revel in the genuine and beautiful moments that this show has to offer and I love when this anime goes out of its way to cleverly layer exposition in very natural conversation. For what faults we’ve seen up to now, this show has just as many great ideas and scenes. However, the issue is that this show is not just its high moments, and that becomes the unexpected downfall that I’ve found while watching this episode.
You don’t know the half of it, Willem.
Episode 7 of SukaSuka has most definitely calmed down from the dramatic, lore-filled rollercoaster that episode 6 was. In one respect, this is certainly a good thing, as the previous episode encountered a few hiccups in character motivation and narrative direction, among other things. Episode 7 returns to a very relaxed pace for SukaSuka, somewhat reminiscent of the beginning episodes of the show in how it goes about giving us some information about the world. Frankly, we learn quite a bit of pertinent information here through means that seem quite conversationally natural, and we do have some satisfying emotional payoffs in this piece, as well. At the same time, though, it feels as though we fall into some really odd places with regards to Chtholly’s own sense of self-worth, which once again leaves me feeling like this episode is a bit of a mixed bag.