Princess Principal Episode 3 — Ties that Bind

In a development that I have found not at all surprising, Princess Principal episode three serves as yet another thrilling romp through steampunk London with our spy ladies, and it most certainly does not disappoint in any aspect that the previous episodes have lead me to expect. Its quality has remained one of the most consistent among this season’s offerings, and it certainly does not leave me at the end of the episode feeling lacking. Rather, episode three follows a pattern episodes one and two have set in place for us, and it goes to town. Or the sky, rather.

Continue reading

Country Roads, Take Me Home – Sakura Quest and Making Home Where You Are

As the Spring 2017 season comes to a close, Sakura Quest continues through into the Summer season, I could not be more pleased with any other shows this season getting this chance. As the spiritual successor to P.A. Works’ prior working shows Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako, it feels pretty strongly as though it is living up to that legacy, with a stunning cast of characters and the endearing town of Manoyama. While I love the journey that the show has taken us on thus far, something that has really struck me about the show is its treatment of employment in urban and rural spheres, and how an unstable job market and idealized perceptions of the city and the country affect these employment opportunities. Yoshino’s perspective initially is quite simple: she was, by all accounts, born and raised in a rural town, and as soon as she could, she shot off to Tokyo, the land of big dreams, in search of that certain something that rural towns just couldn’t quite do. Even at the risk of not having a job, Yoshino is of the mind that she will never go back to her hometown, even if she were to have a stable, guaranteed job there. The country just doesn’t have the same spark as the city, or there aren’t the kind of job opportunities that someone like Yoshino in her generation would want to take on for a career. In many ways, these ideas that Yoshino has, as well as being a student fresh out of college that can’t seem to find a job for the life of her, speak to me as a reflection of a several-years-younger General Tofu.

Continue reading

SukaSuka Episode 10 – Ancient History, Recent Developments

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.

Continue reading

SukaSuka Episode 7 – Go Home and Be a Family Man

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.

Continue reading

SukaSuka Episode 4 – Ebb and Flow

I have to be honest, when I went to watch episode 4 of SukaSuka, I was interested in where it was going to take me. Was the show going to take us on a long journey where nothing happens, but we learn a lot about the show’s world, as previous episodes thus far have done? Since we just saw Chtholly, Ithea, and Nephren go off to Island 15 to fight against the 17 Beasts, are we going to see some over-the-top action sequence, switching out our fairly consistent viewpoint of Willem for that of our battle fairies? Are we going to get some action four episodes into this season that isn’t just a brief sparring match?

Not to nab some of the thunder that Owningmatt93’s previous post signaled, but episode four is, interestingly, still more of the same, but in many ways, we also see the show shift slightly – steadily-paced world-building, getting to know the cast a bit better, and…a lot about lizard romance films?

Continue reading

SukaSuka Episode 1 – Hopes as High as Sky Islands

A brief note – I have gone into this show completely blind. I have not even read a summary of the show’s main plot. Everything I relate in this post should be taken as such.

This Spring anime season, there’s a surprising number of shows that at least look pretty promising – though as we all probably know by this point, there are a lot of series that look and seem fantastic from their PVs, which show off cool animation sequences, try to entice you with their (hopefully) endearing characters, attempt to seem like they could bring something new to the table, or some combination of the above. There’s a lot to wade through, so let me pitch a show to you for this season. It’s a LN adaptation set in a fantasy world with- hey wait, stop, I’m not done yet! Let me finish!

For those who may not know and need a strongly-paraphrased summation of the show’s premise, Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?, or as the anime community at large has mercifully deemed it, SukaSuka, is a fantasy/sci-fi Light Novel adaptation taking place in a world of sky islands, where humanity was wiped from existence. In this story, we follow young Willem Kmetsch, who has taken on the job of being a military caretaker for a warehouse of advanced weaponry. What he doesn’t know, however, is that the weapons are, in fact, young girls. While the show might sound on the surface to be a groan-fest of typical fantasy isekai trappings and other tropes that tend to make shows less-than-enjoyable experiences, SukaSuka actually delivers in its first episode a surprising amount of good reasons to give it a chance – and by god, do I have high hopes for this one.

Continue reading

Youjo Senki Episode 11 – All Fronts Coming Up Short

For the week or so leading up to this week’s episode of Youjo Senki, I had been honestly pretty excited to see how the end of the previous episode would pan out. I found myself largely in the camp of Owningmatt93 with regards to my expectations for the ensuing battle between Tanya and Sioux; though the buildup and the climax of episode 10 did feel a tad hamfisted in introducing Sioux’s return, I felt pretty confident that “[the] battle [would] consist of more moral conflicts and ideological shifting on both of their behalves,” and that, in general, it would just be a pretty impressive showdown. With the way the show had been slowly creeping up on how Sioux had supposedly gained the power of Being X and was making preparations explicitly to take Tanya down, the resolution of this grudge match had to be something impressive, right?

Well…not exactly.
Continue reading