This week, we wrap up the Spring 2017 season, and despite not having many solid single-season picks, we talk about how legitimately awesome some of this season’s shows were. We discuss how Eromanga-sensei is bad, but not as bad as everyone says, we say our final regards about SukaSuka, we get comfy with Tsuki ga Kirei, we get hype for more Re:Creators, and we see an actual good 2D/3DCG show with Seikaisuru Kado.
This podcast was recorded on July 6th, 2017.
Outro Song: re-pianohi1tars by Hiroyuki Sawano from Re:Creators OST (Disc 1)
When I sat down to watch Princess Principal, I couldn’t tell you what I thought it would be, but damn if I wasn’t surprised. I guess I expected some kind of “cute girls doing edgy spy things” and, to some extent, that’s sort of the zoomed out view of things. However, it’s so much more. As The Afictionado put it when we were talking on Twitter earlier, this show is more of “a steampunk fantasy full of spy intrigue and reminiscent of Baccano!”
And that’s freaking sick.
Take a steampunk setting in turn of the century London, split London with the idea of post-WWII Berlin (including the wall), add in a helping of fun pseudo-science, pour in a cast of charming characters, and then top the whole thing off with a great soundtrack and you’ve got yourself what I’m watching this season. This dish was delish, and if this rest of the series is anything like the first episode, then I’ll be craving more and more over the next few weeks.
Damn, if this setting isn’t awesome looking.
“Is this even the same show?” A question I asked myself continuously while watching this episode.
You may have expected me to delve into another long rant-like explanation as to why SukaSuka continues to not work for me and how much it continues to stray from the beginning episodes in dramatic tone and impact, as I’ve discussed several times previously. I mean, I’ve ragged on this show a lot, after all. Most of the things I’ve ragged on though have been personal complaints or about scenes that didn’t quite hit the mark as hard I was hoping it would, and there’s still a plethora of problems with the show in general. However, this episode brought out the shows true colors and gave me exactly what I wanted and expected the show to be like all along.
And by that, I mean, an episode perhaps rivaling episode 1 in terms of outstanding quality. This episode was truly fantastic.
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.
The penultimate for the series and boy is it worth that haughty title. What starts with a innocent, though a bit existential, discussion about “happiness” steadily divulges into an all out struggle for survival as every character down on the surface finds themselves at the end of the line, finally leading us back to just before where the series all began with that beautiful opening piece that sold me on picking up this series eleven weeks ago.
What started as a gentle slope to the finish last episode has turned into an eighty degree angle slide into the finale. The is the episode we finally, finally, get a lot of the answers that we were looking for… and then a few more questions. While I had wished more of this information had been spread out or at least hinted at more in other parts of the series, I felt its delivery was excellent and the revelations interesting. Plus, given some of the information explained, it made sense for the show to wait until the very end before revealing its hand.
This episode definitely wants us to know we’re finally here at the end of it all and the allusions to the first episode are abound, particularly the constant various versions of the show’s opening motif played in every style imaginable throughout each scene. There was also of note the opening discussion about happiness that was interesting to hear as it seemed to be a direct allusion to the first few lines of the show, a monologue about how Ctholly had found her happiness finally before she tumbles off the ship and down to the surface below.
Welcome to AniBlogging, Ctholly. We have words.
Romance can create drastic changes in our lives, without us even realizing it’s happening. It’s one of the reasons why the romance genre is so widely diverse in how it’s told throughout media. However, a “successful” romance story is mostly dependent on our own experiences with it throughout our lives. Romance stories can easily resonate with one person, yet just as easily cause an emotional disconnect with another. While each of these stories may contain similar aspects, each one can function innately different from others, either in the setting, delivery, or just the elements used to encapsulate the romantic feelings and relationships between people. Zetsuen no Tempest is no different, with it containing these romantic elements, but is mostly unique in that it subtly uses the romance to drive the core of this action-heavy fantasy series.
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.