3D Kanojo got off to a fascinating start in the first two episodes, giving us some perspective and a view into our awkward, complicated romantic leads Tsutsui and Igarashi. It was a pretty solid foundation, in my opinion, to base the rest of the show off of, and episodes 3 and 4 have both proved to have not dropped the bar of quality that has been set for the show thus far. While the first two episodes acted as a primer of sorts, episodes three and four focus quite heavily on the ways in which insecurities can develop on all sides of a new, burgeoning romance, how they can complicate issues between partners, and ultimately how people can respond to those issues in healthy, trusting ways.
3D Kanojo, on the surface, isn’t exactly a show we haven’t seen before. At first glance, it appears to follow the archetypical show/book/etc. formula of “nerdy boy finds love through beautiful girl”, a trope which, obviously, is fairly problematic. But there is far more to this show going on below the surface. From these first two episodes, we find that, in fact, it has so far come to us as a show about harmful misconceptions, and how looking beyond them can lead to genuine, satisfying relationships. While there’s a lot that we could focus on for a discussion of this show, I want us to look specifically at our main characters, Hikari Tsutsui and Iroha Igarashi, and the fascinating, complex spaces that they inhabit.
The Winter 2018 season was, in many ways, a genuine surprise, primarily so because of the sheer volume of genuinely solid shows that were offered in this first bit of the year. What has surprised me beyond this, however, is that not only did we have a number of shows that I am already seeing as possible contenders for anime of the year, but a number of shows, to my surprise, made some concerted pushes in terms of working to buck some norms (or at least attempting to do so) that are fairly present within the general sphere of seasonal anime. For this season in particular, one theme that stood out to me has been that of self-love/self-acceptance, and this came to me most notably while watching Yuru Camp and Sanrio Boys.
As previous history with Princess Principal has indicated thus far, the show has kept consistent with its character explorations with each passing episode, especially if we consider the bombshell that episode eight was. Episode nine chooses to focus once again on the combat expert and resident Nihonjin of the spies, Chise. We already had a pretty solid episode of development dedicated to her earlier in the season, wherein which she faced off with and slayed her father-turned-traitor, and we saw a distinctly human side of her by the end of it. That episode focused somewhat on integrating her into the team, and in many ways, this episode is largely the same, thematically. However, we learn far more about Chise in relation to her Japanese pride and heritage, and how that comes into play with her work as a spy. In a way, though, this episode serves as a deep dive into the character of Princess, as well, using the events of last week as a frame of reference.
If you have watched Episode 10 of the Log Time Podcast, or have any semblance of familiarity with the series Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (also referred to as Jintai) you’re more than likely familiar with the Fairies, the pint-sized figures of great power and importance within Jintai. Considered in some regards to be mythological, the Fairies are very real, very present, and admittedly, very goofy forces of nature. As humanity slowly plods on towards its seemingly inevitable demise, the Fairies have been considered by some, namely Watashi and her Grandfather, to be the “new humanity.” They are humanoid, capable of the creation and utilization of advanced tools, even magic, and are generally an amiable species. It seems that for these reasons and others that the Fairies have been conceptually considered to be the theoretical successors of mankind on earth. Considering them humankind’s successors brings up other questions, namely that of the reason behind mankind’s stepping down, so to speak. We already get a basic sense of this from the title, roughly “Humanity Has Declined.” We understand that humankind is on its way out, as Watashi states, but we are unsure of the specifics of how this decline came about. Watashi alludes towards a decline through frivolity and decadence – through waste and overconsumption. We have causes, but not any specific instances of what brought about the downfall, and as a result, we are left to consider several factors – perhaps the largest of which is “why the Fairies?” Why are they being passed the torch? There’s as many possibilities as there are people with opinions out there (and that’s a bunch), but I’ve picked out three that came to mind and seemed like interesting points to consider. This is not to say that these are the “most valid” or best possibilities, of course. This is more just a collection of thoughts spawning from my question “Why?”
My methods of choosing what anime I want to watch next are probably abnormal compared to most. Sometimes I become interested in a show by reading a blog post, or sometimes the selection is completely spontaneous and random. Nerawareta Gakuen fell more into the former category for me, as I originally discovered it through a video created by Digibro, an anime blogger/reviewer. While I can’t find the exact video that originally inspired this post, I found another video of his that reflected the same viewpoint.