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Archive for December, 2010

Shiki Episode 22 – Apocalypse Now

December 30, 2010 5 comments

The woes of Sotoba have been long and heavy, but Shiki continually seeks ways to make the situation worse. The latest offering: a fire, in the recently-cleared-of-vampires Yamairi. There’s no indication as to what starts the fire, but it quickly becomes a full-fledged conflagration.

After all that Sotoba has suffered so far, a fire seems like insult to injury. But it’s a problem even beyond the usual way: a fire will attract outsiders from the neighboring town of Mizobe, who, if they come early enough, will discover blood drenched villagers and mounds of corpses. Or, they can try to stall bringing in the fire crews, only to risk having all of Sotoba burn.
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Snowed Under

Well, not really, as you probably noticed from the post yesterday, but we are adjusting to our first holiday season as bloggers, which is why we’ve been behind on posts. We should be back to a normal posting schedule starting tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

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Shiki Episode 21 – Escape Routes

December 28, 2010 1 comment

For the last two episodes, the question hasn’t been whether the humans will win, but how many more casualties they’d suffer in wiping out the vampires and what moral lines they’d cross in the process. Strangely enough, we don’t see any repercussions from Ookawa’s murder of a poor hypnotized villager; but (with one flagrant exception) we don’t see the practice expand either.

This episode, mostly, isn’t about the hunters at all, but about Muroi and the pull Sunako exerts on him. Muroi’s own personal regrets and fears are finally outed in this episode, and as well as at least some some of the repercussions of them. Needless to say, none of it is for the good.
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Bakuman Episode 12 – The Waiting Game

December 22, 2010 2 comments

With both high school and syndication looming, Moritaka and Takagi are on uncertain ground, but are still reasonably on track in their goals. “On track” isn’t what Moritaka wants, however, or what he is willing to settle for. He wants to beat Eiji and beat him now.

If previous episodes have focused on either the romance or the manga creation elements of the show, to the diminishment of the other, this one tries to tie them back together, and reveal how one can progress only as long as the other does. Of course, this isn’t true—compared to Moritaka’s relationship with Azuki, his manga career is going at a breakneck pace—but its the impression this episode seeks to provide. Accuracy problems aside, the episode does a decent job driving home that connection.
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Ore no Imouto Episodes 7 and 8 – Affliction of Affection

December 21, 2010 1 comment

Every so often in these posts, I’ve commented that Oreimo is going to get worse. I’ve been referring to these episodes, which are unquestionably the low point of the series. However, these are also the episodes in which I began to have a modicum of respect for the show.
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Amagami SS Episode 24 – I Love Her for Her

For quite some time, I’ve been waiting for Amagami to show some of the promise it had in its early episodes. For it to tie Jun’ichi’s Christmas rejection more firmly back into the plotline. For the heroines to actually show some decent psychological depth. For the arc not to feel like a two episode story padded out to four with random cameos of the other girls.

I’m happy to say that, finally, this show nails it. This arc not only surpasses the boring arcs we’ve put up with for the past two to three months, but the initial arcs that sold me on the show in the first place. We have a heroine as fundamentally good as Kaoru and with as many psychological issues as Haruka—and a Jun’ichi that’s the best we’ve seen paired with her. I don’t think this arc is enough to make the show as a whole a keeper, but it does as good a job as it can trying to change my mind.
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Shiki Episode 20 – Heart of Darkness

It’s hard to tell how many humans are fighting against the shiki, but we do know that there are lots of them. With the shrine as a night-time base of operations—so full of religious images that the vampires can’t approach it—and virtual immunity during the day, the preliminary scouring of the town eliminates (by Tatsumi’s estimation) 30% of the nocturnal nightmares, and that’s before the villagers discover an underground lair. The hunt is going surprisingly well.

Perhaps too well. In the flush of victory, the living population of Sotoba is getting far too comfortable with making human-looking things dead. No one is painting themselves or dancing around bonfires with spears, but the veneer of civilization is rubbing off from the villagers. And each line crossed makes the next one easier.
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