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Archive for September, 2011

Blood-C Episode 12 – Living Down to Its Name

September 30, 2011 5 comments

Well, my hopes for a full accounting were left unfulfilled. Instead, the show is delaying its climax until the release of a feature film, in the summer of next year. It’s a trick Production I.G. has already done with Eden of the East, and I can’t say I liked it much then either. On the other hand, it’s not too different than delaying a final resolution until a future season, which is hardly uncommon nowadays.

So, some outstanding questions do remain. Who is Fumito, and where does his influence and power come from? What motivated him to take on this project, and what will he consider to be its proper end? What will he claim as his own if he “wins”?

And make no mistake, despite the absolute slaughter that carried on throughout this episode, the experiment is not yet over. Fumito still has plans in motion. And instilling in Saya a dreadful desire for vengeance is only a part of that.
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Kamisama Dolls Episode 12 – Imbalance of Power

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Part of my job as an anime blogger is to make predictions about what I think is going to happen next. (It’s one of the reasons, even though I have a crunchyroll subscription and can watch ahead, I try not to watch a new episode before writing on the previous one.) Last time I predicted that the show would use Hirashiro’s conspiracy as the major external conflict; foiling that would be the main project for our heroes.

That’s true in part; Hirashiro’s plot is unraveled, but with frightening rapidity, and mostly due to Kuuko rather than Kyouhei or Utao. The first part of the episode has Kuuko tip up Kyouhei to Hibino’s location, rescue Hibino from her would-be rapist, get into a struggle with an armed Hirashiro, shoot him, and pin the whole thing on Shimoyama. (Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.) The final episode likely won’t spend much time on it at all.

Instead, the show is pointing back to the primary internal conflict that has been on display throughout the entire series run. It’s a conflict that’s particularly notable for where it appears, in a seinen action show that otherwise does much to ape its shounen counterparts. Despite the similarities, Kamisama Dolls manages to be different in the way that matters most.
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Hana-Saku Iroha Episode 25 – The Times They Are a-Changin’

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

When Sui decided to close the inn, her official reasoning (which she declined to share) was that since the inn was her vision, it wasn’t fair to force others to follow along with it. Her son Enishi and the rest of the staff should be permitted to follow their own dreams, rather than being trapped in hers. But that was only half the reason—perhaps less than half. What really disturbs her is that her particular creation, in the hands of someone else, anyone else, just won’t be the same.

A cliche isn’t less true for being a cliche. “To live is to change” is a cliche, but one which captures a real truth. That, as much as anything else, captures why Sui has been intent on closing Kissuisou: because she does not want to see the inn she has founded in her own image change. And in order to survive, it must change.
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Blood-C Episode 11 – Curtain Call

September 23, 2011 2 comments

With the revelation last episode that certain character thought dead were very much alive and kicking, the full extent of the charade around Saya’s life came into focus. This episode, aside from a sudden appearance from an monster which is just as quickly forgotten, devotes itself to playing that out, with the frankly mercenary motives of the deceivers laid bare. Such motives become all the more horrific when one realizes that only the “main cast” was spared death; everyone else wasn’t in on it.

Kanako, however, is far less concerned about the carnage left in the wake of the experiment, so much as the fact that it’s still ongoing. She has reason to think Fumito is “cheating” with the results, wiping Saya’s memory whenever she is close to remembering. So she decides to cheat a little on her own—regardless of what it means for Saya.
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Kamisama Dolls Episode 11 – A Dim View of It All

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, unless Kamisama Dolls decides to try to wrap up its entire plot by the end of the season with an unsatisfying, anime-only ending (which would be a major mistake), I now know how the remaining few episodes will play out. The conspiracy that threatens to destroy the Kurakami village elders and use the Kakashi for their own ends will be unearthed and either dealt a major setback or destroyed entirely. The only question is who will get hurt along the way.

At the moment, that list includes Aki, whom Mahiru abuses for her own amusement, and Hibino, whom Mahiru kidnaps when Aki tips off Mahiru to the fact she has a romantic rival. Not that Hibino or Kyouhei have admitted their relationship yet, but I think Aki has more of the right of it when he affirms something is going on between them than when Hibino or Kyouhei denies it. Besides, Mahiru’s jealous enough not to believe them anyway.
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Mawaru Penguindrum Episodes 8 and 9 – Turning Point

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

It should be obvious that I think the Ringo arc has gone far enough, and fortunately episode 8 wraps it up with a bang. Not only that, but episode 9 takes the show into a completely new direction. It might only be for one episode, but I feel like Mawaru Penguindrum is finally going someplace again.
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Hana-Saku Iroha Episode 24 – Love’s Labour’s Lost

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Family legacies are tricky things. I suppose it’s a dream of every parent to pass on something of lasting value to their children, and to see those children follow in the same path. Family businesses may not be as strong in America as they once were, but they still exist; in Japan, with its shopping districts and its conglomerates alike filled with a sort of benign nepotistic spirit, the urge to have one’s progeny take over the family trade is given more freedom.

There are plenty of good things about such practices: a certain pride in one’s work as an extension of pride in one’s family, the possibility of vocational training from a very young age, and a sense of continuity that reassures as much as it maintains. The downsides are also myriad: the pressure placed on those who have no desire to follow in the family tradition, for example, or those who simply lack the aptitude despite however long a linage of forebearers. Yuina fell into the first category. The question at hand for the remainder of Hana-Saku Iroha’s plot is whether Enishi falls into the second.
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