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Hey Spitz, What’ve You Been Watching? November 2014

November 29, 2014

(This article will be spoiler-free!)

ようこそ、ようこそ! We’re well into the Fall tv anime season, and it has been a quite decent one. While I’ve opted out of the second season of Log Horizon, and resisted my urge to start up any series with a bright enough art style to suit my tastes, I’ve been enjoying Ufotable’s version of Fate/Stay Night (more than the original), and still firmly believe Parasyte to be the show of the season.
November was the month in which video games were happening, and as such, not as much time was spent on the anime backlog, so this month’s article will be short and sweet.
Here’s what I finished up:

 

7011Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku o Ketsui Shimashita:
Raul Chaser was well on his way to becoming a full-fledged Hero when word breaks that the Demon Lord it was all Heroes’ destiny to defeat had been just that: defeated.
Now, living in a world with no need for Heroes such as he and his band of allies, Raul finds himself out of a job. As his particular skill-set is no longer needed, the only job he can manage to land is to be a clerk for a magic shop.
Things are business as usual until one day a new hire appears at the door.

What I thought: “Light-hearted ecchi nonsense.”
If you have an adverse reaction to fan-service in anime, then this is not your series, but if you can tolerate it (or if that’s what you’re into, I suppose), there are enough comedic antics found in Yuushibu to make it worth your time.
The overall story isn’t all that endearing, but the Fino character does a good job at keeping things bright and energetic with her childish behavior and habit of becoming enthralled in the simplest things, even if mostly all of the supporting cast don’t get enough time to leave a lasting impact.
The setting is a fun mix of fantasy and modern technology, where magic replaces electricity as a power source, and a admirable amount of things are done with mixing the two.
The character designs have a somewhat generic look about them, but the action scenes and all of the various floppy bits are animated quite well.
 Tread lightly with Yuu-Shibu, those who cannot look past its ecchi content to enjoy its slice-of-life comedy. This is a series with a brazen charm about it, and has no issue with flaunting it.

 

61659881Persona 4 the Golden The Animation:
Narukami Yuu has come to the rural town of Inaba for a year while his parents are overseas tending to work.
A short while after he arrives, a string of murders begin taking place, seemingly coinciding with the coming of a rumor referring to the Midnight Channel, an elusive show which only airs at midnight on rainy nights, and claims to show its viewer their soul mate.
Outside of his school friends, Narukami meets a strange girl named Marie who claims to have lost her memory.
It’s up to Narukami and his new band of friends to unravel the mysteries of the Midnight Channel and solve these murders while preventing more from taking place.

What I thought: “A disservice to the series.”
For a tv anime with the word “animation” in the title, I feel like we are given middling amounts of it, and while the environments are nicely detailed and recreate those of the game quite nicely, I feel like the character art can be quite lack-luster.
The big problem here though is story. Even as someone who has played through the game and has that as a point-of-reference, I found the methods of story-telling here, with wild jumps back and forward in time to see different perspectives rather difficult to follow, and I imagine if this is your first entry in Persona 4, you will have absolutely no idea who any of these characters are and what their motivations and personalities are, and at a certain point in this particular series, where they have all gone missing to within the plot.
Much of the focus here is on the Marie character (by the way, Hanazawa Kana) who only appeared in the updated version of the video game, which is perfectly fine, but in a series brimming with great characters, the supporting cast gets very little screen time.
There is a good reason the original Persona 4 Animation, done by AIC in the ’11 Fall season ran for an extended 26 episodes; a ~100 hour RPG needs room and time to breathe and tell its story, and while P4GA includes scenes not seen in the original version of the game, it includes very little from that original game, and as such, tells a difficult to comprehend narrative that doesn’t offer anywhere near the emotional investment or the fun antics that the game and AIC’s tv anime rendition offered.
Persona 4 is one of, if not the best video games I have played, and it is heart-breaking to see a tv anime series that fails to live up to the quality of such fantastic source material. If you have not been told this story (and you should), but don’t have the time to play through the game, watch the AIC version.

 

1036656850Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho:
Within a version of history in which Japan was separated after World War II, and Hokkaido was claimed by the Soviet Union, a vast tower was built in an alternate present which a young boy named Fujisawa Hiroki and his two friends long to visit.
Crafting a plane out of parts they found, the three friends make a promise to one day travel to this tower.

What I thought: “Gorgeous, but difficult to follow.”
There are good moments in this film, and as was the case with the other two Shinkai Makoto movies I have seen, the visuals and the writing are tremendous, but I had problems with how slow Kumo no Mukou moved along, even in its run time of around an hour and a half.
The setting is also less relatable than I expected out of it. Taking place in an alternate present and involving sci-fi elements makes the story less grounded, which, coupled with a plot lacking clear direction, had me growing quite bored with what was taking place, even in the moments leading up to the conclusion.
It’s unfair to hold a creator’s past works to the same standard as his or her more recent ones, as lessons are learned and methods of story-telling improve over time, but I was still a little disappointed by Kumo no Mukou. After how much I enjoyed Byousoku 5 Centi and Kotonoha no Niwa, I’m still interested in anything coming from Shinkai Makoto, but this one was an unfortunate miss for me.
Amazing artwork and terrific writing couldn’t quite save this film from being a bore. Maybe it just wasn’t for me, but Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho lacks focus and its story unfolds too slowly for it to be a film I would recommend.

 

We’re in the last stretch of 2014. Can you believe it? I’m doing my best to not jump the gun with considering which series I’ll be talking about in the year-end article, as there is still time for a few more to possibly make their way into it.
I’m hoping to find room to at least finish Psycho-Pass come time to wrap up the year. Alongside it are Cardcaptor Sakura and FMA: Brotherhood on my list of series I want to finish but for some reason can’t find the time to.
We will see how it pans out.
また読んでね。
(Keep those plots unspoiled!)

From → Anime

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