Re:Creators Episode 8: Explosion!

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I think overall this week’s episode was up and down for me (and back up again). The middle section of the episode focused on Sota and his past added some necessary context, but I’m still not sure I get why he hasn’t told everyone what he knows about Altair. That aside, I thought Mirokuji’s interaction with his creator was pretty interesting at the beginning of the episode. And finally, I think Mamika was set up well in this episode, but I question whether there’s a good way out of the situation presented at the end of the episode. On one hand, it feels weird to cut a character that has changed so much through the course of the series at this point. On the other hand, I can’t imagine how she could survive without some dumb revive mechanic.

I wish this idea was explored a bit more, but I guess it’s not completely relevant to Altair. At what point does a Creation distinguish itself enough such that it’s a separate entity? How much does Altair from her original? Perhaps she has every trait that the original has that isn’t overwritten by her own defined traits. Also, the idea of “secondary creations” that’s mentioned here suggests that there are situations in which multiple creators alter a single creation.

I’m actually on the author’s side at this point. I think that skepticism is the correct response to this situation (until Mirokuji summons the spirit, of course).

I found this line funnier than it should have been.

Sota’s reactions here are making me wonder just how much of a plot convenience it was to have him skip the briefing where Altair’s identity is revealed. It looks a lot like he would be a dead giveaway.

Okay, this is starting to make more sense. It sounds like Sota started to reject his friend because he was jealous of her talent. Now I’m just curious just how much of a role he had in her suicide. I suspect he just wasn’t there to support her when she needed him, but it might be more interesting if he was the one who instigated the hate against his friend. If the latter is true, I’d give him a free pass for not telling everyone that he knew about Altair. As it stands, I’m still not convinced.

They’re really setting Alice up as the character that curses the gods, huh?

That’s not ominous at all.

I’m surprised that they made it a point to show that Magane was watching Sota in the cafe with Mamika, but there didn’t seem to be any indication that she was watching his conversation with Meteora. I even went back and checked the scene. There were people standing around, so it wouldn’t be too hard.

If anyone was going to figure out Sota was hiding something, it would make sense that it’s Magane, the master of deception. Still, I’d be a bit surprised if Meteora didn’t figure it out either…

How so? Maybe this is just another manifestation of her magical girl past.

This seems like a bit of an exaggeration. But whatever…the whole “internet communities suck” thing is nothing new.

That escalated quickly.

Attack on Titan Episode 34: Titan talk

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Well, it looks like we’ve got another quieter episode this week. I say that as a reference to the lack of action, because there was certainly a lot of yelling. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but Eren was particularly insufferable in this episode. His logic really made no sense and a portion of the episode was devoted to getting him up to speed on stuff we already know (the Beast Titan specifically). That being said, I thought the focus on Reiner was pretty interesting. The mind break discussion explains why he was willing to go to such lengths to protect his friends. Anyway, it looks like we’ll get back to the fighting next week since the Scouts have arrived.

Huh? Does Hange trust this guy to take note of the details she would catch? Why is it sufficient for him to go in her place? She should at least tell him what she hopes to see.

Ymir says this like it’s supposed to help explain anything. Her condition was caused by a completely different situation than Eren’s condition, so why does the comparison even matter?

Titans can be afraid? That’s new.

Am I missing something? It sounds a lot like the only reason Eren has doubts here is the fact that Reiner decided to stop at these trees. That’s a lot of weight put on someone he can’t trust.

What exactly is stopping them from doing this right now? I really don’t understand Eren’s logic.

Reiner’s acting pretty wimpy for someone who took a Titan bite to the arm like a champion.

Man, Reiner’s mind must have really snapped if he’s saying stuff like this.

This stuff about Reiner and his unstable mind. It makes a bit sad that I didn’t look out for hints at it in his behavior. Just how set up was this revelation? Either way, it kinda explains why Bertholdt has such a small presence in the group. He can’t be confident speaking to Reiner because he’s not sure whether he’s talking to the soldier or the warrior.

I kinda agree with Reiner here. Eren’s doing his standard yelling thing, but I don’t think it really accomplishes anything here.

Oh right…I forgot that Eren doesn’t really know anything about the Beast Titan yet.

Uhh…what? These guys went on about how they broke the wall, but they want Ymir to believe they would protect Christa in particular? I know Reiner had the scene with her in the tower, but that’s kinda pushing it.

Why does Eren keep asking this? Is he just asking for specifics on the Beast Titan? Surely there’s a better way to ask than yelling about “the enemy”.

Sakurada Reset Episode 8: To the future

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While I’m really disappointed with how Eri’s big scuffle ended, I have to admit that this episode had some interesting uses of powers. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how they’d handle the Witch in this arc, but it ended up being my favorite part of the episode. And as for the tease they gave us at the end of the episode, I’m just going to completely ignore that. I do have one question, though. If Murase was only holding the photographs that Sasano took inside the Bureau when the reset occurred, does that mean that Kei no longer has the photograph of Sumire? I’m guessing he still has it. Otherwise, there’s literally no point to show him receiving it in the previous timeline.

After all of the drama from last week, it’s a bit frustrating that Kei is able to just walk out of the photograph. Did the ten minutes pass or was that just a minor inconvenience?

That being said, at least they made an attempt to explain why Eri wasn’t pulled into the photograph by having Kei say that she tore the photograph from outside the view depicted in the photograph. It’s an attempt at an explanation even if it’s a bad one. Even if she was at arm’s length when she tore the photograph, Kei is clearly on the railing, so there’s plenty of room here for Eri to stand.

I see Kei is once again using recordings to thwart other people. I’m a little disappointed because I wanted to see a demonstration of the brain’s ability make up memories. We like to think that we’d be able to notice a fake memory easily because it would be inconsistent with the rest of our memories, but the brain is actually really good at filling in the gaps.

Please tell me this isn’t over so easily…

It’s really frustrating to see this battle devolve into “my power is better than yours” when it showed so much promise as a battle between two minds.

That was easy.

I’m not sure I fully got this one. My understanding of the conversation is that the Eri’s loss to Kei has driven her to search for a stronger power, the power to see the future. As a result, she will attack the Bureau earlier than planned to get to the Witch. This has all been planned by the Witch outside of the photograph, but I don’t understand why it’s a betrayal. Is it because she has gotten greedy and chosen to leave the Bureau earlier at the risk of Eri’s future? Could it be counted as a betrayal if she also brought Kei into the photograph to get him to save Eri? You could argue that she “put them at risk”, but that’s not really true if she can see the future.

I can tell I’m still upset about Eri’s interaction with the photograph from earlier because I’m happy that Murase has a valid reason to stay outside of the photograph.

Hmm…discount tsundere?

The thought experiment that the Witch proposes to Kei is slightly different from the one proposed to Misora. In this case, she leaves out the detail that the one he loves “becomes” the stone. Sure, it’s implied, but there’s an easy answer that the stone is just a stone as far as you know because you’ve received no indication that it has every had a thought. Maybe it’s just a bad translation.

How does the thought experiment relate to the Witch, though? It sounds like it might be as simple as her saying that she’s worried that she and Sasano no longer have the same feelings for each other given that they’ve spent so much time interacting with each other through their powers. Sasano is interacting with a past version of the Witch in his photographs, and the Witch is just seeing Sasano’s future actions through others. Maybe that’s all there is to it.

Crap, this is good. I completely missed this use for the photographs because they never made a big deal about where a person exits the photograph. However, it gives a good reason for why the user must be standing in the spot depicted in the photograph before ripping it and actually ties Sasano’s power together nicely. In the end, she just enters the photograph to walk through the open door and exit the photograph from the other side.

I don’t think anyone is surprised that the Witch is talking about Sumire here. However, the nature of the series makes it impossible to draw any kind of conclusion from this statement. Since pretty much any power is possible in this town, it’s hard to tell whether this is meant to mean that Sumire is still alive or that she will be brought back to life in order to become the next Witch.

Little Witch Academia Episode 20: Why did it have to be snakes?

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Phew, this week’s episode was quite fun to watch. I know I take my shots with this episode, but my overall impression of it is surprisingly positive. I think the series has been doing a good job of developing its characters in the second half. I’m happy to have a better understanding of Diana’s motivations and background. It’s actually making me reconsider how much I really know about the other characters. Anyway, I’m a little sad that we have to get back to that sketchy business with Croix after this.

Yeah, Akko. I’m sure that will convince Diana to listen to you.

Huh…today I learned that “Venusian” is a word.

Oh no! It’s an opportunity for Akko to save the day again! Also, Diana was clearly standing on the plant bridge when the snakes attack her, but she’s magically on the platform in this picture. Sorry, I couldn’t resist pointing that out.

Squirrels are the natural enemies of witches! That aside, I’m not really surprised by this revelation, but Diana is a much more interesting character if she has this kind of backstory. Plus, this gives her a chance to relate with Akko, right?

Did this series just give Akko the convenient conversation where the bad guys reveal their evil plan so she can interfere with it? Sigh…

I know that Akko is impulsive and all, but how does she not notice Diana or the snakes before attempting to cross this plant bridge?

I was going to ask that too.

I have to admit that using a water drop in this shrine to represent the tears that Diana wouldn’t shed while talking about her deceased mother is a nice touch.

Aww…they’re friends now.

I’m torn on this. I liked that this scenario gave Diana another chance to show her compassion at the expense of the ritual, but it makes no sense that these three are here in the first place. How could they have known that Diana was coming here to do the ritual? They were clearly content to put their feet up and wait for the eclipse to pass before Akko overheard them.

Wait, is Diana’s goal at Luna Nova related to the card? Is she searching for Shiny Chariot too? It would certainly make sense.

This is the correct reaction.

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records Episode 8: Bringing back the dead

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Honestly, I didn’t think this episode was that interesting. Sure, Riel ramped things up to 100, but I felt like a lot of the big parts of this episode were heavily telegraphed. They gave a ton of hints that the Researchers of Divine Wisdom would be back to take Rumia. Plus, there weren’t exactly that coy about setting up Riel’s betrayal. Anyway, time to save Rumia again next week?

Still, I want to take a moment to address the moral topic that is proposed when discussing Project Revive Life because I thought it was the most interesting thought of the episode. The series explains that the revived person would essentially be a copy of the original prior to death, and Rumia questions whether this could be treated as a true revival. I can understand the sentiment, but why not? You could make the argument that it’s not a “complete” revival because the revived person would have no memory of dying, but you could naturally create a similar scenario. What if you could revive a person with full memory of death, but the memory is so traumatic that the person forgets it? Would this be an incomplete revival? But I’ll cut it short there…I’m not philosopher.

Don’t worry, Sistine. I’m sure this is just altitude sickness or something.

I never would have guessed that. Oi, can we get Glenn to explain this?

Based on this reaction, I’m guessing that the tour guide was staring at Rumia a bit too much. There’s no way that’s a coincidence, so I’m guessing that means that Rumia is going to be targeted yet again.

Hmm…this episode has chimeras, alchemy, and idea of bringing the dead back to life. Where have I seen this before?

I get the sense that this statement from the tour guide is meant to suggest to that Glenn has seen or performed a “revival” in the past, but it’s annoying that this explanation is so vague. What’s the missing element needed to successfully bring someone back to life? Oh, somebody would need to be able to make up the spell we need. You can do better than that.

Wait, this guy isn’t Albert? If not, he looks like a copy of Glenn with blue hair.

Sigh…of course she’s insane.

Huh? They killed him, but he was still breathing? I guess that’s theoretically possible depending on how you define death, but it still sounds suspiciously like nonsense.

It makes sense for Riel to be too devoted to her brother to notice, but I’m annoyed that they went through the effort of making her brother look obviously flustered when Glenn shows up. At least give that a purpose.

One of these days they’ll tell us why these guys care about Rumia so much.

Glenn’s doing surprisingly well with his gaping wound that hasn’t been bandaged. I’m pretty sure he’s just losing blood over there. Meh…maybe Albert used magic to close the wound or something. Magic world things?

I was wondering why Albert thought it was necessary to drag Glenn here to revive him. He just needs more mana? That seems a bit weak. Oh well…at least there’s an explanation.

Yup, these are still funny. Poor Celica only gets to show up in previews.

Suka Suka Episode 7: The cake was not a lie

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I’m really not sure how I should feel about this episode. I didn’t really have a problem with Chtholly’s interactions in this episode and the mystery surrounding her condition, but it feels a bit odd to introduce two new characters at this point. Did I just miss a bunch a bunch of hints about these two? It also seems to trivialize Chtholly’s suicide mission a bit. But that aside, I didn’t mind seeing the romance play out in this episode. Yup…nothing to worry about in this series…

That hair color looks familiar.

Humanity was a mistake. Anyway, this conversation seems to be another hint at the link between humans and beasts. I don’t really think it gives any new information, though.

Is Chtholly really just covering the red hair with a hat? I guess it’s already highly likely that everyone will find out in this episode anyway, but I would have expected her to just cut the hair.

I hadn’t really thought about it too much before this point, so it kinda surprised me that this information was privileged. But that aside, how relevant is this Grick guy supposed to be? The two leprechauns look pretty important, but Grick doesn’t seem like much.

Yeah, Chtholly! It’s a perfectly reasonable request. Maybe it’s just me, but I was a bit annoyed that this scene cut after Nygglatho starts telling Chtholly about her body. It would make sense if you were trying to hide something from the audience, but Chtholly’s condition gets revealed after about two minutes pass.

Hey, maybe Chtholly’s body is becoming human or something. Then she could be with Willem?

The fact that Nygglatho is a troll in this world is so great. I found it really funny that Chtholly follows along with her reasoning when she’s talking about keeping Willem here with marriage.

Why does that matter, Chtholly? You’re in your room right now. It’s not like anyone else is watching. Just eat the cake!

Huh…for once, the promise before big battle was fulfilled. I guess it’s cheating if the promise comes so early in the series.

While I understand what’s going on here, I wonder if Willem’s request will have some ramifications back at home. Sure, everyone understands Chtholly’s situation and Willem’s feelings for her, but doesn’t it seem a bit unfair? Maybe I’m over-thinking it. After all, the other leprechauns don’t really have a problem with going into battle because they consider it to be their purpose.

Where the heck have these two been?

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 7: Trust issues

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I think I like the episodes like this one that focus on Mercenary and his daily troubles more than the ones that focus on the politics of the witch society. It’s interesting to see how Mercenary’s world has been shaped. That being said, there was a surprising amount of reused content in this episode. I have no problem with flashbacks that seem relevant, but I didn’t really understand what they were adding in this episode.

Also, Thirteen still doesn’t make sense. Does he really just want to keep Zero locked up in a cage? He seems pretty obsessed with the idea that Zero should still be in the cave. Why? What would make him think like that?

Yeah, I’m pretty depressed too, Mercenary. The first two minutes of this episode were in last week’s episode.

Those darn witches are taking all of our food!

I guess the show knows how much we want to see how Zero and Mercenary’s fight is resolved. Just look! They’re right back to focusing on how the beastfallen are treated!

Was anyone else bothered by how abruptly this cooking scene started? It was over before I realized what was happening.

Honestly, part of me was expecting this tavern girl to be Zero in disguise. Maybe I put too much value on eye color…

I think it would have been nicer to see more scenes like this before Mercenary betrayed Zero. We’re shown why Mercenary might have trouble trusting even the nice gestures that humans offer him. It’s really hard to blame him for having some form of doubt when dealing with someone as mysterious as Zero.

Seriously? There’s another flashback in this episode?

Aren’t these witches similar to the ones that attacked Mercenary in the first episode? Were those just rogue witches? I guess it’s not important.

I think this conversation illustrates what I was assuming last week. I don’t really get the sense that Zero is upset with Mercenary…she’s probably just hurt.

I was going to say something about the lack of wound on Mercenary, but this protection spell seems to explain that. I’m a bit worried about this, though. I guess there’s still time for Mercenary to realize that Zero was devoted enough to him to protect him, but this feels like something he will find out when he reunites with her. How are they going to motivate him to search for Zero again?

I think there’s a message in here somewhere about heavy stereotyping encouraging people to follow the negative stereotypes. Maybe they’re trying to say that the beastfallen wouldn’t necessarily resort to allowing their rampage to run wild if people didn’t constantly reinforce the idea that they can’t control themselves.

I’ve seen the theory that Albus is actually Sorena’s granddaughter and his current role in the story is making me really want to believe it.

Spring 2017 Other Shows in the Season

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Since we’re not getting an episode of Seikaisuru Kado this week, I’m gonna take this chance to go through my favorite series in the season that aren’t already getting mentioned on this blog.

Quan Zhi Gao Shou (King’s Avatar)

In case you’re not familiar with this series, it’s a Chinese animation about a professional MMORPG player who is kicked from his team. He then decides to start over from scratch with a new character and uses his experiences to get back to the top. I’ve seen it mentioned that this series has a lot of esports elements involved, but I’m not entirely sold on that yet. I still think the major focus of the series so far has been establishing the elements of the game they’re playing, Glory.

However, I think the esports references that have been made so far are the parts of this series that have me so interested. There’s a particular scene in the series where the main character, Ye Xiu, is watching a live stream of his former team’s match that was really cool because of the team strategy that Ye Xiu explains. I also wonder how long Ye Xiu will be able to keep winning in the game. At this point, it’s acceptable that he can’t be beaten because he’s arguably the best player in the game, but it can’t go on forever.

I’m not sure whether this is restricted in certain countries, but you can find this series with English subtitles on Tencent’s youtube channel. It also has Chinese subtitles, which is pretty cool for me (being the disgrace to my Chinese family that I am).

Tsuki ga Kirei

There are plenty of other posts about this series out there, and I’m definitely not going to be able to do much better. This series can be pretty easily described as “two middle school students fall in love”, but it still managed to keep me entertained. I’m not sure if that’s just because I was spending a lot of time thinking “just tell him/her already”, but I still think that the series has had a lot of really endearing moments (the light switch boxing thing is really cool). I think my overall opinion of this series is “if you thought the beginning was boring, that’s probably not going to change, but I think it’s fun”.

Boku no Hero Academia S2

Honestly, I probably wasn’t nearly as hyped about this second season as most people were, but I’ve been enjoying it a lot more than I expected. A lot of the issues I had with the first season revolved around the way that Izuku got his power, the second season has the advantage of having already gotten past that. I also think the second season is doing a good job of forcing Izuku to use his head and avoid using his power. The one thing that I find worrying so far is the fact that Izuku holds his power back when using it against another person. If he becomes too reliant on that fact, it feels like a cheat, so it’s something I’ve been wary of while I’m watching.

Re:Creators Episode 7: Picking sides

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I admit that I found a lot of the ideas presented in this episode to be pretty interesting. I still have my issues, but I appreciated Mamika’s change in character and how that linked to the broader idea of how to deal with Magane. That being said, Sota’s actions still confuse me, and I don’t really understand why the creators have been so far in the background. They seem to be pivotal to the story, but they’re mostly treated as though their work is done. Can they influence their creations at all anymore?

There was one thing in this episode that caught my interest. They focused really heavily on the idea that the characters might be changing, but not as much on why that might be happening. I wonder if it’s some kind of reference to the idea that a character’s motivations might not always match that character’s actions. It’s impossible to fully understand a person’s actions, so it’s not crazy for an author to get it wrong with their own character. This episode may have been pointing to that disparity as a source for the change in the Creations.

The translation for this opening scene is really strange. This sentence in particular is just confusing…there has to be a better way to communicate this thought.

I still can’t tell if I’m overly biased because this guy is the Persona guy.

I’m curious…how is Mamika acting any different than the other Creations? She just seems like an extra competitor adding to the damage. Still, I like that the Creations aren’t cleanly split into two sides. They each have their own motivations and targets.

Run! The giant robot’s here!

Aww man. That’s a pretty vague description of Magane’s power. We already knew that much. Is it even worth mentioning?

Again, I’m not sure if this is the translation or anything, but it seems to be a complicated way to say a simple thing. Mirokuji even admits that it’s a simple thought. It sounds like he’s saying that the Creations were previously restricted into showing the parts of their personality pertinent to the story. Now that they’re not longer following a script, they can act more in line with their character description. As a result, they can do things that you wouldn’t expect them to do if you were judging solely on their actions in the source material.

These two make good bros.

Are there really no negative repercussions to murdering your creator? I suppose the Military Uniform Princess is going around just fine without a creator.

If you’ve already told Kikuchihara all of this information, why are you having this conversation? For the audience?

Huh? In what way are the genres of the Creations similar? Maybe he’s trying to say that the fact that the Creations are all Japanese indicates that they’re all based on the interests of the Military Uniform Princess’s creator. It would make sense given that Sota knows many of the Creations. If he had a relationship with the girl who created the Military Uniform Princess, they might share interests.

Seriously, why did Sota need to wait until now to tell people who the Military Uniform Princess (I guess I should start calling her Altair) is? It doesn’t seem to serve any purpose.

First off, how do neither of these two characters notice Magane? More importantly, Sota makes it sound like he’s about to say that Altair is his Creation. The fact that he was only a collaborator was a good explanation for why he didn’t recognize Altair immediately. If she’s really his Creation, it’s really surprising that he wouldn’t notice immediately.

Attack on Titan Episode 33: Old times

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I’m not too sure about this episode. I guess it was a necessary cool down, but there wasn’t a lot happening. I didn’t have a huge problem with seeing how Hannes has been acting as a guardian for Eren and his friends either, but it felt like it was the only thing that happened in this episode. Anyway, next week’s episode should be more fun since we’ll get some more information on Reiner and Bertholdt.

I want to take a second to address the cliffhanger resolution in this episode, because I think it highlights my main issue with them. When the episode starts, it takes only about two minutes for all of the drama and intensity to fizzle. Would it really have been less dramatic if the previous episode had ended with a shot of the Armored Titan running off with Eren? It still feels like a pretty tense moment where we don’t know what will happen to Eren, so I think it would have been equally effective. But then again, maybe this episode wouldn’t have been as interesting without the bit at the beginning.

Wait, Bertholdt and Reiner were unarmed when they transformed, weren’t they? When did Bertholdt get this gear? This might be why he ate the second guy back when he first transformed. I was wondering about that when I first saw it.

I thought we were past this “the Scouts are a disappointment” banter. I suppose this is meant to show that the people from the inner sections have no idea what’s going on outside their walls.

Is it time to send out the reinforcements?

Why are the outlines so thick here? I have no sense for visuals, so it might be intentional. But it’s noticeable to the point of feeling out of place.

Also, Eren seems to be winning the fight against this guy, but his friends don’t seem to care.

He’s not wrong. Honestly, this flashback seems to be more about highlighting how much Hannes has changed than anything else.

I found this scene funnier than I really should have. Mikasa dramatically looks over the wall to see what happened while she was unconscious and sees that one Titan sitting there with a goofy expression on its face. I could just imagine it saying “hello” or waving.

He’s such a good friend…

I think this series generally handles flashbacks well, but I didn’t really see what this one was accomplishing. After all, it’s a scene we had just been shown in this episode.

This minor focus on Hannes and how much he’s changed is a nice touch. I can’t remember how much this has been emphasized before now, but I think it’s cool that he’s been working to atone for his past self in the background.

I’m sorry. I know that Hange is explaining why Reiner and Bertholdt might be in that forest, but I’m completely focused on these lifts. I was curious how they stopped the cart from tipping when they hit the bump in the wall, so seeing the wheels on the wall-facing side was pretty cool.

Let’s have a chat?