Re:Creators Episode 11: Stop bully

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Wow, this episode felt like a lot of information. While I was a little disappointed in the predictability of Sota’s backstory, it’s nice to see it out on the table. The conversation Sota has with Rui in the first half of the episode was a great motivation for the reveal. I’m almost willing to say that Sota’s secrecy was worth it. Either way, we’ve hit the halfway point and it seems like we’ve come so far. I’m really curious to see where the series goes from here. It feels like we could easily have a final episode next week, so I’m looking forward to see what else is in store.

Given what happened to Selesia in last week’s episode, it’s a bit of a dick move to open the episode with Meteora. I know it immediately cuts to Selesia, but I still wanted to point it out.

Yeah, those seem like two relatively equal events.

I’m not sure if we’re going to get a full explanation, so I’ll give it a shot. Since everyone initially accepted the design after seeing the picture on social media, Selesia was able to gain the abilities depicted in the image. The reason the power went away was probably because there wasn’t enough of a story built around the power for the readers to accept it as part of the story.

There’s something about Matsubara’s line here and the specific terminology that’s used to describe the influence of the readers that makes me feel a bit excluded. It makes it sound like the reader truly has to see the life in a story in order to give life to a Creation like Selesia. I’ve never been one to think that way about a story. But then again, maybe it’s enough just to see the humanity of the fictional character and identify the traits that map to yourself. I can do that.

Huh…I hadn’t noticed because Rui didn’t have much of a role before this episode, but he’s actually perfect to have this pep talk with Sota. Most mecha anime protagonists start as whiny brats who are then thrust into the heat of war. As someone who has made it through this process, Rui would know Sota’s feelings better than anyone else.

It’s a bit strange that Rui thinks this way, but still prefers his own world. You could say that the very act of coming to this world has opened that same ability for himself. Now, he’s no longer constrained by the god of his world. But maybe that’s not case. I guess Rui will eventually have to return to his story and save his world. That path is already set. He could choose to forsake it, but it goes against his character, which is also set. There might be an interesting discussion about will in here somewhere.

An earlier screen showed a monitor with the words “Auto Drive” on it. Does Rui really need Sota to grab the phone for him if he’s not driving the Gigas Machina? Is this scene put here just to make a joke about mecha pilot bodysuits?

Woohoo! Finally!

First dates…

Seriously? Did we really need this? It’s bad enough that they’re able to get to these rafters without trouble. This random forced tension just feels strange. It’s almost like they’re trying to tease the suicide in Shimazaki’s future.

I’m sure it wouldn’t have fit Sota’s character, but I would have found his hesitation much more believable if he had instigated the online witch hunt against Shimazaki’s work. Of course, I can understand why he would still feel guilty for not being able to help his friend, but I guess I don’t see that as a crippling level of guilt. I guess my mind is a bit strange because I would see Shimazaki’s success as motivation to do better myself.

Attack on Titan Episode 37: Time for another season?

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Well, I give this season credit for not ending on a cliffhanger. I was honestly expecting it. Anyway, this episode ended up being a decent resolution for the arc, with the combination of Eren’s new ability and Hannes’s death. Overall, I felt like this season did a good job of putting the focus on some of the side characters. It sounds like a third season is coming, so that should be fun.

Ymir seems pretty willing to help despite this statement.

This is the second time we’ve had a scene like this, immediately cutting into a person being eaten by a Titan. I still haven’t decided whether it shows how devastating Titans are or how incompetent humans are.

Uhh…that’s a pretty cool song playing in the background.

At this point, Eren’s inability to transform when he needs it isn’t surprising anymore.

Yeah, he was getting a bit too much character development. It’s too bad, though. I was hoping Hannes might get some redemption.

This is probably the closest thing we’ll get to romance in this series.

A new power has been unlocked.

I was thinking the same thing, Reiner. Eren’s way too emotionally unstable for a power like that.

I’m not sure I understand why Ymir ends up going back for Reiner and Bertholdt, but it might have something to do with the stuff Historia said about living for herself. I wonder if Ymir accepts that Historia doesn’t need anymore protection or something.

I have no idea what this epilogue is saying. We’ve been watching the Scouts as they examined Wall Rose and declared that it wasn’t breached. However, this line doesn’t really mention that, making it sound like the authorities made up the story about Wall Rose being secure without any confirmation because of the overpopulation crisis.

You were the chosen one after all! Somehow Erwin knew the whole time!

I honestly wasn’t expecting this kind of reaction. I guess it raises a question of when we decide that a human is no longer human.

Final Score: 7/10

Sakurada Reset Episode 11: Making friends

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While this episode posed an idea that I found interesting, it was largely nothing. I get that this was the point, but I guess I don’t like Misora’s character enough to follow an episode like this. I’m not really saying it’s a waste of time because it showed how Misora thinks, but there really isn’t much to say about it overall.

I really should put more effort into keeping track of the timeline for this series, but I was completely lost in this episode. I remember the scene that triggered this episode, but I can’t remember where it is in relation to the other episodes. I think we’ll have to see how everything turns out in the end, but I think the jumpy timeline is the most frustrating part of this series. I still haven’t seen a major benefit to it yet.

This line is brutal.

She’s learning!

In Misora’s defense, I feel this way about most people. But getting away from the scene itself, I’m not a fan of this translation. I don’t understand how you can “have like” for something.

It took me a second to understand this conversation. It’s a bit distracting to use cats in an example meant to illustrate the power of words, but the person proposing the scenario is someone who is most accustomed to conversing with cats. I think it says something about the way I think that my first reaction is “words have no effect on a cat because it wouldn’t understand them”.

I admit I don’t know enough about people to fully evaluate this conversation. My understanding is that Misora’s solution is targeted towards providing immediate comfort that could backfire without follow-up. That’s why she mentions that the cat could be facing the same hardships the next day without similar “hope”. Nono attempts to give a persistent form of comfort by providing empathy instead of hope. The idea is that the cat could take comfort in knowing that someone out there is going through the same thing if it suffers the same hardships the next day.

I’m not sure I totally agree, but it’s something I don’t normally consider. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I wonder if it’s similar to the “give a man fish/teach a man to fish” adage. It falls apart a bit in the second part, but you could argue that teaching is a manifestation of empathizing with a person enough to understand the root problem instead of the immediate need.

Misora went through that entire conversation just to be stuck in the acquaintance zone…

If the plan has a fancy name, then it has to succeed!

Just…no.

Are you trying to make me empathize with Misora? Well, it’s working. I can think of countless conversations that I’ve had that were similar to this one.

I see the internet research that Misora’s been doing is paying off.

That’s an unhealthy level of worship for Kei’s abilities.

I’m surprised that Misora never noticed that she was being followed, but I guess it makes sense given how much she was overthinking her home visit at Kei’s place. I still don’t understand how Minami sent the fake text, though.

Little Witch Academia Episode 23: Renewed hope?

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This episode had more worried for a bit. I was disappointed with Chariot’s story in the beginning of the episode, but I liked Diana’s conversation with Akko near the end. I guess I was expecting a bit more from Chariot’s background than what we got, so it felt like wasted potential. That being said, I’m still curious to see where the series will go with the final Word. Based on the quote from the Shiny Chariot card that Diana gives to Akko, I wonder if the final Word has to do with trusting someone else. Maybe Akko needs to entrust the final Word to Diana in order to make it work. That could be a fun way to end things.

Diana’s on the case! Since Diana knows that Ursula left to find Akko, her actions make a lot of sense. I always appreciate scenes like this.

This seems familiar.

This explanation of Chariot’s backstory is overall pretty disappointing so far. First off, Croix’s dissent is literally boiled down to jealousy about the Shiny Rod. The earlier reveals suggested there was more to Croix than that, but it seems like that’s all we get.

More importantly, I feel like there could have been more interesting ways to explain Chariot’s use of Dream Fuel Spirit. At the end of the day, Croix is just the ultimate villain of the series, tricking Chariot into using unsafe magic. I was thinking that the nature of her shows might force her to resort to using an alternate means of fueling her magic, since she couldn’t carry a Sorcerer’s Stone around with her. Alternatively, there could have just been a darker side to Chariot in the past…that would have worked too.

This entire scene suggests that Chariot only used the Dream Fuel Spirit on one show. I get why that might weigh on her conscience, but that seems like an honest mistake.

I’m not sure I’m willing to buy into this “more magic means more entertainment” idea. It feels like a general lack of resource management and creativity from Chariot. I suppose it’s stated that she isn’t a great witch, so that might make sense. I wonder if this scene is trying to suggest that Akko succeeds in that respect, using what little magic she can muster to provide entertainment.

She knows!

Ouch, Diana is coming up pretty big in this scene. I found it impressive enough that she didn’t flip out at Ursula taking her magic as a child. This line is just adding even more.

Diana’s probably the best character to find Akko in this situation.

I like how the scene blows past this revelation. It adds to the story, but there’s no reason to dwell on it.

I’m enjoying this conversation between Diana and Akko. Diana’s position is almost like a future state for Akko. She can see the paths that Akko and essentially gives her preference.

You could say that Diana believes in Akko’s heart that believes in her.

I can’t see this ending well.

Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records Episode 11: Failure

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Yeesh…this week’s episode was really pushing Leos as this terrible antagonist. I wonder if it was pushed a little too hard. The combination of the reference to Angel Dust in this episode and the focus on the bags under Leos’s eyes makes me wonder if the drug and Leos’s behavior are supposed to be linked. If not, Leos seems like a pretty boring bad guy who wants to secure a noble position by marrying Sistine. Either way, I guess next week is the finale. Given the strange ending of this week’s episode, I wonder how Glenn will make it back to save Sistine. Plus, don’t the Researchers of Divine Wisdom need to do something to Rumia before this arc ends?

I get that this is a petty battle between Glenn and Leos, but I would expect a good teacher to emphasize what the students can do to contribute to victory.

That’s a silly illusion, Sistine. There’s no way Glenn would buy such a fancy ring.

This is some seriously high-level strategy…

It feels like Riel would be capable of winning this entire battle herself.

Classic Glenn. This battle reminds me of a quote a friend of mine used to say: “Always cheat. Always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.”

Guys, I already don’t like this guy. You don’t need to continue to convince me. Leos is starting to sound childish.

Riel looks very comfortable down ther- err…I mean, there’s some conversation going on about Sistine and Glenn right now. I’m definitely paying attention! Also, that transition showing the tour guide dude from the last arc and Leos wasn’t the most subtle thing in the world.

If you think about it, Leos is the one who’s truly attempting to marry into money.

She knows!

Glenn goes through these possible explanations for his actions, and I’m surprised he doesn’t try to link Sistine’s dream with his own dream to become a mage of justice. That seems like the simplest explanation. Maybe he refuses to admit that his dream is still alive.

I’m surprised that Glenn loses this fight. I wonder if it’s supposed to be a refutation of his earlier statement that Leos is purely focused on research.

Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

Phew…I was worried that they were actually doing a real preview.

Suka Suka Episode 10: Everything is solved

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Well, this certainly seemed like an uplifting episode. I definitely didn’t see any flags that would suggest that tragedy may be approaching! We just got some nice confessions for this love story! What could possibly go wrong? The big reveal of the episode wasn’t too surprising. I guess I should give the series credit for not explicitly stating it and instead giving really painfully conclusive evidence. Either way, it looks like next week is going to bring everyone into battle. I recall Grick saying something about it being unlikely that another beast would attack them because they had fought a territorial one recently. I guess not…

I guess it makes sense that they wouldn’t assume that Willem is a human. This screenshot seems like it would be pretty useful outside of this context.

We’re back to this, I see.

Based on what I’ve said in earlier episodes, do I even want to know the answer to this question? Also, I’d be more critical of Rhan’s impression of Willem, but they’ve made it a point to show us that Rhan has been researching the beasts.

While this is a fun joke and all, it’s later revealed that Rhan and Nopht aren’t following Willem. Why is this even relevant?

I was initially wondering why this argument was happening, but I guess most people in this series are used to being in the floating islands. Therefore, it would make sense for Grick to be this confident in his experience with underground exploration. I guess the question still stands, though, since Willem quickly tricks the commanding officer into listening to Grick.

She looks familiar. Also, nice name.

Are you starting to realize something about Chtholly, Willem?

This can’t be good.

Wait, really? That was easy. I can’t believe he just found the sword in storage. Was the scene right before this one meant to mislead us into thinking that Lapidemsibilus was still underground?

What could this mean? If I had any doubts that beasts were formerly humans, they’re gone now…

Come again?

I’m really curious about Willem’s mental state here. I’m inclined to believe he’s being genuine when he says this stuff about wanting to live for Chtholly. He just realized something pretty big, so it’s possible that he also realizes that he can get through it with Chtholly’s help. However, I’m wondering if that’s a bit too convoluted…this could just be a knee-jerk reaction to an unstable mental state.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 10: The master plan

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I think my complaint with this week’s episode is the same thing I said last week. Characters seem to appear for no reason and do things only to be tossed aside after that happens. And while I don’t think Thirteen is a convincing antagonist, I will admit that he was at least set up as the antagonist. I still don’t understand how the blood contract works, though. Presumably, the contract is the reason that witches disintegrate when they try to attack him, so how are they going to be able to kill him? I’m assuming he doesn’t expect them all to come attack him one-by-one and disintegrate. Anyway, I guess next week’s episode is the big finish. I have no idea what will happen in the final episode of this series.

That’s very discreet, Mercenary.

Yeah, that makes sense! Plus, you have gravity on your side! We’ve even seen Mercenary fall down the cliff once already.

I’m willing to accept that Zero is still upset about Mercenary’s unwillingness to return her feelings, but she sure does go through a spectrum of emotions in this scene.

Thirteen’s not very creative with his traps, is he? It almost feels like this could have been foreseen…

I haven’t been keeping track of the distinction between “sorcery” and “magic” in this world. I’m pretty sure Zero created magic, so is Albus suggesting that they deny all magic and then spread it again? What does that accomplish? Is she just saying “we’ll do it better this time”?

I was pretty sure that Thirteen was Him, but I couldn’t accept that everyone in the Sorcerers of Zero could follow someone they had never seen. Since Thirteen was obviously an enemy of the group, I expected that most of the Sorcerers of Zero would know him as the Sorcerer of the State. If this series wanted this reveal to hit harder, they could have at least given some form of justification for a group that could follow a nameless leader.

I’ll admit that using the blood contract to trick the witches into killing themselves is clever. However, it makes the Sorcerers of Zero even more idiotic if they swore a blood contract with someone they’ve never seen.

This is some series “old guy ex machina”.

I think this scene is meant to show that Thirteen isn’t truly evil, but I dunno how willing I am to agree. The witches in the cave leave a big hole in this argument. How did they die if Thirteen claims innocence? Also, I would have been more willing to accept that the Sorcerers of Zero were themselves responsible for all of the horrible things they did if we hadn’t just seen them receiving an order from Him. You expect me to believe that Thirteen never gave similar directions?

This might be the one part of the episode I didn’t mind. Mercenary uses his head for once and uses the limited information that Thirteen gave him to beat him. I don’t even mind that Mercenary basically gives away his plan while he’s figuring it out. Anger is a difficult emotion to control, so Thirteen probably didn’t even realize how much he was being manipulated.

Sigh…I guess this has the same amount of validity as Thirteen’s statements.

This scene seems familiar…

Seikaisuru Kado Episode 9: Control

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This episode felt like a mixed bag for me. It dropped a ton of new information that explains a lot of what the series is trying to push, but I’m not entirely convinced that I like this direction. I think last week’s episode brought up the legitimate concern of advancing humanity’s innovation too quickly, but it feels like that will get pushed to the side as two anisotropic beings fight it out. Basically, I see this as an over-simplification of the plot that directs us to only a few potential outcomes. I’m kinda hoping I’m wrong about that…we’ll have to see where this goes. I liked the reveal that Tsukai was another anisotropic being, though. I didn’t expect it to go this way, and her position from last week makes a bit more sense now.

Wasn’t there a scene from one of the last two episodes where the news crew was chatting with Setten from within Kado? I didn’t point it out back then because I saw no reason why they couldn’t transmit, but this seems to be a direct contradiction.

I’m not going to even pretend like I could interpret this.

We’re already on the fourth object? Maybe it’s the ending of last week’s episode that’s clouding my judgment, but this looks much more sinister than the others.

Are we preparing for war against Yaha-kui? It sounds like you’re trying to beat his defense system.

First, we give humans unlimited energy. Next, we give them the ability to live without sleep. Then, let’s wrap things up by giving them to control the physical properties of the universe. Seems reasonable.

I don’t understand what’s going on with this crazy rotation scene…

Wait, is this supposed to suggest that the only being appropriate for Shindo is an anisotropic being? Because there aren’t many options in that category…

I’m not sure I understand this analogy. A CPU is generally meant to transform data, so increasing the number of dimensions (and with it the number of bits) should have more of an effect on memory use. If you wanted to make the CPU comparison, I would compare it to cores.

Uhh, Yaha-kui…you’re looking a little crazy over there. Is he saying he wants humanity to be a fountain of information? Is that what he meant when he said that humans would never be able to produce more than they consume? The anisotropic might be absorbing all of their excess information.

Oh crap, this series is going for the “universe is a simulation” interpretation.

I have historically had an issue with this “humanity is the pinnacle of intelligence” idea, and this series is not helping with it. Still, the idea of a universe as being the result of some finite set of initial parameters is a concept I’ve thought over before…

We’re stepping into some sketchy territory here…

Yup, I guess he’s going to be evil…

Okay, I wasn’t expecting this.

Re:Creators Episode 10: Power of the people

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This episode seems to mark an introduction for the creators as more active contributors to the story. I’m looking forward to seeing what implications this will have for the series, especially since I wasn’t expecting it to be a temporary effect. I also don’t really mind giving Magane a weapon. She made a lot less sense in the cast as a non-combatant, so having Hangaku gives her means to participate legitimately in combat. I just wish they could have set up Mirokuji a bit more. I didn’t expect him to fall for Magane’s power again after having it explained to him just last episode. Next week is the halfway point for the series. I’m hoping it’s fun.

I suppose it makes sense for Alice to be the most seasoned fighter in the cast given her frustrating mental abilities. Plus, Mirokuji comes off as a street fighter in comparison.

Help Selesia? What’s going on with Selesia? I’m going to assume this is a mistaken translation.

As much as I find Magane’s character interesting, it makes no sense that she’s alive. She’s fighting unarmed against Mirokuji and Hangaku. Just how strong is she supposed to be?

I’m not sure I’m fully convinced by this scene yet. I understand how Magane could figure out who Hangaku is based on historical knowledge, but I don’t get how she figures out that Mirokuji sees her as a curse. That being said, I guess it’s not completely relevant to how Magane seems to be trying to capture Hangaku.

I’m glad to see that Sota’s finally doing something. I wonder if it would have been more effective to say that we, as readers, feel an even greater sense of helplessness when reading stories like Alice’s story because we can’t do anything to change the outcome. That’s the line of thinking I would use. I guess Sota’s argument about looking up to Alice works too.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand how Alice’s mind works. I get that her construction of Mamika’s death is consistent with the information that Altair has been feeding her, but I don’t get why she chooses to ignore the lying nature of Magane. She was probably the most insistent about the fact that Magane is a pathological liar. Eh, I guess I have to accept that grief sucks for anime characters. I also can’t completely blame her. Sota and Meteora could have put a lot more effort into disputing the claim that Meteora killed Mamika, but they give up on that pretty quickly.

Wow, these are some mad hacks from Altair. I guess she brought everyone into the world, so it would make sense that she has some control over them, even if it’s limited to their tools. To look at it from another perspective, though, I want to point out that Selesia’s attack didn’t really make sense from the beginning. Why would you aim at the point of a lance?

I’m curious…is this entire sequence meant to just break Alice? I don’t understand how she can continue to serve Altair after this unless she just snaps.

Aww man. The mecha finally gets a chance to fight and it has to fight a clone of itself.

There’s a message about needing the readers to work together with the content creators to build a true story in here somewhere. There’s probably also a statement in here somewhere about the number of otaku and news bloggers are responding to an image posted in the middle of the night.

We finally figured out how to hack these characters! Now, we can get to the cool stuff.

I look forward to seeing the explanation for this.

Science Behind Seikaisuru Kado’s Sansa

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Spoiler warning: I’m restricting this post to the functionality of the Sansa, so there really won’t be much discussion about plot points. The warning is here nonetheless.

Seikaisuru Kado has been one of my favorite shows in this season and a lot of it has to do with the sci-fi theme. My favorite feature of the sci-fi genre is the ability to explore the possibilities hidden in the natural world. Kado does this by introducing crazy extra-dimensional objects to solve some of humanity’s problems. I wanted to write about all of them, but I don’t know enough physics to comment on the Wam. The recently introduced Sansa, on the other hand, is a bit of an easier target.

As it’s introduced in the series, the Sansa is an anisotropic tool designed to give humans the ability to sense the anisotropic, which can be thought of as being similar to higher spatial dimensions. As a side effect, humans are able to make full use of their brains, which apparently extends into multiple dimensions.

When I first saw the Sansa, my reaction was that it was a reference to the old myth that humans only use 10% of their brains. If your physical brain is only a part of your true brain, then this idea totally makes sense. Plus, you can add in plenty of other unexplained mental phenomena. For example, you could say that the feeling of déjà vu is caused by rogue memories entering your brain from other dimensions. I think this is where the idea of the Sansa originated.

Now where did the idea of eliminating the need for sleep originate? I suspect it has something to do with the concept of unihemispheric slow-wave sleep. This is something we’ve observed in some species of birds and marine mammals. It’s believed that certain species of birds can enter a state of sleep and continue to react to their environment while flying. There’s still a lot of research to be done in this field, especially about the quality of this type of sleep, but it makes for a good sci-fi story.

I wanted to keep this post restricted to the inspirations for the Sansa because I don’t know how much I can speak to the validity of it (I’m not a sleep expert). I wanted to finish off with a particular question I had about the Sansa, though. The series doesn’t really make it clear if it’s just the human brain that is multi-dimensional. Are the other “selves” contained within your full brain attached to other physical bodies? It’s common for consciousness to be treated as being separate from your physical brain (it’s an idea that I don’t really like if I’m being honest). I wonder if the series is trying to suggest that human consciousness transcends the known universe into other dimensions. Otherwise, it would make more sense for there to be other bodies in these higher dimensions.

Anyway, I hope you found this all interesting. Let me know what you think!