Guilty Crown Episode 7

As expected, things start to calm down in this week’s episode now that Shu’s data has been erased. Still, Shu’s classmates see him as a criminal because of his abduction by the GHQ. However, with the help of the student council president, Kuhouin Arisa (Alice?), they accept that he was picked up by mistake and start to ask him about the GHQ.

Meanwhile, Inori inadvertently meets Shu’s mother when she suddenly returns home. That awkwardness aside, Shu is called by Gai for a mission where they infiltrate a cruise. There, he’s surprised to see not only his mother, but also Arisa.

The mission is interrupted when missiles are fired at the cruise. In order to save the ship, Gai tricks Arisa and Shu draws her Void to stop the missile barrage. Meanwhile, the rest of the Undertakers complete the mission, forming an alliance with the Kuhouin group.

Ok…the obvious stuff about Haruka aside, it looks like something interesting going on between Gai and Arisa. It also seems like Haruka knows the mystery girl that’s related to Inori (who I want to know about so freaking bad). Still very annoyed about Shu’s personality, but I guess I can manage. Keep looking forward to this show…Inori says so.

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Life’s Great Mysteries: Does animation vs. live action affect the time that a show runs?

This is sort of a pilot to a series of posts that I’m going to try to start that I call “Life’s Great Mysteries.” I had originally thought about calling it “Solving Life’s Greatest Mysteries with the Great and Brilliant Marth,” but I figured that was a bit too long (and too modest).

So I’ve been wondering lately about the different trends I see in American TV shows and anime regarding length. If you look at many of the shows in anime recently, they’re all either 12 episodes or 25 episodes long and then they’re just finished.

On the other hand, the shows I follow in America have been going on for 3+ seasons. Scrubs ran 9 seasons, White Collar is sitting on 3 seasons, Leverage and Castle are sitting on Season 4, and Chuck and The Big Bang Theory are on Season 5.

Let’s take the popular shows in the fall season for example to compare. Persona 4 is going to run 25 episodes, which you may count as 2 seasons, Guilty Crown is slated for 22 episodes, which is similar, and Fate/Zero is running 13 episodes, with a second season picking up later.

So I wonder: is this a result of animation versus live acting? My thinking was that on one hand, animation may require more effort because of the strain of drawing and moving every single scene and that may have something to do with the production patterns. But on the other hand, live acting may run into similar stress because of the constant rigidity of real life (aka physics) and the problems of setting and props.

Living with a 12 year old younger sister introduces you to the animated side of America too, and I notice they similarly run for long stretches. So now I wonder if these different production patterns say something about each culture’s approach to entertainment.

Maybe American viewers like to familiarize themselves with a certain cast going through a story while Japan tends to stick to certain motifs starring a multitude of different casts. Or maybe Japan takes an approach of starting on a clean slate when trying new things while America tries innovate while still working around the base they’ve set.

Before you say anything, yes, I know that Japan has live action shows. I don’t really know much about how those sorts of Japanese shows run, but I wonder if they run similarly to American shows. Maybe that would rule out a cultural difference.

Another possibility is that the entire difference is intentional. Maybe producers feel that live actors feel more real to the viewers and are easier to become attached to, making it harder for them to change up their shows. Whereas producers for animation may believe that the flexibility of animation gives them free reign to try completely new characters designs to broaden their viewership.

I’m curious to hear what you all think of this situation. Is there something I missed? Am I completely nuts? Is everything I said nonsensical and boring? Is anime the greatest thing in the world and not at all comparable to 3D? Are the images too distracting from the post itself? All of these are questions that you may have and for which I would definitely want to know the answers. And since you’re all so clever, I’m sure there are other things that I haven’t even thought of that you want to say, so comment below! Not only would I appreciate feedback on this post, but I’d also love to see some suggestions for other questions I might tackle.

Tamayura Hitotose Episode 8

The aftermath of the Road of Aspiration festival. This week’s episode looks more into Shihomi Riho, who Fu looks up to as a photographer. Fu mentions a time in the past when she found a photo album that truly amazed her, marking her first encounter with Shihomi. Meanwhile, everyone goes to the photo studio to find Komachi, who has also taken up photography to impress Kou.

Everyone goes to see Shihomi, who is staying at the Hobiro restaurant with Yakusa Chimo, who is a cook. As everyone else starts to leave, Fu shows Shihomi her own pictures, and after some conversation, Shihomi invites Fu to come with her and Chimo to visit a friend of theirs.

As they make their way on the train, Fu starts to worry that Shihomi may be thinking of giving up as a photographer, but pushes the thought aside. When they arrive, they meet Misano, who works at a restaurant called Casablanca, and Fu is introduced.

As Chimo and Misano talk about giving up their dreams of being illustrators, Fu starts to worry more about Shihomi. Shihomi senses Fu’s worries, and reassures her that she will not give up on photography yet.

Very nice to be seeing other characters and their stories. Fu was pretty cute in this episode, but more Maon was needed! Still, good stuff as usual. There’s going to be a second post later today, so look forward to that! Unfortunately, my contract doesn’t allow me to say any more about it.

Chihayafuru Episode 8

One more member for the club before it’s official, so everyone is out recruiting. Unfortunately, this isn’t going so well, but at lunch, Chihaya recognizes someone from the flashback episodes (I don’t actually remember him, though). Meanwhile, Taichi explains the rules of karuta to Komano and Kaede.

The prospective member, Nishida, is a member of the tennis team, but Chihaya still tries to recruit him with her normal overzealous style. Chihaya notices that Nishida uses karuta to keep his rhythm while he plays tennis and points it out to him. He tries to play without karuta, but starts to perform poorly.

Nishida goes to the karuta club to check it out, and Taichi proposes that he plays against Chihaya when he says that practicing is pointless in karuta. Nishida takes an early lead, but   Chihaya starts to come back and manages to win. Nishida ends up quitting the tennis club and joining the karuta club.

The cast is assembled, so hopefully more stuff can happen. This show follows a pretty predictable trajectory and I don’t know how I feel about that yet. But it’s still entertaining, so I’ll keep watching. It was nice to learn more about the rules of karuta and strategy…those are the sorts of things I like to see. Look forward to more!

Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai Episode 8

Picking up where last week’s episode left off. Momoyo starts to fight with the robotic Tachibana. With a combined effort, everyone is able to land a blow on Tachibana. Flash forward to after the battle, where Momoyo is being told that Tachibana was killed in action in a mission from Ageha, and also being told about her research in cyborg prosthesis as a form of weaponry.

Everyone moves to attack again, but with the help of some analysis from one of her comrades watching from above, Tachibana is able to read all of their moves. However, Yamato is able to come up with a strategy, planting bombs on Tachibana.

Another flash forward reveals that Ageha falsely reported Tachibana’s death and used her as a candidate for the cyborg enhancements due to the extent of her injuries. Ageha also asks Momoyo not to fight with Tachibana, but Momoyo refuses.

Flash back one last time, revealing that Tachibana survived the explosion unscathed. Tachibana attacks, taking out everyone except for Momoyo. The battle continues, but it ends when Yamato is hit by a missile while he is trying to stop Momoyo from getting herself killed.

Plot! Delicious plot! First off…totally predicted Yamato getting hurt. Should be interesting to see where things go from here, probably dealing with Momoyo’s vulnerable side. This episode needed more Yukie, but I can forgive it. Keep looking forward to more.

Phi Brain – Kami no Puzzle Episode 8

This week’s episode starts off with Kaito getting called by Genius Okudera (you know, that guy from like the first episode), who has recently opened up a puzzle resort. However, the puzzle resort will be featuring a Sage Puzzle left by the manager’s dead grandfather, which is why Kaito is called. Kaito also brings along Nonoha and Ana.

The three just goof off at the resort for the first day, but Ana seems to react strangely to the construction going on around it. Nonoha goes off to find Ana the next morning while Kaito tackles the puzzle. She finds Ana painting a landscape, but in tears. Meanwhile, Kaito is solving the parts of the puzzle easily, but becomes suspicious that there are no traps.

As Kaito is about to solve the final puzzle, the rope bridge he’s walking across snaps, but he is saved by Anna and Nonoha. They solve the puzzle, but when they open the final door, they find more construction. However, Ana reveals that his painting was actually of the landscape that was originally there. The episode ends with the manager instead starting a restoration of the wildlife around the resort.

An interesting return for Anna, showing off more of his eccentricity. Gammon was replaced this week by Genius. Nice to finally see someone other than Kaito doing something. Poor Nonoha always on the sidelines. Anyways, more to come.

C Cube Episode 8

Back into action (again, sorry for the tardiness). Shiraho (the real one) explains that Sovereignty actual steals the emotion of love from the victims. Fear insists on finding Sovereignty and talking with her (I know it’s gender neutral, but I’m gonna just stick with “her”) and threatens Shiraho to lure her out.

Sovereignty appears to save Shiraho, but Fear and Kirika attack her. Fear ends up restraining her and forcing her to reveal all of her blades, and Haruaki destroys them, lifting her curse.

The next day, it’s revealed that Shiraho will start back up at school and Sovereignty is kept as a maid in the principal’s office (yeah…I know what you were thinking when you saw that). Sovereignty also gives Fear an Intelligence Disk for her own curse.

The principal tries to convince Shiraho that her father truly loved her, but she doesn’t seem to want to listen. However, she smiles at the thought in her class, also opening up socially. The episode ends with Fear asking Sovereignty to take her emotion of love away to see if she has it to begin with, but Sovereignty doesn’t end up doing it.

A pretty interesting ending to the Sovereignty story. Glad that they both made it as recurring characters in the series. The animation was kinda interesting this episode…made me keep flashing back to Bakemonogatari. I guess Sovereignty’s gonna be that character that spews fan service…which is…bad? More characters to introduce next week? Should be interesting to watch.

Fate/Zero Episode 8

Sorry for how late this post is. I’ve been at the convention center for MLG (google if you don’t know what that is) since 9 am. Taking a step away from Kiritsugu in the castle, Iris senses the arrival of another Master, Kirei. Rather than running, Iris suggests that they fight him (such a great character).

Meanwhile, Kiritsugu shoots his mega bullet, which manages to hit Kayneth, allowing him to escape. Kirei arrives, and easily takes out Maiya. However, Iris reveals that she knows an offensive form of magic, using it to restrain Kirei, although he quickly escapes. Also, Saber uses Excalibur to create a path for Lancer to pierce Caster’s tome, breaking his Noble Phantasm.

It’s revealed that Kiritsugu’s mega bullets are actually made from himself, and they act to cause magic circuits to go haywire, especially dangerous against a powerful magus like Kayneth. Unfortunately, Lancer arrives before he is able to finish Kayneth off and the two escape.

Kirei ends up stabbing Iris before running off before Saber arrives. Before anyone freaks out, Iris is not dead! Actually, Iris has Avalon, which heals her wounds, and she heals Maiya.

First off, it was definitely great to watch both Kiritsugu and Kirei in battle. Since these two are the central characters in this show, I’m glad that they are each epic enough to handle their importance. I’m also glad that Iris didn’t die…although I predict that she has to die. Rider and Berserker need to come back into the show…I miss them.

Persona 4 Episode 7

We’re…uhh, treated?…to another rendition of Kanji’s Midnight Channel debut. So…uhh…after we cleanse our memories of that experience, everyone goes into the TV to find Kanji. Kuma (Teddy? Let’s just go with Kuma) is unable to pick up Kanji’s scent, so everyone goes to speak to his mother to try to find something with his scent.

Because of this excursion, they all find out that Kanji’s actually quite the softy (he still beats the crap out of things in the game). They also have a conversation with Naoto, who surmises that Kanji is suppressing something (of course he is). Everyone goes back to the TV World, where Kuma is able to locate Kanji in…the sauna dungeon!

While everyone is making their way through the dungeon, Kanji is being tormented by his Shadow. Everyone shows up to save him, but as usual, they aren’t able to stop Kanji from rejecting his Shadow, who takes his true form. This episode’s battle becomes a bit more complicated, as Kanji’s Shadow also has minions.

Kanji’s Shadow tries to take out Kanji, but Yu takes the hit. Yu’s about to get hit by the Final Smash, but Igor reveals…Secret Technique: FUSION!!! Yu fuses two of his Persona together and makes who I believe is Yamata no Orochi. Yu then convinces Kanji to accept his Shadow, which lets him finish it off, revealing the Persona form.

Yeah…we all secretly enjoyed the random fan service scene when the girls fell into the sauna water…just admit it. Other differences in this episode: Kanji actually beats the Shadow himself, rather than Yu or anyone else (told you he was epic in battle). I think they did a great job of integrating fusion as well, giving Yu a pretty epic animation for it. Only three more Persona to go. Next up is Rise (that one’s gonna be a treat…trust me). But first, it looks like next week, we’re gonna be given the summer vacation episode. Also, we’re given a brief glimpse at the culprit in the rain.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Episode 7

By the time you read this, I shall be out of town, but no worries…I project no changes in my current rhythm. Of course, I’ve been wrong before…Anyways, back to the show. Yukimura focus this week. The main focus of Yukimura’s training this week is the task of making lunch for Maria, which Kodaka passes off.

Meanwhile, Kodaka suggests using a message board, which prompts a hilarious revelation that Sena was once called a troll on a message board (epic). Instead, Rika suggests the use of cell phones for contact, and they all exchange email addresses, with the exception of Sena, who doesn’t have a cell phone.

B-BAKA!!
Yozora, being Yozora, proceeds to torture Sena about her lack of cell phone. That night, Kodaka gets a call from Sena, who is clearly having trouble using a phone. She (very cryptically) asks for Kodaka’s cell phone’s make and model (we have no idea why).

The next day, Sena arrives at the clubroom with a cell phone exactly the same as Kodaka’s (whaaa? I’m so shocked!!). After exchanging addresses with Kodaka, Yozora very politely allows Kodaka to give Sena her own address (with no evil intentions, of course). The episode ends with Sena strangely getting a string of spam messages.

Seeing Yozora and Kodaka’s reaction to the digital world was absolutely hilarious (INFRARED??). Kodaka…continuing to keep it in his pants, despite Rika’s epic emails…so much respect. Sena used some classic tsundere lines this week, which did not make me drool at all (I promise!!). Yozora’s reaction at the end was pretty cute too. Submit to your feelings! Anyways, funny and enjoyable as always (so hilarious). Look forward to next week!