And so the start of a new season is upon us. Already a lot of people are watching the usual. Log Horizon, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Cross Ange; among other things. I had set myself a few shows to watch this season, though I’ve yet to pick on what show I’ll focus on or if I’ll do any blogging this season.
That said, as a refresher, my blogging style isn’t like anyone’s. I write a summary of the episode, a lengthy one that more or less goes scene-by-scene, and some quick recollections and thoughts I had at the end. Nothing deep, not big rating system, nothing. Others do it better I think. People like the folks over in Random Curiosity, or Infinite Zenith, or Gaikokimaniakku, or others, the list goes on.
It’s boring, unimaginative, and yet it’s as close to how I watch anime. Anime is a passing hobby for me nowadays. I’m not entirely busy as some, but I realize I don’t have the intellectual background or insight some bloggers have. That and I honestly hate my work schedule and I watch most of my anime right before work, during my lunch break, and write the summaries during my mandatory 15 minute breaks.
And to be frank, I just prefer to write what I want to write, so we’ll get on with it shall we?
Edit: I also won’t do a TER for World Trigger or Akatsuki no Yona this week.
Gundam: Reconguista in G (Episode 1 & 2 – The Mysterious Mobile Suit / G-Self, Start Up!):
In a world that’s long past the barbarity and political machinations of the Universal Century, the world of Reconguista seems…too neutered. I can’t, if any, give Reconguista a proper summary, but in all respects, it’s a very tough pill to swallow. Its characters are hopelessly opportunistic and bubbly, a definite off-putting to me. Hell even G Gundam, for all of its pretense of being Super Robot Gundam, still had over the top characters fitting with the genre that G Gundam was either trying to parody, or homage. Reconguista is nothing of the sort. I can’t put my finger on it but it’s endlessly grinning main character may be a refreshing breath of wind compared to say, Banagher from Gundam Unicorn, but it still feels very odd.
The action though is good, if the suit designs were very AGE like. The rigid and militaristic lines of other series seems to have been softened. Gundam 00 may had started this trend to very curvy suits, or rather, suits that were beginning to be crossing or blurring the line between Real Robot and Super Robot. But that’s all there is to it I think.
The world of Reconguista is pacifistic, and various links to the older, now suddenly ancient history of the Universal Century would be the proliferation of the Minovsky Particle and other such reminders. But for all intents and purposes, I can’t write this one-off for a few reasons. One, it’s Gundam that isn’t Build Fighters. Two, it is enjoyable after one would switch gears or actually suspend their disbelief. I know I had to for G Gundam. And three? It’s only three episodes in, and I did myself a massive disservice by shunning Aldnoah.Zero after one episode.
A weekly summary may or may not happen, but I’ll stick along for the duration.
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete (Episode 1 – Lost Future):
The episode starts off by introducing the main protagonist, Akiyama Sou, and the Astronomy Club. There is Sasaki Kaori, the childhood friend; Hasekura Airi, the strong club president; Hanamiya Nagisa, the rich (?) and devious second year; and Osafune Kenny Eitaro, the foreign exchange student from America.
The episode itself seems like a little mini-arc featuring the childhood friend arc. As the club preps for the upcoming cultural festival, the Student Council employs the Astronomy Club to act as a stand in for the discipline committee in settling disputes. Deciding to create a classroom-sized planetarium for the cultural festival, the relationships between Sou and the others start to take shape. Sou and Kaori have been friends for so long, and while they both hide their feelings for one another, their fellow club mates have been pushing the two of them to be open.
Finally, after an incident between the Karete and Judo club harms Kaori, she opens up to Sou. In shock, Sou stays behind without answering back, as Kaori goes off to the store on her way home. Limping due to the injury she makes it to the bus shelter, though her phone charm has fallen off from her bag and landed on the road. Picking it up, she’s still in pain when the bus loses its brakes and slams into her.
The next scene starts with the Astronomy Club at the hospital, just as Kaori’s mom collapses in front of them.
The episode ends during the credits, seemingly before the days had gone past, as if time had been reversed. Back to the day the club decides on building the planetarium. A crash was felt and heard above the club room, and Sou and the others investigates. Sou discovers a naked person in an upper floor, and Kaori rushes to him when he cries out.
It all seemed well and airy at first. The supernatural billing it got from Random Curiosity seemed far-fetched in the whole episode. I was starting to get used to the characters when suddenly, at the end of the episode, we are treated to a death (?) of one of the main heroines.
Needless to say I’m hooked. I wanna find out more.
Madan no Ou to Vanadis (Episode 1 – Wind Princess of the Battlefield):
Set in a fictional world, two warring kingdoms hold a very lopsided battle in the field between them. Lord Tigrevurmud Vorn of the Kingdom of Brune (and Earl of the Alsace) is taken prisoner by a female noble of the opposing kingdom, Zchted, the Vanadis of Leitmeritz, Eleonora Viltara. The battle is a complete rout by the smaller Zchted forces, and once the head of the prince was taken, Brune’s forces fell into disarray and fled, leading to a massacre.
Tigre continued to fight but was taken prisoner by Eleonara. His life was spared due to Eleonara having fallen for his skill and mastery of the bow. They also issue a ransom demand to the Kingdom of Brune, though Tigre’s house maid and his fellow lords state even with all their output, his Earldom cannot hope to pay a ransom three times larger than its tax base.
When informed of this, Tigre asks Eleonara to lower it, though she dismisses it, since it was one of the agreed upon rules in their treaty with Brune. Though the prospect of money wasn’t the only reason she took him in. At the practice field, even with an inferior bow, he manages to silence his critics (who had been laughing at his paltry attempts before), by shooting a would be assassin in the foot beyond the range of the practice field.
While the rumors that she’s fallen for him are spreading, and some are asking for her to kill him, she won’t, having fallen in love with his skills and tenacity and not the person. They get to first name basis, even while her second in command and bodyguard, Limlisha, and tries her best to keep her in line. Even when offered a place in her army equal to his rank in Brune service, he refuses. He states he still has his Earldom to protect.
As the day goes on, he seems to be slowly accepted by Eleonora’s people. He also encounters Eleonora naked in a bathing area, who tells him she wants him. Later that evening, as he mulls over what Eleonora said, her men captured an older man. He realizes it is his attendant, who informs him that a rival Lord is marching on his Earldom. Meeting her at the gates, he asks Eleonora to step aside for him.
That was the most enjoyable first episode. From the opening scene to the end, it delivered. The anime’s opening ending was great. No big pop or metal antics, just upbeat without being too full of itself. The anime is quick to present us with the facts of the setting and show off Tigre’s skills with a bow and arrow.
He is one of those rare nobles. Humble and earthly, without that notion of noble haughtiness or arrogance. His peers may sneer at him for his usage of a ‘coward’s weapon’, but one can only see that his skill surpasses anyone else’s for that matter.
The show is serious, yet not. It’s filled with action that blends from one scene to another without much pause. Nothing seems awkward or pausing through the entire episode. My only gripe I think, is that compared to the humble and down-to-earth Lord Tigre, Eleonora seems too bubbly. Very aloof.
The way she talks of how easy it was for her outnumbered 5,000 soldiers overwhelming and routing a 25,000 man strong enemy force was a little…off putting. She wasn’t happy mainly because she had dreamt up every attack and counterattack and all that got her for using one of her tactics was a rout and the enemy Prince’s head on a pike.
At first I was hesitant of blogging this series. Now it might be the second one to survive the Three Episode Rule.