Three Episode Rule – Wonderlands, Clocks, and Fantastic Things Comes Alive

Zuikaku drawn by mashayuki on pixiv

So, Spring 2017 is three weeks in with a bunch of series already making for their fourth episodes, I might as well give a short thought to each of the series I’m trying to keep track of this season. Around five this time rather than three. So let’s dive in shall we?


Alice to Zouroku

So, after three episodes, the show that seemed to be a fun little slice of life with some magical nonsense just took a sudden turn to being edgy and dark. Minnie C’s background hit a little close due to knowing people who have been deployed, had lost people, and so on. So to me, her goals in working with someone who she can probably easily crush with her Dream of Alice is understandable. But still won’t make me like her. The show went from binge watch to “wait every week for release”.

I think I’m fine in having a more action oriented version of Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon. And yes, I compared it to such mainly because Maid Dragon loved to sneak in parts where it got a little awkward or there was a bit of a deeper meaning. Though if I’m going to be truly honest?

I had a bit of an Elfen Lied vibe just from episode one alone, so we’ll see if it treads the path of Maid Dragon, the path of Elfen Lied, or just down the middle. Tossing curveballs at points. I’ve nothing more to say but I’m excited. I want to know more of the world, and I’m somewhat on the edge of my seat at times because you never know when you go from happy-go-lucky Slice of Life then suddenly some really horrible event in a character’s past and then back again.

This is a fun show. I swear.


Clockwork Planet

“Just glue some gears on it / And call it Steampunk”

Catchy song, and kind of how I felt when I saw Clockwork Planet’s first three episodes. But then, I shouldn’t have expected something like Last Exile or Steamboy levels of Clockpunk. I mean it’s there, and all the clockwork has its place, but it isn’t as prevalent in the same sort of emphasis as Steampunk elements were for Last Exile or Steamboy.

Never mind my slight turn to pedantry, Clockwork Planet is kinda, well meh. The focus is more on Naoto being all gear-nerdy on RyuZU and it seemed like for the past three episodes, the more -interesting- plot of the Guild, Military, and Vacheron corporation colluding together to kill the geared city of Kyoto was pushed aside to have Naoto perv all over RyuZU. It’s as if I was watching two shows at the same time, and only with the team up between Naoto and RyuZU and Marie Breuget and her bodyguard Halter, did it seem like the story is moving somewhat forward.

The animation is average, the designs for a supposedly ‘clockwork’ world very bland (hence referencing Reginald Pikedevant’s song) and seemed like it was done just so it can fill space. The opening song is great, though it might be because I’m predisposed to like fripSide songs.

Overall? Rather than Alice to Zouroku being the show I would binge watch with the rest of the shows at the end of the week, Clockwork Planet seems to have fallen to that role. I had quite some hope for it, and I still want it to pick up and start really going in a direction that isn’t typical boy-meets-girl kind of romcom (which Marie went and pointed out this past episode), but I swear if it becomes this season’s Rail Wars, where it keeps stringing me along, I’m going to be quite disappointed.

It isn’t fair, but I guess my expectations were high and I expected something more. I need to give it more time.


Frame Arms Girl

In a complete turnaround to Clockwork Planet, Frame Arms Girl is a show that is basically a 30 minute long commercial for Kotobukiya. So something along the lines of maybe Gundam: Build Fighters maybe? But in watching it, it’s possibly the closest “slice of life” offering for this set of Three Episode Rule showings. Focused around Ao Gennai and the prototype FA Girl Gourai, Gourai was a test unit sent randomly to people and it seems Ao is the only unit to be activated. So while Gourai is slowly learning the ways of the world, more and more FA Girls are showing up to battle with her.

From the haughty and prideful Stylet, the absent-minded Baselard (with a strong Magpie Syndrome), to the sadistic Materia twins (Kuro and Shiro), alongside FA otaku Bukiko Kotobuki, Ao and Gourai are going to have a full house. And that’s just the cast as of episode three.

Watching FA Girls right after Clockwork Planet seems terribly unfair. The girls already have a personality that they project to the viewer within minutes of showing up, and is more compelling to watch for me than Clockwork Planet was for the sit-down session. And this is, as I put it, a 30 minute toy commercial. It’s typical slice of life, cute -doll- girls doing cute things and battling (and being sadists or absentminded, etc.). Episodic format with simple plot. And is more consumable.

I’m going to watch it for the novelty of the thing, but also as I hate to admit it, it might end up being a more palatable offering than some here.


Re: CREATORS

I’m actually not sure where I stand with this on a creative writing kind of point of view. I’ve long thought what if I lived the life of my written creations. Granted a good deal of it would have me sucking vacuum because most of my written creations are based in space travel and science fiction.

That said, Re: CREATORS has an interesting premise, and I’m quite liking the differing characters that came out of different in-universe fictional works. The adjustment each fictional character gets in realizing they’re not in the same world as they were before is amusing, though in one case quite deadly, and I’m looking forward to where it goes. Very nicely done kind of show with a compelling story and animation that had more thought (and time, and money) put into it. Friends are already giving it high praise and I’m inclined to agree. It’s definitely a show to keep an eye on this season.

As for regular blogging, I’m not too sure, something I’ll get to in a bit. It’s a very engaging show and I was hooked by episode two, just unsure about actually blogging it as I originally intended.


Granblue Fantasy: The Animation

At the time of this writing, episode four for this show has already come out, and apart from some niggling annoyance I have, it’s nicely slotting me into its world. No doubt it has to do with a few friends constantly egging me on to play the game since its inception, with the biggest selling point being the fact it’s translated already into English (unlike Kantai Collection and Fate: Grand Order) and that it’s not locked into a specific device (like Fate: Grand Order).

I’ve been told that the anime is following the game plot, but when thinking about how the first three episodes shaped up, I kind of knew why it felt familiar. It felt something along the lines of Last Exile and Castle in the Sky. Main protagonist comes across a girl who allows him to achieve a lifelong dream to leave his home to go out into the sky for an adventure.

In terms of aesthetics, this is probably part of why I like it so. It’s responding to the thirst I had for something that had a sort of antique view of history, of gears and early industrial era.

As for my question to an IRC channel asking if I had to play in order to understand or if I will be fine just watching the thing, I was told it was meant for all the little in-jokes and filler material that’s found in the game. So after several months of resisting the urge to play, as of this writing, I’ve finally joined what some of my friends call “Hell”.

Can’t be as bad as some other games.

-The Next Day, When I Actually Posted This-

 

I MADE A MISTAKE.


Overall Thoughts:

Eh, this season is shaping up to have a bit more series I am interested in. I have a few others I intend to watch, and probably a few which I need to put up a quick thought on. Ero-manga Sensei is highly recommended to me by others, and I already intend to binge watch that when I can.

As for blogging, I am not too sure on that front. I took a break from it last season, and I probably am taking one this season as well, or at least, a week or more to get my headspace and timing back. I guess I’m suffering from what some call blogger burnout.

I am doing this for my own amusement, and while I do appreciate whenever someone comes to read and even comment, I think I need a bit of a writing break. That and lately I’ve been hit with this sort of despondency. Well, that’s not exactly the word I would use, but so far it fits.

I am rediscovering some loves of mine, namely video games and shooting, and while I can’t feed my pistol as much as I want to, I go whenever I can and video games I’m starting to get back into really playing it. Something to break this nearly endless cycle of eat, sleep, work, and repeat.

And looking back, damn I was harsh on Clockwork Planet weren’t I?


Three Episode Rule Gallery:

 

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About Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

Conservative, Patriotic and an Otaku. Recent grad of George Mason University. I am interested in firearms, politics, Japanese Anime, and military tech.
This entry was posted in Alice to Zouroku, Anime, Clockwork Planet, Frame Arms Girl, Granblue Fantasy, Granblue Fantasy: The Animation, Re: CREATORS. Bookmark the permalink.

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