Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall 2013 Anime Episode 3 Reviews

Ah, episode 3, deemed the make or break episode for most anime. Let's see how this season's anime are fairing so far!


So Coppelion finally picks up the pace after a couple of dragging episodes. It was this episode that really showed me what the other two lacked. See, the other two episodes was just them aimlessly wandering until they found something to do. Here it seems, they have a mission right off the bat and they also actually have something to pursue. At least now we're guaranteed some action for the next episode. Other things this episode did right, first, the infodumping. I know infodumping is rarely ever a good thing but at least here, the info that was dumped was actually tied into the episode's plot. The girls find the guy responsible for the catastrophe that left Japan in such a state, this gave their commander an excuse to briefly talk about the past. Also, here we're shown just why the girls are exceptional as they revealed their powers. Ibara has increased athleticism, Taeko has heightened senses and Aoi has nothing. I knew she was the useless one. Anyway, it was a pretty slow start for Coppelion but things are definitely picking up. Just look at how excited they are for the next episode!


I'll admit, before hitting the play button, I had my doubts. "Do I really want to go through 24 minutes of Hikari being an asshat again?" but this episode was actually good. It was funny and it showed how thoughtful the characters can be, even Hikari. Sure, he's still a jerkwadd but at least he shows that he considers other people as well. This episode talks a lot about having to suppress one's feelings. Hikari hid the fact that that he's bothered by Manaka's infatuation with Tsugumu. Akari has been holding down her feelings her whole life. This episode also teases us with a few big questions to look forward to in future episodes. There's the old man actually having Ena and there's Akari's lover being a dad to one of the lolis. What was kind of weak in this episode was Manaka's characterization. She had the one part where she admitted to liking Tsugumu and that was it. The rest of the episode has her comically reacting to things. She doesn't even need the whole self-narrating protagonist package. Just show her actually thinking and feeling about her problems in life, mainly her crush on Tsugumu. Lastly, I'm quite concerned with what kind of TV shows this little girl has been watching


This girl sure does remind me of Milla Maxwell. Anyway, another good episode. The thing with Strike the Blood is that it's been consistent but hasn't really impressed me so much yet. "Oh, but it's just the third episode!" That's not really an excuse. Kill la Kill broke the badassery scale in their 3rd episode, Tokyo Ravens (and Sekatsuyo, admittedly) made me shed a tear in the second. Strike the Blood isn't bad by any way but like I've said so many times before, it still needs that one thing to set itself apart. Now, this episode does things a little differently from other Shounen anime by actually talking about the repercussions and consequences ofter the hero's actions. You know all those jokes about Tokyo being rebuilt in one day after some giant monster or supervillain attack? Well, can't make that joke here. The island actually shows the effects of Yukina crashing a train and damaging a powerplant during her fight. There's also more stuff about the antagonists revealed. The second half where this happened was probably the best part of the show, mainly because of that, shall we say, unexpected ending.


This episode featured the long awaited duel between Mio and Bertille a.k.a. 2nd Most British Girl/Pantless Knight. I can't really say much about the action because, well, it's jousting. it's thrusting a stick while riding a horse against another person thrusting their stick you. The coolest it gets is when they chip off their opponent's armor. The tension also isn't really there because a match lasts three rounds. These things are over almost as soon as they start. This episode though, did have other notable scenes. There's Mio cutting her hair, which, unlike Sakura in Sekatsuyo, really came out of nowhere and for very little observable reason. She was just taking a fanservice bath, staring at her boobs, then boom. Short hair the next day. I know it's so she can joust better but there was barely any build up to it. Then there's Bertille. At first glance, it's easy to pass her off as a mere fanservice character but there's more to her. Sure, her milkshake brings all the boys to the (jousting) yard but her choice to bare her backside is a reflection of her personality. Bertille is a proud knight and she has enough confidence in herself to know that she doesn't need to be afraid or ashamed. This pride is manifested in her daring display of booty. Look at all the other girls, they wear pretty standard armor. They don't think as highly of themselves as Bertille does. That's some strong good characterization going for her. Then there's how the show -well- shows how important begleiter's are in jousting. Compare Mio who had the experienced and strategic Takahiro to Bertille who had her, in the words of CM Punk, glad handing, nonsensical, douchebag yes men who really didn't help her out at all. In the end, this episode shows that Walkure Romanze isn't just a bunch of sex jokes. It actually knows what it's talking about.


Well this episode was certainly slower than the previous. There wasn't any actual fighting going on. Rather, this episode focused on the littler yet equally important things, like Iori's breast physics. Joking aside, this episode introduced a handful of new characters including a generic bearded man in a suit, two enemy ships and Iona's twins, Chinese Iona and Naked(?) Iona. I-400 and I-402 weren't really introduced yet. They had a brief conversation with Takao and that's it. Speaking of Takao, her obsession with wanting to captain is sending me tones of pro-patriarchy symbolism there. Rally the Tumblr feminists! We have another sexist anime misrepresenting women! WAR! Not really. Only Takao and Iona seem to want Gunzou, and it's not like Gunzou treats the girls like property either. Heck, when everyone else are treating Iona like a tool, a dangerous one at that, it's pretty much just Gunzou and bros who actually treat Iona like a person. My one gripe about this episode was that it was waaaaay too wordy. I got some key points like how Generic Bearded Man in A Suit considered Iona a threat because of her origins and how Gunzou says that the army and the government can't be trusted anymore after their failures. Despite that, a lot of other stuff just seemed to go in one ear and leave through the other.


Very interesting episode with a dark surprise. This episode talked a lot about the uglier side of demon life in the human world. A lot of it was about Touka (mis)handling her super strength and Akina inheriting the power of Tuning. For a first timer of Yozakura Quartet, I found this episode to be a tad too infodumpy, but unl ike with Arpeggio, a lot of the info stuck around. Why? Because everything that they were saying soon applied to actual events from the same episode. You could sympathize with Touka because you actually see the damage she unwillingly causes and it's pretty easy to understand why Akina doesn't want to be Dutybound because of all the relationships he's established with the demons. Now, there wasn't really a lot of action int his episode save for Touka breaking things but it's still a good episode. It delivers emotion as well information pretty effectively and if you're a noob to this series like me, it'll help you understand more about this confusing world of Yozakura Quartet.


This episode decided to put a little less focus on the loli that can do no wrong and focus on the other primary characters. WAIT! There are other characters! I thought this was just about the all powerful little girl who does everything and saves the day and cures hiccups and jazz. Sarcasm aside, Kazuki was the subject of exposure in this week's story, at one point, literal exposure. Anyway, her character made me realize that everyone in this show except her is batshit insane. This happened when she urged everyone to surrender Galileo's moon-scroll-thingy but everyone else objected to the idea. In good ol' Hozuki's words "We can't give anything to the bad guys! There has to be another way. There must be!" Ugh. I hate it when the character with the only observable rationality is told off by the delusional idealist and we're supposed to take her side just because she's the hero. No. I felt bad for Kazuki. She's stuck in a ship with a bunch of stubborn morons who have no concern over their personal safety. I weighed in on their situations and found that there were only two options: A - Fight the bad guys and either win or lose and die or B - Give in to their demands. They don't have any reason to pursue them any further and they'll leave them alone and they live or they're jerks and you die anyway. The way I see it, option B gives you a higher chance at survival. Sure, what Hazuki said about there being no guarantee that they'll let you live had merit, but there's still the fact that they wanted something that they had and they didn't want them. It's basically a ransom and in real life, ransoms end with the hostage's freedom and the hostage taker's demands being met. Very rarely does the heroic cop get to bust down the door, shoot the bad guys and save the day. *Sigh* I know I sound like a jerk towards this show but I'm highly disappointed by this show's lack of believability. I want to fall in love with the action, the music and the creative and wonderful setting but I can't do that because everything else doesn't make sense to me. I would have actually bought the "We must fight for the sake of JASTEES!" idea if "Surrender and live another day" wasn't such a bad idea either. I believe the main problem is that I don't see a good enough motivation for the protagonists to oppose the antagonists. Sure, they have their mom and they probably beat their dad to a bloody pulp but the antagonists aren't really shown to be plotting anything overly dastardly anyway. It's not like they plan to blow up the world or anything (I assume they eventually will though). But hey, everyone says that these guys are evil so let's fight them even though they're a powerful global organization with way more resources than us. We have a flying metal goldfish! Where'd she get the materials for that thing anyway?!

That's it for this week. Remember, I post these reviews on the before I round 'em up here on the blog.
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