Impressions: Winter 2016, Week Five

So this was supposed to be a Monday thing now, but uni happened.

Forgive me if, out of complete deprivation of mental capacity, I accidentally post my essay on Yeats’ Purgatory instead of the impressions I’m dying (while trying) to share with you.

GATE: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri

I always underestimate how epic GATE can be with its climaxes. The battle with the dragon, the dark elves being utter idiots and deservedly getting themselves killed, the JSDF’s tactics and Lelei’s magic bringing the beast of chaos under a hard hand of order; it all adds more and more to the questions I have for the JSDF and the power they wield. The display against the hatchlings was breathtaking, but isn’t a massive military machine just like the dragon in how it can be manipulated by other powers? We already saw a rogue use of bomber jets against the Senate.

Also exciting is Rory’s pact with Itami. Its random conception led to an alarming revelation when its real magic was uncovered. More ties are made – some literal now – between Rory and the JSDF. I love these parallels; they gear GATE up as an intellectual fantasy, rather than a dumb ‘bigs guns kill knights and dragons’ flick, which it could have been if not for all these careful notes of comparison the viewer is drawn to.

Myriad Colours Phantom World

I guess we can call this ‘monster-of-the-week’ since most of the female cast are monstrous oversimplifications of harem tropes even after they’ve been offered an episode of character development. Maybe that’s all they’re getting. At least that might mean I don’t have to hear too much more of Minase’s horrible screaming.

Reina’s back-story was far more intricate than this tired tale of ‘I wanna be the Very Best / Like no one ever was!’.  I’m far more interested in the giant bear, both for hugging and why-is-it-so-huge reasons. At least the girl holding it will be one of the only survivors of the fanservice plague that drained the show’s characterisation at the start.

I dread what a filler episode might turn out like.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi

Hearing some negative feedback about this week’s offering, but I’m not buying into it. I loved this episode like I’ve loved every episode. Every moment, even.

Expecting a slow crawl back from the nightmare of failure, we instead got a breakdown, subtle hints at unseen horrors and unbearable sights of tragic loss. The return from the Revival came at the perfect moment, and suddenly the narrative has taken on a wholly different turn.

Airi shines as a high-school admirer that doesn’t sell herself short. Like Satoru’s love for Kayo, it’s a matter of compassion, not desire. She puts her own authority over society’s, bringing into question whether hierarchies of power can really have jurisdiction of right and wrong when one is liberated from strict chronology. Her punches are spectacular.

With Satoru a fugitive and Airi getting in more and more danger fighting for him, we have to wonder whether Satoru will get another chance at Revival. And what of the other children who fell victims to the killer – isn’t one of them another of his friends? The thought of trying to unpick what he did wrong, and what he has the power to do right, racks the brain.


(a new segment for things I watched but only have a thing or two to say about – thoughts on the shorts will also go here now)

  • Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu. Andou’s a pretty good love-hate character. I genuinely began to despise her (and I really don’t like doing that), but then realised that was the point of the episode. She’s crap at working with people, but you still need people like that sometimes. A good moral for another comfortable episode.
  • Ojisan to Marshmallow. Drunk Wakabayashi? Count me in.
  • Ooyasan wa Shishunki! I really ought to comment some point about how the voice acting and animation are sub-par. After I stop laughing, I guess. Which will be never.

On the Catch-up List:

  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. Meaning to try it out, yet to have the time to get up to speed.

In the Drop Zone:

  • Divine Gate. I don’t regret defending this trainwreck as it began, but now? This is one gate I won’t be heading to. With the writer and director not having a clue what they’re doing, I doubt the show will get there either.

What did you think about this week’s episodes? Disagree with any of the above? Have your say in the comments below!

Current theme music: in the blue shirt – Cluster A



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3 thoughts on “Impressions: Winter 2016, Week Five”

  1. I honestly want to check out Myraid Colours Phantom World for some time now, but the saturated sexual content and fan service is pulling me away. It seems like that is what a lot of potentially amazing anime of 2016 are falling to, except ERASED. Do you know of any clean anime from this year from the ones that you have watched so far? And when I say clean, I mean like nothing worse in sexualization than Anohana. I really want to check out some new shows from this year, but I don’t want to walk into a pit trap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Divine Gate avoid fan-service but has sadly gone downhill; I’ve only heard good things (and nothing about fan-service) when it comes to Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, though I haven’t yet tried it myself. I’ve also found GATE’s sexual content to be always more than mere fan-serive, but that might just be my active student-y mind.


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