This week has been wild! I ended up getting wrapped up in a whole mess of personal stuff pretty much all week. I’m tired! But I’m relaxing now, and ready to finally finish watching these Spring 2018 anime premieres. I already saw a decent amount last week, but I’m ready to watch what’s left on my queue.
Before I start, some quick things! One, I changed my blog theme and I’m in the process of tidying up my tags and categories and stuff. I’m not sure how I feel about the Look yet, but I think it’s at least a bit cleaner looking. Or, maybe it isn’t! Let me know! I also made a Twitter specifically for anime nonsense/this blog, so if you were following me on my personal before, please follow me on this one, too! You don’t have to unfollow the personal or anything, I just wanted to make my social media experience a lil more organized. A lot of my IRLs don’t want to sit through my anime livetweets, after all…so in a way, I figured I’d be a little more comfortable to let loose on a separate account. My old highschool boyfriend doesn’t need to log in & see that I’ve been watching Sweet Punishment, after all…
Anyways, the seasonals. Right now, it’s looking like Hinamatsuri and Amanchu! Advance are my favorites, just as I expected, but there’s some other interesting stuff in the mix. Unfortunately, everything I watched other than those two shows this time around did not gel well with me. Like, at all.
All I have is unequivocal praise for my diving lesbians and psychic gangster children, and to be honest, it’s not fun for me to write nice words. We are in Hell Zone, after all. Writing bitterly is my favorite. Let’s take a(n angry) peep.
My screenshot previews for this episode are only of this girl, because she was the only thing that mattered.
Hmm. I can’t even write a summary of the episode because I’m not really sure what happened. There’s a virtual idol, and she put out a song, and this guy rambled a lot about things I didn’t want to hear again after my mandatory psychology courses, and then the virtual idol took over their universe, I think. Personally, I would welcome Hatsune Miku as our robot overlord, but I digress.
The disjointed episode structure isn’t really what bothered me here. The odd pacing and tone shifts were intentional, as they reflected the way Ritsu’s entire universe was being upended. I didn’t think it was done terribly well, because I was more confused than I was spooked, but I’ll allow it.
What bugged me was Ritsu. He seems to me like a classic example of Anime Protagonist Syndrome – you’re given this lead, and you’re just going to have to accept that they are inherently amazing for this whole story to work. This happens in mechas a lot – a random kid who’s never even driven a car before is, for some reason, the ace pilot needed to save the planet. In magical girl franchises you’ll get a random klutz who just so happens to possess magical powers. These tropes aren’t always a bad thing – protagonists like this are a vehicle for the story, so it’s sometimes excusable that they possess qualities that serve to advance the story.
In Caligula‘s case, it’s being shoved down our throats that Ritsu is super smart, and thus will be able to recognize that this world is a sham before anyone else. Great. Cool. Whatever. Except that I can’t look past this Deux Ex Protagonist stuff because I don’t like Ritsu or his brand of I’m Smarter Than All Y’all character. Like, sorry, I don’t want to watch this guy complain about how ramen has too many carbs or about glass wall psychology or whatever. I just don’t trust any show that explains Freudian theories or quotes Aristotle multiple times in thirty minutes.
Sorry, Caligula, I’ll pass on you. You should be a lot cooler if you’re going to be named after a guy who hosted orgies and fed his horse gold.
Magical Girl Site
Ah, this one’s a bit controversial, yeah? I was kind of excited to watch this, only so that I could see what everyone’s been complaining about. I knew it was going to be ~dark~ and ~edgy~, but my pretentious spooky ass is the target audience for anime like that, so I figured the more backlash for being too dark, the better.
Well. I hated it. I should have heeded the warnings. From the very beginning, the action scene seemed a bit on the nose. Like, every frame might as well have had a neon sign in the background that read THIS IS EDGY, DO YOU GET IT???? Like, must they be drooling and crying blood? No thank you. And then it only got worse from there.
We see our protagonist get the shit kicked out of her at school, and then get the shit kicked out of her at home, and then get the shit kicked out of her some more. She has one small sliver of happiness in her day: there’s a cute little stray cat on her walk home. Except, since her life is miserable and awful, this cat ends up getting murdered by her bullies from home. Yikes. Then we see her almost get raped in a scene that takes entirely too long (like, I just fast forwarded through it, because no thank you). This is not my idea of a good time.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe that life can be this harsh. Bullying is awful in Japan, and domestic abuse is certainly a thing. But like. Why do I have to see this in my magical girl show? Why am I getting exclusively doom and gloom? Even Madoka had some heartwarming moments to balance out the suffering.
See, this is the sort of thing that makes me understand why people are skeptical about ~dark magical girl~ concepts. I suppose this show succeeds in being utterly grotesque and unsettling, but that’s not really what people want when they come to anime like this. What makes things like Madoka or even Made in Abyss work is that you’re subverting the audiences’ expectations. You see these cute character designs and watch these seemingly innocuous plot points develop and then BAM! You get blind-sided by some heavy shit and then stick around to see where it’ll all go. This? Did not blind-side. Everything was predictable from the get-go. As soon as it started with its blood drool nonsense and “every day I think about death” nonsense, you knew exactly what this cat and “innocent” text from her brother were going to lead to. It completely misses the appeal of subversive genre-type shows. I will begrudgingly watch more, but only because I hate myself and enjoy writing bad reviews.
Love to Lie Angle (what the hell does that title mean)
I am contractually obligated to watch any short-form CGDCT anime that is released. Especially if it’s a yuri. I’m doubly contractually obliged then. This one is really bad. It’s not really worth me typing any words about, so I will just give you these screenshots and let you fill in the blanks.
Truly, we are in the Hell Zone. I forgot that it was content like this that made me name my blog this in the first place. I know there are decent shows this season, but apparently my foolish self always picks the wrong ones to start. Like a weeb fly, I am drawn to shit anime. This was very cathartic to write – maybe these shows weren’t that bad, maybe this is just a product of my crappy week?
…hmm, nah, they were that bad. Oh well! I promise I’ll write some nice things about Amanchu! Advance soon.