01/29/14 Odds & Ends: Guns, Girls and Goddesses

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Quick post before tomorrow’s blow-out extravaganza.

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Hamatora Ep. 4

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Episode summary: Moral’s at it again, and this time he’s recruited the help of a guy with a Beauty Minimum. Yep, Moral’s new accomplice is actually ugly, but he has the power to appear attractive… so he’s attractive? Oh well, don’t think too hard about it. Using the power of attractiveness, the two of them collaborate to create an incredibly popular internet video. Unbeknownst to Mr. Attractive, however, Moral hid a subliminal message within the video that only people under 15 can hear… uh, because it’s super high pitch or something. Y’know, I had no idea that I had the hearing of a dog until I crossed a certain age threshold, thereby turning into a boring human. Anyway, the subliminal message is telling kids to sign up for guns in order to start “insurrections,” i.e. holding up convenience stores and local amusement parks. Quelle revolutionnaire… So y’know, the good guys team up once again to prevent disaster from taking place, but Moral eludes the police again. Oh, but before taking off Mr. Attractive’s head with a chainsaw. Oh yeah, we also got to meet Honey, a girl who can predict the future by using some kind of tablet computer. She calls it a Mighty.

Thoughts: This is like anime for people with ADD. Sorry, I don’t really have much to say about this specific episode. Like always, bad things are about to happen but it all gets resolved by the end of the episode. As such, the events by themselves seem shallow and thus forgettable. Meanwhile, the real story is indefinitely delayed, which isn’t even normally a problem so long as the smaller conflicts are compelling. That’s the problem: they’re not. I don’t really mind episodic storytelling so long as the characterization is strong. But Hamatora suffers from that syndrome where it feels like it needs to introduce as many characters as possible or else it’ll die. The result is that none of them have all that much depth. After four whole weeks, the only thing I’ve learned about Nice is that he’s, well, nice and he graduated at the top of some fancy academy for Minimum Holders. Sadly, he’s the main character! I know even less about his colleagues and yet the anime keeps adding more and more to the mix.

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Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha Ep. 3

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Episode summary: Uka’s brother Otoshi shows up at Inari’s school and basically trolls her all day. Afterwards, he yanks her away to the Celestial Plains so that our heroine can attend a welcoming party for new gods. There, Inari learns that Uka ran away to the human world because A) Otoshi has a sister complex and B) people are only interested in Uka for her first-rank powers. Those same people are apparently bugging Inari now, which causes the girl to overexert herself in anger during an attempt to display her first-rank powers. When she recovers, we find out that Amaterasu has been researching ways to return things back to normal. Back in the human world, Uka inadvertently spends time with Touka despite the latter expressing his total hate for her. She asks him not to tell Inari about her falling ill all the time lately, because she doesn’t want to worry the girl.

Thoughts: Yeah, this is my favorite comedy of the season. I know, I know, it’s not strictly a comedy. Plus, being my favorite comedy of the season hardly says much since humor has never been anime’s strong point. Still, I don’t need to stomach scantily-clad shoujos just to laugh and that’s a plus in my book. Too bad Otoshi turned out to be another loser with a sister complex, but I guess you can’t escape that sort of thing in anime anymore. If there’s a huge negative, it would have to be Touka’s performance. Yeah, it’s just really bad week in and week out. I mean, his lines aren’t great to begin with, but the voice actor’s delivery is just absolutely cringe-worthy. And of course, it doesn’t exactly help his case when he threw Uka down onto the bed as a way to demand answers out of her. It’s just hypocritical; no one would tolerate an action like that if he wasn’t a tall, dark-haired bishounen with a broad chest. So I guess I’d say everything that has to do with Inari is mostly funny and adorable. Everything else, however, could use a whole lot of work, and that, sadly, is an understatement.

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9 thoughts on “01/29/14 Odds & Ends: Guns, Girls and Goddesses”

  1. If you have that much trouble with your supposed favorite comedy of the season then that’s what’s really troubling. I guess I can give it a shot, though you didn’t really give it a shining recommendation. haha
    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if Watamote gets a second season for our heartier laughs. I miss that show.

    And it’s a shame Hamatora isn’t as good of a(n unintentional) comedy since anything that’s described as “This is like anime for AD[H]D people” should be hysterical.
    Man, it’s just disappoints all around…

    1. Well, I’ve heard good things about Hoozuki no Reitetsu on Twitter, but the first episode just didn’t really grab me. Then there are a bunch of people who really like Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda, but just looking at the character designs makes my skin crawl. I also watched the first episode and I thought it was fucking stupid.

      Hamatora is ADD in the sense that the narrative jumps around constantly, not that random shit happens.

      1. The second episode of Hoozuki no Reitetsu is better and pretty funny. Personally, it’s my favorite show this season, next to Tonari no Seki-kun (which ep 3 wasn’t really as funny as the first two)

  2. Just watched the 3 episodes of “Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha” and actually I kind of enjoy it. Thanks, mate. However, I feel like things would be more enjoyable if it DID take a few notes from “Watamote”, namely on how a character’s appearance fits their persona.

    – I can buy the gorgeous goddess who has fallen in love with Romantic Visual Novels since, you know, she’s a goddess, but more importantly her beauty is part of her character. The reason she’s seemingly become a shy introvert who plays videogames and literally adores fictional men over real ones is because her beauty has made her that way. Her gorgeousness brought her all the trouble in the world from the opposite sex (and her creepy ass brother) and so she turned to games, seclusion, and watching humans from afar for solace. Her beauty is a part of her and it fits.

    -Why does Inari look cute, though? It’s not even masked by anything like Tomoko, either. Tomoko is cute to the audience (maybe) because of her kinda-sorta chibi head and shortness, but there’s enough there to show why she wouldn’t be considered cute in the context of her narrative. Dark circles under the eyes, pale skin, unkempt hair, and an awkward or introverted attitude helps the relatability and believability of the character. Inari, on the other hand, is visibly outgoing, cute, has lush kept hair, pristine skin, is clearly fit (shapely), etc. Yet she’s played up to be the every-girl who pines for the kind/cute boy from afar and simply could never match the attractiveness of the even MORE outgoing, confident, prettier girl.
    I can believe Tomoko, and I can believe the goddess character, but it’s real difficult to suspend my disbelief over Inari. She’s nearly physically flawless.

    -And her brother is even worse. Dude looks like, as you said, “a tall, dark-haired bishounen with a broad chest.” Yet when we see him he immediately goes into an awkward fantasy scenario that subverts our expectations of him being a serious character and shows him as a goofball.Then later in his room we see games scattered everywhere and he seems to be typing some (fan?)fiction on his comp. These are things not associated with handsome bishi men for a reason: they don’t make sense together. What’s he doing looking so “handsome” and manly when the guy’s just a fantasizing gamer/writer?

    Tomoko’s appearance is a consequence of AND a part of her character. The goddess in this show’s beauty is a part of her character as well. The appearance of Inari and her brother just doesn’t fit their characters at all to me.

    Still a cute show, though. Despite what I said I also like it so far and got a few nice chuckles.

    1. She’s nearly physically flawless.

      Well, they’re in middle school. She’s just a child. She’s not Tomoko at all. Tomoko has baggage upon baggage of self-esteem issues and insecurities. This, on the other hand, is just an uplifting story about a middle school girl who has a crush. They’re not even supposed to be in the same ball park, so I don’t understand why you feel like Inari should look more like Tomoko. Visibly outgoing? Lush kept hair? I dunno man, I think we’re going a bit too far here. Nothing suggests to me that she’s any different from any of the other characters within her own show, i.e. she’s just average.

      These are things not associated with handsome bishi men for a reason: they don’t make sense together. What’s he doing looking so “handsome” and manly when the guy’s just a fantasizing gamer/writer?

      Everyone in the show is beautiful besides Amaterasu. Even Inari’s fujoshi friend isn’t below average in looks. It’s just part of the show’s aesthetic, i.e. very softball. It is thus the same as every other anime ever. Hell, every TV show ever. Few TV show try to cast people who are truly ugly. Even nerds are portrayed in a very idealized way on TV.

      1. “Few TV show try to cast people who are truly ugly. Even nerds are portrayed in a very idealized way on TV.”
        Yeah, true, but there’s a difference between the usual “played up to be handsome for TV’s sake” and “Dude’s got his tight shirt unbuttoned to let his defined pecks breathe like he’s Fabio”. Unless it comes out that he works out regularly or has some sport he plays when he’s not gaming or writing, his body is just not right. I can see that his face being bishi does fit the idea of idealized people in stories, though I just find it difficult to suspend my disbelief that he’d be a “hunk” too. He doesn’t need to be a rail or obese, just not Fabio (minus the lush hair).

        Though on that note, I can also see what you mean by my comparison of Inari to Tomoko. Sorry for not being clearer. What I meant wasn’t that she should be more like Tomoko exactly, but rather that she should appear more average to fit her role. The protagonist from Spirited Away had a more “average, shy girl” design. In-show there’s a good example of this. You know her friend with the long braided twin tails and large glasses (I don’t even know if she has a name)? I can see HER having trouble building up the courage to talk to a guy she likes, not because she’s ugly, but because she doesn’t conform to the typical look of a “cute girl” in anime. I don’t think she should be like Tomoko in design but in purpose, like the goddess. The goddess is apparently beautiful because that’s part of her character. Inari’s cuteness is just for the sake of being cute. I just think she should look more like an actual average, shy girl if she’s meant to be the every-girl.

        But you are right about the show taking its visual style safe with being “soft ball”, and maybe in that sense I’m over thinking it. Despite what I said, I can let it go for the sake of enjoying the show, but we do really need an explanation for Inari’s brother’s fitness or it’s going to bug me.
        haha

        1. I just think she should look more like an actual average, shy girl if she’s meant to be the every-girl.

          How would you make her distinctively average-looking? Is she actually pretty now? I mean, it’s anime. How can you tell if anyone’s pretty or ugly unless it’s overt?

  3. I’ve read the Inari, kon kon, koi iroha manga and while I admit it got a few laughs from me, the drama drags on a lot and was kinda disappointing.
    Good thing (or maybe bad?) that the adaptation will only have 10 episodes.

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