01/31/14 Odds & Ends: Get off

golden time 1602

Well, we certainly trimmed a lot of the fat. And from the looks of Silver Spoon, there’s plenty more waste to dispose of!

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Gin no Saji S2 Ep. 4

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Episode summary: They compete in a horse jumping competition. They don’t even do all that well.

Thoughts: I’m out. This show is even more boring than watching paint dry. Hell, paint drying is practically Mardi Gras when you compare it to Silver Spoon. This anime is an insult to paint. It doesn’t even get to be in the same room as paint. C’mon paint, let’s go grab a beer.

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Golden Time Ep. 16

golden time 1601

Episode summary: When the car crashes, everyone realizes how close they truly came to dying. In the following weeks, Koko isolates herself from the rest of the group because she blames herself for everything. Eventually, Banri musters up the courage to pay his girlfriend a visit at her own home, but she stuns by telling him that she wants to break up. As expected, Koko’s insecurities stem from Banri’s wishy-washy nature, but eventually, she reaffirms her wish to be with him forever.

Thoughts: Man, I know Koko screwed up and all, but her dad is insane. He just slaps her to the ground in front of all her friends. The girl then sits there on the asphalt, sobbing to herself, and the lack of action here is what really gets my goat. Banri stands there all slack-jawed, not moving a single muscle as his girlfriend cried. Where are your instincts, man? Yes, she screwed up but when you see someone you claim to care about in pain — I don’t care if it’s your girlfriend or your parents or whoever — and you don’t immediately try to embrace and console them, I really have to question your character. What is wrong with you? Why are you so goddamn passive? This is the same guy who lets himself get abused by Nana every time she sees him so I guess I can’t expect muchn

Anyway, I wish the show had a voice of reason. I wish someone could shake Koko and tell there’s no such thing as an on/off switch for adulthood. Part of why she’s breaking down is because she saw herself as an adult, but an adult doesn’t get… sleepy and crash the car? Okay, that’s another thing. Let me just interrupt my train of thought just to say that anime doesn’t have the balls to go hard. What I mean is that I could understand Koko’s reaction — and maybe even her dad’s reaction — if she really screwed up. Like, if she willingly drove drunk or something. Now that’s a major fuck up. Falling asleep at the wheel is bad too, but it’s not on that level. I’m just saying it’s hard to buy into this week’s events because of it. I don’t feel like Koko’s a major child because of it.

golden time 1603

Anyway, back to what I was originally going to say… there isn’t an on/off switch for adulthood. We just gradually mature until we become adults. Sure, we’re classified as adults as soon as we reach a certain age, but that’s just for legal expediency. So I wish someone could tell Koko that, “Hey, accidents will still happen. We’re all just learning as we go along.” Banri’s advice is more along the lines of “Get out there and carry the shame with you! Yeah! Don’t run away and abandon your life! Get out there and accept your flaws and… mistakes… boy this sure does sound familiar. In the end, Banri just sort of argues himself into a corner until her problem slowly begins to be about him.

In the end, we get to the real root of the problem and it’s that Koko still fears that Banri will abandon her one day. She has nightmares where they’ll be driving in a car, but she’s forced to get out of it at one point. Once she does, her boyfriend will just drive off into the distance without her. Okay… well let’s face it, her insecurities are as much Banri’s fault as it is hers. I mean, he isn’t even ready to kiss her yet even though they’ve been dating for how long? Of course she’s going to be insecure about the relationship. He hasn’t done anything to prove that he’s committed to her. It’s the case where you either shit or get off the pot, but instead of getting Banri to actually meet her half way, the anime apparently has a much better solution in mind.

First, Koko will embarrass herself in front of her father. Then, she’ll throw a tantrum on the bed until she tires herself out. Then once she’s asleep, Banri whispers into her ears, encouraging her dream self not to get out of the car. Like really? How ’bout you both sit down and define what your relationship is? Nah, let’s work dream magic!

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Mahou Sensou Ep. 4

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Episode summary: Out of nowhere, Mui runs off to look for her brother. Her friends idiotically enter the Ruined World to save their friend despite being amateur magicians. Once there, Takeshi combines his magic with Ida’s magic to defeat Mui’s brother, and in the end, all four of them return to the academy safely. But watch out! It looks like one of the academy’s teachers is working for the bad guys!

Thoughts: Idiots. Idiots everywhere. How many times did our heroes get to step off to the side and have a private conversation while Mui’s brother just floated there and did nothing? It was patently comical. Sure, you guys may take the time to come up a strategy to defeat me. It’s alright, I won’t stop you! Hell, it’s bad enough that the battles are ugly and jam-packed with stupid spell names like “Wire Blizzard” and “Icy Castle.” And even worse, we get the following exchange:

Kurumi: “It’s fine. Just lie still.”
Mui: “Kurumi…”
Kurumi: “It’s Curative Magic. Though it’ll only tide you over for now.”
Mui: “Thank you, Kurumi.”
Kurumi (blushing): “I’m not doing this for you or anything. I just wanted a chance to use this magic I just learned.”

Fuck you, anime. Fuck you.

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15 thoughts on “01/31/14 Odds & Ends: Get off”

  1. I dropped Golden Time around episode 5 – its character writing and plotting were just too nonsensical for me at that point (along with the awful direction), and everything I’ve heard seems to indicate it’s only gotten worse since. I know you mentioned you don’t want to pick up NagiAsu this late, but as far as dramas go, the difference between the two is night and day.

    1. I’d agree with this. Nagi no Asukara has its moments of hamfisted melodrama too (oh my lord that first episode with Manaka running off in a random direction and then forgetting how legs work to sad piano music because some kids hurt her feelings), but especially recently it’s really surprised me by subverting what should by rights be the ideal scenarios for cheap grabs at emotion.

      Does Hikari mope around for the season when he wakes up to a world he barely recognizes? No. He’s shaken up long enough to feel real and relatable, then he gets a grip on himself once he realizes his friends and family are basically the same people. I cheered for the guy when rather than hiding in a dark room under a blanket he goes charging down the street, holding his eyes open like a weirdo. “Bring it on, world! I’ll see it all! I’m not going to be surprised by anything, damnit!” He’s still frightened and hurt by what’s happened, but he knows there’s nothing he can solve by wallowing in self-pity and throws himself at the problem instead. That’s a character I can get behind.

      On the other hand, there’s something deeply entertaining to me about watching Golden Time be absolutely terrible on a weekly basis. Watching Ghost Banri stumble through some sort of checkered nether-hell screaming “No! Too much ghosting! Stop! This isn’t what I wanted! Wake uuuuuup!” was more compounded laughs than I’ve had all week.

    2. everything I’ve heard seems to indicate it’s only gotten worse since.

      Well, it’s getting more response than some of the anime I actually like so… eh…

      1. They are, yes. It’s interesting how different the two series are, though apparently the author grew up on a farm, so I’m guessing Silver Spoon is at least partially autobiographical.

        1. A lesson I learned reading Who Has Seen The Wind. A boring life is boring to depict, no matter how real or truthful.

  2. I like Golden Time, but these last three episodes have been so boring. These could’ve been in one episode (maybe one and a half) and still got to the meat and bones of what this second season (or whatever) is suppose to be about, or at least what I believe is about. The discussion, that Koko and Banri have, could have been executed better, but it has lead me to believe that they will actually have a story starting on next weeks episode.

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