Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep. 6: Cooking ramen in the sky!

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After last week’s semi-cliffhanger ending, Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta‘s bound to deliver with the goods this week, right? Right…?

Episode summary: The leaders of Isla learn from a captured pilot that the Sky Clan will attack if Isla continues on its journey. Despite this, Leopold refuses to send out recon planes to check out the surrounding area unless they have the students do it instead. Luis de Alarcon reluctantly agrees to go with this plan as long as Claire, a.k.a. Nina Viento, doesn’t have to partake in the mission. Meanwhile, the students open a ramen shop for a night and rake in a ton of money. When de Alarcon stops by to discuss the recon mission with the students’ instructors, Chiharu overhears the grisly details. Although she fails to tell her friends what she’s heard, she has a mini-breakdown over it anyway. She and Mitty bond when the latter attempts to comfort her.

Thoughts:

• The Holy Spring looks rather hallucinogenic, doesn’t it? Claire calls it “the angel’s rings,” but eh… angel rings, angel dust, tomato, to-mah-to. In any case, the sight of the stuff alone is enough to bring Claire to tears.

• See, they talk of the Holy Spring as if it’s really just one gigantic spring in the middle of the ocean, but if that’s the case, then where is the Sky Clan coming from? There doesn’t appear to be any sort of land within at least hundreds of miles.

• How convenient! The Sky Clan speaks a language similar to that of Balsteros! De Alacon reacts to this bit of information as though it is an amazing revelation. I guess we’re going to find out soon that the Sky Clan are former citizens of Balsteros, but their group has splintered off somehow.

• The animation is really starting to come apart at the seams:

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I guess that’s just to be expected as we begin to hit the midseason lull.

• De Alarcon starts to say Nina Viento’s full name before correcting himself to say Claire Cruz instead. Why did he even bother to correct himself though? It’s not as if her identity is a secret to the people he’s talking to. Leopold seems to know instantly who de Alarcon’s talking about.

• Well, fuck plot development. Instead, let’s wax poetic over how awesome ramen tastes!

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• Ramen is so delicious that it can even win over elitist jerks! Sigh….

• It’s not just any ramen though. It’s Ari’s ramen! Ari…men… Ari-men! Get it?! Wow, so clever.

• Yeah, Kal-el! Stop slacking off and thinking about how the plot will advance! Will you give it a rest with the End of the Sky stuff already? We have ramen to serve. Ugh, you main characters are so useless sometimes. It’s always plot this and character development that.

• Kal’s compliment to Claire was so amazing, it made the poor girl drop a bunch of bowls and cut herself trying to pick up the broken pieces. Oh man, just when I thought the show was going to get interesting, I have nothing to talk about.

• Ari is hesitant to leave her station because she’s apparently the only one who can cook the ramen noodles. ‘Cause boiling noodles until it’s the right consistency is so hard!

• Dat animation doe…

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• Ari then tells Claire that she should get some rest. Rest… all because the girl cut her finger. Oh my god please just get back to the plot. Claire’s so glad that Ari-men is popular. After all, it’s so delicious. Kill. Me.

• Welp, I was wrong. Kal’s too stupid to even boil noodles correctly. I guess I’ll just have to break out my tried-and-tested guide on how to cook properly. Let’s see… now where did I put it… ah, here we go. But before I show it to you guys, just remember that cooking is a daunting task. Don’t freak out if what you’re about to see overwhelms you. It’s okay! We were all beginners once! Alright, here we go:

how to be a good cook

Yep, that’s about it.

• So eventually, everyone else decides to try their hand at boiling noodles, and they all suck too! That is, until Ignacio steps up to the plate!

…continue the main story pls…

• So Ignacio gets it right. He knows how to boil noodles. Wowie wow wow wow. Alright, raise your hand if you think Ignacio and Ari are going to be a thing by the end of the series? Hmm, just about all of you? Figures.

• Yo, I’ve just hit the halfway point of the episode and I’m now listening in as Claire gives Kal a lesson on how to be a waiter.

• The animation shares my pain:

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Like my brain, it too is disintegrating before our very eyes.

• One kick from de Alarcon has Bandareas rubbing his shin for a good minute. I guess despite all those muscles he’s not that manly.

• Just look at these faces. I haven’t seen such faces of pleasure since “Yaranaika:”

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It’s just ramen too. I’m Asian and I don’t even love ramen this much.

• Fifteen minutes into the episode now. The navigation officer is staring into his empty ramen bowl with disbelief. He says, “I can’t believe a student made this.” And I say, “I can’t believe an adult made this anime.”

• Meanwhile, Sonia is actually have an afterglow. An afterglow from eating ramen. Yeah man, Japanese food is so good it can even give their women orgasms. Well, I mean, something has to…

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• …what? I’m just talking about the extremely low occurrence of sex in Japan these days! Maybe ramen’s the culprit! Didja ever think of that? Instead of NoFap, we should have NoRamen. I know it’d at least make this show a whole lot better.

• De Alarcon teases Sonia: “You looked as if something had stolen your heart away.” I’ll have what she’s having!

…I’m begging you…

• “It was wonderful,” he continues on. It was ramen. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. emot-catdrugs

• Dat animation again…

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• So finally, at the 16-minute mark, the plot rears its ugly head when Bandareas confronts de Alarcon over Commander Leopold’s decision to use students in the recon mission. Bandareas is none too pleased about sending kids into a potential warzone. But here’s what I find puzzling… Leopold didn’t want to send his own men out on a recon mission into uncharted territory because he didn’t want to frighten the people of Isla. So how is it any better to send kids into uncharted territory? You mean to tell me that this won’t scare people, but sending adults will? Are you serious? Don’t make me get the ramen!

• De Alarcon’s doing a fine job by discussing such important matters out in the open like this. Open enough that Chiharu could walk by and overhear the relevant details! Wunderbar.

• Despite what she’s heard, Chiharu decides to tell nobody about it. I guess she doesn’t want to worry them or something? Still, if I were in her friends’ shoes, I’d like to know what I was getting myself into. But regardless, she and Mitty share a tender moment… which is nice and all, but why do we care about these two again?

• So what was that? Two or three minutes of plot at the start of the episode? Then like fifteen minutes of orgasm-inducing ramen nonsense followed by a short bit of character development for a pair of minor side characters? Wow, don’t strain yourself, Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta! You’re going to wear yourself out at this rate, and then we’ll never get to see the End of the Sky like you’ve been promising us!

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11 thoughts on “Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep. 6: Cooking ramen in the sky!

  1. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    Oh my good God this made me crack up to tears. I’m glad your brain made it through at least, mate, unlike this show.
    I can’t believe that
    A) They made an entire show based on fucking ramen
    B) They still did the “anime character X can’t cook even simple things good!” but with fucking ramen
    C) They halted all plot progression just for the sake of….RAMEN
    I genuinely think that the animators believed they were going to do a real episode at first, and when the producer ran in and demanded they all have a filler ramen episode last-minute, they just gave up. The animation’s degeneration shows the animators dying inside with every frame until all that’s left is broken hearts and tears of intense ennui.

    You know, I just bet there’s one animator on board who’s not all that experienced, maybe this is their big break to be a part of a real show, and they have a dream. Their dream is the same as they’ve ever been: to help bring a vibrant anime story to life. They grew up with Hayao Myazaki and Satoshi Kon films. They graduated top of their class. “This is it!” they shout. “This-THIS is where I become…an ANIMATOR!!”
    And then they’re forced to do a ramen episode, and the prospect of a noose becomes the highlight of their future.

    One of the better failures of an episode I can remember. Lord knows how you made it through. I tried watching it along but just couldn’t take it. You have a will of iron, E Minor.
    That or some very potent cat pills haha

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      B) They still did the “anime character X can’t cook even simple things good!” but with fucking ramen

      Well to be fair, ramen proper is an artform in itself. Every region brings something distinct to the dish. Basically, this ain’t your average cup o’noodles. But of course, we’re talking about artisans. We’re talking about people who have poured decades of blood and sweat into a singular craft. That’s a far cry from what Ari’s doing so why bother with the pretense? All the main character had to do was boil some noodles. We’re not talking about the stock or anything remotely involved. We’re talking about boiling some damn noodles.

      On a related note, this was impressive.

      Reply
  2. Naota

    Oh my word, I don’t think I’ve shouted harder at an anime this season except for maybe Golden Time. When the adults showed up I was certain that now, finally there was going to be some sort of actual content which didn’t involve watching people eat noodles and make the same meaningless comment.

    And then they sat down and ordered a bowl.

    Goodbye desk, I knew ye well.

    Reply
  3. Ryan R

    One of the more common refrains from anime fans is that there’s too many one-cour shows these days, and that one cour doesn’t provide sufficient length for telling the story.

    Well, episodes like this show that sometimes an one-cour length might be even *more* than what’s needed. It seems likely to me that between this episode and the beach episode that they’re really stalling for time, and just trying to fill up some episodes until they have enough actual plot left to carry the use up the remaining episode run-time.

    Alternatively, if the ending to this feels rushed, it’s not because one cour isn’t enough time, it’s because it wasted time on material like this. And a lot of the supposedly “It would have been good if it was two cours!” anime shows are like that. I’m glad you really take the piss out of anime shows for fluff like this, because it draws attention to it, and to how it wastes/kills time.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Well, episodes like this show that sometimes an one-cour length might be even *more* than what’s needed.

      Maybe, maybe not. I was initially surprised to hear that The Hobbit would take up to three films to adapt. Clearly, however, an adaptation can be as long as you want it to be… if you’ve got the chops to pull it off. Now, of course, The Hobbit — being one of the most renowned works in English literature — is a far cry from some random series of Japanese light novels, but I don’t think my point is rendered irrelevant as a result. If TMS honestly needed to stall the plot, I’m sure they could’ve found some aspect of these characters’ lives to expand upon that would’ve been more fruitful and interesting to watch than, well, an episode about selling ramen. At least pick something that is actually related to flying, the sky, being a pilot — I could go on all day. Ramen, however, would not have been the first thing that would’ve come to my mind.

      Reply
  4. Artemis

    Well, this one was thankfully free of cheap and unimaginatively pointless fanservice… which is the only good thing I have to say about the episode, much as it pains me. I could almost have forgiven the obligatory beach episode if the follow-up had been good enough, but ‘excruciatingly dull’ is unfortunately the best description I can come up with. Which saddens me a lot, because while the series has understandably not been the most popular of the winter season, I genuinely enjoyed the first few episodes. The last couple, on the other hand, reek of wasted potential.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Well, the animation in this week’s episode was the worst it’s ever been. I don’t think they wanted to waste valuable fanservice on that.

      Reply

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