02/15/14 Odds & Ends: Golden Magic Wartime

golden time 1801…w-why?

Probably the two worst shows of the season outside of the Harem Hill nonsense.

Golden Time Ep. 18

golden time 1802Trust me, buddy… I would if I could.

Episode summary: It looks as though Koko’s slowly going crazy from Banri’s absence. Meanwhile, Banri revisits his high school and reacquaints himself with his former classmates. Then they play dodgeball. Whoo, don’t get too rowdy now! At the end of the night, Banri revisits that fateful bridge and it stirs up an old, deep memory… or something. I still think it would be funny as hell if Banri’s ghost was actually his twin brother that everyone has decided to pretend they can’t see.

Thoughts: What a boring ass episode. It was all fluff. The Koko fluff was at least kinda funny, I guess, but the fluff with Banri? Just a complete bore. Seriously, who breaks out into a speech every time they have a conversation? ‘Cause it sure as hell felt like that’s what Banri did all episode long. Walking to the school? Lemme tell you about my realizations about life and how I want to change how I’ve been acting! Walking home from the school? Lemme tell you again how I am me and that I want to live my life. Jesus Christ. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about Linda. Oh ho, I saw how the camera panned down to her putting her hand on the back of Banri’s hand. Inappropriate, missy. I’m still totally serious, by the way. She has no respect for either Banri and Koko’s relationship or whatever the hell it is that she shares with Mitsuo. Look, in the ideal world, two friends can platonically place their hands upon each other’s hands briefly without it being a problem. I don’t disagree with that. But knowing what we know, Linda’s actions are hardly platonic. And because of that, I think she is a terrible friend to not just Banri, but Koko and Mitsuo as well.

* * * * *

Mahou Sensou Ep. 6

mahou sensou 0602

Episode summary: The good guys manage to get Mui’s brother back on their side, but they had to trade Takao and Hotaru for him, I think. Not a fair trade if that’s the case. At the end, we see the main character’s brother join the dark side. Oooooh.

Thoughts: In the first half of the episode, there’s an extended fight scene between Momoka and Kippei. Supposedly, there’s bad blood between them, but that’s the problem. We’re only told that there’s bad blood between them; the anime doesn’t show us why they hate each other as much as they do. So why exactly should I care about this fight? I hardly know who Momoka is. I only know that she’s the headmistress of the magic academy and… well, that’s about it to be quite frank with you. Then when it comes to her opponent Kippei, I know even less about him. As far as I’m concerned, he’s just another generic, run-of-the-mill evil guy that you can find just about anywhere. Oh, he used to be Momoka’s senpai? Oh, he killed someone she was close to? But again, we don’t see any of this. We only hear about it after the fact. So the battle has no stakes whatsoever. It’s just ten minutes of two complete strangers duking it out for reasons completely alien to us. That’s bad storytelling #1.

Here comes bad storytelling #2: Mui’s devotion to her brother. She constantly pleads with him to return to normalcy. She constantly begs for him to smile again. Seeing this, Takeshi can’t help but compare Mui’s troubled relationship with her brother to his own fractured family life. But you know what? It’s just not enough. We wasted so much time on that bullshit love triangle between Takeshi, Mui and Kurumi, so as a result, none of this yearning for sibling love makes any sense. Yes, I’ve seen a touching example of sibling love in other anime, but I don’t see one here. From this, you start to see where the problem with generic storytelling truly lies: a lot of the bad anime are just trying to piggyback off of what other shows have already done. It’s like I’m supposed to feel sorry for Mui just because I’ve seen sad imoutos elsewhere. Oh man, wasn’t it sad in x and y anime? So by extension, I should feel sad for Mui! But nope, storytelling doesn’t work that way.

mahou sensou 0601

And then the action scenes… dear god, how is it possible to make magic seem so boring? At one point, the good guys attempt to ensnare Tsuganashi by summoning a giant golden key out from the sky. The key then penetrates the ground, which unlocks a giant underground door? Prison? Oh well, it doesn’t matter. Next, our magic users levitate into the air, then begin rotating around the giant golden key in order to turn it. But y’see, this all sounds comical and ridiculous on paper, but when you actually see it in animation, it’s just about the blandest portrayal of magic possible. There’s no excitement, no energy, no anything in the scene! The show can’t even manage to be so ridiculous that it loops back to being funny. The sad realization is that a show like Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! not only has better magical fight scenes than Mahou Sensou, its fight scenes also manage to be comically ridiculous at the same time. But that’s the thing… I’m not even interested in what Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! has to offer, so of course, where does that leave Mahou Sensou, which is worse by every measure?

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6 thoughts on “02/15/14 Odds & Ends: Golden Magic Wartime”

  1. Was wondering who those two people fighting for ten minutes in Mahou Sensou were. You managed to figure out more than I did. Well, I did fast forward through most of it, since I had no idea who they were and, as you say, this show makes magic battles unbelievably boring. “PROTECTION!” “WOW, SO COOL, HE USED PROTECTION!” is I guess how we are supposed to react? Um no thank you.

  2. So Mahou Sensou is basically Madhouse’s version of Jormungand (a show that managed to make a series about arms dealing and gunfights completely boring AND insulting to my intelligence) combined with Shana fanfiction combined with Index fanfiction. I think my response as I realized this through your description (as well typing all that in your comment section) is: “Oooowwwwwwwwwwww!”

  3. I fucking loath Golden Time. The characters are impossible to relate to, and much of what they go through and the way they react to it rings false, and seems so overblown and affected. What could have been an interesting slice-of-life relationship study ended up one of the worst shows this season. Pointless “drama” for drama”s sake. Just awful.

    1. Yeah, I’ve stopped watching it. The characters are too infuriating. Banri’s relationship with Koko is toxic.

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