I was afraid it would come to this: Rail Wars! blew its load way too quickly. This week’s story involves some missing person’s case, but it’s not even interesting enough to command an entire episode’s run length. As a result, you’re forced to sit through an incredibly boring first half as the anime introduces yet another haremette to the cast. Yeah, I won’t even bother to recap Mari’s story. All you need to know is that she and the main character used to go to the same school, and now she’s a waitress at that fancy restaurant (but of course, she’s dressed as a meido):
She probably likes Naoto, but who really cares about that, right? After all, I only really started blogging this show for its ridiculous fanservice and equally ridiculous scenarios involving trains. Well, as you can see from the first screenshot in this post, the ridiculous fanservice is still there. I like how Aoi has a revolver on her, but honestly, where on that one-piece-wearing body of hers could she possibly keep it? Not only that, the anime overdoes it with the girls’ crotch areas, don’t you think? But hey, maybe they’re packing a couple of bullet trains too, if you know what I mean. But I digress.
What’s painfully missing from this week’s episode is the crazy scenario to tie this whole farce together. After last week’s bomb defusing nonsense, I had asked where the anime could go from there. I mean, could you get any crazier than our heroes pretending to be a bomb squad? No, no they cannot. In fact, it feels as though we’re about to hit rock bottom. Basically, Mari’s friend goes missing, and… well, that’s about it. There isn’t even an exciting, heart-pumping race against the clock to locate the girl or anything like that. When Mari reports that her friend had gone missing, the very first thing our heroes do is sit down and go through mountains upon mountains of incident reports:
Riveting. The only slightest bit of craziness in this week’s episode is how Mari can determine where her friend had gone missing by simply listening to the background noise on some audio file they had found on the missing girl’s phone. These characters all love trains, but this girl shows her love through her acute sense of hearing. But hey, it’s not even that crazy. I’m sure someone out there loves trains enough that they could pull off the same shenanigan too.
Anyway, our heroes eventually find the girl — no worse for wear, of course — and it turns out drug dealers had kidnapped her. Luckily, all they did was tie her up and leave her in some abandoned storage building. Our heroes and the drug dealers then engage in an all-out melee, become somehow, drug dealers in Japan don’t carry guns on them. But it’s cool, ’cause I’m sure a bunch of kids only a month on the job can beat up some drug dealers. The best part, however, is when Naoto tries to seem all badass in front of his friend by refusing to run away from danger: “I have something I need to do.” He then proceeds to hide behind Aoi in the ensuing fight:
Even though the previews for next week’s episode hint at a potential trip to the beach, there’s a good chance Rail Wars! has blown its load already. Having said that, is there nothing left for us to take solace in? Well… I’m definitely enjoying how much the the Passione has taken a giant, massive dump on the show’s animation quality in just a single episode. Sure, the characters don’t look absolutely deplorable when we view them up-close, but it’s still pretty bad:
When the camera pulls itself back, however, that’s when the animation goes full derp mode:
Even the main characters aren’t spared:
At one point, you can hear Naoto speak, but his face doesn’t even animate! Also, take a look at Sho. In fact, take a look at how he’s studying his menu with a laser sharp focus. Well, that’s how he looks for the entirety of the scene. He doesn’t move an inch nor does he even utter a single word. I think he may have grunted once in response to a question, but other than that, he is practically a lifeless mannequin for like two straight minutes. But hey, give Sho a break! Maybe he just really has no clue what to order! But it’s not even the characters who suffer. The backgrounds too are a wild trip:
In this scene, it looks as though the ceiling is thirty — maybe even forty — feet high. This is just one instance I’ve bothered to point out. That is… if they even bother to swap out the backgrounds. Yes, Rail Wars! can’t even be assed sometimes to animate a new background. Take a look at this scene from early on in the episode:
Now take a look at a similar-looking scene near the end of the episode:
Oops, did I say “a similar-looking scene?” I really meant “the same exact fucking scene.” The backgrounds in both shots are exactly pixel-perfect in comparison to each other. But hey, it’s cool. Japan’s trains are just that punctual, yo. As a result, that train you see in the background would stop at the exact same place each and every single time no matter what day it is! But even if we grant that, the characters look practically the same too. Sure, they’re closer to each other in one shot, but their facial expressions haven’t changed at all. At all. No wait, this is the level of consistency that you can expect from Japan’s hard-working employees. Not only are the trains punctual, the employees won’t even dare change how they talk and move! They’re so good, even their shadows are the same. You want to know the best part, though? In the second shot, Mari is actually telling the main character how much he’s changed since the last time she saw him.