Oh lord, there are too many shows to watch this season. I can barely keep up.
Boku no Hero Academia Ep. 39: The swimming competition to end all swimming competitions
I haven’t decided if I’ll dedicate a post to this show every week. I was hoping to see if the first episode would provide me with enough material to talk about, but this week’s offering mostly plays catch-up. There’s barely any new material to cover as we watch recaps after recaps of previous events. What a bummer. Oh well, here are some quick and dirty notes on what I saw tonight:
— So first things first, I gotta acclimate myself to the original JP voices. Yes, I watched the dubs for the previous however many episodes. As a result, everyone sounds so weird to me now.
— The new OP isn’t doing its job to hype me up at all.
— Midoriya looks bigger and more grown up. That’s cool to see… unless I’m imagining things.
— I can’t decide who I dislike more: Bakugo or Mineta. You know, I’ve read a lot of arguments in Bakugo’s favor, but I’m still not convinced. Luckily, few people bother to defend Mineta.
— Look at these guys just standing around the far end of the pool, giving each other super serious shounen staredowns. Like for fuck sake, it’s summer vacation. They’re supposed to be having a friendly swimming competition. Do you guys ever have an off switch? It just cracks me up. I want a normal guy off to the side who can see this shit going down, and he’s just as confused as I am.
— Aizawa is such a buzzkill.
— Also, none of the girls get to do anything cool in this week’s recap-filled episode. Hmmm.
Hinamatsuri Ep. 1: I hate ikura sushi
Nitta’s a gangster, but he’s only in it for the expensive vases. He’s not a killer; hell, he can’t even fight. One day, a strange battle doll magically appears in Nitta’s apartment. Wherever she’s from, she’s meant to take orders and eliminate all enemies. But again, Nitta’s just in it for the vases. And for some odd reason, he feels compelled to act as her caretaker. In fact, everyone who comes close to Hina seemingly wants to care for her. So over the next few days, we see this odd “father-daughter” couple learn to cohabitate. Of course, this is easier said than done. Since the girl has all the powers, however, it’s really Nitta who has to adapt. Eventually, Hina learns to appreciate the fact that he doesn’t boss her around. Sure, he’ll ask her to do him a few odd favors, but he never makes her do anything against her wishes. When a rival gang shoots his boss, Nitta is ordered by the next-in-command take revenge. Hina ends up doing all the dirty work for her caretaker without having to shed any blood. But hey, results are results, so Nitta looks good in front of his gang. He returns the favor by taking Hina to a high-end sushi joint and ordering her an extravagant ikura bowl.
So I kinda enjoyed this episode. There weren’t any gut-busting laughs, but I found myself cracking a smile from time to time. Hina’s good for some deadpan delivery. Its pop culture references are definitely dated, though. I liked the Terminator punchline at the end of the episode, but man, I can’t even remember the last time I saw a Wii Balance Board. As for the story itself, I won’t try to think about it too much. I don’t think her origins really matter. I also like the fact that most of the violence here is mostly slapstick. After watching some really edgy shows this week, I’ll gladly end my week with a wholesome comedy (even if the main character is a yakuza). I was a little hesitant when she initially emerged naked from her egg-shaped prison, but Nitta seems harmless enough. I do wonder why a young, successful yakuza with a nice spacious apartment is single, though. Ah well. This isn’t a show that deserves its own entry every single week, but I’ll gladly talk about briefly in the weekly “Everything Else” posts that I do.
Devils’ Line Ep. 1: Speaking of edgy…
Whoa man, I don’t think that’s consensual! Nobody wants pink eye! And why is his left hand on her right leg! Why’s it gotta be like that! So yeah, what you have here is yet another show about bloodsucking vampires. Sex and vampires have always gone hand-in-hand, and Devils’ Line is no different. Lately, a serial killer has been on the rampage. Not only does he kill his victims — all women, of course — he also rapes them. But our story is really about Tsukasa, who can’t help but feel as though someone’s been following her. Could this suspicious guy be the serial killer? As she makes her way home one night, her friend Akimura starts behaving strangely. He’s always been in love with Tsukasa, but she just doesn’t feel the same way about him. That’s when the guy from the train suddenly steps in and reveals himself to be a police officer. He’s been tracking Akimura, who is revealed to be the actual vampire serial killer all along (gasp!). Akimura can’t deny it, because his DNA has been found on all three victims. Whoops.
Right off the bat, Tsukasa is defined by her innocence. She doesn’t have a boyfriend, and one of her best friends makes it a point to highlight her purity. On the other hand, Akimura resembles your typical “nice guy” in both looks and behavior. Basically, he looks harmless enough on the surface, but he’s really quite dangerous. He puts Tsukasa on a pedestal, so he necessarily has to treat other women badly. After all, he’s already raped and murdered three women. Last but not least, we have the police officer Yuuki Anzai. He’s actually half-vampire himself, and he certainly doesn’t treat Tsukasa with kids’ gloves. I mean, just look at those eyes. He’s the prototypical bad boy. Not only that, the bad boy archetype is really just the polar opposite of the manic pixie dream girl. His job is to come into Tsukasa’s vanilla ass life and spice it up with his edginess. She could never go for the ideal Akimura, because he’s too boring. They wouldn’t have any passion in their romance. It’s only when she discovers her friend’s dark secret that she suddenly starts to feel anything for him.
Anzai, on the other hand, always elicits strong emotions. That’s what he’s there for. Like how the manic pixie dream girl’s job is to make her male partner come out of his shell and appreciate life, the same is true for bad boys and the ladies that they pursue. Their job is to constantly test the limits of the heroine’s boundaries; sometimes, he even gets to breach them. He never goes too far, but he goes far enough that she can’t help but be overwhelmed with emotions. Love, hate, passion, disgust — they’re all part and parcel of this dangerous courtship that Tsukasa wants to indulge in even if she won’t come out and admit it openly. He’ll hurt her, but not so much that she can’t forgive him. And in return, the saintly, innocent maiden gets to experience the thrills of her life without actually having to seek them out. And that’s precisely why we have that quasi-rapey scene at the end of the episode. Ooh, look at him pin her down on the ground, jamming his nasty tongue into her mouth. She can’t fight him off, but does she really want to? Consensual non-consent can be pretty hot, isn’t it?
Anyways, the vampires are ugly as sin in this show. The animation is ugly, too. I don’t think Devils’ Line deserves its own post, but maybe a paragraph or two will do.
I also checked out Amanchu! Advance, but as I suspected, it is absolutely not my sort of anime. I could barely make it through the first episode. As for Major 2nd, Daigo’s too young for me to be invested in his story. I’ve no desire to watch yet another loud and brash shounen play the underdog. As I’ve said before, sports anime are only interesting to me if there’s also interesting interpersonal drama. That’s why Ping Pong and H2 are the only series that I’ve ever really enjoyed. It’s also too bad that we can’t get a series about his sister Izumi. She’s apparently a fearsome pitcher in her own right. At least it’d be novel to see a girl succeed as a baseball player.
Damn…devil’s line was straight up swampy, sweaty, booty cheeks. It’s unfortunate too because it’s premise lent itself to be quite the interesting vampire story and neat take on the “pure girl being tainted” trope. And yea, the visuals are pure ass; I was especially frustrated by the action scenes and this one particular scene with Tsukasa and Akimura walking down a flight of stairs incompetently framed against the background. The sense of space is all fucked up here during Akimura’s conversation with Tsukasa during this scene. In far out shots, Akimura’s back is facing the wall but then in close ups his back is facing the view of the sky, which is supposed to be on his right side….like what the fuck? These spatial inconsistencies are littered throughout the episode. This feels like a really clumsy, rushed production with barely any time spent supervising and correcting mistakes that could have been rectified with a few days or so. Also I’m guessing no one on the production staff has heard of the 180 degree rule either cuz who cares about making scenes where you can discern the position of the subjects are at any point right?
Yeah, I don’t have much to comment on Boku no Hero Academia and Hinamatsuri. The former seemed to still be the same as the previous season and there isn’t much to comment with the latter. It’s hard to comment on comedy. It just you click with it or not or you find the jokes cross the line too much.
But, Devil’s Line is damn… Is this going to be anime’s Twilight? Probably not. I don’t think this is going to be that popular, but romance sure has a hard time. If it isn’t uninspiring, it’s trashy. This anime seemed to be made straight out of some trashy YA vampire romance novel that you can get in Kindle. The production value of this anime is also bad. At least made the vampire prettier. At least it isn’t Diabolik Lovers, but I’m pretty sure it can become that bad.