What I watched today: W’z and Egao no Daika

The screenshot above perfectly captures how I feel about these two shows. First up with W’z. I honestly wouldn’t have bothered with this show if I had known beforehand (no pun intended) that it was some sort of sequel to Hand Shakers. It’s a show I’ve never watched, so I feel a little naked going into W’z. But since I already watched this episode, I may as well cover it. Basically, when certain individuals hold hands in this story, they are sent to an alternate universe that looks a little too busy for my liking. And within this alternate universe, you can summon forth your “Nimrod,” a weapon of sorts. Naturally, the main character Yukiya gets a sword, but not just any sword. His is oddly made out of CDs. Alright, so what’s the point of this alternate universe? Well, if you keep fighting and presumably stealing your opponents’ powers, you’ll eventually reach God who can then grant you a wish. This, however, wasn’t exactly Yukiya’s intention when he crossed over into the alternate universe with his childhood best friend Haruka in tow (naturally, she’s in love with him but he’s either playing dumb or completely oblivious to her feelings).

The aspiring, 14-year-old simply wants to make a name for himself as a DJ. He clearly has a passion for music, but at the same time, his own father is trying to curtail it. Not only that, he has always been warned not to hold hands with others, because they might hear something. Sorry, but “something” is about all that I can surmise. When Haruka holds his hand, she sees herself lying dead on the ground. So y’know, maybe it’s bad luck or something. Nevertheless, after a disappointing livestream in the real world — I mean, c’mon, who’s going to tune into a stream just to watch a kid DJ? — Yukiya decides to risk it all. He drags his equipment into the other world and livestreams from it, because that will somehow make more people tune in? Either way, it doesn’t take long before he’s attacked by other groups of Hand Shakers, because they all want his powers. And that’s basically it for the first episode. That’s about as much info as you’re going to get. If I had watched Hand Shakers, maybe W’z wouldn’t seem so random. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of GoHands’ works. Sorry, but Princess Lover and K didn’t exactly capture the imagination.

Well, to nobody’s surprise, I’m not very impressed with W’z either. The one solace is that music’s actually not bad. I’m not going to go out and buy the soundtrack, but it’s not unbearable either. On the other hand, the animation is terrible. The dancing is just really embarrassing to look at. I also groaned when Haruka put on her mask, because the 2-D image of the mask literally just floats on top of her character’s face. Yeah, the animators were that lazy. Then we get to the story itself, and it’s just bland. Granted, the show hasn’t shown its full hand yet, but sadly, watching kids do battle for god’s attention is not an idea that I care to have remixed. C’mon, a guy even has a butler name Sebas. You can’t give the same name to all of the butlers, anime! In any case, I’ll likely take a peek at the second episode next week, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll end up passing on this one in the long run.

Next up on the docket is Egao no Daika. Of all the shows to premiere with two episodes, this probably should’ve been one of them. After all, the first episode is almost entirely full of fluff. This might have been deliberate, though. Ther’es a very happy-go-lucky tone to the first episode, and maybe the show is laying it on thick on purpose. Yuki, a 12-year-old princess, must now lead her kingdom to prosperity… or so we’re told. It’s hard to take the idea seriously when her adoring crowd has glowsticks. What is this? An idol concert? You might be wondering where Yuki’s parents are. Well, they’re dead, and to follow in their footsteps, the girl’s goal is to make her people smile. But again, she’s only twelve. No adult would entrust an entire country to a 12-year-old. Hell, I wouldn’t even trust them with a car. In one scene midway through the episode, we see a member of the military question the kingdom’s need to have a monarch. This form of government was adopted early on when the country was having a tough time colonizing this planet. For some reason, the leaders at the time thought that having a king and queen would somehow inspire the masses. I’m not sure how that works, but sure. Let’s just assume that. The main point here is that Yuni thinks the military should get to call the shots when it comes to dealing with the neighboring empire.

Even though this scene ends with Yuni apologizing to Yuki and taking a knee (probably just an act), it’s clear that the military doesn’t intend to keep the princess informed on exactly everything that goes on within her kingdom. For instance, there is no peace with the neighboring empire. War continues unabated judging by end of the episode. The problem now, however, is that Joshua, Yuki’s childhood best friend, will now have learned the truth. Will he continue to keep the state of the war a secret from Yuki because he thinks that this will protect her? Or will he actually be a true friend and tell her what she needs to hear as the ruler of her kingdom? I have a feeling that he’ll try to protect her out of good intentions, and as a result, their relationship might be strained when he returns… if he returns. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Maybe he won’t survive. Maybe he’ll get wrecked by the other girl in the ED. That would be one hell of a way to shake up the story which feels a little too happy-go-lucky at the moment. After all, the ED heavily suggests that Yuki will end up befriending a soldier from the Empire, and as a result, she will undergo a process of maturation or whatever that will change the courses of the two countries going forward.

To wrap this up, I just wanna loop back to the discussion about monarchs. Yuni made a good point; it’s just too bad that no real solutions were offered as an alternative. After all, what would be the replacement? It just sounds like the military is happy to keep Yuki as a figurehead so that they can run the show completely on their own without any checks and balances. Military rule isn’t an improvement either. Plus, the whole setup just doesn’t seem feasible. How can you keep an entire war a secret? Are there no reporters digging for the truth? Is there no freedom of the press? Boy, if that’s the case, then it makes the kingdom sound like an even worse place that I had initially assumed. Finally, what is the endgame? Do we hope to see Yuki ultimately prevail and become a capable ruler of her people? ‘Cause although that might seem like a happy outcome, I’m rather dismayed at the idea of any monarchy period. It’s the 21st century, man. Democracy isn’t perfect, but it sure as hell beats being ruled by the whims of a pre-teen no matter how kind-hearted she is. I know this comes from Japan and all, but if the show wants to pay lipservice to the idea that having kings and queens, emperors and empresses are cool, what a joke.

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