So what silly shenanigans did Hatena and friends get into this week?
— Well, her deadbeat dad shows up for about a millisecond. He then leaves before anyone could even say goodbye. He probably saw his shadow and decided to go back into hibernation.
— The rest of the episode is all about Yumemi’s refusal to go to school. She doesn’t like it when her classmates point out how she’s different from her sister… and that’s about it, really.
— I’m not here for the story, though. I’ve given up on the story a long time ago. I’m here for the hilariously bad animation.
— I love how nothing can stay consistent within the same scene:
— And when they talk, nothing moves but their mouths:
— Just look at the size of those couches compared to their torsos:
Just where exactly are their legs? Oh, there they are:
— The little girl in this scene looks like the top of her head might reach her teacher’s shoulder:
But seconds later, she seems to have magically shrunk:
Well, we are watching a show about magic.
— There’s nothing special about this scene:
I just like how Makoto looks like a hunchback troll.
— Nobody can draw hands correctly:
In fact, I burst out laughing at Makoto’s mutant left hand:
— I mean, c’mon, they’re cards! CARDS:
You really wanna tell me you can’t draw cards?!
— Last but not least, perspective strikes again:
Poor, tiny Yumemi…
…oops, not so tiny anymore.
— I think most shows have pretty mediocre animation, but Hatena Illusion really takes the cake. It’s in a class of its own. It’s so astoundingly bad for a 2020 anime that I’ve run out of cliches to describe it.
Housekishou Richard-shi no Nazo Kantei Ep. 4
What’s the theme this week? It’s that well meaning people like Seigi can still be jackasses. Kinda. Actually, our story of the week is about a woman who wants to buy a garnet engagement ring. Why? Because her long-term boyfriend dumped her for a younger woman. She feels that she may as well give herself a gemstone since no one else will. As you can probably guess, she harbors a lot of angst over her apparent lack of youth and beauty. She repeatedly tells herself that even a garnet can look nice as if she never believed it herself. It doesn’t help that we got Seigi standing next to her, interjecting with his well-intentioned but ultimately insensitive commentary: “[Garnets are] more affordable than rubies. I think a garnet is the perfect match for you, Yamamote-sama. It’s like the gemstone version of you.” So basically, she’s cheaper than other, more desired women… like c’mon, think about what you’re saying.
So if rubies and diamonds are so much better than garnets, why not buy a ring with one of those stones instead? Why does this woman still insist on buying a garnet engagement ring? Richard thus concludes that the woman is a fighter. Despite what she may say, deep down she still believes in herself. She still chooses the garnet even if it’s not as highly valued by society (and her boyfriend) as a ruby or a diamond. And to Richard, there’s a beauty in that conviction. He tells a story about how garnets signify hard work and perseverance. Essentially, he’s asking us to look beyond the appearance of the gemstone and into its meaning… even if that meaning is, well, ultimately arbitrary and assigned by human subjectivity. This week’s message is simple: beauty comes in many forms. The woman’s beauty isn’t readily apparent. You can’t just look at her and appreciate her true value. Instead, you have to study her like Richard did. And in that sense, one would have to study garnets to appreciate them as much as a ruby or a diamond.
I think what I like the most about this week’s episode is the short discussion about the manufactured value of diamonds. Shoko explains to Seigi all about how one company holds a global monopoly over the supply of diamonds, and as a result, they’ve artificially inflated the price of the much sought-after gemstone. Why is this important? Well, Seigi keeps going on and on about Richard’s beauty in this week’s episode. For instance, when Richard reveals his origins to the client, Seigi goes, “France and England… So that’s how this beauty was born.” First, this is totally inappropriate and unprofessional. What are you doing, my guy? But second, there’s this global perception that fair-skinned, blond-haired Caucasians aren’t just beautiful but that they are more beautiful. When Richard asked Seigi to think about why he thinks engagement stones are typically diamonds, he wanted his employee to reflect on our perception of beauty. It’s not that Richard isn’t beautiful. He is. But Seigi is fixated on the man’s hair, skin, eyes, etc. These are all surface level details, and this is why our hero of justice fails to empathize with the woman.
As an aside, who the hell eats macarons with a fork? In fact, who eats only one macaron? Seigi actually had the woman pick out a single macaron from a box, and that left me flabbergasted. Your bougie ass store sells gemstones for Christ’s sake, and you’re just going to give the customer a single macaron to snack on?
Wait, can I look past Hatena Illusion’s ugly animation and appreciate its inner beauty?