Think I’ll start off by ranting and raving about Code Geass for the umpteenth week in a row? Ha! Let’s shake things up a bit!
Bonus points if you can identify the anime without glancing at the tags. Clicky clicky for more.
Amuri in Star Ocean (episode 02)
I gotta admit: I’m not an OVA man. My personal definition of a good show can be summarized as “a large cast of characters with detailed backgrounds and motivations evolve over time through conflict”. Since OVAs tend to be shorter affairs, I’m often left unsatisfied by their inherent brevity, even though I’m aware some OVA series can be quite long… And in some cases brevity is no bar to quality, as was the case with Naisho No Tsubomi, and as it is again this time with Amuri in Star Ocean.
I mentioned the first installment in passing a while ago, and the second one has finally materialized, not a single minute too soon in my opinion.
The show depicts a futuristic Earth where mankind has recently entered space. However, the unimpeded industrial progress of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has polluted the Earth and thinned the atmosphere to a point where the Sun’s harmful rays now bombard the planet. They’ve killed or sickened a large part of the world population, but some people (called “Adapters”) have developed “Allergies” (read: superpowers) due to the rays, with some dramatic consequences.
In the first episode we met Amuri whose Allergy is Repulsion: she literally cannot touch anything or anyone else without Repelling the person or object in question. She was blasted into space to Pink Corral, a research facility, where she would have received help and treatment for her condition… had an army of robots not attacked and blown up the station.
The most mind-blowing part about Amuri is that the show loves its main characters without cheapening or exploiting them. It regards the main three girls (Perrine, Amuri and Suzu in the picture above) always with love and, in a feat possibly unrepeated in the entire world of anime, gives them reasonably-sized breasts. I know! The girls are all thirteen or fourteen, too! In any other anime they’d be lugging around the kind of titanic teats so massive astrophysicists have to take their gravitational pull into consideration when calculating a planet’s orbit. To be fair, each girl has a special costume called a Stora that amplifies her Allergy, and the costumes do err on the diminutive side, but they’re so incredibly well-designed — Amuri’s own Sunflower Stora 13 even lights up her hair orange! — that you can’t call them sexualizing.
There are all sorts of reason to watch. There’s Perrine’s rabbit robot Utakan, who’s a laugh riot on its own. There’s Suzu’s constant hummingbird-like arm-flapping. There’s Amuri’s heartbreaking drawings in episode 01. There’s Perrine’s dark carnival personality. Oh, and the smooth, colorful CG animation is a true feast for the eyes at a time where certain series can’t even seem to get basic anatomical proportions right. (See next show.)
At any rate, I sincerely hope I don’t have to wait another five bloody months for the third installment, else I might just develop an Allergy myself… An Allergy to not murdering people.
Sekirei (episode 11)
Whaaaaa? This is a 12-episode series? I could have sworn I’d read somewhere Sekirei would last 24-25 episodes. Oh well. At least you can be 100% sure it’s not wishful thinking on my part.
I’m rather baffled by the number of characters who I just know are going to pull hitherto unknown superpowers out of their asses next episode. At the same time, at least the show’s got some action going, none of that gentle household life bullcrap we’ve been fed since the start. The first time the landlady intimidates someone into doing her bidding is funny. The next thirty-seven times, not so much.
But hang on, does this mean a second season is incoming? We’ve got one episode left and there are a zillion characters who’ve made no meaningful appearance yet apart from a stereotypical foreboding interlude speech unrelated to plot at hand. Sekirei 2: Nipples Banzai?
(Morning after edit: Oh yeah, and they finally got rid of the awful ending credits sequence where the four main girls parade and shake their assets to an inane, upbeat theme and replaced it with Musubi in various states of opaqueness walking along to a much slower and somewhat sadder theme. It’s an improvement, but too little too late to rescue the show from the pit of shittiness it dug itself in. Although that last shot strongly reminded me of Real Drive, and as far as OP and ED themes go, you can hardly do any better than Real Drive.)
Code Geass (episode 23)
Here’s to another earth-shattering first: I won’t say much about CG this week. Except:
- I’m waiting for episode 23 (which should arrive tomorrow) to judge the most recent plot twist.
- Am I the only one who raised an eyebrow at the Karen-Lelouch melodrama? They’re hardly Romeo and Juliet material. Although I do appreciate that the show has constantly contrasted Lelouch’s abilities and powers with his humanity, and the battle between those two sides of his personality.
- Zero Requiem: my money’s on a Super-Geass that resets time and destroys the very historial presence of Geass altogether. You’ll notice that at the end of the episode, Lulu gets a call that his troops have captured Nina, which seemed to have been the main point of his coming to Ashford Academy. All you Euphy fanboys can start wetting your panties in anticipation.