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Anime Episodic

Ano Natsu De Matteru: 01-04

One show I missed during my short season preview was Ano Natsu De Matteru. Apparently this show shares the writer of Onegai Sensei and Onegai Twins. The connection between the shows is instantly recognizable since Ano Natsu shares pretty much the same trope characters of childhood friends, wise-beyond-their-years manipulatie senpai (who do the “fu fu fu” laugh), super hot wingmen and alien meganekko main love interests.

In a way, Ano Natsu De Matteru is a throwback to a time when anime plots were simpler. The cast represents a precisely honed set of love triangles and leaves things to sort themselves out. While it’s extremely predictable (and I’m guessing that if there hasn’t been a Madoka-style twist by now, there won’t be one), it’s also super enjoyable. This is like the comfort food of anime for me.

If I’m right, and this anime doesn’t take any detours (though I think it would be pretty brave and awesome if it did), I’m guessing that the main dude and alien will have a series of misunderstandings, childhood friend might gain some traction but then lose out, alien girl will arbitrarily be taken away from main dude for an episode or two, and when they’re reunited, they will end up together. All the while, “fu fu fu” senpai will manipulate the rest of the cast for maximum enjoyment. Childhood friend will either hook up with blue haired dude, or maybe even with the third wheel girl (the one with brown hair that’s kind of useless) to spice things up.

This anime isn’t rocket science, and that’s kind of good. For now I will enjoy the production values and nostalgic feelings that I get from watching this.

Categories
Anime Episodic

Madoka Magica 10: Groundhog Day

RIP Mami... again

After last week’s sorta meh episode, we get another Madoka of awesomeness! This time, we get to see how Homura came to be a mahou shoujo. Apparently in the original timeline, Mami and Madoka became partners (since Homura wasn’t there to delay Madoka becoming a Meguka, which probably led to a Madoka/Mami assist on the candy monster). They saved Homura and she became their magical girl toadie.

The original Walpurgis Night giant witch thing ended up killing Mami and Madoka and Homura made a contract to go back in time to make things right, just like in Quantum Leap! Homura then goes through a series of resets, trying to save her friend Madoka from what seems like the inevitable: becoming a witch and possibly destroying the Earth!

Homura 1.0

It’s really cool to see how Homura used to be the most awkward of everyone, and conversely, Madoka seemed the coolest. Through perhaps years of battling witches, Homura mastered the art of using concealed weapons (her shield is a bag of holding?) to become the most badass magical girl ever. A magical girl who uses guns? Fuck yeah! And man, does she clean up well (though I kinda like her with twintails and glasses…)!

This seems to happen a lot.

It was interesting to see the reactions of the characters in other situations too, like when Sayaka the witch was defeated and Mami went all apeshit, killing all the other magical girls so they wouldn’t turn into witches themselves. I was kinda hoping for a Kyubei death montage, sort of like Bill Murray’s montage of suicides in Groundhog Day.

Cool magical girls don't look at explosions

Homura’s actions finally make sense now, given the fact that she’s lost her friends multiple times. She calls Madoka by her first name because they’re BFF and acts cool because Madoka said she should. Basically everything she does is for Madoka, her first friend. She just has to convince her not to make a contract. It doesn’t seem too difficult, given that she could just sit them down with Kyubei and have him explain the contract legalese at length? Kyubei really doesn’t seem to be averse to telling the truth; he just leaves a lot out.

The series looks like it’s leading to a pretty finale. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Madoka Magica needs more yuri moments like this!

Categories
Anime Episodic

Madoka Magica 8: Tastes Like Kyubei!

OMG. This was a great episode of Madoka Magica. Basically all of the speculation of the previous 7 episodes led up to the events of this one. If you don’t want to be spoiled, you should probably stop reading.

First off, Kyubei is soooo evil! Or at the very least, very manipulative. It all makes sense now! Kyubei turns girls into witches, the girls hunt the witches and get energy but eventually lose it and become witches themselves. The witches kill humans to get energy and are killed by the magical girls. Kyubei profits!! Also, Kyubei eats his own corpse, probably to conserve energy. Just like a cat!

If you were a Kyubei and you were starving, would you eat yourself?

Next, it seems Homura really is a time traveler! Or maybe a dimensional traveler. She finally stops pretending to be cool and actually pleads with Madoka to take better care of herself (e.g. stop trying to become Meguca). It’s obvious she knows what’s going to happen. She kinda lazily tried to save Sayaka but knew it was useless (Sayaka totally saw through her poker face). Also, the shotgun blast to Kyubei was sweet, but it’s too bad his death wasn’t permanent like Mami’s was.

Of course Sayaka goes off the deep end and lets her soul gem thingy get too tainted and becomes a witch. Watching this series keeps reminding me of that quote from The Dark Knight: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

I really like Homura as a character as things are revealed. She knew that trying to save Mami was impossible, though she wanted to anyway. She knew Sayaka was going to turn into a witch the whole time, yet she couldn’t do anything to stop that either. After being aloof stopped working, she finally broke down and pleaded with Madoka. There’s a lot to her character that’s not stated.

I thought of a good way to end the show. Madoka can just make her wish that Kyubei stop making girls into magical girls! Problem solved. It probably won’t be that simple though. More realistically, Madoka will probably become a magical girl and become God. Then she might make the world explode or something. Who knows? She’s like the Luke Skywalker of this show.

Alright, that’s enough speculation. I just gotta wait until the next episode. Apparently this show is only 12 episodes long, so who knows if Madoka will even get to become a magical girl?

Categories
Anime Episodic

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Episode 7

Just finished watching the latest Madoka Magica. The series has definitely outdone my expectations (which were kind of low to begin with). This was a pretty good episode for character development. We get to learn why the spear girl is a loner and get confirmation that wishes really end up backfiring (or just evening things out).

The whole apple biting thing kinda reminded me of Iron Chef’s Takeshi Kaga:

In other news, it looks like Sayaka is mega pissed that she’s a zombie and can’t really be with her boyfriend. I wonder if being a shell of a human prevents her from that much or if she’s just being dramatic. By the end of the episode it’s apparent that she’s flipped and is headed toward the dark side pretty quickly.

Oh, and it’s episode 7 and Madoka is not Magica yet. How many episodes is this show, anyway? If it’s 12 or 13 then I feel kind of cheated. The beginning credits sequence is so not canon now, what with Mami dead and the show definitely not as lighthearted as it was made out to be. It’s kinda funny that they haven’t changed the OP or anything to match the show’s darkness. The ED works for that though, I guess.

It’s pretty late at night so this blog post most likely is rambling, but I figured I’d just pound it out before I forget!

Categories
Anime Episodic

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica 5

Seku-hara!

Alrighty, so that Sayaka girl made a wish and went through the magical girl commencement ceremony of a quick grope from Kyubey. Then she seems to act all high and mighty because her boyfriend got cured (but why not just ask for the whole shebang? Hello, he might want legs!) and she’s all super powerful and stuff. She really seems to be gloating at Madoka, so I hope she gets her downfall pretty soon.

I wish for my boyfriend to be able to play Ave Maria with or without actually playing his violin!

Oh, and there’s a new magical girl in town who wants to start stuff and attacks Sayaka. She looks to be the type to make a whole bunch of grief seeds and then quit that crazy scene. She points out that magical girls need grief seeds, which are made of witches, which are made of familiars, which are made of human (and kitten) tears. So basically magical girls are worse than your gas guzzling Hummer (which are fueled directly from kitten tears).

Almost NSFW

It feels like the animation budget went downhill on this episode. Was it just me or did they reuse an attack animation twice in the same episode? The ending was pretty sweet though, with a possible three-way magical girl fight (three girls one Kyubey?)!

And here’s my random conspiracy theory: Homura is actually Mami back from the dead (and the future) as Madoka’s wish to become a magical girl is to bring her back. Crazy? Yes. But stranger things have happened on Lost!