National Blog Posting Month and NaNoWriMo have come to a close. Regarding the former, Medieval Otaku for the first time has managed a post for each day of the month–even if I had to resort to reblogging. (I suppose next year’s goal will include only posting articles written by yours truly; though, I do have fun introducing people to some of the bloggers I follow.) Regarding NaNoWriMo…well…I wrote one chapter and started the second. All my inspiration was siphoned off to various channels. Now, I shall see if I can deliver on my hope of writing a second novel by the end of the year.
Yet, the title promises some thoughts on various anime. Below are blurbs on select themes in each show or my overall impression of them.
1) Akame ga Kiru
The sharp deviation from the manga we see in the last few episodes of Akame ga Kiru increased my interest in this show. Unfortunately, I have an idea of what to expect: everyone except Tatsumi dies before the Prime Minister and Esdeath are taken down. Or, will the animators find a way to surpass my expectations with the last few episodes allowed to them?
That the anime never became popular in Japan leads to this precipitate ending. The weakness of the first six episodes–with the possible exception of the first–hurt this shows ratings. They should never have set out to produce an exact replica of the manga, but people in the entertainment industry are often lazy. Also, though there have been a few excellent battles, the uneven quality of the fights with some being downright poor must also have turned away some action fans. Despite that, I’m looking forward to watching all my favorite characters die in tragic fashion. If they make their deaths epic enough–especially should they reach Kikuchiyo of Samurai 7 level epic, I’ll give the anime four stars out of five.
2) Akatsuki no Yona
This anime has become a classic tale of good vs. evil, where the good guys win because the Universe is behind them. Despite how common such a story is, who does not delight in seeing the weak and downtrodden conquer the wicked and powerful?
And His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
He has shown might with His arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty. (From the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55)
Yona is like the Blessed Virgin Mary in her lowliness, but, because Yona has the Mandate of Heaven, she shall trod a powerful tyrant underfoot–as did St. Mary.
The flashbacks have hurt the advancement of the plot. However, I believe that the following episodes will concentrate on the progression of Yona to becoming a powerful general until the eventual downfall of Soo-Won–not out of revenge, but because the deed is just.
3) Chaika the Coffin Princess: Avenging Battle
This show has been a lot of fun. I have not let down my suspension of disbelief enough to do more than enjoy Chaika, but I love how much more solid the plot is in this season. The episodes have focused on leading up to a final battle between the red and white Chaikas, and that battle will be fun to see. Among the characters, Akari and Frederica especially shine for their quirky personalities and humor.
4) I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying
Touching and funny adequately describe this anime. A several episodes speak less about otakudom and more about the vicissitudes of married life. The point of the show seems to be encouraging salarymen and salarywomen to stop being concerned only with their careers, otaku to stop focusing merely on anime, and both to seek the joys of real romance and married life–including children. Japan really needs more shows with a message like that: in fifty years, the Japanese will be an endangered race at this rate. More need to marry and have children–people of European descent too for that matter!
5) Madan no Ou to Vanadis
I’m impressed by the author’s love for the Middle Ages. Sure, it contains a few errors, but the battles feel authentic (except for the occasional use of magic, of course!), and the embattled feel of the Middle Ages is well replicated. It must be remembered that Vikings, Celts, Saxons, Muslims and other barbarians all attempted to carve up Europe during the Middle Ages. It is amazing that European culture survived.
I like how the anime refers to the Muslim invasions in episode eight by refering to the invading army as name Muozinel. Muslim armies often outnumbered their Christian opponents, but Christians often carried the day through a combination of better armor, tactics, and sheer courage. (I remember reading about one Christian victory in Spain where the Christians won despite entire units being annihilated during the battle. Like in episode eight of Madan no Ou to Vanadis, victory was achieved through the Muslims routing after the death of their leader.) Muslims menaced Europe from the 8th century until the Battle of Vienna, which was fought from September 11, 1683 – September 12, 1683 and ended Turkish campaigns against Christendom. My mother’s family comes from Croatia, which earned the nickname “the Wall of Christianity,” due to the Turks’ inability to conquer the country entirely. You can bet that I loved watching episode eight. :)
6) Psycho-Pass 2
I’m convinced that this is the best show of the season. Some people accuse it of having an incoherent plot or being too similar to the previous season, but such people have not adequately suspended their disbelief. :P We knew that the characters would fight against the Sybil System again, and having another antagonist who wishes to take it down is the most obvious way for this plot to begin. Besides, the last episode indicates that the Sybil System will actively turn against Akane in the future. Don’t you want to see what happens when Akane becomes Public Enemy #1?
7) Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis
A commentator warned me about the religious syncretism and the scantily clad angels. Sure enough, episode six felt rather jarring to me. If the angels are gods, they’re no longer angels. The only parallel between Christianity and the religion of Shingeki no Bahamut is the inclusion of Joan of Arc–but, she’s pagan, which does not mesh with the idea of a Catholic saint! Also, as the aforementioned commentator said, there is a theme of gods and demons–good and evil–vs. choas. This doesn’t work! Despite D&D’s inclusion of a lawful evil category, evil is chaos! God created an ordered whole–a cosmos–when he created the universe. Satan was the first to try to disrupt this order when he declared himself God. Even now, the devil principally fights against God by inducing human beings to disorder and perversion. A brief look at the Seven Deadly Sins reveals that they are all disorders.
That aside, the show is spectacular! The characters are interesting, and each episode offers surprises to the audience.