Here we are five weeks into the new season of anime, and I have yet to write a post about what I’m watching! Keshikaran! Mattaku keshikaran! Procrastination counts as one of my worst vices. It seems to have gotten worse of late, and one wonders how I shall manage to bear with NaBloPoMo.
Limiting myself to six anime was surprisingly easy this season. I’ve yet to watch Luger Code 1951, but I’ve kept up with the other five. And so, I’d like to invite my dear readers to suggest a couple more for me to add to my watch list. Without further ado, the following are the shows I’ve been watching:
1) BBK/ BRNK II
The CG animation in this show is some of the best I’ve seen. The second season started with its best foot forward: action packed mecha battles. All the characters are as likable as they were in the first season.
The greatest problem with the show thus far is how the characters all strike me as rather confused. Epizo works for the villain, Guy, because he loves Laeticia–even though the villain intends to eliminate all Bubuki users in the end. Despite being one of Guy’s most devoted allies, Kaoruko, Azuma’s sister, has betrayed the villain…and been simultaneously abandoned by our heroes. Reoko looks like she’ll be a good girl this time. And so, I find myself just going along for the ride as I hope for the plot to make more sense.
Episodes nine and ten in Bungo Stray Dogs recall how much Britain’s vote to leave the EU revolved around idealism, or, at least, they do within the tortuous turnings of my mind. This article has little interest in probing the political and economic ramifications of their decision but two competing ideals. I wrote previously on the necessity of ideals for life to be worth living. People need a purpose beyond material benefits and survival. To base one’s life on material comfort and pleasure is to exist as one of the living dead.
At the end of the eighth episode of Bungo Stray Dogs, Atsushi saves the unwilling assassin Kyouka from certain death. Despite his heroism, Kyouka is caught between the rock of the Law and the hard place of the Port Mafia: the former requires her execution for thirty-five murders (more like manslaughter than murder, but that’s how the characters term it) and the latter for betrayal. Between these implacable foes, it seems impossible for Kyouka to survive in Yokohama. In the following episode, Kunikida brings this argument to bear against Atsushi’s good intention of helping Kyouka begin a new life.
The anime Bungo Stray Dogs, another called Shigofumi, and certain blog comments have inspired me to write this article. Shigofumi, an anime highly reminiscent of Kino’s Journey, (For interesting me in the latter series, my thanks go to Genki Jason of the blog Genkinahito.) hits the nail right on the head in the way it portrays evil as the negation of being in the first couple of episodes. Since many of my fellow bloggers watch Bungo Stray Dogs, my article will focus on that series rather than Shigofumi, but I highly recommend it to those who love introspective dramas. There are some spoilers, but you should be fine as long as you have watched the first seven episodes of Bungo Stray Dogs.
In this series, I have been flabbergasted by both Osamu Dazai’s predilection for suicide–which is treated as absurd–and his nihilistic outlook, which shows his predilection for suicide to be no laughing matter. His statement “Justice is a weapon” stands as the most nihilistic statement I have heard all year. (By the way, if you wish to read an excellent article on Dazai’s statement and the nature of justice, read Annalyn’s article here. No more digressions–I promise!) Dazai, even if he works for the good guys, counts as an anti-hero if not a downright villain. Though he pooh-poohs ideals, his statements prove that he has his own ideology, which is not far from the ideals of some of the worst villains.