So, the first half of the episode was the obligatory beach portion, and it was pretty much standard fare for such a thing: swimsuits, jealousy among female characters, volleyball, watermelon-smashing, and so forth. I must say I shared in the male crowds’ disappointment in Yoko’s swimsuit, as well as the cuteness of Nia’s. (Oh man, I just talked about a loli being cute. Damn you, #animeblogger)

The second part was pretty much Simon going into GAR mode and beating Adiane up underwater, and then the Daiganzan beating her up above water, finishing her off with a blazing cannon salvo. Once again, Viral survives the ordeal; I’m curious as to what he’s going to do next, since I doubt his failures will be tolerated at the capital.
Overall, another straightforward but enjoyable episode, complete with fanservice, action, and GAR.  It was definitely nice to see Yoko get a little more screen time and development too– she’d been sidelined for a while now.



Best lines of the episode.

 
Seriously, wtf is up with this old man! Let the main characters save their friends themselves, damnit.

In short, the episode was pretty boring. That’s not to say it was necessarily bad, but nothing about it really caught my attention in any way. The whole “I hate spirits. Oh, they helped me. I guess I don’t hate them anymore.” thing felt pretty artificial and not very meaningful. Corticarte’s letting out her anger by helping with a demolition was cute, but at the same time pretty lame.  There was a little too much time-wasting idle conversation here that had little to do with either plot events or bringing out character traits. Speaking of character traits, the characters seem pretty bland so far, as outside of a couple conversations in the first episode, little effort has been made to familiarize the viewer with the characters. If they didn’t look and sound different, save for Corti, I probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish them from one another.

This needs to get better quickly, or I’m going to stop watching it pretty soon.


The picture speaks for itself, really.  


Watch out, Reimu– you have a new challenger for the title of slutbiri goddess.


Would it be giving GAINAX too much credit to suggest that the lighting in this scene is symbolic of Nia’s bringing light into Simon’s darkness? Either way, I thought it was a nice touch, since this part was pretty much the turning point.

Largely thanks to Nia’s encouragement, Simon finally gets over his grief and lack of self-confidence and kicks some ass. Nia herself was developed a little more here, with the whole “Daddy abandoned me? :(” thing being elaborated on.

The old man saving Nia instead of Simon popping in at just the right time was certainly unexpected. It was probably better than the 100% predictable “Simon pops in at the last possible moment to save the day,” but something about the sequence just felt out-of-place and choppy.

I thought the part in the screenshot above was pretty interesting, showing an almost religious development in the way these characters think of Kamina–they’ve become willing to abandon all rationality and walk into an obvious trap because “it’s what Kamina would do.” It’s a nice contrast against Simon’s eventual self-actualization.

So the Helix King is over a thousand years old. I wonder how long it will be until we find out how he managed to wipe out most of human civilization from the planet surface.

It was a pretty straightforward episode, and there really isn’t much else to say about it. The storyline can go all sorts of ways from here, and personally I’m looking forward to more.


“Sorry… this might sound embarrassing, but I’d prefer it if you waited until after they’ve grown a bit bigger.” 

Not really sure what to think of this yet. I have no familiarity with the source material, but this seems to be a typical fantasy setting: humans coexisting with other mythical species with some possessing magical powers. The two main characters, the spirit Corticarte and her Dantist rookie partner Phoron, both seem interesting and likable. Being the first episode, not a whole lot of background information or the direction of the storyline could really be ascertained yet. Still, with source material from the same author as Scrapped Princess, odds seem high that this will turn out pretty decent if the adaptation and execution are done well. The quality and detail of the animation was superb, as was the soundtrack; hopefully at least this will continue throughout the series.

In short, I’m not too excited about this, but it seems worth keeping up with for at least a little while.


There’s a little something for everyone in this heroine. She has both loli-mode…


…and non-loli mode. 

I had watched the first episode of this when it was released, and it seemed fine, but it didn’t really get me interested in watching any farther. A friend of mine convinced me to more of it, so I did. Frankly, it’s pretty terrible. The show seems unable to decide whether it wants to be serious/dramatic or humorous, and transitions between the two moods so frequently and in such a choppy manner that it succeeds at being neither (other than perhaps being amusingly bad).

Let’s start with the characters. The main character, Kazuma, could have been a lot more interesting a character than he is; however, the execution of the plot lines so far intended to develop his character have fumbled miserably. There was the potential for “love past family hatred” akin to Romeo & Juliet, but instead we have him blowing off all harsh feelings he might have against the family. While this is forgivable from a pragmatic standpoint, as he does cover himself by saying he’ll help them for money, they still could’ve gotten a little more personal conflict out of this.

Things get ridiculous when the show gets to Kazuma’s duel with his father. You’d think that coming back after years of exile and defeating the father who banished you would be a major personal achievement and source of satisfaction in a character and a chance for more meaningful conflict and character development. Instead, Kazuma just kinda goes “lol yay I won, time to go home and sleep,” and the whole thing took all of around five minutes.

It’s also pretty difficult to get a sense of urgency out of any of the battles that go on when the main character has some sort of god behind him. They haven’t yet explained what a “Contractor” exactly is, but it’s pretty clear that nobody’s going to be able to defeat such overwhelming might. So much for that “suspense” thing; the only possible source of it is the potential for him to fail to save the people he cares about. The show does sort of look like it’s going in this direction, but it really needs to do a better job of it.

Now we move on to Ayano. Not much to say here, really, since she’s no more than a stock tsunderekko. While this isn’t necessarily bad by itself, there simply isn’t much to her character at all outside of this. Like Kazuma, she never shows any feelings of conflict or allow the viewer to connect to her in a meaningful way. Outside of the tsundere relationship, there is almost literally nothing else about her character save for showing an occasional sense of duty concerning her position in her family that, due to the nature of her character, is pretty difficult to take seriously.

Oh, and while I’m generally a fan of cool henshins and stuff, other than the cool way in which she says “IDEYO, ENRAIHA!,” the sequence in which she summons her sword is mostly lame and annoying.

Almost every event so far in the show has felt incredibly artifical. The one that stands out to me the most was the scene when Kazuma finds Ayano lying prostrate with a supernatural lethal infection… and pulls out a legendary ultra-rare magical cure-all elixir, which OBVIOUSLY has to be administered mouth-to-mouth since she’s unconscious. Ridiculous. There are numerous examples of similarly contrived writing throughout the eight episodes I’ve seen, as if the writers have no respect for the viewer’s intelligence whatsoever. Episode eight was actually the best of the bunch, just because it managed to actually be amusing.

So yeah, unless you absolutely must watch every single show featuring a tsunderekko ever made, I’d pass on this one unless it somehow gets significantly better later on. Considering GONZO’s track record of usually doing the exact opposite, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I haven’t read the novel, but this definitely seems like the kind of thing that’s probably better left in written form.