35 Shoutai – METANORN

Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai – 03

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Mari is here to tsun and chew bubble gum. Oops! No more bubble gum….

What do you get when you add a witch to an anti-magic platoon? Tropes! Tropes everywhere, as far as the eye can see! Not that I’m holding that much against it, this was a pretty fun episode and they used those tropes fairly well…

pippiko pippiko narase Witch☆Activity

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Eye Catch One! Meet Mari!

Let’s get a few things out of the way first. After the defeat of the Einherjar last episode, the Small Fry platoon learns that no good deed goes unpunished, so that leads to them having to pull guard duty for a new transfer student the Academy wants to keep on the Q-T. Also, Lapis is the only Relic Eater that keeps with traditional swordplay instead of modern gun derived magics. She’s also a transfer student, and is officially made to be Kusunagi’s little sister on her paperwork, cause siscon jokes never go out of fashion. But back to the first transfer student…Mari.

Well, let’s just get to the full disclosure, shall we. To no one’s surprise at all I’m a huge fan of our resident witch. Cute little fang! Tsundere attitude? LOLIesque lines and curves! Potential to kick ass with magic! That sweet and still admonishing voice that only Kanae Itou can provide! This is the full package! With such a great foundation, they better build a great character to match, and I think they’ve got a pretty good start all things considered. Doubters and nay-sayers suck it by default! Even with the amnesia gimmick, as they finessed that in rather well.

…look at Kusunagi’s smug face…

She’s a girl that has an uphill battle facing her. No matter where she turns shes either used, abused, mistrusted, or just plain undervalued. So, it’s no small wonder that the resident MC instantly finds her good qualities; that is what generic MC males are there for. I actually quite liked the exchanges between both Kusanagi and Mari. She tries to put up a wall, and act cool; going for a villainous line yet still picking up her liter. He sees right through it, sees that she’s a perfect fit for the small fry platoon. This is where you go when no one else wants you, or thinks they have little, if any, use for you. She has high ideals, but he agrees that those ideals are worthy ones. Which may bite someone on the ass sooner rather than later, ideals have a hard tendency to fall in these shows.

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Oh, this argument again

While both Usagi and Ikagura are dismissive of her (which accounts for all the do this episode), it’s Ootori that stands out the most in terms of relations with Mari. Yeah, this is a cat fight of tsundere cranking proportions, that is without a doubt, but there’s some good interplay going on between the two. Beyond picking on her hat and scarf and small stature, Ootori submits to her sense of duty above her sense of revenge on all points, especially since that emotion has been dampened by Kusunagi. So it was a nice twist to see her fall in line and do the unexpected. Both of them are in the Small Fry Platoon due to little if any real choice, and it’s here they have to make the stands they need to.

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I am so in love with her little gestures of humanity…

It’s also quite helpful that they both have those undisclosed yet obvious feelings for Kusunagi. It was something of a treat to see them just go from full blown argumentative mode over school studies, athleticism, and marksmanship, to realizing they both share the oh-so-telling “first name basis” relationship with the object of those feelings. These are great markers to underline just how alike the two are over and above the obvious MC competition. They’re coming at roughly the same goal from different angles, as the use of evil magic has tarnished them both. Plus, despite the tsun-warning, Mari quite enjoyed being a team player during the mock combat drills. And…you just don’t share a bath with someone you actively hate or distrust. But, let’s keep that gleipnir in mind shall we? That’s gonna go boom…one way or another…

He’s a dick, but I love his staff…

But, in this story, evil comes with a price. I’m afraid that is Haunted, the designated carrier of the Villain Ball and resident Punch Clock Villain. I’ve peeked a bit into the LNs and they do rather give him some decent motivation for his misdeeds; to no surprise those motivations are something he roughly shares with Mari herself, at least at one point in his past. It’s a nice digression that the witch and the summoner are very different in how they reach their goals, and that the goals have become so very different over time. I hope they can bring that to Haunted’s character soon; we could do with less Villain Balls in anime. But regardless, both have very different ideas and attitudes about life in general. For Mari living at peace with a world that can move beyond prejudice against magic-users is very pronounced; shades of Maria….

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Senpai…where did this paint come from?

The witch has a lot more going for her, as Mari has the honesty of youth, and the purity of conviction. But Hauted has the cheap white lies of someone that has given up on all of that and just wants to destroy the world to destroy his pain; oh yeah, I said I wouldn’t kill any innocent people, but this is a sick and twisted world, there are no innocents! He’s scheming. So in that respect he must know that the Anti-Magic Academy will twist Mari up nice and neat, one way or another. Which they just might be wanting to do themselves in rigging where she is sleeping to draw out Valhalla, and leaving the incriminating evidence for Ootori of all people to find. That would be a bitter irony, having Ootori do all the evil heavy lifting for him. This was one amnesia trope that had a wrinkle to it.

Under Wraps (NSFW?)

Show ▼

Yeah, there was quite a bit going down this episode that was just this side of predictable. But it wasn’t the bad kind. I really don’t mind if a story makes use of tropes, I only mind if they do it in an uninspiring, dull way that has the potential to actively insult the audience. I didn’t feel that was the case at all here. There was a visible and lustrous polish on these standard story-telling devices, and the characters were given enough latitude to tell a good story. Some do it better, some do it worse, but 35 Shoutai is doing just fine by my reckoning. It’s fun, that’s what matter to me. OK, I could do with one less battle tournament anime this season…but….::shrugs::

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Eye Catch Two!

I’m seeing some news pop up here and there about the adaptation. There were earlier reports that this show would burn through 9 LN volumes, and the fact that three episodes have worked 1 1/2 seems to lend credit to that. But, someone might have mistranslated what the original author said. Last I heard was five of the 11 currently published volumes are adapted into this cour; with speculation that we are getting 8 episodes for four volumes, with four/five episodes saved for the fifth. I have to admit, that sound right, if only because it sounds good to my ears, but we’ll see how things play out. So, join me…

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I’m hoping they kick his ass…

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All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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14 Responses to “Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai – 03”

  1. zztop says:

    Naughty afterwords from Vol 2:

    “To sum it up easily, (Vol 2 is) a story about (an) overburdened natural lady-killer siscon and a pervert whose sexual preference covers about every fetish, compete for a witch whose tits can’t be even called “small”, as she’s simply flat like a chopping board.

    Eh? I’m messing around too much? Isn’t it all correct…

    …oh well, this time it’s centred around Mari, whom you’ve caught a glimpse of in (the) first volume.

    Now, this time it’s flat chest’s turn. A flat chest phase. No, it’s not like I made her like that to balance out the disproportionate amount of big boobs.”

    PS. Takeru should’ve offered to strip too, maybe that would’ve defused the tension. 😛

    • Highway says:

      So is he saying that the School Director and Kusanagi are ‘fighting’ over Mari? Maybe next episode when they finish off the volume will have more about that, but it seems like I’m completely missing something there.

      In that vein, I’m frequently struck by how off the wall the author afterwords are in Japanese light novels. They often seem to barely have anything to do with the whole book. And then when they do, it’s talking about something that I would consider inconsequential or unimportant. Plus in the Maria-sama ga Miteru ones, Konno frequently makes a reference to people who read the afterword first, and that she can’t talk about things because it might spoil it for them. If you’re reading the afterword first, you *deserve* to have it spoiled! That’s why it’s an afterword!

      BTW, Usagi’s body shape just feels wrong to me.

      • skylion says:

        So is he saying that the School Director and Kusanagi are ‘fighting’ over Mari?

        …I have no idea what you on about here?

        So, does Konno talk about the story you just read in the afterword? It might be a thing for LN writers. The guy what does Index is pretty much a double-jointed yet self-conscience self-congratulate…

        And…

        …so Mr. Body Right…what exactly is wrong?!

        • Highway says:

          a story about (an) overburdened natural lady-killer siscon and a pervert whose sexual preference covers about every fetish, compete for a witch

          That’s talking about two people. The only person that I can think of who could be a siscon in this show is Ootori’s brother, the director of the school. I don’t recall Kusanagi having a sister, so I was thinking he was the second person.

          And maybe it’s just the way that Usagi is in the show, but it feels like they overemphasize her chest size too much. Much more than that image does.

          Konno sometimes talked about the story you just read, sometimes expanded on a particular thing, and sometimes was off on a different tangent. It’s better than Ishibumi for DxD, who mostly talks about upcoming stuff (which now has zero relevance because his ‘future’ is way in the past now). But Ishibumi will sometimes also talk about the books in a meta way, which is when it gets worth reading.

          It’s better than Yumizuru with IS, who just talks about how ill he always is.

          • skylion says:

            Well, I’ll spoiler tag this: Show ▼

            Man, first Fosh in Mermaid, and now you in Shoutai…why so picky?

            Does Ishibumi talk about myths and legends? Seems like that would be interesting and informative, knowing what sort of older ideas he was mining, and how he changed them to suit DxD.

            • Highway says:

              All I can tell you is what it seems like when she’s on the screen. Just doesn’t seem right.

              Hah, if you think it’s interesting and informative, then you’re not understanding what’s in these Afterwords. At most, if it talks about the story it’s “Well, that ends the arcs for Akeno and Asia, so next time it’ll be Koneko”.

            • skylion says:

              Well, I wish afterwords could be interesting and informative. But, I can understand a writer’s perspective as well, “You want to me write what? I just wrote a whole damn LN. I got nothing! Fine…here’s four paragraphs about boobs. Happy?!”

            • Highway says:

              One of Konno’s afterwords is actually “I’m just typing here to try to see if I think of anything to say.” as she goes on for 5 paragraphs about stuff. It’s actually one of the more interesting ones. But at the end she says “I still couldn’t really think of anything to say about the book.”

            • skylion says:

              Yeah, they just spent pages upon pages upon pages telling a story. Unless they completely whiffed it, the story tells itself. Job done. And…they really can’t say anything early about the next volume, not cause of spoilers, but because they often change their minds. It would be interesting if they put the days shopping list in.

              Cat Food
              Milk
              Bread
              Eggs
              Syrup
              Thumb Tacks
              Twine
              Bromine
              Cat

            • Highway says:

              One of the better ones that Konno did was talking about Nagakiyono, a custom in the Ogasawara house that is apparently pretty rare. That one and others sometimes describe the synthesis of how elements of the story came together.

            • skylion says:

              Yes, this. This is what I would dig. It’s just like how I want to hear the seed of the Hanasaku Iroha idea from Okada.

    • skylion says:

      …meet upcoming character Nagaru Hoshijiro…looks like the ratio of massive pastry puffs to sweet pancakes is going to even out.

      PS. Takeru should’ve offered to strip too, maybe that would’ve defused the tension

      Nah, I just like how Takeru couldn’t take his eyes of her, he’s smitten.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Yep, I knew Ootori would throw a fit the moment she found out a witch was joining, although against her will. With the constant bickering between the two, they’re surely on the road to becoming best friends.

    I’ll say Kusanagi was half lucky when he just waltzed in (his own apartment) unannounced to bring food. He escaped the “getting hit by the girl for seeing her naked” trope from Mari but we all have a good idea as to who hit him after that little mishap later on.

    Okay, adding Noragami Aragoto’s Kugaha, that bastard necromancer who left Mari framed is easily getting under my skin just by looking at him. Here’s hoping his much deserved comeuppance is divine.

    On a side note, I fail to see what makes a distinction between a witch and a necromancer. I mean, both are capable of using dark magic. So why separate names?

    • skylion says:

      Yeah, we knew those two would bicker like sisters, but it felt right. Sure, they had a heavy hand in painting it that way, but it was still fun.

      As for who hit Kusunagi, you gave me a reason to rewatch, and there are two slapping sounds…

      I’m kinda hoping that Haunted will become the “hoist by his own petard” villain. All the good guys really need to do is contain him and make sure he has enough rope.

      You can click on the link I gave near the bottom of the spoiler section, the caption right under the B&W image of Mari, and see some of the terminology the LN and thus the show ends up using. The writer, like all LN writers, likes to play around with kanji spellings and readings So…there might be a connection between witch and necromancer in the original Japanese, and the distinction is how you look at it…

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