35 Shoutai – 04 – METANORN

Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai – 04

35shoutai 4-7

Mari Strikes Back!

“What would you do if I turned out evil?”, asks Mari of Takeru. “Why I’d ignore it, and come at you will implacable MC Plot Devices” is her answer. : Well, it could have been a better episode, all things considered…

A Necromancer is fine, too…

MCSI: The LOLi Files

It’s a good thing that Ootori is a fast investigator, cause if she were slow on the mental draw or if the crime scene had been more complicated, much of this episode wouldn’t have come out as convenient as it did. I’ve heard some issues about the adaptation being rushed, and thou I promised myself I would peek in on the fan translations of the LNs, I’ve not done so at this time. But with how this episode played out with one convenient point after the other I can see where the distillation is happening.

Not bad, needs more pepper…

There is clearly much more going on in Mari’s backstory than what we get here. Since I’ve come to enjoy the character, I wouldn’t have minded if they had slowed down and explored that with a bit more leisure. It would have made a good character something even more worthwhile, and it would have given us some insight into the particulars of this magical world. They gave us a few small peeks, and while they were evocative enough to fill in the scenes, they lacked texture; so much so that Mari felt more like a puppet on the writer’s strings.

Goddess of the Dawn? Valkyrie? Sleeping Beauty? What?!

This goes hand in hand with what a lot of these sorts of magical background shows do all the time, and that is introduce terms without giving them any grounding or those fast moments without any grounding. Hallmark or Unique magic fit in well for those moment they were introduced, and the Despair magic is pretty easy to figure out. But Mari’s connection to Aurora magic needs fleshing out. I can take it as a somewhat figurative, perhaps mythological, or even a scientific term, but that’s me bringing stuff to the show myself, and that might not play out later. I mean, I like bringing stuff, but if you could make it so your party didn’t need it…that would be great.

Remember, only use this spell to power up a Relic Eater LOLi or when you got an explosive collar on…

Also us knowing more about the orphanage she came from, the people she cared for and cared for her would have made the emotional climax they set up pay off more towards her side. That wouldn’t have balanced out the “bad guy says I’m a bad guy, so I must be a bad guy”/dead-orphans-oh-boo-hoo trope train they stuck her on, however. But as it was, they still had to rely on the already tropey, “I’ll bear half that burden for you” MC self-aggrandizement. I didn’t think it was needed. So I guess all the other female members of 35th Platoon are going to wait for him to give them the same line in their time of need? I can understand him helping her out, but she should have been the one to take out this trash with her own upper hand. I liked that she gave him and Lapis a power-up, that was cool. But it would have been more satisfying as part of a one-two punch, with Mari coming out ahead.

Oh, yeah, Hero? I can power up too!

Still, they did do a few things very well. Haunted could have easily been a silly, stupid-crazy villain of the perpetual face-contorting variety. While you can probably make an argument that he already is, I’ve seen worse, and he looks restrained in comparison. They spelled out what his raison d’tre is all about in his previous actions and in his Despair magic, so it makes sense that he would lean as heavily as he did on demoralizing his foes. He’s also got a really cool and interesting magic focus in Nacht, the hero transformation was a great wrinkle with Dáinsleif‘s curse mentioned quite well (and bypassed? seeing as how he did’t kill anyone), and I generally like his style as presented. He’s a good villain to hate, without it being over-sold.

The girls that tsun together, dere together….

Ootori is also doing a great deal more since her “high on tropes” introduction. Yeah, she’s still tsundere as all get out, especially towards Mari, and the feeling is mutual between them. However, she didn’t let prejudice get in the way of sussing out the facts of the case, and didn’t let her previous hate of all things magical cloud her judgment when working with Mari when the chips were down. I loved, and I do mean loved, that line “Magic now! Get pissed later”. She knows her priorities. It’s an added bonus that she is beginning to see that a game is being played at the Anti-Magic Institute. Since we know the Director is not above such things and he so has his own agenda in mind, I wonder how deep she’ll get into that game. I hope they don’t derp that later on. Also, they should stock up on those grenades that Ootori used so effectively, or put that ore in their damn bullets…

Just a couple of Extras….

35shoutai 4-8

LOLi Magic Armor is superior…

35shoutai 4-maribig

I really did try to research it…but I cannot tell why they use the Prince’s Flag colors for her scarf…

—————————————————————————————————————-

I’ve come to enjoy what this show has to offer. It has some potential, and I hope it can realize that even more down the road. I’ve been tough on how easily it gives in to some standarized story-telling. They’ve done pretty good in using them to move the action and character’s along. But this is a case where rushing things isn’t working about for them. I’ve heard from fans that the fifth book is where it’s all at, but I take that with a grain of salt.

35shoutai 4-9

Where it is, episode by episode is where it’s all at. I’ll not budge from that standpoint. For the future, I want to know more of the magical world they’ve introduced. That would make that potential come alive, especially if they tie it into the characters. Haunted mentioned knowing a secret that Kusunagi carries: his demon hunting family background, so we might get some flesh on this guy. I hope it ties into his “I’ll carry half your burden” deal, cause right now, he sounds like an idiot when saying it. Also, if we could get Usagi and Ikaruga not being the comic relief, that would be swell…

35shoutai 4-5

…see you then…

a skylion special: 2wei Herz! SP 2

shirousurprise

Mana is a tricky business

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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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28 Responses to “Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai – 04”

  1. zztop says:

    Overall, which show do you think Silver Link’s putting their best effort into?
    Antimagic, Chivalry, or Commoner Sample?

    • Highway says:

      Personally, it seems like Silver Link is putting their own effort into the visuals for Anti-magic, and I’m going to guess that Nexus is providing most or a significant portion of the effort for Cavalry. The visuals for Anti-Magic are two or three steps better than Cavalry, that’s for sure. But Cavalry doesn’t mess anything up (at least so far), so that matters a lot less to me.

      I wonder if anyone’s working on Shomin Sample, because it’s just so bad. I guess visually it’s ok, but that’s all I can say for it.

    • skylion says:

      Well, Anti-Magic has well designed LOLi characters….so it’s millllllles ahead.

      Actually I would say it’s neck and neck with Cavalry. Both of them sport good character design. But the backgrounds for both also suit the moods and situations very well. I’ll put my show ahead, just cause, and just slightly.

      Shomin is the contrast to these two. I’m calling it poochy, as in Screwed the…

      What really freaks me out is that Shomin and Anti-Magic share some of the same writing and direction staffs. I guess the proof is in the pudding as to which of the show they think is better.

      • Highway says:

        For me, there’s a big difference in the ‘expensive’ parts time-wise of the two shows. Like the battles in Anti-Magic here and two episodes ago were much more detailed.

        The fights in Cavalry are good. They’re not too much, they’re not derpy. They’re good. And they fit in very well with what the show is doing. They don’t have elements that don’t fit, they don’t have obvious screwups. They don’t even do *too* much in the way of closeups and static shots. But when you think about it afterward, if you think about it, they’re good in ways that don’t seem to end up costing a lot, but hide that fact very well. And honestly, I think that’s admirable, both in terms of understanding what is important about the show to the viewers, and what is important to the people making it.

        • skylion says:

          Well, after taking this episode into account, I think that Cavalry does a much better job underscoring the fights in terms of characters. I just get that rock solid feel that the moves and the magic are those characters. In this episode, it felt like “these are the things that happen next…cause we need a move or a spell now”.

          • Highway says:

            I think you’re entirely right on that. Cavalry is excellent at showing how the characters fight, and showing why that is important to the character, both internally and externally. But that’s of a piece with how it’s going overall: possibly one of the best character-driven light novel adaptations ever.

  2. JPNIgor says:

    This show is looking so good. It’s like they are pouring so much budget onto this… so much that they didn’t have any left for Shoumin Sample ¬¬

    Despite being just a star on a wand, Ruby’s reaction was so funny, I love this troll mahou shoujo mascot. And her trolling is a lot healthier than the other fluffier, stuffed animal-like creature I know.

    • skylion says:

      I actually thought this episode looked noticeably off-model at times compared to the last one, but other stuff like backgrounds and the CGI effects looked noticeably better than, say, the 2nd episode. So…yeah, they are stealing money from the Shomin kitty…

      You know, Ruby is off the wand more than she is on it. That speaks a great deal about the illusion of control she gives her wielders. So, you’re on record that potentially embarrassing, and defiantly sexualized, situations are better for a LOLi than whatever the likes of the Kyubey has in store? Good to know…

      • JPNIgor says:

        Well, you’re the official LOLi defender, so maybe for you, not letting LOLis being embarassed and sexualized for no reason is a better idea than letting an evil plushie ravage your home planet with a mess of abstract paintings called witch. I think the other way around, sorry =D

        • skylion says:

          I would prefer a few moments of embarrassment in a kitty costume, than the insanity that was the Grief Seed…if that’s what your saying?

    • Highway says:

      Honestly, I don’t think that Shomin Sample‘s problem is lack of budget or attention to the animation. It’s just that the decision-making staff doesn’t seem to understand comedy. Which is weird, because Kento Shimoyama certainly made a funny show in ServantxService. But perhaps it’s that Masato Jinbo just doesn’t do comedy well. I’ll elaborate more next week, but it feels like the directorial staff is determined to make sure that it doesn’t pick up any momentum or settle into any kind of groove.

      • skylion says:

        As far as Masato Jinbo is concerned, he did work on 2wei Herz!, which had tons of great moments and plenty of natural comedy. So, whatever he’s doing for Shomin leaves me scratching me head.

      • skylion says:

        “elaborate next week”? I take it you’re waiting for the Metafap post containing Shomin #4?

      • JPNIgor says:

        Hmm… I think ServantxService had the same problems as Shomin Sample to a much lesser degree, so maybe that would be this Kento guy (sorry, not good with names) maybe getting worse instead of evolving. And I do think that there are some budget-related problems with Shomin Sample as well. There are moments that character design and animation feel derpy or not fluid, respectively, and I do think they could’ve poured a bit more money on better VAs for the sake of better fitting voices to these characters. Nothing wrong with giving an opportunity and experience to lesser known VAs, but please, not on the show I’ve been expecting for nine months or something.

  3. skylion says:

    So, anyway…about this episode of 35 Shoutai….

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Well, the episode had me gritting my teeth for most of the run. Man, just watching Haunted pisses me off due to his hedonistic, murderous personality. Someone brought it up and I’m forced to agree. The slime ball brings back unpleasant memories of Fate/Zero’s Ryuunosuke and I hated that bastard with a passion for the same reasons I do of Haunted. Driving him off, if temporarily, couldn’t have come soon enough.

    Kudos to Ootori. I’m glad to see she put aside her justified hate for witches to defend Mari and didn’t take her shabbily reported murder charge at face value. Her warming up to her is happening quicker than anticipated, though. I thought it would’ve taken longer, at least starting at the halfway mark of the series.

    • skylion says:

      You know, I agree a bit. Ryuunosuke and Haunted are very much on the same road. But…man, Haunted is in the slow lane by comparison. He got torque, but he ain’t that cranked yet!

      Yeah, they surprised me with Ootori. I expected them to go full stupid and have her react in the full predictable mode. I wish they would have given Mari half that amount of credibility. But I didn’t mention how Ootori championed allowing the Witch-Inquisitor program to be fully instated, and for Mari to be a member. I think it’s a case of “keep my enemy close”….

  5. Highway says:

    Oh alright, I’ll talk some about this episode of Anti-Magic 35th Whatever This Long Peanut Squad’s Name Show Is

    It was just kinda there. It was nowhere near as good for a fighting bit as the part against the Einharjar from episode 2. Lapis needs more time to be charming, and Haunted is a typically poor villain, all crazy eyes and yammering. If all of his time was given over to Lapis and whatever Haunted’s relic thingy was, it would have been better.

    One of my biggest issues with this series is that too much stuff happens off-screen. I would bet that Ohtori’s continued conversation with her father was a bit more interesting than Takeru declaring his name for the 45th time. The fighting itself was static and clunky, and the continuity was terrible, with Mari going from right behind Takeru to 20 feet behind Takeru to kinda over to the side without anyone moving in such a way that she should end up there. The counter-strike by Haunted was just dumb: The hero hangs in the air because of a time-slow for drama, not because he’s *actually* hanging in the air waiting for the other guy to draw a sword and stab him. I felt like that was a betrayal of audience expectations for the fight, and not in an acceptable way.

    Just top to bottom, it was a poorly composed, poorly blocked, poorly directed fight. Show the group coming together, show some more attacks. Don’t give Usagi one attack, Ohtori zero attacks, and Mari two attacks in a whole episode. I can understand the low count for Mari, since she figured she’d blow up if she tried anything, but once Usagi got in position, she should be firing as quickly as possible, not one and done.

    That said, it wasn’t a terrible *episode*, but maybe that shows that I don’t have high expectations.

    • skylion says:

      I quite honestly thought the combat was treated as an incidental group of moments compared to the other bits of the story. Too bad they pooched both of them. Like you I want to see more group engagement; they sold me on this being a group after all.

  6. Di Gi Kazune says:

    How did Prillya end up in here….

    Anyway: OH! Sweet NekoLOLi!

    • skylion says:

      How? Well, it’s my post, I can stick in what I want! I can’t really make a full post for it, that would be silly, so I tack it on my own stuff; just can’t highjack the most recent review after all.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    Anime news: Kyoto Animation’s Sound! Euphonium Gets Film & TV Series Sequel

    Have fun…

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