Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai – 11

35shoutai 11-1

Her name is “Watery”…no foolin’….

Well this episode wastes no time in wasting our time, as it pretty much falls in where the last one left off, giving us repeated motion as well as emotion, some bad guy and secondary character introductions/reintroductions that prove useless, and a battle between two allies that aren’t that had about as much point as a ball of yarn….

Things Happen, the Clock Ticks…

Yeah, I’ve complained that this show has followed an outline, but so far, for the most part it’s followed a fairly decent one. This time around, it seems like afterthought came into the picture, as if they had about 12 minutes to kill and they added this stuff into the mix to pad out the time. There wasn’t a single scene in the first half that added anything of note that I found myself caring about all that much. Kiseki is pretty much a plot device and little else, but I’ll burn that one when the time comes.

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Depth of field? Who do you think we are? Ghibli?

Ok, Takaru, we get you’re a good guy, and good guys don’t kill their sister’s even if asked, don’t need to rub that detail in twice. Next comes the confrontation with Kirigaya and Yoshimizu/Noel; which seems so tacked on that the animation team didn’t get the memo for the full rigging, nor did direction care to do anything with the “fight” that could be called necessary. Then along comes Kurugane, who really needs something to do, as his VA sounds like he’s falling asleep. We can round this out with two Valhalla operatives doing…things. I kinda like Watery just by the look of her, but her first bit of action on the show is basically a nothing exercise worthy of ellipses and little else.

…It’s OK, I’m sure she’ll be useful next episode…

Subtext: We Have Problems with Female Characters….

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…the family just keeps inheriting shit…our hands are tied…

Ah, well, when you can’t get a good dowry, might as well demonize the whole gender, right? I mean, it was right there in the dialog wasn’t it? She just keeps growing back…women, can’t live with ’em, can’t kill ’em! Other than that we have the reveal that the Kusunagi clan is as interesting and as rigid as a paint-by-number set. Old school wanna-be samurai, with some demons’ mixed up in there. It’s a tragic heroes wet dream sort of background.

But then, the insult against the female part of the human race just doesn’t end there, as we get to our long suffering supporting cast of ladies. This is where they get to “share their half of the burden” that’s been hanging like a lampshade over them since the whole show began. I mean, why else have Kusuangi hauled off to jail for no discernible reason other than to have the others break him out and help him with his sister problems? Which have began and nearly ended so tropey they hardly bear any more thought than that….

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But the rest of the supporting cast has bugs as well. Neither Kurogane nor Kirigaya have enough development to call them engaging. Kurogane fits into that aloof, “here til I’m out of the scene” characterization, and Kirigaya is the resident kill-kill-die-die don’t need a reason rage monster that seems to come with these sorts of programs like a pine-scented tree shaped air-freshener comes dangling from the rear-view mirror in a used car; and the fact that Yoshimizu is a Relic Eater is just a sort of “yeah, this is how characters are developed all the time” moment that you have to slap yourself in the head with and get over.

So, who do you want to win? Do you even care?

I feel that this show would have been an interesting slice of life style character study. I mean, there is probably a huge background story lurking out there somewhere in the….background…but they’ve got enough pieces in the foreground to keep anyone satisfied for a cour of anime. It has a decent amount of characters with their own motivations, and the place seems busy enough to keep them in stitches for quite some time. The magic seems dense enough that they could deal with it in a personal manner – which it seems is what they where aiming for with Mari, early on. But instead we got some of the worst of character building and set building foisted into one place.

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…I mean, is there a reason for a “dark side” copycat?

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…and what has this shithead done other than say, “I’m a fabulous bad guy!” a few times?

I don’t have a ton of faith that they can right the ship any time soon, so at this point, I’m just looking at the shape the caboose will be in come the end of the wreck….If I can mix my metaphors….


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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9 Responses to “Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai – 11”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Kyaa~ It’s Caster! With her pointed mimi!

  2. zztop says:

    At this point, I’m just looking at the shape the caboose will be in come the end of the wreck.

    I’ve heard Blueray preorders for the anime are poor, and the Japanese fans consider a show a joke. A pity, considering it could’ve been like the Rakudai anime.

    The main problem is that the anime cut out a lot of integral worldbuilding, character interactions and conspiracies that not only reveal Sougetsu’s true endgame, but also emphasizes the Despair and Suffering themes the light novel is famous for.

    For example, Kyouya’s weapon manifests as his dead girlfriend to manipulate him into being vengeful, because it demands acts of vengeance as the price for its powers.
    Sougetsu also played on Kyouya’s remorse at not being able to protect his beloved squadmembers, and you have a half-insane soldier wanting vengeance no matter the cost.

    I’m going to leave these musings on Sougetsu’s true endgame, which isn’t going to be revealed until vol 10.
    Show ▼

    • skylion says:

      …BD sales seem pretty wan lately regardless of the story. Fans have to practically champion a property as the second coming of some religion or another to get high calibre sales.

      I’ll disagree with you, at least a little bit. I think the main problem is that the show has little to say that’s interesting. They aren’t using the characters to explore any underlying theme, nor to advance a dialogue with the audience.

      Worldbuilding, and character interactions are how you do that, and I would argue that they’ve done enough of that – I won’t argue very hard as I feel they’ve just barely passed “enough”.

  3. zztop says:

    …the Kusanagi family just keeps inheriting shit…our hands are tied…

    In the novels, the Kusanagis imprisoned an ancient curse into their bloodline to prevent it from destroying humanity.
    The side effect is that all girls are born with demonic bodies and human souls (they’re killed immediately).
    All boys are born with human bodies and demonic souls (they have perpetual anger issues).
    And if the family ever dies out, the curse breaks free!

    I hope this illustrates the Darkness and Despair of the novels?

    • Highway says:

      The side effect is that all girls are born with demonic bodies and human souls (they’re killed immediately).
      All boys are born with human bodies and demonic souls (they have perpetual anger issues).

      Well, isn’t *that* a convenient way to uphold the patriarchy?

      Honestly, I’m not an SJW, but you see people write stories that do this, and it’s really hard to not see it as overt bias against women. So they think it’s fine to have a bunch of men with demonic souls running around being angry and likely hurting a lot of people, but women who might look ugly? Oh we cannot have THAT!

      I’m increasingly finding it impossible to not take this kind of chuunibyou “Darkness and Despair” melodrama as just annoyingly cheesy, especially when they write it so corny.

    • skylion says:

      …kinda silly that an interesting and illuminating fact like that is left out.

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