So another anime season is wrapping up and anyone who regularly follows the blog and podcast will know that means we have to do the Case Closed Reviews as shows end. We have to do them quickly because the new shows for the SWAT reviews are right around the corner. But there are a few shows that I watch on my own that have wrapped up recently. Since Kate did not watch them I don’t feel like recording a solo Case Closed Review but I do feel like I should put down my finals thoughts in some format. I decided to put out this post just in case anyone was curious how these shows turned out in the end.
Archive for the ‘Anime’ Category
It seems that I have finished another season of Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. I have to say I’m glad that this season was only 10 episodes as it gives me some time to rest before I dive into episode reviews of Unlimited Blade Works in only a few weeks.
Overall this season felt a lot more segmented when it came to fan service and action. The first season distinctly had points of extreme fan service and periods of exciting action but something about this season felt a little more like A (like the A in T&A) episodes mostly focused on A and B (for battle) instead spent their time giving you B. I suppose that was a good thing for people who really wanted one or the other but I did like the smoother mix in the last season. It did not help that some of those early yuri tease scenes were a bit gratuitous. If I never see another porn kiss in this series my life will the all the richer for that.
But this season finally let Bazett have her time to shine so if the show never does anything good again it at least did one very good thing. It is one thing to have a fan following due to your appearance in the visual novel but once you’re in an anime your potential fan base increases ten fold. We might actually see the Master of the Multi-Reverse Punch get some love in the form of figures and guest appearances in the future. It could save her from being forgotten in the Caster heap.
In the past I have talked about my theory of the two major categories of shonen fighting protagonists. I call them the Shonen Hero and the Seinen Hero. The Shonen Hero is what you very stereotypically think of with the genre. They are passionate and ambitious but have almost no experience. Therefore everything must be explained to them but they have an endless pool of potential to draw from and so they learn powerful techniques almost instantly. In contrast the Seinen Hero while still in a shonen magazine feels like a character taken from a series for older men. These character usually have years of training under their belt and tend to be more stoic and coldly driven. They are not perfect but they are 80% of the way to maximum. Usually their journey is about perfecting their skills, adding to their already powerful repertoire, or learning to work with a team. Not every shonen fighting protagonists falls into these two categories. There are some notable exceptions or combinations of the two but nine times out of ten your hero will fall into one of these categories. Naruto and Simon are your stereotypical Shonen Heroes while Luffy and Kenshiro are your stereotypical Seinen Hero.
Until recently I would have told you that sports anime pretty much follows that same formula to the T. The main character who joins the team is either the fresh young buck with no skills but an insane potential and a killer move or a cold ace with the crazy skills but with a major flaw. Like the shonen fighting protagonist there is the very rare exception to this rule but overall they are just as easy to divide into the two camps. The thing is the last few shows we have been watching have added a third archetype that I have never really seen be this predominant until now. They are the Super Support Protagonist.
The thing is this character is a mixture of the Shonen Hero and the Seinen Hero but with some added elements that make them more than just a blend of the other two. Usually the protagonist is the star of the team. They are the character who scores the most points, gets all the important points, and draws all the attention, love, and hate to themselves. The Super Support Protagonist might do that on occasion but most of the time they are there so all the other characters can shine or work together better. They usually have some technique or place in the team that helps everyone around them. If the Shonen Hero is the fighter, and the Seinen Hero is the wizard, then the Super Support Protagonist in the bard. In years past they would have usually been secondary or tertiary character on a team. Someone who might get an episode of two in the spotlight but no more than that. But apparently this Super Support Protagonist is appearing more and more as the lead in modern sports shows.
No longer the stoic genius or the hotblooded ace; more recent heroes of sports anime are the guys who would have been side characters in the past. And it isn’t just their personalities that mark them as previous side characters, but their roles on their teams, too.
Kuroko’s central role is passing the ball. Hinata is the decoy of the court. Onoda pulls the other members along so they can conserve their strength. All of these characters act in the best interest for the rest of the team. Each of them is integral to the team succeeding despite them not necessarily having the role that gets the most outside attention or glory. So intentionally or not, all of these titles end up emphasizing how important a cohesive team is maybe more so than when the central figure is the ace.
Kuroko, Onoda, and Hinata all feel like they occupy the same spot in the team: the soul.
Wow! If the last episode was the appetizer than this episode was the starter. We began off with the first half of last episode being filled with goofiness involving Irisviel but by the last half it was all action. This time other than palate cleanser with Miyu and then Caren this episode was almost all tasty fighting. We even got all three magical girls having a chance to shine with their own specialty being brought to the forefront as well as the weaknesses of their techniques being exposed. These episodes have really reminded me what I loved about the series when it is good.
Also it reminds me that I really want them to fully finish that Fate/Hollow Ataraxia English patch. If Bazett is half amazing in Fate/Hollow as she is here then I actually might be slightly more interested in really experiencing her story then I am in seeing more Saber, silly hamburger jokes, and bathtub sexy times. (OK. That is totally a lie but it is almost true enough to be worth saying.) If anything I hope that whole patch leak lights a fire to get the full patch out sooner rather than later. Fingers are crossed.
Was it just me or did the cold open have music that sounded like what you would hear during an old cop drama when they either recapped that last episode or gave a preview of the current episode?