Ongoing Investigations: Case #145

Carnival Phantasm Season 2 has an all Saber related episode. Therefore Carnival Phantasm Season 2 is rated A++ with a side order of extra credit. But with all my horrible blatant prejudice aside Carnival Phantasm continues to be a series of in jokes piled on top of each other. There is some good material that does not rely on the mythology but there are few people who would be able to sit through what would otherwise be rather incomprehensible episodes otherwise. This set of episodes really favors the Fate side of things. Episode five is mostly Berserker running around wreaking havoc.  Episode six is sort of dodgy since it mostly revolves around the fact that Shinji often beats and rapes Sakura while Rider does her best to protect her in a faux soap opera. It is really is a dark type of humor that could easily turn people off. Episode seven is the only split episode with the first half being about Arcueid making okonomiyaki and the second half being about Caster’s love life. I wonder if this skit is enough to make people actually like Caster. Unlike Sakura she has never really been hated but mostly just ignored.  The eighth is all about Saber so I naturally enjoyed it immensely. They thankfully end the Phantasmoon story for the most part in episode 6. It was never that long but they were stretching what was originally a one page gag pretty far as it were.  I assume we will get one more Phantasmoon skit in season 3 but I think the break will go do it a world of good. Lancer continue to be the Kenny of the series dying in every episode. I have more to say but maybe I will save it for its own post. Other than that: ALTER! ALTER! ALTER!

 In volumes 27-28 of Kekkaishi we finally get confirmation, at least in part, of what Karasumori’s deal is. 27 is mostly battling the witches spell which threatens not just the sacred site but the surrounding city. But big surprises occur when Yoshimori is able to harness the mind-emptying technique that we’ve been so curious about. Along with this comes the reveal of his new familiar which leans towards creepy. Since all of this involves the head of the Organization and every major player I can only assume we have entered the final arc of the series. I still feel as though Yoshimori’s family has secrets lurking in its depths but we’ll have to wait and see.

I have been keeping up with Guilty Crown up to the seventh episode because I can watch it at work. I have an easier time keeping up with anything I can watch during lunch. Comparisons to Code Geass aside I think the main problem with Guilty Crown is it is a fairly standard show that happens to be misplaced in the noitaminA time slot. It would hardly save it from its harshest critics because there are some distinctly wonky parts about the series and some major flaws in the series. I just think some of the anime fans in the middle would be a bit more lenient on the shows flaws if it were not in such a high profile slot. That said while I think the show is OK I can’t say that that I am loving it. Shu Ouma is growing to be a better character as the show goes on but he hardly sells the show out of the gate and I know his slow growth is hardly going to win him many fans. I can’t say I am too annoyed with the cast but also none of them really stand out as being very compelling either. Oh wait. Daryl Yan is pretty annoying whenever he shows up.  He is just such a cliche psycho villain but without any style or class. Sort of the worst combination. If I were not able to watch this show at lunch I don’t think I would be as up to date with it. The logic of the show can be off a bit and things sometimes happen more for dramatic reasons than logical ones. But there are shows like Maken-ki and C3 I could also watch on Nico but I don’t even bother to waste my lunch time with them.

 Swamp Things’ second issue really starts to show its horror-side with more gruesome scenes and zombies showing up. That didn’t really endear this issue to me, nor did the heavy exposition. But I did get a better understanding of what is happening, the first issue had an intriguing ending. And while originally this didn’t seem like an origin story, that has changed so we are actually still without Swamp Thing after two issues.

After watching the first seven episodes of Un-Go I am still not sure what I think of the show. The show is an excellent primer of why Knox’s rules exists. Un-Go routinely has Shinjuurou Yuuki break Knox’s sixth rule by having Inga use her ability to force anyone to answer any one question. While  Shinjuurou can’t just randomly ask the suspects questions until they break it does often feel like some of his solutions are undeserved. And that is exactly why Knox’s rules exists. Whenever you break the rules you run the risk that your mysteries seem arbitrarily solved or just unfair. I am curious if anyone has read the original Meiji Kaika Ango Torimono-cho novel this series is very loosely based on.  Does the detective in that story have supernatural help as well? Other than that I keep watching mostly to see that ties together Shinjuurou and Inga and what exactly is Rinroku Kaishou’s agenda. How well all those things come together will determine the strength of the series in the end. Episode 6 also introduced what could be a Professor Moriarty to Shinjuurou’s Holmes with a criminal who has his own spirit. That could also add some good spice to the series.

I watched the first two episodes of the rather bizarre magical girl show Kawaii! JenNy which uses Barbie-like dolls along with robot and bear toys in a stop-motion format. The three girls go on missions in a Charlie’s Angels style to protect the sweets of the town from Sister B and her minions, some of which are Teddy bears dressed in military outfits. It is very silly and young as one can imagine with slapstick humor especially from the constantly foiled Sister B. The girls are very fashionable and it is based on a real doll that is the Japanese Barbie.

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