Since it’s hard to decide what week it is, today’s post title is a shout-out to some guy that thinks I put effort into my posts. The weeks got jumbled because at first I was making these posts on Friday before the new Fate/Zero, Working!!, and Ben-to, but now I’m making them on Sunday after those shows, so the episode numbers are all over the place. It seems like every week I’ve got more grouped at the end, with this week having me watch all of the new episodes at once, simply because I spent most of the week watching Fullmetal Alchemist and Sky Girls, and trying to watch Gosick which was impossible. I think Kujo is possibly the worst male lead I’ve ever witnessed. Anyways, here’s continued coverage.
We’re deep in it now. At this point, it would be rather meaningless to drop any of these shows, although I’m quite willing to drop a show in its final stretch if it pisses me off enough. For now, though, I wanna keep the faith and believe I can ride these shows to the end, making this the first season I’ve ever watched and blogged from start to finish. It’s exciting!
All that punctuation in the title is my way of foreshadowing the eventual return of my Serial Experiments Lain episodics, as demanded by animekritik, whose relevance to the title is twofold: I’ve struck a deal with him. In exchange for his watching Ben-to, I picked up Persona 4. This was the best deal I’ve ever made.
It’s halftime! All things considered, I’m not doing that bad! I missed weeks five and six entirely save for Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, which I watched and posted about, meanwhile skipping a whole post that could’ve been written about episode four of Ben-to. But let’s leave that and all this meta behind and get on with it!
One way to be sure this gets done: write it as the week goes along! Like last week, this week has been an emotional mood-whiplash rollercoaster, but through it all there’s always time for watching and blogging anime (and making music). Not sleeping helps! Worth mentioning: I finally got my driver’s license this week! Woohoo!
We’ll do the shows in the order that I enjoyed this week’s episode.
You may be aware of this, but I’m currently a NEET. I’ve kinda been one since May, but only now am I Not Employed, being Educated, nor in Training, nor plan to be in the near future. My “job” is to keep my house clean and, more importantly, to take care of my mom while she’s at home between hospital stays, which she is as of today (WOOHOO!!!). Being a NEET is all like…
And now I’ve been doing more Stuff than I ever thought probable. I finally understand how my friend watched thousands of anime and played shitloads of videogames in his years as a hikkikomori. Time just sort of prostrates itself before me, and I rape it with anime, writing about anime, writing in general, recording albums, performing in (a) live show(s), playing Dark Souls, and internet bullshittery.
What I hope this means is: perfect chance to keep up with an entire anime season! I actually did pretty well with the summer season: I think Usagi Drop and Nekogami Yaoyorozu get credit for the first shows that I’ve kept up with throughout their run, and watched the final episode within days of its arrival. Ever.
This season, I’m doing something I’ve never done before and giving shows a second chance. This won’t count for shows that I have no interest in watching; but shows that make me go “eeeeh” will be given several episodes to sway me. My excessive free time isn’t the only reason for this; the cause is Ro-Kyu-Bu, a show that I dropped after one episode last season, confident that I wasn’t missing anything as reinforced by everyone who finished it seeming to go “why did I watch this.” Then, I was slightly buzzed and Taka showed me this ridiculously adorable video, so I decided to watch ep 2 streamed just because drinking and watching bad anime sounded like a great idea. Turns out, episode two was quite good, and the next two episodes were still fun, and now I’ve actually downloaded the show. So, from now on, I’m gonna be a nice guy and watch a few eps before dropping.
Anyway, this is starting to read like a post on an ISSS, so I’ll get to the anime now.
The first minute of this episode was a surreal bit of nostalgia. To clarify, I’ve never played Persona 4—I avoided it because I never managed to beat Persona 3, even though for years I considered it my favorite video game. That aside, I have the Persona 3 OST and love it, and the Velvet Room BGM, “Want To Be Close,” has apparently remained the same across both games and, now, the show. It was interesting to suddenly hear that song in an anime, and while I don’t know the Persona 4 soundtrack, it nonetheless felt familiar since it carries the same distinct vibe courtesy of composer Meguro Shoji.
Anyway, about the show—I don’t need to have played the game to know that the show is reaching around its own ass to pay it tribute (like using the game’s own soundtrack). Some of the scenes look like the animation was made to imitate exactly what happened at the same moment in the game. The most obvious visual call-back is when Narukami uses a spell:
Visual call-backs and references are awesome (especially for fans of the game I’m sure), but the trouble I have with this adaption is that it lacks its own personality. Episode One was written and paced very awkwardly, and most of the animation didn’t stand out at all. It seems like the show is more concerned with presenting a trimmed-fat transliteration of the game material than it is with being a good anime series. If I’d played the game, I might be happy with that, though. After all, I dropped the Persona 3 anime precisely because it had little to do with the game (and it was just boring).
Of course, I could be totally wrong, because I haven’t played the game. Maybe the shortcomings of the anime have nothing to do with its being an adaption. Either way, I felt this was a rather weak opening episode.
(I probably would’ve loved it if the fight had opened with “BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY B-BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY!”)