Archive for February 3rd, 2008

Are those some GN particles in your Gundam pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

That’s some mighty impressive streams of GN particles there, Nena.

So I finally managed to watch 00 16. I like how they didn’t make the recap the ENTIRE episode, and in fact made it much more watchable by increasing the ominous level of Gundam 00 a few notches. I think the beauty of 00 is that it’s just this huge conspiracy. Now, other Gundam series have had conspiracies–Wing, for instance, is about the conspiracy of OZ to instigate war. However, it’s not quite been done like this before. I joked a few posts ago about Monster x Gundam 00; as I’ve suspected all along, that’s not that far off the mark.

One of the pleasurable things about Monster was watching the vast conspiracy slide into place bit by tantalizing bit. In much the same way, minus the trademark Naoki Urasawa flair, Gundam 00 is much like this. I don’t know about you, but nothing screams ominous like a bunch of object d’art with glowing red points of light and voices emanating from them in a really big and similarly ominous-looking room. When the Illuminati show themselves as having elaborate ways to converse amongst themselves, you know you’ve got some serious, deep-running conspiracy. And that was the real pleasure in this episode.

The other real pleasure, of course, was also conspiracy-related: the four original Gundam Meisters don’t know a thing about the Trinity siblings and their Throne Gundams. In fact, the hints thrown out in episode 15 that Sumeragi knew about the Trinity siblings (remember her gazing out the window and wondering if the higher-ups in Celestial Being would use “that”?) seem to get denied in 16; Sumeragi has no idea that the Throne Gundams even exist, let alone that they were what saved the Meisters from the trap.

The other other real pleasure was Nena Trinity. The good ol’ Kugimeister is back in action with a sassy pilot (Kugimiya Rie does sassy well, so I’m assuming that Mizushima had that in mind when he casted) and seems to have the most ridiculous overpowered support feature in the series so far (see image above). It’s a shame she’s probably going to be evil, what with the Satanic Haro in her possession and red GN particles and red beams.

Shigofumi Does Yuri

So, yeah. Best episode of Shigofumi yet, on the mere basis that they tantalized us (me) with tasty yuri. They even had finger sucking, which just made me flip out hardcore.

On the less pandering side of things, Shigofumi is somewhat as I expected it to be, and somewhat not. The baseless prediction I made (reminder: the story would be told through a series of interrelated deaths leading to a chain of stories) isn’t actually there, although in episode 4 we find out that the entire series takes place in one city, which means that we’re going to get some overlap. I think the detective character has popped up more than once in the series. And it’s also a lot like Shinigami no Ballad (which, by the way, has its first light novel coming out in the States at the end of March, if Seven Seas keeps up with it; everyone’s going to buy it, right? Right?), except I think Shigofumi is less afraid of being twisted. Asuna basically being molested by her father via proxy was Bokurano levels of twisted, and, although the series hasn’t been quite that bad since that episode, it shows they’re not afraid to show the grittier side of human life.

Comparisons with Shinigami no Ballad are, of course, a good thing, and what Shigofumi lacks in soft, warmth it makes up for it with style. In spades. Fumika isn’t afraid to resort to violence to get her way (as Sen-chan’s father found out rather frighteningly) and, although no one’s actually been shot with the existence-destroying gun yet there’s this lingering ominous feeling that it’s going to be used at some point. The series is confidently and tightly written. The non-recurring characters are largely flat, which isn’t really that much of a problem–there’s only so much you can do with a character in the space of 24 minutes. What it does do well is give you a good snapshot of that character at that particular moment surrounding the receipt of a Shigofumi–conflicting emotions and all.

Also, something else I’ve just noticed: the delightfully bizarre Nanase Hikaru is doing music. You know, the one who did the excellent music for Zettai Shounen and whose real name is Itou Masumi, who composed the similarly bizarre Azumanga Daioh opening song. Yeah. Her. Need soundtrack now.


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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February 2008