Pinkie’s Saturday Anime Adventures (Week 4)

Hello everyone, it’s sunday again which means Pinkie watched anime! In my saturday morning program I have slotted 5 shows in time slots including commercial breaks! Today I review the episodes of my fourth week! Check the anime tab on my homepage to track down the originals!

BNA
Episode 4

At 9:00 I was ready for some more Brand New Animal. Studio Trigger’s show that I so far quite liked and this episode was certainly no exception. It spotlights Michiru even more than before taking Shirou out of the equation for a bit as the Tanuki girl gets a brand new phone..from her mink “friend” to get access to human internet.  This leads her to discovering a girl named Nina, living in anima city. She is streaming on Facelook as she desires to be part of the human world and.. while Michiru approaches her she gets knocked out and captured. My least favorite moment of this episode as I thought we would be in for another one of Shirou’s heroic  moments, but luckily this was quickly subverted.

Once Michiru wakes up she finds out Nina is the daughter of the gang leader of “The Family” lead by Flip.. which is a last name but he is referred to as Flip and he looks like a Flip to me. Flip in Dutch was a fairly common name for people of the Silent generation and before. Flipje is the mascot of the city Tiel and it’s jam factory and he is like a raspberry man so it sounds like a first name to me..This also results in me thinking Flip will turn into a raspberry but it looks like he is actually some kind of whale. As I get side tracked we move back to our story by saying that by being honest to Nina about her preferences  of the human world, she is able to take on her human shape. The two then decide to visit a party they saw on Facelook together. 

I am happy they are giving Michiru a friend and I do hope the character stays that as well.  It felt nice and needed for her character as well. I dislike  that the first friend she made is connected to the Family.. it feels so convenient again. The Major also has made some discoveries about Michiru’s condition which conveniently allows for some exposition on Beastman lore. While kinda cool to know the conversation is kind of nonsensical. “Michiru if A Tiger Beastman loves A Lion Beastwoman very much.. their kids take on the properties of one parent and can not become a liger. It has to do with your spirit and all. “Your cells can morph so it’s completely not like that”.  I mean I know Michiru might not be smartest .. it kinda felt off. 

Shinies?! *Readies her Pokéballs*

What I did liked about the episode is that it shows the other side of racism, people like beast people at the party so when they discover Nina is a beast person they revere her and want to play with her.. however apparently aquatic beastman can not breath under water or at least Nina can because she was tired so they put her in an aquarium and she ends up choking. The whole turn around showing that some people are supportive but not understanding made the show feel nicer. It did not hammer in “humans are racist butterscotchcandy-holes. Yet there is also danger in the unknown a lesson that prompts Michiru to go back to Animacity and learn. That was nicely set up!

I also liked the stand off with Flip and Shirou and how a random guy just got killed by Flip. Shirou did not stop it.. so clearly he knows something we do not know yet. Shirou is also said to be a beastman with an immortal body by the scientisty bad guy person.  So things are feeling like they are heating up! Still we do not get overfed exposition and each episode just offers us some puzzle pieces. All in all this was probably my most enjoyable watch of the day.

Yu-Gi-Oh Sevens
Episode 4

Ugh… Episode 1 was all about Yuga, Episode 2 introduced us more to Rook, Episode 3 was about Romin so that means Gakuto is up next right? Will they colour within the lines?  The first 10 seconds already tell you that you are going to get what you expect and nothing more. A narration of the fourth main character shows us this is his episode. Unoriginal.. but maybe needed.. yet he turns out to be not very well written as this episode crashes before it ever takes flight. 

Gakuto is the studious boy the one who plays by the rules. He arrives each day at school at 6:66:66 which make me think he might be the son of the Goha President or something later on as that is exactly the time they give you to redeem your flaws.The episode for this plot is that the student council president has trouble keeping up with his work now that he hangs out with Yuga and Rook a lot. (I know Rook might be called Luke but my translation says Rook so running with that one)  So obviously to make time for his duties again he decides to ban Rush Duels on School Grounds. Yuga challenges  him to a duel and if he wins there will be no ban on duels but if Gaktuo wins they will promise not to duel in the school.

This already creates a problem, the consequence to this duel is to limiting for the narrative to ever take fruit. In the duels with Rook and Romin , Yuga CAN lose because it would not block the plot, in this setup there is no way the main character can lose because it would not allow the story to continue .. or at least place it under severe restrictions otherwise. This is somewhat resolved by letting Gakuto place his title as council president on the line.. but why would they force their friend to lay down something he loves that much.. that is quite horrible. Of course it could be to give him some free time to join their adventure but that would be super convenient again.

The duel itself is the worst one so far. Gakuto’s ace card SUCKS! By changing mode it can prevent either side to tribute for a 7 or higher level monster on the next turn. The set up he has to do to utilize this is quite large and the pay off blows. You can still special summon a level 7 monster.  Since it’s Yu-gi-oh this is super easy and the boy gets his ass handed to him by Yuga. Sure he learned to enjoy himself a bit more during this duel instead of sticking to ceremonies and traditions, that  was a trait he did not need to have from the get go. His aides never showed up before and now they are everywhere where he goes.

This feels forced and as soon as Gakuto loses his Student President title he gives it up as he promised… then he runs for Student President again in the next election which makes no sense! Why would the school allow these shenanigans, he also gets reelected (in favor of his only competitor Rook) as well. Such a weak choice! This really was a weak episode and the only highlight is that Romin wore a cute new outfit! I really like her more and more.

Bofuri
Episode 7

Ah that is better, a nice dose of Bofuri cuteness. The seventh episode is all about preparation for the third and fourth events. Mostly the guild competition. We see Maple grind a dungeon with Yui and May, the one with the Hydra she ate to get some levels on the two. Because of one Maple’s ridiculous plans to speedrun it the group manages to complete it under two and a half minute which allows them to gain a skill that doubles their attacks. Putting them on a similar track as Maple. Iz makes new hammers for them which they now also are able to dual wield..because of another skill they unlocked. For the most part I think this part of the episode worked quite well as they are a sort of reflection of Maple.  They also finally use a montage without skipping some sweet parts this time it skips grinding! Yay!.. Also I am happy grinding is a thing it makes the game more legit.

The white hammer girl is my favorite! She has pink details!

The second part relies on the guild members doing their jobs, gathering materials helping each other train etc. Kuromu is the only one who died enough times to unlock a secret dungeon from which he gets a pretty edgy armor that seems pretty good. He kind of feels like the Yamcha of the group.  Kasumi goes hunting for wool so Iz can craft robes for the event, which gives the group some bonus event drops. She encounters Maple while doing this who was playing with some sheep and learned the Wooly ability. An ability that allows her to turn into a ball of wool, or a poisonous ball of wool. Shielding her from attacks. It does seem to trap her though which results in some cute wholesome comedy. 

The final act of the episode has Maple wandering in town figuring out how to be useful once more when she encounters a quest.  What actually should be a high level escort quest becomes easy as Maple just flies with Syrup, This entire questline was my favorite part of the episode. The NPC spouts random dialogue based on their location which confuses Maple as she is totally immersed. The npc is startled by npc’s they fly over, the program thinking she is on ground level. I like this a lot, it contributes to the MMO feeling of this game, this episode that that very nicely throughout. The fact that Maple found the item needed as a follow up already and can finish it then and there is something that happened to me in MMOs as well, so that is some relatable writing. 

This ghost encounter…obviously ends up getting skipped…………….

Of course the questline awards maple a skill that breaks her even further, into complete unfair territories. She gains a skill named Loving sacrifice. By giving up a chunk of her HP all her guild members standing in the light share her defence modifier which by now has surpassed the 1000 mark due to her finding modifiers. While it is cute to see her transform into a golden haired angel I dont think this form has much to offer in the form of great moments that I love this show so dearly for. All in all quite a good episode.

Bofuri
Episode 8

An episode that I liked significantly less, than the previous episodes.  I likes Syrup Hyper Beaming a boss into oblivion but this episode to me waaaaaay overdid it in terms of hand me outs to Maple.  Let’s begin at the start though. It’s the day of the third event and the guilds can now hunt ..cows… for medals titled cow. Since these cows are kind of fast. Maple or the guild for that matter is not very geared up for it.  So Maple tries to find spawn spots where no one else can come using Syrup’s flight. Clever enough.. but she falls off and stumbles into a dungeon and a secret boss again. Using Wooly she survives his onslaught of Attacks while Syrup uses its new beam attack. Wiping out the boss first form.. the second form absorbs Maple and would deal her poison damage.. but since she is resistant.. she eats him up from inside. Thus Maple gains a demon form.

Like always we see Maple demonstrate the abilities to her group, who all acknowledge that Maple now officially has transcended into something that is not human anymore, completely leaving her humanity behind. While it sure is another funny, her getting a new form this close after her Angelic form and having it feel almost just as broken feels a bit wrong. Rather unrewarding. I still had some laughs for Maple sounding very ridiculous as a demon so it was still great for laughs it just didn’t feel clever or compelling. Slapstick if you will. Demon voice Maple still is something worth your time so do not mind me nagging on semantics though. 

After the event the third level opens which now is a steampunk , cyberish city which delights Iz for having so many new crafting Materials. As everyone goes explores we go into another montage which includes great things such as the “Do Not Push” button. I love this trope! I am sad yet again we did not see what happend.  By now I begin to notice how far Sally is relegated away in importance in these last two episodes. She barely said a line and even when Maple become an actual demon she was just there in the background. The whole real life thing also has kind of extinguished , which by now I kind of yearn for.. to see Maple normalise just a bit.

The final act involves Maple stumbling upon a questline again, falling of Syrup landing in a dungeon with a new mysterious boss with lasers that seems to knock her back quite a bit.  Trough an item she found during the last event she now manages to unlock a mecha form, with  big lasers and all sorts of guns going off. A well animated fight.. but TWO brokenly OP new forms in ONE episode. I mean I get that is part of the joke .. but the fight is also set up in almost the exact same way?! Again.. unlike Yu-Gi-Oh it wasn’t bad but it just is not memorable at all. I had trouble memorising this 3 hours after I’ve seen it. So Bofuri for me was a bit Meh! I totally want a Syrup though! Since this episode it talks and says Kame Kame.. so I am pretty sure it’s actually a Pokémon as Kame is turtle.

Hikaru no Go
Episode 4

Unfortunately even the fourth episode of Hikaru no Go could not stop this saturday viewing experience from being mediocre. As I feared Hikaru backed out of is fight with mister Touya thinking that placing the stone as epic as he did was because Sai took over his body. Mistrusting the spirit for a bit, this is quickly resolved.  I mostly noted that Sai at one point seemed to address us as the viewers, though it was probably just him thinking to himself, which felt a bit to in your face exposure like. Hikaru is beginning to like go and that is scaring him?! Alright?! Sure. Touya Senior seems intrigued by the boy but has not played him long enough to judge his skill.

He meets up with Akari and she invites him to some sort of fair.  Hikaru refuses not liking those kind of things. This is the scene I disliked the most because Hikaru really is a rASSpberry here. Maybe he is stressed ? Maybe it’s because he is so young? I am not sure. What’s even stranger when he finally decides to do what is right Akari doesn’t show up at all. I mean I would not wait for him either if he said he would not come.. but still it felt like a very clunky setup  Sai hints at possible romance but he gets the typical girls have cooties kind of reaction and both Hikaru and Akari seem to react against the character previously established. Hikaru seems a lot more prickly and Akari  seems much more spiteful towards the boy. She still sees him talking to himself and notices his behavioural changes, if you really like someone I’d say after being hospitalised and claiming to have a voice in your head you can at least give them a few days.

She’d even buy him Takoyaki! I’d travel to Japan for that offer!

Luckily the second half of the episode picks up the slack of the first half.  First we see Hikaru take some interesting puzzles, which remind me of the duel puzzles in Yu-Gi-Oh games, before a guy solves the final problem for him.. with gum! Uh-Oh! It’s a Go bad boy!  He looks like your standard Vagrant and bully and in a way he is. I squirted milk out of my nose laughing when he told his new passion though. This bad boy.. who looks like danger.. or a villain.. now is into SHOGI. He used to be into Igo but now Shogi is the shit, even if he has beaten Akira in a game.  Why is this so funny?! Because it is basically your high school bully, or standard movie bully if you never had one, saying I used to play checkers but that wasn’t bad ass enough so now I play Chess.  The way how menacing they made him sound while saying this was just hilarious to me. 

If Chess club looked like this.. they’d have Cheerleaders!

Obviously the two eventually decide to settle their difference over a game of Go, making some wagers that involve Hikaru jumping into a pool if he lost?! Seriously how uncool is man. Why do they try to make him so cool?! In every other show he would have a bowl cut, a buck tooth and super thick glasses. If he is the cool one.. how uncool is Hikaru?!  Regardless of this brainworm I had to yank out, their showdown is pretty well set up and seems very intense. Sai enjoys playing this boy so he doesn’t give it his all.  Once Hikari gets distracted by Akiri walking by he places a wrong stone allowing mister cool guy to get 5 Moku.. Will Hikaru be able to come back from this?!  Or will he have to .. jump in a pool.. find out next saturday.. I can hardly wait. 

In Closing

Now that last line sounded sarcastic and in a way it was meant like that.. but in a good way.. I find it funny how enthralled I can get by the little stuff in this show.

Overall all episodes where quite okay with BNA being the only one that really sang for me. It makes sense though I have been singing praise on Bofuri for three weeks now, at some point I will not see episodes that top the best. Hikaru fizzled were I think it could have popped and Yu-Gi-Oh.. I might drop that one at the 6 episode mark and first line up change.  Now that all characters are in play it has until Bofuri finishes to impress me or it will be pulled off the pink network!

When Bofuri is done one time slot will go to Tower of the Gods and one to another episode of Hikaru. If you have any good suggestions I could replace Yu-Gi-Oh with?  Let me know in the comments!

Pinkie makes a Boomer post: That Saturday Morning Feeling

We live in the era of great convenience nowadays. With all the streaming services we can watch whatever we want when we want it. Yet when Pinkie was a kid, she would have to get up at 6am to watch the first episode of her favorite cartoon. We had to take bathroom breaks and snack runs during commercials, and we had to watch through a lot of stupid series for the next good one to show up. It was amazing! 

Pinkie the Grey

Yes I know I have grey hair! I dye it that way as cool colours really complement my pastell wardrobe a lot okay?! Today’s post is not about how things used to be better but about an emotional component that we have kind of traded in for the sake of convenience. There is something to be said about both. I love being able to see what I want and being able to pick from so many things. Yet I also notice how this has changed our mindset. Back then we used to love just about all cartoons, even the ones we disliked became tolerable after three or four weeks, by the end of that anime arc we were following that series that fell in between Yugioh and Dragon Ball was part of our beloved ritual.

Today I wonder if having access to everything doesn’t kill off a part of our viewing experience. Is it the reason that we have become so hyper critical trying to highlight the bad? I am not such a boomer that I think the old shows were better, because they were not. If we see how far writing and animation has come since the 80’s , we get a much greater consistent output. Back then there were 5 anime that were super great and 20 that sucked, with cartoons it was even worse!

For every Scooby Doo, we had 10 shows about 90’s kids spouting already outdated taglines, trying to save nature with their instruments and rad attitude. Yet back then… those shows were “okay I guess?” Now when we see another Isekai show being made we Hiss and tell it’s the worst thing ever .. for picking a genre. Something changed and I think it might have to do with what South Park described as the “Death Of the Living Room”

Finish your homework, choke on your cereal

Watching anime or series has become relatively effortless. You do not have to plan your schedule around catching the latest episode of game of thrones, you do not have to finish your homework in time to see the latest episode of My Hero Academia. You don’t have to ride home your bike with all your might to catch the latest episode of Ducktales. All we have to do now is pay a few extra bucks. It’s worth it for convenience.. but that rush of making it in time for a show is gone, that sensation of telling a friend “not tonight because it’s the final episode of Seinfeld” is gone.

When I ran home from playing with my friends to catch Dragon Ball in the late afternoon and I scraped my knee getting there.. I didn’t care so much the episode wasn’t that good, my knee throbbed in excitement for this show. .and it was worth it!  Even if nothing happend we would find a reason to validate why it was worth it! OMG! Goku and Gohan just did normal things but in super saiyan for.. to save on energy from transforming so cool! They just beat up some normal humans!… Sugoi!

Part of this is of course not looking through stuff as a kid anymore, but even  when I already was grown up, in my early twenties on saturdays we’d watch Crime Scene Investigation with the family. I’d had to give up whatever game I was playing at the time, save my pokémon game and put it away to watch with my family. Not waiting till I finished a boss fight.. it was on NOW and we could not start it later. It was back in the time before tv channels began to endless loop their content so if you missed it you could catch it again six hours later. If you missed that episode, you had to illegally download it to catch up or miss it , until rerun season.

It’s this inconvenience that truly forged you into loving a show.. you had to plan your schedule around the show instead of planning when you’ll watch the show around your schedule. It sucked… but it must have meant we really loved these shows. I have great memories of rushing my breakfast because Biker Mice from Mars was about to air.. and it was a to continued episode, I ended up nearly choking on my sandwich and still I was trying to crawl to the living room to put on the episode so I would not miss a thing.

Paying the Time-Bill

Our time has become more expensive, more valuable in recent years. Ten years ago my time was worth less than the newest episode of CSI, or the first Season of Australia Master Chef.  Now my time is more important than these shows I still watch them, but I watch them at my leisure, not when they air on tv… there is a different source to watch them anyway! Websites where I can rewatch them as aired on tv, but also websites that also stream these. If I want to finish that game first I easily can,  if I want to get some groceries and leisurely eat my dinner before watching them, I can. 

All the effort of watching a show is gone. I don’t even have to pay attention to a show, if I miss something crucial I could just watch it again, so if Mom calls during the show I can easily answer. Back when Pinkie still had a Nokia 3310, her phone would be turned off during tv night so I could not be disturbed, because if I missed a clue in CSI, the episode was ruined. 

All we have to do now is somewhere somehow have 20 minutes and we can watch an anime. On any device we want… it’s there for us when we are to sick to do anything else.. it’s there instead of the magazine whilst making stool, it’s there the moment we get bored of backtracking again in the video game we played.  Anime and cartoons have become our best friends, always there for us, but it’s kinda easy to be mean to someone who is always there for you regardless if you are shitty to them.

Plenty of you guys will probably know this, how people walk over you because you are always the good guy that will support others regardless how mean they are to you. Back in the 80’s and 90’s we were trying to get Senpai (the show) to notice us ( the viewer)  now we are the Senpai and the show is pleading for our attention and we can be pretty Tsundere, because we also got so many other worshippers.

If Fruits Basket is no longer worth our time we can easily fill it with something else. It’s only logical that we only pick the shows that resonate the strongest with us. Yet with this attitude we have all become somewhat Chinese Tiger Mothers  to anime, cartoons and tv shows…games as well. If Midoriya isn’t amazing enough we disown him and focus on Touru.
Midoriya still can be an 8 out of 10 guy, but we have the possibility to only surround ourselves with 10/10 stuff. 

Now this is an exaggeration of course but I still think that since the living room died, the tiger mamma attitude is there. We had to make some effort to spend time with little Goku and even though that play he did about Garlic something .. was passable at best.. we loved our time spend together.. now if Little Carole misses  one beat.. we take out the Twitter Ruler and bash at little Carole! Our time has become more expensive and she just wasted a few seconds of it. 

Finding Love

Our perspective have changed, saturday morning Pinke could strangle Angela Anaconda and got fed up seeing Bobby’s World with Howie Mandel  but Shin-Chan would show up after that, or Medabots. Which also weren’t the best in the lot..but it was what we got and we are proud of them. Back then , during the Saturday Morning Cartoon Arc, we were looking for love. A show that stuck with us despite its flaws. We saw the flaws but we did not care , like meeting a girl on the street by bumping into her. She has a plain looking face and poor taste in shoes, those big boots nearly broke your pinky toe, but she has the sweetest smile.

To see her again, you have to do your groceries at the exact same time you did last time when you bumped into her.. and there she is walking on the other side of the street. She isn’t always smiling but when she does you just melt a little inside. Eventually you see her so much something deeper grows, something you had to bleed for and inconvenience yourself for. There was something magic about watching shows on Saturday morning, about setting your alarm clock about nearly dying on a spoon of rice krispies.. to see her smile.

Now that we have entered the “Content on Demand Arc” we aren’t looking for love anymore, we are looking for art. Imagine that plain faced girl again..but instead she is on a picture, with a thousand other girls, maybe even on Tinder for a more elegant metaphor. Now she isn’t always smiling on her pictures there is one.. but on she just poses at an exotic location and on the other she is doing a weird pose and there is this jarring catchphrase slogan like “believe”  on her profile as well.

There are ample more beautiful girls on the picture or on Tinder and you share what you swiped with your friends would you really spend a right swipe on that same average looking girl with just the super cute smile?  Many of you will say yes…but be honest. Anime will always swipe right… even the prettiest once that are out of your range and they will talk back to you when you talk.. would you still swipe on the average girl? 

Bringing back THE INCONVENIENCE

I think I am going to bring back my saturday morning cartoons! Just open My Anime List and pick five or six series based on their cover art alone picking something that resonates with me . Assigning them to a certain time like BNA at 9:00 , Yu Gi-Oh Sevens at 9:30 , Bofuri at 10:00.  With commercial breaks at the 15 minute mark. If I am few minutes late I have to skip those minutes, if I miss the time slot, next week I have to watch the next episode skipping the one I would have seen. If I don’t like a show and want to drop it I will have to wait until it reaches mid season to drop it having an open time slot in between.

No pausing allowed only during the commercial break. Better make sure I have my breakfast ready! Better make sure everything is set up in time! Or else I will miss parts of the episode! This way I’ll have to commit a bit to anime.. I will have to go out of my way for it! Giving it the value it deserves again. Anime is greater than just my free time! It deserves my attention  and dedication!  “Oooh” I can add season two of DuckTales into the mix.. I still need to watch (most) that! You see I am in love with this idea!  Let’s make our shows something we need to work for again! Let’s show our love! Pinkie’s Saturday Morning.. is starting! It will be inconvenient as heck!…It will be glorious. I’l be ready!

XO
Pinkie