It’s the end of the week again so I am telling you about my Saturday-Morning Anime Instead of Cartoons adventure! The one where I schedule in commercial breaks and hard timelines..just like it used to be back in the days of the living room with cereal. I had a stuff stomach ache while watching my shows today so let’s see if that left me a bit more crabby and harsh to shows or that it made me appreciate it all more.
Oh BNA… if only you were longer, with only 3 more episodes to go it becomes harder and harder to ignore that this will not end well for the show as todays episode offered us basically just a exposition dump.
It’s the big “this is how the pieces all seem to fit together” one but it is also one that clearly is not the full truth , more should be going on or the last three episodes will fizzle out hard, with Michiru being asked by Alan Sylvasta to leave Nazuna alone while they do research on her. You see it is revealed that Sylvasta pharmaceuticals was responsible for Michuru and Nazuna’s transformation. A mix up happened that caused them to be administered contaminated blood after their accident. Michiru also finds out the cult has more or less been working with the human chemist/bioengineer to make the people less “resistant” to the idea of a cure..like making them belief god is here so they can pass the cure as a godsend.. or at least have her promote it as such. It does feel like an important episode and judged completely on is own .. this episode has a lot of stuff happening.. but with what I have seen I find this episode extremely pointless.
Let’s start with the positive things though, if you haven’t been paying attention to the series or if you have been left completely oblivious to the inner machinations this episode does an okay job on tying all those clues it left behind in the previous episodes together. What is being truth in this episode is obviously a half-truth still feels like a kinda welcome pad on the back for people figuring it out! So I WAS right that they got infected due to their accident! So the cult WAS involved with the pharmaceutical company. It all fits the narrative the story has been building up to and it can feel kinda rewarding to see these little hints pay off now. It also does manage to shift the tone. My favorite moment came from Michiru trying to save Nazuna from some weird scanning device that has her encapsulated as well as her tracking her to said machine. The whole rescue sequence does show how Michiru has grown and how she has become familiar with her powers and can even make use of them in combat. It shows that she is ready for the final part of the show. Michiru meeting her friend with the water purifier was cute too!
What I did not like about the episode doesn’t really have to do with the episode itself.. well it does.. but it’s bigger. My problem is..from my perspective.. we already knew ALL of this that was in the exposition dump, those big reveals have been set up by the show so well before that nothing comes as a surprise here. They really make a big thing of the whole working together with the cult thing, the hospital infection thing and take clips from earlier episodes to show how well everything ties together… yet everything ties so well together… that I remember! They did a great job on pointing out what was important before that this reminder is rather pointless. I mean sure narrativly Michiru needs to find out..but why waste half an episode on telling us what we already know?
You could just have shown him talking to her briefly telling the basic connections and then cut away to actually further the story ..but no we are treading walked ground for the third time in a 12 episode series. It kinda feels like this episode was made for people who watched this show while playing with their phones. While I’d say the episode is fairly solidly written I do feel a bit insulted as how dumb this episode thinks we are that we need this callback. The show is running out of time and now wasted an episode. While again.. not persé a weak episode..it does feel pointless.. since I do like this show in general.. that to me is a bigger sin right now.
This was with distance the best thing I have seen today, I was having anime girl eye sparkles while watching this episode because it was that amazing. The best episode of Flamenco so far, best episode of today and probably one of my favorite episodes (top 3) in all the 45 anime episodes I have watched for this series so far.
I loved what they did with Maya! In this Episode we see that Masayoshi has been training with Red Axe and has become more combat capable! As a result he is now actually able to stop criminals and this results into a new influx of popularity. This hinders Masayoshi from doing his job so he flees, into a crime in progress. However when these criminals knock him out and threaten to reveal his identity for the million yen bounty a pink Hummer crashes into their hideout..revealing a new heroine! Flamenco Girl! Maya’s alter-ego who wants to partner up with Masayoshi! However her ways are much more brutal and quickly become a problem for our wanna be hero! When Goto gets hurts because of their antics he is going to have to re-evaluate his values.
This episode is truly amazing throughout! So many great choices are made here. First the fact that Samurai Flamenco is powering up from having a mentor is great. It feels very sentai like.. but also polarises Gotou because now it’s easier to go to far! Sugoi! Introducing Maya as a new Sentai element is amazing as well, it helps push Masayoshi delusions and enforce them , being a nice counterpart to the break on the series that is Gotou (in a good way though). Her being obsessed with magical girls instead of sentai makes it interesting.. like as if their Sentai Powers come from their fanbases.
Could Gotou become the blue Kamen Rider Sentai in the show? Of course he has to be blue because he is a cop! Maya being quite violent and using actual weapons also a great way for Samurai Flamenco to find his way. When she hurts Gotou to flee you can see him feel conflicted.. this new way does not work for him. We see him make her apologise to the cop the next day showing he has taken back control. I think not showing their conversation yet is great, as it would hurt their characters, now they just worked it out somehow character intact.
I loved almost everything in this episodes, we see so many important things..like how being a hero is more important to Samurai Flamenco then his friendship to Gotou, it pains him but he acknowledges it and tries to find his balance. Maya being a girly counterpart to Masayoshi makes her such an interesting addition now! I love her! What I did not like AS much was Gotou himself though.. there was this really weird thing with him and text messages with his girlfriend where he went home and had the next day calling off a date in texts..but he he cancels a date with his invisible girlfriend but everything happens through text chat. Why could he not call?! Half of the time he was just outside..it feels like we are supposed to care about their relationship but it doesn’t feel real enough to be engaged with that. Still that is a nitpick that did not make me enjoy the episode less.. I just would have fangirled even harder if they made it more impactful! Still my highest grade can be awarded to this episode without a doubt in my mind.
I can’t help but love this show! Everything it does has this wholesome touch to it , even if they don’t shy away from the roughness that would be a fantasy world either. As a result it’s not sickeningly sweet…but still adorable! A perfect breakfast!
We see Rimuru prepare to stop the direwolves attacking the goblins, he does this by organising the green little guys behind a fence and having them fire arrows while using his own spider skills to set up webs and metal traps. Once the Direwolf leader has met quite a visceral and bloody depicted ending Rimuru eats it to acquire a new form and some abilities, allowing the Dire-Wolf’s son to swear loyalty to him. Having united the wolves and the Goblins , Rimuru decides to name everyone not knowing that if a monster gets a name it can evolve but also that it costs magic to do so! As a result he overuses it and slips into a coma only to find out everyone has evolved..except for the one he named Gobuto. To help the now Hobgoblins Tempest Wolves and Goblina.. Rimuru has to travel to the land of the dwarfs to make new allies.
While this episode is my least favorite so far, I still enjoyed the heck out of it! It was funny , cute and it has really original ideas. Rimuru becoming some sort of slime god to these people and him caring for these creatures is amazing. The way he is trying to build up their village reminded me of those old Black and White games by Lionhead, just with monsters instead of humans. My favorite moment definitely being, when our slime is passing out from exhaustion and we see this village put the slime on a pedestal and cuddling it showing their gratitude. Usually in anime we see a hero save a village and under some fanfare music they are played off while everyone tosses flowers their way or just yells “Good Luck, We Will Miss you” kind of lines. These people even if they are not “people” and are just monsters show they also have love in their hearts! They are good mannered and just are guided by their ways an mannerisms.. no matter how someone might look they can still be sweet! The wolves treat him in the same manner, grateful for the sacrifice Rimuru made.
What made me think this episode was a bit less than the other episodes is that this one had quite a bit of throw-away/slapstick comedy. While the other episodes have humor as well and it makes this show a delight a few jokes in this episode really felt like.. a joke for jokes sake. I like how a storm wolf can whip up a storm by wagging its tail.. since he gave them a storm based name they evolve that way.. that is funny, however Rimuru being blown away by that force is funny once.. but the second time it felt a bit meh. The slime then keeping to roll of a hill,chased by the dog trying to fetch it, but isn’t fast enough felt a bit to Looney Tunes to me. Maybe it’s because I’d imagine since he can change shape the situation feels perfectly preventable but that scene felt like it dragged on a bit. It has a few of these illogical moments that don’t quite flow narratively. For example why would the village elder not explain naming a monster costs magic, Rimuru clearly does not know. Why would Rimuru not ask more specific questions to Elder making some odd requests. It sets up for a great evolution joke but the way we get there could feel a bit sloppy here and there!
Still my second favorite view of today and a very good episode. The flaws I did find with it are very common anime and series errors that I am just becoming increasingly aware of as I search the net for new skills myself! I’d say it’s about as bad a a kid drawing a sun with a smiley face. It’s still super charming, cute and fun and to be honest a perfect morning cartoon! This episode proved that to me so it still gets an amazing grade! It more or less fixed my nitpick with the last episode with some interesting lore and I have no doubt this series will continue to do so for me in the future! I had a blast, just one I acknowledge was a bit lazier than it needed to be in terms of comedy and conflict.
I am not sure what I think about this episode, I am not even fully sure yet what I think about this series. Once again I could not escape feeling how similar this to me is to Hunter x Hunter. Which obviously is not a bad thing, yet it’s a high bar to hold it up against.
Khun the weird layed backed assassin like kid with a knife, apparently was exiled by his family. This left him to believe that he can trust no one and he just so happens to be reflective of that lesson as they gain a test to check their trust. A weird pink headed almost balloon like humanoid tells them something happens five minutes into this trial, this is indeed reflect by by a clock outside the test area showing a 5:00 mark after previous contestants went in. However due to not being able to trust anyone Khun completely zones out into his own world, leading him to fail the trial were it not for Rak and Bam solving the trial by themselves. Sort off… After that we see a mysterious tower traveling group kick ass in another test area which worries the organisation..so a bonus trial is held a king of the hill game and they who wear the crown during the fifth round will earn the right to challenge the tower of the god. This new team however seems to hold a face Bam is very familiar with.
That twist in the end was my favorite moment of the episode Bam thinking he saw Rachel as the opposite team renewed my intrigue for the next episode, which I would not had without it. It’s also implied that Rachel is very strong and very bloodthirsty, so she will most likely develop into an antagonist. You can’t kill that many people in half an hour with doubt in your heart! This episode did some interesting world building things. It builds mystery around Rachel and also to the Lizard girl with the whip.. Anak I think. It also shows the test commissioners and the organisation something quite interesting. I noticed how all thest directors have yellow eyes like Bam and Rachel. and The group dynamic between Bam Khun and Rak is becoming more interesting as episode pass. I do love Rak.. he feels so one dimensional to be a main character and that is what makes me warm up to him so much
The pacing is very much off in this episode, my least favorite moment is how they explain the rules of the king of the hill game 2 minutes before the episode ends.It’s a substantial explanation and we see the first round take place but knowing anime that means the trial has to be explained again next episode. It would be like me writing a post about Pokémon Snap and then beginning to explain how Pokémon Stadium works for my next post.. yet because I can’t assume everyone saw or remembered that I’d have to explain those rules again. It felt super sloppy to me. I am already annoyed that I am going to see the explanation again next week, so hence my least favorite moment. Khun’s build up also felt sloppy to me. We just see him worry about his issues out of no where! If we had gotten events in a different order it would have felt much stronger.
We begin the episode with a semi flashback and him talking to his mother about trusting no one.. this is followed by a guy tapping their shoulder and go like “psssst I have info about this next test…trust me”… jeesz… I wonder what will the theme of this episode be?! Had they swapped the Balloon talk and his worries, said worries would have felt a lot more natural, the trial would have still felt forced but the first part would have flowed a lot better. What also annoyed me is how inconsistent they are with their characters so far. Groups are being called in one by one while everyone analyses what is going on and no one noticed the pink yellow balloon cloth person talking to all themes going Pssst?! Khun even attacked him with a knife.. and no other group noticed? This basically goes against everything already shown! Super sloppy! The “What is off screen doesn’t matter mentality” This episode put this series “at Risk” for me.. If I still feel this way after episode six, this show will be dropped by me. But the ending still left me wanting for more.. so let’s hope episode 4 can change my opinion. Not horrible, just poorly written and generic this week for me! The intro theme I do find horrible though!
A good episode that I could have done without would be the perfect summary of this one for me. I really love the Akira angle we still see in this episode. As long as we see this as an episode for Touya alone it’s one of the best so far. But…
The three guys who wanted to break his arms and challenge him to a match so they can brag if they beat him at an advantage have finally formed a plan…they will make him lose a match by forcing him not to look at a Go Board. He manages to win his first match still so now they force him to blind play TWO go Boards. In Other words they ask him to require to visualise a 20×20 tile field and remember separate on 2 boards if a square is blank, white or black and use this knowledge to play Go actively. Basically it’s just three guys bullying Touya trough playing Go and him going along with it to earn respect and improve as a player so he can face Hikaru! It is the most exciting and tense game(s) I have seen so far and Touya is growing into a better character each episode.. but I couldn’t help it feels a bit weird as well.
I’d say we get two versions of this episode here, one is amazing one is kinda bad. From the perspective of Akira Touya this episode is sweet! We see him develop , we see his determination, motivation and his skill, we also see the path that is still left open for him. We see this episode reveal his flaws to him.. the thinks to much in the standard patterns, his mind is very much engaged with the Meta and he can not let that go easily. He realises this is why he has trouble with Hikaru whose ancient ways of playing are not in line with the current guide books! It is also the reason why he begins losing to the rookie player in these blind matches. Him being acceptant of this bullying also illustrates the mindset he is in very well. Had this episode opened from the perspective of Akira I would have probably given this my highest rating possible! The brief dip into Hikaru and friends back at school was sweet as well and once again shows that they know where the interesting events in the story lie and focus on that. Kudos!
At the same time I found this episode incredibly stupid from the perspective of Touya’s challengers. I still do not get why him losing to the third best player in a school (counting him) known for being good at Go Tournaments, would shame him all that much. That would like saying I should be ashamed for losing a Pokémon match against a person who at least knows how stats and typings work.. while I could only use 6 Pikachu and they can build a team. Not that I am that good at Pokémon but still, I doubt anyone would take you seriously for winning against a chess grandmaster while they are having a heart attack (non lethal) and you force them to play. I just do not get it. Luckily a girl shows up whom does show Akira how stupid this is and he should get his head out of his bum and play them like a real Go player would. Again showing how human Touya can be despire his talent! He does feel a bit dumb for such a genius though!
The third best player however resigns after losing to Touya..which again is so dumb.. challenger is a prodigee, to your knowledge the best youthful go player around? How does losing him put you to so much shame that you have to quit? I mean sure he beat you blind but that says something about Touya not you! You’re still the third best in school nothing changed about that. The biggest mistake the episode makes is starting with the bullies, you follow their perspective, that angle doesn’t work, your not supposed look from that angle either. You need to feel they are bullying Akira but is unfair Go reallying bullying? Great episode but you really need to look from the perspective of Akira because the bullies are just dumb! It gets a good score with an asterix.
Episode Score: *
*If you are unable to see this as Touya’s story and take everything face value as it is presented to you this episode scores 1 to 2 grades lower depending on your ability to read between the lines
Another week done! This week I have had some stomach ailment which kept bothering me luckily doing a fair bit better now! A few restless nights made my energy a bit lower than it could be but meeting a friend I had not seen in a long time turned out to be a lot more pleasant than I had anticipated. She can be a bit of an energy drain due to being prone to melancholy over the silliest things. There was a stabbing in my flat today though so I am even more prompted than before to find another place! I am also really excited for the blog restyling happening on Wednesday! This week I finished my project called Camp Coconut and the final assets that I needed. That is my personal update complete as well! Thanks for reading and let’s have an amazing next week!