Because sometimes I don’t have enough to say on each title to warrant an entire post of its own.
Ikoki Meiro no Croisee
LOOK AT THE TEENY TINY HANDS!!! *cough* Ikoku Meiro feels rather unpolished. There’s a fair amount of eyebrow raising moments in the first episode alone that made me wonder if the creators were actually thinking about what they were doing. The most obvious example is the teeny tiny girl with those miniscule hands oh god they’re so cute speaking in Japanese. Or was it French? She’s meant to appear not to understand French, yet she talks to the gormless male lead midway through the episode without him apparently being able to catch on that she can speak French. Or Japanese. The language barrier got me all confused as to whether the reason the gormless male lead couldn’t wrap his thick head around the concept that because she spoke French, she could understand French, or whether she was actually speaking Japanese this whole time. This made the conflict in the episode come off as strange and confusing, because it was difficult to understand what the conflict was arrising from in the first place.
Not that the creators particularly care about the conflict. Nor do they particularly care about that much of a realistic depiction of 19th century France. This comes from the same logic banks Gosick did. The fascination with the era comes less from a historical interest and more from a ‘look at dem pretty clothes’ interest. The whole logic behind the plot strikes me as a bit fucked up too, taking some little girl from Japan to stand around and look pretty in their shop. But all the creators really care about is how cute the little girl is. And she is indeed really fucking cute, what with those teeny tiny hands. So if you’re the kind of person who can watch something based on sheer cuteness alone, then go nuts. I need something a bit more substantial than shallow cuteness, being the big stinking elitist that I am, and Ikoku Meiro hasn’t put much thought into any other area of the production. Props for getting a proper French speaker for the title screens though.
Natsume Yuujinchou San
I still don’t quite get why people go utterly gaga for Natsume Yuujinchou. The soothing atmoshpere it’s so often praised for seems to stem from a echoey narration from Natsume himself about what had literally just happened before he started narrating. It’s been referred to as Mushishi-lite, which I kinda understand, but the ‘lite’ part means it removes the eerie and slightly oppressive side that Mushishi excels in, leaving not an awful lot left. The show has this taste for introducing a new character as though they’re important and keep treating them as though we’re meant to care about them, when ultimately all they do is hover around in the background and wave at Natsume when he goes to school.
However I feel like a bit of a dick for railing against Natsume Yuujinchou. I like the show. The return of Nyanko is certainly welcome. Each of the stories are generally agreeable and heart-warming. There’s rarely any change in theme to these stories, usually being simple little tales of loneliness, but there’s enough variation between them that it doesn’t get old. This season is more of the same. OK, this episode was a bit heavier on the exposition than was necessary, and the very final twist wasn’t that well executed, but the story of the yokai was the same old heartwarming tale of loneliness that is this series bread and butter. So good for all you Natsume fans. And good for me too, I guess. I just wish Brains Base would make another Durarara sometime soon…
A work of pure brilliance. Such a seemingly simply yet ingenius twist on a well known tale. The effort gone into this is immense. Each scene is brimming with energy and charm, yet it has this underlying tone and message that cuts straight through to the heart in a way that’s difficult to describe. Each character is memorable in their own unique ways, playing off each other, leaving as much unsaid through their actions and non-actions, leaving you to reach beneath the characters to discover what their true feelings are. Each line is brimming with wit and crafted so expertly, occasionally with parodies so subtle that I found myself rewinding the video to check if they really just said that. It’s mature, clever, funny and there’s nothing else quite like it out there. Outstanding piece of work.
Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the same cute girls grope each other while doing absolutely nothing anime that Japan has been shitting out for the past few years. Lalala nothing to see here