18 CommentsMuv-Luv / By Inushinde /

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Episode 8 – Trials, Hilariously Creepy Grins, and Tribulations

I don’t know why, but Valerio’s creepy smile juxtaposed with the somber faces surrounding him made this scene way too great not to screen cap. Anyway, due to Scamp’s continued traipsing around the continental United States, I’ve been asked to fill in for this week’s thrilling episode of Total Eclipse, on the grounds that I’m apparently the only other person on the site still watching.

So the good news is the BETA are back in all their disquieting, awkwardly computer generated glory, and they’re hungry for more meatbags to jam down their gob holes. The bad news is the writing is still on par with a middle schooler’s, in that its idea of subtle plot development and character introduction is borderline sexual assault on Russians by Kazakh and Georgian pilots. The low point of the episode is an unpleasant attempted rape that goes uninterrupted for way too long, a sloppy attempt at showing the animosity in the Soviet forces toward their superiors that quashes any hope that I had of the story getting back to its alien fighting roots.

I’d like to make this into a work of art ala Scamp’s last post, but what the fuck am I supposed to do when the plot isn’t as goofy as the Shuffle! beach episode retread arc, instead aiming for a device as reviled and hackneyed as inexplicable rape? It’s just unpleasant to watch, think, and write about, and what’s worse is there’s nothing else in the episode worth delving into at all.

That’s not to say that rape can’t work in a plot, but there has to be some reason for it that isn’t just the people committing the act being complete bastards. For instance, as gleefully immature as Mirai Nikki was, it hit the mark for pulling off the act fairly well without feeling gratuitous when dealing with the cultist girl’s back-story. It was horrible, and may have been nullified by the rape back-stories/near rape that followed, but due to the story’s of twisted logic it at least made some sort of sense.

The act in this episode of Total Eclipse was just three minutes of pure unpleasantness, completely meaningless and serving no real narrative purpose except to introduce the base commander. I mean I’m not expecting this to be the next Legend of the Galactic Heroes as far as writing goes, but fucking really? What’s worse is I think it could have somehow come across better with more thought put into it. But then again, maybe asking for more thought to be put into a Muv-Luv story is a little much.

Since I’m probably getting too worked up regarding a show that could have been cobbled together from the remains of any storyboard writer’s refuse bin, and I’m nowhere near qualified enough to talk about this in depth, have a picture of a BETA awkwardly pawing at a tank to reach the sweet human filling, which is by far the most pleasant thing in this episode’s 24 minute run. Hopefully there’ll be more, instead of forced drama.

Fuck this show.

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  1. Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Ironically, it was Shinmaru who convinced me to pick it back up. Well, that’ll teach me to not listen to his taste. :)

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 26, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      I like that he’s the only one that’s dropped it. Oh well, he does love Popee.

  2. nineball
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    The funny thing is that the basic idea behind the scene wasn’t too bad. There’s how they’re all basically kids from non-Russian SSRs and Warsaw Pact countries who’ve been forcefully pressed into service under threat of death to fight for a land they don’t particularly have a reason to care about by people who they don’t particularly have a reason to care about and repeatedly thrown into deadly situations on a daily basis by them. These same people themselves are perceived as preferring to run away leaving them to be used as meatshields instead of fighting themselves.

    Then one of said people pushes their buttons by insisting that they’re comrades fighting for the motherland, who herself was being all cosy across the ocean playing pretend in a top of the line machine while the frontline soldiers make do with outdated MiGs.

    Combined with probable teenage sexual frustration plus the Red Army having a known history of turning a blind eye to abuse within its ranks, it’s not entirely far-fetched that they’d be taking out their hatred on perceived easy targets and trying to make use of rape as a method of humiliation and abuse.

    The real problem is that the execution of the scene was complete and utter balls. Instead of properly expanding on the socio-political context behind their general jerkassery, they mostly went WE TREATED LIEK SHIT and GRRRR and LET’S HAVE FUN.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:52 am | Permalink

      You took the words right out of my mouth, if I had to put them in post form again. Well done.

  3. Golos
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    >three minutes of pure unpleasantness

    Isn’t Muv Luv supposed to be unpleasant?
    How can you complain about it if you like the return of the unpleasant aliens?
    This season is convincing me more and more that (most) animes and their audience suck hard.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 26, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      It works best when it pulls off unpleasantness, not when the writing’s sickeningly bad. In this case there’s a difference.

  4. Podsnack
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    “quashes any hope that I had of the story getting back to its alien fighting roots.”
    Why does a three minute scene in episode eight make it impossible for a twenty-four episode series to ever show alien fighting seriously again?

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:54 am | Permalink

      Because it’s a scene that could have been handled much better, which doesn’t give me much hope if it tries similar approaches to drama later on. Forgive the lateness of this reply.

  5. Lanf
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I think I prefer Muv-Luv when it’s a derpy love-(unintentional)comedy, it’s the tsundere magic, I tell ya.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, that’s when it’s in as top form as it gets, so I’m inclined to agree.

  6. Moomba
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    So I guess it’s pretty obvious who the next set of characters to be brutally slaughtered by the BETA will be…

    Could they have made it more obvious? Did that scene serve as anything more than a way for the anime to say ‘Ha! Karma! Our writing is so clever!’? Why am I phrasing everything as a question? Ideally the answer would be no but I screwed that up with the last of those questions. Fuck.

    • nineball
      Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      If they got slaughtered it wouldn’t be karma for being jerks, it would be justification for why they want to act like such jerks, because they be repeatedly forcibly sent into situations where such slaughter is commonplace. Or some weird reverse logic like that.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      You were doing so well with those questions too. Oh well, the show’s writing sucks so them becoming BETA meat after attempted rape won’t come as a big surprise. I’d be happy if it proved me wrong and they actually lived somehow, if only because it wouldn’t be as cliched, but I guess I can’t have everything.

  7. Adrian
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    What bugs me the most is that if this were an eroge, the scene would have continued until those teenagers had enough of raping them.
    That was a poor attempt of shocking effect as well as a poor attempt to writing.
    It did not add anything to the plot. Instead, it was a showcase of rape fetish.

    • nineball
      Posted August 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Twas supposed to add something. Could have added something if the execution hadn’t sucked.

      Anyway, Total Eclipse was never an eroge and (since the upcoming VN is all ages) will never be an eroge. Don’t treat it as “well it coulda been an eroge”, just treat it as an LN.

    • Inushinde
      Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:01 am | Permalink

      The idea had merit from a storytelling standpoint, but the execution was god awful. If the Kazakh and Georgian pilots were given personalities beforehand that weren’t just “GRR, RUSSIANS SUCK AND THAT MAKES ME ANGRY” then it probably could’ve worked better.

  8. Mormegil
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Bimbougami ga pulled the same shit last episode, and it pissed me off just as much. Strange coincidence. What’s worse is that Bimbougami ga is a comedy.

    I hope this doesn’t continue to be a trend.

    In conclusion: anime, stop it. Just have the characters beat them up or something instead of threatening to rape them.

  9. Posted July 5, 2013 at 7:39 am | Permalink

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