Fighting off illness...

…I haven’t been very well this week; a chest infection. Meaning I had a lot of catching up in shows waiting to be done.

I’ve naughtily been neglecting Gabriel Dropout, even though I’m not finding it unpleasant to watch. However, none of the characters have anything outstanding about them. The titular character doesn’t have as much screen time as the others, her goody two-shoes demon friend is dull but cute to watch, the OTT stupid demon has just gotten boring, and the sadist angel character even more so. This week, both Gabriel and Vignette receive their allowances from Heaven and Hell respectively, and realise that they’re not doing as many good/bad deeds as they ought to be doing. Vignette finds herself in a seriously bad position as since she has arrived on Earth, she has been kind and gentle to everyone, and being bad just isn’t in her.

This is my moe show; I just wish it was a better moe show. Who am I to complain? Most comedy shows like this do not often operate on anything outstanding in terms of plot or characters; instead it merely gives the viewers their fix of moe.

As for Fuuka, Yuu and Koyuki have finally gotten themselves into gear and have become an item. Her being famous means their dates have to be private, of course. Their band is something else though, which was something I touched on last week. It’s at this stage when The Fallen Moon realise that can’t keep playing the one song all the time, and they have to write their own material.

The Fallen Moon has been Fuuka’s show the entire time though. She forced them into forming the light music club, forced Yuu to pick up a bass, forced the others to pick up their old instruments, forced Sara into joining them…the remainder of the band appear to be happy, but they have no genuine drive. Even Nickelback have more of a drive than these guys. Now even some hot-shot producer is after her voice; with her principles she stayed, but as I grow more and more cynical over this, I want what’s best for all of them, and that’s still to split up while they still can.

Over at a more entertaining place (like Luna Nova Magical Academy), it’s Sucy’s time to shine. She resorts back to her mad scientist persona to create another dangerous potion which sends her to an unnatural slumber: a slumber which causes mushrooms to grow around her. With an advanced spell, Lotte sends Akko into her subconscious to try to wake her up, only to find that the bizarre world around her is filled with all sorts of emotions, most of which aren’t that different to the real Sucy.

She’s a tricky character in my eyes, since I can’t tell whether she has been written very well, or whether the writers simply chose not to have a third ‘good’ character. Sucy is cynical, critical, and very uncaring of anyone else around her (especially Akko), yet she remains part of the group, and yet she seems to be the character viewers like the most as well. Lotte is my girl though. I always end up going for the well-behaved characters; siding with neutral/chaotic people in shows just hasn’t ever been my thing.

I understand that Sangatsu no Lion is to end very soon, as in earlier than any of the other shows. Sadly it doesn’t seem to be outstanding, or if it plans to, it totally fell flat this week. The focus was solely on Shimada this time around, who is in fact a rather vulnerable player both mentally and physically; not only has he the weight of his hometown on his shoulders, but has frequently suffered from stomach pains since a child. Unfortunately Shimada is the most boring character in the entire show, and while it’s nice to see Rei fretting over him, accompanying him to the Lion King match in Kyoto during his spring break, it all feels rather pointless and fruitless because Shimada is the underdog and we all know that he will lose the tournament miserably. Considering there’s only 3 episodes left now, all we can do is just wait and see how Rei will reach the end of the month (in the show)…coming-of-age shows are notoriously hard to predict.

It seems that new life has been injected into the karuta club in Chihayafuru. Not counting episode 16, which was a recap episode…

I was pretty much spot-on with my predictions; Taichi is working the club hard, and encouraging them to take part in their own tournaments, in order to better themselves. It beats constantly having to practice at school, after all. Tsutomu and Kana need to make Class C, Taichi and Nishida are aiming for Class A, while Chihaya is training once more for the eastern Queen qualifiers. While the others are rather clear on what they need to do to git gud, Chihaya doesn’t…until she realises that she lacks the one thing that sets apart every karuta player (or any sportsman, for that matter) completely: strategy.

She has gotten this far and yet still be thrashed by the current Queen. She has the senses, the stamina, and the ear of a good karuta player, but she only relies on picking out the cards she hears (and not bothering to develop an actual plan to defeat her opponents). You see what I mean now when Chihaya is the most immature out of all of them.

Past seasons of recent times haven’t provided me any guilty pleasure shows to watch, but this winter season has one, and is it one…Saga of Tanya The Evil is a story of someone looking for revenge. When a sociopathic salaryman is thrown in front of a train, he is given the chance to repent by an unknown omnipotent being. Reluctantly accepting, he is reincarnated into a young girl in an alternate world that mirrors the time of the world war in Europe. Realising he can use his remaining intellect and the mage powers his female body was born with, the salaryman, now called Tanya Degurechaff, decides to join the imperial forces and becomes a flying battle mage.

This sounds incredibly stupid, I know; the PVs didn’t even give it that much hope, but there is just something about the show that has totally gripped me, and I’m not sure if it’s one thing, or a number of things. Many would argue that it’s only for the loli fanatics, but I’ve been looking at something more in this. Armies, countries and kingdoms have considerably changed, but even though it’s clear to see what ‘side’ Tanya (and fellow mage Viktoria) is on, that becomes totally irrelevant. Only the characters matter, and not the history/politics. The animation isn’t top-notch, and the ongoing story of Tanya’s battalion travelling across the continent is rather one-dimensional, but I was never looking for anything spectacular in this. Like I said, it’s hard to put your finger on.

Saga of Tanya The Evil is a show I never ever expected I’d enjoy, and the fact that I’m praising crazy sociopathic Imperial flying loli mages over monotonous moe girls is proof alone that my tastes in shows are off. But you know something? I don’t even care anymore.