Posted on Dec 03 2013
Let’s get dangerous! Time for some serious talk about anime and how it effects the lives of others.
This week’s challenge: Tie your episode in to a real-world problem!
Meganebu! (Episode Eight)
This episode is filled with the adventures of our boys trying to get lunch. Seriously, that seems to be the majority of the episode. Mitsuki makes his lunch, but does so in the likeness of his precious Akira. As such, he decides it’s far too realistic and decides to go to the cafeteria. Hayato is already trying to get past other students to get his meal, and Takuma has his own stash of food. As such, Mitsuki stumbles upon Akira and finds him conflicted with his food. The president wants to eat what is left, but doesn’t have the appetite, so he gives it to Mitsuki to eat. Mitsuki obviously is fine with this since it’s an indirect kiss. Yukiya on the other hand is acting odd himself by staring at a statue.
Mitsuki moves to the clubroom afterwards and discovers that every single person has swapped personalities. There’s no real explanation for this besides extreme logic jumping and derp-tastic events, but that’s kinda what I’ve come to expect from Meganebu! In addition, Mitsuki discovers four eggplants outside their door, which tells him that he knows the culprit that gave all the other members their bad luck at lunch.
Mitsuki goes all CSI to examine all the evidence, uses his puppy to find his suspect, and arrives at the Student Council room. The student council tells them that they were having a budget meeting during lunch; a teacher confirms this fact despite Mitsuki doing a Phoenix Wright spoof. Regardless, after some thought he finally seems to realize the truth and reveals it to his club-mates.
Mitsuki declares that the cafeteria lady is the one who gave them such bad luck. She has done this in an effort to keep them healthy by giving Takuma good food, forcing Akira to not overeat, and allowing Yukiya to sit in a location that has some sun. The lunch lady serves them their favorites and they eat, but Mitsuki interrupts this moment to do some sort of good cop, bad cop monologue.
Watching Meganebu! is always interesting, but not just that, it’s also so different from the norm. I know a good portion of it is simply there for comedy sake’s, but it happens to remind me a lot of a phrase I’ve heard associated with Japanese society. The concept is something along the lines of, “The nail that stands up will be hammered down.” The idea behind it is that individuals that stick out will be either outcast or be forced to conform to the norm eventually. What’s interesting to me is how outrageous some of these characters are; they’re not subtle in the slightest, and yet that’s what makes the series so enjoyable.
I’ve always been somewhat worried about visiting Japan or even interacting with Japanese people, as I am quite loud and confident. I worry any uniqueness I have will put someone off, which is an important thing to take into consideration when you’re trying to make a professional impression. I can only imagine the cultural shock of living there when your personality is larger than life.
I’ve heard there’s a foreign “get out of jail free” card, but I still feel like an individual would feel compelled over time to adapt. That’s the interesting thing about humans: their ability to survive in new environments. So, in short, can a person break this nail and hammer mold and continue as themselves? Or do they feel a pressure to continue to act normal, whatever normal might be?
Shows like Meganebu! make me believe this out of the norm personality can only exist in parody or comedy, but I’d like to think that there’s more special snowflakes in Japanese society than what I’ve been led to believe. What are your thoughts on the idea of standing out or staying in line?
Watch Meganebu! on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
Diabolik Lovers (Episode Eight)
A fair warning: I told you guys a few reviews back I was trying to stay off my soap box. This week’s challenge, however, has opened up a can of worms I was honestly trying to avoid. As I’ve said before, I will attempt to step on as few toes as possible and keep this from turning into a political debate of any sort; however, this review will cover the subjects of rape culture and the objectification of women. With those warnings out of the way, let’s begin to talk about Diabolik Lovers episode eight.
We open up to a clip of Cordelia (For those of you who may of forgotten, that’s Ayato, Kanato and Raito’s mother), laying dead. Flashing forward to present time, we see Yui out picking roses. She hears a piano being played and goes out to investigate. She opens the door to see Raito playing the piano. He turns and addresses her, as always, with the B word. Here’s my first chance to stop and talk about this. His verbal tick has bothered me for many episodes. Calling someone a… we’ll just say, “witch,” for this paragraph, is in no possible way shape or form endearing.
He calls her a, “witch,” when honestly, what has she done besides be kind, understanding and tolerant of everything they’ve put her through? I find, “witch,” to be a very misogynistic term to begin with; it demoralizes her as both a character and a woman to be called this. He’s not thinking of her as anything but a woman, not as a person at all. We could take this to mean he doesn’t really view women as people at all. Given what he does to his mother later in the episode, it’s very possible that Raito does view them as nothing more then possessions. This doesn’t make it right, and by no means should we ever think it is. This seems, however, to be the case.
There is a serious problem with a show when this episode is better. When the obvious themes of rape and objectification are ‘better’. When Raito’s excuse for his behavior is “my mommy was probably evil” – it does not make it okay! It’s never okay to torture a woman because you have a foul history with women. It’s never okay. But the worst part? This episode was something I could actually stomach. That should not be okay! This should not be what is ‘acceptable’ or what is ‘better’. The terrifying history of a man who refers to a woman as ‘”witch”-chan’ to be ‘cute’ should not be better! There is a serious problem when this is somehow superior to the content we’ve been fed so far. And yet it is! What the f-
Back to the episode, Yui asks the brothers about Cordelia. It’s obviously a touchy subject. We return to the flashbacks to find Ayato trying to kill his mother. She runs into Raito’s room begging him to save her. He comes back from supposedly throwing Ayato off her trail and asks if she loves him most of all. Then he proceeds to…well you know what? If you’re really interested in what happens here you can watch the episode. I will say though this is probably one of the most interesting parts of the series. That’s not saying much considering the rest of the series is about as interesting as watching paint drying.
Yui flees from the brothers and finds herself in the gardens. She mumbles to herself how she hates it here and can’t take it much longer. Subaru tells her if that was the case she should have left when she had the chance. They have a spat of sorts, and he yells at her to stay away from him or he’ll destroy her body and soul. She then decides it would be a good idea to ask about his past. Seriously, Yui, read a vampire novel of some sort. You made the same mistake twice in one day; it’s never a good idea to ask a vampire about their past, never!
In a turn of one of the most awkward turns, we get maybe the least forceful moment of someone drinking her blood in the series. It does, however, still count as rape because she said no and he told her to shut up and sit still. I don’t care how sweet the rest of the scene is, I don’t care that he offers to let her kill him. I don’t care if this is the least forceful any guy has ever been with her. No. means. No! This is a serious problem in the world today. Rape in general is a serious and severe problem, and this show treats it like something we should desire. It harms any progress on showing people that rape is wrong because it never really shows her fighting back. The most she’s done is lightly push someone away through the entire series. They have all used excessive force throughout the series to drink her blood and possibly implied ‘other things’ to her, and she’s barely responded past sitting down and taking it? What is that teaching women? That we should want to be forced? That being told to shut up or threats of physical violence are supposed to be sexy? They aren’t, and the way that this anime wants us to view the situations like this is wrong. It’s not just wrong, it’s more than that. This is a fundamental problem with Japanese society and perhaps even the rest of the world in general. You should not be saying that a warning, a nice phrase, or a subtle kindness negates the action of rape. This perpetuates rape culture and tells us to blame the victim. No matter what Yui said or did, she does not want what continues to happen to her. The sad thing is we all feel compassion for the man who did that this episode because he is the kindest of all of them. What does that say about us? What does it say about the way we’re raised or what we believe in? It says that we’re trained to see the more obviously evil, but we ignore common instances of it everyday. This goes beyond the simple objectification of women. This is a flaw in human nature, to dismiss the suffering of someone as ‘their fault’ or ‘not as bad as it could have been,’ and this show just shoves that them into our face while trying to be sexy. Human deficiencies are not sexy. It’s not okay! This show is not okay! The entire cast is mired in men who don’t give a crap, and that’s supposed to be alluring! The problem is, it’s not. This is a show that has so many moral flaws down to it’s core that it’s virtually unwatchable. The rest of the scene, while handled with more tact then most of the previous scenes of the brothers biting her is still pretty awkward and wrong. We end the episode with Ayato crawling into bed with her and putting his arm around her. Where this is going to lead, I have no clue. Overall: This show is at it’s best when it’s actually doing character development rather then just focusing on the brothers trying to drink Yui’s blood. While obviously the weakest character in the show, we shouldn’t blame everything so much on Yui. I just — don’t understand what this shows message is. I don’t understand how we are supposed to find this romantic in the least. Well, on to episode nine.
Watch Diabolik Lovers on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
Gundam Build Fighters (Episode Eight)
Yo! Elk here with another episode of Gundam Build Fighters. This episode starts off with an American child genius who wants to study Gunpla and the plavsky particle which allows the Gunpla to move. His professor thinks studying moving toys is silly, but then Nils, the genius, brings up the fact that plavsky particles might only be used to move toys right now, but there could be other uses. Obviously this is just the Americans wanting to blow up the world with militaristic uses for plavsky particles. But even with militarized plavsky particles, you won’t take over Canada! Of course America isn’t the only one with potentially destructive purposes, as for some reason Finland is looking rather evil with it’s Nemesis organization and their creepy ace pilot Aila. All that stands in the way of Nils is Greco with his Tallgeese Valkyrie. Greco is worried about facing Nils because he’s made it to the American finals despite only using Gunpla for 3 months. He’s friends with Fellini, the Italian playboy with the custom Wing Fenice who has made friends with Reiji. We get some more Nils time, researching his enemy Greco and talking about his reasons for entering the Gunpla tournament. He wants to get closer to PPSE, the group behind the plavsky particle. The PPSE team is more worried about Nemesis. They should be worried about their water though. Once America runs out they’ll want theirs too! Aila is brought to the chairman of Nemesis, and he is unimpressed. Aila makes it known that she’ll impress him with her actions. He calls in Gawain, who is the current top dog in Nemesis’ main team. But we don’t get to see them battle yet. Sei Iori is hard at work building Gunpla for the world tournament. After the fight against the Char custom and the Apsaras, and seeing Mao’s custom Gundam X, Sei is determined to build an even better Gunpla model. Cut back to the fight. Aila didn’t have her Gunpla, so she used a basic Jegan, while Gawain was fighting with a Devil Gundam, the final enemy from the G Gundam series. Even with those odds, Aila takes out Gawain with ease. She’s placed on the main Nemesis team, but to qualify for worlds she’ll still have to take out the world champion from last years tournament. If Finland and America team up, our water might be in trouble… Now it’s time for Greco and Nils to face off. This episode has had a TON of action. Greco is fighting to be able to compete with his friend and rival from Italy, but Nils has his research to complete. Nils knows this will be a hard battle, so he brings out a custom “Sengoku” Astray. We also learn a bit more about Nils, his father is a world famous detective, and his mother a champion martial artist. Not only is he a child genius, but he’s also a black belt in karate and judo. But does he know lumberjack fu? I don’t think so. One lumberjack soldier is worth ten Nils Nielsons. Our fresh water is safe for now. The Sengoku Astray is much more of a close range melee fighter, while Tallgeese, as anyone who has seen Gundam Wing knows, is an extremely fast long distance fighter with a massively powerful rifle for sniping enemies. Unfortunately, to get in close to it’s enemies, the Astray is also very fast, and agile enough to dodge incoming fire while doing so. On top of that, with his martial arts experience, he can easily dodge the long range shots. Even more impressively, he cuts through a massive beam shot with the Astray’s dual katana, destroying the rifle. Much like American beer, though, American katana aren’t nearly as strong as their Canadian counterparts, so no worries on that front. Greco refuses to give up however, and charges Nils with his beam saber out. Nils cuts through the beam saber with his katana and cleaves the Tallgeese’s arm off. Greco, not being a pushover, grasps the saber with the other arm before it drops, but that too is cut off. In a final ditch effort, he rams the Astray and fires up the Tallgeese’s thrusters. It seems to be working, but Nils is unconcerned. He pulls off some sort of special move that looks more like something from G Gundam or Street Fighter and decimates everything around him, leaving a massive crater. Do the Americans want this type of weapon for waging war on Canada? Only time will tell. You can’t have our water! After this we’re shown some of the regional champions from other areas, get to see some impressive Gunpla, and are treated to Reiji bugging Sei about finishing his Gunpla. At least Japan’s not after our water. After the credits we get one final scene before the next episode preview. Ramba Ral is running a little late to watch the regional finals with Carlos Kaiser. The battle is likely just starting, so he’s relieved he’s not that late. But when he gets in everyone is cheering, and Kaiser’s Gunpla is completely destroyed. Aila Jyrkainen’s Gunpla is completely unscathed, and she’d decked out in some weird outfit that reminds me of a Bubblegum Crisis hardsuit mixed with the G Gundam suits. Hopefully America doesn’t steal this technology, or we’ll need to gather up the polar bears to defend ourselves.
Watch Gundam Build Fighters on Gundam.Info or talk about this episode on our forums.
Galilei Donna (Episode Eight)
Class: Guest Relations
This player did not turn in their episode summary for the week. As such, they will not be awarded 50 flat points or the additional 20 for doing a challenge. Christmas is considered a no-show and as such has lost a dollar of his original bid. He has three more chances before he will be kicked out of the competition.
Watch Galilei Donna on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
Log Horizon (Episode Eight) Player: Siege Class: Content Provider At this point, I’m entirely too used to having MMO crap explained at the start of the episode. I’m almost desensitized to how useless and annoying it is. Almost. We start with a conversation about how ingredients are in short supply, since many players are afraid to go out and fight in their own bodies. The Crescent Moon Alliance is looking to the outside group whose ingredients are in short supply. He doesn’t mention this fact during negotiation, but it’s clear that The Crescent Moon Alliance is looking to outsource their ingredients acquisition, as their small company can’t handle it alone. Outsourcing work has been a bit of a hot topic in politics, but it mostly related to providing jobs in other countries for lower wages. Log Horizon depicts outsourcing in its natural and healthy environment rather than as an evil; this is a company that has no way to keep up with demand, and therefore must work with an outside company to keep up. There’s nothing inherently malicious about this, and using “outsourcing” to describe it really helps remove the stigma that has been behind it in recent years. That’s not to say all outsourcing is good; this outsourcing isn’t simply a grab to save a quick buck, but an attempt to keep up with demand that they just physically cannot meet. Still, I feel like depicting a legitimate use of outsourcing is a good thing. After this we see the little girl Shiroe is trying to save, shedding more light on how she ended up in such an oppressive guild. She and her… brother? Maybe I should pay more attention. Anyway, she and the other little boy (whoever he is) were desperate for any help they could get after being trapped in the game. That rash decision has left them obligated and unable to leave. But it isn’t long before we’re back to anime politics. I admit this is closer to what I wanted out of this anime; I just didn’t think it would be about economy. The Crescent Moon Alliance is looking for more help in their restaurant. We also discover that Shiroe is the man behind the title of this episode, “The Villain In Glasses.” We don’t have very much information behind this name yet; hopefully that comes in time. The Crescent Moon is apparently desperate enough for money that they’re willing to give away their methods of food preparation. Remember, The Crescent Moon Alliance is the only group that knows how to properly prepare food that has any sort of taste. Giving up this secret will probably mean the end of the monopoly business they’ve had for so long. The plan goes through perfectly, and The Crescent Moon Alliance is able to convince the guilds to help them reach their mysterious 6 million gold goal. The episode ends with Shiroe preparing to hold a meeting of all the major guild masters, but, more importantly, he tells the young girl via voice chat that he’s coming to save her tomorrow. I’ve gotta say, this anime is really picking up, and definitely not in the way I expected. They’ve reached the point where they’re touching more on the human side of things than the MMO side. However, I feel like this is coming at the cost of character development of other characters; for example, I’ve heard so little about the loli ninja girl and the big pervert guy lately that I’ve entirely forgotten their names. Still, I finally think this show is picking up the pace; I just wish they’d done that before the series was already 1/3 over.
Watch Log Horizon on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
I Couldn’t Become A Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided To Get A Job (Episode Eight)
Player: Bobby Henshin
People of the Internet, hear me today as I tell how episode 8 of I Couldn’t Become A Hero So I Reluctantly Got A Job is ruining the economy here in America. The first sign is when the temperature in their city has reached a record breaking temperature of 42 degrees Celsius! I don’t know the Fahrenheit of that, but let’s go with really hot. So when Raul and Fino get to work, they see Nova-chan on the ground, almost passed out from heat exhaustion. To save her, Raul had to undo her shirt so she could breath and in anime language that means it’s time for others to show up and get the wrong idea, making Raul look like a pervert. That’s when the manager and assistant manger come in and see this lovely scene. After a small meeting in the break room as Nova-chan cools off, they learn that the air conditioner for the store is broken, and Lore is taking all day to fix it. So now they just need to find ways to beat the heat. They now decide to have an outdoor sale with kiddy pools, air conditioners, and a bunch of other summer stuff. Fino is still suffering from the heat, so much that her magic is leaking out of her body. She touches a air conditioner next to her and everything explodes into fireworks. Amada sees the fireworks and decides to send All A to investigate what they are doing. The manager comes out and says that, to help them beat the heat, corporate sent them bikinis to help advertise the summer sale. This is where the ruining of the economy happens. Using woman in bikinis to force men to buy appliances and cameras to take sexy pictures of them. Money that they worked hard to obtain… Who am I kidding? This is an amazing idea and helps with LEON’s sales a lot. All A finds them advertising outside, and yells at Raul as he is surrounded by girls in bikinis. The manager then hands her a bikini to to help advertise plus gives her a mask to help hide her identity. After a long day of advertising, they all decide to celebrate with a small party and end the episode. This is just another pointless fanservice episode. But wait, there is more. We cut to a large office where a CEO-looking person is arguing with the Amada store manager, telling him that he has failed and to leave. Then he looks to his mirror, which has a figure in it. They decide to keep a close eye on LEON to get them out of business. The figure comes out of the mirror and says it is all for Lady Fino’s sake. The story is now getting somewhere!
Watch I Couldn’t Become A Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided To Get A Job on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
Outbreak Company (Episode Eight)
Class: Content Provider
First off, I apologize for missing last week’s blast. My internet went Tamaki on me rending me unable to complete my summary. To sum up episode eight, Shin’ichi and Myucel take a trip to Japan and express wonders at things they never experienced before, like trains or being alone in a room with a girl. For episode eight, the challenge is to compare the episode to a world problem or social crisis and describe how the show helps or hinders it. While I have a plethora of disasters to draw upon, this episode literally hands it to me on a silver platter. The plot of this episode is that Empress Pentralka has decided to go hikikomori on everyone. As you know, hikikomori is when a person isolates themselves from society on an extreme level, spending all of their time consuming entertainment instead. While Pentralka is not a member of Japanese society, her situation actually really fits the conditions of the hikikomori. She’s an upper class person with large expectations placed upon her with not enough social support. Being a sixteen year old turned empress is enough expectation for anyone, especially if it came about due to tragic circumstances (while quite shocking, this shouldn’t surprise people, because how else would a teenager become an empress?). The burden of command is quite heavy indeed, so Pentralka withdrawing into hikikomori-dom makes a lot of sense. Shin’ichi is tasked with getting Pentralka back to work. Being a former hikikomori himself, he would know best how to handle it. He doesn’t try to persuade her to stop; in fact he helps her become a better hikikomori! He even teaches her the major hikikomori tenants like “it’s not my fault, it society’s!” Initially, Pentralka greatly enjoys playing games and being free of all the pressures she has to face. However, she quickly comes to the realization that being a hikikomori is akin to being a loser and that the isolation becomes harder to break out of the longer you embrace it. While Pentralka does perhaps have the most legitimate reasons to embrace hikikomori-dom, she does need to face the music. She is quite hard on herself, but she forces herself back onto the throne after only a day or two. I must say, while Pentralka does have bursts of anger, she also has a very strong will to quickly throw herself back into the fire like that. I also have to give Shin’ichi props for handling the issue well. He doesn’t try to fight the hikikomori situation. He instead choose to accelerate it, letting it run it’s full course. Getting into and out of hikikomori-dom can take quite a bit of time, but thanks to his guidance, Pentralka went through all five stages in a very short time period. Gentle guidance seems to be a good approach to the whole issue. Hopefully the hikikomori out there who watched the episode will be accelerated a bit by watching it. This episode was one of my favorites since it was actually fairly serious. It has a lot of character development and gave good insight to how the characters think and operate. The next episode looks a lot lighter, since it appears to be a beach episode. What problem will Shin’ichi tackle next time? What’s the next perverted fantasy that will pop into his head? Does he look good in a swimsuit? Find out the answers to these questions and more, in the next episode of Outbreak Company!
Watch Outbreak Company on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
Kill La Kill (Episode Eight)
Hello again ladies and gentlemen, boys, girls and others! DJ Knightshade here to review yet another episode of one of my favorite shows right now, Kill la Kill episode 8! It starts off very epicly with, Satsuki Kiryin announcing her new election system, in which students must survive a seven-day battle royale against each other in order to stand out on top and earn Goku Uniforms, sending the entire school into a state of emergency. Meanwhile, Ryoko takes Mako to the ruins of her old house, where she tells her about the circumstances surrounding her father’s death. I assume Mako found none of this interesting due to her goofing around. Finding no further clues in the basement where she found Senketsu, Ryoko and Mako head home, only for their scooter they got from Mako’s dad to run out of gas. They end up running into the disciplinary committee chair and one of the Elite Four, Ira Gamagri, who has just attained his driving license and is taking the week off, offers them a ride home. During their drive, they are attacked by the automotive and airsoft clubs, who are targeting Ira’s Three-Star Goku Uniform, Shackle Regalia. Recalling how he first met Satsuki, Ira unleashes his uniform, which uses the power of masochism to evolve into Scourge Regalia and beat the ever living crap out of his opponents, before seeing Ryoko and Mako off at the gas station. After a week passes, Honniji’s strongest assemble for the Sudden Death Runoff Election, with only Ryoko and the Elite Four making their way to the top. There, Satsuki challenges Ryoko with defeating each of the Elite Four in exchange for details concerning her father’s death. Her first opponent is Ira. This episode had a great cliffhanger that made me angry and excited at the same time. Angry because I didn’t want to wait another week to find out, and happy because I’ve not been so hyped for anime like this in a long time; I mean it. It’s times like this where I wish I could time travel into the future to see the episodes, but sadly that’s not the case. So I am forced to wait out my time, but I have high hopes that this show won’t let me down. May the future episodes be just as bright and awesome as they are now, if not better.
Watch Kill La Kill on Crunchyroll & Daisuki or talk about this episode on our forums.
Beyond The Boundary (Episode Eight)
Player: Zero Gravity
This player did not turn in their episode summary for the week. As such, they will not be awarded 50 flat points or the additional 20 for doing a challenge. Zero is considered a no-show and as such has lost a dollar of his original bid. He has one more chances before he will be kicked out of the competition.
Watch Beyond The Boundary on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
Nagi No Asukara (Episode Eight)
Class: Content Provider
This player is officially out of the competition, but can join again for the Winter season.
Watch Nagi No Asukara on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.
Week 008 Tally
- Kanashimi: 1,207
- Midnight: 991
- Elk: 858
- Siege: 670
- Christmas: 660
- Bobby Henshin: 650
- Kayarath: 440
- Knightshade: 300
- Zero Gravity: 220
- MakiMaki: 70
Next week’s challenge: We’re already over half way done with Simulblast! Tell us about your fondest memory so far in your review.
Make sure to vote for your favorite review below! You can give your favorite an extra 30 points.