Thursday, 26 May 2016

Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? Episode 8 Impressions

This episode is a good representation of what this anime is.
It's light, breezy, and safe.
This is illustrated by how the hack on Rusian plays out.
Ako immediately figures out that the hacker who was using Rusian's account was not the real Rusian.
A darker and more dramatic narrative would be for Ako to believe the hacker and be emotionally destroyed.
This would change everything and perhaps would be a wake up call for Ako.
One could say this would have been the better choice.
But enough episodes have gone by for the audience to have a feel for the show.
It's a comedy romance show not a drama.
And some of the best rom coms in the world are safe, light and breezy.
Personally I think the audience would be upset if anything really dark happens.

To be honest I'm not sure how Ako immediately figured out it was not Rusian.
While we the audience sees dynamic sprites with changing facial expressions and tone in their voice; Ako would have seen a static 2d character communicating by text chat.
In reality I would think it would take Ako a lot longer to figure it out.
Ironically Rusian's character trait of being frustratingly slow with his love for Ako was the thing that saved Ako from a potentially dangerous situation.
I think Rusian is not only slow for his love for Ako but is frustratingly slow in general.
For example it bothered me when Rusian basically told Ako that they are divorced because his account was suspended.
I mean how you can you say that to a girl you know has trouble differentiating the game with real life.

I felt that this episode did a good job showing real world concepts like ip addresses, RTM, and dummy sites for hacking.
Like hypothesized in my episode 7 impressions, the hacker used an identical looking dummy site to steal Rusian's user name and password.
I think big websites and mmos use https (secure) pages instead of regular http pages. So if Rusian looked at the url maybe he would have figured it out.
I know that's what I usually check to make sure a site is safe
Apparently the admins were having a hard time finding the hacker because he keeps changing ip addresses.
Rusian eventually catches the thief by hacking the hacker.
Apparently Rusian magically has some super hacking, html, css powers and was able to recreate the hackers entire site and put it on the hacker's computer for the hacker to mistakenly enter his user name and password.
The other part of the plan was to create his own original nefarious website of a fake hacker.
However all of those items shown on the fake blog weren't really stolen but probably given by the members of a friendly guild and the teacher's online mmo friends who worship her as some sort of cat god.
The real time money transaction is what really got the hacker in trouble.
Rusin sent a request for a real money trade, and the hacker responded thinking it was legit (pun intended).
Rusian gave the hacker's ip address that accesses his hacker blog to the admin and found that that ip address links to a character called Ronten who was seen earlier trying to sell Rusian's stuff.
Then the hacker used another account and a different ip address and tried to make a trade online.
Even though the transaction didn't happen, the admin was able to charge the user for a RTM because of the tipped information.
Therefore the RTM trade request was now linked to the new online trade request showing intent.
This is enough for the admins to charge the hacker for what he has done.
What I don't' think makes sense is the anonymous (Rusian's) tip for the ip address.
Just because a tip says it's the ip address of the hacker blog doesn't mean that it is.
It's not real evidence/proof.
Therefore I believe this is really only half the battle.
I believe the admins must convince the police that there is enough evidence to get a warrant to actually backtrace the blog.
I didn't get how Rusian revealed himself to the hacker. In the show he lifts up his hair. So i just imagined the hacker seeing a 2d sprite lift up his hair and him saying "Oh my god!", it's ridiculous. Therefore I think Rusian must have sent an image of his face to the hacker.
I loved how when the characters were swearing in the game it just came out as "oinks". Because I think in some mmo's there is a dictionary of words you can't say that just comes out ***** (asterisks). Lastly I found it ironic that Ako had wanted Rusian to come to her room in the game and have a "couples chat" when that is exactly what happens during the aftermath of the hack. Rusian and Ako are alone together in Ako's room and talk about their relationship. I think the online game room was made to look identical to the real life room because it had the same jellyfish wallpaper. Therefore the scene was symbolic in its own right.

Twin Star Exorcists Ep 8 Impressions

     This episode is a real turning point for this anime.
After an abysmal previous episode this episode makes me feel hopeful for the series.
In this episode we discover that Rokuro, via what is known as Kagere corruption, turned into a Kagere and killed his friends in the Hiinatsuki incident.
This revelation does a number of things to make this series way better.
The first reason is that it explains why Rokuro acted the way he did.
There is a scene where Rokuro tells Mayura that it was his fault his friends died.
Prior to this episode I just assumed that Rokuro meant that he failed because he couldn't protect his friends and now we know it's the exact opposite.
There was great build up to this because it directly contradicts Benio's debate with Mayura over Rokuro being an exorcist.
Benio says that Rokuro should be an exorcist to save lives, but in reality he took lives.
Also throughout this series so far I didn't believe there was any chemistry between Benio and Rokuro and that whatever chemistry the anime forces us to accept was not earned or genuine.
However in this episode we also learn that Benio's twin brother died during the Hinatsuki incident.
Benio's whole purpose in life is to rid the world of Kagere. And I think a major reason why is because she believed that Kagere killed her brother. However supposedly it might be Rokuro who killed her brother.
If this is true, this will change Benio's whole view towards Kagere and towards Rokuro.
I think one of the only ways to get chemistry from leads who initially don't have chemistry is after they go through some sort of incident. This incident can be dramatic but it doesn't have to as long is it creates strong character change/growth.

And it wasn't just these revelations that made this episode so great. We are also introduced to Mayura's father, Rokuro's master, Seigen Amawaka who is one of the 16 guardians of something I am not entirely sure of. The 1st guardian we met was Shimon and I'm sorry to all the Shimon fans out there but when he was introduced all I could think of was Sasuke, Sasuke, Sasuke. He just seemed like the standard shounen second male lead. However Seigen is something entirely different because he seems like an amalgamation of both a good and a bad character which makes him very interesting. Initially he beat up the other exorcists in the dormitory so I thought he was just a bully. But then we discover he's Mayura's father and Rokuro's master, we see that picture of father and daughter, see Rokuro's reaction to Seigen. All of this makes it seem like he's a good guy. However Seigen goes on to beat up Rokuro as well as telling his secret to Benio. Maybe he didn't know about Benio's situation, however for all we know he could be just evil and told her knowing her situation.
In regards to Mayura's side of the debate. Personally i think Rokuro has more chemistry with her and to be honest she's more my type so I might be bias. There seemed to be a hidden meaning in Mayura asking Rokuro whether he really wanted to be an exorcist.
It sounded like Mayura was really asking if Rokuro wanted to be with her or with Benio. To be in her world or Benio's. But we do find out that Mayura may have some special power and she is the daughter of an exorcist so she might join in on the Kagere killing fun.

There seems to be this shift in tone to darker themes.
That scene of Mayura being taken to the Kagere world was like a well executed scene from a horror movie.
The Kagere's look so far has been very polarizing. While I don't love the art, I admire the creativity of the different types of Kagere.
I thought the Kagere looked creepy but never scary, and I thought it was intentionally because it's a shonen.
However I will say that the little boy who was only visible in mirror and grabbed Mayura's hand was downright scary.
Before I watched this anime for the sake of not having watched a shonen in a number of years.
But now I am so excited about this series and can't wait till the next episode airs.

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Ep 8 Impressions

The episode starts with Suburu waking up from bed.
Before he wakes up he see the dark hand about to grasp him.
Not sure if this was a dream or side effects after having rewind time so much.
Every character seems to see something is off with Subaru.
It frustrates Subaru as well as the audience.
Similar to Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, Suburu is also seeming to have his own emotional breakdown.
He doesn't seem sane anymore and the others characters notice it.
This is the first episode where I found Suburu annoying, and I think that was intentional.
He reminded me of a lot of people I know who just talk and talk, with little substance, trying to hide how they are really feeling.
It just comes off as being fake and desperate.
To be perceived as being genuine is something even good liars take years to accomplish.
Speaking of which, time is the constant motif in this anime.
Suburu goal for today was to gain the trust of all the members of the household.
However trust takes time, from their perspective they barely know him and are wary of him.
The whole day seemed to keep getting worse and worse because of Suburu's attitude.
It reminds me from the line from Keanue Reeves in the football movie called The Replacements:
"One thing goes wrong, then another, and another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can't move, you can't breather, because you're in over your head. Like quicksand."
This is literally what is happening to Subuaru the harder he works the more suspicious people are getting.
Why is he trying so hard? What is he hiding?

I found Puck's explanation of magicians vs spirit users and the explanation of mana to be very well explained.
It was easy to understand and follow.
The fact that Suburu has an affinity towards shadow is symbolic.
He's a character who appears to always be happy on the outside, but in reality there is a shadow of a cloud from above.
We also get confirmation about a possible connection between Emilia and the Satella Jealous Witch
This show reminds me of SNAFU where the characters speak so fast you sometimes miss key points.
Suburu asked why someone (Emilia) would use the name Satella, Beatrice says because they have no fear of death and be considered insane.
Subaru believes that Emilia wants people to perceive her as being insane so she wouldn't have to be part of the royal selection.
So is Subaru right, does she not want to be the next to take the throne? If so why does she not say that, is someone forcing her?
Lastly we find out that a curse must be made via physical contact and that once cast on the person it can't be undone. Suburu connects the dots and hypothesizes that someone at the village must have touched Subaru or Rem depending on the timeline.
The on thing I will say is that in every other timeline it was just Rem and Subaru or Rem by herself. How does it alter when 3 people go to the village? Why did Ram want to come along as well? And who benefits from killing either Subaru or Rem and why?

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk S2 Ep 8 Impressions

The episode starts at the start of the final battle of the festa between Ayato and Julis and the 2 puppets.
In the beginning I kept thinking I wanted them to start fighting already, too much talking.
The fight, like all fights in this series looks amazing.
What I like most is the use of strategy during battles.
Ayato and Julis attacked RM-C to force AR-D to use his shields on her leaving him vulnerable.
AR-D also used his shields to block paths and thereby trapping Ayato and Julis.
I do wonder when the 2 were trapped on 3 sides by shields, why didn't they just jump out of there instead of trying to block?
Also I thought it was a little early for the 2 puppets to combine but I guess they didn't want to take any chances.
In this episode when the puppets combined RM-C's armour came off leaving her defenceless.
I don't remember this happening during the semi finals so I was a bit confused by that.
I thought she combined completely with AR-D.
Oddly I was more interested with Saya's and Kirin's confrontation with the assassin.
I just think the concept of an assassin with control over the shadows to be very cool.
If you think about it assassins and thieves work in shadows so it makes a lot of sense.
That one scene where he used Kirin's and Flora's own shadow to pop out and attack them was amazing.
And Kirin's final attack was very reminiscent of Rouani Kenshin's sword drawing style.
I don't know if it was intentional but I loved this allusion.
I just love the sounds Ayato's Ser Vesta makes, it gives me goosebumps.
I would think now that he has it the battle will be more in his favour, now that his power is unlocked he just seems so overpowered.
But I'm sure Ernesta must have thought about this and has taken precautions.
I like how AR-D already has data about Ayato's sword style from Ayato's fight with those puppets way back in season 1.
Lastly I never noticed but Ayato's perception on the battle field seems very similar to the puppets data predictions on their opponents next moves.
This, along with the puppets personalities really seems to close the gap between humans and puppets perhaps fulfilling Ernesta's wish for her puppets to be accepted and be more human.

Twin Star Exorcists Ep 7 Impressions

Disliked this episode.
I don't believe the chemistry between the 2 leads. In fact I feel there is none.
Like bad actors with no chemistry in a film, it's just awkward and not believable.
The episode was useless I'm sure there were better ways for the 2 to build chemistry and gain backstory.
The whole thing feels juvenile, I don't mean in theme because it's a shonen it's to be expected, I mean in execution.

Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? Ep 7 Impressions

An enjoyable episode with an intriguing cliff hanger.
I believe whenever the characters say "that's what a normal student would do" etc the anime means that's what a standard romance or harem trope would be.
I like how the anime is self aware of what usually happens in a standard beach episode and pokes fun at it.
In regards to Ako still thinking she's married in real life I secretly ask myself what is wrong with that?
She fell in love with the mc as person, not a character sprite.
The love is now reciprocal so why not just go with it?
Perhaps Ako is right and the others are wrong about this.
Yes ako should be able to differentiate the real world and game, but perhaps changing her perspective of her marriage with Russian is the wrong approach.
If I were Rusian I'd be happy, and if their relationship ever gets "downgraded" to a normal bf/gf relationship I think he'll miss it.
It was funny how the whole event was basically just a cash grab for people to buy things at the hotel. The teacher says perhaps this is getting too real, I think this is foreshadowing the ending of the episode. My guess is that someone hacked into Russians account. Russian had trouble entering his password right? I think someone put a dummy site on the computer that looks exactly like the login for the game. The hacker stole Russian's user and password. Besides the obvious possible identity theft, the danger in regards to the anime is that Ako believes the hacker is Rusian, she may get emotionally taken advantage of or get her feelings hurt. What I really hope doesn't happen is if the hacker tells her to go somewhere in real life and she gets taken advantage of physically.

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri Episode 6 Impressions

The show keeps getting better with every episode.
The frustrations of the lack of communication between characters in the early episodes continues to diminish as the characters begin to trust one another.
I never blamed Mumei for acting the way she did with other characters because she was probably raised differently.
With each episode Mumei seems to become more human which is ironic considering she could turn into a Kabane.
I hope we soon discover who Mumei's master is.
Was Mumei's group some sort of black ops special unit against the kabane, which is why no one has heard of the Kabanari?
I thought Mumei was bitten by a Kabane and became a Kabanari, but in the episode she said she was never bitten.
Therefore I wonder if experiments were done to her, given some injections in order to artificially become half Kabane.
Are there differences between people who get bitten and people who artificially become a kabanari?
Would people who got bitten be stronger because they have a more direct strain?
What I am loving the most is the action.
The action is always the best when they are fighting on top of the train.
The speed of the train, the fast moving background, always makes the action feel more fast paced.
Also the animation is so smooth in conjunction with the continues change in camera angle. It's jaw dropping.
In one scene one of the trams of the train fell down a cliff.
What was in that tram? People? Supplies?
At the end of the series will only the head of the train be left?
Lastly I guess Ikoma killed all of the Kabane otherwise Mumei would have found them feasting on his body.
Ikoma said they bit into his stomach or something.
I do hope to have one scene where he's inner organs like intestines are falling out of his body like in the walking dead and him continue to fight.
That would be graphic, maybe too graphic, but I think it would be pretty awesome.