Gi(a)rlish Number – 04

gn41

Now that she’s preparing for voice roles and singing like a professional should, Chitose gets way ahead of herself in a daydream where she, not Momoka or Kazuha, is the top star beloved by all whose fans wear robes that say “Chitose Is Life.” In reality, she still has a very long way to go, but as her brother suspected, her guts are helping to carry her along, making up for her lack of talent.

gn42

The anime she’s working on is seemingly doomed, as the first episode preview is replaced with a slightly altered repeat of the PV, as the first episode is nowhere near done and no one seems to be in a hurry to finish it. This ain’t KyoAni, folks. Though she’s nervous, Chitose is still able to wrangle the understandably frustrated crowd with her charms, as the five cast members sing the long version of the theme song.

gn43

It goes pretty well, but by the time the awful first episode actually airs, even Chitose has to struggle to find the good in it: adoring Twitter followers, another sign that she’s “WINNING” at being a seiyu idol. She knows how to be all buddy-buddy with Kuzu-P, but he’s already planning to use her and the others as a tool for recruiting more talent, all of whom will likely be so excited to be working, they won’t feel as Kazuha feels, that this all feels very stupid.

16rating_7

Advertisements

Hibike! Euphonium 2 – 05

hib251

One thing that makes Euph such a joy to watch is that it isn’t only the musical performances that are beautifully animated with the utmost attention to detail, it’s everything.

Hazuki doesn’t just grab hold of the handle on the train, you see the specific angle of her Chuck Taylors as she’s doing so, then looks out the window at the sights going by. Something mundane, like riding a train, is elevated to something special.

hib252

So too is Kumiko when she starts to get scared about the oncoming Kansai Competition, even though we learn neither she nor the others had any reason to fear. They put everything into preparing for a twelve-minute piece, and it pays off big.

hib253

Asuka, mostly keeping to herself unless someone like Kumiko or Nozomi approached her, stands up before the president to say some words that need to be said, about how she isn’t going to be satisfied having simply made it to where they are; she wants to win and move on to the nationals. Now they’re one step closer.

hib254

If mundane things are wonderfully rendered in Euph, then the musical performances are simply that much more impressive. Every little clink of the instruments before the music starts, the teast of Taki-sensei raising his hands, then cutting to the sound of cicadas outside, only to bring us back into the performance.

The bold, brash, and challenging-sounding piece they play draws us in; the band plays as well as they ever have. Everyone knows their role and they execute with near perfection. Kumiko plays to the level Taki expected; Reina, playing for her and not Taki, knocks it out of the park with the trumpet. And Mizore’s oboe solo is full of grace and emotion, now that she’s no longer lamenting Nozomi.

hib255

There’s a bit of suspense after the credits when the schools and their scores are announced, but I never for one second believed Kitauji would get anything less than Gold and to advance onward. I mean, they simply brought it with that performance.

Like Kazuki backstage, I couldn’t help but pray no big mistakes were made, and none were. As a result, the Nationals are now in view on the horizon, and it’s great to see the release of tension once they know it is. Kitauji is for real, but it only gets tougher from here.

16rating_10

To Be Hero – 05

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-9-30-45-am

“I’m a superhero, y’know? What’s with this treatment??” – Old Man

The Gist: Old Man flashbacks show us how the stress of his career slowly ate away his marriage and turned him from a loving husband to an empty womanizer. Returning to the present to find Prince has been choking him all night, we get a string of potty-humor before Min-chan arrives in need of a plumber.

The tub faucet is leaking and, as an extension of their rivalry, Old Man and Prince compete to fix it. Prince actually tries to drink the whole water supply, while Old Man just uses plumber’s tape, which Min-chan identifies as a lazy fix like her own father would make…

It’s a whistful experience for Old Man. Looping back, this leak was the turning point in his marriage — when he stopped caring — and Min-chan was right there in the tub when it happened. This causes Old Man to reveal his family connection to Prince, which seems like a bad idea but Prince has already transitioned to a quasi-good guy.

Then Prince’s father sends more aliens after him, one of which appears to be standing right outside the apartment…

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-9-38-30-am

“This guy’s quite good at Japanese even though he’s an alien…” – Old Man

Verdict: The looping backstory element was nicely done, with decent emotional resonance. Some of the humor was good too, usually Old Man’s responses to the absurd world around him.

However, Perv’s ‘naughty’ jokes are bland, and the obvious attempts to make non-sexual scenes look like sex scenes don’t add anything to the show. I’m not sure why it’s supposed to be funny to see Prince holding the tub faucet down while Old Man tighten’s the washers, with water ‘jacking’ over his face? I’m not sure why a younger viewer would want to watch the non-naughty parts of the show?

16rating_7