One Room – 01 (First Impressions)

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One Room is a four-minute, first-person perspective, single-speaker anime. It may eventually turn into a dating sim, or may get dark, or it may continue to be a string of monologues each week.

This week featured Hanasaka Yui, a girl who just moved into the apartment next to ‘us.’ She’s unremarkable but pleasant, and her gestures a subtle and varied. Along with the camera, that sort of wanders around each scene, and the broad color range, the show has an atmospheric feel.

It’s probably not worth your time, though, because ‘the viewer‘ is a characterless camera, who occasionally looks at Yui’s chest. ‘We‘ offer to tutor Yui, who wants to get into a good school, and coerce her into our bedroom for study, which all feels creepy. Yui’s body language seems to agree.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in being projected into the body of a creeper, let alone a rapist…

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Anitore! XX – 01 (First Impressions)

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The Gist: 5 generic girl-types in skimpy clothes prance around talking to the viewer, who doesn’t talk back. A mouse digs into one girls boobs, another girl does leg splits in front of us, there’s a 8th grade syndromer, and a clutz with big boobs and glasses. Also, a white haired girl on a mover board.

While the first person perspective participatory role of the viewer is interesting, there’s nothing novel about Anitore! XX. It’s just tame ecchi with blushing girls showing their stomaches and making cute noises. It’s not even clear what the plot is from the episode, since no one bothers to explain what is going on and there’s no twist or reveal.

While the art style is serviceable, and the angles are actually creative, you have so many cuter or raunchier shows available. Add on that this is a short format (4 minute run length) show and there is no reason to expect anything to develop during the season either.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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We wrote a review of the first HG film, so there was precedent to write one for the second.

“Moves and countermoves”, remarks the hilariously-named head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in the second installment of the Hunger Games film series, Catching Fire, suggesting and elegant and ultimately more effective fate for Katniss Everdeen as punishment for her act of defiance against the Capitol and President Snow in particular.

We’re reminded of the last episode of Valvrave, in which the Magius-infused Council of a Hundred and One fought a PR battle against a younger and less experienced foe. New JIOR lost and lost spectacularly. Considering the power Snow and the Capitol possess, you’d think arranging a similar frame-job for Katniss would be child’s play.

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In fact, both the wildly successful Catching Fire ($670 million-plus as of writing this) and its wildly successful predecessor hinge on the audience’s ability to believe that Katniss has a Snow-ball’s chance in hell against the oppressive regime, especially after Poison-Berrygate. On the whole, they have, as did we. The districts are a tinderbox; Snow daren’t make any overt moves against Katniss lest the explode.

Unlike the Magius’ near total-victory on Valvrave last week in turning New JIOR into a globally-loathed nation of immortal monsters, Snow and Heavensbee’s efforts to cast Katniss as “one of them”—uncaring of the poorer districts and thus undeserving of their love—results in far more mixed results, for reasons we won’t go into because of spoilers.

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Like the first HG film, we went into this one having not read the book, and thus without any possibility of being disappointed by the adaptation. But after reading the first book, we’re reasonably certain we wouldn’t have been disappointed anyway. There’s much talk about the film being better than the book it’s based on, if for no other reason than the book’s first-person perspective makes it impossible for us to see what’s going on with Snow and Heavensbee where Katniss isn’t present.

But this was also a more focused, mature, darker film than the last one. The shaky-cam is gone, there’s much more lovely world-building, the fellow tributes are less cartoonish and one-dimensional. And while both films follow similar patterns early on, we were shocked and delighted by the different turns this film takes. Unlike Star Trek Into Darkness, it broke new ground. It was one of those rare good sequels. Also, you can never go wrong with Jena Malone.