I was a bit out of it last week. I was just exhausted for no apparent reason. I had no other symptoms but I wanted to go to bed at like 6 pm on some evenings. I feel much better now. In fact, I felt really great today all day. This might have something to do with the fairly optimistic post you guys are about to read.
Oh wow, talk about some expectation settings there…
How about you Scott? How have you been?
Hi Irina, I’ve been pretty alright for the most part. The weeks have been lighter then usual (work/productive) wise, so I feel just happy to have some free time that I just fill with my own plots. Otherwise, the temperature has been getting colder and colder in the mornings. So you know, the usual.
Ok, so do you remember how I mentioned in episode 1 that the bad guys were sort of flat and lacking in nuance? Well, I was wrong, they are in fact one dimensional, not two! They are baddie, bad evil, not nice mcnasties. At least all Japanese are pretty much pure angels so it balances out!
But you know what, I don’t actually mind how one-note the characterization is. I mean, it’s not engaging or you know… good writing. But there is something endearing in how naive it all comes off. Granted I do tend to be rather indulgent when it comes to anime. What are your thoughts on it Scott?
Oh, I wish I didn’t feel as cynical about it. I don’t mind characters being somewhat one dimensional in the way they act and I absolutely do feel like these governors had a point with showing some cruelty with the overall leader of that Asian group dismissing that governor afterwards. My mind keeps asking if that firing was performative or actually how that leader feels towards the people they control for a different goal.
My mind keeps pushing for “there is complexity to this” then I think there is, but then I could be completely wrong. As a person living in 2021, I do believe that some real people can be cartoon evil because we’ve seen it on television and otherwise. One dimensional people do exist it seems. I am sorry that I brought my own cynicism to this, but that is just where I am right now mentally.
Another thing I couldn’t help but notice is that Amou is very bad at being a terrorist. I guess that’s a compliment when you think about it. But man, he sure got lucky this week. He’s strolling around town with a talking earring and asking about a known terrorist while the authorities have gone mad with power and have no qualms about arresting and executing civilians at the drop of a hat.
I mean is the Japanese weren’t all angels, then Amou telling a room filled with strangers all about Gai could potentially backfire.,,
He kind of has to go back to the resistance. If anything., we now have proof that he’s just not going to last too long on his own! Am I not giving him enough credit?
Irina, I think that not being great at being a terrorist is a quality that most people would feel good about. That being said, yeah. Amou did run into some good people. Especially since Mr. Nose did seem pretty sketchy at first until it was proven otherwise. I suppose that these people he ran into just believe in people and are actually nice. I think you got this one completely right here :).
In that scenario, I think I would have to point out that Gai outed himself first so he felt pretty confident in letting himself talk and threaten these people. Especially since Gai really did look into the files on each people. I am assuming that Gai at least had an idea who he was outing himself too.
At the moment, Gai really does like he knows everything and is in very much control of every scenario he is in that is not a fight. I wonder if there will be a time where that doesn’t happn soon.
Despite how it may sound up until now, I actually quite liked this episode. Bringing the conflict back down to the personal level and showing how it affects the lives of average folks was something the series really needed to do since they sort of skipped over that part in the beginning.
And the fact the characters were almost caricatures at this point, worked in the episode’s favour. I didn’t really need tons of background or development on these folks. I know exactly who to root for and who to hate. It was really clear. And it made a little story like this, very easy to follow. What do you think Scott?
Yeah, I agree with you too in just having a general motivation with people is a great way to get a feeling for what this show is going for. Especially when giving Amou a reason to fight. I also feel like simplicity allows content to be much more relatable. Mainly because complex characters with lots of motivations sometimes can alienate people. In some ways.
This fit a bit into what we discussed last week with having Amou go around Japan a bit more and meet people so we see the reason why Amou would fight for the freedom of his country. So AMAIM circled back in a way for it to make sense for the story to move forward.
Now I realize that I had some spicy takes on Mechs with swords last time but Mechs with axes? Now that’s amazing. All mechs should have axes. I just love the variety of giant mech arsenal readily available in this show. I hope they have at least one fight armed with giant flamethrowers.
What would you like to see?
I feel weird for saying it, but I would love to see the Chinese or Japanese three-section staff or the sanjiegun/sansetsukon. You know, with the three sticks attached together through chains. I would love to see a mecha handle one of those for once because there is a lot of interesting variability in how they can be used. I would absolutely love to see more axes or anything unusual/insane though. Mecha just don’t use them more often.
All in all, episode 5 was fine. I did enjoy it quite a bit but I can’t objectively call it great. Closer to not bad. But at the same time, I was cheering for the rescue of the town folk. And that’s what you need from an anime.
Irina, I agree. This episode was good, but not great. It did the job that it wanted to by getting us to root for the Japanese people that we just met and not the bad guys we just met. I liked the simple but well put together mecha action as well. All straight to the point with not as much complexity as it could have. Works fine to me!