A thoughtful response to current anime.

Fall 2012 Episode 5 Rankings

7: Psycho-Pass

Snitches get stitches.

The metaphor of the police as vampires doesn’t work in this futuristic dystopia, because they don’t even wait to be invited in.

The police hunt down the internet personality serial killer. This episode tried to seem deep by namechecking authors and philosophers, but in the end the villain and the shadowy mastermind behind him were just too silly for me to take seriously. I guess the whole premise of the show is that crime is a mental illness, so we should expect the criminals to be freakin’ loopy, but I have a really bad feeling that they’re going to make that shadowy mastermind a recurring villain and it’s going to wreck the show.  Also, it just felt really generic in terms of the plot and setting elements, like it was just another cop show.  The reveal about Kougami’s past at the end was interesting, but it’s not worth sitting through 20 minutes of Law and Order: Thought Crimes Unit for the hope of thirty seconds of plot advancement at the end. (DOWN 4)

6: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

Has Japan not invented crippling student debt yet?

Nanami moves into Sakurasou. This episode focused heavily on the dumb tsundere childhood friend character. Her dumbness is kind of cute when it pushes her to overwork herself (keep pushing yourself! youth is a time to be a hero!), but it’s less cute when it causes “hilarious” misunderstandings that waste minutes of the episode on a tired cliched unfunny farce. And it’s much less cute when those misunderstandings cause her to physically abuse poor Sorata! I like tsunderes as much as the next guy, but please don’t punch your romantic interest in the face. I think this is a good general rule for everyone to follow in almost every situation. I did appreciate though how Sorata got owned by the programmer guy for his half-assed game design proposal.  He doesn’t really have a path in life any more than he used to, and the sooner people shove this in his face the better off he will be. (DOWN 2)

5: Hayate no Gotoku 3

Look forward to the Sun Tzu Anime blog kickstarter!

Various ne’er-do-wells try to scam a free meal out of Hayate. OK, so the “anime original story” thing  they were touting when this show was announced was a total lie. This episode’s story was once again taken directly from the manga, with the anime original character artlessly shoehorned in.  The story they adapted was better in the manga, I think, and not amazingly great there. Katsura-sensei is sort of a mediocre character whose main value is in her interactions with better characters, but compared to the nun character she’s great. They joked in the opening bit about how nobody would remember the nun because she was such a pointless character, but man, I wasn’t laughing.  Who likes the nun?  The sooner she gets written out of the story the better.   The parts with Hinagiku and Hayate, at least, were pretty good.  Although Hinagiku’s character design is still bugging me.  (NO CHANGE)

4: Busou Shinki

This whole episode is a cautionary tale about what happens when consumer electronics violate the Principle of Least Surprise.

Riding the rails like robo-hobos.

The Master accidentally leaves the Shinki behind when he goes on vacation, so they travel across Japan to meet him.   Beach episodes are usually pretty boring, so I was pleasantly surprised that this didn’t turn out to be one. It’s hard to retell The Incredible Journey in a single episode and still leave time for jokes, but it worked out pretty well. They even sneaked some beach episode action in at the beginning and end! Which was at least funny because of the way they kept talking about Bikini Armor, which is an inherently funny idea. (UP 3)

3: Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai Yo Ne

For an editor, plagiarism is an even greater sin than incest.

Akito’s editor suspects that his stories of incestuous romance may be drawn from his own life.  I liked most of this episode. In particular, the bit with Akito’s editor trying clumsily to seduce him was hilarious, especially Akito’s justification for why he’s not in love with his sister. There is perhaps nothing funnier than people taking hypocrisy seriously. I was rolling in the metaphorical aisles. On the other hand, toward the end of the episode, the sexually-aggressive student council president crossed the line into outright sexual assault, which bothered me a bit. If Akiko hadn’t shown up when she had, things were clearly about to get very bad for Akito. I guess I am not the first one to point out that this is an unusually rapey season of anime, but hey, what the heck is up with that? They even got some victim-blaming in afterward, which was so absurd I think maybe it was meant ironically, but all in all it somewhat soured what was otherwise a really good episode. (UP 3)

2: Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai

That’s the sort of thing a hypocrite would say.

That’s the sort of face a hypocrite would make.

Rikka needs to pass a math test. Rikka was really cute in this episode! I liked her empathetic method of problem solving, although I do not find it as cute in real life when a student comes to me not knowing how to find the probability of rolling a 3 on a pair of dice. There were some worrying developments, though. One was the play for sympathy where they were painting Rikka as fundamentally a lonely girl who needs the Magic/Napping/Summer club because otherwise she has nobody. That clashes with the cute and fun and light tone I like from this show, and hey, she’s got Dekomori, what is she complaining about? Also, maybe it was just because Rikka needed his math skills, but Yuuta seemed way too dominant in their relationship in this episode. The Dark Flame Master is supposed to be the servant of the Tyrant’s Eye, not the other way around.  But hey, there were good jokes and cute girls, what more do you need? (NO CHANGE)

1: Shin Sekai Yori

Hahaha, oops.

Saki and Satoru are captured by ratpeople. Cool episode that showed that this show can be enthralling even when stuff actually happens in it. The scene where Satoru got cockblocked by a rainbow knowledge demon, especially, was amazing. Saki needs to realize that all of our emotions have causes, and that it’s impossible for any impulse, sexual or otherwise, to be “legitimate”, so you may as well get it on like bonobos. The theme of the show right now seems to be “loss of innocence”, so it would fit right in.  Anyway. The weird sort of worship-politics the ratpeople had going on was kinda cool too, but things started moving a little too fast towards the end and I had trouble telling what was going on.  I mean I guess the children don’t know what’s going on either, but I don’t appreciate being left in the dark like that. Definitely a great episode though. (NO CHANGE)

Big Winners: Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Arebe Kankei Nai Yo Ne, Busou Shinki

Big Losers: Psycho-Pass, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo


2 responses to “Fall 2012 Episode 5 Rankings

  1. basilisk128 November 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I feel like I’m actually watching the shows

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