For the tenth week of the winter games, we saw characters showing off their wood, drunk girls looking pretty sober and a floating castle. Seriously, this was a fun week. Let’s read on.
This week’s episode of Grancrest now prominently features the chess board of carnage. None of the main players are killed though, but the pawns are on the move and the back pieces are scrambling as well. Unfortunately, the story has gone heavy exposition dumping and fast pacing once more. It glossed through a lot of important moments, and selectively chose some battles to feature. It looks the chessboard of carnage is huge, and the anime is having a tough time trying to show its entirety. Instead, we get bits and piece of random battles scattered throughout the board. I guess the main point of this episode is to establish the status quo of the war. Marinne has invaded Union territory, and she has taken up base in one area. She hasn’t decided to make her next move, and used her pawns to attack first. Villar is on the offensive though, and he gathers his allies to help with the fight. Off screen, Lassic is fighting with some dude. Theo is also a non-component of this episode, since his fight with another lord is given very little focus. He apparently took a stand with a very small group, but his people joined him and he was able to turn the battle to his favor. This is all happening off screen though, and it was only delivered through dialogue by Siluca. I guess Theo, and Lassic, are not important chess pieces for now. The anime decided to introduce new chess pieces though.
The episode focused heavily on three new characters, and I don’t remember their name. One guy is named Solon, who reminds me of Lassic, and the other guy is Villar’s brother, apparently. The other one is a queen, and she wanted her “palace” set out into the sea. It must be a really grand ship to be called a palace or maybe she’s just the flamboyant character that likes to name stuff with whatever name she prefers. I mean, it’s not like….
Yup, it’s a gawd damn palace set out at sea, alright. This is pretty epic. I love the idea of having a floating castle. I don’t want to overthink it though, because it is stupid in hindsight. I’m getting a Suikoden 4 flashback with this one, but this is more epic than the castle in that game. This is a very strong ally for Villar, so Marinne will need some tricks up her sleeves to fight him head on. Villar certainly has a lot of them, including a giant mirror that fires like a laser.
Again, epic. I hope it returns again, because that damn thing is just unnecessarily awesome. When Milza charged with his fleet, I actually thought Villar’s end is near, but nope, Villar is a tough cookie. Milza is even impressed while his army is being decimated. I hope he realize that Villar does have a big bite, but he only shows it when he’s cornered. Speaking of Milza, the guy is going for the “most kills in one lifetime” trophy as he charges towards the enemy with just his Mage Mashers. I don’t know what his weapon is, but it looks cool. Even though Villar is putting up a fight, Milza doesn’t seem to be fazed. He seems to just enjoy attacking and attacking even if his comrades die behind him. The guy is also pretty simple compared to a guy like Villar. While Milza prefers getting his hands stained, he lacks the prowess to take on Villar. I’m still sure he’ll kill our favorite mama’s boy, but it’s his brawns and someone else’s brains that’ll get the job done. I’m even willing to bet that the red head will betray Villar.
Yeah, she came back. Villar’s dance partner warns him of Milza’s heel turn but I don’t trust her. If she was opposed to Milza then she would’ve been dead by now. I’m guessing that she partnered up with the devil, and it’s revealed that she actually loves Dartania more than Villar. Whatever the case, the chessboard of carnage is getting interesting. Post credit, it is also hinted that Theo might take up the mantle for the Union with how he managed to band people together with his awesome diplomacy, or something. The pacing might be too fast, but the story is getting more intense. It’s weird that marine sets her sight to Villar when she intended to attack Alexis in previous episodes. I guess we’re past all that, and that’s fine. Something big is about to happen in the next episode, and I can’t wait to see it happen.
Notable Characters in the episode
There are a lot of awesome characters in this episode, starting with this unnamed Lord that took on Milza despite knowing he’ll die. He lit his boat on fire hoping to trap Milza in it, and he tried to fight him hoping to buy some time for his allies and for the boat to be an inescapable fire cage. Milza escaped with ease though, but I think it’s because the unnamed lord didn’t buy enough time. Whatever the case, I’ll honor his actions by mentioning it here. May you fatten the fish of the sea with your dead body, you unnamed hero.
Going unconventional one more time, I’d also like to praise the unnecessarily awesome giant mirror laser. Who thought that a giant mirror laser is the perfect weapon for a fantasy story like this? Gawd almight, it was even manned by a mage. You couldn’t just let her conjure up a firestorm or something. The author really went, “and then a giant mirror fired a laser!!!!” I will not be surprised to see a mecha in this anime. Why the hell not? It already has vampires, were wolves and summoned cats. Why not add more stuff to this burrito?
Solon had an awesome speech about heroes not dying in battle, and then immediately dying in the same episode. I guess he wasn’t a hero, but I like him. We need more characters like him, who welcomes death with open arms. He was outnumbered in his campaign, but he still decided to take out as many as he can. I even love how the entire Solon army raised a glass to their victory and laughed at the thought of death. It was so awesome, and I think his exit would’ve been more awesome if we really took time to spread out the events of the episode. He saved Villar’s brother from a slaughter, so if we explored the previous battle, the knights-of-arms that killed him, and the way he died fighting then I’m sure Solon would’ve had more impact. I bet he had, like, five chapters dedicated just for him in the LN.
Villar and Milza had an awesome presence in this episode as well. Milza showed off his brawn while Villar showed off his brains. I love the contrast of their roles, and I can’t wait to see them clash. Milza also toppled the previous ruler, his dad, but it’s a shame it was glossed over. Given his bloodlust, I won’t be surprised to see him kill Marinne when he realized he is the only one that deserves to rule the continent. Villar won’t go down without a fight though, so after the pawns had their moment in this episode, I’m sure back pieces will now strut their stuff in this chess board of carnage.
Plot Related: Someone close to Villar will betray him
Character Related: The mirror will be used against the floating palace
The episode of Yuru Camp continued the events of last week’s. After sleeping late in that hot spring place, we now see Rin racing to her camp site. The sun actually set, and that’s actually a very scary setup for a girl her age. I don’t care how much you want to go camping, danger happens at night. In fact, the entire zen moment of Rin camping isn’t that effective for me. She was alone in an isolated place where no one can hear her scream. I don’t think that kind of scenario has a happy ending in real life. I dunno, I just didn’t enjoy Rin’s segment in this episode. We already saw the “city lights at night” view so another one isn’t really that impressive. I’d rather see a squirrel chase another squirrel up a tree at night. Yeah, because that’s something the anime hasn’t done before.
Even her eating segment isn’t really that appetizing. I’d usually get hungry just look at her food, but a meat bun flattened and toasted with butter just feels lazy. I like the fact that I can never cook the dishes in the show, so this one just a bit unsatisfying. I could flatten two meat buns and have jelly in the middle. I do that all the time, so between the dangerous scenario Rin put her life in, the recycled “wow” moment, and the simple food she ate, the zen moments kinda backfired for this episode. I think they’re just saving up the best moments for the last two episodes though. They’re setting up the Christmas camping adventure into a really big deal, so I’m sure the show has one big surprise to give the viewers.
Last week, dog gi- I mean Saito agreed on camping. They actually reached out to Rin, but she refused at first. I think realizing her life is in danger being alone in such a depressing place, Rin later agreed to join them. That’s right, the camping rangers are about to assemble and it’s going to be awesome. They even decided to bring the dog. The next segment of this episode features the Outdoors club boiling tea in school grounds. For a big three pointer on AstralGemini’s part, the drunk substitute teacher did become their club adviser, and she’d be joining in their excursion as well. The rest of the episode is just dialogue done through a lot of texting, these filthy millennials, and the club discussing the stuff they’ll done in the big event. It’s a pretty subpar episode, for me personally, but we are going for a wind down before the last big gasp of the show. I think it’ll happen in the next episode, and it might even be a two parter episode where the show ends with the ED sequence actually relating to the goodbye scene. I am going to miss Nadeshiko.
Best moments in the episode
- The drunk teacher looks cute sober. It’s actually funny because I have the same co-worker who dresses up all clean and cute, but she ends most of her Fridays drinking a lot. This well-kept girl is soon throwing up on the side of the highway while you walk her home because she’s too hysterical and loud to commute home.
- I love the sequence of Nadeshiko slowly realizing the substitute teacher is actually the drunk big sister they met before.
- Seeing the girls huddled up in school grounds boiling tea just looks funny. It’s like they’re a biker gang loitering outside a convenience store.
- Yes Rin-chan, chase after that tent, you adorable little f*cker, you.
- One for all, hole in one!!!!! If there’s one thing I really like about this episode, it’s the voice acting. Nadeshiko and Aoi-chan’s voice really stood out for me. Yumuri Hanamori has a really adorable voice. I hope she gets more lead roles in the future. Meanwhile, Aki Toyasaki’s understated performance is both powerful and very well emphasized. The power of a veteran voice actor can never be underestimated. It reminds me of the time I had goosebumps when I heard Rei Ayanami’s VA in Shouwa Genroku Rakugo, since this voice enchanted and bewitched an entire generation.
- The whole “texting to deliver dialogue and exposition” is something I both like and dislike. While taking through text and email is the norm now, I think it’s just lazy storytelling on the part of the director. After all, just flash the text in the screen and let the VAs do their work. Never mind the part that this is a visual medium that features visual storytelling. Well, ok, yes, text on screen can be some sort of a visual storytelling device, but it’s a lazy one. At least give us the girl’s reaction when they read the text to highlight the story properly. Intercutting it with some images of Rin’s drive just feels like wasted potential for a show that boasts amazing animation and visuals. I guess effort only goes to food scenes. Its fine, I guess.
Plot Related: Drunk Girl’s brother will appear again
Character Related: Drunk Girl will try not drink, but will drink anyways
I thought this entire episode of Sanrio Rangers would be about a contrived story about the Uke leaving the group, but, yeah, it happened, but nope, it wasn’t the only thing in this episode. A lot of the episode implied character development which actually aggravates me. Like, really, the characters changed and grew while being in the Sanrio Rangers. At what point did we see this growth? When they were eating curry? When we saw the president hugs his dog? When they bought that sanrio mirror with their favorite mascot? When they went to puroland together? Really? Well, good for them to be able to grow as characters OFFSCREEN because this anime is certainly doing the lazy old tradition of telling and not showing. It’s not like it can show anything, I mean, the animation sucks. For a while now, characters just talk in a certain pose or just blandly standing. Hey, I’m not expecting Toei to give five different poses when a character talk, like when KyoAni shows off, but you gotta at least try to make sure the audience doesn’t catch your laziness. Gawd almight, I can’t wait to finish this anime.
But anyways, Uke is apparently going to London because his family wants to move there. This conflict is reserved for the next episode, I think, because the show is trying to ruin my prediction game. While that little conflict hangs over the characters head, we saw dialogue of how the characters have grown. In fact, we get several scenes of different characters surprised at the growth of the Sanrio Rangers. But I don’t want to talk about that. Instead, here is the president holding wood:
I feel like they’re doing it on purpose, at this point. Another sign of the anime f*cking with my prediction is during the outro scene where Kouta’s friend is now clothed normally. Really, you left your ACBC shirt at home? F*ck this sh*t. A lot of things happen OFFSCREEN apparently, because there is now progress with the musical. They’ve raised the funds, bought the materials for props, made a partial story and now Kouta is working on the songs. Gee, I wish we could’ve seen those minor scenes so the show can build up its musical. I mean, if you’re so proud of your character growth then why not show it, instead of letting one-off characters point it out. I’m sorry, this is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t want you to tell me that the president has become a laidback cool person, I want you to f*cking show me. Because it is easy to just say things, but showing it is a lot harder. I mean, if we trust the visuals then the president is implied to be a hardcore Seme.
The episode ends with Kouta working too hard. I think that’ll be issue for the next episode while we also reveal the Uke leaving for London. I think we’ll get another forced drama here and there, hopefully some hugging, hopefully some frisky petting but that’s just me. I do love seeing little sister again, and she does share my sentiment for the show:
Plot Related: The family will allow Uke to stay
Character Related: Character will visit Kouta at home
I posted late, because of real life stuff. I’m also scraping the bottom being dead last in this marathon. With only two more episodes left, gawd damn, I better start bracing for the worst. Read the other bloggers gloat in their weekly review.
Irina’s post HERE, HERE and HERE
Leap’s post HERE
and AstralGemini’s post HERE
Check HERE for my collab with Keiko. After the Rain is starting to really blossom, and I really enjoyed some off tangeant conspiracy theories about Kondo’s child and how he was back in college. Manga readers, does my tinfoil hat conspiracies have any merit? Check it out and enjoy how off base I am.
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