Conflicting Opinions: Devil Survivor 2 – Episode 10

Conflicting Opinions: Devil Survivor 2 - Episode 10

Sometimes when I am looking at Tweets for a certain show I come across a couple that are diametrically opposed in their views. It’s exciting to see this because it creates a point of debate. There are two sides to every story but sometimes one half doesn’t get represented. In Conflicting Opinions, we will be looking at the complete picture. The lines in the battlefield have been drawn and we’re going to figure why exactly both sides have come to war.

Devil Survivor 2 is the perfect show to kick off this article series. While I have shared my disappointment with the series, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad show. It has great music, voice cast and visuals while putting together a logically cohesive and compelling narrative week to week. I can see why people would like it. This week’s tweet exemplefies the opinions of two camps: those who like Devil Survivor 2, and those who do not.

@Nooferdog: That was one of the best #DeSu2 episodes yet. This series has not declined. I am happy.

@appamn: That ending cat really save how terrible the last 3 episodes were. Unfortunately #DeSu2 has been dissapointing

Before we delve into how these two points of view differ, lets see where they agree. They both believe that the show was in some sort of narrative quagmire. There wasn’t much happening that pushed forward the interesting narrative points, such as Ronaldo’s rivalry with Yamato or the relationship between Jungo and Airi. Instead the show wanted to hit the viewer over the head repeatedly with the ideological battle between Yamato and Hibiki.This theme had already been firmly established. There was no need to constantly reiterate the conflict.

Yamato and Hibiki

Rather than building tension it diluted the development of the characters surround the two. Poor Daichi, who was a wimp in the at the beginning of the apocalypse is still the same boy he was even though he has been literally going through hell. That sort of stuff changes a person! You would have expected him to get his balls together by now and taken some charge. Guess not.

The action, which was pretty well done at the start had also began to wane. These scenes were abrupt and the little that was there wasn’t choreographed that well. Combat and demons were the main reason people flocked to Devil Survivor 2 in the first place. It was a shame to see them take a back seat.

Spear of Lugh

For all these faults it’s easy to say that the show was in decline as @Nooferdog pointed out. The question now is whether or not Episode 10 redeemed the series. In some ways it did. The show took some time to develop Io as a character. Everything that was bottled up inside of her finally came out as she explained her insecurities and fears. While these sentiments could be assumed, its great to see her finally come to terms with them. Daichi finally showed some growth as well. His small rebellion against Yamato was shocking yet pleasing. He’s finally becoming a man. Best of all, the action was back up to snuff. Seeing demons duke it out, spilling their guts, is quite satisfying.

But where did the episode go wrong? Even when it focused on the relationship of Io and Hibiki, it fell back on the narrative of Yamato and the hero. The narrative has hinted that it’s bit more complex than that, considering that have yet to face Polaris, who is technically God. It would make more sense if that sort of being was a more pressing issue than philosophical complexities our heroes face. The show should take some time to build up humanities battle with Polaris, not just Hibiki’s battle with Yamato.

Daichi Fights!

Worse was the scene between Hibiki and Io… It was incredibly cheesy. I’m not too big on heavy handed writing and this moment has pretentious smeared all over it. While I’m glad to see the two get closer, I wish it was done in a much more natural way. Instead of being a very intimate and touching, the few minutes the two spend in the light is a tad bit comical. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the intent.

What’s the final verdict? Was Devil Survivor 2 redeemed by it’s latest entry? The answer of course is a lot more complex than just saying yes or no. This show is trying to build both character and narrative depth and it’s taking steps in the right direction. It hasn’t quite reached their yet but has given us hope that while this might become a good, if not great, show.

Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko Weekly Update – Episode 8

hentai ouji to warawanai neko 8 - 24

After a great episode last week, Henneko takes a step back as it introduces a new character alongside the troubles she brings to our main casts.

A super cute, pink haired girl named Emanuella Pollarola enters the casts and brings with her a small version of the cat statue. Last week, I assumed that she’s the new version of Azuki Azusa since she wished to change herself. But I was proven wrong. Anyway, the very first time I saw her I already felt like she’d only bring trouble to the beautiful start of Youto and Tsukiko’s “closer” relationship.  Tsukiko feels the same way towards her as she becomes a new rival towards Youto’s muffled attention.

hentai ouji to warawanai neko 8 - 12

I would love to study in here

She’s been able to wish for anything at her own convenience from cat statue. The first was to establish her existence as Ponta’s little sister. The second one made Youto a cool prince in the eyes of the whole student body. The third was an Italian inspired school and to change the school’s uniform into swimsuits. It seems like she’s been longing for a “crazy fun” high school life for a long time and Youto’s definition of enjoyment perfectly suits her tastes.

Emi’s identity and motives are still a mystery for all of us. However, we are hinted that she’s somewhat related to Azuki’s wish because she immediately runs off the moment she sees her.

hentai ouji to warawanai neko 8 - 21

Speaking of Azuki’s wish, I wonder what really happened. She’s been stalking Youto a lot lately and makes the greatest effort to avoid him. Anyway, it seems like she’s the only one who’s not affected by Emi’s wishes.

The plot is becoming more confusing with all the wish-granting and it’s adding up to the mystery of the show. Trying to figure out who wished what or something like that.

Of course as a viewer, we have the advantage to know who the real culprit is. But let’s try to put ourselves in our characters’ shoes. Youto doesn’t remember Emi having the wish. Tsukiko blames Youto about the matter because he’s the one benefiting the most. Tsukushi somehow blames herself because she once wanted to go to Italy.

hentai ouji to warawanai neko 8 - 25

Let’s not forget Tsukiko’s emotionless “GRRR” and “Kyaaah”

Anyway , I’m quite confused by Youto and Tsukiko’s relationship. They’ve been flirting with one another. I don’t know but they’re like a couple but they aren’t. Unfortunately, Tsukiko doesn’t believe Youto this time. She doesn’t trust him about this whole Swimsuit Instrumentality Project.

Of all the people, Tsukiko’s the one I expected to believe in him but instead, it’s Tsukushi who helps Youto. Plus points to her! She is just so funny and I’m loving her more and more as the show goes on. I mean, she’s so stupid and I never get tired of her Youto’s Little Brother Thingy. All of her angst from the first episode is gone and replaced by a hell of a lot of cuteness. Oh, the vice captain deserves some mention as well. Her strong personality and unique vocabulary never ceases to amuse me. I believe that she deserves more screen time.

Henneko is just so adorable. The eye candy visuals are noteworthy, kudos to JC Staff, and the script is just so funny. Although the plot is becoming a little bit convoluted, I have faith that this show will handle things well. Until next week!

What are your opinions about this episode?

Hype Machine: Shingeki no Kyojin – Episode 9

Hype Machine: Shingeki no Kyojin - Episode 9

Is Eren a human? Or is he a Titan? There really doesn’t seem to be any answer. Maybe he is both! Oh what a lovely logical compromise that would be. If Eren thought he had the odds stacked against him before, he has to now face the wrath of those he is trying to protect. What will become of our fantastic trio of heroes? Only time will tell! Until then let’s see what the Twitterverse has to say!

@Ilinox: omfg Eren… I haven’t said this enough. THE ULTIMATE BADASS OF BADASSES #shingeki

Eren is truly a badass. He not only survived the stomach of a Titan, he took a cannon in face for his friends. I wonder if Chuck Norris would do the same.

@SashaBlaus: everyone needs to have a #shingeki icon uwu

I don’t take anything from Sasha Blaus’ Twitter seriously. Though if she wants to make me a Twitter icon, I would be more than happy to accept.

‏@MiroLaaksonen: I have a feeling that Levi and Eren will get along quite well 😛 #Shingeki

I think Levi is a fantastically balanced character. As much as he hates the Titans, he has compassion for his fellow humans. At first blush, he seems like the type that would be cold toward the weak because he’s so strong himself. But in fact he’s the exact opposite. He believes his strength is an onus of responsibility to those around him. Looks like he’ll be a fantastic leader and a man that has much to teach to both the young Mikasa and Eren. Maybe Armin could glean a thing or two from him.

‏@ryjonka: IDKY I hate Bertholt so much. Get the hell out of here. #shingeki

It’s Bertholt’s voice! I mean he gets all whiny when he’s either nervous or being a dick. He also yells treason for no apparent reason. Who died and made him king. From a narrative perspective he’s important though. He’s a personification of humanity’s fear. His actions, while selfish, represent the anguish everyone feels in the face of the Titans. He’s usually powerless but will take an easy victory to allieve some of his terror.

@ErosThanatus: Another excellent episode! They always know how to end them, too. Need mooore. #shingeki

Seeing the flesh melted off Eren’s Titan face isn’t really that pleasing. I don’t need more of that, thank you very much.

@Game8910: AHAHAHAHA OH GOD I LITERALLY JUST BUST OUT LAUGHING! #shingeki

What the hell is this person laughing at? Hmm… must have a terribly sick sense of humor.

Oh my the mystery of Eren’s key finally comes to the forefront. What exactly is locked in that basement? Could it save humanity? What I find Shingeki no Kyojin is exceptionally good at doing is hitting you with a barrage of different emotions that compel you as a viewer to watch the show. Some weeks it might be the sadness of melodrama, others it might be the thrill of action, this week it was the intrigue of mystery. This eclectic mix of genres have been seamlessly blended together over the course of this series.

I’m glad that this show has another cour to go. It’s been an exciting and fun run even though the gore has been a bit too much sometime. But hey not everything can perfectly fit your tastes right?

The Problem With Adaptations for Fans: Devil Survivor 2 – Episode 9

The Problem With Adaptations for Fans: Devil Survivor 2 - Episode 9

I was disappointed after watching the latest episode of Devil Survivor 2. How could they simplify the battle with Alioth down to literally 5 minutes of exposition. In the game, theres a massive battle with the beast that trumps any of the boss battles up until that point. In the show, he just merely falls atop a city and disappears into the hollows of the narrative. I’m not mad at the show. No, I’m angered by the circumstances wherein great source material gets slighted.

Anime is an expensive business. That’s why we see studios lean more towards adaptations rather than original intellectual properties. It’s safer that way. These franchises have established fan bases that they can tap into. If their show fails to attract the mass audience, it’s this fan base that’s a fail safe. They’re the ones that might still buy the Blu-Rays regardless of how terrible or niche the show is. It’s a way of hedging their bets and protecting their studio. I could go on to talk about how this practice is detrimental to the medium as a whole, but that’s a discussion for another time. Instead I want to look at why these adaptations sometimes fail because of the risks associated with producing a series.

For every frame that a studio produces, there needs to be an animator, a director, a writer, a voice actor, a colorist, an editor and an intern that needs to be paid. That’s not including the licensing fees, the benefits and the bills that need to be accounted for as well. When you begin adding all these items up, you can begin to see how costly a show can become. Its because of these expenses that studios need to consider how many episodes of a show they can green light.

Pasputa

Recently the trend has been to produce only a single cour, or eleven to thirteen episodes. It allows a series to be safely nestled into a single season, and lets the studio pursue other attractive projects for the following one. If a show is successful, a second season can be produced at a later time. If it fails, then it can just be lost to the sands of time. Sadly because of this, shows that often end on cliffhangers never get resolved because they weren’t profitable projects (Here’s looking at you Skip Beat!).

But what if the studio is working on something slightly niche. The risk on these shows is substantially higher, even though there is an established fanbase, they might reject the project. Show runners often go into a project like this with the mindset that they only have a single cour to tell their stories, regardless of how massive the source material is. It causes them to cut corners to try and stuff in a great narrative into clothes a bit to small for it. That’s when problems of pacing begin to arise, as script writers begin to cut corners all over the place to make sure the audience at least gets a gist of the story.

Often times because of all the cutting and pasting, important parts of the original materials get lost in translation, such as the action in Devil Survivor 2 or the deep character development in Gantz. At all moments these shows beg for a bit more time, time they won’t get.

It makes me wonder if we as an Anime audience are better off if these sort of adaptation don’t get made. Fans of the original franchise become deeply disappointed, while the uninitiated are left with a soggy experience akin to wet bread. It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone. Maybe studios should realize that if they’re not willing to go all in with a particular franchise, rather than scorning those that love it, they could try and create new shows to help create new audiences. I’m not one of those fancy corporate executives in a monkey suit, so what do I know, right? But until my prayers are answered I can just hope the last few episodes of Devil Survivor 2 make up for the nine episodes of mediocrity.

Two Sides of the Same Coin: Red Data Girl – Episode 9

Two Sides of the Same Coin: Red Data Girl - Episode 9

Izumiko has two sides to her, whether she likes it or not. One side is the shy high schooler thats learning to make friends. The other is a destructive goddess from another era. For Miyuki, a boy unsure of his feelings for the girl in his life, he can’t reconcile these two halves. The Himegami and Izumiko are two different people, the former that he wants to avoid, and the latter he wants to protect.

What’s funny is that this situation isn’t so alien to me. While the situation in the show is clearly fictional, its a good metaphor for some of the problems I faced when tackling young love. I was fifteen and stupid, and any girl that would show me a smile was instantly my wife to be 10 years down the line. But one smile in particular caught my attention.

Laila, was in 9th grade, and a year younger than me, but she had a charisma that could swallow a room. The world seemed to revolve around her, and she thrived in the spot light. Honestly you couldn’t help but stare at how elegant she was in its glare. One day I decided to take a break from my ogling and gather my balls together and ask her out. I wasn’t holding out for any answer in particular, but if I never tried I wouldn’t get anywhere right?

She said yes. I was ecstatic that I’d be going on a date with the kind and lovely Laila. It was a dream come true! Our first date went perfect. We had a quick dinner at a pizza parlor before going to a movie. I’m not sure what was in theaters at the time… Might have been The Matrix. After driving her home, I asked her if she’d like to go somewhere next week. She leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek before nodding her head and slipping out of the car. Her demure smile danced on the back of the sheep I was counting to try and fall asleep that night.

The next week rolled along, and this time I decided to take her to a formal dinner. We ordered our food. Fifteen minutes tumbled by before our food came to the table. It didn’t seem like a long time to wait for a nice meal, but Laila had a differing opinion. She unleashed the fury of a thousand scorned gods on that poor waiter. He shook so much I thought his vest was about to skitter off in fear. We got a free desert out of it which still elected smug looks from my date.

The third and fourth dates would roll by, and each time I witnessed a shouting exhibition like none other. I felt bad for the poor souls that were caught in the maelstrom of her fury. Was this the same girl from school? The sad answer to that question was yes. If I was going to be with her, I had to accept both halves, the angel and the devil, the good and the bad.

I didn’t exactly have the courage to. I began to avoid her like the plague after our fourth outing. She scared the living crap out of me to say the least. Miyuki is in the same boat as I was, having to accept a certain aspect of someone if they want to be with them. While his situation might be a bit more extreme than mine, his problem is comparable at least. There is some aspect of the person he’s fond of that he dislikes. It’s the part of Izumiko that alienates her from him, much like Laila’s anger did to me. Time will tell if he can live with Izumiko’s transformations, or be frightened away by them. Hopefully he’s a braver man than me.