Saturday, June 9, 2007

Recently completed series

(Originally 3 April 2007)

I can't really think of anything in depth to say about the following, or it's been discussed already and I've missed the boat.

Kanon 2006 was extremely well executed. Animation quality, dialogue, scene framing, all thoroughly considered throughout the entire series. OST wasn't very memorable, but it didn't seem needed except for a few key moments where the music was appropriately poignant. Yuuichi for the most part was quite ordinary, not some arrogant prick, nor a loser doormat. No one was over the top really, just ordinary personalities in extraordinary situations and, occasionally, with extraordinary powers.

The story wasn't very cohesive, highlighting the difficulties that arise when trying to port a medium where multiple paths are the norm to a single-pathed one. Characters just arbitrarily show up or get sidelined, not just in terms of screen time, but also in their effect on the story, making cameos in both kinds of contexts. It didn't bother me too much, because the execution was doing a fine job compensating, but the disjointedness was apparent nonetheless. For that, Kanon 2006 didn't leave any sense of fulfillment or nostalgia because by the end, most of my trust was placed in the execution as opposed to the story.

When you see a fireworks display, you say it's perfectly timed, the light display was pretty, but if there's no orchestral score to move you, it is merely a great display of execution, nothing more.

Likewise, Asatte no Houkou is also a fine display of execution up till the last third or so. Great atmosphere, not much needed to be said and so not much was said. I wonder if it's inevitable that, for me at least, if there isn't a compelling driver in the storyline, I begin to watch almost exclusively for execution. I'm still debating whether to keep this one, as I began to lose interest around the point that Karada ran away to the city and got herself into some truly cringe-inducing moments. The angst was also cringe-worthy, not moment-worthy.

Welcome to the adult world, Karada. She got pwnt, I suppose it only makes sense to let her cry over it. I'm kind of torn. On one hand I think kids shouldn't have that red button that they can press to get away with being dumb (and their parents shouldn't have one to justify treating them like dumb kids), but on the other hand this series just shows that kids will cry when treated like adults. I'm not liking that precedent, but now I have to consider how applicable that precedent is to kids in general.

I have no strong opinions with respect to Soukou no Strain. Its story developed with a one themed mind. Sara Werec was not Ayako Kawasumi's greatest role, given she didn't say much at all throughout the whole thing. The body count of characters had initial shock value, but it quickly wore off when their deaths had no real significance, except to traumatize Sara more, but even that wasn't conveyed in any strong way, with the exception being the Gambee pilots taking their revenge of sorts on Sara around episode 5 (don't remember, don't have references, can't be bothered to find them). Oh shoot, another character with an actual name got sliced and diced. Meh.

Obligatory note of Lavinia's episode 7 debacle. Pure filler episode, and more fan service than comedic value.

The launch music, a kind of march form, was the stand-out piece for the OST. Bearing the long-winded title, The Decisive Battle of Fate, it matches the tense pre-combat atmosphere. The OP and ED drew zero interest; the vocal timbres were too thin for my liking.