Sankarea – 11

[Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_05.43_[2012.06.21_20.38.11] [Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_10.04_[2012.06.21_20.42.31] [Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_20.42_[2012.06.21_20.53.24]

Even by Sankarea standards that was a pretty weird episode.

[Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_04.35_[2012.06.21_20.37.02]
Certain things I’ve come to expect from Sankarea.  First, it’s going to look great – the best-looking TV anime DEEN has ever done, in my view.  And second, the unexpected – because this show is all over the map and always has been.  There’s the narrative choices – taking a two-week detour from the main plot without explanation, which combined with a one-week UEFA break means we’re basically means we’re picking up where we left off at the end of May.  And just as baffling is the tone of the show, which is such a moving target I can never get a fix on it.  And in terms of both visuals and surprises, the series was very true to form this week.

[Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_05.27_[2012.06.21_20.37.55]There was some stuff in the middle that sort of made sense, namely Chihiro’s interaction with Danichiro in the dojo.  It was bizarre, but bizarre in what passes for a normal Sankarea fashion.  But it was bookended by some inexplicable nonsense with cosplaying bondage maids at the front end, and some very annoying and incongruous Wanko stuff at the end.  What’s really almost unique about this series is how little attempt it makes to reconcile the different aspects of itself – it almost feels as if every character except Chihiro and Rea is part of their own series.  It’s fascinating  but sometimes irritating.

[Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_06.28_[2012.06.21_20.38.56]As for that maid stuff, while I’m never confident in assuming with this mangaka and this director (they seem to slip some vital material in under the guise of nonsense at times) I can’t see any reason it existed, apart from otaku fanservice.  At the very least Rea could have busted out of the bonds the two maids put on her at any time, that was obvious – and given that Chihiro might very well have been in mortal danger (and was), I don’t see any logical reason why she meekly protested and allowed herself to be turned into every fetish the maids could think of for so long.  Probably pointless to look for logic behind it – at least Chihiro got to see his zombie bunny fantasy come true.

[Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_07.02_[2012.06.21_20.39.30]Speaking of pointless, my limited patience with Wanko is really wearing thin.  She’s the worst example of a character who seems to be from a different series, because the one she’s from isn’t nearly as good as Sankarea.  While Sankarea is usually quite original and an intriguing mix of mystery, horror, tragedy and comedy, Wanko is an instant transfusion of tropism at it’s least compelling.  The minute she walks on the fanservice shots start and she breaks out every osananjimi cliché in the book.  You would think that just maybe, given that Chihiro had just been run through and nearly bled to death, she might have given the abusive stuff a rest – bit not, this one is totally oblivious.  I keep looking for her place in this series, what special thing she brings to it – and I still can’t find it.  Sankarea is never as good when she’s on-screen as it is when she’s off.

[Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_07.45_[2012.06.21_20.40.13]Buried inside all that was some pretty decent stuff, as Furuya and Danichiro finally have the confrontation we’ve been awaiting for the last three weeks.  Chihiro was certainly cool under pressure here – in fact, he seemed to be trying very hard to make Danichiro as angry as possible, though that might have been his zombie half talking. That’s right, apparently getting his wound licked by Rea turned him into a half-zombie, which was an interesting twist.  Bottom line, Danichiro really is a sick bastard, and Chihiro was surprisingly eloquent in going straight to the point that Danichiro never stopped to consider Rea’s feelings when he could have easily challenged Danichiro on many other aspects of his twisted behavior.  Indeed Chihiro’s big mistake was assuming the law would apply to Danichiro and offer him some protection, but rich men are a law unto themselves, and that’s where Chihiro’s zombie-ness paid big dividends – ironically keeping him alive.

[Doki] Sankarea - 11 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [56C037B0].mkv_snapshot_07.52_[2012.06.21_20.40.19]How is this going to end?  Don’t ask me – I’ve given up trying to figure this series out, and I haven’t read the manga for comparison’s sake anyway.  With Danichiro having agreed to temporarily let Chihiro look after Rea while he jets off to find a “cure” (I think he got off way too easy) and Chihiro having apparently survived his impalement, I’m not sure what event will be placed as a season-finale.  I say season-finale because it sure feels as if DEEN are going about this with a second season in mind.  I suppose they could go with an anime-original ending, and it seemed almost as if the seeds were being planted for the finale to focus on the love rivalry between Rea and Ranko – but I can hardly believe either the series or the season would end on such a trivial note.  As for the mystery of Chihiro and Mero’s mother, I’ve more or less given up hope on seeing that explored this cour – if there is to be a second season, hopefully it will happen then.

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  1. s

    I triple-dog-dare anyone to explain what purpose Wanko serves other than blatant otaku pandering and cliche tropes. Yes, Rea has her share of fanservice scenes–like in this very episode–but there's so much more to her character than that as well. Like you said, the show doesn't even bother to reconcile such stark differences.

  2. b

    So they managed to pass off Chihiro's half-zombie transformation with that licking huh. In the manga, he got the poison from when Rea kissed him back when she was wearing a towel and suffering from rigor mortis(episode 5 or 6?). She was suppose to bite his lips back then and that's where he got the dose. But eh, this was okay I guess. And I liked the extended part back in that episode where they went out for a walk.

    And yeaaahhh, I should have warned you before about Wanko and her being a walking fanservice…person. It's more evident in the anime as we can really see them boobs shaking so much. And I think her cup size is bigger here. But eh what can you do, that was how the author wrote her.

    The whole part with Dan'ichiro was pretty good and I have no complaints. Minor nitpicking would be how the maids managed to slip in and out the maid costume. The bunny costume was easy to figure out though 😛

    And that would be a wrap for this season as next episode would be the last(the TV station TBS's schedule lists episode 12 as the last one).
    The next episode would fit as a season ender. The manga got some boosts in sales(volume 6 sold over 70k, when it normally sells for around 35k-40k average), so I hope we get another season. Though the remaining material is questionable, there's enough to have one season for it so yeah.
    BD sales I think are just barely above manabi line but DEEN does sequels even for horrible sales(Zombie Deskcar) so here's hoping.

    tl;dr, I loved this episode despite some hiccups and I want season 2.

  3. No way to know about BD sales yet – pre-sales estimates are just estimates. If it does break the Manabi line I think that would be a success at this point.

  4. I

    I also think Wanko's cups were bigger this episode.

    I think that I have been to picky with my anime selections over the last year or so as my at-least-try-it-out list for Summer has about 11 ecchi shows. As a result Wanko fanservice was a welcome, come to me you gravity defying water balloons.

    Mother of God, I've reached the Stilts stage in my anime fandom.

  5. M

    Honestly though, this is as good a stopping point for the adaptation as it is, given how ALL that follows can be considered to be one long (and still ongoing) arc. Given Enzo's dislike of Ranko, I wonder if he can survive Darrin, who'll play a VERY active part in the story.

  6. A

    Wanko is there to get in Rea's way… and it annoys me to no end. YOU ARE HIS COUSIN stop cock blocking jesus christ. That is why I hate Wanko she is just a big cock block with obnoxious fan service to top it off.

  7. A

    Chihiro's kitty cat facial expression while cutting to the heart of the problem 'you're disgusting' and the way he was moving in general was hilarious 😀

  8. Yes, Chihiro had a lot of very funny moments this ep. He was almost heroic, in his deviant way.

  9. M

    Wanko is there to be Rea's inverse reflection. Rea is demur,refined,quiet, and of course dead.Wanko is shameless,loud,brash, and full of life.

    Wanko in many ways has the life that Rea always wanted and now Rea has what Wanko always wanted,Chihiro.

    And she is also there for fan service.

  10. K

    [offtopic]New Otoyomegatari chapter, with a wedding (and too much sheep´s guts) on the way :D[/offtopic]

  11. S

    Chihiro is almost the human form of Haruko from FLCL. They really played well with the cat-faces.

    I think, except for Wanko, the tone is actually amazingly consistent… at an ideological level. They invert every expectation. It's been most notable with faking like Rea is going to eat Chihiro, but they've been doing that all of the time. It's just the only way to invert everything is to be wildly different from expectations. It doesn't always work as a presentation, but they've been consistent about it. Except Wanko being straight up BluRay bait.

  12. I have to disagree there – I think the tone has been quite inconsistent even when Ranko isn't heavily involved, this episode being a perfect example. But in most cases I've liked that, because it's made the series more interesting. The whole thing with Ranko is another matter, but whatever the episode on the whole was trying to this week, I don't think it really worked.

  13. j

    The manga swerves between comedy and tragedy on a pretty regular basis, so it's no surprise that the anime has an uneven tone. Plus they've left out a major character and some important plot points, which they might have managed to include a bit of without the single character episodes. It wouldn't be impossible to put these into a second season, so maybe the studio has had a eye toward this possibility.

  14. F

    You can't stab someone with a fencing saber! You just can't!

    Would it have been that hard to give Dan'Ichirou an actual sword? Because that really took me out of things.

  15. Maybe Chihiro's belly is really, really soft.

    There were an awful lot of things about this ep which didn't sit right, but I guess we all zero in on our particular area of expertise.

  16. B

    TO be honest I'm surprised they got back to the main plot with this episode. Babu hasn't had his own side episode yet. They give one to every other insignificant character, why not the zombie cat?

  17. Babu should get an ep – he rocks.

  18. f

    The whole chihiro and danichiro confrontation just wasn't belivable…I had a hard time swallowing that all it took was a bitch shakedown from chihiro (cracking jokes with a fencing iron through his stomach, mind you 0_0;;) in about 2min and 30 seconds realtime to convince that twisted father who had a daughter complex for 10+ years to give up on his obsession and leave her in chihiro's care.

    I could only laugh at it….i hope it wasn't meant to be an important scene.

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