It was a bit of a thematic change-of-pace for Nobunagaun this week with a training episode, but the series as a whole is in a bit of a holding pattern for me. It’s marginally more interesting in execution than it is in premise – maybe a bit more than marginally – but still only moderately involving. When push comes to shove this show this is still just a schoolgirl in a short skirt shooting a big gun, even if it’s brought off rather stylishly.
This week’s main contribution is the introduction of Robert Capa (Tsuda Kenjirou), a war photographer in a wheelchair who’s apparently invented the holodeck and cloning (it’s probably better not to think about that too much) who’s put in-charge of Shio’s training on a tropical island. Tsuda is a reliable veteran and he manages to inject Capa (who despite his reliance on VR apparently only trusts his 35mm Nikon – probably better not to think about that too much) with the right amount of grizzle and flint to make him tolerable. With also get a squadron full of international soldiers whose death flags are raised pretty much from the moment we meet them, and who do their duty and predictably die on-cue at the end of the episode.
I can’t say at this point if there’s going to be enough to keep me covering Nobunagun but I’ll likely watch it for a little while at least. I do like the unusual visual touches that continue to pepper the presentation, though the story and characters are pretty 2D at the moment. I would suppose next week will represent a return to the non-stop action of Episode 2, which seems to be the mode in which the series feels most at-home.
Witch Craft Works – 03
Here’s another one that’s sitting right on the cutoff after three episodes, though I think the general trend is upwards. I didn’t find this episode quite as entertaining as the hilarious Episode 2, but it was still quite effective in fleshing out the story.
Kugimiya Rie joins the cast as “Chronoire Schwarz VI” (I wish I could make shit like that up), yet another witch who’s after Takamiya (we met her and her alligator familiar briefly last week). Except she actually has some mojo,, unlike the ED quintet who’ve now in effect literally become the show’s Team Rocket and not just figuratively. That’s progress – as long as Kagari is completely infallible there’s not a whole lot of drama here. What Schwarz wants, exactly, isn’t 100% clear but she does make it plain that she doesn’t care if unleashing Takamiya’s hidden power will destroy “this” world.
We also get the start of Takamiya’s magic training, which is basically cosplay in the gym for now. His relationship with Kagari isn’t without charm, but sooner or later I really hope we see something more from him than the damsel-in-distress role he’s playing now – it’s boring when guys do it, too. At the very least there are signs that he’s a bit odd (like the sculpting) but really, while at least he has the desire not to be totally dependent on Kagari we’ve seen no indication that he actually has the competence to do anything about it. The sister is going to make her formal appearance next week, and she indeed seems to be a witch – my fear is that this will be just another excuse to kick Takamiya around like a soccer ball, but I’ll hope for the best.
I may do another post on WCW, but at the moment I can’t say for sure. I’m still on the fence, so we’ll see what the next episode brings.
Tonari no Seki-kun – 03
I keep thinking I’m done writing about (though certainly not watching) Tonari no Seki-kun, but I always end up going back to the well. With a digest post in the hopper anyway, why not a few lines? Short and sweet – like the show itself.
The shippers (yes, this series has them) will certainly sink their teeth into this chapter, which featured Yokoi admitting “Seki-kun actually has a cute side to him.” The stuff with the professional polishing equipment was comedy gold – especially when the static electricity was added to the mix – but the real meat on the bones of this series is the relationship between Seki and Yokoi. In its jocular way it really captures the boy-girl dynamic for this age group about as well as any series could. I love the fact that Yokoi tries to act as if she’s too mature for all this, but deep down she wants to jump on Seki-kun’s crazy train and be as rebellious as he (who carries no such reservations himself) is.
Also of note was that this ep was a bit longer than the usual – nearly eight minutes. Works for me.