Weekly Digest 3/4/14 – Tonari so Seki-kun, Witch Craft Works

Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -9 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -17 Witch Craft Works - 09 -7 Witch Craft Works - 09 -11

“Sasuga Seki-kun”.  If ever the shoe fit…

Tonari no Seki-kun – 09

Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -1 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -2 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -3
Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -4 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -5 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -6
Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -7 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -8 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -10
Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -11 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -12 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -13
Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -14 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -15 Tonari no Seki-kun - 09 -16

A boy knitting?”  Let’s not get too caught up in old-fashioned gender roles, Yokoi-chan.  Especially when the boy is Seki-kun, for whom no art, craft or skill can be limited by something as confining as gender politics.

By Seki standards, knitting a cactus – even using the highly specialized double-ended Afghan hook (I’ll take her word for it) – is pretty low-key stuff.  But this one hits a little too close to home, for when it comes to knitting Yokoi is Class 2 Certified (I have no idea if that’s a real thing), and considers this her turf.

The main take-away here is that we’re once again reminded that most of Yokoi’s angsting over Seki-kun is self-generated.  Yeah, he does wild stuff but she’s plain obsessed – she’s a Seki junkie, and only the good stuff will do.  Hard to blame Seki for misreading her signals at the end – though it’s a shame that such a beautifully rendered plushie had to pay the price.

Witch Craft Works – 09

Witch Craft Works - 09 -1 Witch Craft Works - 09 -2 Witch Craft Works - 09 -3
Witch Craft Works - 09 -4 Witch Craft Works - 09 -5 Witch Craft Works - 09 -6
Witch Craft Works - 09 -8 Witch Craft Works - 09 -9 Witch Craft Works - 09 -10
Witch Craft Works - 09 -12 Witch Craft Works - 09 -13 Witch Craft Works - 09 -14
Witch Craft Works - 09 -15 Witch Craft Works - 09 -16 Witch Craft Works - 09 -17
Witch Craft Works - 09 -18 Witch Craft Works - 09 -19 Witch Craft Works - 09 -20

Of all the plot-driven episodes of WCW, this one worked the best for me in that it’s the first time the show has actually managed to make me care about what was happening beyond the broad comedy.  And I suppose that represents significant progress.

I have no idea where the adaptation is in terms of using up the source material, but the indications are that this show is going to do pretty well on Blu-ray so we might be seeing more of it down the line.  For now, it seems that Mizushima-sensei intends to close out the season with a bang, taking the current plot arc to its logical conclusion.  That means doing a whole lot of explaining to set up that conclusion, and the introduction of what seems to be a rather crucial new character – Weekend (Hirano Aya), the head of the Tower Witches.

As for explanations, they more or less fit what one might reasonably have conjectured.  The Tower Witches have set up a bomb under the city, whose purpose is not to destroy it but the sap Kazane of all her magic.  Apparently the reason normals can’t be injured by all these fancy crises is that the Workshop Witches have a barrier – powered by Kazane herself, who’s one badass magician – which automatically protects them if they’re affected by magic.  A few random explosions are nothing to her, but if the entire city is affected at once, well…   Since the goal of the Tower Witches is to capture Honoka, putting Kazane out of commission (for a week, apparently) is a must.

I suppose all this kind of confirms the Workshop as “good” and the Tower as “bad” after all – but everyone’s loyalties seem so tangled up that I’m not sure we can write it off that simply.  With Kazane having been taken offline the other Workshop leaders decided to lock Honoka and Kagari in an underground cell for a week to keep him out of Weekend’s hands, but that’s a non-starter.

The other interesting development here is that Kagari apparently had a recurring dream where Honoka appeared to her and told her future, which is why she went looking for him.  He obviously has no recollection of this, but it supports the notion that he’s something quite different from a normal human.  As for comedy, it’s a bit light this week, but what there is mostly draws from Kagari’s attempts to teach Honka witchy activity, which are inconclusive at best.  He does manage to call up a familiar, though – a gigantic Kagari in a short-skirt nurse outfit with glasses.  Anything that gives a little spice to his character is welcome.

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7 comments

  1. H

    Wait, but if he's using a hook that's crochet not knitting!

  2. l

    Japanese language doesn't distinguish between crochet and knitting. They use the same word for both crafts. But yeah, in English, Seki is crocheting not knitting.

    By Seki standards, knitting a cactus – even using the highly specialized double-ended Afghan hook (I'll take her word for it) – is pretty low-key stuff.
    Yokoi's comment reflects a sentiment that I've often heard that making amigurumi (i.e. stuffed toys) is a lesser accomplishment than crafting clothing or afghans. At times, the craft of making amigurumi can feel like the red-headed stepchild of the yarn craft world.

  3. H

    (hah, I was even going to say "Just ask LKK, she'll back me up!") And that's interesting on the amigurumi front, those are just so complicated and done on such a small scale I always regarded them as the more challenging thing to craft, although going by the show it does sound like crocheting it pretty low-key, heck I even did that through some of my lectures in college (I mean, if I had to go to a special, hour to two hour long lecture after all my regular classes in the evening them dammit I was going to accomplish something at least!)

  4. l

    I think the perception that making amigurumi is a lesser craft comes from the fact that amigurumi are usually made from one of crochet's most basic stitches (single crochet US / double crochet UK) repeated over & over & over. (Yokoi alludes to this when she talks about an amigurumi's smooth surface.) But like you said, the small scale, working in the round, getting the body parts' proportions correct, and then assembling the body parts combine to make amigurumi crafting more challenging than first-glance appearances imply.

    PS: LOL at the "just ask LKK" comment.

  5. M

    Its funny it seems Yokoi doesn't even try to act like she's not interested in what seki's doing or act like she wants to study 😛 Like us she's just wondering whats he up to next!

  6. Typical junkie behavior.

  7. S

    Posting it here because it's not relevant anywhere:

    Fuck me, Golden Time has gone to the shitter. Or is it trying to rectify everything in a glorious bullshit maneuver here in the minute of the last episode? I mean, pairing Koko & Banri even when the audience wishes for something else is sort of understandable, because love don't always happen the way they are "supposed to". But Ghost Banri, beating around the bush, never confessing the whole truth to his friends, half-assing the relationship with Kouko is pretty retarded. Letting Kouko say what she said in the end is either disrespectfully "trolling" the audience, or a sign that the director is trying to erase the last 10 episodes or something. Blargh

    It feels a little bit like Good Ending, I regrettably read the manga farther than after the first story was over (and restarted, but shittier!). Good premise, good characters. Crappy everything else.

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