On the face of it, not a whole lot of ink need be spilled over this episode of Sidonia no Kishi. It was a sitcom ep that pretty much spoke for itself, and Sidonia has a pretty rough history with those sorts of eps anyway.
Along the way, though, something funny seems to have happened – literally. I’m not sure whether it’s that the comedy here has actually improved, or that watching so many clumsy and lame attempts at humor has turned my brain to mush, but I’m actually laughing at Sidonia no Kishi now. Last week’s episode had some very nice comedic moments, and I LOL’d several times during this one.
So what’s changed – the show or me? Well, for starters the stuff involving Izana was always a cut above the rest of the character material, and she’s effectively been the main character these last two weeks. Also, for whatever reason, adding the literal moeblob to the mix seems to have acted as a kind of comedic catalyst. Every scene involving Tsumugi, especially the “moeblob ay home” stuff, is just so absurd that it’s hard not to laugh.
I also really enjoyed the scnes with Shinatose. Watching her force Izana to wear her old bondage gear out on the town was great (Grandma must have been an interesting lady in her wild youth), but the prize winner was when she gave Nagate his “assignment (nominally: “investigate” the ICP, “Thousand Year City” – effectively: ” bang my granddaughter ASAP”). I mean seriously – she tells him she filled his head with explosives, and she’ll blow his head off if he doesn’t complete the job or if he tells anyone she’s involved? That’s so unbelievably silly that I don’t see how you can’t laugh.
Effectively, then, we have Izana and Yuhata in a full-out catfight over Nagate now, and even that’s kind of making me laugh – Yuhata not only invites herself to move in, but she kicks Izana out of her own room. Also, we get a sort of teaser/torture in a mini-episode of “Blame” – which is very cool to see, except that it sports much better animation than the actual series we’re watching. Between that and the eyecatches, Polygon seems determined to rub our faces in the knowledge of just what we’re missing…
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – 21
Goodness me, but Fate characters sure do love making speeches.
As I said in last week’s post, with the events of that episode I pretty much checked out of the hotel as far as the substance of Unlimited Blade Works is concerned. At this point it’s strictly a matter of popcorn entertainment for me, but popcorn entertainment can be a lot of fun when it’s as slickly produced as this show is. All of those speeches (this episode may be the worst yet in UBW for that) do have the unfortunate effect of grinding the narrative to a halt, but on the whole this was a solidly entertaining episode.
No surprises in the way the Shirou vs. Shirou fight turned out – that was telegraphed from the start, whether you knew the outcome going in or not. The execution was good – again the backgrounds were splendiferous. The real fun comes in the aftermath, with Gilgamesh’s arrival. Yeah, his monologue was about twice as long as it should have been (for the Nth time, anime are not visual novels) but Gil is rarely boring. His pure narcissism and megalomania is perhaps the aspect of the Fate universe that most rings true – it’s not burdened with ponderous philosophical evangelizing. Ironically, the depiction of the most vainglorious character in the cast is the least self-important and most unpretentious in the UBW canon.
Now, at least, we can take a half-step back from all the preachiness and deal with a straightforward conflict, with apocalypse on the line. I sort of think ten years observing modern humans would drive a guy like Gil to exactly the conclusion he arrived at, so I have no problems with his motivation here. And I certainly have no problems with what he did to Shinji – at last proving useful – though of course that kind of fate is also a cliche telegraphed from the beginning. Sadly, though, we are losing cool characters one by one, and UBW needs all of those it can get.