Punchline – 10

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Looks like Uchikoshi found himself a few more kitchen sinks somewhere.

I realize I’m largely talking to myself at this point with Punchline – two straight posts without a comment tells the story.  But I’m still liking it, somehow, and it is almost over – though not as almost over as I expected.  It seems it will indeed be 12 episodes – and in fact, based on its premiere date Ranpo Kitan will be too, so perhaps NoitaminA has finally switched to a 12-episode allotment permanently (in one series seasons, anyway).  So it feels like we’re getting a bonus episode, but that’s fine – I’d much rather blog a show I like that the readers don’t care that much about than one I dislike that they do.

The mysteries behind Punchline’s story are unusually opaque considering how late in the game we are, though I’d argue that’s because Uchikoshi is basically ignoring all convention and making shit up however he needs to.  But as I said, I’m still liking the show, and it’s really because there’s something genuinely endearing about it.  These are likeable characters and I really do still care what happens to them, and if a show is going to have any redeeming quality that’s not a bad one to have.

That’s why scenes like Yuuta and Mika (though it may be time to just go with Pike and Chiyoko now) commiserating on the rooftop can have real impact despite the inconsistencies of the plot.  And it’s why the overall melancholy and even mournful tone of this episode is effective.  There was a sense of reckoning going on here – Pike and Chiyoko with who they now are, both of them with what Guriko has become.  There’s not a whole lot that’s original in the core constructs – a bunch of esper kids raised in captivity, a plot to wipe out most of humanity so a super race on their “ark” of elites can rule.  That’s pretty standard-issue anime stuff.  But the characters stand out, and that’s what makes the connection (and the outstanding character designs and facial animation don’t hurt either).

Guriko seems to have laid all her cards on the table at this point – she responded to her terrible childhood with bitterness and gave up hope for humanity.  Chiranosuke professes to have given up hope for this Yuuta – and to have had hope for him in the first place – but I’m still convinced he’s seriously untrustworthy.  Yuuta deciding to go off the grid and lay his own “third rail” despite being told he was doomed by Chiranosuke seems like the turning point for me, though the vibe unsettlingly suggests he’s going to try and sacrifice himself.  I kind of hate stories where good characters have to do that to manage a good end because of what evil characters have done – but then I am still following Game of Thrones

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  1. M

    I am still watching it as well. So you are not alone.

    It seems to me that it is heading for Yuuta doing a much longer jump into the past after he returns his body to the ghost Yuuta. Someone needs to possess young Rabura and send off all those faxes about the future. I think that instead of 2 Yuuta's running around we have actually been watching 3, one of whom who has been disguised as a cat.

  2. c

    What Magewolf said! Been reading your posts (and watching the show) every week. There simply hasn't been much to add. Other than more speculation. :p

    Sorry for the radio silence~

  3. N

    I stopped watching after the 2nd episode, but I'm still reading the reviews just in casr it gets crazy good at somepoint

  4. R

    I'm also reading dude. I even tried to comment in the last post but I realized that I wasn't logged in too late after I published and my comment got deleted… so I just closed the window with an angry click.

    I don't particularly love or hate the show, I think is fine but now I'm just watching to see how it ends.

    I say f*ck Chiranosuke and Guriko both! The cat is no help at all and Guriko is just too far gone by now. I hope Chiranosuke turns out to be the final bad guy so Yuuta (Pine) can whoop his tail.

    I hope Pine doesn't end up sacrificing himself, what would happen with the extra Yuuta if he does die by the way? Would he replace Yuuta so it doesn't matter if he dies? Or if he survives there will be an extra one?

  5. J

    Honestly if you want comments in today's anime scene you're more or less relegate to talking about Sound Euphonium and Fate Stay Night this season. Not that it's not an interesting season but that's pretty much all the masses are willing to even engage upon at large. It's a very stagnant very one dimensional scene nowadays.

  6. A

    I think most people nowadays (well, at least english-speaking fans) just follow the hyped animes and the ones that gets reccommended to them (by the ways of the list IGN made for the spring season for example), or simply just take the path of only watching the "mainstream" anime. The problem with this though is that they won't discover the hidden gems.

  7. I won't disagree that is a problem that's gotten worse. But you do get a fair amount of comments on shows like Souma (which I think it a bit underrated) and Ore Monogatari, and a smattering on ones like BBB et al. When a show gets zero comments in two weeks it's quite a telling sign that even in our tiny corner of the internet, it's largely being ignored.

  8. S

    I am still watching it, don't feel alone! I like it in a weird way. I enjoy the twisted plot and the character moments are definitely an highlight. I am worried about the ending because it might be the game changer. I really REALLY want that cat to turn out having been evil all along because otherwise it means that all its information cherry picking and made up on the spot rules were poor plot devices rather than willing misdirection. At this point his whole charade makes no fuckin' sense: "the spirit world's rules say humanity has to save itself, I can't interfere". Uh, and you've been doing WHAT for 10 episodes now? Bullshit, man, bullshit. It would just be as easy as saying "oh, look, just break the satellite dish on the roof before 28/12". Or take off the freakin' tapping device. What did friendship between the people at Koiraku even have to do with that?

    By the way my best guess at this point is that by using Ubermensch power Yuuta (or maybe the three of them, together with a redeemed Guri?) may be able to deflect/destroy the asteroid. Bonus point if they do that with a baseball bat…

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