Hello to everybody tuning in, I’m Leap (of course) welcoming you once again, to what is now Week 9 of Anime Seasonals 2018 — The Winter Games; and I’m totally not taking my cues from radio sports announcers.
Point Totals as of Week 9
AstralGemini — 36
Irina — 41
Leap — 36
TPAB — 33
We did it! Somehow or another we’ve pulled ourselves from the hole that is last place thanks to our very solid prediction lineup last week where we went 4 out of 6 with only 1 partial, with an extra pinpoint prediction bump from our prediction backlog — netting us a total of 9 points! This rockets us back to second place tied once again(!) with the proprietor of The Zodiac Room (I just love saying that) AstralGemini.
Still drinking and watching anime as she coasts in first place is Irina, and The Pantless Anime Blogger just can’t help but drop the pants this week with a bit of a stumble landing him in last place. We can’t be too complacent though, as “TPAB” can still pull up those pants at any moment and pull off a mad sprint.
From being “all said and done” the game has gone back to being as close as it ever has been which is quite fitting at this juncture considering we’re now in the deeper end of our little competition. Who will prevail?!
Perhaps this week will be the turning point!
tl;dr: “But wait, I thought.. idiots can’t catch colds…”
I’m just kidding. You’re fine Nadeshiko (I mean, she even passed her exams, so it’s not like she’s a total goof). But really though, to catch a cold the night before what would be the long-awaited camping trip initiated by Rin herself is just some terrible luck. That explains why there wasn’t much build up to this one compared to their other planned excursions. Rather, coming off of last episodes happenings there was but the slightest indication that Rin was setting out to camp with Nadeshiko again — and if anything it seemed like something that wasn’t gonna come to fruition until much later.
Though I suppose things have a way of working themselves out, as Rin instead goes yet on another solo camp (her last one for the season maybe…?). Since the relative nearness of the campsite was no longer a concern, Rin opts to go try out a new spot further up the mountains. Meanwhile Nadeshiko nurses what appears to have a been a day-long fever (ah, the healing factor of the young) and was all but ready to join Rin on her trek, only to be stopped in her tracks by Onee-san. Seriously, Nadeshiko, take a break xD Even Rin says as much on her way up the mountains, but not without her own share of problems. The road she wanted to take, despite appearing on Not!Google Maps, was actually inaccessible due to environmental reasons.
Not deterred (and with the help of some really nice campers along the way), Rin moves on from her slight detour as she circles back to the main road. While all this is happening, Chiaki drops by the Kagamihara household to check on Nadeshiko. They take on the “navigator” role for Rin as a way of kinda joining in on the camp experience (aww :3). Chiaki also goes and gives Nadeshiko some noodles from her hometown to eat once she’s better — but of course, an episode can’t go by without Nadeshiko eating “something” (I’m not too sure about this, but doesn’t Nadeshiko get to eat, like, every single episode so far?), and she, along with the rest of the Kagamihara goad Chiaki into making it at their house.
She was up to the challenge though, and somehow or another gets the dish right on her very first attempt (for someone who cooks and has tried to follow a recipe when attempting to cook something for the first time, that’s actually quite the feat, lol). Rin made her way up to a hot spring, which (as this show has taught me) is pretty much a “Game Over” screen for these girls. The killer combination of a hot bath and good food turned out to be too much for our solo camper as she just crashes and ends up dozing off till the evening. It was so bad that the after-effects of it all lasted until the next school day (leaving her unguarded to Saitou’s sneak attack)
~ Saitou complains about the cold (character)
~ Rin won’t be able to join the Christmas camp (plot)
Record of Grancrest War
tl;dr: “…I take back what I said last week, Marrine.
And wow, this is the most engaged I’d been with this show writing-wise.”
We asked for it, and well, Grancrest delivered. But really all we ever wanted was a bit more to go on in terms of where we’re headed with all this about the warring factions and Theo’s campaign and the Chaos and what have you. Nine episodes deep and Grancrest pulls arguably its most well-structured episode to date — with the juxtaposition of development between Theo/Siluca and Marrine/Milza, in what I believe to not only be a metaphor but the overarching theme for the Grancrest War as a whole. That’s right. Strap in boys and girls, thissun’s gonna be a doozy.
First things first I wanna give a shoutout to our boy Theo (wootwoot) for the way he orchestrated that whole lovey-dovey sequence between him and Siluca, which ultimately led to the two of them being in mutual recognition of their respective feelings for one another — or, y’know, they kissed finally xD. I say “finally” though when in truth I wasn’t expecting this budding relationship of theirs to bloom so soon. I mean I guess (…?) they’ve spent quite a lot of time with each other already. And (lol), Siluca with the ‘ol “did you perhaps notice my feelings for you” girl please, the man’s not blind! He can see you blushing from a mile away! Props to Theo for actually acknowledging the fact though, whereas most MC’s would’ve folded then and there.
Now that that’s out of the way allow me to devote my remaining time to Marrine’s less-(like, immensely less)-charming rendezvous with Milza. And Holy Lodoss did that just happen?! Okay, we know from the OP cinematic that Milza was gonna align with Marrine at some point but I’d be lying if I said I expected it was going to be like this. To bring everyone up to speed (before I put my two cents into this debacle); Marrine’s camp continues to get absolutely sacked, largely by the hands of the Prince of
Persia Dartania. Caught in dire straits, Marrine decides to engage in biological warfare (a big no-no in their agreed upon war apparently), but not before giving Milza the heads up.
He lives to fight another day — but only because Marrine wanted him to. The two arrange to meet, and subsequently form a sort-of pact: in exchange for her chastity Milza offers to be her sword, to which she agrees, and the two share a rather… despairing moment underneath the stars. ..Okay! *puts theory hat on* “Why did things have to go down like that?” I assume would be the consensus after-thought for this episode. We go back to my apology to Marrine. While I still think we lost a fair bit of depth from her character last episode (with her love for Alexis being the core of her motivations), what little remained was reinforced ten-fold.
My take on it is that Marrine understands that no matter which way they go about it, there continues to exist a group of people who would oppose an otherwise peaceful union between her and Alexis. As a result, I believe Marrine has thus resolved to (1) find the ones responsible for the death of her father and (2) to still achieve the Grancrest by becoming the only ruling power (and she starts by getting Milza in her ranks). She has chosen to become the antithesis to Alexis’ ideal of compassion — and I reckon after Alexis finds out about all this he will be all but crushed. His ideal will instead now be embodied by the unlikely pairing of Theo and Siluca, fittingly enough; with Theo who forsook power, and Siluca who came to know compassion.
I believe the reason why these two scenes ran parallel with one another was to show this quaint dichotomy between power and compassion — the true opposing sides of the Grancrest War. At least, that’s how I see it as. A bit crudely handled if this was what they were going for (I hear the source material didn’t even go into detail about what happened between Marrine and Milza), but hey it works, I mean it got me to write about an episode of Grancrest a bit more than I normally do.
~ Priestess makes an appearance (character)
~ Marrine sets out to reclaim Sevis from Lassic (plot)
tl;dr: “Kouta is a comically bad MC, I found out.”
And no, it’s not because he completely ditches his old friends yet again for the fourth consecutive time. I’m not even gonna harp on that anymore. I’ve accepted the fact that Sanrio is gonna run that gag to the ground and use it up for all its worth — which, truth be told, is looking to not be of much worth at all considering how “good” of a friend Kouta is apparently (like, maybe, his old friends are better off not having him around). I’m taking the piss of course; the guy isn’t that insufferable (…yet), but he’s for sure getting there.
This has got to be one of, if not the most uneventful beach episode in the history of anime EVER (xD). The show couldn’t even be bothered to make a proper montage and instead just gave us what was essentially a slideshow of still frames (that said, I’m happy I got my “someone splits a watermelon in half” prediction right). I know, I know, animation is hard
if you’re Studio Pierrot so I’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt and just chalk it up tough times in the creativity department.
Usually this is the part where I bring up at least one saving grace to at the very least salvage Sanrio Danshi from my vitriol, but nope, none of that this week. At a record-setting 1-minute-and-30-ish-seconds at the beach, the episode continues to be just the blandest droll of back-to-back cliches and tropes. Not gonna lie, I soooo wanted a surprise genre shift as per Irina’s suggestion, when they started talking about a potential murderer in their midst (legit got a Decagon House Murders vibe from it all — eyy stealth book recommendation :D).
I really do want to talk about this last bit of the episode before I send you off. Now, my tl;dr for this episode is on how bad of an MC Kouta actually is, and a good part of that comes from how he found the solution to his conundrum of “finding out what he wants to do” for them to “shine”. It was right in front of him all along. Obviously, the correct answer to this problem is relegation! (/sarcasm). Dude, you’re asking the guy who just cooked for y’all two days in a row to take on arguably the most important part of their whole production — and no, “you noticed that we were feeling hungry” shouldn’t precede “you will definitely come up with a story that best suits us”, tsk tsk, Kouta, you slave driver you xD.
~ The boys all go to Ryo’s house (character)
~ Ryo’s dad has come to take him away from Japan, but because of his newfound friends he doesn’t want to leave — this becomes the inspiration for the story that Yuu will be writing about (plot)
I feel like I would’ve written more about Grancrest if I hadn’t felt like this post was getting a bit too long, but that’s what I get for choosing to do a single post for three titles xD
Anyway, that’s our run for the week! Thank you so much for dropping by, and don’t forget to check out what these guys thought about this week’s episodes of the anime we cover. It’s been very interesting reading their take on everything thus far given our differing views, but don’t take my word for it, give ’em a read as well if you haven’t yet!
AstralGemini — Week 9
TPAB — Week 9