Jun 292010
 

Series are wrapping up. I’ve finished some older stuff. There’s a few things I forgot to say ages ago that I may as well say now. Miscellaneous stuff that needs an outlet but doesn’t deserve its own post. Stuff.

The final episode of Bakemonogatari did nothing to improve or lower my opinion of it. It’s still a great anime visually, and the last episode has some great visual flourishes, but it’s still an empty, hollow harem anime whose only concern is to be a throwaway wish-fulfillment series. The bit where Araragi basically says “Hanekawa is at fault for all of this by using the oddity to reveal her feelings” was pretty awkward, though.

With all of the other girls it seemed to be a matter of “the oddity was taking advantage of the girl and forcing her to act out dark thoughts they’d otherwise not want to enact.” With Hanekawa he’s basically claiming that she does want to express her jealousy and regret and just needed a means to do so. He could be saying that out of anger or frustration, especially since he’s the focal point of Hanekawa’s stress, but it’s still a little bastard-like of him to say something like that. Hanekawa’s the girl he’s closest to (He may love Senjougahara, but his friendship with Hanekawa comes off far more “natural” if you ask me.), yet she’s the one he seems the least willing to help. In fact, he seems to be turning the tables, trying to blame everything on her rather than the oddity.

That’s messed up, Araragi. Real fucking messed up. Even if you’re saying all of that because you’re about to die and aren’t quite thinking straight, it’s pretty messed up. Senjougahara’d rip you a new one if she heard you dissing Hanekawa like that.

That was the only thing really worth noting in the last episode. Shinobu comes out of nowhere, saves the day, everyone is happy. The End. Lackluster ending to a series I loved at first but slowly started to like less and less as it progressed. Like I said in an older post, had the series kept to the characters introduced in the first arc (Araragi, Senjougahara, Hanekawa, Meme, Shinobu) it could have been pretty damn awesome. Once it went from “strange anime about monsters possessing people” to “Damsel-in-Distress-of-the-Week,” it started to slowly descend into the realms of suck.

I’m fucking sick and tired of talking about how anime series have been disappointing me. First Angel Beats, then Durarara!, then Bakemonogatari. Let’s get to a series that I rather liked:

Working!

Yeah. Working! is better than all of those series. Hell, if you somehow made a Voltron-like gestalt of those three series (Celty: “And I’ll form the head… wait, nevermind.”), combining their total quality into one robo-series, Working! would still be a better series.

It’s far from being the greatest anime comedy of all time, but it was genuinely funny. That’s more than I can say about most series of this sort. Amass a group of weirdos, put them into a sitcom scenario, and let them loose. It never strayed from that formula, even when it delved into surprisingly well-crafted romantic shenanigans.

It definitely deserves another season. More so than Arakawa Under the Bridge.

That’s not to say that Arakawa is bad. Despite its flaws, I still like the series. It just didn’t do a good job of balancing its humorous side with its serious side. Funny stuff: Awesome. Serious stuff: heavy-handed and sappy. Know your strengths, Arakawa, and stick with them. You never saw the Cromartie High School gang get all melancholic and sentimental, did you? Do Sunred and Vamp try to reconcile their differences in a dead-serious manner? Those series are your kindred. Follow their lead come season two.

Best series of the year so far?

Cobra the Animation.

Yeah, it was last season. Bakemono was last SUMMER, so Cobra has every right to be here as Bakemono.

Cobra did ridiculous far better than Angel Beats. It delivered far more action and tension than Durarara!, and that’s taking into account the fact that Cobra is nigh-invincible and never loses. The episode where Cobra had to save that biker chick by shooting her in the forehead was far more romantic than Ric X Nino, Araragi X Senjougahara, and Takanashi X Megaton Punch Girl combined.

It also had JET PIRANHAS! Nothing trumps JET PIRANHAS!

But yeah, Cobra basically did what everything else has tried to do this year and did it better. Your only serious competition so far is Heroman and Tatami Galaxy. Tatami may wrest your place with its last episode, but as much as I like the series I don’t see that happening. And Heroman has lots of potential and plenty of episodes to pull it off. We’ll see how it goes. But for now, Cobra is tops.

  12 Responses to “Loose Ends”

  1. I like that the Working segment is the most throwaway and nonchalant, ’cause there’s really nothing to talk about with it

  2. Working is the first “romcom” in ages that’s made me laugh AND had it’s cast grow on me. I found I couldn’t care less about the cast in Arakawa, which is all it had going for it really.

    The less said about the cardboard cutouts posing as “people” in Angel Beats, the better.. guess I’m not emo enough to cry on cue, which seems to be the only way to enjoy Maeda.

    I agree, Bakemono was indeed best before the faux-romance and harem elements appeared for teh fan-wank. The whole band-aid thing showed just how seriously they wanted us to take this series.

    If Durarara didn’t slow down and focus so much on the angsty kids, it would have probably been alright. Like most people I found the whole gang-war thing painfully tedious to watch unfolding on it’s own.. at least in the first half of the series they had multiple stories to distract us.

    Sadly, Giant Killing is probably the most GAR series this season. Not that it’s bad, but it’s a sports anime fer chrissakes.

    • I didn’t keep up for Giant Killing after the first episode. I’m sure it’s a good series, since people whose opinions I trust seem to like it, but I just can’t get myself motivated to watch a “realistic” sports anime.

      Now if someone were to do a Shaolin Soccer-like anime I’d be all over it.

  3. Fuck yeah! Cobra! I can’t say that it’s an amazingly well-crafted show, but god, does it entertain me. Not to mention that Cobra is possibly one of the most loveable scoundrels along with Lupin and Spike in this medium, even when he’s a Mary Sue. (Contradictory, I know.)

    And maybe I’ll give Working a try then since my first impression was that of ”Oh look, another shitty moe show.”

    • Cobra’s a bit like Superman in that regard. Yeah, he neve looses and rarely shows signs of weakness outside of contrived plot devices, but he has “it.” Although I like Cobra a hell of a lot more than I like Superman, but they’re both totally unrelatable characters that still manage to ooze some sort of charm and draw in fans.

      • Indeed. Cobra (both the character and the series) has that je ne sais quoi about it, that certain charm that is largely impossible to dislike if you have a soft spot for nostalgia and 80s anime/manga. Albeit I had James Bond in mind as Cobra´s source of inspiration.

  4. Cobra was awesome. The beezneez and the shiznit all rolled up into one package. Cobra is such a loveable rogue. Sure he’s invincible but he’s charming as hell, that’s his real super power.

    As for Bakemonogatari, I was a little thrown off by Araragi’s statement that it was Hanekawa’s fault as well. I think he may have said that because he thought she was just making excuses for whatever her real problem (maybe her home life) was. He might have a point though. To compare AB! and Bakemonogatari each of the various ladies he saves sort of has a “regret” like angel beats. Whatever vulnerability it is that attracted the oddity in the first place. So the ladies may have a bit of responsibility for their burdens. Araragi helps ease that burden a little bit.

    • Yeah, it makes sense if they somewhat to blame for their problems, but like I said in my reply to Son Gohan, it just comes off wrong for him to call out Hanekawa and not do so with the other girls. Maybe he’s just now realizing this and would have done the same to the others if he had as much “experiene,” but it still rubs me wrong. Compounded with the whole “girls need a guy to save them and can’t save themselves” bit, the series just annoyed me too much for me to enjoy it.

  5. Araragi is right in blaming Tsubasa. The Cat came out because Tsubasa is stressed but it’s her own fault for refusing to confront her feelings. She waited too much to confess to Araragi and Hitagi stole “her” man. Then instead of fighting she bottled up her love and kept silent. And you know what, the problem is not going away. Shinobu confined the oddity again but if Tsubasa get stressed yet again the Cat may resurface.

    • But isn’t that the case with all of these girls? They all allowed their problems to get the better of them, allowing some oddity to take advantage of their situations. By that standard they’re all to blame for being taken over by monsters. It’d be fine if he blamed ALL of the girls for their problems, since he’d be consistent in his views, but I don’t dig on how he’s treating Hanekawa differently. It comes off like he’s unwilling to accept the fact that he’s a part of the problem and wants to shift the blame completely to Hanekawa. Yeah, she’s been stupid to not to admit her feelings, but he’s also been stupid and arrogant to assume that watever infatuation that’s been taking place is due to his “vampirism.” That and the fact that he was clueless to her feelings to begin with.

      So, yeah, she’s partly to blame, but no more so than Senjougahara or any of the other girls. And it’s a bastard move on his part to try and call her out like that when he didn’t do it to the others.

Spit it Out

%d bloggers like this: