What a Season — It Was (updated)

So little time… so much change of opinion. As I said about ten days ago, there were no less than eight shows I was following from the new season, though I forgot to mention that I’m still following Index II from the prior season also. Unfortunately, some of them are not quite as captivating as I had previously thought.

Fractale: Still the winner, perhaps even moreso than before. It’s entirely unexpected twists don’t neatly fit any clichés.

Madoka: Another trope-defying show. Kyubey is the most manipulative, terrifying non-villain I have ever seen… only I’m not sure the “non-” is correct. I have only one clue where this is going, and I’m beginning to suspect it was a red herring.

Freezing: Nothing’s changed about this show; it’s still seinen with tits. But they’re such nice ones! It’s benefiting from low expectations. I didn’t expect much, and had little hope; so far I’m getting what I expected. Rina/Lana shows up this week. I think we’re going to be able to get all the way to the big event before we’re done (major spoiler): a four-nova incursion that’s going to kill a lot of secondary characters

Gosick: The penalties of disappointing expectations drop this to fourth. I’m watching for the characterization, because the mysteries are fatally flawed. Also, they didn’t actually have the best line from the preview in the last show: “Take your urge to mate elsewhere.”

Dragon Crisis: An unusual case in that it hasn’t earned this spot through quality and competence, but instead by not screwing up like the rest of the pack.

Infinite Stratos: Turning into dreck; the major problem is that Ichika is a dumbass. He can’t be that oblivious to the fact that every female except his sister goes into heat on sight of him. Best line belongs to Aroduc, who chastises him for “being oblivious to Houki ovulating in your arms.” Oh well, at least the new Germanic girl got things off on the right foot by slapping the crap out of him on first sight, even before he had the chance to accidentally grope or see her naked. We all know it’s going to happen, so why shouldn’t she get the first blow in? Very much on the bubble; not sure I want to continue.

Koreha wa Zombie: All the cute, offbeat, parody, and sublimated romance elements in the world may not be able to make up for the fact that underlying all the above is a bloody slasher/horror flick. Good people are dying here, and that clashes really badly. I might give it one more episode, but I’m going to have to be really bored for that to happen.

Yumekui Merry: I got ten minutes into the last episode and discovered something important — I don’t care. The show just hasn’t grabbed me. After the first episode, it lost it’s way and dragged too much. Too few revelations; too much Merry angst.

Index II: We’re getting mired in the parts where the story starts getting twisted, stupid, and dark again. And from what I’ve seen of the novels, it’s going to stay that way, which means the “Index being silly” segments are going to seem out of place. Also, as of the last story arc, Touma has NO excuse for not questioning what the hell is going on in the background — he’s about to be hospitalized when he gets a call from the frog-faced doctor, who remarks that it would be bad if another hospital examined him, so why doesn’t he just get wheeled down to the airport where a private jet is waiting to take him home to their hospital? Combine this with the sudden appearance of two passports to facilitate their trip to Venice in the prior episode and I have to say no one but the main character in an anime could be that stupid….

UPDATE: And Dragon Crisis continues to “not screw up” quite well, in fact. I liked how this episode went, and the twist to George’s and Maruga’s stories. As for Ryuuji, usually, having one of the girls so far out of the running or the main character being oblivious annoys me, but it’s actually working in this show. The reasons being, #1 He’s got a good reason to not realize anything thanks to her shyness and bad timing, and #2 even though its due to silly misunderstandings, she knows she’s out of the race thanks to Rose. So the male isn’t being an idiot, and the female isn’t dragging on in false hope. (In fact, if her friend would get a clue and knock it off, it would be better for all concerned.)

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3 Responses to What a Season — It Was (updated)

  1. I have a speculation about Madoka:

    [spoiler]Madoka was a mahou shoujo before, and a really good one. But she was utterly miserable, having lost her family and nearly everyone she loved to the witches. Homura was her last remaining friend, and decided to become a mahou shoujo so she could use her wish to make Madoka happy.

    Homura’s wish was to give Madoka back the life she had lost, the family and friends and places that were gone. And that’s why Madoka’s life is a bit surreal, with the strange house and the school built of glass walls and everything seeming just a bit off. It is real, in a sense, but it was created by Homura’s wish.[/spoiler]

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    That’s not a bad theory at all; it would be a nice twist. I might even like it better than mine, which is a bit more predictable: I note that some of the witches have appeared at awfully convenient times and places. Kyubey is actually the cause of the war between witches and mahou shoujos. On the one side he recruits the magic girls with a combination of bribes and blackmail; on the other he creates the witches. Does he do this for amusement, or does he psychically feed on the fear and anger? If the latter, Madoka could be a tasty meal for him even if she never becomes a puella mag, which is why he’s still hanging around.

    • Ubu Roi says:

      And in a further note that doesn’t necessarily fit either of our theories, in the cafe conversation, Homura referred to her need to “pay for her sins” by being a magic girl. Whaaaaaaat? That opens up a huge can of worms.

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