Category Archives: episodes

MekakuCity Actors Episodes 11 and 12: Moon-Viewing Recital and Summertime Record

Endings are important, so it’s no surprise that I watched the last two episodes of MekakuCity Actors with a little more trepidation than usual. I was hopeful, though: I had thoroughly enjoyed the non-linear storytelling of previous episodes, and there were many helpful explanations. Although it wasn’t perfect, MekakuCity Actors has done nothing but strengthen my love for the Kagerou Project, which seems to have formerly been rather weak in retrospect.

[Spoilers ahead, obviously. But If you want a non-spoilerific opinion on the anime as a whole, scroll down to the final paragraph]

Episode 11: Moon-Viewing Recital

I knew from the moment I saw his black Route XX hoodie that something was up.

I knew from the moment I saw his black Route XX hoodie that something was up.

Yeah, in those other routes, nothing ever went well for anyone.

Yeah, in those other routes, nothing ever went well for anyone.

YOU HAD ONE JOB SHINTARO

YOU HAD ONE JOB SHINTARO

It’s night, and a red moon in the shape of an eye shines. Shintaro wakes up in his room, finding that he suddenly remembers everything. Through Shintarou’s conversation with one of Azami’s snakes, we learn that seeing Ayano’s photo triggered his own eye-power, Retaining Eyes, which causes him to remember everything, including tragic memories from alternate timelines. If you remember, in Kagerou Days (Ep. 4), every time Hiyori dies, the scenario is reset. This has actually been happening for a long time, except with the entire plotline. (The exact start time is unknown, but it’s hinted that it’s before the characters were born). The snake asks him what he intends to do, and in response, Shintaro repeats the scene from an alternate timeline called Route XX in which he stabbed himself with a pair of scissors.

Because Kido never made anything worse. Ever.

Because Kido never made anything worse. Ever.

We now interrupt the regular plotline for a Zombie Apocalypse

We now interrupt the regular plotline for a Zombie Apocalypse

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MekakuCity Actors episodes 9 and 10: Ayano’s Happiness Theory and Fantasy Forest

There are only two more episodes left of MekakuCity Actors, and, while it hasn’t been a perfect ride, I love the way all the little bits and pieces of information are finally coming together to form a story that is not only coherent (sort of), but intriguing. The two most recent episodes were based off of two of my favourite songs in the Kagerou Project, and my expectations were high. They were not disappointing in the least.

Episode 9: Ayano’s Happiness Theory

Oh hey! I think I've heard this before somewhere!

Oh hey! I think I’ve heard this before somewhere!

The episode opens with Ayano’s mother, Ayaka, reading her a story: The story of the little monster, in fact. So if you were wondering when the story-book clips at the end of each episode would tie in to the main plot, the answer is “Episode 9.”

They BETTER be saving that budget for the finale!

They BETTER be saving that budget for the finale!

Following that, there is a cover of Ayano’s Happiness Theory in place of the opening. While the cover itself is lovely, the opening art showcases some of the worst opening animation choices I have ever seen. Now, I will begrudgingly admit that after watching it several times over, it’s kind of sweet on its own, but the fact remains that when put in the anime alongside the regular animation, it’s nothing short of jarring and cringe-worthy. But I digress.

Kano, you've got to start being nicer, or pretty soon everyone new to the Kagerou Project is going to hate you!

Kano, you’ve got to start being nicer, or pretty soon everyone new to the Kagerou Project is going to hate you!

Two people in a deadly situation on August 15th, and only one makes it out...I wonder what could have possibly happened?

Two people in a deadly situation on August 15th, and only one makes it out…I wonder what could have possibly happened?

Ayano Kido Seto

Maybe he's hiding something?

Maybe he’s hiding something?

Tsubomi Kido, Shuya Kano, and Kousuke were adopted by the Tateyama family, and Ayano was like a big sister to them. Sadly, their happiness was cut short when Ayaka and Kenjrou were caught in a landslide on August 15th, and Ayaka died. Not long after, Ayano finds her mother’s research notes in her father’s room…along with a copy of the little monster’s story. Read the rest of this entry

MekakuCity Actors episodes 7 and 8: Konoha’s State of the World and Lost Time Memory

Episode 7: Konoha’s State of the World

I don't get why they didn't just talk about their health problems a bit last episode. Of course she knew--Why else did she think he missed so much school?

Why didn’t they just talk about their health problems last episode? Of course she knew–Why else did she think he missed so much school?

...I had trouble thinking of anything funny to say at all the constant sadness in this episode.

…I had trouble thinking of amusing captions with all the constant sadness in this episode.

The episode opens with us learning that Haruka has collapsed and is now hospitalized. Takane feels awful for leaving him alone, and decides to leave him with Kenjirou and get his things from the school instead of staying with him.

If only that were true.

If only that were true.

Pfft.  Yes, I'm sure that would work out great.

Pfft. Yes, I’m sure that would work out great. Jin, stop trying to ruin my OTP…Please?

She says it like she's talking about herself, don't you think?

It’s almost like she’s talking about herself

As she is wallowing in shame, she runs into Ayano, who has also been attending supplementary summer classes. They talk about school and Shintaro, and eventually Ayano confronts her about her fear of being rejected by Haruka, and encourages her to tell him how she feels.

If only she hadn't been such a Tsundere, maybe she could have had her wish.

You shouldn’t have been a Tsundere, huh?

Oh hey, if is itsn't [spoiler omitted]

Oh hey, if is itsn’t [spoiler omitted]

Takane thought about what she said, and realised that Ayano was absolutely right. Unfortunately, she collapsed soon after, likely due to her condition, and then weird things started happening. When they were over, she was no longer human. Read the rest of this entry

Mekaku City Actors episodes 5 and 6: Kaien Panzermast and Headphone Actor

MekakuCity Actors reached it’s halfway point last week, and I have begun to realize that if nothing else, this anime is going to suffer from being too short. It really should have been over 20 episodes. Still, nothing has gone terribly wrong yet, so we shall just have to wait and see.

Episode 5: Kaien Panzermast

I was quite sceptical of this episode, as is the only one thus far not to be named after a song in the Kagerou Project, so I didn’t know what to expect. Considering how there is still a huge amount of the story to tell, I was expecting them to jump straight into another song–Maybe Otsukimi Recital.

If it's normal for terrorists to have brightly-colored décor, I guess that's a possibility...

If it’s normal for terrorists to have brightly-colored décor, I guess that’s a possibility…

After surviving the terrorist attack, Shintaro wakes up in a girl’s room. No mention is given as to how he survived getting shot, but in the manga it shows that he didn’t actually get shot: he fainted. Although this is an appropriately Shintaro-like thing to do, it’s rather frustrating that this wasn’t mentioned at all. Did no one edit this script?

Shintaro channels the audience's feelings

Shintaro channels the audience’s feelings

He is extremely confused (Much like ourselves) and begs Ene to tell him what’s going on. Ene, naturally, teases him by telling him that she won’t explain things until he strips down to his underwear. This doesn’t go well.

Basically the most awkward introduction possible

Basically the most awkward introduction possible

Whose idea was it to put Shintaro in Marry's room anyways? What kind of a person thinks that could possibly not go wrong?

Whose idea was it to put Shintaro in Marry’s room anyways? What kind of a person thinks that could possibly not be awkward?

After some funny shenanigans, the Mekakushi-Dan informs Shintaro that they rescued him, and now he and Ene are members of the Mekakushi-Dan(Ene volunteered him while he was asleep). Shintaro is not ok with this, but Kido says he has no choice but to join, since he knows too much. On that cheerful note, they go off to the amusement park. Read the rest of this entry

Mekaku City Actors, Episodes 3 and 4: Mekakushi Code and Kagerou Days

It’s not uncommon to hear people say that you must watch up until the third or fourth episode of an anime to be able to tell if it’s any good or not. With that in mind, I watched these next two episodes knowing that if they were terrible, most people would stop watching.

Episode 3: Mekakushi Code

Happily, Mekakushi Code didn’t disappoint me in the least, which surprised me, since the song by the same name doesn’t have any sort of complex plot (though it is very catchy) and I didn’t especially care for this part of the manga.
Momo Kisuragi

The episode begins with Momo being confronted by Kido. Momo thinks she’s one of her fans, and so is understandably a bit nervous.
Kido introduces herself, and then sets out to recruit Momo to the Mekakushi Dan.

Kido Tsubomi, actually. Kido, Kano, and Seto all go by their family names.

Kido Tsubomi, actually. Kido, Kano, and Seto all go by their family names.

 

GOOD QUESTION. Why must all secret societies be so secretive that they only confuse those they want to recruit?

GOOD QUESTION. Why must all secret societies be so secretive that they only confuse those they want to recruit?

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Mekaku City Actors episodes 1 and 2: Artificial Enemy and Kisaragi Attention

It is very rare that there is ever an anime I am dead-set on watching while it airs. Mekaku City Actors is an exception. For those of you that don’t know, Mekaku City Actors is based off of a series of vocaloid songs, light novels, and a manga, all known collectively as The Kagerou Project. I’ve only listened to the songs and read a bit of the manga, so while I’m very interested in the plot and characters, the majority of the story still eludes me. The Kagerou Project doesn’t have a very straight-forward story line, and when there are fan theories are based on other fan theories, it can be hard to figure out what’s going on. I have no idea if the Mekaku City Actors anime is going to be any good, but I hope that, if nothing else, it might clear up the plot a little a little for me.

Episode 1: Artificial Enemy

The story opens with a sort of dream-sequence scene, involving a girl who I will not name, because I think that might be considered a spoiler, but who is important to the story and, incidentally, my favourite character.

Red Scarf Girl...or Ayano

She’s voiced by the same seiyuu as Nagisa Furukawa. Make of that what you will.

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Sword Art Online, Episode 12: Learning to Adopt

Adoption is a beautiful thing.  In the U.S., adoption is so powerful because in one process, a child’s life is changed forever through the immense sacrifice of an individual or couple.

While Yui is never officially adopted, for all intents and purposes, she might as well be.  This theme of adoption runs strongly throughout episode 12 of Sword Art Online.

Sword Art Online family

Art by カレー御飯

Caring for Orphans in Church (Digital and Real)

The episode begins in the church-turned-orphanage.  Some two thousands years after the brother of Jesus defined “pure and faultless” religion as looking after the widows and orphans (James 1:27), the church is still visualized as a place where orphans are cared for.

Today, Christian organizations still care for the defenseless children.  A favorite charity of mine is Show Hope, a Christian non-profit encouraging and aiding couples in international adoption.

On a side note, I found it interesting that the caretaker of the kids notes that the children have been with her since early on, but doesn’t mention any being adopted.  Perhaps this is another thing that sets the loving Asuna and Kirito apart from other players.

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Reader’s Selection: Vote for the Series That Goldy, Lynna, Zeroe4, and TWWK Blog Next

As Akira mentioned in his swan song post, a wonderful part of anime is the community that can evolve around it.  As the community here at Beneath the Tangles discusses anime (and through the larger aniblogosphere and anime communities), recommendations are bound to come out.  For instance, I think R86 and I both have been happy to discover series we’ve enjoyed due to the other’s recs.

We’re also grateful for all the recommendations that readers have given to us on this blog.  Since we fit into such a specific niche, it’s helpful to hear about series that might fit into our style and theme.  In fact, many of you gave wonderful suggestions of series to watch when we posed the question a few weeks ago.

And so, it’s time to act upon your recommendations.  Goldy, Lynna, Zeroe4, and I are ready to plunge into series we haven’t seen (or have barely started) before.  You tell us what we should watch and then blog about.

The poll below contains a lot of the recs that you provided or that we’ve otherwise heard over the years.  Vote for the series you’d most like us to watch and cover.  The bloggers will take the top few results and determine which we each want to dive in to.

The poll closes one week from today, so go on – vote!  Tell us what to do – we need some direction in our anime viewing lives.

Broken Blade: The Path of Separation

The second installment of the Break Blade series, The Path of Separation, is in my opinion the most important episode in the series. It starts off where the first left off.

Summary:

Zess’ units once again advance on the Kingdom of Krisna’s capital city. During this initial assault on the outer defenses, we get a brief glimpse at the relationship Zess has with his brother, Loquis, who is the Secretary of War for the Commonwealth Athens. After this quick intermission, Rygart meets with Zess to try and convince him to stop fighting. Read the rest of this entry

Broken Blade: The Time of Awakening

Broken Blade is a manga that started being released in 2007. I found out about it in 2009 and I am a pretty big fan of the series. Currently, there are only ten volumes of the manga released and the series is ongoing. Production I.G. and Xebec started work on the anime in 2010. The anime consists of six fifty minute movies and is licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks. This post is about the first movie. I would say that this show is a fantasy mecha anime with a hint of sci-fi. This story has a considerable amount of potential for a mecha anime, and the author weaves quite the tale about overcoming one’s destiny with the help of what people consider to be nothing but a broken blade.

Summary

The people who live in the continent Cruzon are born with the ability to manipulate quarts. This ability is called magic. They refine quarts to make them flexible so they can turn gears, power vehicles, and even fire bullets. Quarts are also refined into luminous quarts, which emit light. Both forms of quarts are used in the creation of mechs that are called Golems. These Golems are the main force of weaponry employed in the armies of all Cruzon nations. One of these nations, Krisna, has been thrown into war. The reluctant king of Krisna calls for one of his military school friends, Rygart Arrow, for help. The catch is that Rygart is an un-sorcerer. Put simply, Rygart was born without the ability to manipulate quarts.

Broken Blade

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