Problem Children: Thoughts on Episode 8

I am liking this series appreciation for myths and legends. The villains of the last arc were a group of Greek soldiers and had Medusa as a boss, and one of the villains here is a Will o’ Wisp. They even provide the scientific explanation for what is believed to cause the illusion (natural gas bubbling up and igniting from swamps). And then we get the main villains of this arc, who are based on the legend of the Pied Piper, and the show goes the extra mile once again by basing the villains on some natural disasters that are believed to have caused the incident. It’s a small touch, but I really enjoy it.

This episode was okay, with some great parts and some bad parts. The great parts were the designs and ideas; we got some really cool villains in the Pied Piper and Jack o’ Lantern characters and the ideas behind the challenges were cool. Izayoi was awesome as always, which is a plus. There was also a really funny scene at the beginning about skirts and why it’s better to never quite see the undergarments…

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…and the image of the scrolls landing all around the town was really cool.

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The kids were actually the bad part of the episode this time.  Yo appears to be starting an arc about having to rely on others, after making the stupid decision to not bring in a teammate to a match and ending up having to surrender, and Asuka is in the middle of an arc about how she feels weak compared to the others. These are both really generic plots, and it’s annoying to see them resurface here.

ImageJust a few episodes ago you were perfectly fine with being the distraction

Particularly exasparating is the unwillingness of Yo to bring a teammate in; there is no drawback to bringing a teammate in, and she should be smart enough to understand an advantage when there is one. Her blunder just seems out of character and makes her appear stupid.

ImageTHIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IDIOT

A minor complaint, but the way that Izayoi explained what they meant by “reveal the true legend” five minutes after that was introduced was baffling; the tension is gone, and if you were really going to go for any mystery, it’s all dried up.

The episode was still good, but not as great as earlier episodes. Hopefully this show gets back on track.

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Kotoura-san: Episode 8

Remember how I said that part of the reason I like Manabe is that he doesn’t do the whole “I’m not in love with her, even though I obviously am” thing? Yeah, that’s what he did this episode. Image The first half involved Kotoura being sick, which led to an interesting plot point where it appears that she has lost her mind reading powers, at least for the moment. It hasn’t really gone anywhere except a few jokes where Manabe thinks perverted thoughts and is surprised when Kotoura doesn’t react, Image

Justifiable with thoughts like these (Queen’s Blade reference #1)

But it was a solid premise and we got some character development. The second half involved Kotoura and Manabe going on a date together and once again we get some okay jokes, but it was pretty solid overall. Image

Queen’s Blade Reference #2

Jeez, with all this happiness, we might finally see the characters getting better! Its so nice to see that they won’t have to deal with anymore drama Image

GODDAMNIT

Yes, the drama is coming back with a vengeance; the next episode preview makes it seem as though we’re going to see an investigation of a murder and the reappearance of Kotoura’s mother. I have to say, I was not expecting this; maybe a confrontation with the mother or something, but not a murder mystery. It will be interesting to see how Kotoura pulls it off. This episode seemed to be filler, but this is the good kind of filler: one where we get some good character moments and funny jokes as well as give a little break from the drama of the show.

Kotoura-san: Some Thoughts on Episodes 1-7

Kotoura-san has become somewhat famous for its first episode;

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Title Card  

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 First Episode

For a show based on a 4-koma and from Masahiko Oota, director of Yuruyuri and Minami-ke, nobody expected a dark and depressing story about an ostracized girl who is, within the first ten minutes, abandoned by her family and tormented at every turn. The show does have comedy in it, but, well….

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Because of the way it mixes drama and comedy, Kotoura is a strange beast. It will make jokes about all men being perverts, only to have a character bullied mercilessly within the next five minutes. Despite that, though, the series really works. The drama actually makes the comedy better; by showing how tough Kotoura had it as a child, watching her have fun becomes a joy to watch because you are happy that she is enjoying her new conditions.

The thing that really makes this show great, however, is Manabe. He’s just great, constantly taking chances, helping people, and being proactive. When Kotoura is being bullied, he immediately tries to find out who is doing this. When she tries to deflect this by saying that it is not a problem, he yells that it is a problem and figures out who is doing it. He then rushes over to the person and confronts them about it, letting them have it. When the bully asks why he’s doing this, he says “Because I like her! You got a problem with that!?” This scene is exactly why I love him; it’s like he has a direct line to the viewer and does what the viewer knows would solve the situation.

The past few episodes have been kind of fillery, but it looks like the drama is starting to reappear. This is definitely a show that I will watch till the end.

Problem Children: Some Thoughts on Episodes 1-7

Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They? (Hereafter referred to as Problem Children) kind of flew under my radar at the beginning of the season; it looked generic, the plot seemed kind of clichéd, and it seemed like it would be boring. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be one of the most fun shows of the season! Problem Children centers around (guess who) three kids with special “gifts” who receive letters inviting them to Little Garden, a magical place where all sorts of different races compete in gift battles, where they play games in order to win prizes. These games can range picking the right card out of a deck to killing a demon lion with a certain sword. The kids are met by a bunny girl after they enter Little Garden, and soon become the saviors of a community that had been completely wiped out and is trying to regain its status.

The three kids are the main reason that this show is so fun. The three kids are Kudou Asuka, a rich girl with the power to command people to do her bidding, Kasukabe You, a quiet girl who has a talisman that allows her to use the abilities of animals, and Izayoi Sakamaki, whose gift is unknown but includes super strength, agility, perception, and even the power to destroy other gifts. So we’ve got three kids with special powers that have to help the underdogs, what else is new? This is anime, those are a dime a dozen. The kids in Problem Children, however, have one big difference: they are complete badasses. They kick ass, take names, are proactive, and regularly take on people bigger than they are. The second episode cemented my opinion of them; in it, the leader of a community sits down and tries to convince them to join his side. Within five minutes, they’ve already figured out he’s evil, learned his plan, thought up a way to defeat him, and, when he attacks, them, piledrives him into the ground. Of all the kids though, Izayoi is the most fun to watch. It’s rather cliché to say this, but he does not give a F**K. He stops swords with his feet, insults living gods, and never breaks a sweat.

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This is to the main villain of the arc

The rest of the characters are a little bland, but they work well. The bunny that brought them there, known as Black Rabbit, is a little annoying, as she is constantly fretting, but she can be cool when she wants to. The villains in this series are just complete slimeballs with no depth whatsoever, but that makes it so much more enjoyable when they get beaten up by the heroes.

The rest of the show is OK. The world is kind of cool, if kind of boring and not well-explained. The animation is great, used well when needed. The comedy is kind of bad, with most of it using super deformed characters and consisting of Black Rabbit yelling “What!?” to everything that seems weird. The thing is, though, that the kids make all of those things irrelevant. Who cares about improper character depth when Izayoi is kicking a laser beam in half?

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I wasn’t kidding