fate/zero 14 and space bros 1, 2

“To speak thus to a king is punishable by death!”

Wait, a pug in my anime? Yes. I didn’t expect much from Space Bros (Uchuu Kyoudai), but it delivered so much. It’s like going to some hole in the wall restaurant and finding out that they have world-class shao long bao. It’s like going to a random baseball game and seeing a no hitter. It’s like stumbling across someone willing to pay $1 billion cash for a few hipstery photo filters. I think if you want full enjoyment from this show, go read Mary Roach’s excellent Packing for Mars first. Some of the things that happen in this show will make a lot more sense, at least from the standpoint of JAXA, which is really NASA’s weird, kooky little brother who is into anime about middle school girls who think they are guns. Let’s just say paper cranes are involved. Paper. Cranes.

Bar none, the most ridiculous fight that I’ve seen since Escaflowne took on F-16 fighters. One, where the hell did Gilgamesh get his Protoss phoenix because that’s what his ship looks like. (If only he had graviton beam.) Is the ship considered one of this treasures? What fuels it? How does he not fall off of the plane during maneuvers. I have so many questions about this ship. Second, even if Berserker can hack into the F-15 like the Borg trying to assimilate, there were no F-15s in Japan in the 1980s. F-15J production started in 1991 and delivery didn’t occur until much later in the decade. In 1980s, Japan would be fielding mostly F-16s and F-4s. Third, the way Berserker altered the direction of the missiles a la Magical Girl Nanoha, well, the amount of g’s sustained would have crushed the missile. One simply does not flip missiles around like that. Good news though is that Sunrise has been taking notes from this fight to incorporate into their next Gundam series.

I would expect an anime about science and space to at least get the historical details right. Yes, Nomo did throw a no-hitter back in 1996. No, flat screen TVs did not exist back then. The first plasmas didn’t hit the market until 1997 in Japan (LCDs were invented before but not used for TVs until 2000s), and they were ridiculously expensive… probably expensive enough that a women’s clinic wouldn’t have one right away. And, yeah, only in Japan can a women’s clinic be dominated by men watching sports.

(The fact that Space Bros uses Japan’s World Cup loss, Nomo, and Zidane as scene setters make me like this anime instantly. This show also features a modern cell phone… for 2012. Nanba was pissed when he lost his phone down the toilet because it was a priceless heirloom from 2010.)

I feel like jumping ahead to 2025 isn’t far enough. It’s like when Escape from New York jumped form like 1985 to 1997 and suddenly New York is a maximum security prison, which didn’t happen until 2008. I mean… the new SF Transbay Terminal isn’t even going to open until 2017. Other things that won’t happen fast: Kyoto finishing off Haruhi Suzumiya, Sunrise hires real writers for Gundam, Keiichi Morisato getting laid.

(I like how the lead astronaut has three mikes but everyone else only has one. This is the type of insightful analysis that you come to this blog for.)

Also, Berserker gunning for Gilgamesh instead of the huge tentacle creature just shows that Matou is bat shit insane. Hey, he’s trying to save Tokiomi’s daughter, but he’s willing to let thousands of innocent people die to do so. While we’re trying to figure that out, let’s also try to figure out how did Berserker hand on a plane going a few hundred kilometers per hour?

Iskandar gets caught by the tentacles. ಠ_ಠ I think his problem is that his sword is like two feet long. You would think that someone in a chariot would use a spear or a longer sword at the very least. Or a gun.

(Return of Fate/Zero and Game of Thrones? At least it somewhat makes up for the crushing losses of Nisemonogatari, Ano Natsu, Skins, and Guilty Crown. I am a bit disappointed that Daenerys isn’t bald… or nakkid…)

Finally Kiritsugu nailed Ryuunosuke with the sniper rifle. While he didn’t hit cleanly on the first shot, Kiritsugu headshotted him with the second… I would chalk the initial shot to him trying to do this on a boat. Long distance sniping at long range on an unstable surface is no trivial task. As I said many times in anime, a good headshot is usually a pretty good solution to many problems. Why didn’t anyone in Guilty Crown realize this?!

(I think the first shot being off-target was really caused by Gen Urobuchi wanting to squeeze out a few last lines for Ryuunosuke to firmly convey how bat shit insane he is.)

The ending sequence for Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau breaks my heart. Kiritsugu and Irisviel look so happy. And then you realize she’s nothing but a magical creation, and he’s boning his assistant. Fun times.

(And I love what World Cars magazine that Irisviel is reading. A nice touch. I would so watch a Top Gear Japan hosted by Irisviel.)

The explanation as to why Tokiomi gave up Sakura and why Matou is fighting for her makes no sense. I feel like anything Fate/Zero brings up with respect to magic law or magic tradition is just a cop out for, “We don’t have a better explanation.” And Matou never lets out the, “Your daughter gets raped by penis worms!” But at least this scene led to Fate/Zero‘s most epic line thus far: “My wife’s womb was too bountiful.” So golden. Tokiomi and Gilgamesh deserve each other– whenever Gilgamesh flirts with Kirei, it just seems like an old horny man getting seduced by a hot young secretary. You just feel sorry for the poor housewife left behind.

(And, yes, I was devastated that Tokiomi didn’t give his spiel while swirling wine around.)

(And, double yes, “My wife’s womb was too bountiful” could apply to Space Bros too. While Mutta designed the world’s greatest car, his younger brother is going to be the first Japanese person on the moon. And the youngest at 28… 36 is current record by Charlie Duke. That has to be more impressive than anything Rin or Sakura ever do… neither even win a Holy Grail War…)

Weird hair aside, Mutta is awesome. He’s like a 30 year old Kyon with funkier hair. I enjoy his narration, I like his personal quirks (like when he eats that french fry), and I like how this anime isn’t like all the others: It features a thirty year old going through a realistic life crisis while being guided by people who love and support him. Scenes like his brother knowing his secrets… his welcome at his parents getting worn out… Sharon getting him to play the trumpet… all seem damn realistic but presented in an entertaining manner. For people who are tired of the same old anime and don’t like this show, there’s nothing out that can redeem you. Stop watching anime and enjoy all the American Idol you can handle.

(The chair screw thing… if you read Packing for Mars, you knew where it was going as there’s a very similar example in the book. And, yes, JAXA is crazy.)

The part about naming the telescope on the moon after Sharon, the lesbian telescope lady, made it dusty in my living room. But remind me again why two lesbians would live in a huge freaking observatory? An observatory that isn’t aided by computerized equipment? This anime features state-of-the-art TVs but can’t depict an accurate, modern telescope.

At the end of two episodes, we have the table set for Space Bros. There’s a definite framework of a plot, and it seems interesting. The show just needs to continue to execute. The writing is fantastic, Hiroaki Hirata is nailing Mutta’s parts, the production by A-1 fits the tone nicely, and the genre is refreshing in an age full of terrible anime clones and sequelitis.

Continues the plot… good action… character getting killed… good start. I think the series should kick into overdrive once there is no longer a general bad guy a la Caster to square off against. Also, the secret to destroying that tentacle monster is indeed a single, powerful attack. In about ten years, Nanoha Takamachi will defeat it using Starlight Breaker.

11 Responses to “fate/zero 14 and space bros 1, 2”

  1. |there were no F-15s in Japan in the 1980s. F-15J production started in 1991 and delivery didn’t occur until much later in the decade

    Correct, this is why FZ is set in the 90s when Slick Willy was president redefining the meaning of “is” and “sex”

  2. One, where the hell did Gilgamesh get his Protoss phoenix because that’s what his ship looks like. (If only he had graviton beam.) Is the ship considered one of this treasures?

    Apparently, yeah, one of these are included in Gil’s treasures:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimana

    Of course, we are referring to the mythical Chariots of the Gods definition here.

    That’s not the wildest thing he has either. If I remember right, Gil has, among other things, ancient Indian magical ATOMIC BOMBS as well.

  3. Gil’s airship is called the Vimana and is supposed to be a magical flying contraption from ancient India.
    As for all your other questions, the answer is always the same:
    “It’s magic. I ain’t gonna explain shit.”

  4. Yes, that spaceship is one of the King’s Treasures (and as Son Gohan said above me, it’s named the Vimana), and it’s fueled by mercury. The reason Gil doesn’t fall off is because of his sheer perfection in awesomeness.

  5. Considering how Iskandar talked about how formidable this “Clinton” guy was in the last season, I think it’s safe to say Fate/Zero is taking place in 1993 at least or later.

  6. Actually the F-15J series were formally introduced to Japan on 7 December 1981. It began its formal adoption as early as 1984 by replacing the F-104 “Starfighter” in the 203 Tactical Air Squadron at Chitose Airbase as a response to the KAL007 incident where a Soviet Su-15 fragged a civilian airliner. Yes given the fact Clinton was on TV F/Z was runing in the 90s.

    I’m more impressed how Vimana lets Gil keep his hair looking fabulous and buoyant while doing Macross shit at mach 3

  7. *looks up Packing For mars* A book in which its Kindle counterpart is significantly less than its print version? Yes, please.

    Really digging that anime is starting to dip into the seinen-ey genre. Really think 20th Century Boys might have been handled better (read: fixed the bull that was the ending arc) if some kind of anime team worked on it. Then again maybe that ending was just too bad for anyone to fix completely.

    Agree with you on the bit about futures being too close to the real world’s time. It was a similar thing that took me out of the plot in the later half of Death Note. I mean… a future where handheld games are played by socially awkward goggle thirdendary characters with red hair that drives a motorcycle? In general, the whole idea of making an educated guess on the future based on what we have now is kinda weird and ages some works (Soylent Green’s 70s future still screams 70s). Still, dunno why, but I’m not having this problem with Space Bros. Maybe because it’s the one anime I’ve seen this season with smart phones.

  8. Yep, it’s a Vimana, as others have said.

    As for Berserker’s impossible use of an F-15’s missiles: Remember his ability – that anything he possesses can become his Noble Phantasm. If he could make a mundane lamppost stand up to Excalibur (episode 5 I think), it stands to reason that he can make a plane and its weapons perform impossible physics-defying stunts.

  9. As far as why Berserker’s missiles can defy physics: remember that it was already explicitly stated earlier in the series that Berserker’s NP turns any non-magical object into a D-Ranked NP with highly enhanced abilities; it’s why he was able to block Excalibur with a goddamn lamppost. (The novels also specify that his NP allows his F-15 to pull off maneuvers that it was never designed to do; the original pilot ends up being killed by the g-forces).

  10. I dunno, I thought the whole dogfight felt pretty Kriby’s Air Ride.

  11. ” And Matou never lets out the, “Your daughter gets raped by penis worms!”

    Because he can’t. He can’t do anything against Zouken. Same reason why Sakura can’t say a damn thing.

    Hint: those worms within his body are Zouken and as Zouken’s puppet, he can’t do anything to endanger him.

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