“Banishment… this waruldo!”
The finals scene was fantastic. Three things come to mind of it: One, why would the house be demolished like that? I mean, it’s one thing to move away and sell the house, but it’s another to move away, demolish it, and then try to sell it? Even if the property is falling apart, it sure has to be worth more than an empty plot plus demolition costs. Two, the scene gives quite a poignant reason for why Rikka is the way she is. She’s not stuck in 8th grade syndrome because she likes it, but because the alternative is a world where he dad does not exist. Not that it’s healthy behavior, but it’s her way of coping with her loss, something no one around her understands. It’s like if everyone around Tomoya just told him, “Dude, your wife is dead. Suck it up and get over it.” Well, it’s not exactly that simple… one does not simple walk to Mordor. (In Clannad, Tomoya got tons of support… even from little Ushio…) What’s interesting isn’t how Rikka’s family treats her but how Yuuta is the first person whom she believes can understand her. She places a lot of trust in him that he will understand Rikka… which is all Rikka seems to want. Three, this scene is an excellent example of the latest Idea Channel episode about Adventure Time. Rikka has major nostalgia for the past. And, because of that nostalgia, Kyoto is able to frame a scene that is both happy (Yuuta understanding Rikka) and sad (realizing why Rikka is as so) at the same time. It’s fantastic. It’s what we know Kyoto is capable of, and, hopefully, the remainder of Chu 2 can bring that story home.
(“Reality be rent! Banishment– this waruldo!” They have new meaning. Mmm…)
I know what you are thinking. Similar premise and setup as Mayoi Snail. And you’re right. Mayoi Snail was a great story as well, and Shaft did an excellent job on it… though that story had an extra layering of Senjougahara on top.
(And also, Penguindrum. This whole longing for the nostalgia of home… I wonder if we’re seeing it more or less in pop culture these days. And, if we’re seeing it more, why? Because of the information age, we see the past differently? Like we want to affect the past because it stylizes our future much like a Facebook timeline? Mmmm. Maybe something like that.)
I laughed for a good thirty seconds at this scene. Yuuta bouncing off the shrub was a good setup, and it just got pushed to another level when Rikka repeats it, complete with sparkly happy effects. Her Tyrant Eye is strong, but not strong enough to defy gravity. This scene gets strong consideration for second best bounce ever as it cannot unseat the current champion.
(The BGM for this scene– incredible. Fits the mood perfectly, has the right amount of tension, and the melody of it sounds almost like 8-bit Zelda music.)
“Swear on the Tyrant’s Eye?”
Yes. Oh gosh yes. That movement on the sidetail. Rikka’s Value Over Replacement Moe is quite high… at least above almost every other character this season. Sorry, Hidamari Sketch… all your nutbladders are belong to Rikka.
“Dark Flame Master is the strongest!”
Wait, what? How is this safe or comfortable? Especially if they have to go for like ten kilometers? Wouldn’t it make more sense if Rikka sat behind on the rack? Oh well, I’m not the one biking up-fucking-hill for ten kilometers with a girl hanging on rollerblading.
I get the feeling Kyoto is playing Kyoto karaoke with this show. It’s like they take their best ideas from other series and mix them in… Tsuruyi has a mole on her ample bosom? Where have I seen this before? Though Tsuruyi is fantastic in this episode. She’s not really in moe category anymore as she’s in the other category along with Haruka Minami, Yoko Littner, and Tomoyo Sakagami. Um, what was I saying? Oh yeah, Tsuruyi’s white dress was excellent.
Errr… I mean… little top hat for Sanae. Seriously? It’s the same color scheme as Mio’s. I’m just waiting for a black cat with a red scarf to show up now.
Rikka doesn’t look melancholic, does she?
I like what Kyoto did this episode in matching everyone’s bathing suits to their outfits. I also like how Kyoto went for cuter swimsuits with frilly details than a school swimsuit outfit (what I would expect out of Rikka, I guess). The composition of this scene doesn’t hurt either.
Again, white summer dress and white swimsuit for Tsuruyi. I also like how Isshiki is along for comedic relief, and he shakes his ass a bit like Lupin. Of course, I like Nibutani’s sidetail… Kyoto went all out this episode on sidetails…
And this scene was pretty good too. Nibutani is definitely jelly of Tsuruyi, and it’s a bit comical how Isshiki is only interested in Tsuruyi. Wouldn’t you expect a freshman boy to be ogling both of them? But, nah, he’s all-in on the Empress of Sleep.
I love this framing. It shows a quite toned down Rikka (only slightly less fun than a toned down Haruhi), and it shows her with a shortwave radio. I wonder how many of my readers actually used a shortwave radio before… my dad had one that he used when I was young, but shortwave radio is something that was pretty much obsolete by the time I grew up. Yes, there are still hobbyists who would drive up Mt. Tam on a nice clear day and see if they could communicate with North Korea or whatnot, but they’re mostly total engineering neckbeards driving VW vans. Not that I’m stereotyping or anything… no, seriously, go check out the Mt. Tam parking lot sometime. Anyway, it’s both clever and cute and sad how Rikka uses it. I’m assuming she doesn’t understand the whole ionosphere bouncing thing, but she does know that something is coming “beyond the horizon,” and she pins any hope of talking to her dad on it.
(My guess: the shortwave is something that her dad used when she was a kid. Because she watched him use it, she is using it now as it is one of her last tangible connections to him.)
Speaking of perspectives…
You know how in harem anime that have larger casts, they are the haremettes that have no chance with the loser male lead? So they mostly bicker with each other? That’s Sanae and Nibutani at this point. They have no chance. Sure, Yuuta may have an occasional boyish daydream about Nibutani, but that’s only because he hasn’t seen Tsuruyi’s mole yet. But, really, Yuuta is doing all he can from realizing that, gasp, he likes the weirdo girl.
Cerebus! Great idea for a halloween costume for a dog…
It’s one thing to make a list ranking the cute girls in one’s class, it’s another to throw up on a girl. Isn’t it worse to be “the guy who threw up on the popular girl” than be “the guy who had a secret notebook”? It’s like pooping in one’s pants or having a huge erection in front of class during a book report on Anna Karenina… that person is just forever known as the guy who pooped his pants or got wood dissecting Leo Tolstoy. Isshiki is not going to live this down during his high school career.
Reason number 15,532 why Kyoto is awesome: even though the focus on this scene is the grandparents and Nibutani, Kyoto still animated movement for the Sanae and Tsuruyi. And they had Tsuruyi blink occasionally… which is more than what I can say about Initial D 5th Stage. I watched episodes one and two, and at no point do any character blink. It is just incredible how a franchise such as Initial D can be so shoddily animated… it’s almost like they know people will gobble it up even if the animation is craptastic. *cough* GTO *cough* Little Busters *cough*
Final thought: What if our nostalgia for home is because it is a shared nostalgia. “Home” is something everyone remembers, and a place of sanctuary for us. However, in the end, most of these stories end with the same realization: Home! Let me go home! / Home is wherever I’m with you!