Cross Game 16
This episode features the baseball game between the two teams which will end up deciding which team is allowed to stay under which coach. It’s a brilliantly conceived episode, the pacing is phenomenal, and the use of music is extraordinary. I especially liked the Summer Rain background music which played towards the end. It really is quite a charming song. In the episode itself, there was not a big dramatic, suspenseful, or climactic moment, but that’s the way the series is. Cross Game is the sum of individual touching and charming moments, and there were plenty here today as well. One of the appeals with Cross Game for me is that it allows me to enjoy the pleasure of an old-fashioned setting and style – an age before text messaging and internet and what have you, when life was a bit gentler and slower. Of course, technically, I think the series does take place in the current time, but Adachi chooses to make it feel more like a Touch-era series, which is fine by me, because both of my favorite series in this genre (Maison Ikkoku and now, it seems, Touch) took place in that kind of environment.
Kou is such a refreshing main male character. You’ll know what I mean when you watch the series. The entire dynamic between the leads is just refreshing.
Tokyo Magnitude Episode 02
Tokyo Magnitude looks like it’s heading down the right path. The voice acting is phenomenal, the animation is expressive , the dialogue is well-written, and the pacing is fantastic. This is an episode that engrosses you from beginning to end. It revolves mostly around Mirai dealing with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, which is searching for her lost brother. Her desperation sounds honest and I want to commend the voice actor for her fantastic job – the viewer can really grasp the magnitude of her despair by how drastically different she sounds compared to just a few moments ago (last episode).
We are also introduced to Mari, the biker who allowed Yuuki to buy the present he wanted earlier. She helps Mirai and Yuuki despite Mirai’s skepticism (she expected her to leave and never come back when she went to her bike to retrieve some food). But she does return and reveal that she has a daughter of her own at home. Her guilt for not paying enough attention to her daughter certainly may affect her disposition towards these two kids stranded from their parents. She does not, however, allow herself to be worried about the fate of her daughter. Some people claim that this is unrealistic. As far as I can see, Mari is a very collected person and she may indeed be worried on the inside. But right now, she cannot do anything for her daughter. What she can do is try and reassure the two children in front of her by acting calm and not panicking.
I don’t know what the extent of the damage done by this earthquake will be. The series could go anywhere – it could be the story of two orphaned children like Grave of the Fireflies, or it could be the story of a family rebuilding their lives after the disaster and perhaps rekindling familial love which may have gone stale due to the tensions of every day life. Either way, I am very much anticipating the next episode. This really does have the potential of reaching great heights.
Sora no Manimani Episode 02
So far, Sora no Manimani has been a series that has a clear goal in terms of what it’s trying to accomplish, and does so without any hitch. It isn’t gripping or life-changing stuff – it’s a straight comedy series which borrows many elements from other anime. It isn’t unique and doesn’t stick in your mind, but it entertains you for half an hour. If that is enough for you, then you’ll like this show.
But I have to admit I feel a bit cheated. The trailer poster made me think of a peaceful, gentle slice-of-life series. Just look at it:
The series description also sounded fairly unique – I don’t think many series revolve around astronomy clubs. And then there was the part about an injury during childhood separating two friends. Surprisingly, in the episode, that injury was not much more than a passing joke and things are pretty wild for an astronomy club. It’s a comedy, no question about that. Of course, it’s completely my fault for projecting my own expectations onto it, and to be fair, it has a likeable cast of characters. And, naturally, there is the potential to heighten the seriousness as the series progresses. In the end, I don’t have much of an opinion on this series yet – it’s entertaining, fun, but forgettable at the moment. Basically my point is that while I will likely continue watching, I don’t expect to write about it unless there’s a drastic increase in scope.
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