Anime Watch Week(s) 8 & 9, Part 2

anime, anime reviews, Anime Watch, Fate/, Fate/stay night, Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works, Hiroyuki Sawano, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Holy Grail, Kenichi Shimizu, Kenji Kawai, Mitsuru Hongo, Nantsu no Taizai, Parasyte, Parasyte -the maxim-, Seven Deadly Sins, Tensai Okamura, Toei Animation, World Trigger

After a week off, Anime Watch returns with Part 2 of your favorite anime: Seven Deadly Sins, Fate/Stay Night, Parasyte, and World Trigger!

Hi everyone, apologies for the break, but the holidays and traveling to Oklahoma to meet the boyfriend’s parents kind of took precedent, but I’m back, and I’ve got a lot of anime to talk about! I’ve decided to do a bulk post, since I’m covering 2 episodes for each series, save for Parasyte (which actually got two episodes the week of Thanksgiving) so there will be quite a bit of writings coming your way. I’ll still separate the respected series into their “Parasyte, World Trigger, Seven Deadly Sins, and Fate/stay night UBW” pairings, but each post will cover multiple episodes. Got that, all ready, because I am, so let’s talk anime!

Parasyte Episodes 7, 8, & 9

Still in the thick of what I’m calling the “Vacation, Prologue” arc, Shinichi is still on the hunt for his mother’s killer and body snatcher, and makes friends with fellow “infected“ Mamoru Uda. He’s a charming, chubby, but loyal partner, and quickly sides with Shinichi in his journey. It’s a tumultuous episode and heartbreaking by the final moments, but it’s pertinent and helps Shinichi grow to a level that he’s needed since this all started.

His mother’s killer is finally defeated, and some semblance of peace can begin, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions Shinichi has, and his newfound abilities and attitude demands them. Watching the battle unfold was quite entertaining too. “Mom”, as she’ll affectionately be known as henceforth, sensed Shinichi’s presence, and was stunned to see he survived her impaling was fun to see. This life form that seemingly has advanced intelligence and evolved to a level beyond human comprehension is shocked at the human spirit and how the parasite within him has actually been helping him. It’s that audacity of “Mom” that costs it its life, and despite the edge it had on Uda and Shinichi, it wasn’t prepared for the combined strength of Migi and Shinichi.

Lastly, Uda actually being the one to kill “Mom” rather than Shinichi, telling him “you shouldn’t be the one to kill you mother’s killer” was probably not what Shinichi wanted to hear, but I think he’s better for the intervention. I mean, he’s worked so hard to find it, hunting it all over, yet could he have actually delivered the final blow? Perhaps, but I think it would have been more detrimental to do so, so it’s better Uda took up the mantle. A solid close to the arc, and the closing moments of Shinichi returning school, with Satomi greeting emphasized his new life.

Episode(s) 8 and 9: A double feature, oh boy! And it wastes no time jumping right into the new arc, continuing the story. We see the increasingly pregnant Ryōko Tamiya once again, with a new friend, Hideo Shimada, and she tasks him with keeping an eye on Shinichi. What does she know or even expect from Shinichi. Is she scared, is she waiting, is she worried? Why is she still so keen on Shinchi? Perhaps she thinks her soon-to-be newborn will share similarities to Shinichi and Migi’s arrangement, and is studying them from afar to get a better understanding? There are so many unanswered questions raised in Parasyte, but I’m still enjoying the journey as we’re getting them.

First things first: Hideo is somehow worse than “Mom”; his sociopathic reading is off the charts, and whereas “Mom” was seemingly on a mission to take out any and all in her way, Hideo is on an entirely different level. He enjoys what he does, and likes the life he’s in. It’s only until the final moments of episode 9 do we see any real emotion from him, and it’s almost like a realization that he’s a completely new creation. He’s aware of what he is, but until someone actually approaches him about what he’s been doing does he lose it. It’s quite a bizarre plot device, but it’s so well done in Parasyte (as is everything in this series) that it almost has you sympathetic to Hideo, as if he didn’t know what he was doing all along and has suddenly awoken into this murderous world.

As radical as it was to have two episodes of Parasyte to sit down with, these were relatively more talk than action episodes. That’s not a deterrent, no, because the world-building in Parasyte is always spectacularly done and enjoyable, that I never tire of it. Once again, we’re left with a stellar cliffhanger, and next episode should bring us Hideo and Shinichi’s battle. I can only hope it’s a bit longer than the other battles shown thus far, but as long as they’re as well thought out as the others, I’ll be happy. Are you watching Parasyte yet? There’s really no excuse if you like action anime, with plenty of gore and likable characters. It’s been my favorite series of the fall season, and I can’t wait to own the inevitable US release that should happen in 2015. It’s that good; we’re not even one season through the show, and I’m eager to already own it!

World Trigger Episodes 7 & 8

You know, when I sat down before my trip and realized I’d be missing two weeks of World Trigger, I was scared. Scared because when I knew I’d come back home, I’d have two episode waiting for me, needing to be watched. I cringed as I loaded up episode 7, but I kept a level head and tried to see what they would present to us. Toei has let me down a lot this season, but I keep hearing “this series gets better, it gets so good”, so I’m being open-minded. And you know what, it was a great episode. It provided us with some really great characters and ideas and (albeit brief) action. The cliffhanger was immaculate and had me eagerly awaiting episode 8’s start…until the post-credits preview began.

Episode 7 has Yuma dodging nearly every attack Miwa Unit throws at him, and shrugging off every attack that land. The episode ends with him leaping to evade only to be shot from a seemingly mysterious (to Yuma anyway) sniper. As Osamu screams towards Yuma’s unknown fate and the credits roll, we’re teased perfectly. Toei should have better common sense than to set up a series to have us come back to, only to spoil it moments later that the one in danger is perfectly fine next episode. I get it that this is an adapted idea, and manga readers are already aware of what’s happened months, even years in advance, but for those that are ingesting the series via the anime, to do that is just poor production.

For weeks I’ve been pondering: “am I alone in my disliking of World Trigger?” But scouring various comment sections and Reddit posts, no I am not! This series is not a very well-received series, and unless things change very soon, I can’t imagine too many people aside from fans will continue supporting it. There is just not a lot to like about the show, and it even deters me from checking out the manga in lieu of getting less than enjoyable content. World Trigger is just bad on all accounts, and is a show one should avoid, as there are countless other shows (that I’d be more than happy to recommend) worthy of your time and attention. Just 4 more weeks of this garbage, just four more weeks…

Seven Deadly Sins Episodes 8 & 9

Aw yeah, Seven Deadly Sins, finally a show I enjoy writing about every week! Along with Parasyte and Fate/stay night, Seven Deadly Sins has been my favorite series of the fall season, and having read the manga in preparation (all 90+ chapters out at the time) for it, I was expecting a rather easy-going, fantasy, action-adventure anime; and that’s exactly what I’ve gotten in return.

Seven Deadly Sins knows what it is: a typical shonen show full of tropes we’ve seen for the last 20+ years from other popular series, but it’s still entertaining to watch the characters exist in this world. They’re presented in a world that’s believable and feels like a small location on a grand scale. In the case of the manga, despite all of what the Sins have accomplished, there is still a larger world to explore, and I’m eager to see it all, and the mangaka is doing an amazing job keeping fans coming back to see more of it. In the midst of the world growing and showing us all it as, we also get a fun fantasy adventure that’s (mostly) light-hearted and full of over-the-top action and fights. I mean, one of the Sins is literally a giant, so you know that the action is going to just crazy and silly.

Powers, attacks, and people fly across the screen in a ridiculously frantic manner, but it’s a controlled creation, and tactfully thought out. Nakaba Suzuki has done a great job in the manga drawing the fights, but A-1 Pictures and director Tensai Okamura have done a terrific job bringing Suzuki’s art to life in anime form. In this set of episode we wrapped up King’s introduction with a clichéd but gripping story, and swiftly move on to gathering the Sins’ Sacred Treasures: mystical weapons the Sins use to increase their already ludicrous powers even more substantially.

The upcoming arc, the “Byzel Fight Festival”, was one of my favorites from the manga, as it introduces a host of new characters, along with laying the blueprint of the grander story to come in the later chapters. Judging from the manga chapter to anime episode ratio, it looks like the anime is flowing along rather well, though it’s covered about 30 chapters so far. Given that the series has just broken the 100 chapter point about a month ago, I’m now starting to get worried how much of this 26-episode series will stay true to the manga source material. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with anime-only endings, but they’re generally not well-received or as good as the manga endings. I would certainly hope the series covers up to a certain point then stops, rather than head into an anime-only ending or, god forbid, a filler arc.

Shonen anime are full of enough shows doing that already, and it’s such a turnoff to fans, because nothing in these arcs is every relevant to later plot points. Just fodder to pad out the shows until it’s safe to continue the manga storyline. It killed Bleach for me, is running rampant in Naruto lately, and it’s one of the reasons One Piece isn’t as accessible to me as it could be. (Though there are a number of other reasons One Piece will not be ingested by me any further.) If you want an action-adventure fantasy show, look no further than Seven Deadly Sins; it’s a safe introductory show, and although long-time shonen fans may find a bevy of issues with its structure, it’s still intriguing enough to be entertaining and bring you back.

Fate/stay Night Episode 7 & 8

I was happy to have 3 episodes of Parasyte to write about for this series of articles, but getting two Fate/stay night episodes to enjoy and write about was also very enjoyable. It helps they were both full of action and plot-driven to get us along with the season finale approaching ever closer.

There are rarely breaks in the Fate/stay night world, and these episodes represent that very well, as the battle with Caster and Assassin against Shirō, Archer, and Saber respectively, combust. Despite Shirō’s conflicting ideals towards Archer and how he goes about handling situations, the two (well, mostly Archer) are able to deal significant damage to Caster, but allow her to flee; and although Shirō races after her, Archer doesn’t allow him to get too far before cutting him down. Ever the resilient protagonist, Shirō stumbles into Saber who is allowed safe passage to heal Shirō’s wounds. Naturally all four of these Servants will see one another again; it’s only a matter of time who will be the next to die.

Unfortunately, the Rider class will be absent from the fight, as she’s officially down for the count and out of the Holy Grail War. It’s never explicitly shown who was responsible for her death, but the gang (haha, like in Scooby-Doo) deduces it was likely Caster. Given that we haven’t seen or heard anything involving Caster and Rider in the past, this seems a bit fishy in the grand scheme of things. I mean, I understand its every person/servant/master for themselves, but for Caster to take Rider out so suddenly and unexpectedly, it’s not sitting right with me in regards to normal anime writing. There’s likely something more below the surface, or perhaps I’m overthinking it. Regardless, it’s still a captivating watch, Fate/stay night is!

I apologize once again for the slow response on getting these reviews up in a timely manner. The Thanksgiving holiday and general busyness of my life has created an unhappy schedule for me. Luckily, there are only a few more weeks/episodes of this season to cover, and next season I’ll be back with a less busy season. 2015 will be a terrific year for anime (like most are) and I’ll be better about being on time and topical with the series I cover! I sincerely want to thank Laser Time and everyone here for giving me the chance and opportunity to do this on a weekly basis, and I’m eternally grateful to Chris specifically. Seriously, the guys with Laser Time and formerly of Games Radar have always been a huge inspiration to me, and I’m so thankful to be able to do this stupid stuff for them and with them. Bah, enough sappy writings, on to the next week!

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