Welcome, dear readers. For this post, I’ll quickly cover some of my thoughts on four anime series airing now, in Fall 2020. Enjoy.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2020)
Episode 3: Onidamashi-hen part 3
Episode 3 of Higurashi 2020 played out much like the one from the 2006 series. For the famous scene where Rena yells, “USO” (lies), it’s painfully obvious that the older version was better. In that version, Rena seems much creepier to me, and the effect of the birds getting startled and flying away was excellent. In the new rendition, Rena seems wildly aggressive with her line instead of creepy and distrubed. There’s no scene of the birds flying away.
Anyway, that’s a minor thing. And since we know that this Higurashi is not a remake but a continuation, it’s a bit pedantic to keep comparing them. The one other thing I wanted to note was that Ooishi seems immediately more suspicious and potentially menacing in this episode. With his first appearance in the 2006 version, he came across as friendlier and a welcome relief for Keiichi. I think it’s good that this Ooishi has a more nuanced first appearance.
Majo no Tabitabi (The Journey of Elaina)
Episode 3: “The Girl As Pretty As A Flower” and “Bottled Happiness”
We had a rather grim episode of Elaina’s travels this week. There were two stories. The first was about magic-draining, human-eating plants with alluring flowers. A girl and her brother were both victims of this savage but beautiful vegetation.
Elaina was responsible for bringing the flowers into the country where the brother lived, not knowing they drove people mad or slowly drained them of life and magic. I thought it was a bit odd that Elaina felt no apparent guilt; I mean, she shouldn’t have to, since she didn’t know the truth. I just expected her to be the type to get upset by it. However, it seems Elaina has a strong emotional and mental constitution. The next story in the episode showed the same trend.
Nino is an unhappy slave for the head of a peaceful village. She isn’t treated well by the master, but his son Emil loves her. So for Nino’s sake he used magic to capture moments of happiness from around the land, bottling them up to give them to Nino. While she stayed at the village leader’s house, Elaina was clearly angry about Nino being a slave and being mistreated, but she didn’t try anything like interferring to set Nino free. So it seems Elaina’s top priority is continuing her journey, rather than helping people, which I think is fine.
Emil showed Nino the sights stored in his bottle of happiness, and she cried. Elaina recalls a similar story from her favorite book, where a husband captured the world’s finest views and brought them home to cheer up his ill wife. But his efforts had the opposite effect, making the wife more depressed, because she could never see these things herself. She took her own life. Nino might have been similar, seeing such happy sights but being bound to the life of a slave. Elaina flies away saying she doesn’t wish to know what happened to Nino in the end.
Kamisama ni Natte Hi (The Day I Became a God)
This episode was entertaining enough, though there was nothing that really got me laughing out loud. Hina Sato (“Odin”) tried various humorous methods to get Yota hooked up with his crush, Izanami. Hijinks included filming several videos that were spoofs of real movies (such as Edward Scissorhands) and composing a piano song for Yota to play and impress Izanami. None of the plans really worked, but the piano idea did seem to make Izanami happy, at least.
So far, this anime is mostly comedy, but I suspect that there are slightly deeper elements to the story and characters that haven’t yet come to light. A lot of shows start out cute and funny and then throw a curveball, ending up serious or emotionally powerful. On a realted note, I am quite curious about Hina and if she’s really a god. How she’s related to the Narukami family is another question. These little mysteries are keeping me interested for now.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park
The second episode of IWGP was more entertaining than the first, though it still doesn’t look like it’s my cup of tea. The episode served to introduce the Red Angels, another large group of young people in Ikebukuro, led by Kyouichi Ozaki. Despite some tension between them, the G-Boys and Red Angels cooperated to find and defeat a gang of 5 men who were paid by a corrupt company to attack employees who wanted to quit or sue. It was serious enough that one teen tried to commit suicide.
While King and Kyouchi handled the physical side of subduing the five culprits, Makoto confronted the corrupt company in a press conference. His friend Masaru, who was also attacked, started a lawsuit against the company president. The G-Boys contributed a lot of money to pay for the lawsuit. I have no particular thoughts beyond thinking that the gang stuff is all pretty dumb. I did enjoy the relatively realistic fight scene though. Also, Kyouichi’s dance was well animated and beautiful indeed.
Thanks for reading and have a good day! Sayonara until next time!
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