Welcome! This post is a few days late due to the fact that I was without internet for three days over the weekend and Monday. I finally got it done though! Here are my thoughts on 4 seasonal anime airing right now. Enjoy!
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni GOU
This episode of Higurashi 2020 was a real rollercoaster. At first it seemed like Keiichi was well on the way to changing the future by controlling his paranoia about Rena. This was thanks to intervention from Rika. But it seems like Rika was wrong about this world line. Keiichi wasn’t the only one going crazy from the Syndrome– Rena had already progressed beyond help. Much to my surprise, after the slightly over-the-top stabbing scene, Keiichi survived.
Then the world became even stranger, with Rika and Satoko killed in their home by an unknown murderer. It could not have been Takano because Rika was not disemboweled. Anyway, the episode ends with Keiichi contracting the Syndrome and screaming in terror. It’s unclear what happened after that, but I doubt that it matters. Since Rika is dead, the world will restart. It looks like there are many new mysteries in this continuation of Higurashi.
I have one other note to add. The fight and murder scenes with Rena and Keiichi were not bad, but they didn’t seem at all like the old Higurashi. The previous Higurashi focused on creepiness, quick shots, and some left to the imagination for the scary scenes. However, in Higurashi 2020, we have over 30 seconds of Rena laughing and stabbing Keiichi, while he bangs her head with a clock. It was just in-your-face more than the previous version. On the other hands, it was also less violent in a way, because there was some censoring of Keiichi’s stab wounds. To put a censor in a gratuitously long murder scene is really off-putting.
It seems like Higurashi is going for a diffferent style of horror than before. I’m not sure if I like it as much as the past style, but that’s alright. I’m still greatly intrigued and entertained by this anime. I can’t wait for next week!
Majo no Tabitabi (The Journey of Elaina)
This week, we had another somewhat grim episode. Elaina comes to a destroyed city and finds only the palace untouched with the amnesiac princess still inside. Every night, a dragon-like monster called Javalier attacks the city, destroying everything. The princess, Mirarose, is slowly regaining her memories, and thanks to a certain letter, she knows she must fight and kill Javalier. The twist in this episode was well-done and surprising. I won’t spoil it here.
Anyways, this episode contained lots of colorful fantasy fighting. The effects are excellent considering C2C is a small studio and I’ve never known them to animate magic and fighting before. I really love the visuals in this anime. Another good thing about this episode was the continued personality exploration of Elaina. I love her character; it’s such a contrast to normal anime leads, especially female ones. She is logical, practical, and sees no need to put her life in danger to help a stranger. But she’s also a soft touch in some ways, eventually giving in and being willing to help Mirarose with the fight. All in all, it was an exciting and memorable episode!
Kamisama ni Natte Hi (The Day I Became a God)
In this week’s addition, Sora is concerned for her senpai, who is in debt and being intimidated by loan sharks as she tries to run her family ramen shop. Hina (Odin) wants to help, and uses Yota for an elaborate and hilarious scheme to get the shop more popular. Surprisingly enough, it works, and the only thing left to do is drive away the loan shark. Yota fights the man with instructions from Hina of moves she already knew would work. The result is perfect. Yota wins. The ramen shop is now getting more business.
Besides this funny little ramen adventure, there’s one other thing to mention. This episode introduced Hiroto, a mysterious silver-haired boy with astounding sci-fi abilities that let him find and process information better than a super-computer. He uses this power to help a separated mom and child reuinte, but it’s clear that he also has a bit of a nasty streak. The boy is being kept and guarded by some kind of shady organization. They ask him to look into a certain physicist and discover what he’s hiding. Hiroto gets to work at once.
My speculation is that Hina was somehow or other given her supernatural omniscience by that mysterious physicist. Hiroto is probably similar, a child gifted with near-magic powers. I have a feeling that the organization is looking for Hina. Another interesting thought is that this series could be in the same universe as Charlotte, theoretically, with these kids with psychic powers. The director and original creator of Kamisama are the same ones as in Charlotte.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park
Internet video maker Ryuusei has a channel called Onion Time where he eats raw onions for viewers. He also does occasional stunts, such as rolling down escalators. For his channel’s five year anniversary, Ryuusei plans another stunt, but he’s being seemingly threatened by another group called ToDaShi. So Makoto and the G-Boys step in to help. There were a few little twists in the episode, but nothing very interesting. It was a decent episode with a tidy resolution.
I have no particular thoughts other than two brief things. First, it was good to have an anime episode dedicated to presenting internet video culture and discussing its growth in modern society. Secondly, I’m not buying the character of Makoto yet. He is too nice and selfless. It’s as if he has no interests of his own. I’m hoping his character is developed more, and that there are reasons behind his almost-too-altruistic behavior. It’s fine if it turns out he’s just an exceedingly nice person, but a main character like that can be boring if other dimensions are left undeveloped. Thanks for reading my work today.