What I Learned By Watching Anime This Week! #3


That's one way to call someone's mom a slut.

Hard to come back from a two-week hiatus and act like nothing happened.  I don’t know if anybody has taken a liking to reading these supposedly regular postings of mine, but in case there is:  sorry for being gone for two weeks!  School finals can be a cow on us all, and I had some other shit going on with work.  Anyway, since I’m leaving for Sakura-Con in Seattle tomorrow, I better get this done before I make it a three-week hiatus.

Also, since this is basically the “break week” that comes between the seasons, I have to back track a bit.  Oh sure, there was anime that aired this week, but it just so happens most of it is stuff that I don’t regularly watch.  The rest of it was either not interesting or not fucking stupid enough to complain about.  I know what you’re thinking:  “how can that be when Aquarion EVOL is still airing?”  Well, truth be told, Aquarion EVOL is genius and you’re a retard.

So, with the delay and a backtrack, consider this a make up of sorts as I cap off the season with multiple things to bitch about.

Tsundere Karuta

You have 10 seconds to be as tsundere as poss.. HNNNNGGGG!

There is such a thing as a tsunshun character – Inu x Boku SS.

I have to admit, I do not know who comes up with this crap.  It seems to me that terms like moe, ahoge, and tsundere just kind of appeared out of nowhere and penetrated the otaku lexicon faster than a Tainamin Asagi penis.  Sometimes I think the whole thing is a gag in and of itself, like some asshole on 4chan trying to type that he’s “GAY for Archer” and coming up instead with the impetus for the now highly regarded meme “GAR“.  Other times it might actually be someone with impeccable intellect coming up with something clever.  The rest of the time, though, this shit just seems to surround us like a cloud of pot smoke, and before we know it, we’re all high.

So I guess it was a nice change of pace to have the origin right in front of me.  For those not keeping up, episode 9 of Inu x Boku SS not only provided us with some much needed humor, but coined the archetype name that is now forever in my brain.  Don’t believe me?  It’s already got a fucking page on TVTropes.  I suppose that, like tsundere, tsunshun characters were always there but had never really been identified.  Well, that’s not true.  Characters prior to the 2000s who were tsundere had a archetype name, it just wasn’t a very sexy or kind term.  But, well, we just always kind of lumped them in together, because, well, who gives a damn if someone gets all regretful over being a See-You-Next-Tuesday?  Does the post-tsundere activity make the character that much different?  I suppose in Rurichiyo’s case, she’s always been kind of a different level of standoffish, but seeing her sulk over his actions doesn’t do anything positive for me.  In fact, like watching an NTR victim refuse to do anything about his painful situation, it just pisses me off.  Quite frankly, if your entire character personality is defined by a lack of “getting over yourself”, well you’re a character written by a shitty author.  Just saying.

What’s next?

Kill Me Baby

Yasuna and Sonya: One has serious problems, the other is Yasuna.

Insanity is funny!  Oh wait, no it isn’t. – Kill Me Baby and Recorder & Randsell.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” – Anonymous

I attribute that quote to “anonymous” not because people on 4chan are clever (they aren’t), and not because anybody on 4chan coined the term (they didn’t), but because that phrase has been attributed to everybody.  From Albert Einstein to Benjamin Franklin, it seems like people just keep trying to fix that quote to every one who seems to fit the mold of saying such a thing, and it never quite works or sticks.  Hey, that’s ironic.  Anyway, while that isn’t the actual definition of insanity, nor is it even close to being accurate, it works for my purposes here, so I’m going to use it.

Since the two anime I plan on working with here were already mentioned in the section title, you may already have an idea of where I’m going with this.  Certainly those who have read my comments in the forums on Kill Me Baby and Recorder & Randsell will know, and maybe you’ll be thinking that I’ve reached an interesting paradox.  Indeed, I have.  There is something polarizing about the sisyphean nature of these two shows.

In Kill Me Baby, I have said that I find the character of Oribe Yasuna endearing because of her relentless attacks on her assassin friend Sonya’s patience.  To me, this is what makes Yasuna humorous.  For some reason known only to her, she continually tries to get Sonya’s goat, and continually receives a painful punishment for it.  Sure, it’s your standard tsukkomi-boke gag routine, so she’s expected to not only be stupid but be punished for it, but there’s just something incredibly hilarious about her tenacity.  Yasuna is insanity because she thinks that something other than an extremely painful retort will come her way for teasing a murderer.


Recorder blows... and so does the show.

Recorder & Randsell, on the other hand, just refuses to give up on the same fucking gag.  The main character, one 10 year old boy in an adult’s body, is constantly the victim of misunderstandings.  Specifically, he’s the victim of the misunderstanding of being a pedophile preying upon his “normal” 10 year old female classmates.  I have to admit, it was funny in the first episode when they set up the joke well with a situation that even had me shaking my head in disbelief.  If it had only stopped there… Unfortunately this joke has been done in nearly every episode since.  This is insanity because they keep repeating the same joke, expecting something other than me getting irritated.

So why is one allowable and the other isn’t?  I don’t know.  By this point, the joke of consistency is expected in both shows, but only one did it right.  I think my problem has more to do with the R&R world than the KMB world.  Sure, high school assassin, ninjas, and whatever, but for some reason the setup is acceptable with Yasuna and Sonya.  The world of R&R, though, should have become AWARE of a young boy’s growth problem by now.  I mean, how many times has Atsushi been taken to the cops?  Does he keep getting taken to different police stations or something?  Do the cops in Japan not keep records?  By this point, every fucking police officer in that city should know what Atsushi looks like.  The whole problem of a short-term memory police populace is lampshaded by the show itself twice when Atsushi is told by his teacher to make sure that the police officers know who he is during a special volunteer period (which actually led to a different joke, believe it or not) and by the teacher herself later in the same episode, who has the routine of bailing the young lad down pat.

Paradox?  You tell me.  What’s next?

Fighter Bases in Japan

Doo bee doo bee doo... *whistle whistle whistle*... don't mind the generic shounen lead with the hand tattoo...

Worst security in the world, or clever intelligence plan to scare Halkeginia into surrender? – Zero no Tsukaima F.

I pretty much promised myself I wouldn’t bitch about anything in Zero no Tsukaima’s final season, both because I didn’t want to waste that many braincells on it and because I was afraid that if I talked about it and it got popular again they’d make more.  Unfortunately, I just owe it to Yamaguchi Noboru to not let his last work go by without a comment.  I mean, the guy is bravely fighting cancer, so the least I can do is give his work some shit.  Okay, the reality is that he tempted me way too much with that last fucking episode.  I just can’t hold back anymore.


Yes, I know that Saito can just walk right into Mordor.  We established his badassery back at the end of season two.  Still, the fact that they chose not to animate the entire escapade means that nobody on the creative team has a clue how he did it either.  It’s almost like they couldn’t bullshit themselves into bullshitting the world.  I’ve had days like that.  I’ve tried to type out something nice about someone or something only to laugh halfway into it because… I just can’t.  I just CAN’T.  There are limits to how much someone can suspend disbelief, and if it doesn’t even get out of the script room, what hope do we have?  So the best alternative is to just not talk about it, and with a wave of the hand, it is so.

Here I sit, wondering anyway.  How did this happen?  I don’t know how hard I should deny the possibility, after all something similar happened… IN AMERICA!  But that tank, while fueled, was unarmed.  The best that Nelson could do with it is run around and knock over a few cars.  So why was the jet plane just sitting around, fully fueled, and fully armed?  Was it put there on purpose, under lax security, just so a teenage boy with Gandalfr powers could steal it?  I wonder, I wonder…

Now, hey, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but connect any series of dots and you will eventually draw a picture of a pyramid with the all-seeing eye over it.  Considering all the crossovers that have happened between Earth and Halkeginia, you have to think that the governments of the world would eventually become aware of this alternative world of magic.  Japan, being an island nation completely dependent upon imports for most of it’s resources, would be a prime culprit in a plot to expand into a new, rich land.  If you know anything about Japan, you know that they’re not supposed to have an offensive military force, and yet they have one of the most advanced air and naval groups in the world.  If they wanted to, they could certainly flex a bit of muscle to get what they want.

But how to go about it?  It would be near impossible, with the inconsistency of the gates between worlds (and the lack of a Void user), to land a sizable invasion force there.  That left a single alternative:  use that loli loving sap as a messenger.  This is our technology, we can kill dragons, SUBMIT OR DIE!  Well, Saito played his part as patsy perfectly.  Now, all of Halkeginia trembles in fear of screaming jet fighters and missiles raining down death and laying waste to the countryside.  Mission accomplished.  Japan, you clever bastards.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Okay, enough of that shit.  I mentioned that I’ll be in Seattle for Sakura-Con this weekend.  If you are going to be there as well, hit me up in an e-mail or on the forums and maybe I’ll buy you a beer or something.  When I get back, Sorrow-kun is going to force himself on me with a microphone, so look forward to hearing all about it with the next scheduled Podcast.

6 Responses to “What I Learned By Watching Anime This Week! #3”

  1. No paradox. Kill Me Baby is pure comedy fucking gold. Yasuna and Sonya are not rigidly defined as tsukkomi and boke. It’s those rare moments where Yasuna gets the best of Sonya that makes KMB completely unpredictable. You think you know how a gag is going to end. But you don’t.

    Also, Satomi Arai.

  2. Wow, never underestimate the speed of TVTropers. I mean, if Inu x Boku SS was the trope namer…

  3. Perhaps Saito was really good at bullshitting?

    “Hey there, I’m the new F-2 test driver, could you prepare one for me please since I need to test one right away?”
    “Do we even have test pilots? And you’re a high school kid”
    “Of course we do, I’m a highly qualified test dri- pilot, and if you’re superiors find out you’ve been berating me, you’ll be fired for sure!”
    “For sure? Well okay, this way please.”

    You’ve got it right with Recorder and Kill Me Baby, I’ll always remember Kill Me Baby for being enjoyable, and Recorder for being repetitive (and pointless). Joy of joys, there’s a second season for it. I rated the first season a 2, looks the same for the second.

  4. Since ZnT is an adaption I can’t help but wonder what goes on in the director’s head when he/she comes up with ridiculous scenes like that. Considering there’s an original “true” plotline, I wonder if these scenes are purposely done this way 1.) to save screen time and 2.) if anyone makes fun of it, it’s like a form of free publicity online.

    It’s like a trap, and it’s a win-win situation for them.

  5. Are you saying you think Akira invented the concept of Gap Moe? He didn’t; I’ve seen otaku anime using that term made before 2010. The article is still a good breakdown of the concept though.

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