The Nihon Revue, Episode Nine

It’s a little belated this time around, but without fail we’re here to present another episode of our seasonal review podcast, The Nihon Revue. This episode features me alongside the guy who makes the gears turn at Anime Instrumentality, zzeroparticle. As well as taking a look at the shows that had just finished airing, we also had an interesting chat about a small handful of recent soundtracks, a topic I kinda sensed zzero was only too eager to sink his teeth into. Here’s this episode’s line-up:

0:21 Intro
1:01 Fate/Zero
7:10 Kids on the Slope
12:00 Tsuritama
16:27 Saki Episode of Side A
20:19 Chihayafuru
24:22 Soundtracks in 2012… so far

The entire episode is 27:38. I think we’ve managed to avoid spoilers for the most part, so there’s only a minor spoiler warning for this episode, with regards to Fate/Zero and Kids on the Slope specifically. Listen here:

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6 Responses to “The Nihon Revue, Episode Nine”

  1. My biggest problem with the ending of SnO isn’t the pacing, but how Sentarou leaves home and abandons his family, essentially becoming his father sans the alcoholism. That’s a huge step out of character, especially for a guy who resented his father for years. It would have been easier to swallow if Sentarou came to understand his father’s perspective and reasons for leaving, but his discussion with him was blown through in a matter of minutes and they just leave us with “he became a priest, so it’s fine.”

    Something that Tsuritama did especially well was using the first six episodes for some really impressive world building. While episode two was 23 minutes of excruciating pain, a lot of seemingly minor things related to real world fishing such as a certain knot or color of lore became vital to the last couple episodes. So amongst all of the general strangeness and oddity, you get this weird, interesting mix of reality and fantasy which really works. As much as I disliked the first three sittings, I can’t deny that the whole series was extremely well thought out.

    And as a side note, I can’t really listen to any of Guilty Crown’s OST without immediately thinking of Mana’s hilarious dance moves in the finale. It was just that bad.

  2. If anyone had any doubts about how awesome Chihayafuru’s soundtrack is, I think that clip that showed at the end of our Chihayafuru review really hit on why I love it so much. A lot of power, passion, and optimism all captured by the piano and orchestra in a way that’s nigh unforgettable.

  3. Oh boy where do we begin.

    While you do throw out there that Irisviel should’ve been the main character, I think that viewpoint just shows you didn’t really care that much for the crux of the entire story, the meaning of an ally of justice. Irisviel had almost nothing to do with this concept which is central to the entire story. Secondly, the cast was pretty ensemble enough where you did not entirely feel like like Kiritsugu was as much of a main character as say Emiya Shirou.

    Ironically I feel a lot of your complaints with the story’s atmosphere and its characters is basically asking for it to more like F/S N. Now the F/S N anime did suck, but I personally put the blame on that squarely on DEEN and their stupidity. Emiya Shirou is supposed to be a continuation of Emiya Kiritsugu’s story, the person who tussles with the idea of being an ally of justice. This core concept is what defines the story throughout both the VN and the F/Z anime.

    In the end I felt F/Z was more like watching a tragedy unfold that you already knew was a tragedy. It was never about trying to create an emotional response in you as its main goal, the most it ever tried on this front I felt was the Rider/Waver duo and Irisviel’s plight. Rather it was about exploring the war in a different light than what was seen in F/S N, seeing how the events unfolded and seeing how certain characters transformed throughout (Namely Kiritsugu and Kirie being the main dishes).

    Fate/Zero always operated more on a philosophical level than an emotional one. I almost feel like Kiritsugu’s character was sort of like Christopher Nolan’s Batman, he represented a sort of concept more than anything. I do not think he was necessarily built in the way that you were supposed to love him like you would a big hearted character like Rider.

    I think the ultimate disconnect for people who are not just that interested in F/Z’s core ideas is that F/Z is a prequel to the F/S N visual novel, not the anime. The intended audience of the LN was always going to be that audience. No I don’t think the anime needs to stand on its own, because that’s the intended order of viewing for this franchise. F/S N VN –> F/Z. Essentially how a sequel would progress. I think the level of interest for the audience spiked depending on what kind of audience a person was in the first place.

  4. I really didn’t like the ending of Kids on the Slope, as Click said it was hypocritical of Sentaro, and it felt forced as well. I never really got into Kids on the Slope, I never felt really attached to the characters, it didn’t capture my imagination. I do agree with most of what you guys said though.

    Tsuritama had a beginning which, as many of you will know, infuriated me to the stage where I dropped it in the middle of episode 2. I did in the end rate it down for that, but the rest of the show (which I got back to watching) was heartwarming, a tale of someone growing up and getting past his difficulties.

    Chihayafuru was fantastic and had a great soundtrack, I gave it a 7 because I didn’t like the characters enough, sure they were likable, but again it was a problem of not being attached. I don’t know why this is but it does limit how much I can enjoy it.

    I’m still waiting for zzeroparticle to review the Ao no Exorcist soundtrack, which I thought was very good (something I only really appreciated when I listened through the albums) and thought was one of the better of the year.

    Good “episode” as usual.

  5. […] Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. While there are no plans for an Anime Instrumentality podcast (at least, none that I could really imagine happening in the near future), I did appear on the Nihon Review’s seasonal review podcast. […]

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