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「Machination」

Following her introduction last time, Rana is quickly stirring things up school-wide in ways that only make the story better for me as the viewer. Her forwardness with her feelings for Kazuya contrasts well with Satellizer’s reserved demeanor, and also forces our Untouchable Queen to take the initiative if she doesn’t want to lose her newly-partnered Limiter. It was kind of odd to see things start off with the two of them getting Kazuya to call them by their first name, considering that Satellizer isn’t Asian and being called by her first name should be normal to her, but it did create some good tension nonetheless.

Rana made an immediate splash fighting Ganessa, but her battle with Satellizer was pretty darn entertaining with the back and forth exchanges. To that end, I’m quite impressed with how Hanazawa Kana’s voicing Rana. I had no doubts she’d be able to pull off an energetic and combative personality given how talented of a seiyuu she is, but I wasn’t too sure what it would sound like since I haven’t heard her in a similar type of role before. Now that I have, I would imagine she’ll be up for casting consideration in the next big shounen series adaptation. Rana’s Kuuga and Enga attacks were pretty badass with Kana’s feisty voice behind them. I also love how Rana’s a hand-to-hand type Pandora with her “Shinen” 「四念」 (Four Senses) Volt Weapon, and the way she came out on top of her fight with Satellizer goes to show why that is.

As for Attia manipulating Rana into fighting Satellizer, I’d probably hate her more for doing so if I didn’t know what’s coming. I didn’t mind Rana taking the initiative and latching onto Kazuya since she genuinely likes him, but it’s a different story when she’s tricked into doing the third-years’ bidding. The upcoming two-versus-two battle was my personal highlight in the early volumes of the manga, and should be exciting to watch since it addresses that and is unlike any fight seen thus far. It just sucks that Satellizer and Rana’s start off handicapped after beating the crap out of one another, but Attia’s surprise over their Double Accel and Holy Gate Bajiquan (Seimon Hakkyokuken) techniques serves as a bit of nice foreshadowing on how they can dig deep and push themselves when needed. It’s actually what gave me the shounen vibe I mentioned back in the Winter 2011 Preview.

Now that Rana has arrived, Kazuya’s becoming less like a main protagonist and more like just a character that the plot centers around in order for it to work. Still, I find him respectable in the sense that he’s unfazed by all the misinterpreted rumors he hears about Satellizer going back to her time in East Genetics and still wants to be her Limiter. Just don’t expect him to do much in this upcoming fight. :)

Note: I put together a lot of full-length screen captures for this post — ten in fact — so feel free to skim through the images if you’re interested.

 

Preview

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February 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm
41 comments »
  • February 12, 2011 at 10:50 pmAscended1

    I still can’t shake the feeling of how horrible of a protagonist Kazuya is. It nearly ruins the anime for me. Rana, on the other hand, totally makes up for it.

    • February 12, 2011 at 11:43 pmxcswmboy

      This series is more about the girls than the guys. Just ignore Kazuya. Imagine he is invisible and mute: none of the scenes will be any different.

    • February 12, 2011 at 11:56 pmVsin

      While I wouldn’t write off Kayzua to that extreme, he’s definitely not THE main protagonist. That belongs to Satellizer by a long shot. If anything, those two have reversed the stereotype of “Strong male lead with random clingy female lead.”

      • February 13, 2011 at 12:40 amznail

        Satella is for sure the focus of the story. Every part of the story so far focuses around her problems and her growth as character.

      • February 13, 2011 at 5:45 amKarmafan

        This is like a reverse Star Driver with 2 strong male leads and the clingy wimpy female (Wako) in between them.

  • February 12, 2011 at 10:51 pmjrj

    the fights are nice, and relationship front is also getting interesting…
    but what I am curious is that if the prez is No.1 and “normal” as we see so far, why doesn’t she come out and do something to stop all these crazy hazing and battle and all that? They are supposed to fight common enemies, not among themselves, right?
    can’t wait to see the two rivals team up and make some even better battles

    • February 12, 2011 at 10:53 pmDivine

      That’s a good question, which these upcoming episodes should address to a certain degree.

    • February 12, 2011 at 11:47 pmxcswmboy

      Chiffon has got the squinty eyes. Anime characters with squinty eyes are inherently mysterious and possibly evil. I’m basing this off of Xellos from Slayers. Can’t recall other squinty characters right now.

    • February 13, 2011 at 12:42 amznail

      Well, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and the fights so far has been entertaining her :)

  • February 12, 2011 at 10:57 pmewok40k

    Attia is manipulative bitch… she doesnt even bother to fight herself.
    Why on Earth Chiffon keeps watching this hazing going on and pretending to be non-power, is beyond me.

  • February 12, 2011 at 11:32 pmWill

    The early setup of this series always came off as a little over the top when it came to the super inflated egos the students have as well as their own particular form of madness. It is so common among the short term antagonists that it almost feels like it is a curriculum at their school *Hazing 101*. Its been said, but the series animated seems to lighten the tone of the story, where in the light novel the fellow students come off as egotiscial, vain and ambitious to the point of near insanity, the same characters are only giving off that *mean girls* vibe that makes what was original petty differences feel even more petty. All their characteristics are there just missing that deep desperation that seemed to haunt every character in the novel.

    Very much looking forward to later episodes to see if they will amp up the tensions this series deserves. To be honest its probably just a lack of shadow or dark color scheme that lightens the mood. Lol at this rate Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica will be the darkest series of the session. Total wild card that one…

  • February 12, 2011 at 11:36 pmTelvanah

    It really all comes down to how many stigmas a pandora has and where the stigma comes from. Satellizer is obviously the strongest pandora by far, given she has 6 stigmas inherited from Aoi Kazuha (the strongest pandora of all times). Not just the stigmas, but Satellizer’s personality, will, and spirit are what keep her going and not lose. Her fight with Ingrid last week and Rana this week aren’t finished. Both fights are interrupted by someone else. If both fights continues, Satellizer will come out as the victor. Although the storyline is not about who win or lose in a pandora battle. I personally think pandoras should be working together to fight off the common enemy (Nova) and not fight each other. However, I just want to point out that Satellizer is the strongest pandora after Aoi Kazuha. Other pandoras aren’t even close to what Satellizer is. I’m very looking forward to next episode since we may be able to see something other than accelerating turn from Satellizer. Obviously, that is not the only thing she can do. Can’t wait to see how those third year pandoras are shocked and pummeled to the blink of defeat.

    • February 12, 2011 at 11:46 pmMrTerrorist

      Actually what keeps her going on and not lose is not because of Kazuha…..it’s something personal from Satellizer’s past, which you will see in the next episode.

    • February 13, 2011 at 3:52 amLawrenceleong888

      Actually it doesn’t depend solely on numbers…but it also depends on the level of synchronization with the stigmas…it will be mentioned later…the sync rate of Satellizer with her stigmas isn’t high at all…compared to Cassie Lockheart…

  • February 12, 2011 at 11:40 pmxcswmboy

    I’m guessing the limiter Satellizer beat up deserved it. The most recent scanlated manga chapter kind of hinted that. I don’t remember an explanation about him this early though. I didn’t realize how much I missed watching Rana fight as the recent arcs don’t focus on her as much.

    • February 13, 2011 at 7:28 amUnknownSoldier

      Was that limiter really…

      <spoiler
      the person shown in the last scanlated chapter? I might have to read it again, but what I got from it was it was her brother the clearly did something to her in the past. That explains why she was mad when Kazuya was exclaiming how great her family is. I assumed that the limiter at the other campus simply per her over the edge.

      • February 14, 2011 at 10:58 pmAbe

        her previous limiter took advance of their freezing relationship to take free gropes or something like that. Her brother is a whole other story

  • February 12, 2011 at 11:43 pmMrTerrorist

    I’m impress that Kana can voice a very tough character.

  • February 12, 2011 at 11:54 pmkira-kun

    If Chiffon stepped in, half the drama would be gone from the story as the hazing would end if she did put her foot down. She isn’t #1 for show. And there is a reason why the hazing is a huge part of the story and is so over the top. Plus a good portion of the nudity would be eliminated as the fights always have clothes ripping off one way or another. I’m sure the animators are having fun animating this show.

    Story is going into high gear next. Tag team match. ding ding ding.

    • February 13, 2011 at 12:49 amznail

      It’s also worth noting that so far so have the hazers been on the losing side so Chiffon had no reason to step in really.

      • February 13, 2011 at 8:47 amewok40k

        Well, they almost killed off or at best crippled for life Kazuya, who isnt even a Pandora…

      • February 15, 2011 at 3:35 pmznail

        I think their high tech medical facilities gives them a different perspective on flesh wounds considering that anything so far, including decapitation have been fixed right away.

  • February 12, 2011 at 11:59 pmIzaak

    Hey Divine, will you be reviewing the .hack OVA? I think its pretty good myself.

    • February 13, 2011 at 2:16 amDivine

      I haven’t watched the .hack series, so I won’t be covering the OVA.

      • February 13, 2011 at 6:52 amU Doh

        I didn’t know anything about the series, anime or game or whatever, but the recent ova I watched the other day was quite entertaining to me. Probably because I’m an MMORPG player.

      • February 14, 2011 at 12:38 amIzaak

        Well, there’s very little connections this particular episode has with the previous ones (maybe in the next one?) and its quite fun. Its just 26 minutes, so at least take a peek?

      • February 14, 2011 at 11:02 pmAbe

        please don’t all .hack does is recycle the same characters with different users. Kite has been some legendary hacker, a elementary kid, a clutzy girl and now this OVA. Blackrose and Balmug are normally in the mix. If anything watch the .hack gu triology movie it was pretty decent to me.

  • February 12, 2011 at 11:59 pmSnicket

    You know what, i’m just say it, i don’t care if I get a lot of s*** for it. Rana is a more interesting character then Satellizer. And im not just saying that because she was ready to jump Kazuya’s bones only after just meeting him. The assertiveness of the character is what makes her interesting. Or that maybe it’s that her weapon doesn’t look like something from star trek. Or that it didn’t six episodes for Rana to make her intentions clear.(still waiting on a definate answer from Satellizer.)I dunno it could be a number of other things.

    Maybe it’s that the whole shy reserved demeanor character type has been done to death and tends to get boring rather quickly.

    As for the episode. It was a nice change of pace to have the all powerful Untouchable Queen. Fight toe to toe with someone and actually take a considerable amount of damage. Rather then hit the “over kill” button and wipe the floor with her opponent.

  • February 13, 2011 at 12:08 amJusta_Dream

    Completely agree with you about Kana Divine! To tell you the truth, I wasn’t 100% sure if she was really gonna be able to pull it off as well as she did but after hearing her in Broken Blade i knew she would be able to. I can’t wait till the next episode and their epic battle! ^^

    • February 13, 2011 at 12:23 amBluance

      It was interesting to see this side of Kana, I havnt really seen Mamiko Noto aggressive either which leads me to believe Rie Kugimiya using her Queens Blade act and Im glad to see a stronger male protagonist.

  • February 13, 2011 at 12:16 amprejsu

    Wow, Rana’s quite the honest girl, and foxy at that. Me like it:)

  • February 13, 2011 at 1:08 amzazza

    The lack of budget is quite apparent, and when it takes liberties from the original material (such as Kazuya’s behavior) it never does so in a satisfying manner, IMO. The anime probably won’t go past volume 5-6 with this pace.

  • February 13, 2011 at 3:33 amRob

    I wanna know why Satell has a different uniform to all the others, is it because she used to be in east genetics?

  • February 13, 2011 at 5:16 amShirt

    Kazuya,
    FREEZE THOSE SUCKAHOES N LET BRIDGET AND RANA WASTE THEM TROLLS LIKE THE TRAMPS THEY ARE!
    KILLTROCITY!

    Sincerly,
    Shirt

    p.s. I can’t stand trolls. And don’t expect much? Dx But he can just-.. and-! UGH! Aside from his plausible devotion to Bridget, I don’t know what she sees in him. *shakes head* I love the artists/writers and all but can’t they at least make him a little cooler..? -______-”

    p.s.s. The extra shots were great. I’m using them on my iPod so thanks a lot! :D

    • February 13, 2011 at 4:12 pmBossun

      I like that he’s not the typical “cool” protagonist that you see in so many other series. If every series is the same, what’s the point in watching them all?

  • February 13, 2011 at 5:51 amKarmafan

    I really like this series. I look forward to watching this each week. If you think the story is just starting to get interesting you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until Show Spoiler ▼

    .

  • February 13, 2011 at 8:50 amewok40k

    Rana is definitely welcome change from the usual tsundere/reserved heroines, she’s assertive and open with feelings. I assume that had she not showed up, Bridgett would end up indecisive forever. On the other hand, Kazuya could do more to show Rana he is serious about Bridgett…

  • February 14, 2011 at 3:33 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Don’t wanna wait so long to see Annette/Arnett fight. So awesome in the manga x_x

    As for Shiffon…well…probably gonna have to wait and see in the manga since I doubt the anime will reach that point. Hell, it’ll probably be over right before the next big event after this and have a 2nd season focused on that until the end of that bit.

  • February 15, 2011 at 6:29 amZombieland

    I hope they remove Kazuya. I mean his so damn useless char in this series, like one clean punch and his out cold or dead :)

    • February 16, 2011 at 11:27 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      Just wait until the next battle coming up, lol.

  • March 13, 2011 at 11:05 amRS456

    It this episode when Rana was introduced to the class the teacher said though she is older then the rest of the class she was placed in Second year due to her inexperience with Pandora. In the manga it was the exact opposite she was younger than the rest of the class but got placed in second year because of her ability. Was their a mess up in the anime version or the version I watched had a translation error.