To further make use of the Snapshots section, I thought it would be beneficial to showcase some of the second episodes for all the new series. Since neither Omni nor I have enough time to cover everything in full, I figured this slimmed-down format for the second week would be better than nothing. However, please note that I’m by no means planning to keep this up on a weekly basis after the second week, and it will likely only feature series that I’m continuing to watch, but don’t have the time to cover in our usual way. As such, this is more of an impressions type of post, which I may adopt in the future if it proves to be popular. So without further ado…
Casshern Sins – 02
Wow, if there’s one series that I wish I had time to cover properly, Casshern Sins would be it. I was simply blown away by how captivating this episode was, which was mainly due to the eye-opening portrayal of the hopelessness in their desolate world. While we’re only dealing with robots here, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the ones that embraced their impending deaths and tried to live their last days peacefully, rather than struggling against their fate until the very end. I find that there’s something very human about such a resolve, which coupled with the fear that they experience made me feel like I was watching a group of humans suffering from an epidemic. Seeing robotic limbs fall off and disintegrate only emphasized this notion more, as did the relationship between Root (Ishida Akira) and Wrench (Minaguchi Yuuko), whom I was sad to see eventually killed off (…by Casshern). Desperation was another prominent theme here, as they showed how even good robots will turn astray when it comes down to a matter of self preservation — another very human trait. I was so drawn into its depiction that I actually got goosebumps at some points, a reaction I consider to be extremely good for an anime. It doesn’t hurt that the production quality was top-notch this time around too, and actually looked a bit better than the first episode.
Story-wise, things revolved around Casshern’s ongoing attempt to discover his past and what he did to bring the world to ruin. They also revealed that there’s a rumour floating around claiming that those who “eat” Casshern will be saved, which explains why everyone’s been after him. This even caused all the death-accepting robots to turn on him after he saved them, which left us on a really nice cliffhanger when Casshern instinctively defended himself and wiped them all out. Judging by Casshern’s dismal reaction though, I get the feeling that his automatic defensive mode may be related to what happened in his past. Of course there’s only one way to find out, so I’m looking forward to seeing more of this one.
Rosario + Vampire CAPU2 – 02
Is it just me or is Mizuki Nana switching her Moka voice to her Allison & Lillia one this season? It could just be me after hearing her as those characters for the past six months, but every time I heard one of Moka’s outbursts, a picture of Lillia popped into my head. Anyway, despite being one of the few fans of this anime adaptation, the second episode was admittedly kind of weak. As such, I don’t think it’s going to win over anyone who was on the fence about this series, which is a bit of a shame for a second showing. Visual-wise I had no complaints though, but the end of the episode where they revealed that Kokoa loves the vampire-released form of Moka only (to the point of masochism) was kind of anti-climactic. Tsukune and everyone else’s reactions pretty much sums up my thoughts on that turn of events, which made everything from the previous episode feel moot. That’s alright though, since Moka was adorable as hell when she was a kid and the opening sequence is still awesome, especially given how god damn catchy DISCOTHEQUE is. The new rainbow colored staff credits stood out a bit too much during the regular opening sequence (see above), but at least it’s something different. New this week is the ending theme, Trinity Cross, which is performed by Mizuki Nana as well. Having listened to her Trickster single for a while now, I was already a fan of the song, so the only real surprise was how bland the ending sequence is. It basically features a naked Moka in a vampire cloak and not a whole lot else, aside from some scenes of all the girls tearing up. Ah well, at least the song is still really good.
Hyakko – 02
Much like I was expecting, Torako (Orikasa Fumiko) really drives the comedy in this series and this episode was a prime example of that. In what was an escapade about joining new clubs, it comes as no surprise to me how much of a comedic pair Torako and Tatsuki (Neya Michiko) make. When you mix stupidity with logic only a huge headache results. Luckily for us though, we can just sit back and enjoy all the humour while Tatsuki’s patience is completely driven up the wall. With Torako’s knack for constantly disregarding other people’s opinions, it was hilarious to see Tatsuki finally snap and start going at her pace. Who the hell considers famous player names positions anyway? Torako apparently. As I mentioned before, Torako really reminds me of the stupidity found in Miu from Ichigo Mashimaro, whom Orikasa Fumiko also plays. The only thing missing in Hyakko is someone smashing Torako over the head for every stupid thing she does — which if happens, is going to floor me laughing. Production-wise, everything still continues to look sharp and lush in my eyes, so no complaints there. For a comedy, everything’s already visually better than needed to please me, so I’m only looking forward to more laughs from here on.