「神以上、人間未満」 (Kami Ijou, Ningen Miman)
“Higher than a God, Lower than a Man”
There’s no way I can write six posts simultaneously, but it’s kind of scary how Keima’s zealous attitude towards gaming mirrors my blogging one. In fact, this finale served as an “anime reality check” of sorts, as contradictory as that may sound. From an outsider’s perspective, our behaviors may as well be perceived as a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. We hate backlogs, we want to get stuff done right away, and we slave away on our blogs for our readers. While we don’t specifically take requests, e-mails weigh into our decisions on what to tackle next. Heck, I was even known to have practically every game console released, albeit not multiples of each one like Keima does. Yikes.
All of that made this finale just as hilarious as it was unsettling, especially considering that I’m getting the short end of the stick without the support of a cute demon cleaning girl. As much as I love laughing at the (anime) story of my life about working like a machine and shortening my lifespan, I do share that almost retarded unwavering determination of getting stuff done on time and meeting my personal expectations. And just so that I never lose sight of that, there are always people to remind me that they’re completely fine with me pulling all-nighters for an entire week, by asking when the next season preview will be posted. Words can’t even begin to describe how “utterly awesome” it is being the victim of the unrealistic expectations I’ve set for myself. It’s like being on top of the world, except I’m under everyone’s feet. Truly, higher than a god yet lower than a person. I feel like I should be butchering a song like Keima just to show how ecstatic I am about that. “Feeling heart ~”
As masochistic as all of that sounds, I haven’t quite reached the point of becoming completely delusional with 2D anime girls coming out of my monitors. Much like Keima, I do however still get enjoyment from getting my work done and knowing there are people who both eagerly anticipate and appreciate it. Granted, I gather he’s having more fun than I am, even when he’s wearing himself out swinging a Nintendo Wii-mote around like crazy. In his attempt to clear as many games as possible in an inhumanly short period of time, he did give me the idea of posting six things simultaneously for added effect. You know, just to geek it out hardcore every now and then. You won’t find me caught up in my own little world and floating on cloud nine because of it, but the whole dying in someone’s arms bit doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. Despite these past two weeks having been particularly rough, rest assure that I do this as much for my own sense of pride and twisted fun as Keima does. The fruits of the unworldly labor will be seen! When that Winter 2011 Preview is published it (and it will be), it will be nothing short of an endless number of possibilities opening up! (Note: There’s a good chance that a lot of this is huge exaggeration. A very good chance in fact.)
Anyway, this finale did bring back a lot of memories with Keima whipping out the old consoles with both a Nintendo Power Glove and Power Pad. He sure meant business when he started playing an adventure game with a PlayStation GunCon. I loved the Excitebike reference in the Princess Derby game too, which took me all the way back to the 8-bit days. It still wasn’t enough to make me dust off my NES though, and blow into cartridges until I’m completely out of breath just to load a game. What this quirky finale did make me want me to figure out is how to pull off Keima’s secret technique to get my posts written in no time. Maybe I need more keyboards. Just maybe.
ED8: 「集積回路の夢旅人」 (Shuuseki Kairo no Yume Tabibito) by 桂木桂馬 starring 下野紘 with Oratorio The World God Only Knows
(Katsuragi Keima starring Shimono Hiro with Oratorio The World God Only Knows)
Watch the ED8!: Download, Streaming ▼
Season 2 Preview
With word of a second season green-lit for spring 2011 long before this finale, the announcement at the very end doesn’t come as much of a surprise other than emphasizing that another demon girl, Haqua, will be joining the mix with Hayami Saori voicing her. Looking back on this first season, I have to say that this romantic comedy has been a lot of fun to watch. It uses the idea of an omnibus format, except works it into the plot without having to rely on any sort of a reset when Keima moves from girl to girl. Much like the other series that have adopted such a format, this places a lot of emphasis on each of the girls in the arcs and keeps the plot fresh by making their intricacies the focus. What’s unique about this series’ approach is that it’s completely about the “love of the chase”, since Keima doesn’t seem to ever end up with any of the girls he wins over. There’s no happy ending or new challenges that arise afterward. From a viewer’s standpoint, that is arguably the most interesting part though, and is why I enjoyed the repeated use of this formula as much as I did this past season. Of course, it’s always fun to see Keima grow (degrade?) as an individual from all these encounters, during which a lot of my favorite moments came from Elsie’s interactions with him. We can never have too much Elsie.
Compared to the early chapters of the manga I skimmed, one change in this adaptation that I particularly liked was less focus on Keima’s systematic approach on each of the targets. My early impressions of it was that it was a bit of a double-edged sword, because it really stressed how his eroge principles are being adapted into his real world methodology, yet gave him a very haughty air of arrogance at the same time. The latter actually made Keima somewhat hard to like, which I didn’t any sort of problem with in the anime where his dumber side shows up more frequently. However, the obvious trade-off that I noticed ever since Ayumi’s story is that it really belittled his trademark “I can see the ending” line. Without ample depiction of exactly how Keima was going about things, such as a paper Elise discovers at the end outlining exactly how he anticipated a scenario would play out, most of the time it became just a line he had to say for the sake of saying it. This goes for Kanon at the end of her second episode as well as Shiori at the end of hers. In both cases, it felt like the writers held back a bit too much and kept me far too clueless to even see where they might be going with things, removing the fun of having some sort of a founded prediction. If there’s one thing I’d like to see improved in the sequel, it would definitely be leading on the viewer better in some of these arcs. Other than that, it’s been an entertaining series to watch and one I’ll be looking forward to the continuation of in the second quarter of next year. I enjoyed some arcs a lot more than others, so I’m curious as to what other female stereotypes they have lined up.