「ニュー・ステージ！」 (Nyuu Suteeji!)
The training match ends with a bang, and segues into the real heart of the episode: blatant exposition and introductions. So that’s fun.
And The Match Ends In … A Draw. Frack!
If anyone was still in doubt, this episode made it abundantly clear that ViVid is a sports anime. And one of the best things about sports anime is that anyone can lose. Without innocent lives hanging in the balance, and where the protagonists have no chance of death, it’s harder to predict who will win because life will proceed more or less as it always did after the battle; that is, since no outcome is liable to fundamentally destroy a pillar of the story (ex: a character death), anything can happen.
That’s why I was disappointed that the original author took the easy way out and made Vivio & Einhart knock each other out. Granted, it doesn’t really matter—this is a practice match, and they did several more after, so it was blatantly only there for some combat fun + to show off all the character’s moves, especially the soon-to-be Inter-Middle contestants. But, but—I mean, come on! It would have been nice if Vivio got even more demoralized, or Einhart accepted that she could totally lose, or something! If this happened during a real match I’d be pissed—which I don’t expect to happen—but as is, it’s a lost opportunity, and a potential harbinger. I hope pulling punches isn’t something the plot is getting into a habit of doing.
Exposition & Introductions For Days
Once again, I wish the pace was actually a little quicker. While I love the nostalgia of Hayate and the Wolkenritter, everything after the first battle was all dry exposition and introductions to rivals who will undoubtedly be important later on, but are sliding out of my memory as I speak. The exposition needs to be done, yes, and there was some character development in Einhart deciding to take part, but it was all a foregone conclusion once again. As I’ve said before, exposition is tricky—you have to figure out a way to impart often dry details in a way that’s not boring. I don’t think they succeeded here.
As for the character introductions, they gave us too little, too early. With only a few attributes to remember each of them by–the one who trains with Team Hayate, the weight-lifting ojou-sama, etc—they’re just going to have to reintroduce them again later on, so what’s the point? But that’s not even the problem, not really. When Saki does this kind of thing, it lights a fire in my imagination, because I’m wondering what these new mahjong-playing lesbians can do. Here, they just told us. Now I feel like I need to remember all this stuff, instead of them encouraging me to pay attention and guess at what each combatant can do. Combined with a lot of dry exposition, the second half of the episode was perhaps necessary, but not a whole lot of fun.
Looking Ahead – The Inter-Middle Tournament
I liked how low Nove estimated the four youngest girls’ chances. It will hopefully make it all the more thrilling when they overcome and go further than expected, if the story can do that without making it seem like a bad case of plot armor (trope!). Now if you’ll excuse me, it looks like it’s time to get lost on the TV Tropes website for a few hours again, weee!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The practice battle ends in … a draw. Then the real excitement begins: exposition and introductions. Hooray! #nanohavivid 07
- I like the idea of Vivio specializing in counter moves. Right now she’s the least interesting fighter of the four younger girls. Hopefully more counters will help fix that.
- What are you doing Hayate, cut that out.
- Zafira! That’s TWO male characters with lines now! But no Yuuno or Chrono. I don’t much care for Yuuno, but Chrono! Where for art thou?
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Practical freedom, Old to them, Stop sending me job ideas, and Schrödinger’s Skill.
Full-length images: 24.