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Sousei no Onmyouji – 12 »« Sousei no Onmyouji – 10

Sousei no Onmyouji – 11

「新婚さんおきばりやす FANTASTIC MOMENTS」 (Shinkon-san o Kibariyasu FANTASTIC MOMENTS)
“Do Your Best, Newlyweds – Fantastic Moments”

And the point of this was?

Why Was This the Story That Needed To Be Told?

Before I go into this, let me clarify that I don’t know if this is anime original, or pulled out of order from later in the manga, though from comments last week I would not be surprised if one or the other was true. That said, there’s a question that I, as a storyteller, often end up asking myself: Why is this the story that needs to be told right now?

Understand that when you’re telling stories, often the truest answer is “Because I want to.” But heed need be paid about where it fits in with the rest of the story, and whether it’s self-indulgent. And understand also that I don’t consider myself perfect in this, so I ain’t throwing stones. It’s hard to answer this question honestly when you’re in the thick of things, and it only sometimes becomes clear when you pull back and appraise the situation after the fact. The last two episodes, though, I think were probably a misstep.

Why, after really cool episodes eight and nine, did we need to go on this Subaru diversion? It took all the serious drama, earnest feelings, and cool action and ground it all to a stop. Even earlier shipping-focused episodes like seven seemed to have more permanence, whereas these seemed dead-set on teaching blatant lessons. I’m being pretty harsh on this episode, though it it hadn’t turned out that the octopus kegare was Subaru’s familiar, I would have flipped a table and left cursing; this post would have come out half a day later, ’cause I’da needed time to cool down from such a colossal fuck up. But that didn’t happened, so at least not all storytelling ability has fled the project. It’s the reason why we needed to see this story right now that’s lacking. I feel like these lessons could have been learned while they were doing something more interesting, or at least at a time when it didn’t subject the mood to a 180.

Porn Mags

Minor side rant, but it need be said: When the hell is anime gonna move past the porn mags? Setting aside how pushing the idea that looking at porn is deviancy, which can be damaging ’cause a damn lot of humans enjoy a little titillation (girls can look at or read porn too, ya know), why is it still porn magazines? It’s 2016 fer chrissakes! I keep waiting for the day that anime will move to finding the porn folder buried in My Documents, or finding the porn bookmarks, or finding the porn sites on history that the user forgot to delete. Porn mags are so 1985. Get with the century.

Looking Ahead

We still don’t know how many episodes this series is going to be, so the mysterious figure could end up being foreshadowing, the baddie of this arc, or a long-lasting baddie (or something else). Mark those spoilers, manga readers. Either way, I thought I’d warn you that it’s highly unlikely that I’ll continue this series past this season even if it does go for multiple cours. My real life priorities have grown and are only going to grow more, and this doesn’t make the shortlist of the activities I want to pursue for another three months. Just a heads up as we head into these last few episodes, either period or together.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Subaru teaches Rokuro & Benio another contrived lesson. Not even the ship fuel could liven up this one #sousei 11

Random thoughts:

  • The answer isn’t always ohagi, Rokuro. Usually it’s ohagi, but not always.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: I love sales jobs, Good realism is character realism, Dying idols, and Frictionless routines.

 

Preview

June 15, 2016 at 2:13 pm
24 comments »
  • June 15, 2016 at 2:30 pmPurpleBomber

    I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to keep watching this series after the season even if it does continue. This is just such a struggle for me as a manga reader to watch. I’ve been asking myself the “why?” question multiple times an episode for several weeks now, and at this point I feel like I’m just not going to get an answer. Lots of cuts, changes, and reshuffling of manga material week after week and more often than not it’s not a net positive.

  • June 15, 2016 at 2:50 pmWanderer

    I actually believe these episodes were intended as a very deliberate setup for something that’s going to happen in the near future: something that just happened on its own in the manga, without any sort of setup for it. What I am not certain of is whether or not adding that setup justifies completely losing the mood we had two episodes ago and now having to pick it up again. I honestly think it doesn’t, but I do have to give them some credit for at least trying to flesh out previously-unexplored bits of development.

    Putting that aside, something that irritated me was a trope we saw at the end of both of these episodes. Technically it’s an episode-long trope, but it always comes to a head at the end of the episode. Some version of status-quo is god: the characters start off the episode with a poor relationship; then go through some sort of trouble or whatever where they come to understand each other better and wow, their relationship’s improved; but wait, at the end of the episode something happens to get them fighting with each other again and set their progress back to zero, because heaven-forbid we let the social-dynamic between these characters change!

    I’ve seen that in all sorts of series for decades, and frankly I have never found it funny. This series has used it many many times, and now twice in the last two episodes, and it is really, really, really starting to bug me.

    • June 16, 2016 at 2:02 amStilts

      I didn’t feel like the porn mag thing set them back to zero. Maybe spoiled the nice mood, but we humans can contain multitudes. They can improve their relationship while still leaving the possibility of Benio unjustly getting mad at Rokuro for looking at porn.

  • June 15, 2016 at 3:03 pmPancakes

    To be fair regarding the p*rn mags Stilts, it’s simpler to make the joke using them than digital material. They are one of the few ubiquitous items with cross-cultural appeal (i.e. easily understood) and are tangible–easier to feature the mag, its material, and the character’s face in the same shot than with a computer screen (not to mention it’s easier for Benio to beat shark teeth over the head with a mag than a monitor). Nostalgia and simplicity probably trumped modernity in this case.

    As for the show itself, there are spurts of interest, but Sousei has fallen since its interesting start. Characters are simplistically developed, or just serve as the villain of the week. Benio’s brother for example could have been better developed objective-wise and played a larger role, because although clearly intended to be the main villain, he came off as little more than one more nameless stepping stone. The brother’s introduction IMO would have been great as a season finisher, with Subaru’s training serving as the “foreshadowing” per say: the Twin Stars learn the only way to acquire strength is through personal bonding, a lesson they scoff at, but quickly adopt once they get their a*ses handed to them. If anything this show suffers from the typical adaptation chopping curse, not helped by the secrecy surrounding its episode count. Multiple cours or not, Sousei has yet to do something to lift it beyond the “average” label.

    Also this was some seriously fast posting for you Stilts :P

    • June 16, 2016 at 2:05 amStilts

      Having to toss in an anachronism to make the joke work tells me that the joke probably shouldn’t be done. If it was really funny, maybe, yeah, but this is cliche stuff. They’re better off avoiding the low hanging fruit and going deeper.

      And hey, I’m still one of the fastest posters around here! (This past month or so excepted, ’cause I was moving halfway across my rather large country.) I just started a job with funky hours, so it was easier to wake up early, do some fiction work, and then jump on this before getting to the immediately paying work. So that might happen more often, we’ll see.

  • June 15, 2016 at 3:33 pmCroos

    Why do I feel that some animation drawing here were off.

    • June 15, 2016 at 10:47 pmDorkus

      I thought it was this and the previous episode, just you’re the only person I’ve seen talk about it outside of my thoughts.

  • June 15, 2016 at 4:16 pmbassgs435

    The porn mags is because not every Japanese household has acess to a computer and/or internet (at most you’ll have a family-shared computer. The last place where you’d look at porn)
    More about that here
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2016-05-23/.102406

    • June 16, 2016 at 2:09 amStilts

      Good read, thanks for the link. Another Japanese oddity, though this time I feel fine calling it an oddity whereas I wouldn’t do that for more culturally interesting elements. This, though. THAT low of computer literacy? Japan gonna get left behind if they don’t get comfortable with the coming all-digital world! (Or whatever the fuck happens, technology begets technology at an increasing rate and I don’t know where we’re going, probably toward the singularity I guess we’ll see.)

      • June 16, 2016 at 2:59 amRaiu

        Oh good! Somebody provided the link to that article. Kinda shocking when I consider Japan as one technologically advance country. Normal peeps don’t know how to PC and if you do, you’re considered a nerd already.

  • June 15, 2016 at 4:57 pmMalchus

    Yeah, I’ve been trying to be forgiving of the adaptation and attempting to approach it on its own merits without too much comparing with the manga, but even as such two filler episodes in the row just isn’t ideal storytelling.

    About the only part I found interesting was the introduction in the end of a character I was almost afraid had been almost completely adapted out except for maybe a small cameo. Hopefully, this means the plot will kick back into high gear.

  • June 15, 2016 at 6:12 pmzrnzle500

    Yeah this is one of the many examples of why I don’t have non digital porn i.e. it can be found somewhat easily

  • June 15, 2016 at 6:19 pmzztop

    IIRC Benio’s brother hasn’t appeared again in the manga narrative (as far as the translated chapters I’ve read). But yes, they are arranging a lot of existing material and writing new stuff.

    PS. Apparently PC tech culture in Japan’s still very underdeveloped compared to other nations, which might explain the porn mag joke.
    For example, commenters on Reddit who’ve been on the Japanese tech scene mentioned “…most Japanese families didn’t have a PC. They had one at work, but not one at home because desktops were literally too large, and you needed a lot of extra equipment that took up space (keyboard, desk, room for mouse movement, stereo system)….Also, everybody seemed to access the Internet using their mobile phones…Posting on forums and similar activity using a PC appeared to be looked down upon as an even more nerdy than the normally nerdy things that Japanese people do.”

    • June 15, 2016 at 9:02 pmWanderer

      re: Benio’s brother Show Spoiler ▼

  • June 15, 2016 at 6:44 pmET

    “We still don’t know how many episodes this series is going to be”

    It’s confirmed that it’s gonna be 50 episodes, so there’s still a looooooong way to go.

    • June 15, 2016 at 7:52 pmzztop

      I thought the 50 eps was just a rumour flying around?
      Plus if they go that far, there’s not enough manga material available to adapt. The writers will be going anime-original here.

    • June 15, 2016 at 8:15 pmPancakes

      50 episodes is only hearsay at this point (a Chinese site “leaked” that count, no other source has verified or denied it).

      The reasonable estimate is 24 episodes at best if this is going to continue on.

      • June 16, 2016 at 1:52 amMelina

        Animax Asia also said this will be 50 episodes on their Twitter and Facebook.

  • June 16, 2016 at 2:49 amRaiu

    > When the hell is anime gonna move past the porn mags?

    You’d be surprised Stilts of how low computer literacy is in Japan. Japanese prefer to use smartphones and handheld consoles over PCs. Lemme dig you that article.

  • June 16, 2016 at 3:58 amDanpmss

    I like the flirting filler material, but I dislike everything else that came from the manga adaptation.

    The execution of several scenes is atrocious at best due to the arrangement, to the point of being completely anti-climatic at times, falling flat on where the manga took or breath.

    Not saying all of these arrangements were terrible, since there are some that helped with a more focused character development (unfortunately, some of the characterization was actually irreversibly not adapted, like the formal introduction of his mentor), but as the vast majority was levels bellow the manga in terms of presentation (and mind you, the material is not a masterpiece in these terms, sometimes feeling rushed and forced with the plot at some points).

    I hope for more romantic filler at this point, it’s one of the things lacking in the manga that the anime did fairly well, really enjoyable to watch.

    PS:
    Fuck that extra little assshole character that ruins a bunch of moments in order to try maintaining a status-quo between the two main characters (that fox pokemon thing).

    • June 17, 2016 at 6:13 amDanpmss

      We really need an edit button…

      I typed all that at 3AM and didn’t even noticed how many typos I did until now lol

  • June 17, 2016 at 3:48 amChicken

    I don’t mind romantic fillers but the timing of it is just out of order. Seriously, this adaption is getting as bad as its animation quality. Some scenes are good, but definitely cringe-worthy for manga readers.

  • June 17, 2016 at 6:22 amDvalinn

    I remember seeing porn mag jokes in Mahoromatic back in the day, and they were just as dumb then as they are now. Talk about beating a dead horse. C’mon, show.

    But yeah, this is basically filler. While there are some good moments between the two, this arc has just been the show faffing about and I hope it’s not a common recurrence going forward. It can do better than that. It’s pulled of these developments interspersed with actual plot before, so even looking at the show itself there’s a higher standard to be upheld.

    And man I hate that familiar. Hate hate hate him. He’s easily the most annoying character of the entire season. I hope he dies in the second half.

  • June 23, 2016 at 2:18 amkuroko

    this anime remide me of shaman king