「ナイトフォール」 (Naitofōru )
night fall

It seems awfully like a bait, but should I bite? Should I talk about it? Should I talk about Twilight?

Sure, let’s do it.

For those of you who missed it, Stephanie Myer’s Twilight series was one of the more divisive novels of our time. Unless the similarly unexpectedly wildly popular Harry Potter, which is almost universally loved and to speak ill of it tantamount to heresy, Twilight created two rather vocal and diametrically opposed camps. There’s the diehard fans that will ceaselessly evangelise their love of the books, and there’s the counterculture warriors who decided Twilight was the worst thing ever and made their opinion known whenever possible. And the internet made both sides sound a lot louder than they actually were.

Obviously, the night fall series from this week is an expy of Myer’s novels (though mercy on our souls if there ever comes a time when there’s a Twilight instalment for every day of the year). I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this. On one hand, this episode could be interpreted as a strawman defence of Twilight, and I’m more aligned with the side that considers Twilight to be banal drivel. On the other hand, I mostly agree with the overall message of the episode, about the importance of love and passion, haters be damned.

I like to think that I have fairly balanced perspective here (though everybody thinks that about themselves). I’ve actually read the first book of Twilight, because when something’s this popular it’s behoves one to find out what the fuss is all about, and also because one can get awfully bored at an airport. After long and careful consideration I concluded that it was truly terrible, sure, but I could also sort of see why it could gave appeal with its demographic. How healthy or deserved that appeal is must be a debate left for another time. Bottom line is, there is some merit there, and that should be enough for us to let it go on its way.

Sure, you can argue that it’s the dullest kind of escapism. You can argue that it preys on vulnerable egos. You can even, like me, almost resent it because you can list a dozen better authors who ‘deserve’ the success more. But we should not hold any of that against the fans. Love is the most subjective thing. Who knows, maybe it helped them through a tough time, as stories do. Maybe it’s the vehicle for them to connect to others. Maybe they’ve just invested huge amounts of time into it. Whatever. Nerds will be nerds. I think we should encourage people to channel their passion into something positive, and we can worry about the exact direction later.

The same thing goes for the creators, I suppose. If they invest a lot of love and effort and detail into their work, and that gets through to their fans, more power to them. Sure, the night fall described here sounds, frankly, like a bit of a trainwreck, but if it’s a well considered trainwreck we can still appreciate the spectacle. Perhaps it’s all a metaphor for Little Witch Academia, as well. If one stares at LWA a bit too hard they might come to realise that the script is actually kinda flaky. But it’s obviously made by a bunch of folks who love their anime, and the love, effort, and detail show. Perhaps, one day, LWA may become as ridiculous as vampires in space. But with enough love, vampires in space isn’t stupid. It’s awesome.


    1. Dude, spoilers, bra.

      That WAS a clever final drawing of that teacher in the background, nonchalantly holding the costume in her hands. TRIGGER once again brings the stealth details.

  1. Did anyone catch that Evangelion reference? 😉

    I love it when shows comment on fandoms and their eccentricities in-universe, positive or otherwise. It could seem gimmicky and pandering at times if it’s not written well, but I personally love it, because that’s all of us. As expected, Lotte was given her own episode, and while it doesn’t exactly develop her character anymore than she was previously (she even states that she prefers to admire her idols on the sidelines because she knows she will never be like them), we now know she’s so nerdy about her hobbies, and gets riled up when discussing them. … now I wonder what a Sucy episode would be like. *_*

  2. Mmm, perhaps i have the nearly same character as Lotte…

    A fans that support his “idol”.. But i must admit, Shirobako had nearly the same story drive. And the climax was when the Director fought his way up to see the Manga-ka and share the fun with him and help to get rid of his “blockade”. Yeah, i see myself more as an Supporter/Shirobako-san, you get ideas and i get daily/weekly/monthly Manga/Anime


    Also my kind of repay you

    1. also, this reminds me of Kubo, and his Bleach.. Nearly the same, most fans did flame him, but they did read it anyway. their curiosity did catch the best of them. But in the end, even i saw that he got tired

      Kubo, you did nothing wrong, heads up

  3. Quite a few “shout outs” this episode. Show’s already has a Harry Potter vibe, but got an owl (e)mail reference right at the start. Also a Hannah Barbara reference as well. That’s on top of the whole Twilight thing. Haven’t read the Twilight books or watched the movies, but I have watched CinemaSins “reviews” of the movies so at least had some idea about the references.

    Got a laugh out of the “365th Volume Release Event”. Even with 365 (or more) volumes, when Nightfall is adapted into a series of movies the last volume will still be split into two movies because… profits!

    I have to admit, parody or not, I did get a number of laughs out of the episode. The script writers played up some ridiculous scenarios for the Nightfall series which (IMO) were pretty funny. As usual, some of Akko’s reactions were pretty good as well. XD

    So at least for me, it was fairly entertaining. There was a little bit of background for Lotte, but “was picked on because witch” is pretty cliche’ and not all that much. Only Ep. 04 with a 2-cour run (i.e. lot of time left), but I still wonder how much world & character building will be done with the TV series vs. random episodic comedy hijinks.

  4. Ok so, this isn’t a knock on the way you write or your views on the episode. However I do feel that it might help people who would like to know at least the gist of the episode.

    1. That’s the thing though, to me this is the gist of the episode. It was about passion, and responding to passion. To me, at least, the bits of plot that are tasked with carrying the theme just don’t seem quite as important.

      1. At least it hasn’t gone to the point of “moondoggie” responses. That RC writer in the past who was covering Psycho-Pass (and full up just left the group without any word nor even finishing the reviews….which led to everyone who was going to leave RC making departure posts so people would know when their reviews would end….you know….like LOGICAL people do.)

        There was one episode where A lot of revelations happened in Psycho-Pass and interesting things, but she went on-and-on about Makishima’s Chinese Side-kick for the entire episode post even though he barely had any part in the episode. And just came up with all these theories about him….kind of useless because he got killed a few episodes later.

        When I went and asked “So….exactly what happened in this episode?” She just goes “That’s what the screencaps are for….blah blah blah pretentious writing blah blah blah”
        Though this review is teetering on that point that you don’t want to cross. Because a show like LWA you don’t want to overthink into things, most of us are here for the joy and simplicity of it.

      2. thinking back to the person I realized they were “BakaMochi” and not Moondoggie….have no idea where I came up with that name.
        Not sure if you’re replying to the person before me or not, but in my case. I would say it goes on to be pretentious not when a writer goes off track and starts talking about stuff that really only a select part of the fandom really cares about or would notice, but when one of the viewers actually brings up that instance and the writer just responds to them all snarky. That was the case of BakaMochi.
        Because I’ll be honest, reading through this review I basically was waiting to see what the hell this had to do with the episode. I mean sure there were images linked and it eventually connected at the final paragraph, but just barely. With a click-bait header like that I was literally waiting to see how controversial this was to only find out its someone just going on and on about Stephanie Myer. That’s what I truly think.

      3. @marsh381:
        It was actually verdant who blogged the first half of Psycho-Pass S1 and BakaMochi/Zephyr who picked up the remaining episodes. It was a dual effort between BakaMochi and Zephyr since they already had a full schedule for themselves. And in verdant’s defense, he did post a farewell post when he left so the readership was aware.

        I blogged S2 of Psycho-Pass so if you’re referring to a “her”, then that’s me you can complain about/to o_o

    2. Still not entirely sure where the pretentiousness comes in, but I suppose that’s not really the important part. I would say, though that it may just be a difference of vision. I see the entire episode as a commentary on Twilight, its popularity and the backlash, and using that to make a statement about passion and creativity. You may well not. And simply being different does not make anything invalid. My mistake, perhaps, was in thinking that the metaphor was more obvious than it perhaps actually was.

      1. I personally never mentioned anything about pretentiousness, the way you wrote it and the way you conveyed what you wanted to convey was correct I think. The only thing that I do not agree on is that you could have done it the exact same way using the episode as your basis instead of writing about something totally different.

        Yes it’s a parody however instead of explaining and using various examples from the episode itself you instead used an entirely different medium (in this case it was a book series)instead of the medium that was given makes it a hard to swallow.

      2. Ah, I see that you’re probably unfamiliar with Twilight. As I tried to explain in the post (perhaps poorly), night fall is basically exactly Twilight, as fueled by witchcraft. This episode is basically the meta-story of Twilight with a more positive spin. That’s how I see it, at least.

      3. It’s not ‘thinking’ when it’s just irrelevant rambling that doesn’t relate to the episode. You also disconnect with the readers quite frequently due to self-insertion. I’ve often seen politics, popular culture western references, and questions that show that you’re just rambling rather than writing with confidence. To me, that is pretentious. You’re hiding the greatness of the series behind your thoughts that derail from the first sentence. Oh, and sometimes, you even write in a way that suggests that your opinion is right. I seem to recall very political entries about GATE. While I disliked that anime, I don’t see how your negativity is needed here.

        In addition to this, I think it’s rather strange to call BakaMochi pretentious when she didn’t even blog Psycho-Pass. In fact, I don’t recall her being snarky ever. She was a very under-appreciated writer who blogged series that most of the readers here didn’t care about.

      4. Using fallacies to dismiss arguments – once again, pretentious writing. But sure, if you want to be narrow-minded, go ahead. You’re not doing this site a favour though. I’ll stop wasting my time now.

      5. As I have both a mother who is very interested in the series and 2 sisters who are also interested in the series I was pretty much forced by them to watch the movies and read the books (I was younger back then) I am very familiar with the story itself.

        My question is this, would you have been able to write this post using little witch academia as the main subject matter? Using both references from the show and explaining how they connect to your thoughts. Writing your own thoughts is not a bad thing.

      6. Hmm, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘main subject matter’, and in any case I was writing about LWA. Again, you can treat night fall and Twilight as one and the same for our purposes. And I talk about Twilight because LWA talks about Twilight. Not necessarily about the vampires and werewolves, but about a highly activated fanbase and an author who gets disparaged on the internet. That’s completely Twilight.

      7. I already replied that yes I do understand the parody. However you did not really answer the question. In the post all you really did was talk about twilight and I get it. However instead of talking about the book twilight and bringing your examples directly from that series.

        I would have better received your post if you had mentioned the show itself and what exactly happened to lotte. Using the show itself to show the comparisons between it and your own example of the book series.

        The difference is that in a post talking about the show did not really mention it at all. There is a difference between using an example to show comparisons with a different series and how it is exactly the same. What you did was take that example and made it close to 100% of the post.

        I’m pretty much done here. I’ve said my opinion. Thank you for replying and having a good discussion.

      8. Ah right. I was assuming more people would be familiar with the episode than the Twilight background (because people who read this do watch this show, right?) so I focused more on the latter. And, again, since night fall and Twilight are for our purposes equivalent, I considered talking about Twilight to be talking about the show. If you wanted me to talk about Lotte more, though, that’s a different thing entirely and is noted.

  5. Hmmm… I truly thought GrandBen810 and that cosplayer to potentially be Diana… BUT… It’s not meant to me.

    Ursula sensei… I’ll gladly attend your extra classes

    So will the LWA trio start singing Cruel Angel Thesis like how Katsura Hinagiku did?

    Velvet Scarlantina
    1. Diana is the kind of person that I could definitely see having a huge emotional breakdown before this story is over, she puts so much effort into being the perfect witch that it must be taxing for her, specially when there are people like Ako around her.

  6. I feel like the Twlight side of this was notable, but there is more to it. It’s more of an episode about fandom, different ways of relating to your idols, and the benefit of finding anything you can be a passionate fan of.

    There is the interesting angle of that series being written by various authors. Presumably each one having become a fan of what the previous Annabel’s did and becoming the next writer. Kind of an interesting idea. Each writer adds something new to the story. It almost allows the story to have a type of immortality. Even if an Annabel stops writing, runs out of ideas, or dies…well the next person can take up the mantel.

    Also an interesting point to make about how people react to things. I’m sure that girl opened up that page to honestly interact with readers or see how they were feeling. But with a lot of things online…it just kind of turns into a flame war. It’s easy to get hyped up to write a bit complaint. But sometimes less easy to just say “nice work.”

    Goes to show how different people can connect through a fandom. No chance Lotte and that teacher would have ended up online pals without their shared love of that series. Despite the huge age gap, they both had intense love for that franchise.

    1. @FlareKnight: No question there was a fandom theme. Still, personally I would have preferred a little more time on world-building (e.g. Lotte’s family run magic shop left me wanting more details about witch/magic integration in “RL”). The other thing is that being a fan is fine, and I have no issue with Lotte not wanting to be a writer for the series she loves. However, again I felt the episode cut things short this time with Lotte’s character. OK, so you don’t want to write Nightfall, and…

      What DO you want to Lotte? Do I need to just assume she’s just going to go into the family business (which I guess has enough witch customers to stay financially afloat)? Even just one or two more sentences of something here would have given her character more depth beyond “is a big fan of Nightfall”. Again, it’s only Ep. 04 and lots of time left, but still I think a bit more balance could have been had here while keeping any fandom theme.

    2. It could be more like the Faerun campaign setting, in D&D. Ed Greenwood created the setting and kind of has dictatorial control of his favorite super-archmage (Elminster), but dozens of writers both good and bad have written dozens or hundreds of novels and short stories located there.

  7. I’ll just say that if Twilight had space vampires and bare-hand-nuke-catching I’d definitely be more interested in it. This sounded less like the actual Twilight and more like a crazy Jojo/Doctor Who mashup XD.


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