「不死人たちの城」 (Fu Shinin Tachi no Shiro)
“Palace of the Immortals”
The Negima curse returns.
I’m reminded why I prefer not to blog shows that I’ve read the source material for, or re-experience a story in a different medium at all, for that matter. Adaptations can be good in their own right, but knowledge of the source can often prejudice us against the adaptation, and make it hard to see its good points. The story was made for the original medium, right? So of course it’s probably going to be better there. It stands to reason.
This isn’t one of those adaptations. If this episode illustrates the path it means to go down, it’s going to be bad.
As far as deviations from the source material goes, I have no idea why these changes were made. If they were going to introduce Yuuki Shinobu (Harada Sayaka) in the third episode, why not do it in the second when her story would have stayed intact? Or if pacing would have suffered (likely), do it in a flashback! That’s not ideal by any means, but it’s better than this. Gamers did that, with an out-of-place intro segment during episode eight that clashed with the rest of the episode, but in the long run it didn’t do as much damage as this change already has. And why replace the original entrance exam with these duels? Why shove all that training into one episode, so it feels token rather than earned? Why!? I don’t understand. It’s all for the worse.
As far as treating this as if I were an anime-only viewer, a bunch of the characters’ actions are either arbitrary, baffling, or stupid (Shinbou not telling them where the storehouse is, walking around underground caves with all those dishes, Shishido Jinbei (Sakuya Shunsuke) telling Touta to pull out the sword out of nowhere, etc). The animation was also shoddy, they tried to introduce too many characters in one episode so none of them stick, and the whole thing is aimless. Some of the fight choreography wasn’t bad, but past that it felt okay? Maybe average? About the coolest thing was seeing how some other immortals work, but that could have been done with a still shot when Makabe Gengorou (Kaji Yuki) was talking about the other kinds of immortals, or with his words. Which they already did anyway.
Look, I don’t like hating on shows in my blog posts. Someone will see something in this episode which I didn’t, and they’ll enjoy it, and I don’t want them to come here and see me shitting all over something they enjoyed. But this was an adaptation which I was still holding out hope for after last week’s episode, because the changes done there were defensible—and then we get this. Eugh. I was leaning toward blogging this, but now I’m leaning away, fast. I’ll decide whether I’m blogging this before next week, but I wouldn’t put your money on it. J.C.Staff doesn’t appear to be putting much time, money, or effort into this, so I’m not sure why we should either.
- Why did they ruin the joke by revealing the dial before Touta pulled it out? Why did he do a silly air pressure thing instead of throwing the sword? Does Kuromaru’s immortality even work like that? Like, did Kuromaru use the string to clench his severed arm’s hand too? Why do dissolved clothing and torn shirtsleeves just keep reappearing? Why are those CGI beasts so terrible looking GAH!
- *hand hovers over the “No” option…*
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