OP2: 「ハナコトバ」 (Hanakotoba) by Terui Haruka, Mimori Suzuko, Uchida Yumi, Kurosawa Tomoyo, Nagatsuma Juri, Hanazawa Kana
This episode packed a whole lot of happenings in a 24-minute package, and I oscillated wildly between ecstatically pleased and thoroughly bewildered. Most of the episode was spent in the former camp, which is good! But a few events definitely earned the latter. Let’s talk about them all.
The change I liked was the Taisha (Amnesty) not being the assholes for once—for as long as that lasted. Though they were less of assholes this time, which is at least a good change. It’s still their damn fault that someone had to sacrifice themselves, or at least that Tougou was asked (sensei, whyyyyy), but at least this time they weren’t hiding anything (though they apparently still didn’t tell Tougou’s friends, and they also didn’t plan to pull Tougou out of there once her sacrifice was done, even if she wasn’t dead, so still. They assholes). This time it was Tougou who prayed for everyone to forget, so her friends wouldn’t do exactly what they did, because she feared for their safety, which is probably going to end up being a well founded fear. I was enjoying this even more early on when it looked like the Taisha might have had no role in the proceedings, but once we saw that Mimori’s phone was gone, that became unlikely.
What I definitely loved is how the girls were doing all this because they chose to this time, as opposed to being chosen to do it. Literally no one asked them to save Tougou; no one would have even remembered that Tougou needed saving, had it not been for them. No matter how often they say “We didn’t have a choice”—a phrase I will forever hate, because they did have a choice, even if the options they had through their original adventures were all shite—this is them actively being heroes, rather than accepting a mantle forced upon them. I like that much better, and it changes the tone. Now it’s about their actions and the consequences, rather than them dealing with the consequences of other’s decisions.
(Mostly. See: Taisha, still assholes.)
I’m also really jiving on the new Hero System, because it changes the tactical contours. If this isn’t going to be a pain carousel anymore, and if the heroes are going to take their own actions to effect the plot, then making the system clear and understandable but limiting is much better. Now they’re deciding between power and durability, and it reveals character in the decision that Sonoko makes. (Yuuna too, but more so with Sonoko since she leaped to Mankai.) It’s also undeniably powerful when you see the flowers ticking down, and know that if Yuuna doesn’t get through it soon, she’s going to die—and will be even more powerful in an outright fight, where she could possibly do something extra to effect her chances, rather than just plummeting down a black hole and holding on.
This all fell apart in the maelstrom, when it wasn’t clear what the rules were, and what Yuuna needed to do to save her abandoned princess. How could she even be sure that pulling Tougou out of the mirror would save her? The one saving grace: the dread that symbol on Yuuna’s chest instills in the viewer. Shouldering the burden on behalf of her friends is very on brand for Yuuna, and more the role I expected her to play. Which will likely mean that she’ll be back at the center of the struggle for the final four episodes.
The cringe-worthy stuff was all in the exposition in the hospital room, where they explained that the fire had already been stabilized because Tougou sacrificed a fatal amount of life force, but it’s okay because she’s tough so she’s alive. What is this crap!? (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ It has hand wave/deus ex machina written all over it. It would have been better if the Taisha had admitted that they didn’t know, and guessed at those reasons, because in reality it was something to do with that symbol on Yuuna’s chest that made it enough—but I don’t know where that symbol is going to go, so maybe that wouldn’t fly. Still, while it’s clear this whole issue was mostly to put Yuuna in the peril she’ll soon (assumedly) find herself in, this was some Grade A bullshit. Try harder.
The rest of the episode really was good, even if they almost threw it at the end there, only to stick the landing with the cliffhanger. Short of the third episode going in the toilet, I’ll probably blog the remainder of this series. I’ve flirted with blogging Yuuki Yuuna for years now, so I might as well make it so. I’m interested to see where this is going.
- Another element that helped this episode, and then almost derailed it with the hand-waving exposition excuses: it moved fast. Which was good for much of it! I didn’t expect them to quickly realize the key possibility that accounted for both (A) Tougou’s location, and (B) Tougou currently being alive (she coulda been dead, yo), so I was pleased that they went straight for the celestial outside. It probably led to those crappy excuses though, when the writers were clearly like, “I dunno, make some excuses, this isn’t important LET’S GET ONTO THE GOOD STUFF!”
- Humor is still spot on, of course. See: d’aaaaww / laaaawl.
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ED: 「勇者たちのララバイ」 (Yuusha-tachi no Lullaby) by Terui Haruka, Mimori Suzuko, Uchida Yumi, Kurosawa Tomoyo, Nagatsuma Juri, Hanazawa Kana
I’m pretty sure the whole “fire had already been stabilized because Tougou sacrificed a fatal amount of life force” is BS and Yuna knows it.
Also does anyone else remember when Sonoko said she will do “an excellent job as a tree” to Gin in the previous episode? Foreshadowing!
Show Spoiler ▼
You can found this in KuMeYu.
This is the problem with multimedia franchise since to get the full picture of everything it take lot of time and effort.
Also they referencing NoWaYu too here.
NoWaYu anime when?
Ugh, yeah, that can get annoying. I didn’t even realize there was another LN that had bearing on this series. Multimedia franchises are fine, but when you’re expected to take in EVERYTHING and you start losing plot threads if you don’t have them, it stops working. Take the Marvel movies: the whole experience is enhanced if you’ve seen them all, but it’s not necessary. Each one is a perfectly good stand-alone. That’s how you gotta do it.
Not that this episode didn’t work without that knowledge. It still did. It just might not in the end if they don’t remember that, while expecting people to have watched original and the prequel is viable, expecting people to have read all these spin-offs and retcon prequels is not. That hasn’t been a problem so far, though, so hopefully that’ll continue.
Yeah it can be a chore and take a lot of time but once you are engrossed it is really worth of your time honestly.
Aside for LN there is also VN and mobage plus one Vita game and all of it are canon.
Fate series branch off too but Yuusa no Aru series is on single continuity.
Ugh, this is why I gave up on trying to understand the .hack// universe – just WAY too much stuff involved in it that’s also considered canon; anime, manga, video games, LNs, drama CDs, etc. involving prequels and sequels, then having to see if a story is canon or not, and so on.
The .hack//Sign anime being essentially a prequel to the .hack//Infection series of PS2 games (Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, Quarantine). Simultaneously, you have the special .hack//Liminality DVDs that came with the games that you needed to watch in order to understand some of the events that take place during the video games, then the .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet anime that is basically a sequel to the video games, then you have the .hack//Roots anime that is basically a prequel to the .hack//GU video games, then…
*goes on for some time*
To me, video games or drama CDs are where I start crying foul. I can accept keeping up with TV series and movies (though OVAs should still be optional), and I can accept having related manga, novels, or LNs, but when you start adding in canon drama CDs or video games, ones you need to have experienced to get the story, and I get pissed.
Though I also get pissed at multi-platform video game series. I remember loving the first Kingdom Hearts back in the day, and then being PO’d when sequels and spin-offs came out for handheld consoles I didn’t have and was never going to buy. Assholes.
I don’t think watching the .hack anime iterations is necessary to understand the games. But doing so enhances the experience. They function pretty well standalone. I also don’t think the plot was that complex that it can’t be picked up by people who haven’t watched the anime.
I remember on here a while back people saying you had to play Danganronpa 2 to understand the Danganronpa 3 Despair arc, despite it being a prequel to the game. You’d only really have the foresight of knowing who these characters are that you’re watching. But as it was a prequel to how things became the way they are for them, I didn’t think that was really relevant. Newcomers could enjoy just fine.
The Taisha mobilizing on behalf of the Gin and those that are still getting their ass handed to them? Naaaaah Taisha can’t do that, not after sacraficing a little girl their reputation has been already tarnished. The only thing they are known for is killer of their own.
I actually took the explanation at the end as total lies by either the Taisha/Yuna, to make Togo stop trying to take on the sacrificial role herself. My theory (after watching the second time) is that while Togo was essentially physically imprisoned in the black hole/mirror to drain her life force, Yuna is now the free-moving life force sacrifice, since (again) she freely chose it.
That’s the only reasoning I could come up with for why both her astral and physical form are marked with the sun tattoo.
You’re quite likely correct, in which case it was an error in how this was all conveyed, and how the girls—despite acting so intelligently earlier in the episode, when they correctly guessed that Wasshi was outside the walls without wasting time—are suddenly acting like fools in believing that Tougou gets to survive “because she’s tough”. Could have also been translation errors as well.
I completely overlooked this scene where the girls explained to Tougo that a fatal amount was taken out and there for she was immediately disqualified for the continuation of the role. D@#$! I must have been day dreaming or something, because logic dictates when someone tells you this the auto response should be “Who’s my replacement”
I wonder if the girls (Heroes) present/future will ever clear out this oddity for good and live a boring life with the only thing to look forward to are failing grades and club activities.
I think they won’t reach peace at the very least in the near future. As long as they don’t get power comparable to heaven itself they will be at it’s mercy for the rest of their life.
Given that the only person who actually knows what happened in the place of sacrifice is Yuuna, I took it for granted that the explanation they gave was less of a “oh sure, here’s why it worked” and more of a “we have no idea why the ceremony was successful even though you’re still alive, so here’s a guess.” Certainly it’s not correct, and we’re not expected to believe it, but I interpreted it in universe as the girls saying “this is the Taisha’s best guess as to why things worked out this way” rather than an absolutely certain explanation.
Now, the Taisha may well have a better guess as to what occurred. If they know Yuuna went in, they may have been able to draw some conclusions from that, even though Yuuna herself clearly isn’t talking about what happened to anyone. But Taisha likes to keep their cards hidden.
The development is worrying, looks like Yuuna will die or get sacrificed (again) at story end 🙁
Or maybe that mark in her chest will become her new power?
no boys in this show pff typical even if there were most of the girls would be disgusted with them just because the plot says so.
Heh, she think that she save her friend?…WELL….THINK AGAIN!! >:)