Until the release of season 2 of Nisekoi: False Love, I had completely forgotten the names of most of the cast save for our two leads. But I did remember everything that had happened last season which is rare for me as most romantic anime shows are excellent in their familiarity to the tropes of the genre but still hopelessly generic. Every cast, while different from the last, still conforms to the expectations of the audience and so can’t help being the same, show to show. But because Nisekoi’s cast made such an impression on me, I slipped back in and was cuddled in five minutes by their energy and enthusiasm.
Is there more to Love Live Sunshine than just cute anime girls singing, eating cake and having a good time? Wait, where have I heard that plot description before?
I feel ill-equipped to talk about My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU simply because the show talks about school life better than anything I could say. Through the pitfalls and perils of being in school, the show has a handle on what it’s like to be the object of scrutiny and ignorance. Even as the characters fumble around, trying to understand each other, we learn that the show values them figuring themselves out more. Even when it’s being happy or sad, the cast finds themselves learning about an inner reservoir they didn’t know they had.
In Kancolle, Fubuki, a newly commissioned destroyer girl, arrives at the Naval District on the orders of the Admiral who is in command of the district. Under the secondary command of Secretary Ship Nagato and rooming with fellow destroyers Kisaragi and Mutsuki, Fubuki learns the role and duties of the fleet while waiting for a chance to prove herself against the invading Abyssal Fleet. She secretly hopes that she’ll get the chance to provide escort duty for Akagi, a carrier girl who Fubuki takes an instant liking to.
A hundred years after an asteroid strikes the Earth and leaves the next few generations with special powers, the world’s most advanced city has been founded to settle fights between the academies in the city of Rikka, more commonly called Asterisk, for control of whatever the winner of the yearly competition wants. In the fights, one or more combatants must face off against an equal opposite number of combatants and uses their Genestella powers plus a chosen weapon (called a Lux) to defeat, incapacitate or make an opponent yield. The fight is watched by a crowd and once the challenge to fight is issued, cannot be rescinded. Into this comes Ayato Amagiri who joins one of the academies in search of his older sister who vanished a while earlier after going to the same academy. Within the first day, he sees a girl in a state of undress, proves himself a hero and gets hit on by his student year head. He hasn’t even gotten to the second day yet.
I don’t like Mamoru Oshii as a filmmaker. I’ll make no bones about that. While I’ll always love Ghost in The Shell and the Patlabor series, the rest of his work both before and after these two are what drives me nuts about the guy. One of the worst offenders is a title he collaborated on with Yoshitaka Amano which I suppose represents the worst excesses of the animation boom in Japan in the 1980’s and the best example of where some creators were trying to push the industry. It’s called Angel’s Egg and it is rotten.