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General Anime Discussion
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This episode of Re:Creators just took a turn for the dark, huh? In retrospect, it's not too surprising they'd decide to
kill off a character
to show that there's real stakes at work rather then just being a lighthearted crossover battle royale, and
's sweetness and innocence that was clearly at odds with her companions made her an obvious choice for the chopping block.

I can only wonder how her (likely)
will affect Alicetaria. "Revolutionizing the world" or no, I can't see Alice as being willing to work with the woman who cold-bloodedly
slew her best friend
. That is, unless Altair decides to manipulate Alice by saying that one of Sota's group
her (seeing as
didn't actually tell Alice what she was trying to do before flying off). And it's pretty obvious that Alice grew so close to
because the latter reminded her of a girl she failed to protect in her own story. To be honest, I anticipated something like this from the moment we learned Alice's backstory and motives, but it'll make
Mamika's death
even more of a crushing blow for poor Alice to have lost another person she couldn't protect.

Poor Mamika too. Despite her naivete she actually grew to be pretty smart and insightful by the end. Too bad she was used to mahou shoujo villainesses who laugh maniacally and announce their intentions before attacking, while Altair simply
went for the kill
with absolutely no hesitation. Though even in mahou shoujo series, Mamika prolly should've known better. Leaving your friends to take out the big bad on your own never works.

The only thing I don't get though is that; Creations are supposedly summoned from stories that are well-known and impacted the human heart or whatever, right? I can accept that a bunch of bestselling Light Novels and movies would fit that criteria, would the heroine of some Doujin spinoff of an MMO or whatever really be famous enough to qualify? It seems to stretch the premise a bit at the very least...

My guess is that there's something unusual in how Altair summoned herself in the world unlike the other Creations. Possibly using Sota himself as a 'catalyst' in some way...

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Holy crud, episode 10 of Re:Creators. This was an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end. Mirokuji got worfed by Magane so hard it's not even funny though. Not only is his sword now completely unable to harm her, but she's stolen his Stand/Persona thingy as well. To be fair, Mirokuji is a hothead who acts without thinking so it makes sense he'd fall prey to Magane's word twisting powers, but you'd expect at a certain point people would learn to just shut their effing mouths against her.

It was also kind of annoying how much everybody beat around the bush when it came to convincing Aliceteria of the truth. You'd think Sota would at least try bringing up it was
who killed
(in fact just bringing up
's name would've likely gotten through to her, given Magane mentioned it offhandedly and there's no way Sota would've known about it if he wasn't involved), rather then rambling about how much people appreciate reading her story. (Mind you it wasn't bad for a motivational speech, but I'd think that convincing her
your friend didn't just brutally murder her friend
would be a little more important then giving her a pep-talk)

Also now we know that Creators can in fact affect the nature and powers of their Creations in reality, though Matsubara's doing so seemed to have only temporary effects (presumably because his redesign only underwent a brief surge of popularity rather then fully settling into collective consciousness regarding the character).

It's kind of weird though. We know Selesia originates from Vogelchevalier's anime adaptation rather then the original LN, and that because of that she lacks memories and experience (and presumably powers or weapons) that she gained in the later novels. By the same logic wouldn't that suggest an addition to the written canon would do nothing as far as anime incarnation!Selesia is concerned, no matter how popular it became?

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Now that we've gotten the full past on Jeanne and Mugaro/
in Virgin Soul, it's occurred to me how many parallels there are to Jesus.

The virgin birth part is obvious, but also the visit from an angel and the tyrannical king who views the holy child as a threat to his own power and is determined to go to any lengths to hunt him down. Probably the Christian allusions are on purpose, given Jeanne is named after a Christian saint and the heaven & hell aspects of the series' cosmology are clearly Christian-flavored.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Just watched Re:Creators episode 10 today. Setsuna really was amazingly cute. In a medium chock full of every kind of moe girl under the sun, they really did a great job of making her come off as endearing.

We also got a bit more detail on what the circumstances were behind her
. It wasn't just that Sota lost touch with her, but that he failed to defend her when others were accusing her of plagiarism (and wow, the mercilessness of online mobs here is unfortunately quite true to life). It also makes
's comments about her Creator being spat on and persecuted by the world back in episode 8 much more understandable.

Sota was obviously a major jerk to Setsuna, but at the same time his actions are totally understandable for someone in that situation. He lacked confidence in his own talent and was jealous at the bright future Setsuna had ahead of her (so he thought). The tragic irony is of course that Setsuna wasn't the unassailable idol he imagined her to be, but a young person likely just as insecure and conflicted as he was, even if she happened to have a bit more natural talent.

This episode wasn't just a spotlight for Setsuna though; they were some great Rui moments as well in his little bro-chat with Sota. Nice to see his character getting fleshed out a bit more, since up until now he was probably the least developed amongst the Creations. Also a bit of a BL moment when Sota was fishing through the back pockets of his dangerously skintight body-suit for a cellphone... (It doesn't help Rui's features and body-shape are feminine enough he could probably be swapped for a girl with almost no change)

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Omigod, that new Re:Creators ED was the most adorable thing ever. Not sure what's up with the new girl, though. She looks like she's from a slice-of-life Shoujo manga, but I presume there's something more to her since all of the Creations so far have been able to hold their own in a fight. Maybe the love-interest of one of those generic battle high-school stories? That's one genre that hasn't been represented so far...

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
The antics with Nina returning to the dragon village were really adorable this week in Virgin Soul. Seriously, she is such a cinnamon bun it's not even remotely fair.

In other news, the new OP and ED are pretty cool as well (I like OP no. 2 better since the growly metal of the first one was not really my thing), especially the technopunk Cinderella styled ending theme.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Virgin Soul ep 15: So, there's another
Bahamut-grade monstrosity
about to break out. That totally casts Charioce's actions in a whole new light. The whole reason he got humanity to wage war against the gods was probably to prepare them for
awakening, as he presumably expects the gods won't be able to handle the calamity properly (and seeing as Bahamut's unsealing in the first season partially resulted from divine neglect, he's not wholly wrong).

Also, was I the only one who got a bit leery about El's intentions in the last few minutes? With his "Only I can save this world" line I'm starting to worry the kid's on the fast-track to becoming some kind of knight Templar or well-intentioned extremist. Plus, those smiles didn't seem exactly pleasant... (Neither did Gabriel's; thank God for Sophiel and that meganekko angel, else I'd think heaven was populated entirely by scheming bastards...)

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Wow, I think this is actually the first real fanservice scene we've gotten in Re:Creators. And given Magane is, well... Magane, it's actually perfectly in-character for her to prance around her house in her panties and strike ridiculous poses. I'm actually a little surprised she didn't try to pull a "You walked in on me naked? How l-lewd!" fake embarrassment card on Aliceteria just for the lulz.

We also got Blitz's backstory this week, Hikayu is a useless ball of moe and her creator's personality is just about exactly what you'd expect from that of a stereotypical eroge author (that scene with him trying to perv on Hikayu was hilarious, though). Blitz and Altair's interactions were interesting as well. Her reminding Blitz of his daughter is hardly surprising (as "helping a female character because they remind him of his daughter" is a pretty common motivation in grizzled anti-hero characters like Blitz), but for Altair to reciprocate the feeling is a little more unexpected.

Not really sure what to make of their exchange, honestly. On the one hand it definitely fleshes out Altair and makes her more sympathetic, but on the other it's weird that someone who wants to destroy literally all of reality is giving him seemingly sincere and genuine advice on how to live his life. Doesn't Altair realize if she actually won both Blitz and his entire world would be erased from existence too? She's basically telling him "go and do justice to your daughter's memory, but just FYI I'm going to wipe you and everything you love from the face of existence in a few months anyway". Then again, Altair's whole character is a mess of contradictions from the bottom-up so it does kind of fit. You can almost think of it as her "breaking character" in a way, especially since she reverts back to her usual pretentious villain monologuing immediately afterwards.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Has anybody been following 18if? Because it took an extremely abrupt tone-shift this week, from whimsical romps through a carnivalesque dream world into what can only be described as a torture-porn gorefest. Not to mention Haruto goes from a generically nice protagonist guy to a borderline sociopath who has no problem seeing (admittedly utter scumbags, but still) people getting horribly massacred in front of him.

On the one hand, something interesting can be said for how Haruto doesn't just spout the usual "revenge is bad!" Shonen protagonist speech, but on the other hand the episode's actual moral was so muddled as to be just about incomprehensible. No matter how badly they deserved it, a 12-year old girl's killing three people is sure as hell not going to solve her emotional problems, and that the show apparently thinks this to be the case is just outright bizarre. Not to mention how despite supposedly being sent to solve these Witchs' inner woes, Haruto basically stands there and does nothing but gawk while Mana (the current witch) kills off her past tormentors, but yet is somehow credited for saving her nevertheless.

Despite the admittedly striking presentation of the murder scene, this episode was rather bland visually as well compared to the first one, with almost the entire time in the dream-world consisting of Haruto & Mana standing in a room talking. At this point it's obvious this is an exceedingly weird show, and while this episode's content did not do it for me at all, I might keep watching just to see how much of an unpredictable trainwreck it becomes in the future.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Sorry for interrupt Royd's post wall but I need to say that I've watched Martian Successor Nadesico again and it still thrills me like the first time I watched it. I'm in love with this anime honestly.
Layout made by MaxodeX
2021 TRENO vibe check thread
Has anyone been following Vatican Miracle Examiner? Because it totally jumped the shark this week in the absolute best way possible (I seriously laughed out loud when the freaking
cryogenically preserved corpse of Adolf Hitler
was found in the Church basement). I'm definitely going to keep watching this show just to see if future plotlines can possibly top this in sheer insanity.

Though, while Josef's
holy water laced with sulphuric acid to dispatch Simeon
trick was admittedly clever, I highly doubt it would actually produce the spectacular results seen in the show. I'm not a chemist or anything but as far as I know, sulphuric acid is just, well, an acid. It'll melt your skin and do really horrible damage, but can it actually light someone up like a freaking human torch?

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
So, that Nina x Charioce date in Virgin Soul was pretty cute, but Nina really has got to make up her mind on which side she's on by now. Charioce is theoretically her enemy, as well as a near-genocidal tyrant trying to take over the world. I mean, she's almost a traitor at this point, talking the good talk about stopping Charioce while with Favaro & co and then turning into a blushing compliant mess whenever he shows up.

I'd say this episode marks a definite step down for Nina's character. She's fawned over Charioce before, now it's reached the point where she was handed a perfect chance to stop him (non-lethally even) only to pass it up completely. She could've at least tried to covertly steal that bracelet but nope, ~feelings~ take priority over stopping a genocidal tyrant from wrecking the world. (Oh, but he has a tragic dead mom and insists he has a ~good reason~ for everything so it's all okay. Not)

This might come off as a bit harsh, but despite that I still did enjoy this episode. As I said, their date was beautiful and genuinely heartwarming if you tune out the surrounding context, and Nina is still one of the most adorable anime heroines in a while. But her flakiness as a heroine is getting egregious at this point (not even getting into the weirdness of Charioce playing a friendly game of soccer with demon kids that he's effectively consigned into ghettos).

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Vatican Miracle Examiners is super gay and super great. It's like Professor Layton was written by the Hellsing author and then animated by the people who animated JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. And the whole thing was filled with hot bishies. Who make dinner for each other in cute aprons.

Also just saw the latest Made in Abyss. I was expecting a lighthearted JRPG storyline ala Grandia or something. Did not expect it to take such a turn for the gruesome. I was a bit disturbed the content though my family was okay with it. Not for those with weak stomachs, though I imagine those who are used to stuff like zombie movies would find it tame.
So it took me a while to catch up to the latest episode of Re:Creators, but it was pretty damn incredible. Magane's little talk with Sota even managed to humanize her a bit, though she's still basically an amoral sociopath. Hikayu's introduction in Yuya and Sho's fight was hilariously awesome, though unfortunately some fanart spoiled me as to what her "powered up" form looked like. I loved how she was just blushing full-face from wearing such a ridiculous outfit, and even Takashi and Masaaski were dumbfounded as to how such a stupidly silly "twist" could possibly be accepted by an audience (thankfully Ohnishi knows that rule of cool and rule of sexy can make up for a lot).

Yuya just cavalierly dropping spoilers on Sho's backstory was also hilarious, especially Yatoji's reaction. (As an author, I would totally be pissed if one of my own characters starting dropping spoilers on my work on live television)

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
The first half of this episode of Vatican Miracle Examiner was actually a pretty good illustration of confirmation bias. In a show as unashamedly crazy as this one, I was surprised that Roberto's refutation of John's prophecies was actually very cogent and rational (stuff that I honestly overlooked earlier because I was too busy thinking up more off-the-wall explanations). Of course, the second half of the episode dives right back into the show's usual brand of craziness with absurdly convenient "Luke, I am your father" style reveals, serial killings and a hefty dollop of secret passageways and occultist conspiracy.

Given that
Julia's corpse
was faked, it's pretty obvious he's going to show up again in the future. Probably as the main villain behind everything, since there's no way a guy that pretty is just a one-arc minor character...

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Fuck, Re:Creators. Why are you toying with my heart like this!?! Even though this was the final battle and all, I not expecting two of the good guys to bite it like this, much less the erstwhile main heroine! Well, Aliceteria was pretty much doomed the moment she went all-out against Altair, since it was obvious the show wasn't going to kill its main villain off still about 3 episodes from the end.

But Selesia! Did freaking anyone predict she of all people was going to die?! In a really tragic and heart-tugging way too. I seriously started to tear up a bit when Matsubara was practically begging her to run away and not sacrifice herself, which I almost never do when watching anime. Albeit as horrible as it is, it does fit the show's themes about nobody being a "main character" with destiny on their side, but just people struggling to fight for their ideals in an uncertain world.

I did not anticipate the show going meta and martyring its own heroine for that message though. Mind you, there's still more then enough time for her to go through some eleventh hour resurrection from ~AUDIENCE POWAH~ and take out Altair in Tengan Toppa Vogelchevalier or whatever the Hell the show's going to throw at us next. I just don't want the rose-haired anime heroine of the season to be dead, damn it!!!#ab{;_;}

Aside from that though, there were some really good badass and inspiring moments in this episode as well. Hikayu giving Selesia a speech to encourage her to keep fighting against Charon for instance (shows she's more then just a fanservice bait H-game heroine) and Blitz, Sho and Yuya's threefold reflection ploy to try and get a shot in on Altair was outrageously cool. Sure Altair blocked it effortlessly, but it was amazing how well the three of them worked as a team.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
The one thing I don't like about Vatican Miracle Examiners is how rushed it is. I realize it's adapting light novel material but they could have distilled it down a bit more or cut out an arc or two to keep the pacing reasonable. The last episode in particular felt like they were going from plot point to plot point in rapid succession.

Also I felt there were too many white people in the latest arc, considering it was set in africa.
I hope next episode of Virgin Soul Nina finally gets a badass moment in her fight with that creepy bounty hunter guy. After way too many episodes of her acting like a weak-willed Shoujo heroine, it's almost easy to forget that she's supposed to be the main protagonist at this point.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Virgin Soul is still an amazing show, but I'm increasingly growing to dislike how they're handling Nina as a heroine. Basically all she's done in the last couple episodes is fawn over Charioce and act indecisive. I thought she could redeem herself with her fight against the dragon bounty-hunter this week, but the show completely torched that possibility by having her get wrecked almost immediately (seriously, a battle between two giant freaking dragons has no right being so anticlimactic) and rely on Favoro and Kaisar to save her. Then to add insult to injury the bounty hunter guy gets killed off anyways, removing any possibility of a rematch and making his character (hyped up for the past two episodes) almost totally pointless.

Don't get me wrong, seeing Favoro and Kaisar pull off their rescue was really cool and badass (Favoro being spurred into action by his memories of Amira was a particularly nice touch). It's just that especially by this point in its runtime (five episodes from the end), the show should really be allocating its big badass moments to the main heroine rather then characters who had more then enough chances to shine in the previous season.

I'm still hoping Nina will toughen up a bit sometime before the end (hopefully slapping the shit out of Charioce), but she's already spent way too much time acting the part of a spineless YA heroine at this point.

Also, who saw that post-credits twist coming? I sure didn't. Alessand, put down that knife!

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
You know, I'm usually a fan of the "invincible villain" trope (Dio, Gilgamesh, basically every major opponent in To Aru), but never before have I seen it as catastrophically mishandled as in Re:Creators. It's classic David and Goliath; the more the villain is hyped up as all-powerful and invincible, the more satisfying it is to see the heroes kick their teeth in. And if you spend the entire freaking show shoving in our faces how unstoppable and just short of omnipotent Altair is, then you'd better damn well show her completely defeated, broken and humiliated by the climax. Anything less is to spit in the face of the audience, the narrative as a whole and the characters who fought so hard trying to defeat her.

The sad thing is, Altair and
interactions were actually really poignant and the show's musing on the creative process was insightful as always. It's just a pity those came at the price of such an utterly anticlimactic resolution.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
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