[In which I review] New anime, Fall 2011

Katsue

Young Witch
Validated User
While it technically hasn't ended yet, watching the final season of Shana has ended up mostly being an intellectual exercise in realizing how detached I am from the story and characters after all this time. It's not badly done by any means, it's just something that I would have enjoyed far more three years ago. For whatever reason though I just keep watching and snickering about how much I apparently have come to dislike Yoshida and her entire archtype (That is, the childhood friend or otherwise "normal" love interest who has no powers or cool abilities or ever does anything slightly useful or interesting and has no chance in hell of winning over the main character from his primary Alien/Robot/Witch/Catgirl/Detective love interest but will whine about it constantly until the end of the series.) It does have some fantastic names, though. The series has got to be the best random badass title generator of all time.
My big annoyance with second season Shana was the way that the title character was deemphasised in favour of Yuji, who was the centre of everything and got a series of power boosts. The third season seems to have been written in order to push my buttons.

Regarding normal girls, I can think of at least one show where the normal girl beat the apparently primary love interest, aided by the fact that the apparently primary love interest (who wasn't the psychic alien AI) was crazy. That was about 15 years ago, mind you.
 

MadMac

Registered User
Validated User
Regarding normal girls, I can think of at least one show where the normal girl beat the apparently primary love interest, aided by the fact that the apparently primary love interest (who wasn't the psychic alien AI) was crazy. That was about 15 years ago, mind you.
It definitely can happen, but not nearly often enough to justify cramming such a boring character type into everything ever. Really though, it's mostly just a sign of me getting over harems generally in a "You and I both know perfectly well your romantic development will go absolutely nowhere so you'd better be damn sure you're interesting or entertaining enough to justify whatever level of angst you're going to have about it." sort of way.

I'm with you on the second season. It didn't really bother me when I watched it, but with the way the third season started off I realized I couldn't remember the last time Shana was the badass independent character she was supposed to have been. I probably wouldn't have stuck with the third season if she had escaped any later then she did.
 

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
The end of Mawaru Penguindrum was... frustrating. I think I might have to go through the series again sometime to piece everything together in light of some of the later revelations.

Spoiler: Show
I mean, I don't think we know why the penguin hat did any of what it did.
 

JELEINEN

Sizzler Black Squadron
Validated User
The end of Mawaru Penguindrum was... frustrating. I think I might have to go through the series again sometime to piece everything together in light of some of the later revelations.

Spoiler: Show
I mean, I don't think we know why the penguin hat did any of what it did.
Spoiler: Show
Penguin hats were were how Ringo's sister channeled her power to affect the real world from whatever state the event in 1995 left her in.
 

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
Spoiler: Show
And what were they doing with that power? What was the point behind sending Shouma and Kanba out to find the Penguindrum, especially given the place it turned out to be? Why was it called that? And why was one of Momoka's hats smack-talking Momoka's own baby sister like that?
 

JELEINEN

Sizzler Black Squadron
Validated User
Spoiler: Show
And what were they doing with that power? What was the point behind sending Shouma and Kanba out to find the Penguindrum, especially given the place it turned out to be? Why was it called that? And why was one of Momoka's hats smack-talking Momoka's own baby sister like that?
Spoiler: Show
The hats were to keep Himari and Mario alive and to get the Shouma and Kanba (as well as Masako) to find the Penguindrum.
The diary was her Penguindrum, but I guess the search for it is what was needed to find their own, or Momoka herself didn't understand how it worked (Sanetoshi thought it was the diary for sure, so it may also have been to throw him off). As to the name, I'm not sure on that either. It might be a Miyazawa Kenji reference (the show was filled with them, apparently).
It/she spoke to everyone like that, but I can't say Ringo didn't kind of deserve it with how she was acting like a delusional freak at the time.
Granted, I could be way off, but that's how I understood those things. There's definitely a lot of the symbolism that went over my head.
 

dshaffer

Pervy Catgirl Fancier
Validated User
I'm still trying to digest Penguindrum, personally.
I THINK I have it, but I'd like to see some critical evaluation following the show as a whole.
 

Shay Guy

Registered User
Validated User
Spoiler: Show
The hats were to keep Himari and Mario alive and to get the Shouma and Kanba (as well as Masako) to find the Penguindrum.
The diary was her Penguindrum, but I guess the search for it is what was needed to find their own, or Momoka herself didn't understand how it worked (Sanetoshi thought it was the diary for sure, so it may also have been to throw him off). As to the name, I'm not sure on that either. It might be a Miyazawa Kenji reference (the show was filled with them, apparently).
It/she spoke to everyone like that, but I can't say Ringo didn't kind of deserve it with how she was acting like a delusional freak at the time.
Granted, I could be way off, but that's how I understood those things. There's definitely a lot of the symbolism that went over my head.
OK, I don't think those fit together too well.

Spoiler: Show
Are you saying there's more than one of these Penguindrum things? And that the diary is one of them? When Himari's hat conspicuously went out of its way to avoid confirming S&K's guess that it was?

The bigger issue is that I'm not at all clear on Momoka's, or the hats', little-S strategy. Is it safe to suggest Momoka's goal, immediately before and during the sixteen years after her death, was stopping Sanetoshi? How does anything the hats did -- extending Himari's and Mario's life (the former of which left an opening for Sanetoshi to get Kanba on his side), telling S&K to get "the Penguindrum" without saying what that was (but then saying Ringo "probably" had it and acting like it was the diary), and so on -- contribute to Momoka's goal? If the point was to get the diary all along -- a goal that makes sense in itself -- why not say "Ringo Oginome's diary" instead of "the Penguindrum"?

And then there's the hat's behavior. By all accounts, Momoka was a nice girl during her life, unless you were attempting to commit mass murder, and even then she wasn't outright mean. And the hat was pretty damn mean -- Ringo needed to snap out of it, she needed calling out, she could've used professional help, but she didn't need to be called a whore. This, more than anything, is what convinces me that the hats are autonomous beyond maybe general instructions. I can't see the girl we saw in the flashbacks treating her little sister -- whose birth she was probably anticipating for several months before her death -- like that. Especially given how much Ringo's development was a product of Momoka's death, itself a result of her own failure to stop Sanetoshi in 1995.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
OK, I don't think those fit together too well.

Spoiler: Show
Are you saying there's more than one of these Penguindrum things? And that the diary is one of them? When Himari's hat conspicuously went out of its way to avoid confirming S&K's guess that it was?

The bigger issue is that I'm not at all clear on Momoka's, or the hats', little-S strategy. Is it safe to suggest Momoka's goal, immediately before and during the sixteen years after her death, was stopping Sanetoshi? How does anything the hats did -- extending Himari's and Mario's life (the former of which left an opening for Sanetoshi to get Kanba on his side), telling S&K to get "the Penguindrum" without saying what that was (but then saying Ringo "probably" had it and acting like it was the diary), and so on -- contribute to Momoka's goal? If the point was to get the diary all along -- a goal that makes sense in itself -- why not say "Ringo Oginome's diary" instead of "the Penguindrum"?

And then there's the hat's behavior. By all accounts, Momoka was a nice girl during her life, unless you were attempting to commit mass murder, and even then she wasn't outright mean. And the hat was pretty damn mean -- Ringo needed to snap out of it, she needed calling out, she could've used professional help, but she didn't need to be called a whore. This, more than anything, is what convinces me that the hats are autonomous beyond maybe general instructions. I can't see the girl we saw in the flashbacks treating her little sister -- whose birth she was probably anticipating for several months before her death -- like that. Especially given how much Ringo's development was a product of Momoka's death, itself a result of her own failure to stop Sanetoshi in 1995.
Well, I think there's a couple of points here:

Spoiler: Show
First of all, Momoka was literally split in two here and possibly not playing with a full deck as a result. I suspect that she knew she had to keep pushing them and make something happen, but might not herself have known exactly what had to be done. Recall her (seemingly unfeigned) helplessness to keep Himari alive anymore before Santoshi took over sustaining Himari.

In fact, I think that hat was more of a blend of Momoka and Himari than it was Momoka-half all on her own. That "worthless trash" phrase hat-girl was so fond of using? We later found out it's a phrase that Himari herself likes to use, though Himari applies it inward and calls herself trash rather than directing it outward. That points to me that the hat-being wasn't so much a separate entity as it was Himari enhanced by half of Momoka's soul. Consequently, I think it's a mistake to think of the hat as being completely on top of matters as a puppet-master rather than just another player trying to nudge things along in a direction they thought vaguely worthwhile.
 
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