Anime roundup 3/24/2013: High Anxiety

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Space-Bros-49Space Brothers #49 – Yes, international viewers who may not be familiar with the southwestern US, there are rattlesnakes near Amarillo, and yes, if you’re going to be walking through the wilderness around there for several days, someone in your party should be carrying a gun. The only thing unrealistic about the way it was depicted was that the trainers waited until day 4 to bring it up.

Here’s the deal with all the nervousness about the gun: Private firearms ownership is nearly impossible in Japan. The only type of gun a private citizen can acquire is a shotgun, and even that requires a lengthy licensing process that includes stringent background checks for their entire family, a mental health test, shooting classes, and more. It’s reasonable to assume that Mutta and his compatriots have never been in the same room as a working gun, let alone handled one (can’t even do that without a license in Japan).

The scorpion last episode was reasonably true-to-life, too, although most scorpions around Amarillo are the annoying rather than deadly variety. At least they’re too far east for gila monsters.

And speaking of anxiety, it appears we know what the mysterious trouble with Nitta’s brother is now. He’s a shut-in, or hikikomori. Hikikomori are teenagers or young adults who withdraw completely from any social engagement, sometimes to the extent of spending all their time in one room and refusing to interact directly even with family members. Similar behaviors can be found around the world, but Japan seems to get a particularly widespread and extreme version of it. Proposed explanations run the gamut from mild mental illness to it being a rebellion against rigid social expectations.

It looks from the preview like next episode involves a nice long walk back to where Mutta tackled Nitta to retrieve Nitta’s phone, so there should be plenty of time for a flashback to explain everything more fully. (Now, there’s a sign that this is taking place in The Future– a smartphone that holds a charge well enough to be working after four days in the wilderness.)

FTNW-24From the New World #24 – Well, there was a bit of exposition that could have been handled better. The Monster Rats have been shown to be so enthusastic about copying human innovations, from firearms to brain surgery to parliaments and whatnot, you’d think they’d’ve gotten around to mirrors at some point. Suddenly bringing it up for the first time now feels an awful lot like a desperate flailing motion by someone who’s written themselves into a corner. Since this show is based on something that won an award given by a group of writers, I guess we can all assume that this was introduced better in the book.

Much better handled was Kiroumaru patiently explaining to Saki that while his colony may have behaved like good slaves, they were still slaves, serving capricious masters. It’s no wonder they wanted some insurance in case their “gods” turned on them.

HxH-71Hunter x Hunter #71 – That was all pure Gon. Give it your all, win the fight, impress both friends and foes! What, there’s another villain around? Hey, let’s go fight him right this minute!! With no plan! And practically everyone injured! Yeah!

Luckily he can be made to see reason, so it’s probably another training episode next.

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