Anime roundup 12/4/2014: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Hey, this column’s been running almost two years without a service interruption! Unfortunately, that’s about to end, thanks to a trip to Smofcon 32. But don’t worry, there’s a fun seasonal filler episode lined up for next week, and I’ll catch up on everything the week after. ‘Til then! (Unless you run into me at Smofcon, in which case, say hi!)

Mushishi-17 Mushishi #17 – Okay, some dodgy biology there, but in service of a lovely story. Water is abundant in Japan. Surrounded by the ocean, subject to frequent rain and snow, rivers everywhere, it’s a great metaphor for ubiquitous life. After Gen merges with the water, he’s truly omnipresent in his mother’s world.

The story also serves as the occasional reminder that Ginko may be highly knowledgeable, but he isn’t infallible. Exposing Gen to the storm turns out to have been a mistake, though it was probably just hastening the inevitable slightly. But he handles it gracefully, and points out that the mushi, though they took Gen away, also made it possible for him to be alive in the first place. We have seen over time that some other mushi experts would simply have declared the mushi a curse and Gen unsalvageable, but Ginko is always looking for the way to accept what the mushi do while limiting unintentional harm.

Yona-9 Yona of the Dawn #9 – Another well-telegraphed piece of the story is fitted in as Yona takes up the bow we’ve already seen her using in the credits and the first couple episodes. It’s interesting that King Il specifically forbade Yona to ever handle weapons. At this point there’s reason to doubt his official explanation for anything, so if it wasn’t that he just hated weapons, then why? Was he warned that Yona would be the reincarnation of King Hiryū and wanted to avert what’s happening now for some reason? (That might explain banning the reading of the book about the dragon legend… but then why read it to Yona?) Or maybe it was prophesied that his own flesh and blood would murder him, and he didn’t realize the warning was about Soo-won instead?

Speaking of doubtful stories, Soo-won’s advisor tells him that there’s evidence of taxes being embezzled, but doesn’t provide evidence and conveniently gets rid of the accused person before anyone else has a chance to question them. Hmmmmm.

Kokkuri-san-9 Gugure! Kokkuri-san #9 – On the general principle that pain and suffering are funny when they happen to other people, first we get Kokkuri freaking out over hair loss and then Inugami checking to see if anyone would care if e were to run away from home.

Kesaran-pasaran are fluffballs that one can make by collecting shed fur from a pet and rolling them up. Sometimes one can draw a little face on them. Anyway, the point is that when it’s shedding season, Kokkuri’s fur really rises (or falls) to the occasion.

Inugami has the worst time of it this episode, spending most of the first segment dead(er?) and then most of the second slowly absorbing the idea that maybe Kohina is not as madly devoted to em as e is to her. Oddly it’s Shigaraki who steps in to try to patch things up. Maybe he’s failing at being a jerk again, but I prefer to think he’s doing it because he enjoys watching Kokkuri and Inugami get on each other’s nerves.

Celestial-Method-9 Celestial Method #9 – That was 24 minutes of eye-pleasing animation… which explained practically nothing. It’s new information that the idea of summoning a flying saucer originated with Shione, but that doesn’t get us any closer to why she’s cutting herself off again. Unless she’s upset that Nonoka became Noel’s primary focus? But Shione doesn’t seem angry when she almost explains why she’s running away at the end.

Noel, meanwhile, has described herself as basically a genie that goes from place to place granting wishes. If that’s the totality of what she is when all is said and done, that’ll be a big disappointment. Is the interesting topography of the lake just a coincidence?

Incidentally, why is she suddenly so confident that it’s okay to be out of sight of the saucer? It seems to be triggered by the confidence that the old gang is all back together. If she’s a genie, maybe it’s a component of the rules she’s bound by. Or it could be a side effect of the writer rushing to wrap things up in another two or three episodes and forgetting how it was originally supposed to work.

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