Anime roundup 12/17/2015: About Time

In this week’s viewing: Catching up means a double dose of flashbacks, a sudden improvement in Utawarerumono, and more!

Kagewani-10-11 Kagewani #10-11 – All of a sudden Kagewani turns into Mushishi for an episode, with a traditional fishing village many years ago being menaced by an early monster. Then it’s a hop back to Professor Bamba’s childhood, when a faux-scary experience at a remote village (the same village?) turns into a real one and confirms all the hints we’ve been getting about an earlier encounter with the monsters.

Rin’s flashback would be to around the 1930s or 1940s, and Bamba’s would be probably the 1970s. Either the monsters became endemic to the area after the first outbreak, or something happened, and is happening again, to stir them up.

The woman hunting the monsters said that they were created, and this timeline works for them to have been the result of an early attempt at genetic engineering gone horribly wrong. (Today’s cloning methods are just refinements of a procedure first attempted in the 1930s.)

I’m curious how the superstitious-sounding explanation of shadow monsters that eat your shadow can be squared with the scientific basis the rest of the story wants to operate on. My guess is that the monsters with camouflage ability can still cast a shadow, so there is a physical, invisible creature at work, and the business of luring the shadow onto something that can be set fire to amounts to getting the monster close enough to the fire to be burned.

(Crunchyroll)

Orphans-10-11 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans #10-11 – The more the show focuses on people other than the alleged protagonist, the more interesting it gets. Now we get Atra and Akihiro’s backstories.

Atra remembers working in a brothel until she ran away. Then she met Mikazuki, who was kind of a jerk to her, but less of a jerk than the people she used to work for, so he now has her undying gratitude and love. That this love may not be fully returned is no problem for her, now that she’s seen from the Turbines that polyamory is a valid lifestyle choice. Someone really should check with Mikazuki to find out what he thinks sometime.

Akihiro, meanwhile, remembers having a traditional family, but they were murdered and he and his brother sold off into slavery in separate directions. Little brother Masahiro must surely be dead now. Oh, wait, no, there he is! That could have been spaced out a little better.

So it’s time to get out the battlesuits again and do battle with the local pirates, whose chief enforcer has another Gundam-type suit, meaning a battle royale between him and the Barbatos next time. It doesn’t seem like much a question of if but rather how they’ll extract Masahiro from piratical slavery.

(DaisukiGundam.infoCrunchyrollWakanimAnimeLab)

Concrete-10-11 Concrete Revolutio #10-11 – Concrete Revolutio does itself a disservice by waffling about how it wants time travel paradoxes to work. The explanation it settles on, The Man Who Folded Himself-style chaos where every iteration of a person can take their own paths and damn the inconsistencies, is absolutely the best one for this story, because it allows for a free and open debate between the various copies of our featured time traveller.

Jaguar, as I guess I should call him since that’s his most-used name, started off in a world where superhumans had vanished, decided this was unjust, tried saving the world by eliminating evil, decided that didn’t work either, and finally became the motivating force behind the Superhuman Bureau. So now we know what it’s really supposed to be for– although, as Jaguar notes in the next episode, it’s falling down on that job when the villain of the week is the one actually acting to stop exploitation of superhumans.

That villain of the week, Claude, turns out to be a prodigal member of the Hitoyoshi clan, with a power similar to Jirō’s. Might he be the key to Jirō’s split with the Bureau?

Right before the split, though, Jirō is still very rigid in his beliefs about the inherent evilness of some beings, so much so that Kikko is fed up with him. As if she doesn’t have enough other problems, with a dormant alternate personality seemingly being activated by Claude’s presence or power. Back in episode 3 when she said she had a monster in her too, was this what she meant?

Oh, and you caught that aside about how the people of the 25th century have been engineered with animal genes to make them more compliant with authority, right? That seems to be the ultimate point Concrete Revolutio is aiming for– about control versus freedom. The Superhuman Bureau was started to protect the existence of superhumans, but it’s become a tool to control them, and their freedom lies on a different path.

(DaisukiADNFUNimationAnimeLab)

Utawarerumono-10-11 Utawarerumono #10-11 – After another episode and a half of agonizingly repetitive hijinks, Utawarerumono takes a sudden turn for the serious and, dare we hope, better. When Oshutoru manages to get through to the imperial princess that her idea of fun would be many other people’s idea of a dreadful failure that merits executions, this suddenly feels like a show worth watching again.

The gorgeously rendered daybreak doesn’t hurt, either. It’s a crime to waste art like this on the kind of plotlines this show has been slumming with the last several episode. Please, please, please, can we get back to the sword-and-sorcery adventures now?

(Crunchyroll)

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