Anime roundup 3/1/2018: Tripping Up

Kokkoku #8 – Again, Stasis is shown to reward those who push forward and resist standing still. Give in to the control of a Specter completely, and you become a Herald. Stay centered and keep your will in control, and you develop a power like Grandpa’s, like Juri’s, or, as it turns out, like Majima’s. Or, if you get the balance just right, you can hulk out and become a monster in human form, like Sagawa.

Sagawa’s transformation doesn’t protect him from Juri’s power to expel Specters, but it does make the task a lot more difficult. With her grandfather’s teleportation still maddeningly inexact, and Sagawa able to sense other Specters, there’s no good way to sneak up on him.

But Juri’s new ability provides one sliver of hope: if she can spontaneously manifest a new power, then the remaining henchmen and family members are likely to as well. Then again, it also means that Takafumi is going to be a superpowered menace soon, too. Like Sagawa, he’s managed to talk himself into believing that he has the right to rule Stasis and use it exclusively for his own ends. He’s still not firm enough in his beliefs to outright justify stealing to Makoto, but as he also convinces himself that he is the head of the family whose word should be law, that’s going to change soon.

(Amazon Videobilibili)

Hakumei and Mikochi #7 – A while after Hakumei inadvertently blew up their old house and the friendly mad scientist had her army of monkey skeletons reconstruct it, the women finally notice that their once-quiet tree has been transformed into a whole neighborhood. This brings up some fascinating questions about how property rights function in this world which I’m sure will never be answered. But it also means: new neighbors!

One of those neighbors is an endearing young beetle who wants to indulge in a sophisticated urban lifestyle, which to her means cluttering up her apartment with a bunch of clunky hipster furniture. Up until the point where it almost kills her, and everyone learns a Very Important Lesson about user-centered design.

Their next visitor is a travelling photographer using technology of a very specific time. Dry plates were widely used in the late 19th century, hanging on in professional use until the early 20th when celluloid film had improved enough to supplant them. This setting could, then, be an alternate Meiji or Taishō period (which lasted until 1926), if it is based on any historical period at all.


Beatless #6 – Yes, Amazon lists this as episode 7, but the title card does clearly say it’s episode 6. Add weird numbering to the list of anime quirks the big streamers weren’t prepared for.

This episode’s focus is Shiori, Ryō’s little sister. She has two distinguishing traits: she’s not as good as a boy at anything, and she’s rich. This means her life is all about deciding which well-connected family she gets to form a marriage alliance with. You might think that a further century of progress might lead to a Japan where women could seriously consider having a career or something, but the author apparently didn’t want to get too carried off with crazy progressive ideas.

Actually, seeing that nearly all traditionally female jobs have been taken over by robots, this does raise the interesting question of whether that would lead to women being displaced into more male jobs, or to a more conservative society which insists on women returning to purely domestic roles. Which I expect will not be explored because this story is only really interested in robot women.

The newest android is Methode, who has come up with a novel way to rules-lawyer her servitude. Not only can she serve two masters, it gives her the ability to decide which one’s orders she feels like following today. Well, until they both agree on something she doesn’t like. Does she try talking them out of it at that point, or just find herself another new “owner”? Either way, it’s pretty clear at this point that the whole “owner” thing is just a smokescreen for androids doing as they please.

(Amazon Video)

Say, wasn’t there supposed to be a fourth show in this roundup? No new episode of Hakyu Hoshin Engi has appeared on Crunchyroll this past week. Late-arriving episodes are not unheard of in the anime streaming world, but they tend to happen at the end of seasons, and Crunchyroll has a good record of posting an explanation when an episode is going to miss its expected release time.

No explanation was provided this time, so feel free to speculate. Epic behind-the-scenes collapse which will be remembered for decades to come? Production team giving up due to the petition from an unhappy fan? Olympics-induced scheduling irregularity? Okay, so the Olympics are the most likely explanation, but it’s still odd that Crunchyroll apparently knows nothing.

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