There was supposed to be a post on Wednesday, but it looks like there was a little mistake.
Anyway, I have seven different midterm exams, papers, or projects due over the next two weeks. So I won’t be able to do any liveblogging for that time. There’s just too much going on.
So wish me luck and I’ll return to playing the catch up game when I’m done.#blog stuff
This show is outside the focus of this blog so I won’t be covering it regularly, but it’s still worth discussing, because it’s the first brand new magical girl series since Puella Magi Madoka Magica that shows some promise. It has that cross-demographic appeal. It’s not aimed at girls, but there’s nothing really exclusionary about it.
The premise surrounds a junior high “Hero Club” who spend their time doing good deeds for the community. This slice of life start takes a quick turn into magical girl action halfway through the first episode when the younger members find out the real meaning of the club when there is an attack on Earth by mysterious beings called Vertex.
As is typical for magical girl shows aimed at the older demographic, it utilizes Real Magic, which simply put is magic that gets an explanation about how it works. Likewise the look of this magic is more in line with the Fantasy genre than the cutesy look of shoujo. The girls fight with magic blasts and weapons (or in the case of Yuna, her fists), rather than wands with hearts, stars, etc. Ditto for their outfits which wouldn’t be out of place in an RPG.
The art and animation can be both striking and a little generic. The look of the world they fight in and their enemies are really cool. The character design is the exact same style in every anime, and like I said, their outfits wouldn’t be out of place in an RPG which leads to them looking kinda generic too. But they do look cute, I’m fondest of Yuna’s design myself (it’s the year of ponytails for magical girls). The fights can look really cool (and the real time transformation in the first episode is awesome), but a longshot tends to feature conspicuous cg models.
The tone of the show is interesting, striking a middle-ground between playing the conflict realistically and light-hearted. The story addresses the natural fears from the conflict, but also mixes this with joking, sometimes in the same scene. This could either be the show’s greatest strength or lead to weak writing depending on how they balance it going forward.
If they don’t develop the story and up the stakes at some point, it might become a generic action show. They have to build up the relationships and characters more for a start. These first two episodes were mainly about action so the girls are still mainly limited to their archetype starts.
While I am talking about characters though, it’s definitely worth mentioning that one of the girls, Mimori, is in a wheelchair and she does get to be a legitimate part of the action. So give them credit there. On the other hand, I have a hard time trying to come up with a personality trait for her that couldn’t be tied to her wheel chair. Her screentime was about about her hesitance fighting because she doesn’t want to be a burden. I’m not really in a position to properly criticize that though. Perhaps it’s understandable, but not ideal?
I tend to think it’s not about Mimori’s disability though, there’s a problem with sparse characterization for everyone so far. Yuna is the standard happy and determined protagonist. Fu is the competent club president. Itsuki is the club president’s little sister. Mimori actually gets the most characterization, already overcoming an emotional difficulty. She also has the quirk of having her best friend refer to her by her family name I guess.
So the characters are a concern. Either this series is going to be a slice of life magical girl show or the stakes are going to be raised on the conflict at some point. Either option is going to require more developed and interesting characters than who we have right now. But it’s only the second episode, so there’s lots of time to grow. And it’s pretty enough to watch while waiting for that growth. I recommend checking it out.#Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru #Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de aru #magical reviews #not shoujo
I think I’m done for today. What I’m going to do to catch up is watch the episodes in my spare time here and there and then post them all together in a queue when I finish. Because it’s just too hard to find the time to liveblog these days. :|
Actually, since I’m probably going to be painting my room this weekend, I don’t think I’ll be able to liveblog the next Crystal on Saturday either. Which sucks, because it’s Minako. Dammit. Why did it have to be this way?#blog stuff
And that’s Act 5 finally wrapped up. Even two episodes later I still think it’s the best of Crystal so far. Even with the little changes here and there. I feel this is where the staff best got what they wanted to do with it.
They make little tweaks to streamline things. Like aas great as boy!Usagi is, it’s kinda pointless, she appears like that and then immediately transforms. It’s much more the sort of thing Minako would do too, so it’s probably for the best it was taken out.
They expanded Makoto figuring out her power to add in a little crisis, which is a pretty good expansion that fits in with the issues she’s been displaying in the episode. It shows improvement in Usagi as Sailor Moon too and a possible reason for why she could be a leader.
Then the first half every single interaction between Usagi and Makoto was just gold. I love these episodes, because while the manga wasn’t able to spend a lot of time on the girls (and therefore Crystal too probably), a ton of stuff gets established right here in the beginning. You get exactly why Usagi gets along with all of these girls and why they love her. Which since so much of the story is about them protecting her is incredibly important.
Especially Makoto and Usagi, because Usagi doesn’t save Makoto from some major damage. Makoto’s having issues, but they’re more recent rather than these deep wounds. It’s fun to see Usagi make friends with her less out of admiration and more from what they have in common. Just nice little touches to show how Usagi’s relationship with everyone is different. Rei is a mature influence, Ami gives good advice (especially for school), Makoto can cheer her up the best, and Minako will at last be the girl who gets her (matching failing scores because they were at the arcade instead of studying).
Oh yeah. It’s gonna be great when they’re all finally together.#MGS: Sailor Moon Crystal #Crystal Act 5