Episode 99 – Summer Preview

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This was originally planned to be episode 98, so that our preview would actually preview shows before they started. Alas and alack, that was not to be, but hey, some of these shows haven’t started yet.

Bradley C Meek joins to talk about how our picks from the Spring season held up and what Summer shows we are looking forward to. Plus Texhnolyze Episode 2 is our Weekly Retro Recap, and we have play a round of “When Did People Give A Hoot About?”.

Please leave your comments about how Brian is wrong about Attack on Titan & Flowers of Evil below. And your complaints about how you can hear his loose windshield clunking and clicking through the episode.

That will be sorted out for next week’s glorious 100th episode of DITB!

 

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3 Comments

  1. Dear DITB crew (and Bradley),

    With regards to the episode above I thought that I’d write in to defend Aku no Hana/The Flowers of Evil as I consider it one of the best anime television series of the last few years. However, after hearing your brief discussion of Valvrave the Liberator I feel compelled to defend that particular series, trashy as it is.

    During the podcast you mention that all of you only saw the first episode of the series (with one of your number not even sticking around for the twist conclusion) and based on that I can understand why you’d probably not want to carry on with the series. It certainly doesn’t put it’s best foot forward and I nearly dropped the show earlier on it’s run.

    The show appears to be a random mess of ideas thrown together by executives at Sunrise who were looking to capitalize on the success on the earlier Code Geass which was generated a lot of attention due to it’s high school setting + mecha, stand out characters, ‘shocking twists’ and fairly ludicrous plot developments in the second half of the show. Valvrave appears to shamelessly borrow nearly all of those general concepts for it’s major story beats.

    However, what makes Valvrave an enjoyable show to watch (which isn’t obvious from the fairly conventional first episode) is that each new plot development is even more absurd than the last, to the point where it’s clear that the writers are fully aware that the story is trashy nonsense and they play on that fact in a really enjoyable way. While this may seem initially gimmicky and shallow – as the audience is fully aware that some unpredictable and unprecedented development will take place even if we don’t know the contents of that development – they actually manage to craft a somewhat interesting structure around these twists and turns. The show wants to you go “I can’t believe what just happened!” and quite often it succeeds whether it’s through sudden vampirism, improbable relationship developments or entire musical numbers which involve the whole cast. I don’t want to spoil some of the more insane stuff although Bradely did reveal some of it earlier in the cast. It’s a very, very silly cartoon.

    The show is certainly not without it’s problems, for example the characterization isn’t as strong as it could be because the show is always introducing new characters, new settings and new ideas into what you foolishly assume is going to be a very simple ‘Original Gundam’ type-story about two nations engage in a space way. This becomes a problem in those rare moments where the show slows down and tries to focus on characters who you can’t possibly have any attachment to. I”m not particularly fond of some of the mechanical designs either.

    What I’m trying to get at is that the show is better than the opening of it would suggest. The first episode spends a lot of it’s run time on ‘anime highschool’ and then devolves into an apparently generic Gundam storyline with dashes of tonally inappropriate fanservice. As the show moves away from these traditional concepts it improves considerably and is certainly worth a watch.

    I can’t believe I spent so much time defending a show as ridiculous and silly as Valvrave, but there you go.

    Thanks for all the podcasts.

  2. Well in regards to Flowers of Evil, I finished that show off a days back and pretty much loved each episode as much as the last. So Bradley and I will no doubt put Brian under the heat lamp later in the year for the yearly review.

    Though onto the elephant in the room, valvrave. I’m willing to watch a little more of the show of I’m ever stuck for something else to watch on crunchy roll etc. as you mention you feel it picks up as it gets a little Crazier and displays it may not take itself as serious as I initially first thought (which always brings a sigh of relief or me and mecha shows) I’m not sure though is the style of humour would appeal to me. With that said, I’m a sucker for plot twists so if they are actually some interesting revelations that do catch me off guard(and not in a completely stupid kind of ‘that would never happen’ kind of way) then I’m willing to give the next couple of episodes a test.

    Thanks for the kind words.

    • Re: Antaskew and Valvrave: A handful of the twists are silly but a number of them actually make you reconsider the entire scope of the show, so I’d say there’s a healthy mix.

      Incidentally, with regards to the discussion at the end of episode 98 and for the amusement of Anthony and the dismay of Brian there’s an entire book which features nothing but famous dictators (Pol Pot, Hitler, Hussien, Stalin and many from) from history in the guise of moe girls. It’s called Nyotaika!! Sekai no Dokusaisha Retsuden and a fair amount of the content is decidedly not safe for work.

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