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Compact Thoughts About Nisekoi S2

nyari

Last time while watching Nisekoi, I found myself being irritated with high-school love anime. Now what am I doing watching Nisekoi S2? For the humor mostly. Chitoge’s giant grin in the above screencap was sort of a relief when the rest of the episode was sort of only adequate for my liking. I really do enjoy her character the most, which is quite rare for me, since I typically don’t go crazy for main characters very often. So that grin made me laugh. I’m also not the type of person who gets side-splitting laughs unless it’s truly out of left field physical or sudden humor among close friends. Even if I were laughing as hard as I ever did, I get incapacitating laughter. My shoulders move and I hunch over, or I just sort of plant my face into a table if I am at one. If that is not viable, I just sort of employ my fist to smash my mouth shut or bite it to try and divert my attention.

Don’t get me wrong. Nisekoi, sadly, hasn’t actually gotten me laughing that hard. While I like laughing, if it gets in the way of experiencing said humor, I’d like to continue laughing without my own bodily functions drowning out the source of my enjoyment.

Chitoge’s waifu meter is slowly passing 15%. Yeah, I know. I barely have any waifu. Even Chihiro from TWGOK realizes how much of a non-waifu person I am, despite being this addicted to anime.

-maserbeam

Actual Graffiti

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No, there’s no actual graffiti in Koufuku Graffiti. But there’s tons of shots where it’s like watching those Pantene Pro V commercials, with girls sultrily swoofing their hair through the air. It’s silly. Perhaps the only reason why it feels so gratuitous is because SHAFT can’t help over doing it. The two most common reaction I have to these kind of scenes: Balling up my right hand into a fist and pressing it against my mouth as if in shock, but instead am trying to prevent a giant shit-eating grin, or simply strongly leaning backwards in my chair while brandishing my teeth in apparent disgust or awe.

I’m not sure who.. no, I know exactly who is watching is show and whom the show is targetting. But I wouldn’t pin down the reasons, because frankly, the only apparent substance to the show is in the presentation alone. The visuals are vibrant and decently animated. This shouldn’t be a surprise when SHAFT is involved. SHAFT’s prowess in delivering a low tempo show came to bear during Hidamari Sketch, one of the few shows that really lends itself to their production style.

But there’s limited character development. The only thing that seemed to be a point, is that Kirin is some sort of catalyst for inducing fuwa fuwa and poka poka feelings during heart-warming scenes. And there’s also the close-ups on the lips while they eat. Mmhmm. Totally not sexually suggestive.

It’s definitely the one show this season that I can watch with very minimal emotion investment or intellectual processing. No need to psyche myself up to be in the mood.

Nonaka Ai’s voice, man. Just always seems to sound like Fuura Kafuka to me 100 percent of the time. Although I do visualize Touwa Meme because that character was even more memorable than Kafuka was.

-maserbeam

What’s the SHAFT Headtilt doing in my Atelier?

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What? What in the world is the SHAFT headtilt doing in my Atelier Escha & Logy? Has it reached critical mass and is now spilling into other studios?! Does the angle increase the more infected a studio is? What happens when it exceeds a 90 degree angle? The world.. may never know.

Although, this is a perfect time to mention that I have been watching the show. It’s my guilty pleasure for this season. Really. Yeah. I think I’ve lost my soul to the moé faction permanently. Don’t worry. I still watch all of the AOTS of the season. (Yay for recursive acronyms/phrases. Because they always seem to piss somebody off.) Speaking of recursive acronyms, SHAFT can be one as well. I present this to you: SHAFT headtilts are full tilts.

Have fun with that one.

Okay, sorry. If you’re expecting at least a minor blurb about this show, here’s one. I mentioned this show was a guilty pleasure. I lied, because I’m fully basking in the pleasure of moé blobs, sitting here in my chair being fucking relaxed while the show bombards me with moé radiation. I’m just more inclined than the average anime fan to watch shows that don’t aim to have epic branching storytelling full of deceit, love, anger, love, treachery, drama, love, power-levels and hearts. Escha Malier, our female protagonist, is one easy going alchemist. She spends all her time being cute, while wonderful flashes of inspiration for alchemy occur at the perfect moment. To be fair, the anime has to shorten the time players of the game spend on the crafting menus. So we get hilariously short scenes of intense alchemic creations being synthesized in mere seconds. I’m sure it’d at least be three minutes of menu navigation in the game before you realize which item you were supposed to be crafting several in-game days ago. (Accuracy and validity of statements are probably off, since I haven’t played the games. Yet.)

I also didn’t expect Marion to sit so squarely in my love-sights. The combo of short black hair, white work blouse, knee length skirt, and stockings are too perfect. And she’s 26 years old. If she’s looking like that at the age of 26, I’d totally.. uh, start a family with her. Mmhmm.

Hang on. Does this mean she just might oust Chihiro’s (TWGOK) title as being the only character I’ve ever claimed to be ‘my waifu’? I think so!

-maserbeam

Knee Say Coy, Not Rabu

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While my frustration builds with the standard love comedy conventions just piling up, SHAFT has also redeemed themselves with these outlandish faces that always gets me smirking. The squiggly 6-inch smiles and profoundly smarmy expressions always get to me. Shuu gets a smile that’s so disgusting in episode 13, it’s amazing in a certain way.

This standard build up however.. it just doesn’t suit me. It’s not straying far enough to be considered great, merely okay. I have bombarded my brain with so many romance-comedies in the last several seasons, that I think my immune system is actively trying to reject the experiences from watching them. Is the show good? I’d have to say yes. For the most part, there isn’t anything super bad, sticking out like a stick in a flat area. Or is even this observation not astute? I know for a fact there are people who have watched more romance-comedies than I have, and yet they can continue to dispense interesting points of discussion, while retaining that passion for the genre.

Click for more text. »

-maserbeam

Nisekoi’s Version of Dumb Love

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It’s a wonder just how I manage to endure comically and sometimes extreme levels of a retarded male protagonist I can handle. Raku isn’t someone I can align with, simply because I’ve never been in the sort of crush of love he’s in over Onodera. His sense of logic also only seems to kick in when the plot needs him to earn points of affection. Is the show being too formulaic? There’s been several — while not a lot — instances of the show breaking the norm. The gift giving scene was surprisingly tame, as an example. Most of them unfortunately go by with a tiny variation in execution. It feels like not even SHAFT can evade these conventions of love comedy. The off-kilter love fest of the Monogatari series ended up feeling all too comfortable, resulting in Nisekoi often feeling cliché.

Miyamoto is quite easily the driver of the biggest bus for the audience. How many times have you been the observer of a classmate, co-worker, colleague, friend, or whoever was obviously in love with someone who also wants to reciprocate, and wished you could simply shove them into a room filled with an aerosolized aphrodisiac so they’d confess and make love within an hour? All you need is one such person, honestly. Maybe you’re not as irritated as Miyamoto would be. But I sure as hell would get bored of it if nothing interesting naturally occurs. In an interesting twist, I’ve aligned mostly with Shuu. While I do share the annoyed feeling as Miyamoto, Shuu is sort of intentionally acting dumb and attempting to accelerate the love interests by either forcing Raku into situations or saying things that call for action and initiative. Seriously, I think most guys need a wingman like Shuu.

Sometimes I can’t handle the stress when there’s two female leads of equal screen time and love tier, while the MC putzes around with tunnel vision. I can handle an indecisive MC, but I can’t handle plot-derived idiocy at molasses level density. At least give him love gun with a reflex sight, not a periscope.

It’s been a long time since I’ve rooted so hard for the blonde-haired, blue eyed female. Chitoge’s design is great (yes, I’m often a sucker for ponytails and the gap moé when they let their hair down), and I like the seiyuu they picked for her (Toyama Nao).

I wouldn’t arrest Raku for exceeding the dumb love speed limit by 10 kilometers per hour, but I sure as hell feel like giving him a ticket worth $5100.

-maserbeam