Zankyou and Tokyo ESP 2, SAO2 2-3

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After Zankyou no Terror 2 I went and looked up the riddle of the sphinx because I had never heard of the second interpretation, that it referred to Oedipus himself. After one minute on Wikipedia hours of thorough searching I didn’t find it, nor did I find any indication that it happened after Oedipus blinded himself. And I got lost in speculation, which is what the police were more or less doing the entire episode–trying to figure out the implications of an ancient riddle rather than doing actual detective work (long briefing session notwithstanding) or letting just any noodle delivery boy into their offices.

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But if the show wants to make itself a battle of wits between the two boys and Shibazaki, that’s okay too. We don’t get too many of those types of battles in anime. And the show is doing a very good job of making me wonder just what the boys’ motives are. And what their motives toward Lisa are as well. Why DID Twelve refer to Lisa as an accomplice when they don’t intend to include her in their plans? I don’t think they know, either. And Lisa remains an effective wild card–we see a bit of her miserable home life–a situation any one of us would want to run away from, were it not for the guilt. I’ll probably never learn to like the boys, however. Their experience is too distant from ours for me to feel any sympathy. Thankfully, the show isn’t entirely about them, and they’re telling the story very well.

Drawbacks to being an esper.
Drawbacks to being an esper.

I shouldn’t have watched Tokyo ESP right after Zankyou no Terror. The art and animation, even in the battle scenes, looks amateurish in comparison. Also, episode two gets very silly, almost like it’s a different show altogether. And then there’s the fanservice, not only of the naked Rinka phasing through floors, but that other naked girl running through the ED until she gets stabbed, about the only dark bit of the entire episode. The backstory is amusing enough if you can ignore the moronic policemen guarding the artwork, the ridiculous villain, and the concept you’d forget seeing something like goldfish in the air, then all of a sudden remember it when reminded. At least they didn’t have any villains spouting lame evil lines, though Black Fist came close. Instead we have Azuma giving lame hero speeches. Well, there was enough weirdness for me to consider watching another episode. Note to self: don’t do it after watching Zankyou no Terror.

Sinon in the game, kicking butt.
Sinon in the game, kicking butt.

Catching up with Sword Art Online 2. Episode two was interesting, basically an introduction to how GGO works in a battle situation, and to Sinon the sniper, as she and a batch of lesser players ambush some monster hunters only to find they have a guy with a Really Big Gun on their side. The rest of the episode is spent with Sinon’s group (depicted as a bunch of losers) as they get blown apart and all cowardly until Sinon, who clearly does not want to be seen with them, at least not in real life, takes over. Everybody on both sides dies but her. She frequently mentions that the RBG guy is “strong enough to smile on the battlefield,” and so admires this that she swears she’s going to kill him. To me such a person is a psychotic (the smiler, not Sinon), so I’m happy she took him out, too. Meanwhile, we get nothing of Kirito or Azuma until the very end, still playing with fairies in that other game. Kind of a jarring juxtaposition.

Shino, not in the game, not kicking butt.
Shino, not kicking butt.

And in episode 3 it becomes clear that this new season is going to take its time doing things. After that online situation last time which took up most of the episode we get a look at Sinon’s real-life person, Shino, and follow her around as she gets bullied, meets a good friend who’s clearly in love with her, and then has an unpleasant flashback showing us why she can’t look or touch guns in real life. I wonder if those girls who bully her know she’s killed a man? Anyway, it all works pretty well. I mentioned the slow pace this season but I don’t mind it. A few scenes drag a little, but this feels like a more natural pace for the story and I’m like it. But I’m glad Kirito finally put on those goggles. Enough introductions, time for the story.

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