(Just watched episode 2, will get to 3 tomorrow) Grisaia no Kajitsu is an odd one. It looks like just about every other series of its type, with its five girls who all react to Yuuji in different ways. But we’re constantly reminded that these people, and Yuuji, have dark pasts or nasty secrets that led them to this nearly empty facility, and I don’t mean dark in the typical girl way, I’m talking threats to national security or the equivalent. We have to consider all of them to be potentially deadly people, but frankly, it’s hard to imagine Makina (who is threatening to say “uguu!” any moment now) or Michiru being deadly about anything. Sakaki, yes, since she spends much of the episode comically trying to murder Yuuji with her box cutters. She’s so bad at it I can’t imagine how dangerous she actually is. And meanwhile the plot just sits there as Yuuji goes around interacting with each one.
And episode doesn’t get much better. We’re treated to Amane doing disgusting things in Yuuji’s bed, while he watches, as disturbed as we are, but with even less emotion. Or his basic emotion, vaguely pissed-off. And basically most of the episode was like this, Yuuji looking on while one girl or another acts weird and he eggs them on using his male status. One exception was an actually cute little scene where Amane asks him to be her boyfriend, or barring that, his older sister, and we begin to see Yuuji’s basic weakness. He can’t really say no to a girl. There’s one other scene which is made effective (relatively) by Yuuji finally showing a weakness, when sleep deprivation makes him agree to something ridiculous, and his subsequent trying to worm his way out of it without being rude. Yuuji’s still a bore, but at least the show is letting the character develop a little.
For Sora no Method I’m writing about episode 2 before I watch episode 3, partly to write my impressions while they’re fresh, but mainly because I think I know what will happen next. The show is in its introducing side characters section, probably one girl at a time will get the spotlight. At first it looked to be Koharu, in her souvenir shop, but then Yuzuki drags Nonoka and the episode off to do her bidding, with mixed results. Her early scenes, where she rails on to Nonoka in a cafe about the saucer, is like any scene in real life where an innocent party gets a drunk conspiracy theorist sitting beside them at a bar, and it’s amusing enough for that. But she then begins to display a ridiculous lack of knowledge about the saucer, I mean, surely the government would have checked it out, taken measurements, you know, rational things. Then again, maybe in this show the government is as big an idiot as Yuzuki is … Anyway, we learn early on that she’s unhappy it’s there and she has some bad memories. Next week we’ll get to the next girl and HER bad memories. Maybe it’s headphone-girl.
(Having watched ep3) Well, they did spend some time with headphone girl, whom I should really call by her name, Shione, but most of it was Shione telling Nonoka how much she hated her. I was reminded of the “Die!” girl from Hanasaku Iroha. She has bad memories, too, but it’s more to do with Nonoka leaving town when they were all small than anything else. I suspect all the bad vibes have to do with that. Anyway, the girls go off orienteering, which in this show seems to mean going off to landmarks while we get the see the local scenery and sculptures–the show seems fond of them. We get some flashbacks when Nonoka gets lost, which shift almost comically from her to Shione as they remember that it was Nonoka who wanted to call down the saucer, so it’s all HER fault! Shione is trying to make Yuzuki her partner in hate for that reason, but I don’t understand why they dislike the saucer so much. It’s beautiful! It rotates! Maybe it distracts from the public sculptures on the ground, or looks too much like a Roger Dean cover. I dunno.
As for Inō-Batoru wa Nichijō-kei no Naka de, episode three had Kudou misread a chuuni-style letter Andou wrote for her and assume they’re a couple, which she has no problem with, probably because she has no experience with it. Andou manfully clears up the misunderstanding before it gets too bad and there’s a nice talk between him and Tomoyo that help shows that he’s not the loser everyone makes him out to be. And that thought is continued while the girls later talk about his Chuuni habits and the nicknames he gave them all. I preferred the ones they gave themselves, actually, especially “Pineapple” Chifuyu. And later we meet Tomoyo’s brother, as big a chuuni as Andou, so they get along great, though it hints at family problems at home, which I’m sure we will get to later on, but next week it’s Chifuyu’s turn.
Oh, yeah, they all have super powers, remember? Okay, the characters occasionally use them in these two episodes, but usually as gag fodder, or the whole nicknames thing. Really, this is just a high school gag comedy roughly in the style of Seitokai no Ichizon–a club with one ridiculous, outgoing male and the females who look at him with disdain, oh, with the odd flash of Trigger madness with some of the effects. And they just happen to have those powers. This might turn off some fans, but most the gags were decently-done. I wish they would ease up on the sentimental speeches, however.