Trinity Seven episodes 2 has Arata being observed by Arin as a sort of comic gag, except her reasons are intended to give us backstory. Then we get scene a scene where she’s trapped him (and three girls) in a barrier to see how he will react, sort of a mage testing, since he’s going to be a demon lord (what was that other show with a young demon lord? No, not the one with the baby …), so we can get more backstory, and later on he accidentally causes a reality breakdown that might threaten the entire school. Less backstory there, but the same amount of cult-babble throughout. This show probably uses the same random cult-babble generator as Raildex does. Anyway, he’s about to be killed when he’s whisked off by Yui, a nice girl in some other dimension, where we get more backstory, and then in the next episode he puts all he’s learned together and stops the world from breaking down.
Sounds like your average fantasy anime, with no real villain yet (interesting). But I deliberately left out the filler, which was a lot of boob and butt shots, references to boobs (by both Arata and the girls), dialogue with double-entendres everywhere, which the show quickly and gleefully points out for us. After the world breakdown crisis they all head to a tropical island and show off swimsuits, or nothing, and one of Arata’s powers has a side effect of destroying clothing. And above all that, Arata’s split personality. On one side he’s an earnest young mage in training who wants his cousin back, who seeks and appreciates the help the other magic people give him. On the other, a rather blatant sex-obsessed adolescent who’s capable of making sexist remarks at anyone at anytime, no matter how serious the conversation. Some of the girls even play along. It gets too extreme sometimes, but I can’t resist the balance of magic show and commonplace lusts this show is chugging out right now. I’ll probably change my mind in a week or two.
I don’t know if I can handle writing about Shirobako; I’m exhausted just by watching them, especially episode three. As for #2, the madness is set up by the overall director (I still can’t get the names even though they flash them onscreen nearly as often as Kill la Kill did) deciding the main character in Exodus’s fourth episode is all wrong somehow, leading to much hand and neck-ringing from the episode’s staff. It’s a rather entertaining look at creative egos at work, since the episode director takes it as personal affront. Aoi, the newbie, sort of saves the day by leading the chief director to lead the rest into a shared hallucination, well, actually, it’s his passion for the series and the art form coming out. Either way, it’s a great scene.
The pressure just gets worse in episode three. Basically Aoi runs all over the place getting bits of animation from one office to another, with some people being slower than others, or less reliable. Since she’s in charge of episode four (of Exodus, not Shirobako), there’s a lot of pressure on her. The other characters go about making her life a little better or worse depending on whether the plot needs it. Happy to say, they’re all basically supportive, too. Even the grouchy ones soften up after a moment. It’s her not fault. She’s working hard. And she couldn’t have predicted the ftp and backup servers all going down at once, meaning the other company can’t send their color stills … It’s all crazy, and I’d say it was worth it just for the education of the animation procedure I’m getting, but that all flies by so fast I can’t get a hold of it. It’s worth it anyway, because even though they’re flinging a lot at us they’re making it as interesting and entertaining as showing a workplace can be. I just hope everyone got some sleep after that. One more thing. The details the director wanted changed DO look better now …
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso 2 brings us Kaori’s recital, and just as important, Arima’s viewing of the recital. Naturally, she’s dazzling, the audience favorite, and Kaori falls in love with her without knowing that’s what it is. The scene itself is spiced up by a couple other things as well, firstly, it’s not a recital, but a competition, and full of the nervous vibes from both the performers and audience members. So it’s loaded with triggers for Arima. Also, Arima gets a chance to be nasty to Kaori, but decides to be as nice as possible instead, even knowing that her wild playing wouldn’t get her past the prelims (Does the audience favorite award get you to the next round? I didn’t catch that). The performances give off a Nodame vibe, which I welcome, though I wonder if the show is being faithful to the music. And then we get the awkwardness that is Kaori liking Watari, though he’s dating lots of girls that she doesn’t know about, and Arima’s role as middleman, wanting to set her straight for maybe selfish reasons but instead keeping silent for his friend.
Episode 3 is more predictable. There’s no time to consider the ethics of the cheating best friend, and we get a little introspection from Tsubaki, more of a clearing the romantic path for Kaori. But mostly the episode is getting Arima off his butt and on the piano stool as Kaori’s accompanist. I’m not sure whether I like the idea of Kaori jumping in and forcing Arima to deal with a serious issue, but she did lose her accompanist and desperately needs someone to fill in, and Arima’s somehow famous in musical circles (for what?). She might be foolish; she’s now seen his affliction first-hand (in an otherwise cute scene in a cafe), and to expect him to get over it so quickly feels naive, but she’s a wondrous sparkling girl full of life, after all … And the more Arima says no and we go into his head the more we’re on Kaori’s side. Fortunately, Kaori isn’t entirely full of self-pity, so he finally agrees, but it’s a shame that we don’t get to see the performance until next week.