The tenth episode of Macademi Wasshoi is more of the same, with the students and faculty of the magical academy running amok while rescuing Takuto and the girls from a trio of formidable bandits. Then, about twenty-minutes into the episode, it suddenly gets very serious, and Anyone Can Die. The eleventh episode continues in the same grim vein, and there’s another death (or two, depending on how you count). It soon turns out that they’re Not Quite Dead, but now the story veers off in another unfunny direction, borrowing a motif from the final episode of Petite Princess Yucie and the forty-sixth episode of Cardcaptor Sakura. Hitherto, Macademi Wasshoi was a farce with occasional thoughtful moments. Now it’s a drama, with Sakuma and the girls as annoying comic relief.
The episode ends happily with a restoration of the status quo, but the fun has leaked out. The final episode, in which the girls try to get a Christmas present for Takuto, might have been enjoyable earlier in the series, but following the eleventh episode, it seems off-key.
So, do I recommend Macademi Wasshoi? Yes, with reservations. It’s funny and inventive overall, but it’s also frequently off-color with abundant fanservice. If it sounds like something you would like, I recommend watching the tenth and eleventh episodes last.
Update: Steven liked the eleventh episode a lot. There is a lot going on there and a lot more that’s hinted at, as Steven points out, but the shifts in tone are too jarring for me.
Those of you who are waiting impatiently for the next episodes of Macademi Wasshoi, cheer up. The translation is proceeding quite briskly in comparison to that of Master of Epic. The seventh episode of the latter has finally been fansubbed, nine months after the sixth.
Was it worth the wait? Not really. The first half showcases Tomoko Kaneda as an incompetent, thoughtless RPG character. Her performance almost redeems the lackluster writing — imagine Chiyo-chan’s hyperactive idiot twin sister in a dungeon crawl. The second half continues the Waragecha Five’s battles with the producer’s giant robots. It’s not that bad, but it’s not all that good, either. The previews for the eighth episode promise the conclusion to the robot story. That should be available around September, 2009. In the ninth episode, due out in late 2010 or early 2011, we perhaps can look forward to the return of the Waragecha Five to proper fantasy.
Astro Fighter Sunred
These past ten days or so I’ve spent most of my spare time digitizing old vinyl. ((Once you get a CD player, getting up every twenty minutes to turn an LP over seems unreasonably laborious. Even though I have one of the larger vinyl collections that I know of, I don’t often listen to records anymore.)) It’s been productive: I’ve got over ten CDs’ worth of newly-convenient music to listen to. I have a few more LPs I want to get into the computer before I move on to the next project. Watching videos is not high-priority right now.
Nevertheless, I have watched some anime — not a lot, but some. Here are a few very brief notes.
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea — discussed below.
Macademi Wasshoi #5 — Just plain icky ….
… and #6 — More watchable than #5, but the show is still not back on track. I hope we don’t have another Kamichu! here, a wildly erratic series that starts strongly but goes nowhere.
Ghost Hound through #12 — My lunchtime project. With Ryutaro Nakamura and Chiaki J. Konaka involved, it ought to be good, but the plodding pace is frustrating. The eventual payoff had better be outstanding. My impression of the series the first time I tried watching it was that it was a taut twelve-episode show inflated to a draggy twenty-two, and I still think so.
Natsume Yuujinchou through #4 — A show from the summer that got relatively little attention in the otakusphere while it was airing. Another example of Shinto 101, it reminds me strongly of Mokke, both in its subject matter and in its tone. It occasionally gets dangerously sentimental, but it probably is one of the better series of the year.
Astro Fighter Sunred #1 — A very silly gag series, featuring short, absurd skits and very minimal animation. You probably need to be drinking with friends to properly enjoy the show.
I may write more about these later. Or maybe not.