Misty F Fiction

[Ask Misty] – Summer ’19 Anime

I have not watched nearly as much this season I have previously. I keep meaning to binge Cop Craft, Demon Slayer, and Vinland Saga. Same with Carol and Tuesday since the show finally made it to Netflix. The only things I watched with any consistency were Boruto, the FruBa re-do, and Fire Force. I was enjoying To the Sacred Beasts, but I think I am still on episode five in my queue. The premise was neat, and I plan on finishing it at some point, but...

Anyway, as you would imagine, Boruto continues to be a serviceable action anime. I know that most everything in the show right now is filler, but I give it a pass. Having it happen now instead of later means that show's momentum does not get stuck for two-plus years like with what happened to Naruto while waiting on Shippuden. The characters are generally likable. The next generation cast has managed to distinguish themselves from their parents—although that is not always a positive distinction. I also enjoy seeing Mirai, Konohamaru, and the others from the tail end of Naruto's generation getting to make a name for themselves without being in the shadow of the Rookie Nine plus Team Guy. I think the time investment will pay off once the show picks up the manga's plot threads.

The FruBa re-do was great. Having the entire story to work with was a real boon for the show's narrative. Characters' first appearances have much more scope and do more to establish them as people we will meet again. Events from the original anime which just kind of went, well, nowhere now have the rest of their plot threads to draw on. If you never watched the original version, the double-length season is worth a watch.

Then there's Fire Force and, like usual, there just had to be something that kept an otherwise grand slam of a show in the "would never show to normies" tier. The concept is stellar. The animation is outstanding. The Japanese VAs sound great. Even putting aside Inferno—Best OP of the Year (and you can quote me on that)—the soundtrack gives the scene to scene moments life. Ohkubo expects people to come in with some of the tropes from Soul Eater still on their mind, and he does a bang-up job of undermining them.

Honestly, the show is a nine out of ten. Until Tamaki shows up, that is. She first appears in, like, episode four or five which is a mini-tournament arc between the new rookies. She is positioned as a rival to Shinra and Arthur, but it is not long before she feels like a one-off gag to meet a fan service quota. I guess, somehow, that need was not being met by Maki's phenomenal, underused presence in the show (seriously, get that woman her own show).

From moment one, her character design is antithetical the show's aesthetic. No one, not even the "sexy" captain wears their bunker coat open. She also wears traditional Japanese pants instead of bunker pants for "reasons" that are never even touched on. Were it not for her "personality quirk" I could probably get over that aspect of her character. Her pyrokinesis power is neat. It looks cool. Her jumping, fox-like style contrasts well with Shinra's flying and Arthur's swordplay. However, in addition to being dressed like someone on the way to a "sexy" firefighter outfit contest, Tamaki is unlucky and clumsy to excess.

Her being an unlucky klutz always results in her ending up in compromising positions with the nearest person (usually Shinra). The characters in the show are aware of this, and even call it out as her "ecchi bad luck." Hell, her crewmates joke about avoiding her to keep from getting caught up in her (unintentional) antics. Every episode she is in—even the one where she is legitimately just a plot device—is worse for her having been there. Every one of her appearances comes with at least two instances of "sexy mishaps." Moments where she will trip over nothing and fall into Shirna while having the most over the top outfit malfunction possible. Alternatively, the tumble ends up with his head between her legs or boobs. It just feels so out of place in a show that otherwise takes its bonkers premise seriously.

Even in the episode where she is integral to events, she feels ancillary to me. She ends up being a means to facilitate Shinra finding out who the bad guy is. See, for the better part of the episode, she is beaten, battered, and burned to the edge of death by her superior officer. Sure, he has gone rogue, but still, it marked a sudden escalation in the level of brutality thus far. Despite that brutality, the story still has time to have her clothes get burned off in a sexy way. Bleeding, bruised, and betrayed, she then happens to have the "luck" that exactly enough of her outfit remains the moment Shinra comes to her rescue. That she has a "you're a pervert" reaction to this development even frames it like a fucking comedy beat. Oy vey.

As for this Fall, after the last few seasons of ending up overwhelmed by all of the options, I think I am just going to wait and see which of the shows that hit Crunchyroll grab my attention instead of adding a half-dozen shows where I still need to watch the first episode.

If you missed it, Kaguya: Love is War is a fucking A+ show that does something new with the conflicted high school romance trope. Oh! I almost forgot about Senreiru Girl! Very fluffy, it is a high school romance story, with the twist that the feminine lead only speaks by writing haiku. It sounds like a mess, but it was an adorable romance between her and a guy who does his very best to live up to her expectations and to adjust to her accessibility needs. There are zero ZERO! episodes where the plot is trying to change this about her. The rest of the cast in that show was strong, too, mostly for the same reasons. It was just... really heartwarming.

Anyway, already typed this larger than a response can be on CuriousCat, so I think I will call this done for now. Feel free to ask again!

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