A few things were going on, mostly at work, and in general our lovely idols did not keep my attention lately. I even thought about declaring a drop. But I was able to catch up while flying from Ireland. Takane’s episode came and went without leaving much of an impression (except on Lady Taka’s fanboys). The rest of this story arc was hogged by Chihaya and Haruka, comrades in misery.
So much could be said, and was in fact said about it. I do not remember if it was Evirus or J.P.Meyer, but one of them twittered that “in the final account, Full Moon o Sagashite remains the best throat cancer anime”. And it’s true enough, of course, since the IM@S was supposed to be harmless fluff. A lot of watchers were caught by surprise and the commentary reflected how they came to grips with the unfolding events. I do not have a consistent or all-encompassing impression, just a few notes.
At some point I received flak from readers for not giving A-1 enough credit. Some even e-mailed with commentary, which really happens rarely these days. Their ire arose because I saw a half-full glass with concert numbers being ok, but lots of failings that dragged the anime down, and the average unsatisfactory. I do not remember if I blogged this, and my argumenting post for ep.6 didn’t have it, but my theory is that Atsushi Nishigori is trying to implement a vision for a live action, not anime. One result is that he consistently sets down a guidance to which A-1 and its subcontractors cannot live up. It is the primary reason for odd camera angles for which animators are not trained, for example. It’s a comprehensive failure, except for where it meets one thing, or one person actually: Asami Imai, CV of Chihaya. She can step it up when necessary. Plus, A-1 pulled out all stops for her ep.21 performance. Sure, the Ryuguu Komachi dance number had great body mechanics, but I am talking about emotive animation here, which, IMHO, was present. And selecting Nemuri-hime was a great touch, and Mr. Nishigori’s call, I’m sure. That song was the best canvas for Miss. Imai for express Chihaya. Note that it was re-recorded for anime, while A-1’s audio contractor simply mixed most of the other tracks, sometimes from CDs that I had for years.
Turning to Haruka, I find it very gratifying how the orignal candy made a comeback. I knew that it was a special candy, even blogged it. Score! That said, it was clear that Haruka was too shy to act upon her feelings, especially in a challenging environment, unless she could pull it off discreetly — like the candy. Her failure is, thus far, quite endearing. On the average of all areas, she is the greatest prize in the cast, and anime creators eventually found a way to demonstrate it. Some bloggers were already grousing how Haruka was mediocre in every respect, etc. But while it’s a great deal of a problem for an idol, it may be quite advantageous for a woman. We should hope that someone would eventually find it out and make her flourish, by the time her more successful peers are well worn by the casting coach and start eyeing Christmas cakes like soldier regards lice. NTR away, Miki, we’ll see who has the last laugh.
Oh, and apropos that! Again I cannot find it now, but I seem to recall that a blogger tried to build an analogy between Miki’s rendition of Relations and her own NTR. But if you actually listen to the song, it’s pretty clear that the main character refuses to undertake anything to steal the man. The story is anti-NTR! Miki is sufficiently ruthless to act NTR, although strictly speaking, in our case she does not, thanks to Haruka not actually laying down the claim either, let alone having it reciprocated. Which is fine, but is the opposite of “Relations”. Perils of relying on fansubbers, perhaps. Watching raw, I cannot tell if this resulted from a mistranslated or misread karaoke ticker, but I think it likely. BTW, just for extra irony, there’s a better version of “Relations” with Asami Imai’s singing. Apparently it came from the game, and I happen to have both for an instant comparison. The feeling she transmits is just horrifying.