At least it’s not the sea.
I’m disappointed in this week’s episode of Saki: Achiga-hen: Episode of Side-A. It was atrociously rushed and revealed the Achiga girls as generic, bland characters. As far as I know, Saki is about mahjong and cute yuri. What we got here, however, were a bunch of curb-stomp matches being rushed over. In less than five mintes, it turned Bansei, which had been decently built up to be a great rival, into a joke. Furthermore, the friendship between the Achiga girls is hardly believable. It is ‘just there’. They are friends because the plot requires them to be. For a show that tries so hard to be cute and convey a sense of team spirit, giving the impression these girls barely know each other is just ridiculous. What we got instead was trying to stuff as many characters from the original series in a single episode as possible, rushing everything and losing touch of the main characters in the process.
Even though people who, unlike me, watched the original Eureka Seven claim that you don’t need to have watched the original to enjoy AO, I am quite certain AO expects us to know certain things. Even if these things mean something entirely different than they did in the original E7. As far as I know, AO is even referring to things from the original, while being set in a different world! In the end, AO just isn’t very good in making clear what the hell is happening, confusing new viewers and maybe viewers of the original even more. So I went to the one website that could possibly contain the translated info from the official AO website in order to make some things clear.
In the world of Eureka Seven: AO, Okinawa Prefecture has become an independent nation from Japan, existing as the Union of the Okinawa Islands, consisting of the real world Okinawa and Sakishima Islands. This nation was created after the the governments of the Union, China, and Japan settled after a recent war. Iwato Jima, the island that is home to the main characters, is in territory disputed by the three parties. Still, the Japanese Armed Forces often performs operations in its former territory.
The IFOs or Intellligent Flying Objects are humanoid robots created by combining FP technology with the Scub Coral, a living, organic matter forming the surface of the planet. ”FP” stands for “Flying Platform”, a vehicle that is a cross between an automobile and an airplane that uses Trapar waves, a clean energy source naturally produced by the Scub Coral, to fly at an altitude of 10 metres (33 ft). The Scub Coral are known to produce a phenomenon called the Scub Burst, where they materialize on Earth and destroy a wide area around them. A Scub Burst of such power occurred ten years prior to the beginning of the series, shortly before the Union of the Okinawa Islands gained independence from Japan. Scub Bursts are also capable of producing physical manifestations that the people of Okinawa call a G-Monster.
In the time of Eureka Seven: AO, private companies employ teams of IFO pilots to act on their behalf. The Swiss company Génération Bleu employs Team Pied Piper in their goal to discover the Secret(s?), powerful G-Monster-like entities that are said to have offensive and defensive powers that outclass any of the world’s military technology. Génération Bleu also owns a Low Orbit Strategic Locating Satellite called the Loploss which detects Scub Bursts to find the Secret and an Air Assault Landing Ship called the Triton from which Team Pied Piper is dispatched.
My Mom said told me she’d be making “Soup Yoko Maeko” today. Turns out she tried to make ramen, but forgot what ramen were called, so she just made up some faux Japanese. Oh Mom.
I always expected Urobuchi to have Madoka and Homura actually end up together, not because of lolyuri, but because Puella Magi Madoka Magica’s whole schtick was averting magical girl tropes. The magical mascot turns out to be ‘evil’, the magical item turns out to have a dark edge, being meguca is suffering, etc. As lesbian subtext is another one of these big classic magical girl tropes (hello, Nanoha), I expected Urobutcher to bury that once and for all and actually go for it.
- Haruhi: You know, Kyon...have you ever realized just how insignificant your existence on this planet really is?
- Kyon: Now what is she talking about?
- Haruhi: It happened to me. And I'll never forget it. Back when I was in the sixth grade, my whole family went out to go watch a baseball game at the stadium. I didn't really care about baseball, but I was surprised by what I saw when we got there. Everywhere I looked, I saw people. On the other side of the stadium, the people looked so small, like little moving grains of rice. It was so crowded. I thought that everyone in Japan had to be packed in there. So I turned to my dad and asked him, "Do you know how many people are here right now"? He said since the stadium was full, probably fifty thousand. After the game, the street was filled with people and I was really shocked to see that, too. To me, it seemed like there was a ton of people there. But then, I realized it could only be a tiny fraction of all the people in Japan. When I got home, I pulled out my calculator. In social studies, I'd learned that the population of Japan was a hundred some odd million. So I divided that by fifty thousand. The answer was one two-thousandth. That shocked me even more. I was only one little person in that big crowded stadium filled with people, and believe me, there were so many people there, but it was just a handful of the entire population. Up till then, I always thought that I was, I don't know, kind of a special person. It was fun to be with my family. I had fun with my classmates. And the school that I was going to, it had just about the most interesting people anywhere. But that night, I realized it wasn't true. All the stuff we did during class that I thought was so fun and cool, was probably happening just like that in classes in other schools all over Japan. There was nothing special about my school at all. When I realized that, it suddenly felt like the whole world around me started to fade into a dull gray void. Brushing my teeth and going to sleep at night, waking up and eating breakfast in the morning, that stuff happened all over the place. They were everyday things that everybody was doing. When I thought about it like that, everything became boring. If there's really that many people in the world, then there had to be someone who wasn't ordinary. There had to be someone who was living an interesting life. There just had to be. But why wasn't I that person? So, that's how I felt till I finished elementary school. And then I had another realization. I realized fun things wouldn't come my way just by waiting for them. I thought when I got into junior high, it was time for me to make a change. I'd let the world know I wasn't a girl who was happy sitting around waiting. And I've done my best to become that person. But in the end, nothing happened. More time went by and before I knew it, I was in high school. I thought that something would change.
- European game store employee: "Hello." *slight "what the hell is this nerd buying" look* "That will be 40 euros. Did you bring your point card? Okay, thanks. See you."
- American game store employee: "Hey, how you doin' dude? Whoa, that is a great game. A frind of mine finished it already. It's amazing! I played the first one, too. Oh, yeah, sorry for that. Higher ups calling. You know what got released today? Xenoblade Chronicles. Man, so hyped for that. Oh, you're from Europe so you got it already? I'm so jealous! Man, I mean, that art book, really? I pre-ordered it all for myself! Okay, that'll be 30 bucks! Have fun with it. See ya, dude!"
- Wake up
- Waste five minutes trying to get the right temperature because American showers are retarded.
- Have breakfast at a place that plays Arcade Fire and a has green-haired waitress and is therefore awesome.
- Eat eggs for the first time in ever.
- “No more than 4 high schoolers are allowed to eat here” Hehe.
- Start counting Starbucks stores.
- Make fun of my parents for being racist.
- Wander through town.
- Go to Chinatown.
- “W-Where did all the white people go?”
- Chillax in an awesome park.
- Watch some dude walking backwards and a woman practicing with a sword.
- Go to Times Square.
- Get a heart attack.
- Eat another bloody bagel.
- Eat another bloody burger.
- Wander around some more.
- Go to Macy’s.
- SHIRTS EVERYWHERE
- Joke around with my brother.
- Go home.
- Take trains to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
- Make a bunch of jokes about Dutch people.
- Schiphol airport has a church, a museum, a spa, and some place where you can get foot massages.
- Make a bunch of jokes about Schiphol meaning “Ship Ass”
- Get on the plane.
- Swear for seven hours because the plane is too damn small.
- TRAVEL THROUGH TIME!
- Get served drinks and surprisingly great food (cake and ice cream!) on the plane.
- Watch random episodes The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Community and Glee on the plane.
- Watch The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on the plane.
- Fast forward all the (many) rape scenes before my brother takes another peek at my screen.
- Try not to sing along with How To Destroy Angels during the end credits.
- Fail to do so.
- Watch Drive on the plane.
- Watch Real Steel, The Iron Lady and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol simultaneously, thanks to the people in front of me.
- Puke when that one dude’s head gets crushed to a pulp by Ryan Gosling.
- Fail to finish watching Drive because the plane lands.
- Yell at my brother to stop watching TV because it doesn’t have cable and only gets tel-sell and Bible TV.
- Eat at some place named Muscle Grill.
- Laugh at the fact that Muscle Grill considers their food to be ‘healthy’.
- Spill Diet Coke all over the place.
- Make fun at my parents and their horrible English.
- Eat a burger.
- Angst more.