Terrier in Residence #11 — “Have You Heard of WikiLeaks?”

September 25th, 2014

  

Boy, those CG people sure were… CG.

Impressions:

So, what was their grand plan? The plan that characters even brought up this episode going “They’re not regular terrorists! They want something!”? The answer was apparently “We wanted people to know,” because all those old men were so reluctant to talk about it. And because the only way for a teenager to get attention is to set bombs. What happened to your millions of YourTabe subscribers, guys? Then again, that does pale in comparison to the entirety of Tokyo being deserted a day or two later. Damn, the Japanese are efficient. At which point, the US flies in because otherwise terrorists might accuse them of a bomb that the terrorists themselves planted! *gasp* But our attempts to be Jesus wouldn’t be complete without killing them, so they shoot the one without the detonator before the other one dies of not having enough time. If only he had gotten a time transplant in time.

Thus we end as we began, with a bunch of CGI, a lack of understanding about science, padded as hell, Lisa doing nothing but standing there gaping, and inexplicably comparing the boys to Jesus. Thanks, Space Goat.

Very Belated Edit:
Actually, I was thinking later about the whole “We wanted people to know us, so we had to do something huge and now, nobody will ever forget us” thing. Jesus H Christ. That’s a line straight out of a psychopath’s manifesto right before he opens fire into a crowd. I wondered before it started airing  possibly make out terrorism to be justified, and lost sight of that along the way with all the rampant stupidity. Apparently the answer was to romanticize it. Feeling put upon by the world? Set bombs and destroy millions of innocent people’s lives for attention before dying. Everyone will know all about you and that you were right. In the end, that’s all that matters. Good god.

Final Thoughts:

After a relatively stable start, if still exceptionally pretentious lest we forget “smile like the sun, eyes like ice”, the writing crapped itself out in so many different ways, and tragically, none in the fun kind of wreck. Most episodes featured at least a 5-10 minute talking head giving a lecture. For a while, it was reading Wikipedia articles on either bombs or mythology, then it was just Some Old Guy explaining Generic Evil Plan #03: “We used an experimental drug on children.” At no point were these things actually connected to the characters in any meaningful way. The closest they got was the godawful schtick about how Five was “running out of time.” Nor was it clear what their motivations were or how their incomprehensible plans were furthering them in any way. For that matter, the characters in general were pretty incomprehensible. Lisa and Five are the standouts in that regard. The former was introduced as a victim trying to escape her horrible life, but that gets dropped entirely around the halfway point. The latter just never makes an iota of sense in her actions or motivations, which seem to change every ten minutes. The same could be said for a lesser extent for the boys. Either one of them could have easily been removed from the show and nothing would have been any different. They didn’t have any significant interaction with anybody, even each other. Most likely, the producers felt that both were needed so that they could have a happy one and a scowling one with glasses. It’s a law in Japan or something.

The overall plotting did kind of survive on hand waving all the nonsense as some kind of veiled master plan that would come clear eventually (plus, again, the absurd amount of padding done by reading Wikipedia), but when they dropped the Riddler’s Riddle of the Week and Five took over around halfway through the series, the veil dropped to show that nobody in the entire show was doing a single thing that made any sense whatsoever. The two episode airport arc began with them saying they couldn’t do something because it wouldn’t work (which was unconvincing to begin with), and was then resolved by doing that exact thing they said wouldn’t work. The entire greater plot and supposed motivation was delivered by two old guys for no reason except that someone walked up and asked them about their evil plans, which took the form of two nearly ten minute lectures. The boys, detective included, weren’t much better. Their teenage master plan went something like: 1.) Steal nuclear bomb 2.) Bomb buildings related to evil experiment 3.) Taunt police 4.) Nuke city 5.) ???? 6.) Profit! It also didn’t help that in about three episodes, they went from “We have to stop someone else’s bomb because we can’t let anybody die and have them think it could have been us,” to “Eh, we need a climax. Nuke the city?” And Shibazaki? After Five showed up, he pretty much departed the show, relegated to walking from Old Man A to Old Man B to listen to them needlessly spend almost an entire episode’s length of exposition.

It’s a mess. The first episode’s production was quite strong, but after that, the talking heads took over and all sense fled the characters and narrative. I’d hesitate to even call it the interesting kind of mess like Guilty Crown or Valvrave because it’s so plodding and the characters are so flat, static, and dull. Any perceived depth to the characters or narrative is purely superficial. It clearly thought of itself as intelligent and evocative, but strip away the swelling music, shots of people glowing with Jesus halos in the sunset/city lights, and feathers floating up to the azure heavens, and all that’s left is a buttload of dry unconnected exposition and characters doing things that make no logical sense whatsoever for reasons that are never adequately explained.

Posted in Terror in Tokyo | 11 Comments »

11 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Sanjuro says:

    I agree with what you’ve said. In the end I didn’t really know the characters or what they wanted to do, apart from bad men did things to them behind closed doors. They could have scrapped the girl and showed more of what happened to them as children.

    Though I didn’t hate watching it and I liked the music that didn’t have Kanno’s new boyband in it.

  • ZakuAbumi says:

    Now, Aroduc, I know your memory is a very special kind of awful – has always been – but you calling Valvrave fun is an entirely new thing to me.

    Also:
    “it’s so plodding and the characters are so flat, static, and dull.”
    Sure we’re talking about GC and Valvrave being exceptions here?

  • Aroduc says:

    If you’re going to make a badly written wreck, at least be ambitious about it and give me something to enjoy sinking my teeth into and shaking.

    “Interesting” would have been a better word choice than fun, I suppose.

  • Eric says:

    My only regret… is that I have… time-itis!

  • gedata says:

    “Hey that kid is waving around a button that could set off a huge ass explosion, let’s shoot his best friend first and hope he doesn’t press it while we aim for him next”

    I don’t get it

  • algorithm says:

    Sublime.

    The review that is.

  • Aroduc says:

    There was only one sniper and he already painted his target, man. You know us Americans. We’re lazy like that.

  • algorithm says:

    “There was only one sniper”

    Why so many helicopters then?

  • Aroduc says:

    Moral support.

  • John Nash says:

    “And because the only way for a teenager to get attention is to set bombs. What happened to your millions of YourTabe subscribers, guys?”

    Imagine for a moment how much you would trust some random guy on YouTube telling you how he was abused in a secret experiment of the government. Blowing up things to make people take you serious doesn’t sound so bad now, right?

    “The latter just never makes an iota of sense in her actions or motivations, which seem to change every ten minutes.”

    To me it seemed like some complicated love-hat relationship between Five and Nine, since they used to play games at the settlement together until Nine and Twelve escaped – however without five, which therefore felt abandoned. I don’t think her actions actually are supposed to make sense, since she herself is unsure about her emotions towards nine.

    I’m not trying to say that the anime is as superb as many people want it to be, but I think you’re being a bit to harsh here, especially considering how bad the rest of the season was …

  • Mat-san says:

    You done f**** it up ;(