Virgin Road #06 — Friendship Beam

May 6th, 2022

 

Quick, stand motionless twenty feet apart for ten minutes.

Impressions:

The two major Akari developments this week were badly needed, showing her to both be a lot more saavy and in control of her situation, but mind-blamming herself along the way, and that this whole thing is a time-reset loop from some future point where she went all completely death touch. The (first) problem is that in the actual episode itself, she spent almost the entire thing not as a character, but a prop. She went all Jekyll at the start and then got to sit on the sidelines except for the part where they Friendship Beamed the evil church through totally not romantic eye gazing. 

Which leads into the far, far greater problem. This was the big climax for the first arc, and the production is staying pretty godawful. Not quite to the horribleness of Dawn of the Witch's first arc's ending, but not far off from it either. Every 'fight' here was poorly animated and worse directed, most being 'cut away for a distance shot and explosion,' but some not even rising to that level. But Menou's… the main character's… was flat out embarrassing. They stood twenty feet apart, stood motionlessly, and lazily waved random projectiles, stopping every five seconds to discuss the projectiles, along with one of the least convincing attempts at a bait and switch illusion that I have ever seen in my life, but the antagonist swallowed whole cloth for no reason. What happened to the mediocre action and animation from the first episode? We're halfway through so just giving up even after an episode of nothing more taxing to animate than a closeup of an eye? 

Posted in Virgin Road | 4 Comments »

4 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Joshua says:

    The real shitty, sucky part about this story is that it didn’t have to be this way. They didn’t have to pull that “church is evil trope” card out again, and we could’ve easily had an actual acerbic dystopian story that satirized the whole isekai genre and done something different for once.

    Hell, the executioners could even be analogues for the secret police present in classic dystopian fiction in how they eliminate potato faces from “Japan” because the state blames them for the destruction of their world, and we could have some social commentary on how authoritarianism takes root and themes of xenophobia or something like that. Menou would follow in the proud tradition of protagonists like Guy Montag, conditioned to hate and kill isekai’d folks, until one inciting incident forced her to reconsider what she’s doing and eventually become a martyr for the resistance movement or something. Hell, there’s a probably another town that’s a refugee camp for isekai’d folks and that burgeoning resistance movement.

    But no, we have the same old isekai tropes regurgitated here, but with “subverting your expectations”, corrupt churches and exchanging one power fantasy (male wish fulfillment) for another (lol yuribait). It comes complete with these characters learning nothing of value or lessons learned, with the show even stopping to tell us that Menou was always a “pure good girl” all along (hence the Virgin Road in the title). The fact that this got praise is the scary part, showing how much isekai has damaged the discourse so badly from monopolizing much of the anime industry alongside gacha and shonen adaptations.

    • Kitsu says:

      There is a big difference between your equally cliche story and it is Menou not reconsidered what she’s doing, she still wants to kill Akari the next arc will show you why the 4 human errors are so dangerous

  • Joshua says:

    And will writers pretty please stop using trauma as a crutch for “important” character development instead of actually following through with actual trauma and the pain it causes to them? It’s been reduced to a mere buzzword at this point, to make it seem like these shallow archetypes even have a shred of substance to them despite the lack of depth in exploring their “trauma”.

  • Diamondoid says:

    Man, I think you guys aren’t watching the same show as I am.

    The animation and production do the job just fine, the battles seemed exciting to me, and the story arc and twists are among the better ones this season. It isn’t Madoka Magica or anything, but it’s a cut above most of the pablum that comes out every season.

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