Project Haruhi

Bakacast #347 – Dustin’s Vampire Bias

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On this episode of Bakacast, we discuss The Reflection's bizarre ending, how even a badass blonde vampire can't save UQ Holder, what Blood Blockade's directorial change means for its new season, and some strong opening episodes from Garo, Kino and Magus' Bride.

  • 01:28 - Fate/Apocrypha 14
  • 03:22 - Shoukaku no Altair 13
  • 06:57 - The Reflection 12
  • 10:59 - Juuni Taisen 2
  • 15:00 - UQ Holder 2 (DROPPED)
  • 22:55 - Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond 1
  • 33:05 - Garo: Vanishing Line 1
  • 40:51 - Kino's Journey 1
  • 56:19 - The Ancient Magus' Bride 1
  • 1:09:29 - Children of the Whales 1
  • 1:14:28 - Dies Irei 1
  • 1:21:11 - Listener questions

About Dustin

Dustin (aka Stilts) enjoys playing and yelling at video games, especially RPGs. He also likes super robot shows… the more outrageous the plot, the better!

  • Dayriff

    Let me talk about Ancient Magus Bride.

    I think the relationship between Elias and Chise is creepy no matter how
    much the story tries to make it non-creepy. But on the other hand,
    that’s not to say that breaking them apart would be better for Chise. Reading the manga and watching the show, I think that the core of the story that everything revolves around is Chise’s own self-loathing and lack of self-worth. This is a girl who literally sold herself into slavery out of sheer despair and a desire to disappear. (There is a gag way down the line in the manga where the auction house gives her the money she’s owed from her own sale.) Behind all the individual story arcs is the overall story of Chise gradually building back up her own sense of self-determination and worth.

    The thing about Elias that makes him tolerable is that he never talks like he has the power to stop Chise from leaving him. He never says anything about how he paid for her and now she’s his, or how she owes him, or how she can’t leave. Which isn’t to say that he isn’t manipulating her constantly to try to make the case that she should stay with him, that he’s the only one who can help her, and so on. But the narrative makes it clear at any time, Chise could walk out the door and leave. You’ll see that even in the first few episodes she has people constantly telling her, “If you don’t want to be with Elias anymore, you have options. You can come to me and I’ll help you.” By always giving Chise the power to leave and options on where to go if she did, the story is just barely able to keep the power dynamic between her and Elias from being too creepy to be tolerable.

    Comments on shows airing this season:

    1. Have been watching and enjoying “Girls’ Last Tour”. It’s scratching that “haunting scenes of post-apocalypse desolation” itch nicely.

    2.I’m watching Hozuki no Reitetsu Season 2, because a comedy about the staff of hell is right up my ally, even if it leaves a lot of viewers cold. Hey Dustin, you have the literary education- What’s the term for a protagonist who never really has character arcs themselves, but rather acts as an axis around which the character arcs of supporting characters can happen? That’s the title character Mr. Hozuki’s gig.

    3. Land of the Lustrous has the best cliffhangers, though it’s so weird I’m constantly on the verge of dropping it.

    4. So “Net-juu no Susume” is basically a Shakespearean romantic comedy. It has all the classic elements; lovers separated by their own hang-ups, people masquerading as the opposite gender for Reasons, ridiculous coincidences, and a protagonist just doofy enough to be lovable. I’m really enjoying it, and at 10 episodes I think it’ll be just long enough to be a nice compact story.

    If no one in the Bakacast crew tried it, the premise is this. In an unexplained opening, a thirty-something businesswoman comes home to her apartment in incredible distress, tossing a bouquet of flowers in the trash. She has apparently quit her job (or been fired?) and not knowing what to do with herself, starts playing an MMORPG with a male character avatar. The anime has the in-game characters animated and talking directly to each other in a real-seeming world, but it’s always made clear that’s a conceit for the viewers to make it less boring. We frequently cut back to the protagonist in front of her computer, typing into a chatlog. She’s not wearing a VR-simulator or anything like that. Gradually it turns out that some of the people she meets in game are also people she unknowingly knows in real life. (That’s where the ridiculous coincidences come it.) And the helpful, kind female character who helps her so much in game is actually played by this handsome dude in real life.