We here at oprainfall don’t just love video games: we’re big fans of anime, too. So in celebration of the medium, we’re here to give you our thoughts on what we’ve been watching each week as we watch it. Old, new – anything goes.
As the Humpback careens toward Hopeland, Vash and company struggle to handle the Badlands Gang while also contending with Livio, who is unrelenting in his pursuit of the Humanoid Typhoon, despite Wolfwood’s best efforts. Cornered, the undertaker feels it’s his responsibility to put his younger brother down – and he would have, had Vash not stopped him. No matter what, he wants to save every life, even ones out to take his. In a last-ditch attempt to bring Livio to his senses, Wolfwood throws away his cross and grapples with the younger man, but it’s to no avail. In the end, Livio can’t go back to what he was. I was honestly surprised they even showed this sequence on air considering the sensitive nature of the content. Regardless, now that Livio is no longer a threat, the gang turn to trying to stop the sand steamer. Legato has armed the Humpback’s ion cannon and points it toward Hopeland, because he is bound and determined to take every last shred of hope away from Wolfwood by any means necessary.
This is admittedly where the episode gets a little silly as Vash and Wolfwood attempt to bare-handed stop a giant cannon, but I really liked the emotional throughline of it regardless. It’s also the first time Stampede‘s changes to the general plot had me wishing it hewed a little closer to the original anime, as it feels like it’s placing too many moments on our main cast and not letting the people of Gunsmoke take matters into their own hands. The sand steamer episodes in the 90’s anime felt a bit more robust and I liked how they gave Kaite a full character arc from thief to proud engineer. They also actually gave the Badlands Gang something to do rather than just goof about for a bit. That being said, having Wolfwood risk his life to turn off the engine was thematically relevant, and it did lead to the fantastic episode cliffhanger, so I’m not too put out by the change. The reveal at the end of the episode honestly had me on the edge of my seat and I can’t wait to see how this crew handles the knowledge they’ve just gained. – Leah
— You can watch Trigun Stampede on Crunchyroll.
Nier: Automata Ver1.1a
Back from hiatus, Nier: Automata Ver1.1a picks right up where we left off, with 2B and 9S reporting on the special machine life form they discovered in the desert. The Commander has a cryptic talk with the Moon regarding our favorite Yorha units, while back on Earth Jackass molests 9S for a bit off-screen. (I’m only half joking.) After learning about some supposedly friendly machine life forms from the black box recording of a missing Yorha soldier, 2B and 9S head to the Amusement Park, where they find several of the machines re-enacting plays on a stage. They also find the barely-living Yorha units, which have been repurposed into weapons by Simone, the special machine life form that leads the park. She wears the corpses of androids and laments that she wants to be beautiful as she attacks our duo relentlessly. 9S manages to hack into her mind, but he’s assaulted by Simone’s consciousness and only manages to escape when 2B pulls a hail mary and hacks in herself. Now that Simone is momentarily incapacitated, 2B is able to destroy her core and end the battle. We end the episode with 9S unceremoniously murdering two docile machines with nary a care, because 9S is gonna 9S.
This episode is the first real instance of where Automata‘s anime adaptation is showing some serious pacing and storytelling issues. Up until now, the anime has felt like it expects the audience to have knowledge of the game, but was still accessible to new fans. That’s completely gone here. We know Simone is the name of the machine life form because that’s her name in the game, but the anime does a poor job of actually explaining her story. The best we get is the hacking sequence, which was honestly really well done with how it portrayed her falling into madness as she searched through the body parts of dead androids and attempted to assimilate 9S. I actually really like the way the anime restructures hacking to contain story elements. (The change in aspect ratio during these sequences is also brilliant.) Unfortunately, the rest of the episode happens too quickly for viewers to really get their bearings, with our duo jump-cutting through scene changes and into Simone’s fight with little breathing room. Simone’s 3D model honestly looks hideous. The CG didn’t bother me as much previously, but here’s it’s really muddy and gross looking. Simone’s music is the saving grace of the entire fight. You can also spot how the animators tried to cut corners to save time as they had most characters talking off screen or with their backs to the audience. The delay may have given the anime a bit of a grace period, but it’s clear the animators don’t really have enough time to put out the quality of product this property deserves. I’m mostly here for the superb music and voice acting at this point. – Leah
— You can watch Nier: Automata Ver1.1a on Crunchyroll.
A somewhat normal routine has begun for the three. We’ve seen that between the two, Kazuki is the most responsible and adult of the two. So he has been doing the most to take care of Miri, and before that Rei. Taking care of basically two children can get tiresome, and Kazuki ends ups becoming fed up and leaves the two for some alone time. He ends up gambling, getting drunk, among other things during his day out. It is kind of odd to see after how in the last few episodes he’s been the dotting and overprotective dad for Miri. On the other end of it Rei realizes he needs to take care of Miri. While he does what he can, we can see that he is very much not prepared. These were where the majority of the humor was this episode with all of Rei’s failures and attempts. The other side featuring Kazuki was the more serious. After his night of fun takes a turn he meets with his sister-in-law and we learn more about the past that was hinted at previously. It was actually quite a sad part, especially considering for the most part Kazuki is the more upbeat one. We see Rei become more serious and closer with Miri in the meantime too. There was a lot of development for the two dads in this one, and this was another solid episode. -Walter
— You can watch Buddy Daddies on Crunchyroll.
What anime are you watching? Let us know in the comments!
You can read previous Week in Anime entries here!