Tuesday, April 1 2008

R+V: in case you still cared, …

[Update: holy crap, they’re doing a second season. WTF?

… Okay, having followed the scavenger-hunt instructions on ANN, the only verifiable fact in their story is this line on the next-to-last page of the just-released chapter of the manga: 「TVアニメ2S制作決定!!」, which does in fact say “tv anime #2S production decision!!”. Their “announcement” link just goes to the publisher’s flash-based home page, which doesn’t seem to mention this. I’m wondering if it’s just obsolete news based on the publishing cycle of a monthly magazine.]

[Update: nothing on the anime’s staff blog, but there’s a similar one-liner on their news page. Also, a lot more merchandise, including an original novel, a school uniform, and a special edition of the DS game that comes with an original comic. Again, WTF?]

Out of morbid curiosity, I downloaded episode 13. Pretty thorough spoilers follow:

  1. First scene: Nekonome-sensei is stunned that the school headmaster (“hey, isn’t that the guy who…”) won’t do anything to save Tsukune from his execution. This is a scene Steven should stay far, far away from, given his oft-expressed feelings about her seiyuu.
  2. Second scene: Tsukune wakes up to find himself hanging crucifixion-style over a sign reading “I’m human”, faced with a mob of angry students who might as well be carrying torches and frankenstein rakes. He’s remarkably calm about this, asking himself if maybe he’d have been better off in a human school. Nah, then he’d never have met the girls. Also, he wouldn’t be guest of honor at this swell bonfire.
  3. Tsukune calmly asks the Big Bad to leave the rest of the newspaper club alone after executing him, and gets a tad upset when the response is, “don’t worry, I’ll kill them quickly”. This exchange is ignored by what appears to be the entire student body, all of whom have been whipped into a human-lynching frenzy.
  4. No happy-fun opening credits, just a quick sponsor note, and then it’s off to the sea, where Mizore is fondly remembering the day Tsukune rescued her. A poorly-distorted voice says, “now it’s your turn to save him”, and she looks up to find a crow. (shock!)
  5. Cut to Kurumu and Yukari, lakeside. Yukari’s tearful monologue is accompanied by 33 seconds of repeated foot-to-head pans of the pair, with nothing moving but Yukari’s lips. This is not a fan-service shot. When the camera finally cuts to Kurumu, her face is out of shot, so it’s just another still. Finally, the crow shows up, to say “hey, you should do something about that”.
  6. Cut to Moka, locked up alone in a cell, talking to herself. Being Moka, her other self answers, and then our crow shows up, busts her out, reveals herself to be (gasp!) Rubi, and the complete harem sets out on a rescue mission. Most directors would have used a power walk here, but this crew settles for a bad zoom effect followed by moving the girls’ static models slightly to suggest movement.
  7. Back to Tsukune, where the Big Bad is announcing that it’s showtime! Kill the human! Kill the human! [note: the complete unknowns in the crowd of angry students are drawn better than the Big Bad in his triumphant moment]
  8. Inexplicably, one of the character songs starts up, as Tsukune’s pyre is ignited by the Big Bad’s powers. Why? Because it’s rescue time, and Mizore leads off with a ten-foot-high ice block to put out the fire. Pretty good, since she’s at least thirty yards away at the time. [note: the Big Bad is now being drawn by someone else, with slightly more skill]
  9. Rubi and Kurumu fly in and have no difficulty rescuing Tsukune while the other three run up to confront the Big Bad, who is now lit from below, drawn differently again, and is no longer standing in front of a giant block of ice. Seriously, it’s vanished by the time the girls reach the front of the crowd, and what’s more, while striking poses and gloating over his victories, he’s also moved a good twenty feet to the side and had his three minions appear out of thin air.
  10. The battle begins, and the character song that continues to play in the background really, really doesn’t work.
  11. 7 minutes, 55 seconds into the show, the first pantsu appear, brought to you by Mizore. The angry mob has suddenly become a group of passive spectators, impressed by Mizore’s power and skill. I expected to see someone selling popcorn.
  12. The Big Bad flies off to hunt down Tsukune, so Yukari and Mizore stay behind to wipe out the minions while Moka runs off (pantsu!) to rejoin Tsukune, Rubi, and Kurumu (pantsu!) as they land on the roof of the school.
  13. Not having learned anything from the time Rubi gutted Tsukune like a trout, Moka and Kurumu immediately begin bickering over who should get to rub her body against him now that he’s safe. Oh, wait, that guy who just tried to fry him, and then flew off after the girls who rescued him? Yes, sports fans, the Big Bad has just blasted a flaming hole in Tsukune’s chest and then smoked him like a kipper. [note: Tsukune buys pants from the same store Bruce Banner does]
  14. The flame-broiled Tsukune-burger is still conscious enough for a short but heartfelt farewell, and one last rosario-removal. Alt-Moka looks a tad pissed, and eloquently expresses her disapproval of the Big Bad’s Barbecue with a roundhouse pantsu-fu kick that sends him into the next county. Or at least through a few walls.
  15. Knowing that she has mere moments left to save Tsukune, Alt-Moka only takes forty seconds to explain the procedure to the other four girls (Yukari and Mizore having finally polished off the minions and made it to the roof), giving the Big Bad just enough time to recover and transform (offscreen) into his fire-doggie form.
  16. As he launches a massive flaming attack, they take the time to debate how exactly they’re going to defend against it, with Kurumu helpfully pointing out that he’s much too high-level for Mizore to have any chance of stopping it. It has now been 1 minute, 15 seconds since Alt-Moka announced her intention to save Tsukune. Fortunately, the attack takes another ten seconds to land, which gives Gin enough time to call them idiots for just standing there, and zip in from nowhere to block it himself.
  17. As we reach the 2 minute, 35 second mark, Alt-Moka finally does the deed, switching her fangs from suck to blow and loading Tsukune up with the good stuff, while the other girls prepare to fight off the Big Bad.
  18. They don’t do too well, leading to his second-level transformation and a one-on-one with Alt-Moka, where she might as well be kicking him with Nerf legs. He beats the crap out of her, and then sends in the big fire spell to vaporize her and Tsukune (the other girls having conveniently moved out of range).
  19. No! Could this be the end! Let’s cry! Wait, look! Up there! Tsukune has rescued Alt-Moka, and his eyes have gone funny! They share a tender moment, while the Big Bad boggles at this impossible turn of events.
  20. “Tsukune 2.0, put me down so I can kick this loser’s ass!”
    “Take your best shot, girlie!”
    “Hey, remember me? Name’s Gin. I’ll hold you down while she does the ass-kicking.”
    “oops”
  21. But first, the special final-episode extended dance mix of Alt-Moka’s famous “know your place!” speech, followed by the Flying, Spinning, Wild, Flipping, When Done Right None Can Defend, Pantsu-fu Kick.
  22. Shame Gin was behind the Big Bad, holding onto him. That’s gonna leave a mark.
  23. The rest of the school finally manages to open the door to the roof and rushes out, showing none of their former “kill the human” traits, instead gathering around the new hole in the school roof to check out the thoroughly defeated Big Bad.
  24. “Damn! Who beat this really tough guy?”
    “Look, Nekonome-sensei is congratulating Tsukune for it!”
    “Wow, the Public Safety Commission must have made a mistake; someone that tough couldn’t be a puny human.”
    “Reminds me of the time when the PSC picked on me.”
    “Tsukune, sorry for doubting you. And cheering on your execution. Our bad.”
    “You’re our hero.”
  25. Moka: “kiss me, you fool”
  26. Kurumu: “what do you two think you’re doing?”
  27. Mizore: “do it with me instead”
  28. Yukari: “no, me”
  29. Kurumu: “Hey, I got here first (well, second)”
  30. Rubi: “Wait, there’s kissing? Me!”
  31. Moka: “HEY, this was my idea!”
  32. Knight jumps Queen. Bishop jumps Queen. Pawns jump Queen. Gang-bang!
  33. (chuu, chuu, chuu, chuu, chuu) And Tsukune is complaining that he’s getting hit from five directions. Dude, you were happier about your own execution.
  34. Oh, and Chuu wants a kiss, too. He doesn’t seem to be picky about where it comes from.
  35. Opening credits, and it’s all over!