This was a very nice week overall in terms of both work and play. The lowdown:
Junji Ito ep 11: The first part of this episode…okay, holy crap, this was so weird. A new student transferred into the school, and afterwards strange things started happening, like plants growing eyeballs and buildings being replaced by lakes. It ends with the new student having a duel with another one with psychic powers, like DBZ-type stuff. Not scary, just disjointed and super weird. Huh :p
The second smaller part…this was much creepier. When one guy puts a scarecrow on the grave of his daughter to drive off his daughter’s grieving fiance (the guy disapproved of their marriage), the scarecrow ends up looking like his deceased daughter the next day, even though he didn’t do anything to it! As a result, the other people of the town do the same thing, with the scarecrows starting to look more like the deceased, and by the end of the episode they seem to have minds of their own, with spooky results. This was pretty good!
Darling in the FrankXX ep 10: Oh, this was really interesting. We finally get a glimpse at what life is like in the cities when one of the protag’s friends (the mouthy kid, Zorome) gets lost in one and ends up being rescued by one of the inhabitants. It turns out to be an old lady who describes what is apparently a very sterile, emotionless existence, she eats only for sustenance (not pleasure) and mentions that the kinds of things we take for granted today, like relationships, having children, etc., are considered ancient, near-forgotten customs in the world this anime is set in. Her “Partner” spends most of his time in a kind of recreation chamber that stimulates the pleasure centers of his brain directly. Really gives off Brave New World vibes.
Also, this is kinda spoilery (don’t keep reading if you haven’t seen the episode, and I also tagged this post spoilers for the discussion of the latest Berserk chapter), but it’s heavily implied there’s some connection between Zorome and the old lady he meets. He says she seems “familiar,” and their eyes are the same color. Was the old woman his mother/grandmother, or was he cloned from her, or something? Since no-one seems to know what sex and romance are in this society, the latter seems likely, but maybe they have some other way of producing new children, like artificial insemination. Hmm…
Star’s still workin, but I did send another ep to Sky! Yay~
A lot of Path of Exile recently–not too much to say about it other than it’s a very serviceable Diablo clone. Both in NPC dialogue, music, aesthetics, gameplay, they really captured the feel of Diablo II. But there’s not much to say about it besides being a serviceable Diablo II clone XD
Also, Koji Igarashi had a lil panel at SXSW for Bloodstained! Check out a summary with a link to the recording stream:
Berserk 355: Oooooh. Man. OK, major spoilers:
Casca’s back, finally. Her friends Schierke and Farnese succeeded in their mission to repair her psyche. The art style for her is really weird, she has such big eyes, but I think this is because they’re in a high-fantasy elfland, where everything looks kind of cheerier, and if they ever leave the art will revert to the harder-edged look we’re familiar with. Anyways, at least she’s no longer insane, AND apparently not entirely unstable, she thanks her friends for taking care of her for so long, and then sets off to meet Guts–the Fairy Queen having replaced her drab brown robe with an opulent white dress that makes her look like a princess. Her memories–of her time with the Hawks, of her journey (as ‘Elaine’) and all the crazy experiences she’s had as Guts has tried to protect her, come rushing back. And, ominously, when she sees guts, her memories of the Eclipse return as well, followed by a scream. That’s the last page of the chapter…we’ll have to see how everything turns out.
God damn. I’ve been waiting about 8 years for this moment, but I know folks have been waiting for 20. Despite the strange art style, the image of her in her lovely, pure dress looking at Guts, clad in his threatening black armor as he strides up to meet her, is one of the most beautiful panels in the entire manga so far. This is a wonderful payoff for all the time and emotional effort spent on sticking with the manga so far. After Guts and Casca have suffered so very much, it’s the height of pathos–an emotional climax–to see them finally meet, truly, after so long. But as the last pages show, Miura isn’t going to let us off with a happy reunion so easily. Casca’s terrible memory of the Eclipse are going to return to her, and that proves Miura’s skill as a storyteller, IMO. Despite the pretty dress and the joy of having returned, Casca and Guts still face the sizable emotional challenge of finally working through the trauma that turned her comatose for so many years.
LOT of progress on my secret project, just finished up chapter 3 of 10. Seems like the pace is finally picking up for me 😀
Great times overall! Here’s to next week!