Harukana Receive (Ep6-7)
I have been a pretty big fan of Harukana Receive since it stated airing. Maybe because it’s a slightly better form of mediocrity than most other shows airing this season (Summer 2018). I had hoped that would last, that some of its better themes would be developed further, and not forgotten about.
Naturally, I hoped too much…
For whatever ungodly reason Harukana Receive decided to become an idol show in episode 7. I went straight into it after episode 6, which seemed like a filler episode – hitting the ball around forever and never actually going anywhere with it; we get it, they play Beach Volleyball. But after, let thy confusion descend up us mere mortals… episode 7 starts with an idol scene… Honestly, at first I thought there had been an error with Crunchyroll sending me to another episode of an entirely different show. But no, it was still Harukana Receive… The new character is an idol, or she was an idol in a ‘previous life’ – the distinction is never clearly made considering she looks the same in the opening scene as she does later on the beach. The show didn’t even need a new character, let alone one so… out-place-place. And it’s not the ‘out-of-place’ that kind of fits in, or comes to. It’s the ‘out-of-place’ that’s nothing but odd feeling.
I don’t understand why so many shows insist on cramming a narrative so full of shit nobody cares about. Nobody has any delusions on what Harukana Receive is – it doesn’t need to be anything more than what it was. There is entertainment in simplicity. Entertainment in being able to watch girls have fun while they try to prod their way through their feelings, their friendships, their relationships. Why idol?
Over the last week I’ve been playing a lot of Dead Cells. It’s been on my radar for a while now, and I thought about picking it up back when it was still in Early Access, but having never really put any time into games of the same genre, I was apprehensive. Still, I bought it. Something to do with being away from my PC, and it being a fine game to play on my PS4 which happens to produce a noise similar to that of a full-throttle military jet. Not to mention the recent IGN controversy in which they stole another creator’s content, but I’m sure most of you know about that. Something which, as a positive – will have brought more attention to a great game.
Whenever I play a game, I try not to look too much into what it is – I don’t want to spoil the content, the potential surprises it may contain; this still stands for Dead Cells, despite the lack of any true story elements However, don’t be thinking this is a negative thing, for it doesn’t require a deep narrative. Snippets of information and lore are positioned throughout the levels with enough information as not to become disassociated with the world of Dead Cells. On this note, Dead Cells looks great – with the sleekness of its modern pixel graphics, its vibrancy of colour, and most importantly the sense of atmosphere generated throughout every distinctly unique area.
I’ve found myself wanting to shout, “Just one more! Just one more!” and before I know it, I’m still sat there three hours later, farming cells and searching for better equipment to use on my next one. It’s a game that – on surface level – seems to lack depth and replayability. But this is far from the truth. Every attempt at the game feels different in its own way, because every run requires a different, but just as involved gameplay style; maybe it’s swords and throwing knives, maybe it’s a whip and a bow – whichever, the experience of Dead Cells is different each time. This makes for one of the most interesting and entertaining times I’ve had playing a game over the last six months.
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord (EP4-7)
Yeah… I decided to watch more How to Summon a Demon Lord. Not because I think it’s good, because it isn’t. But because I wanted to taste the Isekai, just a small bite to get me in the mood. It is, after all, one of my favourite genres. Recently I’ve been watching through Log Horizon, and another favourite, Konosuba is always in mind – a metric to judge other Isekai shows by. Of course, I dream of better, I dream of more shows like No Game No Life… man, I’d reluctantly ever sample some Re:Zero quality Isekai. Until those days come, I’m stuck swimming in the wrong end of mediocrity with Diablo.
Demon Lord has a certain charm to it. For obvious reasons the show never takes itself seriously, nor should it ever try to. It never needs that kind of tone-shift. It’s simply about a massively powerful dude, who lacks in about everything else – of course, it’s a classic combination. Still, Demon Lord is amusing at times. Some of it stems from its frequent fan-service which are always as the crux of an awkward or tense situation. Some of it comes from the mindless absurdity of the show itself.
The characters are what you’d expect. They’re neither written nor presented in a terrible way. Well… except for Diablo’s moments in episode 7 in which he seems to go through a major-depressive episode because elf-girl chose her brother instead of him. It’s odd and disjointed in all the wrong ways, also pretty pointless considering the conclusion was never doubted, ever. But, being an incredibly cohesive story was never the intent of Demon Lord. Half the time Diablo doesn’t even realise what’s happening amidst is forays into finding a weapon that isn’t ‘too powerful’ and accidentally finding himself amongst scantily clad women. I mean, there’s a part of me that enjoys it all, in its spiraling madness.
Fear the Walking Dead (Season1-2)
I used to be a massive fan of The Walking Dead. I saw the first two seasons as they aired 7-8 years ago when I was in my early teens. It was the best thing ever. The best television show I’d ever watched. It wasn’t just the raw violence that drew me in. Instead, it was the depiction of an apocalyptic environment, more specifically, in the reality of its presentation. The destruction of it all seemed so visceral, as did the pains of its people – the people fighting for a kind of survival they never before imagined. I always wanted more. I wanted more dram between the characters. I wanted the kind of against-the-odds drama I’d never seen before. I wanted to know how it all worked out or how it didn’t. And then… The Walking Dead became:
So, I haven’t watched the latest three seasons. After the first season of its prequel spin-off show, Fear the Walking Dead finished, I binged it. I really liked it. The characters felt full-bodied, as they did in some of the earlier seasons of TWD. Nick seems especially great at conveying the kind of character I wanted from that kind of show. Then, I assumed the show was cancelled – forgetting about it until this week. Now with four seasons and a fifth in the works, it has cemented its place in TWD canon.
I’m only on the second season, so I can’t talk about the later ones. But it offers something I need. I connect with Nick on a deep level. Not necessarily with his addiction – after all, despite how it may surprise some, I’m not a heroin addict. Yet, I have had moments with other things; having to question myself, having to step back for a second and observe my situation. I connect with Nick’s exclusion from society, and his perception of distance in the people around him. He’s smart, but let down by his own decisions. He’s resilient, but easily influenced by the things – the people – that break him. Because of this, he is best suited to disaster. The relationship he has with his sister, Alicia stands out too. It never seems manufactured. She know what he his, what he has done, and what he might do again. She realises in any moment he might take a step backwards again. Nevertheless, she loves him even more because of it. Seeing these relationships stand throughout such a huge arena of shit makes me feel just a bit of warmth inside.
How was your week?
Thanks for reading, as always!
-Chris (Follow me on Twitter and consider supporting Peach’s Almanac on Patreon!)