Your Weekly Aya Hirano: Trolls and Shower Scenes
A post on Haruhi ep 14 and Jewel Pet ep 14.
1. HARUHI TROLL
I’d seen the reviews coming out on the 14th episode of Haruhi and noticed how they were full of outrage. Everyone was complaining about KyoAni’s trolling once again: the Endless Eight rigmarole is unwatchable, some said (I’m paraphrasing, no one actually used the word “rigmarole”) etc etc. Because I loved how episode 13 was full of visual deviations from episode 12, I initially thought people were overreacting again.
Having seen the episode, though, I kinda have to agree with everyone: this is a TROLL. While there were lots of different angles and shots, they were really mundane and inferior. For example, this time we see Haruhi’s ball land on Mikuru’s head from far away: the result is not nearly as funny (and that’s disregarding the fact that we’ve seen this happen twice already).
Maybe it’s just me, but it even felt like the voice actors were getting bored in this episode. Haruhi/Hirano herself sounded so lifeless. I guess the underlying concept here is interesting: we’re watching a play in which the script is pretty much set in stone, and the actors are the same, but the directions and emphases are different. That said, I can’t see anyone marathoning Haruhi in the future sitting through episodes 12-?? back to back!! And that’s a bad thing…
2. JEWEL PET SHOWER SCENE
Indeed, this show has got it all. I guess Garnet got the shower scene to compensate for the fact that she’s getting 5 lines to Ruby’s 100! Seriously though, each episode manages to have more than enough laughs to make it worthwhile watching, and the story is developing!!
I really empathize with the writers here: even though this is a children’s fantasy heavily oriented toward magic, nothing is left unexplained, and so the adult watcher like me can be totally satisfied.
The most glaring example is the expanding presence of Jewel Pets in our world. We learned a while back that the witches from the Jewel Land cast a spell on the humans of Takaragaseki City so that they will accept the existence of Jewel Pets freely and easily, besides keeping them a secret from the rest of the world. Later, when journalists break the Jewel Pet story outside of Takaragaseki, a spell is cast on the entire world.
It’s a very simple plot addition, but I’m impressed that the writers had the presence of mind to introduce it. How many shows do we see where people accept amazing phenomena without a second thought?? The whole process of Pets showing up and choosing their owners has been nicely settled too. All in all, the story’s tight.
In this episode the witches from Jewel Land finally figure out that Diana is the one causing all the trouble. As it turns out, she caused a great war in the human world years ago [images look like WWII!!], and the witches were the ones who finally stopped her. Now she’s at it again.
The episode ends with Ruby making Diana very angry, and then boastfully giving up her name when Diana asked for it. This move didn’t work for Ulysses in the Odyssey (vs Polyphemus), and I’m sure it will turn out badly for Ruby too… Looking forward to the next episode!