As promised, I’ve returned to this season's darling for a catch-up that’ll bring me up to speed faster than you can say, “Giant, people-eating nudists!”
I might’ve bagged on this show a little too hard in my last GARGANTIA write-up. I still prefer that show, of course, but the preference is maybe a little more incremental now than it was when I’d only watched the pilots. Both shows have earned their slots as #1 and #2 this season by not wasting any time before... *AHEM *... sinking teeth into the real meat of conflict.
See, there are few anime-watching sensations more pleasing than when a show skillfully spares you the hours of set-up you were bracing yourself for. We’ve essentially gone from an idyllic peace to the sort-of ongoing, Apocalyptic cataclysm that most shows would draw out until their later arcs. Adventure fiction’s always striving for tension and stakes, and neither of those can get much higher than when the main characters are on the run from a relentless, overwhelming threat that has already made good on threatening their entire way of life.
At the same time, it’s not as exciting if your heroes are passively fleeing from that threat; so I got the biggest charge over these first two episodes functioning as a sped-up origin for our lead. This kid’s suffered a personal tragedy, he feels regret about being partially responsible for that loss, he’s undergone training to push back against the monsters who’ve wronged him, he’s empowered with some spectacular gadgets and, now, he’s already on the active path of revenge. Got to love that kind of immediacy, right?
Now, I’m a lot more jacked-up to see what’s coming next in this big/small vendetta. I’m expecting it’ll be a bit like the BORROWERS (or SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY, if you want to keep it to anime) injected with a full dose of shonen kickass. Can’t ask for a better underdog than thimble-sized city guardsman taking on skyscraper-sized giants, can we?
Watch this episode, "That Day - The Fall of Zhiganshina!" here and decide for yourself, then read my write-up on the previous episode here.