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BLADE & SOUL #13 Jumps with Sharks?

Episode #13 -- Special Review. I mean, they're not actual sharks.

I have to surmise that Gonzo’s writers were just as confused about where BLADE & SOUL could possibly go after last episode…

We ought to codify “steam blow-off” as a term somewhere in our wiki. I’ve seen it so many times, it’s a bonafide anime trope. Whenever an animation staff decides to cut loose with something flighty and whimsical after they’ve just been laboring for a long time on something very dour - - that’s them blowing off steam. The most famous example of this was FLCL. It was a quick bit of nonsense, created by the Gainax staff after they’d spent over a year in EVANGELION’s depressive Apocalypse. DEAD LEAVES was another one, while KILL LA KILL should’ve been one.

And this episode absolutely feels like a steam blow-off.

It’s funny that “jumping the shark” has become our term for series taking switchback turns in quality. In a weird coincidence, both this and JOJO’s have marked dramatic turns with the appearance of sharks. While JOJO’s invisibly-uppercut-a-shark-out-of-the-water stunt seems to have inaugurated even weirder weirdness in that show, B&S’s shark-head cult signifies a turn to some outrageously atonal silliness. At this moment, anyway. Maybe this will turn out to be a one-off.

Still… it felt like so Saturday Morning, I was half-expecting Cap’n Crunch’s battleship to pull in off the cove.

On its own, this was a delightful diversion. All these beautiful women getting lured in by lonely aborigines with a scam that seems even more obvious in this world of scams. However, I don’t think the show really gets away with it - - especially not when Alka just re-appears at the end. Plenty of shonen are able to pull off drastic tonal shifts in the long run, but it’s really too early in the series for this. When your characters have just come off a ponderous exploration of revenge, putting them into a comedy of errors -- and having them somehow forget their bitter grudges -- just feels strained.

Watch “God” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.

zaldaron June 30, 2014 at 1:52 p.m.

Heh a frequent commenter had predicted your response to this episode in a PM good to see he was right on. This from his description and your write up seems like the typical beach episode. So not very good in other words.

I take issue with your description of FLCL and Kill la Kill though. FLCL WAS trying to say something it wasn't sillyness for the sake of sillyness. It just didn't work and it was way to hard to tell what it was trying to say AND I don't think what it was trying to say was all that deep (and it wasn't entertaining in spite of what it was trying to say). Kill la Kill had deep thoughts, presented them entertainingly, and it was reasonably easy to understand what it was saying (not for example like sound and fury which I still am not sure I understand completely). Again I remind you of theater of the absurd. Kill la Kill is an example of theater of the absurd that works while FLCL is not.

Actually if you do skype vice pits ever I would love to talk about this though would need to reread the theater of the absurd plays again.

I agree though we should have a term for theater of the absurd done to blow off steam.

Marshal Victoryon June 30, 2014 at 3:28 p.m.

Well it did jump the Piranha Men so to speak. It was what most beach /swim suit episodes are. A wink an a nod to the fans. Sure it had more top drop than the season but fan service wise eh not to much more than the rest of the season.

Then again this may have been what NcSoft wanted for the whole show.Which sounds about right.

zaldaron June 30, 2014 at 6:52 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: it would be about the level of "anime" and "plot" in their games....I played Mabogni for the anime tie in for awhile before I woke and was like...what the fuck am I doing...?

Marshal Victoryon June 30, 2014 at 7:08 p.m.

@zaldar: NcSoft has a long an awful history. Other studios make stuff they publish them an then go out of their way to make sure no money is made by them. Guild wars was the exception but people are finding out with Guild Wars 2 NcSoft has more an more say.

City of Heroes had a decent back ground. In game lore that was pretty great as a comic fan. So even tho the game was making them money they wanted it to become the korean grind fest their games were. Ala cash shops etc. Paragon studios tried to give them what they wanted an what the fans wanted. Lesson from it is one can not serve two masters when one is a Baka. An the Baka control the rights to the game. NcSoft closed the game even tho it was making them money. Lied to fans about offering to sale it to Paragon. An will never get a penny from me ever again.

From trying to cheat developers to poor account / in game world security they do it all. Lord I hope GONZO got paid up front. Oh they are gona try a milk this 13 episode series as 2 sets.

zaldaron July 3, 2014 at 8:46 p.m.

Don't know enough about what happened with city of heroes to comment I didn't like the game all that much though but I didn't have much time to devote to such things at the time and am not a comic fan.

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