For less than a minute of screen time! But in that min–I mean 50 seconds max of time she’s had, Esdeath has had more charisma, more life, and more…anything than anything else in this show. Treasure that time dear viewers. Because attached to it is about 22 minutes of crap that has more banality to it than the diary of a moe girl.
Whilst I won’t deny that I have problems with Tokyo ESP’s editing, I honestly don’t think it’s that distracting of a problem. I rewatched the latest episode after finishing this and I still liked it, aside from the disappointment that we haven’t had anything really big happen in the show yet. At least things do happen in that show, and it even has the decency to explain things without having to spoon feed us exposition (kind of sad that that’s such a rare thing in anime). God knows this episode could have benefitted from seventeen or so minutes cut from it and replaced with the contents of next week’s tripe.
Again, it took me about an hour or so to finish this episode, because I kept on pausing it to do something more worthwhile with my life. Granted, I’m watching SAO with friends and would probably have dropped the show otherwise, but with all my bitching on that show going nowhere, it wasn’t nearly as bad as this week. More than half the episode was spent on giving us the background of that glasses girl who fights with giant scissors. Her revelations are not at all important to this week’s episode, it didn’t change my perspective on her character, there’s nothing to indicate that it will be relevant in a major way later on, and it was spoonfed to us with the shittiest of “tell don’t show” narration techniques. You remember Tomoyo’s “out-of-nowhere” reveal in Clannad regarding her brother and how it added fuck all to the overall story and was never brought up again? Think of that, except four times longer, even more childish, and without good animation (okay there’s a few seconds of movement that are decent). And it gets worse from there.
The rest of the episode has two parts to it: explaining the Imperial Arms more and introducing us to the Jaegers, who if you’ve read the recent promo material, are going to be the main opposition for Night Raid. The Imperial Arms thing was quite frankly asinine. So it turns out you need a good compatibility with it in order to be able to use it. That information itself is alright, but last week already showed what that eye thing could do, so why bother showing it again? But that’s nothing compared to that painful speech regarding how there is no Arms to bring people back from the dead. Jeez, you don’t say!
How many times has that “the dead stay dead” been used in anime? Not to mention, Tatsumi caring for his dead friends just feels really phoned in. We never got to know them before they died, and they’re only brought into the plot whenever it’s most convenient (and at a frequent rate too. Like once per episode?). Otherwise, they’re just so throwaway and weightless to the point that they bring nothing of worth whether they’re visible or not.
As for the Jaegers’ introduction, it’s that typical “main dude meets one of the soldiers (mostly of a cute/hot member of the opposite sex) and they hit it off without knowing the other’s identity” tripe. Judging by the preview next week, it looks like that girl is pretty capable of giving the evil eye. Aside from that, I just don’t have anything else to say about it apart from…oh wait, I do have one thing. That girl gets a flashback regarding the dude who got killed last week and it turns out he was a respectable guy after all because of how he trained her well (and by the way, I’m pretty sure girls wear undershirts underneath those karate tunics). Has a little more purpose than the glasses girl’s flashback, but otherwise it’s overly long, boring, and cliche. Just like the entire episode. There was no action, nothing really happens, the setup that is important takes up less than a quarter of the runtime.
Oh, and because we’re dark and deep, let’s show mutilated bodies on pikes. God, how do you make decapitated corpses so annoyingly dull?