Sword Art Online II – 8

SILLY.OVERDRAMATIC

We get it, Kirito Sue the Magnificent: you’re scared. You’re traumatized. You’re so traumatized you’re wielding a giant hammer with “DEEP-SEATED EMOTIONAL ISSUES” scrawled on its hilt and beating all the viewers’ faces with it. So much so it’s kind of lost all of its weight. We don’t care. Why are you so afraid of Death Gun? I would like to remind you that you have conquered two MMOs, one in which you were under worse threat of death, through the sheer power of will.. You have literally willed yourself to ignore the game’s code and do whatever the fuck you want. This has been established and recognized by the games’ creator. You are actually God in this virtual universe for all intents and purposes, but you’re afraid of some guy in a mask. Instead of feeling Kirito’s anxiety, I was just amused and perplexed at how overdramatic he was being for no reason.

Behold! A textbook example on why everyone hates Mary Sues and why they never work. If there is no threat to the character, there is no tension for the viewer to experience, and thus there is no reason for them to become invested in what they are perceiving. These are some of the most foundational pillars of Human Storytelling. We are emotional creatures; stories are ways for us to share those emotions with one another. Nobody wants to see fucking Frodo waltz his way into Mordor on the Eagles’ backs; they want to see him carry it into Mordor, risking life and limb with no thought of himself, while his friends defend the free world at great risk to themselves. Kirito never experiences any real obstacles, only “challenges” we are commanded to take seriously by various elements of the show. Sword Art Online is high-school-level storytelling at best, but it’s gotten so popular because otaku and Japanophiles eat this shit up. We’re only five episodes removed from Episodes 2 and 3, and already everything is just boring. Here’s an idea: get rid of Kirito and go back to Episode 2 where Sinon was engaging in sniper duels with opponents that challenged her. That’s the part of this episode I enjoyed: watching Sinon do her thing like a real, legitimate character. Whenever Kirito shows up my eyes just gloss over because I already know what’s going to happen.

Surprise me, Sword Art Online II. You did it in Episodes 2 and 3. I’m sure you can do it again somehow.

Sword Art Online – 6

Kirito Sue theSILLY.CHEAT-CODES Magnificent is the biggest cheater on the face of the planet.

This was a bad episode. The writers skimped on everything here. Instead of doing something ambitious, like, say, crafting an epic duel between Kirito and Sinon over several episodes that might define the whole season, having them go back and forth and using the terrain, environments, etc. to play to their strengths and weaknesses, while diving into the themes and issues they brought up in this episode during the battle–something an anime made ten years ago would’ve done without the slightest bit of hesitation–they set up some stupid traumatic memory to get Kirito REALLY ANGRY, then have him win because reasons. We all knew this was going to happen, but the devil’s in the details, kids. Sinon misses like ten shots when she’s sitting completely still while Kirito is standing completely still and not making the slightest bit of effort to move. Not one of them hit him, too. Not even a graze. Given how probability works in these games, I’m pretty sure *one* of them should have damaged him. Furthermore, the sudden shift in Sinon’s behavior was just stupid. She’s already stared down some monsters while her teammates were getting massacred and handled everything perfectly. Why the fuck does she care if this random twerp she’s come across is throwing the match? If you want to set up Sinon as some stone-cold killer, you have to be consistent about it, not transform her into a weak-willed Japanese girl falling for Kirito’s nonexistent charms on the turn of a dime/bullet. Come on, writers: this is basic character development. Ugh.

I also didn’t buy Kirito’s whole PTSD thing. How many people did he kill in SAO? Why is he all of the sudden remembering this now? Like, haven’t we already gone through this character arc before? You’re not going to get me to believe Kirito is still wrapped up in that. One, it cheapens the real issues that people with PTSD go through, and two, it just feels way too forced and convenient here to be really convincing. Also, Sinon, why the fuck didn’t you just call for a reset on the duel, cool your jets, and kick the guy’s ass? Why settle for conditions where you know Kirito can pull some of his crazy shit you’ve been watching for hours already?

Barf.

Zankyou no Terror – 5

BioShock-Infinite-18HA HA HA HA HA. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. THE EVIL AMERICANS. BBBTTHHA HA HA HA.  THE EVIL AMERICANS HAVE ARRIVED. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Oh my god, I laughed so hard when I saw the “United States Line” on the plane and the big American flag plastered on the tail fin just to ensure the viewer couldn’t possibly miss the message. Ain’t nothing gonna stop that anvil now, not even the very hills!

This was one of the worst and hands-down the best episode of Zankyou no Terror so far. Funny how that works. It was terrible because the plot was so ridiculous and the tropes legion beyond count; it was good simply because the writers finally figured out that protagonists need obstacles to make a story interesting. I had a reason to care about what was going on, as shallow and retarded as it was! There was a sense of risk! The genius terrorists might actually fail! They’ve met their match! After four dry-as-bone episodes setting up these bland cardboard stereotypes, something exciting happened!

Of course, the writers couldn’t craft something remotely cogent to do this. They had to backtrack and make the genius terrorists complete idiots this time, as opposed to mostly idiots. They set up a bomb on the fucking Shinjuku Line in downtown Tokyo, one of the most crowded places in the world, set it to go off at 8pm automatically, and just let it ride around the city while they wait for the police to fall for their trap. Seriously? At 8pm? When everyone’s out and about? With no backup plan? Like, WTF, kids? I thought you were supposed to be ten steps ahead of everyone. What was your whole plan? Hope the police disarm the bomb? What if they didn’t know jack shit about the Bible, let alone the Apocrypha? Did you know that maybe 1% of Japan is Christian? The average Japanese person probably couldn’t even name the first five books of the Bible. What if Shibazaki was sick that day and couldn’t be contacted? What would you do then? What if the incompetent police remained incompetent and failed to guess your riddle? If you didn’t intend for the bomb to go off and kill a bunch of innocent people (ignoring the scores you killed at that totally unevacuated police station in episode 2 that the writers hope you forgot about), thus ruining any sympathy you might have ever garnered from the general public, why the FUCK DID YOU GIVE THE BOMB A TIMER?  That’s exactly the opposite of what you should have done. Why not ensure your plan can’t fail with simple foresight? Just build it so it can only be detonated manually. HOLY SHIT.

Oh, right, because Little Evil Bitch shows up with her British-American counterpart projecting a 10km-radius field of idiocy around the Metropolis of Tokyo so your brains just shut down. Have I mistaken this series for a satiric comedy? Because seriously, this episode was so hilarious I couldn’t stand it. Ooh, I guess Five’s supposed to be creepy because she’s a WOMAN and she paints her nails WHILE SMILING. OOOOOOOOOH. I’M SCAAAARED. And why did Aizen Sousuke the Younger get a headache right at that time? And of course the Japanese police are craven and take orders from their real masters: the American Empire. Did you get that message too? Because we all know that random Americans can just show up at the Metropolitan Police Department and shut down the whole cellular network of Tokyo in an hour. America can do that sort of thing. It’s not like there’s this little factor called diplomacy in play that would never allow this to ever ever happen. Because Japan is a puppet of America. America calls the shots. American Empire. You get it?

By the way, Shibazaki got demoted to the archives because he gathered evidence on police corruption and that’s why everyone hates him and he doesn’t give a shit. There, I just figured out his backstory by paying attention to what they say. Lisa and Five are the last hope for this series, but I’m joking of course: there is no hope. Lisa’s just a bashful, repressed Japanese girl and Five’s a deranged psychopath, because no character in an anime–certainly not a woman–can ever not be a dehydrated cliche.

At least the terrorists finally fucked up and killed/hurt some innocent people. Maybe next week something even worse will happen to them. I hope all these twerps fucking die and the evil Americans win. All Hail Columbia.

Sword Art Online 2 – 5

This episo4a8f83ec-52e8-4b22-b1ad-75290759422ede was not as bad as last week’s, but it wasn’t as good as the three before that either. Only the abrupt resolution of the gender confusion subplot, something no experienced online gamer would find shocking in the slightest, surprised me. I had thought they would drag that out for a good while longer. In retrospect, this ruined the episode for me, as it just wasn’t believable that Sinon was so naive about guys using female avatars. This would be like being astounded at finding out that online gamers cuss or something. The nerve!

The rest was smooth, predictable sailing on a balmy sea. Kirito had his first match and won; it was the opposite of gripping. Really? A hardcore MMO hasn’t figured out how to make melee weapons work? You don’t say. To add insult to injury, Sinon got little screentime, because “fuck feminism,” says Japan. Death Gun finally showed up, confronting Kirito mask-to-face and implying he’s someone he’s met before. How did Kirito discern this from a sterile video game avatar? Why would Death Gun have an obscure tattoo to identify himself with? Seems kinda problematic.

Anyway, not very exciting, but not boring. Whatever.

Sword Art Online II – 4

SRS.WILDSTAR-TELEGRAPHJust dodge the damn telegraphs, Sinon. Haven’t you played Wildstar? Anyway, I really don’t have too much to say about this episode, other than it’s the worst of the season so far. Kirito did some bullshit because reasons, while Sinon stood around explaining gameplay mechanics that aren’t likely to ever play any significant role again. This is what I don’t like about SAO: the writing is far too lazy. Instead of using the gameplay mechanics it goes out of its way to demonstrate and establish in order to create compelling constraints for the characters to overcome, the series just plays the Deus Ex Machina card as much as it can. It felt like they copy-pasted an episode from season 1. Likewise, I hate how Kirito doesn’t have to worry about the stat mechanics and shit in this “hardcore” game. You might want to withdraw that adjective, as no “hardcore” game I know of allows that kind of nonsense. Whatever.

I was delighted by the fact that they hired a native English speaker–or at least someone who knows how to pronounce the language–to voice the gunman NPC. “I’m gonna shoot you from here to the Moon!” You’re getting there, Japan. Keep trying. Go for it with gusto. Moreover, I didn’t buy how somehow the game offers melee weapons but makes them completely useless. MMO players are notoriously good at optimization and min-maxing. If someone figured out how to pull off a melee build with success, it would’ve been done long before Kirito Sue ever showed up.

Yeah, kinda of a letdown compared to the last two episodes. We saw the seeds of Sinon falling for Kirito too at the end there. Blaaaaaaaaaaah. I’ll be a little bummed if this turns out to be the season’s peak. Let’s hope not.

Zankyou no Terror – 3

ZSILLY.GRATZ-OBAMAankyou no Terror finishes its third episode without heading back into Stupidburg! Hooray! Nah, not really. This has been the least offensive episode so far though, I’ll admit. It was entertaining and didn’t take so many blatant liberties with logic and practicality that I didn’t absolutely hate it. 1 for 2 there, series. You really gotta do better than that. I did roll my eyes more times than I would care to count. Let’s do that now, in fact:

  • The police recount their general incompetence, thus reminding the reader how everything in this series could be stopped by the use of grey matter. Aizen Sousuke the Younger is also taking some huge risks, here. How could he ensure the cameras in the police station wouldn’t catch a clear glimpse of his face? Everything he’s done to this point is risking the viability of whatever Grand Plan he has. I also like how the writers just conveniently forget to mention how many scores of innocent people that bombing undoubtedly killed. Yep, just slides under the radar to create deliberate sympathy for these terrorists.
  • The terrorists managed to get a crane worker to cut the power by giving him money through dummy accounts. How do they know how to do this? Do they have someone on the inside able to manufacture fake accounts and make money transfers through them? Because that’s the only way you could do that. And if they did, the police could just, you know, trace the person who did. Follow the fucking trail, police. Do your goddamn jobs.
  • Aizen Sousuke the Younger somehow faked an identity in the government and worked at a nuclear waste facility for three months. …………no. Just no.
  • Aizen Sousuke the Younger is deliberately trying to draw people out. Probably someone from within the government who’s responsible for terrible, terrible things.
  • Aizen Sousuke the Younger has tinnitus and doesn’t want to tell anyone about it. Boooooooooooooring.
  • Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup, the two terrorists really were raised in some Unit 731-type environment. My eyes took a vacation with my optic nerves when I heard “for those of you who have been abandoned, love does not exist.” Like, way to strap a bazooka to the anvil you’re brandishing and go to town, writers. Subtle.
  • Oh, the fat nerd helps solve the riddle conveniently with a timely video game reference. What if he had just been playing Candy Crush at the time? There goes another bomb. By the way, do you know how insulting this would be if it were on an American TV show? Yeah, it’s just as insulting here too. But no, the otaku won’t care. I’m sure of it. Because it’s anime, and anime always gets off scott-free.
  • Lisa has mother issues. WEEP. Hey, maybe you should devote some actual screentime to this main character of yours? I heard that’s something stories do, you know: develop their characters beyond cardboard tropes. We get it. Lisa’s life is fucked up. Her mother also likes to violently shake her. We don’t need another episode showing us this in anvilicious detail, okay? That’s what happened last episode.
  • Once again, we have an elaborate riddle that only Shibazaki can solve that’s again related to Oedipus. I really hope Oedipus is just a thing the writers have a boner for and it doesn’t play a part throughout the whole series. Like having Lisa being the offspring of incest or something. That would be dumb. They probably won’t do that, but given the scripts I’ve seen so far…
  • So yay, the terrorists lost this time. Too bad there was no consequence for them whatsoever. Like something that might lead back to them.  You know, a mistake? Something that might get the tension going? No? No. Okay. Yawn.

Some good points for this episode:

  • Shibazaki is a second-generation hibakusha, an atomic bombing survivor. That’s a nice touch to his character. By the way, I’ve been to Hiroshima: it’s not filled with old people. Looked like a normal town to me.

Yeah. Yeah, that’s it. This episode was bad; it just wasn’t as bad as the previous two. There are just so many things wrong with this series that I can’t possibly go into them all without killing many innocent virtual trees. This is the hellhole where serious anime go to die, kids. I can only commend the series for, as of yet, having no fanservice or other magical girl shit that just offends my soul in every way, but if this mess is the best “mature” anime can do now, I’m just going to cry in a corner. Even Death Note was better than this, and its plot made no sense either. It worked because the characters were interesting and the series really focused on them at heart; the plot was just a means to get Light and L to do crazy things and fight each other. There was tension and drama of some kind there, a conflict that at least tried to pull you in. On the other, lonely end of the spectrum, Zankyou no Terror has nothing. It’s so fucking boring and dull. It can’t even be pretentious like Death Note.

See you next boring time.

Balance – I

Before I start up the stream here shortly, I figured I’d give some of my own thoughts after the latest shitstorm of community opinions on LoL balance. Unlike in World of Warcraft, League of Legends does not have an established community of sober theorycrafters built up over years of experience, a vital asset and foil to Blizzard’s attempts at making the game better. LoL simply doesn’t encourage that kind of behavior: it’s a competitive multiplayer online game accessible to the masses. These days in WoW, you can trust the high-level theorycrafters to have some idea of what they’re talking about; they often know better than the developers themselves to some degree, although not all the time.

Last week, Lucian got “nerfed.” Specifically, his basic attack range got reduced by 10% from 550 to 500. While 10% isn’t the biggest number to throw around in the history of statistics, it’s a pretty significant loss at the margin for ADCs. The community, of course, declared Lucian to be dead and went crazy with its pronunciations of doom, which led Riot to overreact and overcompensate him with massive mobility buffs, leading to the unstoppable, faceroll nightmare we now find in solo queue. Good job, community. I’m sure you took responsibility for your panicked, emotional temper tantrum and rethought how you look at champion balance. Except for the part where you didn’t. Now you’ve got millions of people having to endure idiot Lucians who can get away with anything because you didn’t want to analyze the changes to him in a mature, professional way. Your childish panic attacks have consequences, in case you didn’t notice.

Now, a scant few days later with nerfs on the PBE again, we find the community declaring the end of Elise. Just like the last end of Elise when she got “gutted” too, which never happened. Thresh is also losing some minor assets among the shitzillion he already has, and people are crying about that. Deathfire Grasp is being nerfed, by that meaning getting its cooldown increased from 60 to 90 seconds–just like so many other major cooldowns in the game. Heaven help us. Assassins are dead, right? Poor Ahri, says Reddit.

Thoughts on a few champions:

Elise – I don’t play as a jungler, so I can’t comment on the specific consequences of each nerf. The only thing I can reiterate is that she was “gutted” recently to no consequence, so I’m suspicious of all the doom and gloom surrounding this. However, her nerfs are beside the point. All decisions about Elise or any of the other junglers stem from the overbearing monster that is Lee Sin, which the community outright refuses to let Riot nerf. Am I supposed to cry for the community when it’s the source of a huge balance problem? Fuck you, LoL players, especially the pros: you know Lee Sin is a balance joke that needs to be toned down to size for the health of the game, but you don’t fucking give a shit. You like him being OP, plain and simple. You like being able to pull of all the shit he does without consequence because it makes you feel superior and badass. Fuck you. You’re not that skilled; you’re not that awesome. Every other jungler in the game suffers because of your fetish with this guy. Let Riot do its job. Nobody likes playing against Lee Sin. Nobody.

Thresh – this is the Lee Sin of botlane. Not even Braum is as bad as he is. This fucker has been superior to other supports since Day 1 of his release, yet everyone cries every time Riot tries to trim him down. Holy crap, they nerfed his ultimate, which no longer deals massive AOE damage? UNNECESSARY. Because having massive damage on an ult that cuts off all escape and utterly disrupts teamfights is necessary to make Thresh viable, right? Same with the AoE shield nerf on his lantern. Thresh has to have that too to be competitive, not just the other things he can do with his whole kit, which, as I’ll remind the reader, amount to the following:

  • Incredible engage
  • Incredible disengage
  • Two slows, one effectively a root
  • Two positioning displacement abilities
  • Hard CC
  • A hostile gap closer
  • A friendly gap closer, something that no one else has and can’t be stopped
  • Vision from range
  • Shields
  • Significant poke from range
  • Innate tankiness
  • Burst damage competitive with other supports

Yeah, Thresh is just dead as a doorknob if the damage on his ultimate and the shielding capability of his lantern is nerfed. What happened to “Thresh is all utility!” or “Thresh will always be viable”? Oh.

Lulu – Like many people, I don’t like seeing Lulu being turned into an annoying mid/top champ instead of the utility support she was designed to be. I love Lulu as a support to death, but she’s fucking up the game right now with her presence in the other lanes and it’s gotten out of hand. Half the reason late-game hyper-carries seem to work now is because teams can viably stick utility mages into their comps and protect them so well. I appreciate the thought behind the strategy, but Lulu affords teams this with little cost. Nerf her. Compensate support Lulu if needed, but get her out of the other two lanes.

Banshee’s Veil – Good change, though the numbers might need to be tweaked, as always. The real problem with “League of Lategame” isn’t that games reliably go into lategame, despite the wailing from all the assassins and Dravens of the world, but that there are lots of little factors that hinder teams from closing the game out after getting an advantage. Veil is one of them. It disrupts engage and teamfighting by routinely negating the threat of powerful abilities. That’s what it’s supposed to do, but it shouldn’t be so thoughtless.

Frostfang and Co. – the item gives way too much gold for little risk, the exact opposite of its stated design intent. Good change.

Nomad’s Medallion and Co. – the item needs just a bit more utility. Gives very little reward for little risk, as it should, but the reward is too small, I think. Good change.

Not much else to say. I’m going to go actually play the game now instead of pretend I know how to design it.

Zankyou no Terror – 2

SILLY.AIZEN.JUST-AS-PLANNEDSo after last week’s comedy of a plot, Zankyou no Terror tries its best to avoid veering off the rails into the City of Stupidburg. In Episode 2, it succeeds…barely. As far as I can tell, the crazy train has stopped only about a kilometer or two out from the city and is hanging out until the engineer-writers can fix its brakes so they never function again. We start off the episode with some dry, yet intelligent scenes about the aftermath of last week’s bombing. It turns out that, somehow, nobody died. Only 28 were injured by this explosion. Mildly. In downtown Tokyo. Population density: 6029/square kilometer. Uh huh. Yeah. Bullshit. I can kinda suspend my disbelief and accept nobody in the building died, but you can’t get me to accept the notion that somehow no passers-by were seriously hurt by the falling debris at the very least. Even if we accept all that lunacy for the sake of argument, that can only be attributed to sheer dumb luck, not wizard-hacker planning on the part of these teenagers. But of course, that’s what the plot implies. Nope. Not buying it.

Anyway, the writers go through explaining how these terrorists were able to make some basic thermite bombs and predict the chemical reactions that would occur if water were to fall on it. Yes, these supergeniuses flex their intellectual muscle because they paid attention in the high-school chemistry classes they never attend or because they found easily available material on the Internet. Magnificent. I’m pretty sure the issue with bombmaking is less about the basic chemistry involved and more about building reliable devices that actually work. Whatever, I’m sure they were trained in Unit 731’s backup facility that they grew up in. An aside: VoN probably stands for something like “Voice of N,” where N is some inappropriate English noun. Not that it really matters.

All right, so here we go with their next evil plan: these two terrorists post another video on Definitely-Not-Youtube in which they don’t bother to disguise their voices or appearance. Way to give the police some pretty crucial information on you: they now know your numbers, general age, appearance, basic psychological profiles, and that you like to make weird puzzles about obscure versions of Oedipus. The episode tries to then make this seem like a pretty deep plot with the supergeniuses stringing along the dumb adults for the whole ride, but again, fails to get me to care. Aizen Sousuke the Younger goes off to a police station, making himself look like a delivery guy so he can plant his bomb without suspicion. ‘Cause that’s exactly what police stations do: let delivery guys wander off into the station unaccompanied instead of just taking the food right then and there. You know, like normal people. Nor do police officers ask themselves questions like “who is this person walking around in the back of the station without an escort or any form of identification? What is he doing with this large metal canister that doesn’t smell like food? Aren’t we all supposed to be on high alert after a major government building was just bombed a few days ago?” Of course not. I stand by what I said last week: if there is no risk or sense of danger to the protagonists whatsoever, I do not give a shit about anything they do whatsoever.

Meanwhile, the plot’s setting up this Shibazaki guy as a reluctant hero. Don’t care either. He just did some basic detective work based on a riddle billions of people already know off the top of their heads because they read things. What makes him so qualified? Is it because he has a surname? Meanwhile, Hazuki Nagisa the Insane talks to Lisa about being an accomplice and killing her if she makes a move right in the middle of a crowd of teenagers. Oh, and he just happens to look and sound like the guy on the video the terrorists posted on the Internet, a place teenagers tend to frequent. I guess he used blood magic to make sure nobody saw him. That’s as reasonable as any other explanation.

God, this anime is a piece of crap. But at least it gives me something to write about.

PS: Lisa has family problems. Now be sad.

Zankyou no Terror – 1

Finished watching the first episode of Zankyou no Terror. Several initial impressions come to mind. First, it’s very refreshing to see a serious-minded anime these days, one that at least tries to tell a story that concerns mature themes. On the other hand, the material itself was flawed and fell into a lot of typical anime tropes, starting with the outlandish opening sequence, where two mystically prodigious teenagers somehow steal nuclear waste from a processing facility as if it were the easiest thing in the world. Beyond the typical literary handwaving, I know how this scene is supposed to work: there’s significant hostile public sentiment in Japan (not to mention the world) regarding nuclear power after the Fukushima incident, so many viewers watching this won’t ridicule the idea that the security and people in a high-priority facility such as this could be so incompetent. Like the script, I’ll just gloss over how absurd it is that one of the terrorists even got past the front gate without proper identification, which is precisely the amateurish type of subterfuge these places excel at preventing. Whatever. More insulting was how the writers blatantly exploited viewer ignorance and fear over nukes by having one of the main characters point a gun at the container of nuclear waste he’s stealing to ensure the security guards watching don’t just lock down the whole facility and stop the series from happening within the first three minutes. When I beheld this scene, I laughed out loud. Spent nuclear fuel is not a hydrogen bomb waiting to go off; that’s not how that stuff works. But since everyone else thinks nuclear power is this Pandora’s Box waiting to kill us all–despite the small fact that radiation or nuclear materials from the Fukushima plant has killed no one–the series will get away with this pretty easily.

We move on to Tokyo, six months later, where our favorite terrorists are somehow fitting into a new high school with identities that jackshit-nobody has bothered to follow up on. Crafting new identities and inserting them into a bureaucratic system actually takes some work, kids. Eh, fuck it. They’re geniuses, right? It all makes sense. Then we find out through flashbacks that these two terrorists are escapees from awful institution that did something to children. What a completely new plot I’m seeing here. And the cold, serious one remarks about how the children who didn’t escape were weak and blah blah. Yawn. The other terrorist is a happy, giggling, carefree psychopath like every other Happy Psychopath the Japanese are obsessed with. Sigh. Finally we get to someone we can sort of relate to: Lisa, a girl victimized by the pernicious culture of bullying in Japanese schools. Yay, this series might actually have something interesting to discuss. But enough about deep social problems the Japanese are always too scared to tackle: there’s terrorism in the capital! Shocking!

Late that very afternoon, the terrorist duo somehow manages to arrange a power outage to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which allows them to place bombs in strategic locations in the building within a 26-minute timespan, something absolutely no one notices them doing except Lisa. Are you fucking kidding me? A) everyone would’ve been evacuated immediately due to the power outage and security would’ve taken over; B) schools have this practice called “accountability” wherein they keep lists of the students who go on trips and would naturally know to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be; C) they have these bombs in little bright pink toys they place in perfectly conspicuous areas. So I’m guessing the thousands of people who work in this incredibly important government building didn’t notice these highly out-of-place toys that just appeared randomly as they were leaving right after a sudden power outage that was predicted by teenagers in creepy masks in a Youtube video that aired the previous day. Hmm. This really looks suspicious to me, Yousuke-kun. Maybe we should call someone.

And so, predictably, the plan succeeds. The bombs blow up the building and nobody does anything about it, even though this whole thing would have been prevented by the most basic security measures. How exciting. You know, it’s really hard to care about a conflict when one side is manned by inexplicable geniuses blessed with divine omniscience and the other is made up of morons who have the IQs of hamsters. If there’s no risk to these teenagers whatsoever, there’s nothing to give me pause.  This the precise reason why I never got into the Death Note anime. The conflict and plot were both just so one-sided and contrived that I just couldn’t be bothered to care. And for the love of God, Japanese writers, stop trying to pull heartstrings so blatantly. I really don’t give a shit about whatever cause they’re fighting for or whatever tragedy these two teenagers went through. They just blew up a government building in the middle of one of the most densely populated centers on earth, probably killing hundreds of people and putting tens of thousands of more at risk. I really don’t care if the Japanese government (fifty bucks says a highly Americanesque power is involved too) was experimenting on children for shiggles. If you can’t figure out a modern national government is an entity staffed by millions of people all serving completely different functions instead of this monolithic scapegoat you want to vent your frustrations onto, you’re just idiots who need to be shot.

I’ll stick with this for a few more episodes, but the material really needs to get its shit together if it wants to hold my interest. Meanwhile, I’m going to go visit Twitter and some anime blogs to watch people ogle over how deep and profound this crappy writing is.