Zankyou no Terror – 7

It took 16 FUSILLY.EVACUATECKING minutes into this episode for them to figure out that evacuating one of the busiest airports in the world might have been a good idea, i.e., the one thing that would have singlehandedly derailed all of Gasai Yuno the Evil’s convoluted plans.  Of course, they don’t actually do that, thus putting tens of thousands of innocent people at risk.

In fact, there were tons of ways both sides could have done things smarter. Let’s start with our genius terrorists:

  • Contact Shibazaki before the very last second and coordinate with him more so you have a better chance of succeeding.
  • Set off mass panic in the airport, forcing an evacuation that the local authorities, including the evil police working for the evil Americans, would have no way to resist and would have no choice but to ensure proceeded in an orderly manner, thus taxing their resources and allowing our genius terrorists to move more freely throughout the airport. Think that facial recognition software is going to work when thousands of people are running through the hallways?
  • Predict that Gasai Yuno the Evil wasn’t going to play by her demented little rules in the first place and consider where she might end up actually placing the bomb in order to create the most destruction possible. This is called “reading your opponent.” Maybe you didn’t pay attention in that class at Unit 731’s School for Gifted Psychopaths.
  • Tell Lisa to stay in hiding once her part in the plan was done. Since they switched the surveillance camera footage, all she had to do was remain out of sight of the cameras so that Clarence the Henchman wouldn’t know where to find her. Instead, Clarence the Henchman finds her in like two seconds and puts on her a plane in five seconds without anyone noticing. How did they get onto an empty plane with no one noticing?
  • Lisa, have you ever flown on a plane before? Use the emergency exits. I’m pretty sure Clarence the Henchman had neither the time nor the tools or expertise to disable all the emergency exits on an international airliner that are expressly designed to require no knowledge to use and be almost impossible to disable or impede? I was laughing the whole time. Why was she in any danger in the first place? Why was this supposed to be a tense scene? All she had to do was use her brain for three seconds and take a sled ride outside of the aircraft. Woop dee doo.
  • Hey, idiots: you can memorize detailed floor layouts of huge skyscrapers and play chess-games in your head in an international airport while running as fast as your legs can carry you. (This is biologically impossible, by the way. Your higher brain functions shut down whenever you push yourself past your aerobic comfort zone, so to speak.) Why don’t you just instruct Lisa on how to stop the plane? Remote auto-pilot can be overriden by the manual controls in the aircraft because simple engineering. How come you conveniently don’t know the controls for an airliner when you need to? You have for the other six episodes.
  • How do you even know there’s just one bomb? What if Gasai Yuno the Evil put, like, five more bombs around the airport just to be a dick? Or as a pretty basic backup plan? What would you do then? It’s almost like everyone just read the script in advance.

With that in mind, let’s talk, Five:

  • Why not carry your gun with you to the control tower just in case someone makes it up there? You know, the gun you had with you in the previous scene? Where did it go? Did it run off on its own two legs? What, did you just leave it with your Token Black Henchman down in the Surveillance Van for some inexplicable reason? Why didn’t you have your gun? That would have prevented Shibazaki from stopping you. What the hell?
  • On that note: where was Clarence the Henchman after he dropped Lisa off on the plane? Where did he go? Why didn’t you just tell him to meet you at the control tower?
  • Place more than one bomb at the airport as a backup plan and make no indication of where they are. If it really bothers your addled brain so much, just use Aizen Sousuke the Younger’s self-serving logic and say he was cheating by having a third member he didn’t announce. You win no matter what they do. That’s what I would call “checkmate.” If you know your opponent is going to make a billion stupid assumptions about your mindset and plans, use that to your advantage.
  • Why put Lisa on a plane unattended where she could easily get off had she had functional grey matter? Why not just capture her and use her as a hostage? Or kill her to make her an example and blame it on Sphinx? Say she found one of those other bombs by accident and foolishly tried to disable it in a naive act of heroism, thus painting Sphinx as the brutal terrorists they almost are anyway. Seriously, this is Subterfuge 101, here. Did you skip that class too?
  • Predict that your foes, being skilled in electronic warfare, might think about infiltrating the server room and secure it before they ever get the chance. Derp.
  • Notice with your insane genius brain the security footage was changed instantly, as opposed to five minutes later for some reason we call “Shitty Writing.”
  • Capture your foes right after they leave the airport when you know exactly where they are.

Shibazaki, you’re not guiltless here either:

  • Call in an anonymous bomb threat to the local authorities, thus forcing an evacuation of the airport. This bypasses any political strings the Evil Americans can pull and drastically reduces the gravity of the situation.
  • If that doesn’t work, point out the strange messages being flashed on screen–which would unnerve everyone in the airport anyway–and get your fellows to set off mass panic.
  • When you figure out the terrorists or whoever are planning to ram a bomb-laden airplane into the terminal, get one of your people to set off mass panic so people leave. I’m pretty sure people will catch on that the plane heading straight for the terminal with no guidance is bad and should be avoided.
  • If you have a visual on one of the terrorists on a particular vehicle at a particular geographical location, call it in via the control tower and tell people to secure that vehicle and to lockdown the airport–which would be happening automatically after a plane exploded on the goddamn runway. Then you can apprehend them and put an end to the whole mess.

My only explanation is that everyone in this show is addicted to stupid pills.

Sword Art Online II – 7

This image sums up thSILLY.SEX-IS-GROSSe entire status of Kirito and Asuna’s relationship. It’s been seven episodes and I still don’t know why these two attractive young teenagers aren’t fucking like rabbits in a meadow. It probably has something to do with Japanese culture and its severe, crippling allergy to all things mildly related to realistic physical and emotional intimacy between people, opting instead to harp on the same three or four tired lines we’ve all heard before. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away: Sinon, you might want to kinda give the guy who obviously really cares about you a mature answer. No, you don’t have to like him back, but you could at least address the elephant in the room head on instead of doing what every other female anime protagonist has ever done, i.e., brush it off with an embarrassed chuckle. You don’t have many friends; it’s probably not a good idea to treat your most dedicated one like crap. Can’t you hear the red alert sirens going off? This is going to come back and bite you in the ass. The anime you’re in isn’t exactly pushing the bounds of creativity here. Jilted companion + mysterious group of villains = bad mojo.

Sigh. I really am sick to death of this aspect of Japanese culture. Really, I am. The stereotypes and cliches are more worn down than Asuna’s vibrator. Sure, occasionally we get something like 5 cm per second that depicts the Japanese perspective on relationships, but I’ve never seen some popular Japanese media actually criticize the way the Japanese deal with the topic of sex and physical intimacy. Believe you me, it is beyond twisted and monstrously unhealthy. Before ye mindless Japanophiles prate on about how the Japanese aren’t as prude as Americans and blah blah blah and how refreshing that is, I’m going to break this down a little bit with a giant sledge hammer: you are fucking wrong. The Japanese are less prudish about depicting nudity, that’s true; at everything else relating to sex and physical intimacy between human beings, they suck balls. Japanese culture makes a goddamn profession out of being terrible at depicting realistic relationships with realistic challenges–be they physical, mental, emotional, etc.–that occur in them. Due to its culture’s debilitating obsession with saving face for no good reason whatsoever, Japanese media shies away from this more vehemently than Ebola.

Let me drive this point home. When was the last time you saw in an anime any of the following:

  • A normal, stable couple depicted without any cliched romantic stereotypes, off-the-wall mental problems, or other horrible conditions used to fuel a plot about them?
    • When was the last time you saw such a couple have sex?
      • Was that sex actually shown onscreen?
      • When was that sex merely hinted at or disguised with some really thin euphemism that was played straight nevertheless?
    • When was the last time you saw that couple fight or discuss problems in a straightforward, mature manner? Dramatic elements are not the issue. Did they actually directly address what was going on between them?
  • A couple go through a breakup that was depicted onscreen?
    • Did they discuss this in a mature way? Even if it were comedic, did the anime try to touch on a few themes or elements seriously? (Something that happens regularly even in the most shallow American TV.)
  • Young protagonists with parents that are both alive, active in their children’s lives, yet dealing with troubles that do not include severe mental derangement or some other horrific conditions?
  • Gay people.
  • Gay people depicted as normal, healthy individuals? (Stop laughing.)
  • A gay relationship depicted in detail as normal, healthy, and praiseworthy? (I mean it. This is serious.)

In comparison, when was the last time you saw in an anime any of the following:

  • Boobies.
    • But no actual tits or vaginas.
  • Highly sexualized school girl uniforms.
  • Swimsuit episodes.
  • Harems.
  • Magical girls.
  • Any female over thirty that isn’t a total bitch or otherwise a terrible person.
  • Highly effeminate yet-totally-not-gay people who are insulting stereotypes.
  • Lecherous men whose noses have more blood than the rest of their bodies.
  • Extremely shy guys who have to eventually blurt out their feelings to a woman who just doesn’t get it because women are stupid. (See above.)
  • Asshole men with hearts of gold who can’t admit their feelings about a woman ever.
  • Oblivious men who take two hundred fucking episodes to figure out they really like the female protagonist, but only to get married to. (I’m looking at you, Rurouni Kenshin.)
  • Women who say no, but really, really, really mean yes.

Weigh those on a scale. See what happens.

Oh, right. Back to the actual episode. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, that’s it. It was typical SAO filler. Kirito, you did the right thing. We’ve already been through this part of your emotional development. You killed people in SAO. You got over it. Let it go. Let it go. Can’t hold it back anymore…

(The moral of this post is that Japanese culture is really fucked up.)