Anime roundup 12/1/2017: If I Only Had a Brain

bbk-21 BBK/BRNK #21 – Well, kids, it’s time we sat down and had a talk about James P. Hogan. Those of you following BBK/BRNK on Crunchyroll have seen that the official English translation of the subtitle for this half of the series is The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy, an obvious shout-out to Hogan’s The Gentle Giants of Ganymede. But I believe the thematic borrowing goes beyond the title.

For those who haven’t read the Giants trilogy, the relevant bit is that human intelligence evolved on the planet Minerva, after proto-humans were collected and experimented on by the native Minervans. Minerva later broke up to form the asteroid belt and Earth’s moon, and human refugees resettled Earth. In short, there would not be intelligent Earthlings if not for alien meddling.

In this episode, it’s revealed that the buranki have affected human evolution by conferring, through some kind of symbiosis or horizontal gene transfer, the ability to generate and control Rinzu. But it goes beyond that.

After being absorbed by Epimew kills Leticia, Guy comments that perhaps a human brain isn’t suited to running a buranki. This means a normal human brain can’t. But there happens to be someone available who is wired quite differently from a normal human. And who, coincidentally, has a quite spectacular ability with Rinzu, and seems to be able to detect some kind of communication between humans and their bubuki that most people can’t.

The implication is that Shizuru is more buranki than most humans are – but also that the buranki contribution affects human brain development, and that, as in the Giants books, humans in general owe what they are to the buranki.

(Crunchyroll — AnimeLabADN)

orphans-34 Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans #34 – Orga’s deal with Fareed causes some consternation at Teiwaz headquarters. The Godfather McMurdo is willing to let it proceed only at arm’s length due to the risk. Naze, despite his words of caution, is all in with Orga. The English translation of Naze’s parting shot simply implies that his life is at risk, but what he actually said was that if Tekkadan fails, he’s going to commit ritual suicide.

Jasley is being set up as the guy who’s going to throw a monkey wrench into the works by helping out the opposing Gjallarhorn faction. He’s going to do it because he has Teiwaz’s best interests at heart, but just so he doesn’t get too sympathetic, he gets to establish himself as a specific type of misogynist as well.

Meanwhile, romance seems to be breaking out everywhere. Julieta thinks that “Vidar” is a fine figure of a man when he’s fighting, Lafter is definitely pining for Akihiro, and Merribit is dating…Yukinojo?! Chad’s reaction is a fair stand-in for yours truly along with the many other viewers who were sure she was going to be married to Orga by the end of the series.

(Daisuki — AnimeLab)

cheating-8 Cheating Craft #8 – Taking a break from the ludicrous tests for an episode, Cheating Craft instead provides a parody of the Series Of Numbered Trials martial-arts training trope. While Kō is kept as a helpless prisoner, forced to eat delicious food and watch videos of hot shirtless guys, Mumei must summon all his strength to endure a series of extremely mild challenges and level up his technique.

I do miss the ludicrous tests, but this was a pretty good episode anyway. Props to the opening-credits director for finding a way to gracefully fit last week’s proctor into the group photo of all the ones so far.

I will also admit to being a little disappointed that the “sorting” challenge for learning to conjure fire did not involve become the martial-arts version of Maxwell’s Demon.

(Crunchyroll)

raising-9 Magical Girl Raising Project #9 – Mostly this episode is a chronicle of deaths foretold. Top Speed had brought up the six months thing so often that she was guaranteed not to make it. Nana’s suicide is the traditional outcome for lesbians in anime. No diversity points for you, Magical Girl Raising Project.

No surprise either that Fav immediately announces there will be a second round of eliminations. Who’s likely to make it to the final four? Snow White pretty much has to. The opening credit sequence implies a major role for Ripple that we haven’t seen yet (that’s her hand holding Snow White’s near the start of it). Swim Swim and Cranberry look like the other two to beat. That means Tama, Minael, and the seemingly unkillable Hardgore Alice would have to go.

Minael’s announcement that she’s found a way they can kill someone means she probably heard something while being carried by Alice. That means either she found out that Snow White has no particular fighting ability, or that Alice has a previously unrevealed vulnerability.

(Crunchyroll)

izetta-9 Izetta: The Last Witch #9 – The basic idea behind the process used to produce clones today has in fact been around since the 1930s, it just took a few decades to get the hang of it. In this alternate timeline, Germanian scientists are able to grow a new body just fine, only it doesn’t have any intelligence or personality (insert joke about stereotypical female characters here). Primed with magical blood, though, in the finest tradition of B-movie horror, it becomes an evil monster primed with genetic memories and a thirst for more blood.

Things were going so well, they were bound to take a turn for the worse somehow. But in one moment Eylstadt has gone from proud holdout to utter catastrophe. Landsbruck has fallen and Finé is implied to have been injured or killed.

Oh, all right, I expect she’s fine and we’ll see her and Izetta enjoying the “hospitality” of the kaiser next time.

(Crunchyroll)

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