Review-Roundup: Young Black Jack 03, Hidan no Aria AA 03

[C12] Hidan no Aria AA - 03.mp4 - 00001True love always starts with stalking the object of your love – according to Hidan no Aria AA.

This time I review:

Young Black Jack 03: Jack and whatever-her-name-is-girl have a little date in Jack’s rundown flat when they hear screams from a neighbor and investigate. After a bit back and forth it’s revealed that Jack’s neighbors are pesky pacifists who illegally try to help deserters from the American military. But one of the deserters has a bit of a problem, a medical problem, that is. The pacifists naturally force Jack to help them at gunpoint because really… pacifists are selfish bastards as Black Jack quickly realizes. Helping soldiers secretly escape from a war they should fight in just reeks of terrorism, don’t you think? Naturally Black Jack leaves the man to die but suddenly a ghostly doppelganger appears and urges him to save the man. But why should Black Jack use his genius-medical abilities to save a life if he hates pacifists so much…? Who knows why it is so important to save a life when you can, right…?! It’s a real nailbiter of a mystery, guys!

Hidan no Aria AA 03: There’s a little girl who likes her princes of the penis-less variety and said prince’s only wish is to be more girly. And thrown into the mix is a girl who’s as observant as a lemming – meaning you could trick her into jumping from a cliff. Of course, that’s the main-chara Akari and she tries her best to help the little girl get close to Raika who’s depressed about being so manly – while going to a school that wants her to be very manly. Look, the setting doesn’t matter. All that matters is to establish who wants to fuck who in this all-girls-setting.

Young Black Jack 03 Review:

[C12] Young Black Jack - 03.mp4 - 00004Young Black Jack is finally revealing the true face of pacifism!

Young Black Jack is shaping up to become one of those trainwrecks that is hard to believe. It’s one thing to see a failure and then list all the laziness and sloppiness of the storytelling but it’s another to witness the sort of failure that clearly had some level of passion as its foundation. This is a series about judgment and interestingly the judgment isn’t happening within the series but actually is predetermined by the writers. The scene that most emphasizes how much control the writers are exerting over this series is when Jack has a moment of doubt and an illusionary doppelganger suddenly appears to tell Jack what he should do. And you could say that the thinking-process of every character in this show is based on some illusory, aloof doppelganger that tells each character how and what to do.

The sort of subjective commentary is strongest whenever the series gets political. In the first episode, it was union-protestors, in the second episode it was the cult and in the third it was the anti-war-movement: In all three cases the series goes out of its way to alienate and villainize these people. And you know that the creative team behind this series has some strong opinions when fighting for non-mainstream-beliefs always seems to produce horrible people in the process. From the perspective of this series a union or an anti-war-protest are just different forms of cultists. More than that, these people are always fanatics who are more interested in their ideals than basic morality.

Of course, I’m not saying fanatics of any sort are great people no matter what their ideals are. The concept of a fanatic is someone who’s willing to sacrifice everything just so that he could fulfill his idealistic ambitions because in a fanatic’s mind the world will be perfect as long as everyone follows the same ideals as the fanatic. Where things get weird, though, is what this series has been singling out for this theme. I mean, unions and pacifists…? Really?! That’s the groups you use for examples of fanaticism? And of course in the second episode when the story focuses on an actual cult nobody criticizes them in the same way is it has been done with union-protestors and the pacifists.

With such unusual writing-decisions it isn’t very surprising of course that this whole episode ends up being another VERY bizarre affair. The Japanese pacifists want to help two American soldiers who deserted but one of them had a hemorrhage in his brain. Jack is willing to help but he hates the two pacifists because as I’ve said they’re fanatics. And the series REALLY wants you to hate the woman especially. They also add a little moment of her mumbling to herself as if she’s a crazy person. So, as you would expect, Jack leaves. Yep, he frigging leaves a man to die but that’s when he starts talking with himself. He’s crazy as well, I guess. And his doppelganger convinces him to go back to save the man. Of course the operation’s successful but as the American wakes up he tells the other deserter to call the embassy and tell them that he’s a CIA-agent. The other deserter naturally gets send back to Vietnam in an area with heavy combat and this American boss-man has taken notice of Jack’s genius-doctor-skills. Seriously, what the hell…?!

It also should be noted that this series is very concerned with realism. Yep, of all the things to be very particular about, it’s the medical stuff this series is simply obsessed with. The series constantly refers to the main-character as a genius but always takes its time to talk you through what he’s doing in an operation and also to remind you that other doctors could do this, too, and have done so before. Indeed, the second episode made a pretty big deal out of Jack maybe doing a procedure that’s very risky and could be considered revolutionary if it were successful. I assume that’s the part where the series tries to establish its prequel-status by reminding you that Black Jack is not yet the miraculous super-doctor he’s going to become at some point. Visually, though, the series doesn’t really have a knack for making all the medical stuff seem exciting. Since the series is decidedly “unbloody”, you’d think the series would try to cover this up with some artsy-fartsy shenanigans but barely anything of that sort is happening here. You got the whole thorny-vines-thingy going on but besides that the series looks very plain artistically. The medicine in this series is more or less just enabling the existence of overbearing exposition.

But knowing how crazy this series political sensitivity is, I’m really excited for the next episode. Because guess where Black Jack is going? Vietnam! This will be utterly ridiculous! There’s no way in hell this series won’t give us a really fucked up portrayal of the Vietnam-war.

Episode-Rating: 4.0/10

Hidan no Aria AA 03 Review:

[C12] Hidan no Aria AA - 03.mp4 - 00002This is Hidan no Aria AA turning its “the only kind of love is obsessive love”-theme into a comedy-bit… once again. You may say this indicates that this series is just trying to establish a running-joke but you gotta remember: This series has yet to present any other ideal of love so far. As far as this series is concerned it does seem like the only form of love.

I guess, some series are just comfortable with lounging around in their own circle of hell. There’s a girl A who’s obsessively stalking another girl B, check. Girl A wants to become Girl B’s Amica, check. Aria is trying to investigate Akari’s past without much success, check. There’s some fighting going whose outcome is as predictable as the rising of the sun, check. Look, I don’t know which harebrained hamster got trained to become a script-writer but I have to say: That hamster really knows how to make this whole “spinning in a treadmill”-experience come alive in this series.

The formulaic writing of the series seems genuinely uninspired. After all, it isn’t just that these three episodes managed to repeat themselves a lot with its storybeats but the overarching story has barely progressed as well. Also, the plothooks for the second and this episode appeared without any buildup. Shino seemed quite normal in the first place regarding her relationship with Akari and Raika has never shown any concern for her image before or has demonstrated the fact that she’s supposedly a good fighter. Instead of giving you the feeling that you learn more about the characters, it appears more like the writers are carelessly adding details to each character.

For three episodes this series has little to show for in the plot-department. The characterization is just a lame introduction of superficial details which don’t add any sort of depth to the respective characters. And story-wise there’s nothing going on to begin with. Of course, nothing happens when there actually isn’t a story. After three episodes Hidan no Aria AA has NO story! Even the simplest stuff like Akari trying to prove her worth to Aria has received NO development! What is even going on in this series at this point?! Where Young Black Jack makes you frown with the writers’ overbearing style, here you’re baffled by the writers’ apathy towards the series’ story. What is the point of this series? It just throws around these ideas that are so generic or superficial that they aren’t worth a piss. Even the dimwits who’re writing Aquarion Logos opened with a solid premise for the show – and afterwards started doing dumb, boring shit. Hidan no Aria AA started with the dumb, boring shit right away and there’s no end in sight.

It’s especially frustrating when on one hand you got moments like Akari following that dude from the first season. This is a golden opportunity to link the first season to the second, to let someone that the audience supposedly cares about say something about the current events of this second season. And what does the series do? It quickly turns a somewhat serious scene into slapstick and ditches any efforts to have a meaningful conversation. Akari even talks to Aria later and the latter’s like “Yeah, I just needed him for some information – but, as I said, this is none of your business because you’re too inexperienced (and because I don’t trust you).”. As I’ve said before, this whole “I don’t want you to get involved in serious business.”-thing is akin to the show shooting itself in the foot. This is a show where girls run around with guns in order to become super-police-women for fuck’s sake! This really isn’t the premise for some cutesy moe-bullshit-circle-jerk between lesbians. I mean, of course you can do that for all I care but why the hell would you do it in this setting?!

Imagine if someone had written K-ON! with no differences whatsoever – except the setting is the English punk-community of the 1980s. And then the show did nothing than reference that setting in passing while the actual plot was just about schoolgirls drinking tea and having fun. I mean, the level of disregard this show is presenting when it comes to its setting, it might as well be nonexistent. I would call it bad world-building but there isn’t really any sort of world-building happening here. It’s all just the reestablished leftovers from the first season – plus the whole Amica-contract-garbage, of course. The rest has just been lame character-stuff so far.

And if the previews the series continues its trend of bad writing by making the next episode about Akari facing the arrogant rich girl from the first episode again. Probably that episode will try to sell you the idea that Akari indeed has gotten better for some bullshit reason. Just this episode Aria reprimanded Akari for not having noticed her friend’s strange behavior and she realized that she indeed has been paying no attention to her friends for a really long time. But being observant on such a level is so basic that you need to be quite he sociopath to have need for a lecture in that subject. So like usual this series will just invent developments or add new information to the story that comes out of nowhere.

Episode-Rating: 5.0/10

About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on October 21, 2015, in Anime, Hidan No Aria AA, Reviews, Young Black Jack and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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