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EP. REVIEW: Kageki Shoujo!!


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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1936
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:10 pm Reply with quote
I personally liked how the anime tackled the abuse Ai went through, subtly condemning it through its framing and atmosphere but not going farther than it did, though I've been seeing others claim that the anime handled it badly. I heard one person say that KS only throws in Ai being abused as a cheap way to exclusively make Ai afraid of men and claim that the series tries to shame her for hating men and for her trauma, even though I never got that vibe from the way the manga handled it. I've seen others decry it for even having Ai be sexually abused at all, in the vein of "How dare this anime show a child being sexually abused?!"...while forgetting stuff like Redo of Healer exists (An example of how to do it badly and in an edgy way). And need we forget the abomination airing right now that is Mother of the Goddess Dormitory??? Then again, you can't please everyone no matter how well someone write serious issues, apparently.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 3063
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:39 pm Reply with quote
Well that escalated quickly! I'm mostly fine with what they did with episode 3, except for one part, the uncle. The show seems to portray him as a an all around good guy, but to me his action seem more consistent with someone who's only humoring Ai and not really believing her. If a kid is obviously freaking out and asking for a freaking lock on her door, you don't just give her a lock, you call child protective custody and you do everything in your power to take her away from that environment! How's a lock going to protect her at all time? Similarly later in the story she again is obviously freaked out by a potential stalker (who may hold a personal grudge against her) and his solution is to... have her walk home with a friend?! Dude, campus security, you're a freaking teacher, act like one! Hopefully this will be addressed later on but it really doesn't seem like it.

Otherwise if I was a parent I sure wouldn't my daughter to go that institution, not only are the upper classmate uppity bitch but so are the teacher apparently? They're acting real big for something that's a ultimately a very small and niche world. I'm also not sure how the school even work, you have kids from many different age (some not even having finished high school) in the same year. Does that mean they literally receive no education outside of theater? I guess that would explain why everyone seem to be so intent on finishing first, everybody who don't make it would essentially become high school dropout with no real life prospect... Terrible system.
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Violet Park



Joined: 18 Jul 2018
Posts: 96
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:25 pm Reply with quote
I haven't watched episode 3 and I'm kind of dreading it. I love the show so far, it reminds me of Revue Starlight with more focus in real world problems like eating disorders and explotations of young performers but I think I'll have to press forward a lot in that episode.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 912
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:34 pm Reply with quote
Copying myself from another thread, I do have issues with Ai's storyline, which is a pity because I do think that the writer's intentions are good, and the messages they're going for are also good, but they just don't work with this context and this execution. It makes me think they didn't really think it all through.

Copying myself from another thread (spoilers for what I guess will be content in episode 4): (...) my problem is not with the anime so far, it's with the way the stalker plotline goes in the manga, specifically about how its various aspects play out, re: the stalker spoiler[and his intentions and how he's not really a bad guy,] and how we see Ai "overreacting" to some guys trying to pick her up, etc. I know the intention is showing how Ai's trauma and her feeling of being alone to deal with it have consumed her life and led her to internalize it and close herself up to the whole world in defence (or at least I hope that is the intention), but still the whole thing has an overtone of also chiding Ai for automatically assuming the worst about all men "just because" she was sexually assaulted by one.

There's also the problem of how her uncle must have had at least a good hunch of what was happening, but didn't push the issue any further than what we've seen, which is treated as him having done enough... even though it's not really enough, if you have a suspicion that your niece is constantly in the company of a predator. It also treats the whole stalker issue in a way that I feel is really glib, spoiler[ taking a very serious issue re: creepy fans and stalkers (who are not just a problem for idols, by the way) and saying "see, he's kind of creepy but he didn't have bad intentions, so don't assume the worst about others"...]

Anyway, I hope the anime will be done with this plotline in the next episode, and we can move on to better stuff.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3767
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:19 pm Reply with quote
I see this is going to be one of those shows where I watch in my own little bubble with my own readings. For me, the Wham bit wasn't episode 3, it was in episode 2 when Sarasa declared "I'm glad I was born a girl." It made me think at least twice of what I just saw before and what came after it. I'm 100% completely off base but at the same time... "I'm glad I was born a girl." So, someone contested it?

And 15 is that sweet spot so that's no help. And the story says Ai doesn't like guys? Story, you're not helping me. Does it matter? No, it's just nagging me. It's not the height, it's not the attitude, it's not the insistence to play the lead female role; It's her grandparents, it's her male childhood friend. My first thought "Oh, her grandfather's going to be protective of her... and he wasn't. He's quite happy she got in. Huh, different." A later flashback showed her grandmother yelling her head off. So it was the grandmother...? And her male friend is off no help as he misses her in an abstract way

I didn't have questions about Ai's androphobia but I did question why someone such inflicted would do Idol meet and greets. But to me, Sarasa's the bigger mystery, especially in those sudden moments when she drops her genki act.

Like I said, 100% completely off base. But I also can't stop seeing it.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:36 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
I personally liked how the anime tackled the abuse Ai went through, subtly condemning it through its framing and atmosphere but not going farther than it did, though I've been seeing others claim that the anime handled it badly. I heard one person say that KS only throws in Ai being abused as a cheap way to exclusively make Ai afraid of men and claim that the series tries to shame her for hating men and for her trauma, even though I never got that vibe from the way the manga handled it. I've seen others decry it for even having Ai be sexually abused at all, in the vein of "How dare this anime show a child being sexually abused?!"...while forgetting stuff like Redo of Healer exists (An example of how to do it badly and in an edgy way). And need we forget the abomination airing right now that is Mother of the Goddess Dormitory??? Then again, you can't please everyone no matter how well someone write serious issues, apparently.


Compared to how other anime have handled stuff like this (so I've heard) it was pretty mild, though obviously no less traumatic for Ai. Being nothing more graphic than spoiler[an unwanted kiss] and showing us her real feelings and how she reacted is, IMO, a lot better way to discuss serious issues like this and create empathy for her and for people this happens to in real life than something on the level of Goblin Slayer (which I have not watched, only heard about).
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Folcwine P. Pywackett



Joined: 21 Feb 2017
Posts: 31
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:38 pm Reply with quote
Was not really prepared for EP3. As soon as I saw the direction that it was heading, began looking for the Fast Forward button. This is a very Dark Episode, far darker than I had expected this series to visit.spoiler[The abuse is rather more intense and especially imagining being put in this girl's place, with some creepy dude outside my bedroom door, horror movie scary!! And her mother is the very worst. While the uncle comes across as ok, he certainly could have done far more to protect her both at home and at school, as others have noted. Hopefully more positive themes will surface as we move forward]
As for the Yuri, well this means many things to many blogs, websites, and people. After all MAL calls "Bloom into You" Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo Ai . Even ANN calls it Theme: Yuri and not genre. So what does Yuri mean? other than a Lily or a common girls name in Japan!? One person's slang is not another's. Some even call Yuri Hentai!
If Sarasa and Ai can just achieve some level of closeness, intimacy, and affection for and with each other, even though it might be friend zone, then this commenter will be more than satisfied. A beautiful Sormance is as good as a Romance. The joy of a good love story is the journey.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:42 pm Reply with quote
Folcwine P. Pywackett wrote:
As for the Yuri, well this means many things to many blogs, websites, and people. After all MAL calls "Bloom into You" Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo Ai . Even ANN calls it Theme: Yuri and not genre. So what does Yuri mean? other than a Lily or a common girls name in Japan!? One person's slang is not another's. Some even call Yuri Hentai!

That's why I like Anime Planet. They tag obvious girl/girl romance as "GL" (girls' love) so audiences who want real romance know what to look for. (Boy/boy romance is "BL," and the way they use "shounen/shoujo-ai" vs. "yaoi/yuri" depends on how sexy the material is)
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 912
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:41 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
I see this is going to be one of those shows where I watch in my own little bubble with my own readings. For me, the Wham bit wasn't episode 3, it was in episode 2 when Sarasa declared "I'm glad I was born a girl." It made me think at least twice of what I just saw before and what came after it. I'm 100% completely off base but at the same time... "I'm glad I was born a girl." So, someone contested it?

Honestly, you're reading too much into this, it's just clunky translation either because the translator didn't understand what she meant, or because they were trying too hard to make a difficult to translate line stand on its own. What Sarasa says is essentially "I couldn't do it if I was a boy, but fortunately I'm a girl" - and she basically means that playing Oscar is something she can do because she's a girl. She wouldn't be allowed to play Oscar is she was a guy; as it is, there are things she isn't allowed to do because she's not a guy. But since she's a girl she can have this.
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4794
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:22 pm Reply with quote
SHD wrote:

Honestly, you're reading too much into this, it's just clunky translation either because the translator didn't understand what she meant, or because they were trying too hard to make a difficult to translate line stand on its own. What Sarasa says is essentially "I couldn't do it if I was a boy, but fortunately I'm a girl" - and she basically means that playing Oscar is something she can do because she's a girl. She wouldn't be allowed to play Oscar is she was a guy; as it is, there are things she isn't allowed to do because she's not a guy. But since she's a girl she can have this.


I think you’re both right. Animegomaniac caught on to the foreshadowing of Sarasa’s backstory, but they're just thinking it's something else. They'll show Sarasa’s backstory which it looks like the anime will cover soon enough if their pacing continues. I saw nothing wrong with the line as it was presented. I read it as your interpretation.
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Bayuro2.0



Joined: 08 Jul 2020
Posts: 41
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:04 pm Reply with quote
The shocking revelation on Ai's past reminds me how shocking the Wandering Witch episode 9 was.
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1dbad



Joined: 12 Jul 2015
Posts: 596
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:46 pm Reply with quote
Given the rate they're adapting the manga at, I wonder how deep into the series they'll get? 3 episodes in and we're already surprisingly far into The Curtain Rises, which makes me wonder if the anime might cover some of the sequel series material as well.
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Tanteikingdomkey



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 2215
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 11:23 pm Reply with quote
SOOOO Time to do this post.

While I did not have a same reaction or situation to AI....I absolutely related to and her in a very real way. Most series try their darndest to either write around while bringing it up...Or use it in.....(stares at goblin slayer & Dan machi) Less then respectful and responsible ways. This show really does understand and communicate very well, the thoughts and feelings for someone that age going through that incident.

Basically turning the anime into what some called horror movie for that flash back, I think was the right call. I also REALLY want to the thank the author of this for showing what a "SMALL INCIDENT" to a lot of people in the real world and even to some people in the story feels like and puts you through.

That level of fear and revulsion is very true to life. The response people have to it is also very true to life as well. A lot of people when you explain that sort of situation to them REALLY DO act like that. That is one of the major reason why people don't want to talk about the specifics of what happened, yes a major part of it is not wanting to relieve it, but you would be shocked how many people will start the "you are over reacting" or "you must have just misremembered/assumed something situation" and that can hurt almost as much as the original incident did.

Ai's morphing from the perfect little daughter to the character, we meet in episode 1 makes a lot of sense because the show properly explains what emotions the incident triggered and what caused her to stop forcing herself to try to be a good little girl for her mother.

That level of overwhelming terror, and disgust while it does of course calm down over time isn't something that ever really goes away without a lot of help and work that she is flat out not getting. I fully put this on her mother, there is a lot we can say based on the episode, however I do want to highlight something. A) He, would only make these sort of comments and actions when they were alone together B) Her mom stays with the guy afterwards and is still lives with them, or at least is still involved in her life to some extent C) there was not a...notable follow up incident. This leads me to assume that what the uncle was able to do was successful, in at the very least forcing, him, to not go after Ai anymore.

I know a lot of people are upset with her uncle, as well as her mother, but Honestly he is probably doing the best he can (in modern japan). I do get where people are coming from, but I really think he is actually trying to help her, rather then just humoring her.

First off, AI is VERY MUCH under the control of her mother. She has sole authority over all medical (including a types of therapy most likely) over her daughter. This is an extremely huge barrier to him doing almost any major treatment with her, that she really needs.

Second, while he is not able to actually to actually solve the issue, he does give her the next best thing. That he is able to give her an out, and let her escape the situation and feel like she has any power over her life at all is a MAJOR victory, and something she desperately needed. The uncle giving her, his house key, more then likely lead to how she is constantly only trying to escape from situations. for example basically all interactions with men and Sarasa. just teaching her that much probably saved her from suicide.

Third this one is only a theory on my part, but he is more then likely the one who made Sarasa, Ai's roommate. It was probably his way of trying to force down some of her walls and make her open up to someone. It could just be the writer wanted to show Sarasa almost literally beating down Ai's walls, But I also think it is something that her uncle would actually do, and try to force onto her. Which is it's own can of worms, but I will get to that...

Yes I know some people will probably have lengthy post about the next episode as well (the stalker), and I will as well...But I will say that AI has very obviously developed some problematic ways to try and handle the fallout from the incident, but I want to wait till next week when it is better suited to that episodes content.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 912
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 3:07 am Reply with quote
littlegreenwolf wrote:
I think you’re both right. Animegomaniac caught on to the foreshadowing of Sarasa’s backstory, but they're just thinking it's something else. They'll show Sarasa’s backstory which it looks like the anime will cover soon enough if their pacing continues. I saw nothing wrong with the line as it was presented. I read it as your interpretation.

I'm reading the manga, I know Sarasa's backstory. Smile It's just that checking the subtitles, that line does come across as weird and potentially misleading.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 660
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:37 pm Reply with quote
I watched the three episodes and this anime surprised in many ways.
For now I'm watching for Sarasa.

That being said... that uncle is a big baka, isn't he? He just gave Ai a key and that's it? After all these years? And now that the girl grew to become dependent of him besides her trauma he just thinks she needs friends? "What's wrong with him?".
Curiously, after the first half of the their episode, the second half and the end of it seems to be suggesting that her otaku fan it's actually "innocent" and it's concerned for causing her being expelled from the group? Feels like he will do what he uncle should be doing, help her overcome her trauma in some way, that she doesn't need to fear men to the point of panic attacks and I hope, instead of run she should act denouncing the creepers.
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