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EP. REVIEW: Sakugan


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wacclay



Joined: 16 Oct 2021
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:28 pm Reply with quote
"There's been an influx of single father anime the last few years"

Clearly I have missed them. The only ones that I am aware of are at best caretaker/surrogate father stories like "If It is For My Daughter I Would Defeat A Demon Lord", "Somali and the Forest Spirit", "Alice to Zouroku" and "Poco's Udon World." That plus "Sweetness and Lightning" - a story with an actual biological or adoptive dad - doesn't make a lot. Quite the contrary, anime like Pokemon, Made In Abyss, A Place Further than the Universe, My Hero Academia, Wonder Egg Priority etc. where the protagonist's father is rarely if ever mentioned or thought of, are far more common.

To give you an example this column "Top Five Heartwarming Father/Daughter Anime" by Reel Rundown ... 2 of them are 10 or more years old and only one - the aforementioned Sweetness and Lightning - is an actual father. In another - Barakmon - the girl doesn't even live with the guy!

One of my peeves with anime is that anime dads are more likely to be abusive sociopaths like Gendo Ikari and Degwin Zabi or "rarely present physically and even less emotionally salarymen than actual positive figures in their children's lives. (And then you have an atrocity like Orange where a "father" chooses to give up his child's existence - essentially killing his son - so that his wife can be happy with another guy). So, I would be interested in seeing this list of positive anime single fathers. Even if Sakugan - which depicts a father who cannot properly discipline or control his daughter - really doesn't qualify. And no, neither does pedo-ecchi-incest subtext "Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai!" or "big brother raises kids" shows like "School Babysitters" either. In other words "male raising child" does not equate to "father." In addition to big brothers like "School Babysitters", we all know that "Usagi Drop" and "Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai!" gives us very clear examples why.
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q_3



Joined: 02 Sep 2015
Posts: 52
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 2:57 pm Reply with quote
You may have missed Gymnastics Samurai, which stars a single father. Let's Make a Mug Too has a single father, though it's his daughter who's the protagonist. In "adoptive grandfather" territory there's also Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun.
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Dayraven



Joined: 21 Jul 2021
Posts: 81
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
That plus "Sweetness and Lightning" - a story with an actual biological or adoptive dad - doesn't make a lot.

Kakushigoto can go on that list — biological parent, and despite a bee in his bonnet about hiding his job from his daughter, pretty positive.
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BaronViolet



Joined: 27 May 2018
Posts: 121
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 3:06 pm Reply with quote
Usagi drop anime is better than manga. And since you are so demonising on single dads in anime here you go:
Ishin Kurosaki from Bleach

The dad from sweetness and lighting
Dr Hirluk from OP (adopted still 4 me)

The grandfather of Itadori from JJK

I think your issue is you haven't watched enough anime




[/quote]
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Yttrbio
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Joined: 09 Jun 2011
Posts: 3489
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Matoi the Sacred Slayer is single dad + magical girl.

I found this show to be a less-gripping version of a setup that's been done a bunch of times before, without any real point of traction. It doesn't have the terrifying beauty of Made in Abyss, the over-the-top attitude of Gurren Lagann, or the actual sense of not-belonging of Eureka Seven. I guess I'm supposed to find the action or the banter fun, but... I just don't.
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wacclay



Joined: 16 Oct 2021
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:12 pm Reply with quote
@BaronViolet:

Not demonising, just pointing out a pet peeve. It is the equivalent of the anti-fanservice campaign that literally every American site that discusses anime has been on for years now. I will grant you Jujutsu Kaisen, but I will argue that it is just another purposefully subverted or inverted trope that the series is famous for. Bleach was from 2001: literally 3 anime epochs ago and the same with One Piece. (Plus Kurosaki was a manchild.) If you are going to list those you might as well list Bulma's father from Dragon Ball. And you are helping prove my point in that it isn't depicted often.

@Dayraven:

Kakushigoto is a great example, thanks!

@q_3:

Gymnastics Samurai is another great example, thank you! However, Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun sadly is another example of "horrible biological dad" just like Hayate the Combat Butler back in the day so at best it's a wash. However, Wise Man's Grandchild is a better example, and your mention of Iruma-kun made me remember it.

So, we got Kakushigoto, Gymnastics Samurai (where akin to Tiger & Bunny the dad is single for slash ship purposes with his costar) and my own example of Wise Man's Grandchild. Add it to Sakugan and that makes 4. (And it requires ignoring that Sakugan is not a good role model for single dads.) 4 anime in over 3 years does not make a trend. Especially considering the counterpart - horrible or absent dads - occurs 10 times as much.
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John the Dark Lord



Joined: 19 Jun 2020
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:26 pm Reply with quote
wacclay wrote:
One of my peeves with anime is that anime dads are more likely to be abusive sociopaths like Gendo Ikari and Degwin Zabi


I know this is a nitpick in the bigger picture of your post, but how is Degwin Zabi an abusive sociopath? Sure, Gundam never gives us details of the childhood of the Zabi children, but what we do get to see, in both the original show and The Origin, is that he deeply loved his youngest son Garma and was devasted by his death. His relationship with his elder son Ghiren is terrible indeed, but would you still love your children if they become the second coming of Hitler? Even if you go beyond his family relationships, the show also spells out that most of Zeon's war crimes are on Ghiren and Kycillia, not on Degwin, who doesn't have any real power anymore.

Frankly, your comments seems unearned.
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wacclay



Joined: 16 Oct 2021
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:37 pm Reply with quote
Yttrbio wrote:
Matoi the Sacred Slayer is single dad + magical girl.

I found this show to be a less-gripping version of a setup that's been done a bunch of times before, without any real point of traction. It doesn't have the terrifying beauty of Made in Abyss, the over-the-top attitude of Gurren Lagann, or the actual sense of not-belonging of Eureka Seven. I guess I'm supposed to find the action or the banter fun, but... I just don't.


Matoi's dad - workaholic so the girl is essentially raised by grandparents so she doesn't respect him or even address him properly - is another example of what I am talking about.

In fairness, Made In Abyss was merely a very beautifully animated slice of life show with a bit of romance spoiler[(which went nowhere fast)], mystery, treasure-hunting and sci-fi elements until 1/4 way through. I disagree with those who claim that it doesn't get good until Nanachi appears, but it is CLEARLY a different show after episode 5.

Also, Gurren Lagaan is "typical mecha shounen" plus Kamina's screaming like Asta for the first arc. Eureka Seven unfolds even more slowly - though in fairness it DID have a lot more episodes - but even there it was episode 3 before the MC gets a mecha and learns his costar's name. Also, while NGE was jaw-dropping from episode 1, you don't get how much this show is going to subvert 80s/90s mecha tropes until the end of episode 3, you don't even really meet Rei until episode 5, and then pretty much every single thing you THOUGHT you knew about the show changes AGAIN with the ending scene of episode 8 (when Asuka displaces Misato and Rei as girl #1 and takes everything to a new level of crazy). Meanwhile, Deca-Dence and Darling in the Franxx, which we THOUGHT were going to be classics based on the early episodes, turned out to be ... not.

So that type of evaluation at this stage is quite a bit unfair.
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Yttrbio
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Joined: 09 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 6:22 pm Reply with quote
wacclay wrote:
Matoi's dad - workaholic so the girl is essentially raised by grandparents so she doesn't respect him or even address him properly - is another example of what I am talking about.
I guess I don't know how meaningfully different it is to Sakugan. Yes, their relationship is not perfect, but that's what makes for an interesting show. He's not a terrible human being like some of the examples you are referencing.

wacclay wrote:
So that type of evaluation at this stage is quite a bit unfair.
I'm not sure I agree, but fundamentally, there's not much about Sakugan that sets it apart from Deca-Dence, which is why I'm not expecting much. I didn't think Deca-Dence was going to be a classic, because I used exactly the same evaluation for it that I did for Sakugan.
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:03 pm Reply with quote
Interesting discussion, people, but we need to get back to the topic: Sakugan.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9967
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:14 pm Reply with quote
wacclay wrote:
"There's been an influx of single father anime the last few years"

Clearly I have missed them.

I'll add Jōichirō Yukihira from Food Wars to the list of pretty good single dads (at least for most of Soma's childhood). Also, I'd say Iruma-kun's biological parents are horrible, not just his father. Equal opportunity abusers.

I had to chuckle when reading your post because you have a counterpart in ErikaD.D, who regularly complains about the dead mother-single father trope in anime and manga. Should you two compare notes, you might both find that things are more balanced than either of you think. Smile You also might find the brief discussion in this thread interesting.

At any rate, there does seem to be a perception that mothers tend to be dead in anime, as Lauren Orsini noted in her opening to 7 Awesome Anime Moms Who Are Miraculously Still Alive.
Lauren wrote:
If being an anime fan has taught me anything about being a mom it's this: don't give birth to a protagonist. The anime mom mortality rate is so disturbingly high that it's incredible I decided to take the risk. Now that my first Mother's Day is rolling around, I'm hoping to take some lessons from anime to ensure that I can survive until my second.


(missed Errinundra's post while writing)

I thought it was weird how Memempu seemed to just forget about her dad when she leapt into the abyss, and started happily exploring like there wasn't a kaiju up top still attacking him. It didn't feel like she was in any hurry to find a way out that he could jump down and follow her or to go back up to do something to rescue him. Maybe I just didn't understand her thinking when she jumped.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:28 pm Reply with quote
I didn't notice. Looks other way. Whistles.

Seriously, we need to move on.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 2600
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:29 pm Reply with quote
While I wouldn't say I'm not enjoying the show, I hope it gets a bit more interesting in the next episode or two, otherwise I might drop this. I just don't find the quest of heading to the Tokyo Skytree look-a-like tower to be that interesting and Memempu has been a bit annoying to watch.
I thought that killing off the other pair in the first episode was setting a certain tone, but so far it seems like that was just for a one time shock.
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Eric Bone



Joined: 25 Oct 2021
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:32 pm Reply with quote
I'm came here all excited to talk about Sakugan and of course the whole forum's nitpicking one line about father-daughter anime. There's so much depth and potential for discussion that's being wasted here. Can't y'all go do this with Platinum End or something?

Anyway, great review of a great show. I've been hyped for this show since it's premiere, but it wasn't until the 3rd episode that it really hit me why the show is so special. Comparing it to Gurren Lagann might seem really obvious with all the mechas and the themes of adventure, but the thing about Sakugan is that it hits all of those things at a completely different angle then Gurren did. Gurren was all about overcoming fear and obstacles with your own willpower and self confidence, but Sakugan looks at the struggle of determining whether you should fight those things in the first place. The fear that holds you back from chasing dreams and the sense of danger that keeps you alive come from the same place, so the fact that the one of the leads is a 9-year old genius with over-developed self confidence and underdeveloped sense of danger, while the other is a man who's clearly lost people close to him and now has ride with his daughter as a passenger is getting my expectations crazy high for where this one's gonna go. Plus all the music slaps. And I'd skip a full day's meals before I skip that OP. And there were Capybara's in the 3rd episode so it's already AOTS
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jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 1531
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 7:24 pm Reply with quote
To be fair, there's nothing deep enough to talk about yet.

Seems like a fairly typical show with above board production.

Not great. Not bad. Better than average thus far... I'll keep watching it, but I'm not eagerly anticipating the next episode. Maybe that'll change as the world expands.

The Daddy-daughter thing is alright so far. I think there's more to what happened to mother than the show's letting on...
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