Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cabbage Project: Yoakena 7

Wait--why am I using a quill pen in the future, can't someone get me a freaking ThinkPad?

Feena moves out of the Asagiri house to the Lunar Embassy, supposedly temporarily, so she can focus more on her official duties. For the next week, Feena and Tatsuya don't get to see each other, with Feena trying to focus on work but still thinking about Tatsuya, and Tatsuya feeling down and slipping up at school and his part-time job. Feena comes back briefly one day and her and Tatsuya are happy to see each other--but The Bad Guy, Jurgen, from a powerful anti-Earth faction on the Moon, appears, calling Feena his fiancee. After an icy exchange between Feena and Jurgen, Feena tells Tatsuya she declined his proposal before leaving the Moon, but she ends up heading back to the Embassy. Natsuki gives Tatsuya a pep talk, and Tatsuya realizes he does like Feena romantically--he hurries to the Embassy, manages to meet with Feena and in the end dramatically confesses to her that he likes her.

This episode would get five stars from me, with the drama picking up and the 'a princess shouldn't run away' line from Tatsuya right before the confession--if not for the animation being horrifically bad the second half. The first half looked perfectly good, but right after the commercial break Team Cabbage rises from the depths of Hell and ruins some good dramatic scenes by making the whole cast look like they've been beaten with a fugly stick. Forget trying to read the expressions on people's faces--they all look like they've just been lobotomized. Again, they supposedly corrected all this on the DVD, and if this ever makes it to region 1 I'm buying, but the TV version is horrible.
Aside from that, we do get some good moments--Tatsuya may be a commoner without any special abilities of his own, but he definitely has guts. Mad props to him for not being a spineless male lead and just sulking and/or letting Feena kokuhaku first. They also did a good job showing how Feena and Tatsuya are trying to put some distance between each other for the Greater Good, but they both can't help thinking about each other anyway.
The Bad Guy, Jurgen, is your typical Bad Guy stereotype--you don't see WHY he hates the Earth, and I think if we got a little more background on his character and motivations he'd be a more convincing nemesis. One of my English teachers once told me there was nothing easier than writing bad guys who were completely evil, but they were also the least convincing--it's better to show the reader (or viewer) WHY they are the way they are. It's a short series, it's true, but a few minutes showing his father telling him horror stories about how evil the Earth was, or his dog getting run over by an Earthling, or something would have helped.

The Good
- Good development of Feena and Tatsuya's relationship, showing how although they're trying to put distance between each other, their feelings have progressed to where that's not possible.
- Awesome last scene (well, except for the animation).

The Bad
- Animation quality falls off a cliff, dies horribly, after commercial break.

The Verdict
First half: Five stars
Second half: Two stars - three stars docked for even static scenes looking like crap

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