I hope that everyone is doing well, as February draws to a close.
I have been feeling a bit down recently, but, fortunately, I can take my mind off of things by doing or watching something that I can enjoy, such as the simulcast that I decided to follow this year.
Today, I will be reviewing the latest episode available, which is Boku Dake ga Inai Machi episode 8.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Word has gotten around that Hinadzuki has gone missing and a few adults try to determine what is up.
However, the biggest problem for Satoru and his friends is to get HinadzukiÔÇÖs situation resolved quickly, as he remembers who the next victim is in the 1988 case and HinadzukiÔÇÖs mother has lost finally her cool.
I kind of liked this episode.
Seeing as the last episode ended at a point where I was left wondering whether Hinadzuki was dead or alive, I really liked how the episode started off with answering the question I had in the last episode.
Now, this is not really a major problem in any of the series that I like and follow, but it is really important that questions get resolved fairly quickly in a story or series, especially as short as this one seems to be, considering that the manga is going to end in Japan next week, if I am reading things right, though I will not be able to see that end until in gets translated in some form, whether the final four chapters come out quickly or the final episode of this anime adaptation appears on Crunchyroll before then.
For example, during my time following Pandora Hearts, which has ended in Japan, every time I was curious about something, like whether Oz was the true B-Rabbit or not, I got answered within the next few volumes, if not the next volume.
In the case of this series, and with how faithful it has been to the manga, the fact that mostly everything that piqued my curiosity got answered quite soon after.
As much as I want to praise A-1 Pictures, however, even though they did a better job of capturing my attention and keeping right from the beginning than Kei Sanbe was able to with the original manga, I have to give Kei Sanbe credit, because he does tend leave very little unexplained by the time he wraps up each series he creates.
Besides, if Kei Sanbe did not write this series, I highly doubt that an anime like this would even have come out, seeing as it is hard to find anything spectacular to watch after watching great shows, though a lot of you out there may say there are a ton of good anime and try to suggest one that I have either seen or have no interest because it does not seem like it would be as fulfilling as the great titles I have seen.
On the other hand, I cannot give Kei Sanbe all the credit, because the chapter where Hinadzuki was frightened by the mysterious person did continue on beyond those events, which lessened the tension I would have had if it ended where A-1 pictures ended the previous episode.
I also liked how there were some funny moments in this episode.
Yes, this series in not devoid of any humor, considering how many times Satoru was teased about being infatuated with Hinadzuki, which is much more tolerable than KurokoÔÇÖs antics in the Railgun anime, since there are more instances of Kuroko acting upon her infatuation with Misaka in the anime than in the Railgun manga, but the humor also does not happen enough to the point where it is just the usual, like the things that tend to happen in every case of Detective Conan or, as I get the impression from people after reviewing the Lupin III vs Detective Conan movie and special, Lupin III making a fool of himself to the point where I think he is shaming the name of his grandfather.
The scene that made me laugh the most though was when Satoru talked about something that only he knows about around his mother and Hinadzuki, and his mother said that such a thing never happened.
While Satoru is no Kudo, since Satoru does not need to keep his identity a secret, he does need to realize that he is no longer in 2006 and the events that he thought he knew have changed, considering that his first time reliving 1988 delayed HinadzukiÔÇÖs death by three days.
Still, I am surprised that nobody has really noticed that the Satoru they know is not the real Satoru of 1988, except for maybe Kenya, who noticed something was different about Satoru.
The thing that I liked the most though was seeing Hinadzuki crying at SatoruÔÇÖs place.
Now, I am not saying that I like seeing girls cry, since I do have some female friends I care about, but considering how awful HinadzukiÔÇÖs life has been and she has seen what a loving mother is like with a nice breakfast, I think that she has every right to cry.
What made things even better is that I actually felt like I wanted to take Hinadzuki into my arms, like a loving big sister or big brother would do.
While the emotional feel is nothing like how I felt like crying during the moment little Ushio and Tomoya were crying in each otherÔÇÖs arms in Clannad After Story, I cannot think of very many moments where I actually wanted to comfort like I do with Hinadzuki.
Because of this fact, A-1 Pictures deserves quite a bit of applause, because I do not remember having the feeling that I wanted to comfort Hinadzuki like she was my precious little sister in the manga like I do here, though I have no little brother or little sister to begin with anyway.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of any thing else that I particularly liked.
The fact that whether or not Hinadzuki lived and that I actually felt like taking her into my arms as if she were my little sister, as well as the fact that I did get a good laugh, made this episode fairly enjoyable.
Although I did like the episode, there are some issues.
Fortunately, with how well this episode played out, as I am still excited to see the next episode, there was only one thing that really bugged me.
During the course of the previous episode, I noticed that there were issues with the video that made me think that the master footage might be bad, though it would be hard to look up now because I do not really remember at which point in the episode where the footage did not seem to look right, which is one reason I prefer to be able to download these via iTunes or something similar, since I would have one source that I do not need to worry about buffering like I do with streaming.
Of course, because it was not the biggest issue with that episode, I was willing to overlook it.
However, while I watched this episode, there again seemed to be issues with the footage that were similar to what occurred in the previous episodes.
Seeing as A-1 Pictures is the one handling the anime adaptation of this series, I am kind of disappointed, because the earlier episodes did not have any issues like this, nor have any of the other titles that I have seen from them had issues like this.
Come on, A-1 Pictures! I know you can do better than this, and I donÔÇÖt want issues like these to be the reason this show fails.
Honestly, it seems like they are not doing quality checking anymore, though this could just be an issue with the footage Crunchyroll got.
Still, I sure hope that I do not see problems like this when, and if, the series gets released on DVD and/or iTunes, since I am more likely to buy the Boku Dake ga Inai Machi anime than the manga, as much as I enjoy them both.
For now, since it is more difficult to compare different streams side by side, especially since not all sites have the episodes available at the same time, and it happened in more than one episode, this has been upgraded from an annoyance too minor to be worth talking about to a minor issue that I hope does not affect the final four episodes of this series.
Other than that, I cannot really think of anything else that really bugged me.
Even though there was only one issue with this episode, the fact that it has cropped up two episodes in a row hurts the quality of this episode, even if it does not hurt the overall enjoyment too much at this time.
Despite the fact that there was an issue that makes me think that the quality of release of the episodes in this series is going down, the good outweighed it enough to make this worth watching.
I recommend this to everyone, even those that want to try something different.
What are your thoughts on Boku Dake ga Inai Machi episode 8? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.
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