An Analytical Breakdown of the Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer

After a lengthier than usual hiatus, the penultimate season of Game of Thrones is finally nearing. As if I wasn’t impatient enough already, a fantastic trailer dropped this past week. I would have had this post up earlier if I wasn’t at MegaCon all weekend, but I’m sick of apologizing to a non-existent audience. Enough gonzo rambling, today I’m going to break down all of the important elements of this trailer, and what they mean for the season to come.

I feel I should get the elephant in the room out of the way- the new season will only consist of seven episodes (as opposed to the usual 10). I have a feeling this will lead to a pace increase and harsh narrative tightening. This can work as both a positive and a negative for the series. We will definitely be seeing more frequent fan service action. However, I sincerely hope this focus doesn’t betray the core of what makes Game of Thrones such a masterpiece, the quiet character moments. After what is arguably the best season of the show, I do have faith that Dan and Dave can stay true to this core. However, I’m still cautiously expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

An important element of the trailer that shouldn’t be ignored is that Cersei is the narrator. This leads me to believe that she will be paramount to this season. It seems that she may even be the main focus character, with all of the other arcs splintering off of her conduit narrative. Since Cersei is a fantastic character, and Jaime is one my favorites in the show, this is definitely not an issue for me.

What does concern me, however, is the complete lack of Bran in this trailer. With his arc coming to an all-time high last season, I’m concerned this abandonment will remove some of the mystical tension that has been building up in the narrative. Based on what is shown to us in the trailer, it seems season 7 will take more of a human route, focusing mainly on the non-mystical characters and “game of thrones” aspect of the plot, designating season 8 as the home for “ice and fire” developments. This follows my prediction that the War for the Dawn, Azor Ahai, and White Walker plot threads will come to a head only after Daenerys finishes or fails her conquest. Don’t get me wrong, I do think we will definitely see sprinkles of mysticality this year, as made evident by multiple beyond the Wall shots and a single Melisandre shot. Regardless, I really do hope we see at least a bit of Bran this season; his arc is one of my favorite in the show.

Cersei spends an early chunk of the trailer monologuing about the enemies she has in all four cardinal directions. While north is clearly implying Jon and company, and east is obviously referring to Daenerys’ forces, south and west require some further speculation.

With the ominous shot of a pirate-like ship accompanying “enemies to the west,” it seems like the ironborn arc is not dead. I was sure that Euron was only introduced in the show as a conduit to get Theon and Yara to ally with Daenerys. I’m happy that he will be more of a threat, despite being introduced so late in the game. It’s unclear whether he will mainly oppose Cersei’s regime, or serve as an obstacle to Daenerys’ conquest. I’m leaning towards the latter, but open to the prior.

The south, while still speculative, is a bit more straightforward. From this shot, it seems they are implying that the Sand Snakes and Dorne will serve as a more prominent aspect of the narrative than before. This opposes my post season 6 finale idea that their arc would probably just be assimilated into Daenerys’. This opposition comes as a pleasant surprise- they simply weren’t developed enough as characters to be through with. We also see a brief shot of Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand passionately kissing. This may be simple fanservice, but there’s also the possibility that this relationship will be integral to the narrative.

Circling back to Cersei, it is time to address one of my favorite characters, Jaime. The look on his face when standing next to Cersei in the throne room shows nothing but pure, unfiltered regret. He realises the monster that Cersei has become, and feels he is somehow responsible. This further ignites the flame under my theory that he will be the one to kill Cersei in an action that will parallel his assasination of the Mad King.

Speaking of parallels, Daenerys is definitively arriving in Westeros this season. Eerily mirroring Aegon’s Conquest, Daenerys has seemingly taken Dragonstone as her home base. This serves as a fantastic tribute to her ancestry; Dragonstone is the location the Targaryens made their headquarters after the Doom of Valyria. It was commandeered by Stannis after Robert’s Rebellion seemingly wiped out the Targaryen line, so it’s nice to see the island back under its namesake.

With Daenerys definitely in Westeros, it seems the vast majority, if not the entirety, of her conquest will take place this season. We even get shots of the Unsullied in direct combat with the Lannister army. While this may be depicting the taking of Casterly Rock, it seems more likely that these are glimpses into the actual taking of King’s Landing. The latter makes me a bit nervous; Daenerys’ arc is moving unprecedentedly fast. Regardless, I’m happy the trailer didn’t use any shots or imagery to imply the victor of this battle; knowing the writers, it really could go either way. However, I do stand by my theory that Jaime will kill Cersei and allow Daenerys’ forces to assume control of the castle. The Mad King parallels may even grow from there; it may be Cersei’s crazed command to burn the entire city with wildfire that triggers this assassination.

A potential liability in Daenerys’ success comes in the form of the Dothraki she has assimilated into her forces. Despite direct orders from their Khaleesi, it may be hard for a barbaric people to abandon their old ways in favor of formal warfare. Raping and pillaging might become an issue; despite being an integral element of Dothraki culture, it directly contrasts with Daenerys’ code of ethics. Will the Dothraki be able to break their old habits? Will this very regression be the key to Daenerys’ victory?

Moving up to the north, Littlefinger still hasn’t called it quits. With eerie imagery and dialogue, it seems like he is trying to manipulate Sansa behind Jon’s back. If Sansa is, once again, brainwashed by him, I will be very disappointed. In the show, Sansa is a character plagued by swift regression in the face of steady progression. With the show nearing its close, I pray that her character gets the permanent development she deserves. Regardless, this conflict seems like it will be a tedious, but important arc in the season to come.

Speaking of northern conflict, the Arya shots in this trailer hint that her past may be coming back to haunt her. Although not definitive, I theorize that the Faceless Men (particularly the agents they must have in Westeros) are still after Arya. This makes perfect narrative sense; it was way too easy for her to escape back in Braavos. The nature of this assassin cult also adds to this tension; they could be anyone. Since Arya is another character that I genuinely care about, I pray she doesn’t succumb to this horrid situation.

That’s pretty much it for this analysis. The trailer promises some essential fan service scenes, but is also plagued by some notable absences. Despite a probable focus on the non-mystical elements of the series in the upcoming season, I really hope we still get some drops of the mysticality to come. After all, season 8 is most likely going to cover the War for the Dawn. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones and/or A Song of Ice and Fire, you are in for a treat this July and August. I will be analytically reviewing all seven episodes of the upcoming season, so stay tuned.

Gurren Lagann- The Consequences of “Fighting the Power”

At its core, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a show about maturing as an individual and rebelling against oppression. Despite the equal importance and narrative intertwinement of these themes, today I will be focusing on the latter. More specifically, I will be looking at how, without the second half of the series, Gurren Lagann would not be remembered today.

Rebelling against oppressor is one of the oldest, and therefore, most used storytelling devices. After all, rebellion is a frequent and important element of real-world history. We saw revolution in the earliest human societies, and we still see it regularly throughout the world today. Further, it is so simple to garner support for a character when they are fighting against a tyrannical regime that is trying to put them down.

The first half of Gurren Lagann takes that narrative device and boils it down to its absolute pure essence. We are provided with one of the most clean-cut, smooth, and satisfying rebellion stories in fiction. There you have it, Simon and the rest of the Dai-Gurren Brigade defeated Lordgenome and the Beastmen forces, regaining control of the surface world. They had some tragic losses, but also made some new friends along the way. A young boy who started out as a non-confident, bullied antisocial in his underground village transformed into the man who led the rebellion to its victory. As most writers would put it, THE END.

What makes Gurren Lagann stand out from its contemporaries is that this “ending” is only the halfway point of the series. After a seven year timeskip, “act 2” begins with what I like to call the “political consequences arc.”

Historical rebellions aren’t as clean cut as most fictional works would have you believe. Revolution often comes with the desire for a new form of government, something that is immensely difficult to implement in a nation so accustomed to tyranny. Systems must be destroyed and rebuilt, citizens must be accounted for and entered into government programs, and all prior opposition must be dead or imprisoned to prevent regime reversal.

The second half of Gurren Lagann addresses all of these elements, and more. Simon and Rossiu, who occupy the two most prominent government leadership positions, are having an excruciatingly difficult time running their nation. Initiatives to move citizens from their underground villages back to the surface world are failing; they didn’t account for people wanting to remain in that oppressed lifestyle. They find out Viral, a high-ranking and unaccounted for member of the original oppressive regime, is working as a terrorist, undermining citizen relocation efforts.

When citizen dissatisfaction and political unrest begin to spread through the new capital, we see Rossiu, a rebellion hero and close friend to Simon, turn on him in a political move he believes is in the best interest of the nation.

All of this climaxes with the invasion of the anti-spiral forces. You see, it is revealed that the initial oppressive regime was present in the first place in order to prevent this external “nation” from invading. Simon must escape from political prison, gather his old rebellion friends (and even some former enemies), and fight against the invading anti-spiral.

Despite being presented through high-concept science fiction and dimensional shenanigans, the second half of Gurren Lagann is showing real-world consequences. Political turmoil, betrayal, and even foreign invasion in times of weakness are common elements of real post-revolution nations. Most fight against the tyrannical regime stories don’t dare tread these complicated waters, they are satisfying enough as it is.

The fact that Gurren Lagann takes a step beyond mere satisfaction, and addresses these logical consequences, is why it is still remembered as a masterpiece today.

Attack on Titan and the Avatar Effect

Note: At the time of writing this analysis, I have not yet watched the premiere of season 2.

The second season of Attack on Titan is finally upon us. Although there are plenty of diehard fans donning their scout regiment hoodies and celebrating, the common consensus is a pungent apathy. A second season that would have been welcomed with open arms just three years prior is now faced with an overwhelming wave of indifference. I call this the Avatar effect.

In late 2009, James Cameron released a film that many at the time considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made (including myself). Avatar was treated to critical and box office success, working its way up as the highest grossing film in the history of the medium. When Avatar 2 was announced, fans and the general population alike were ecstatic. Years have passed, and here we are without a sequel. Walt Disney World, however, wanted to cash in on the Avatar mania, and is finally opening Pandora- The World of Avatar later this spring. The problem is that this mania that Disney is trying to take advantage of no longer exists. If they wanted to cash in on a craze, they needed to do so in the small amount of time that the phenomenon would have still been prominent. I probably can’t find you a single person out there now who is taking the trip to Disney World for the opening day of this sub-park.

Attack on Titan had its “mania” period from the second half of 2013 through nearly all of 2014. Hell, Attack on Titan stars were still being featured as guests of honor at conventions well into 2015. There was plenty of wiggle room for Production I.G to get themselves in gear and pump out a second season. Whatever the reason for the delay may have been, here we are, nearly halfway through 2017, and we are finally getting this sequel season. Yet the remaining fans are still wondering why nobody is excited?

You may be asking yourself, if something is a timeless classic, then why would it matter if it took so long to get a sequel, everyone would still be excited, right? Here in lies the issue with Attack on Titan. It is entry level shlock trying to disguise itself as a masterpiece.

I first watched the show in January of 2014, a time in my life where my interest in anime, manga, and otaku culture in general was virtually non-existent. I had been a diehard fan of Naruto for most of my life prior, but even my love for that manga had died out almost a year before. This was also at the height of my tumblrcore phase, where colossal titan and scout regiment memes ran rampant through the site.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, I fell in love with Attack on Titan upon my first viewing. I was enamored with an animated work that felt as mature and sophisticated as most of the adult television I was consuming at the time. There was this sense of mystery and intrigue, all presented through gorgeous animation and crisp action.

I considered Attack on Titan to be one of my favorite shows for a large portion of 2014. I bought all of the merch I could get my hands on, spent hours in line waiting to meet voice actors from the english dub of the show at conventions, and posted about the series constantly on Tumblr. I did not, however, take the leap into further anime consumption.

Then my friend showed me Mekakucity Actors. Then I watched Kill la Kill, immediately followed by Madoka Magica. By the time I had watched Gurren Lagann, constructed my MyAnimeList account, and eventually quit Tumblr altogether, that initial anime about kids killing monsters was just a speck in the back of my mind. Still, whether it be out of stubbornness, or sheer denial, I continued to claim it was a masterpiece.

It was not until around mid-2015 that this claim came back to haunt me. After all of my praise, my friend Zack finally decided to give the show a watch himself. Note: At this time, he had also seen the slew of classics I listed above. Zack could not get through a single episode without either zoning out or falling asleep. The show was just boring to him, plain and simple. He did end up finishing it, but only under my excruciating insistence that it got better as it progressed. He did not agree with this sentiment.

It was at this point that I decided to read the manga that the show is based upon. I not only started from the beginning, but surpassed the season 1 content, chugging through what will probably account for all of season 2 and an early chunk of season 3. With atrocious art, bland and non-differentiable characters, and a story that never goes anywhere, it was one of the worst manga I had read to date (and I’ve read a substantial portion of Bleach). It was when I made the decision to drop this ghastly manga that everything came together for me.

The Attack on Titan anime is, to put it quite simply, not very good. However, I can’t deny that it is astoundingly smart. Production I.G knew exactly what strings to pull to craft the perfect entry level anime. In other words, AoT is the metaphorical gateway drug into otakudom. Once you work your way up to LSD and cocaine, do you really see your self regressing back to cheap marijuana? With its gorgeous animation, attractive character designs, and mystery-centric story, it is bound to draw in many on a base level of appeal. However, once you consume other anime that share in all of those properties, but actually execute them masterfully, there is really no point to Attack on Titan. When you can watch Mekakucity Actors, a show with stellar animation, unique and memorable characters, and an intriguing mystery that actually progresses and resolves, why would you bother with the exact opposite?

Avatar drew in such a mammoth crowd with its groundbreaking visual effects and allegorical story. Then you watch Dances with Wolves. Then you watch Princess Mononoke. These are two films that take the same premise as Avatar, but handle it masterfully. What is the point of going back to a bland and uninteresting version of an intriguing premise, when you can consume masterpieces that apply that very same idea?

My autographed poster of Eren Yeager, signed by dub voice actor Bryce Papenbrook, now sits in the recesses of my closet, collecting dust.

I will be watching the new season of Attack on Titan. Who knows, I may end up writing some pieces about it if I have anything interesting to say. The point is, I hope I helped current diehard fans understand why there is virtually no hype around their anticipated sequel season, and why there will be nowhere near as large of a community to share in their enthusiasm this time around.

How I Will Be Covering Rick and Morty Season 3

If you are currently unaware, Adult Swim hosted an April Fool’s Day stream in which they looped the long-anticipated season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty. Although we will tragically have to wait until summer for the remaining nine episodes, I thought now would be an appropriate time to discuss how I will be covering the upcoming season.

If you remember back to late summer/early fall of 2015, when season 2 was in its prime, I was writing weekly episode reviews. Similar in style to my current One Piece chapter reviews, I would analyze the episode, and speculate its implications on the overall narrative.

For season 3, we are going to be doing something a tad bit different. I will still be covering each episode, conducting the same thorough analysis. It is the medium, however, that will change.

Over on my YouTube channel (the link to which you can find under the YouTube Channel section of this blog), my friend Zack (123zc1) and I have been podcasting for almost an entire year. Our main show is The Two Fine-Looking Brothers Podcast, in which we discuss whatever we wish to on our own schedule. When RWBY Volume 4 debuted, I was working in Washington, D.C. I would not have had the time to write weekly episode reviews. In order to still cover the show, I decided to create a spinoff podcast titled The Fine-Looking Brothers Talk RWBY. Along with our friend Alberto, Zack and I covered each episode with the same level of detail and care I would have used in my text reviews. This podcast blew up in a sense, quickly becoming my most popular creative product to date.

In order to fill the void on my YouTube channel that the RWBY hiatus has created, we have decided to start a spiritual successor podcast. That’s right, The Fine-Looking Brothers Talk Rick and Morty is on its way! In other words, I will still be sharing my opinions on a weekly basis, just not on this blog. If you’re sick of hearing just what I have to say, the opinions of my co-hosts Zack and Alberto should tide you over. Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel in order to ensure you don’t miss an episode.

The premiere podcast on S3, E1 will be uploaded this week, while the rest of the series will coincide with the airing of the remaining episodes this summer. I hope you all enjoy this change of pace, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Endgame: A Deeper Look into the Game of Thrones S6 Finale

Well, this is finally it, we are officially in the endgame of Game of Thrones. All of the narrative chess pieces are in position; everything has come together for the final arc of the series. Due to its importance, I thought i’d take a deeper approach with this episode than my typical vlog style video reviews. Take this as an in-depth examination into Sunday’s masterpiece, and its implications on the narrative as a whole.

One thing I wanted to address before diving right in was my main problem with this episode, the issue of “teleporting characters”. This isn’t the first episode that has had this problem, and probably won’t be the last. However, I still think it’s worth addressing. There is no way Arya could have made it from Braavos, a city on the west coast of Essos, to the Riverlands in western Westeros that quickly. There is also no way thalyanna-mormontt Varys could have left Meereen, made it to Dorne, and returned to Meereen in a matter of days. Now you are probably shouting, time has passed between scenes! I was inclined to agree, until I noticed one detail, Lyanna Mormont. When Jon is named King of the North, Lyanna is still in Winterfell, at this meeting. If time has passed between scenes, there is no logical reason as to why Lyanna would not have returned to Bear Island, but stayed at Winterfell. Evidently, these “teleportation” issues are a mistake on the writers’ end. If I hated the show, I would be more pissed about this than I am; but since it’s my favorite currently running show, I can look over this without much hesitance.

Now to dive into the actual episode. I first want to address a scene that, although overshadowed by the rest of the episodes developments, should not be ignored. Sam and Gilly have arrived at the Citadel in Oldtown. This was the first time have seen Oldtown in the show, and boy was it spectacular. The design of the Citadel was flawless. The reason why Sam’s presence at the Citadel is so important for the narrative, however, is that he now has access to the largest library in the world (other than Asshai perhaps, but that doesn’t seem to be a location that will be visited in the show). With the war for the dawn approaching, it is my belief that Sam has been placed in this location for a reason. He will most likely be libraryresponsible for finding information that will help Azor Ahai, who is most likely Jon Snow, or should we call him Jon Targareyan now (don’t worry, i’ll get into that soon) defeat the Night King. After all, with all non-essential characters killed in this episode, Sam has to still be alive for some reason. He may also potentially find information pertaining to the true parentage of Jon, leading him to become one of the few alive who knows of Jon’s lineage. This leads me into one of the biggest reveals of the entire show.

That’s right boys, R+L=J is cannon! I legitimately believed that, after all that they showed already of the Tower of Joy battle, the identity of Jon’s parentage would be left up to viewer interpretation. However, they actually went through with it, using Bran’s last weirdwood flashbthe-truth-about-r-l-j-is-about-to-be-revealed-here-s-everything-you-need-to-know-befo-959375ack of the season to reveal this to the audience. Jon Snow is canonically the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, it’s not speculation anymore. Now the question of whether she was kidnapped and raped, or they were in love and ran away together is not really addressed, but hey, we should at least be satisfied that we got anything. This also provides further leverage to the theory that Jon is Azor Ahai, for it is heavily hinted that the new Azor Ahai will have “dragon blood.” Jon has also now been somewhat legitimized as a Stark, being officially crowned King of the North by his fellow northern lords. This will most likely put him at direct odds with Cersei (there is no way she will allow him to be Warden of the North while she rules Westeros), who I will get to very soon. He will also likely have to deal with the issue of Littlefinger, who wants nothing more than to rule the north alongside Sansa himself. Let’s say Littlefinger decided he wants the north. He has no legitimate claim, but he also has the Knights of the Vale under his command. If Jon and Sansa refused, he could easily have his troops take the castle, and force Sansa to be his bride. So although the Starks have control over Winterfell, it is a very fragile control. Of course none of this will be possible if the White Walkers invade anytime soon, but i’ll get to that later.

There is also the issue of Melisandre, who was banished from the North after being outed as a murderer by Davos. In one of the best acted scenes of the season, Davos reveals d73ca252a58c9f58bc7c3b932ada4bc6Melisandre’s crimes to Jon, and Jon, rather than executing her, banishes her southward. I believe this banishment will lead her directly to the Brotherhood Without Banners. After all, why else would a random group of red god worshipers be brought back into the show this late in the game. Its very likely that Melisandre will only return north during the war for the dawn, giving both the Brotherhood and the Hound to Azor Ahai as soldiers.

Now back to Cersei. The theories were right, the wildfire imagery shoved in our faces all season wasn’t coincidental. Cersei used the Mad King’s wildfire reserves, still buried under the city from the time of Robert’s rebellion, to destroy the the Great Sept, killing everyone inside. Casualties include Margaery, Loras, Mace, the High Sparrow, what is most likely all of the Faith Militant, and hundreds of innocents. What was not part of Cersei’s revenge plan, however, was for her son, King Tommen, to commit suicide in response to the death cersei iron throne game of thronesof both his wife and greatest advisor. Tommen’s death fulfills Maggy the Frog’s prophecy that Cersei has been trying to avoid all her life. However with Tommen having no heir, and no one left alive to contest her baseless claim, Cersei has herself crowned as the queen of Westeros. Jaimie arrives home just in time to see her crowned, watching as his sister becomes the Mad King he slayed all those years ago. This leads me to believe that Jaime will be the one to kill Cersei, slaying her when she goes too far. As opposed to Robert Baratheon’s forces being on the doorstep of King’s Landing when the “Mad Ruler” will snap, Daenerys’ forces will be. Jaime will once again sacrifice the ruler he is loyal to in order to save thousands, just as he did as the head of the Mad King’s Kingsguard. If history is not learned from, it is bound to repeat itself.

However, the newly titled Mad Queen’s reign probably won’t last long. Daenerys has officially left Essos, beginning the conquest that has been destined since the first episode of the series. The parallels to Aegon’s conquest are uncanny here; history repeating itself is a big part of the Song of Ice and Fire franchise. Before setting sail, in what might be one of the most touching scenes of the season, maybe even the series, Daenerys names Tyrion her Hand of the Queen. This is an extremely important moment for Tyrion’s character development. During his entire time advising royalty in King’s Landing, he was not once 3580195cd23da7fdf29ab1c67d063882treated with respect and given the credit he deserves. Tyrion, for the first time in his life, is being respected and honored for his service, as opposed to abused for it. Tyrion’s character development is evident even before he is named, however; he cites Daenerys as the first thing he has ever truly believed in. While Tyrion is naturally traveling to Westeros with Daenerys, Daario is being left behind to keep the peace in Meereen. This is an extremely logical decision on Tyrion’s part; Daenerys will need to be open to a new lover in order to solidify her power in Westeros. This opens the possibility of a marriage to Jon in the future, returning the Targaryen line to its insestous roots. Leaving Daario behind in Meereen will also help her maintain control of the now named Bay of Dragons. She can’t afford to send troops back to Essos every time a threat faces Meereen, especially while she’s conquering a continent.

So there you have it, the factions are set up for endgame. After all, with two shorter than usual seasons left, they better be.

Factions (Red for Possible Defectors)

. Team Daenerys

  • Daenerys and her dragons
  • Tyrion and Varys
  • The Ironborn
  • The Dothraki
  • The Martells and Tyrells (Recruited by Varys in this episode)

. Team Stark

  • Jon
  • Sansa
  • Littlefinger and the Nights of the Vale
  • The major houses of the north
  • Outliers, but probable allies: Arya, Bran, Sam, the Brotherhood Without Banners (also includes the Hound and Melisandre)

. Team Mad Queen

  • Cersei
  • Qyburn and the Mountain
  • Jaime

With the War for the Dawn rapidly approaching, I was very surprised that this episode did not end with the White Walkers destroying the wall and entering Westeros. However, I understand why they didn’t take this approach. I feel that Team Stark and Team Daenerys
white_walkers_by_cdka-d5jxb99will eventually become one; but probably after her conquest. The White Walker invasion will most likely come either coinciding with or shortly after she takes King’s Landing. A cruel twist of the series will be if Daenerys successfully conquered Westeros, but falls in the War for the Dawn shortly after. However, knowing Martin, this may be a somewhat plausible end for this character.

 

Why Oshiete! Galko-chan is Good

Oshiete! Galko-chan has come to the close of its first, and probably last season. Upon completion, I logged onto MyAnimeList, and gave it a rating of 6 (fine). A 6 is just that, fine. It’s not great, but it’s definitely not bad.

However, I ask myself, why do I keep on thinking about this show, days after I finished it? A slice of life high school comedy with an 8-minute runtime has no right to keep my mind this active. Before upping its rating to a 7/10 (good), I want to take a look at this show, and get to the bottom of what makes it good.

The obvious factor that comes to mind is the main character. There is no denying that Galko is extremely attractive. No, I am not talking about her “assets”. Her personality is exceptionally intriguing. Despite aesthetically appearing as your typical blonde popular high school girl, Galko does not fit that archetype at all. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and does only what she wants to do. From staying up all night watching anime, to defying the clique system of her school by composing her friend group with a quiet otaku and the class president, Galko is no ordinary girl.

So is the show good just because of Galko’s personality? Well, yes and no. The idea that Galko is more than meets the eye isn’t just my opinion, but is made evident in the show through other characters. I am going to take the time to focus in on the character Charao.

Despite being popular, generically handsome, and having a girlfriend already, Charao does not stop thinking about Galko. Almost every conversation he has with his friends centers around her. He looks at her not just with aesthetic taste in mind, but as an enigmatic person. His extreme attraction to her is a mystery he just can’t seem to comprehend.

This is made extremely evident in in the episode where Galko comes to school wearing a man’s shirt. Charao, despite having a loving girlfriend who he spends a lot of time with, feels immense jealousy towards a man he has not met. He makes the assumption that Galko, being a typical popular girl aesthetically, had spent the night with a man, and didn’t go home before the next school day. He ponders this jealousy the entire episode, unsure why it even exists. Eventually, it is revealed that Galko sometimes wears men’s shirts because they fit her better. This leaves Charao relieved; his friends find him sitting alone with a big smile on his face.

Charao, despite making assumptions about Galko, knew deep down that she was not that kind of girl. Therefore, his jealousy wasn’t a pure mindset. It was a concoction of jealousy and unconscious curiosity.

So, as you can see, what makes this anime good is not just Galko herself. It is the other characters’ ideas and responses about Galko’s behavior. The commentary and reactions we receive from the ensemble of her classmates serve as a lens to reflect the ideas and thoughts of the viewer. The viewer, by no fault of their own, but by the fault of mainstream media, is tricked to think that the blonde, well endowed high schooler is the typical popular girl archetype. However, Galko’s classmates fall prey to this assumption as well. Therefore, it adds a unique element of relatability to the show. This isn’t in the form of a particular character, but of a mass of non-developed characters. Oshiete! Galko-chan is one of the few pieces of media in which the non-development of characters is a strong suit. Through bland background characters that we don’t know much about, we can place ourselves in their position. The viewer essentially becomes a classmate of Galko, and views her from that perspective.

I would not call Oshiete! Galko-chan a genius show. In fact, I believe that all of what I have discussed is just analysis on my part, and has no authorial intent behind it. Oshiete! Galko-chan is a show that was created to be a typical high school slice of life comedy. However, it inadvertently did much more than that; it became good.

Rick and Morty: S2 E10- Review

Season 2 of Rick and Morty has come and gone. While it definitely has had its ups and downs, theres no denying that this finale was not only the hands down best episode of the entire series, but one of the best season finales in television history. With major plot developments, character reunions, and the strongest emotional core of a Rick and Morty episode to date; theres no denying that this episode was a masterpiece on every level.

Due to the sheer amount of important content in the episode, this will be a spoiler filled review. Therefore, if you have not already seen this episode, I would highly recommend watching it before reading this review. However, make sure you have seen the rest of the series up until this point before watching, or else you will be very lost.

With the most important episode to the main narrative since season 1’s Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind, it is clear that this was a game changer for Rick and Morty. Rick, Morty, and the rest of the Smith family are invited to the wedding of Birdperson and Tammy on Planet Squanch. Rick, despising weddings due to his own failed marriage, does not want to attend. However, after Jerry is accidentally transported to said wedding, Rick must endure, and suffer through the event.

After intense hesitance, Rick finally decides to open up and enjoy himself after having a deep conversation with Morty. However, the second he does so, Tammy reveals that she was an undercover agent for the Galactic Federation the entire time, and assassinates Birdperson on the spot. The rest of the episode follows the Smith family, and their attempts to find a new home due to the newly forming Galactic Federation presence on Earth.

The episode concludes with what is hands down the strongest character development for Rick in the series to date. This also doubles as the most emotional scene in the show. Rick turns himself in to the Galactic Federation in order ensure the safety of his family. The episode ends with him being imprisoned for life, accompanied by the emotion triggering song Hurt, by Nine Inch Nails.

This episode not only developed Rick to an extent we have never seen before, it revealed a massive amount of previously unknown backstory. We now know that Rick, Birdperson, and Squanchy were part of some sort of failed rebellion against the Galactic Federation during their younger years. This explains why Rick was never there for Beth when she was growing up, and might explain why his wife left him. We also see Rick, an extremely self centered man, sacrifice himself for the safety of his family. Rick has truly changed as a character; this was a major turning point for Rick and Morty.

However, what could be either interpreted as hilarious nonsense, or the single most important scene of the episode, is the post-credits scene. Mr. Poopybutthole is sitting in an apartment of sorts, still healing from the gunshot wound inflicted on him earlier in the season. It is revealed that he is watching the episode we just finished on a TV. Once it ends, he turns to the camera, and explains how much he loved the episode we just watched, and how he is still healing from Beth’s attack. He then assaults a pizza delivery boy attempting to give him his dinner, due to the sheer amount of excitement he has for the episode. Left to twitch on the floor in a pile of pizza, he makes one of the best jokes in the series to date.

This scene could be scene as a random event used just for laughs, in typical Dan and Justin fashion. However, I think it has much larger implications for the series. I believe that Mr. Poopybutthole is some sort of overseeing figure, serving a similar role to the narrative as the Concierge in Bravest Warriors. This could be a major development for the overarching plot, and change the game that is Rick and Morty for good. Although this scene isn’t enough to make any grand conclusions, it is a major hint to the puzzle of deciphering this complex and dense narrative. Take this scene as you will, but I believe it will have major relevance to the end game of the series.

Evidently, this episode was a flawless masterpiece of a finale. I never expected an episode of this caliber, and almost never expect to see one again. It raised the bar for an already almost perfect series. I don’t think I can handle waiting a year and a half for new Rick and Morty content, but it is something I must do. This actually concludes my first completely reviewed TV season on this blog. I loved sharing my opinions of this show with you all, and I look forward to returning to the series in 2016.