Space Battleship Tiramisu Zwei continues the trend of focusing on the minutia for its humour with this week both Isuzu and Subaru getting called on fairly petty things by minor characters.
In Isuzu’s case, one of his compatriots who has clearly been given an artificial universal sense joins him for a drink which he then makes her pay for. That said, it isn’t that part that tips her over the edge. She’s still a little put out but she’d probably have coped. No, what tips her over the edge is firstly that his wallet is a velcro one and very different from her illusion of what he would carry and then that he asks for her points on his card. In a show that sets brothers against each other in an epic space battle, this is what we spend half an episode on, and yet it is where this anime actually manages to hit its mark because it is all just so overblown it ends up being funny.
Then the robot head decides to leave Subaru and ends up going to the cockpit of the Neo-Durandel where he meets the AI. Now the AI is also incredibly petty having finally found someone to voice complaints to. And of all the things it could complain about, it gets stuck on the fact that Subaru has been sticking stickers to his outside.
However, all this means that once again the overall plot has screeched to an absolute halt and while the episode was amusing enough it all amounts to very little other than six minutes of filled in screen time.
On that note, this is probably my last episode review for this one as it really is just the same thing each week. I will do a full season review once it is done provided I get to the end of the season.
Once again, Space Battleship Tiramisu proves itself baffling in the way it handles plot. It is almost as if it can’t handle having a plot or a direction for too long and after an episode or even half an episode it literally jettisons whatever thought process was being followed to throw something random in before the characters just seem to forget what was happening before (not entirely but enough that any tension that might ever have been constructed is instantly eroded). And thus it is that Isuzu holding the father hostage lasts until some random delivery guy shows up, proves he can also operate the Neo Durandel and Isuzu decides he’s had enough and runs away.
But it doesn’t make any sense. Isuzu was the only one who seemed to have a weapon or a team in place so he should have been able to either take the new machine or destroy it even if he couldn’t use it. And yet he just abandoned his plan and ran laving his enemies and their new shiny weapon perfectly in-tact. While I’m not asking for much in the way of logic from a show that featured a talking pubic hair in season one I’d at least like the characters to occasionally at least act in their own best interest.
Then, instead of looking at the massive security breach that has seemingly just occurred, Subaru and his father get on with testing the Neo Durandel and apparently some universe sense is awakening in Subaru. Let’s be real, the guy is just hopeless and yet somehow manages to occasionally win in space. But I did appreciate the use of yakisoba preparation as a means of testing deft handling of the Durandel and the image of Subaru drifting around surrounded by floating noodles was kind of amusing.
As always, this anime remains watchable enough with the occasional spark of really solid narrative and humour and then there’s everything else. Fortunately with short episodes that everything else doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Well it turns out that Subaru and Isuzu’s father is as flaky as either one of his sons and most of the episode focuses on a reoccurring joke involving him getting caught up in email scams. It didn’t exactly have a lot of staying power so while it was nice to see why both the sons are the way they are, it is interesting to note that Subaru seems more or less indifferent to seeing his father again (outside of getting a new Durandel) whereas Isuzu seems to have some genuine daddy issues.
Those issues come to a head at the end of the episode after Isuzu’s side start attacking the base. My real question was why hadn’t anyone anticipated that given Isuzu has just kind of been wandering around and seeing the latest technology that the ‘enemy’ has developed (not that the reason for the war or the sides has ever been adequately explained anyway).
However, for those who miss the neat freak Subaru, here we have a case of messing up the new cockpit minutes after entering by spilling miso soup (still not sure where the soup or the bowl actually came from). It is a throw back to the reoccurring joke of season one and here it sticks its landing but that’s mostly because in contrast to the father and email scam joke it is better.
Once again, this episode is pretty much what you would expect if you’ve watched season one.
Given I ended the season one review with a firm statement saying I was done with this show and not interested in a season two, it seems strange that as we go into the Autumn season that I was overcome with curiosity about what they were going to do in a second season. The final episode of season one ended dramatically with both brothers falling to Earth and I will admit, curiosity got the better of me.
There’s no apparent improvement on this from season one. We still have an okay story being buried under some fairly lame jokes that are missing the mark more than hitting, or are played overly long given the short episode run time. Here we get Subaru suffering from with withdrawal given his cockpit has essentially been destroyed. First we see him hyperventilating on the beach and then he rushes into the city (inexplicably knowing exactly where to go) and finding various substitutes for his cockpit with his brother in hot pursuit. The basic idea of him suffering because of the loss of the Durandel is fine, the length of the not quite seven minute episode that is eaten with this series of events is not given the decreasing returns in the humour.
However, this show does still remember how to make you want more of it despite its failings and the boys playing with the merchandise from the show and critiquing the Subaru model pilot was pretty well delivered before we get an introduction to a new character. Basically, if you made it through season one and are curious, check it out, otherwise this isn’t exactly a must watch.
Short form anime is never really overly appealing as to me it seems like they always struggle to do more than insert a few gags due to run time. Space Battleship Tiramisu seemed like it might break that trend but ultimately abandoned its plot in favour of repeat gags.
While it probably isn’t fair to hold an anime’s form or genre against it, given I knew this was a short form comedy when I started it, and yet there were glimpses throughout Space Battleship Tiramisu’s run-time that hinted at a fairly interesting plot that could have been explored. Where this anime really annoyed me was in presenting the plot elements mid-season and then abandoning them in favour of more gag comedy. It is more the inconsistency of this show’s approach that ultimately makes me feel this anime is somewhat lacking.
That said, people who really like gag anime, might get a laugh out of this. Of course that depends entirely on your tolerance for jokes at the expense of someone with clear OCD, jokes about talking pubes, and various jokes involving questionable hygiene choices (and now I’m wondering how I managed to get to the end of this). Despite all of that, there are some really great moments throughout this season.
With seven to nine minutes per episode, one thing the anime had in its favour was even when an episode didn’t click for me, it was over fast. The other thing that worked with the short form was that if a joke was particularly distasteful, it was usually done by the next episode. There were only a couple of jokes that carried over between episodes.
Unfortunately, the jokes they carried over usually didn’t need to be. The episode early on that focused on adopting a dog that then grew massive was actually pretty cute and funny. The return of the dog later for space-walkies was just a jarring interruption into what should have been a decent climax to the story about Subaru’s brother and his clone. Though apparently they didn’t want to deal with that because there is apparently a second season coming. I don’t intend to watch is so I guess I’ll just have to imagine a resolution for the story, though given how incompetent most of the characters seem I might just imagine all of the spaceships blow up simultaneously and cause the end.
Subaru as a character is at times quite interesting. his obsession with his cockpit early on is fairly well portrayed and most of the jokes stick at this stage. Where the anime fell down was despite introducing family to Subaru and having flash backs to his father who apparently designed mecha or whatever, we never really got a sense of how Subaru became the person he is. While he could have been a rich and interesting character, a look at someone who needed order in a disorderly world, instead we get mostly a character who gets pushed into dirty situations for cheap laughs and doesn’t really get much in the way of development or character progress. Also, at times he actually acts too stupid for words and some of his losses in space make you wonder why anyone still lets him pilot anything.
Equally, the members of the support cast are all potentially interesting characters who end up being one-note gags of forgettable due to the anime’s lack of interest in doing anything more with them. Whether this strikes you as a failing or not I guess will depend on how entertained you are by the gags.
Though I’m pretty certain most people are glad the robot had its head detached even if it meant we still had to listen to the thing.
Overall, I liked the look of this show, though animation is minimal with movement and the like often just being portrayed in a series of lines. Despite that, it had a distinct visual identity that stood out compared to many other shows in the Spring line up and I must admit my eyes were very much drawn to it initially because of how the characters looked. The OP is also really fun. It has a very old school kind of feel to it and a lot of energy. Definitely one of the highlights each week.
Ultimately, if you are chasing a narrative, this anime isn’t going to work for you. If you just want a laugh or two in space, this might very well be exactly what you are looking for. As for me, while I made it to the end of this season and had a pleasant enough time for most of the season, I won’t be going for a second season. Definitely done now.
Due to inattention and general stupidity, Subaru and his brother both start plunging into the atmosphere. The tension of whether Subaru will survive or not isn’t exactly mounting in this final episode of the season.
Well any hope I had for this series has effectively come crashing to an end, and not just because of the Durandel plummeting through the atmosphere and onto Earth. None of the potential plot points were concluded in any meaningful way here or even addressed and while I get it is a comedy and short form so building a narrative isn’t its first priority, it didn’t even really try to do much with those elements. I did hear a rumour of a second season but I’m pretty sure I’m done here.
The other issue is that when something is absurd just to be absurd, it kind of loses impact after awhile. And two pilots being distracted by their OCD and allowing themselves to fall for so long into the atmosphere is just kind of ridiculous and makes you wonder how Subaru ever got called an Ace pilot if that’s all it takes to trash his ship. Anyway, this one is done and I will get around to reviewing shortly.
When things go wrong for a series, it is sometimes good to return to your roots. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work here given the story had pushed on a bit and now Subaru just getting OCD about dirt is kind of a weak consolation prize.
Apparently we have one episode left to go which really isn’t time to learn about the clone, the brother, and whether or not the father being a robot developer is in anyway significant. So basically we have a short form gag anime that midway through its season started to seem like it was going to build a plot only to squander the remaining run time before adding yet more plot points that won’t ever go anywhere.
I’d be disappointed except that I was pleasantly surprised that this anime attempted any kind of story in the first place. Still, at episode 12, I want more than Subaru upset that the spare machine he gets asked to use is filthy and that someone left the volume on the stereo turned up to loud. It just doesn’t cut it this late in the season.
Let’s take a break from space fights to take a stab at reality TV and the returning of Subaru’s space dog. Rather, let’s not because the end result isn’t great.
It might be petty to point out that a parody set in space that has featured giant space-dogs, robots with an evil switch, and clones is being a bit silly, but the introduction of the reality TV crew somehow pushed just the wrong button for me. Mostly, because despite Subaru’s obvious turn of mood from horrified by being subjected to being filmed, to nervous as he was a fan of the show they were from, he let them into his cockpit.
After having an almost continual running joke about his cockpit being is sanctuary and not liking anyone or anything else near it, the fact that he pleasantly let two randoms inside to film him while flying just struck me as completely world destroying. The one constant thing about this show was Subaru and his cockpit and now, for very little reason, that sanctuary is gone.
Then we got a giant dog and dog sex joke, so all and all this episode was kind of terrible.
It has been at least half a season since the last episode of this comedy anime made me want to quit watching. However, that just makes this week’s lacklustre effort all the more disappointing.
This episode of Space Battleship Tiramisu just kind of didn’t do anything. We have the clone Subaru and his brother coming out to fight Subaru and Subaru going to fight them and they never actually meet. Instead we get a poor punchline about getting a speeding ticket in space.
While this is hardly new for this anime to derail its own plot for a joke, this one fell particularly flat. And after several weeks of reasonably entertaining antics and the potential build up of a real plot, this week just didn’t deliver. Fortunately though, the run time meant that it didn’t overstay its welcome and we watched and were done.
Fortunately the robot has proven a brief distraction and we seem to be continuing with what counts for a plot in this anime. And for the brief run-time its proving surprisingly interesting.
The robot situation was actually dealt with surprisingly quickly and I was quite satisfied with the outcome. Okay, the whole having a personality switch that allows you to make the robot evil is questionable, as is the fact that converting the robot to bike mode would make it compliant when it is still in evil mode, but I’m not really going to get too hung up on specifics with this story. It just isn’t that type of show.
And the second half of this episode of Space Battleship Tiramisu returned to space battles and actually linked in the whole saga with the brother and towards the end the clone that was made of Subaru. So the plot that’s been established since the mid-season continues and really they’ve done a lot with it considering how few minutes they have each episode and the fact that a lot of those minutes are taken up with gags. Even with the return of the talking pubic hair, this was a pretty entertaining episode.
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