When you’re watching a really good anime and all of a sudden you think, “Crichey, this anime is stellar.”
Volume 3 of Simoun is when an excellent series becomes stellar.
I took 4 pages of notes about things I wanted to mention, but I realized that if I mention any of them, I will simply be spoiling things. So I really can’t talk about what happens in Volume 3, except to say that *everything* changes in this volume. Episode 13 is particularly key, there are so many details; so many little, extremely subtle touches that it would be impossible to notice them all, but when taken together make a piece of anime that is absolutely stunning.
Now I remember why I said this was the best series of the year – because it was! What fantastic writing, what brilliant characters, what a delicatly crafted and well-handled plot.
Let me digress – plot, in anime is often treated as a nag. If it gets any attention at all, it’s whipped and beaten until the poor thing is lifeless. Not here – the plot in Simoun is treated like the thoroughbred it is. Handled by skilled trainers and given the finest feed, what we get in Volume 3 is nothing less than anime its best. (And just in case you think I’m overthinking this, wait until you listen to the staff commentary on the extras – it will prove to you that I am not at all exagerrating in the slightest. So there, nyah.)
But, here’s the thing that I really want to say about this volume. Media Blasters did a fabulous job on this volume. Not a typo, not even an awkward moment of translation. This was the best work I’ve ever seen from MB – it was up to the standards of the anime itself. What a genuine pleasure to be able to simply enjoy the excellent translation without worrying about technical details. Thank you, thank you Media Blasters! Great work.
And, while I’m thanking them – thanks to them too, for adding me into the credits under “Special Thanks To”. I have to admit, it made me go a little blushy, but considering that all I do is rag on you guys, I can’t imagine what you’re thanking *me* for. LOL
The extras were interesting once again. I already mentioned the fascinating Staff Interview, but also included was an interview with Yukana (Dominura) and Noto Mamiko (Rimone) – and unlike the other cast interviews, they were totally relaxed and comfortable talking to each other. :-) But – why are we still getting snotty asides from the lollipop and not being allowed to just hear them talk? Beats me.
Anyway, did I mention that this volume was stellar? It was. Every second of watching the first two volumes is made completely worthwhile when you watch Volume 3.
Art – 7 (I’m being a little kind here, it’s so variable)
Story – 10
Characters – 9
Yuri – 7
Service – 6, but they make them pay for it, by reminding the viewers that Wapourif is really male. Hah.
Overall – 9
Stellar. Stupendous. Spectacular. Splendid. Superb. Superior. Stunning. “S” is for Simoun.