Shuffle, the discussion. Beware contains spoilers

Am I reading too much in to it?

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No votes
No
2
29%
Say what? I got distracted by the panties
5
71%
 
Total votes: 7

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kodama
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#1 Post by kodama » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:28 am

I'm not joking there'll be lots of spoilers and I can't be arsed to tag them. So make sure you don't want to watch it, or you've already watched it.



I watched this because I didn't feel like embarking on a heavy duty, long series or anything deeply philosophical (whoops) I just fancied some entertainment. I wasn't too sure, it's e/h game origins did nothing for me either and to be honest there's only so much ecchi fanserve I can stomach.

The series starts out exactly as I expected, an ecchi (more camel's toes than an Arabian Bazaar) harem comedy with a fairly misogynistic view of the world where girls should do everything for the man and their greatest aim in life seems to be a great cook for that man. And as for the hint of loli, that just leaves me cold and uncomfortable, whilst the lead character (Rin) is far more protective of her than the show is, I found the scene where Rin's best friend hints at his approval to be a bit distasteful. Up until episode 12, I was entertained but nothing was particularly revealed and whilst little bits of back story pop up here and there to begin to explain the reasons why four different girls are chasing what in the beginning seems like a fairly unlikeable ingrate of a lead.

From ep 12, it changes like Jekyll to Hyde (maybe the other way), I found the mini arc of Primula's illness, return to her world and recovery to be rather moving (in a manly way of course ROAR) and at this point I felt slightly less ambivalent about Rin too. There is of course still what now feel far more inappropriate panty shots at the beginning of emotional scenes, but it starts to reveal how all the characters are living life despite having gone through a variety of strange or terrible events. It does get a bit much when it turns out every single on of the girls has a secret and that three out of five could probably classed as mentally unstable at the very least.

They managed to make the whole "choose one of them for f**k sake" section rather nice I guess some might wish for Kaeda to go completely nutso at this point and take a kitchen knife either to herself or Rin and Asa :D They don't flinch completely and she does do a nice soup stirring scene amongst others but it is supposed to be mostly a light romantic comedy.

I can't say I approve of the whole "well if we can't have him, we'll be very happy for him and do our best to improve until he chooses us instead" sentiment of the rejected girls, again that seems misogynistic to me or maybe just sexist. Perhaps that's the difference between our cultures though. As they (the producers) had explained the Kaeda as a sort of loving slave as an attempt at redemption on her part, I guess I should allow them some leeway on this.

Rin's realisation and decision to actually do something about the astounding mess he was in was better than most that I've seen so far. As an aside I'm always astound how many anime protanganists are either from single parent families or have lost both parents and are living either on their own or with some kindly friend/relative. You'd think there was no welfare state and that Japan was a seething mess of lethalness that automatically killed you off once you'd had one or two kids and reached 30ish. :lol: Primula's catgirl maid outfit was a lapse in form by the producers, I guess the strain had finally taken it's toll.

So now we reach the final section of the show, Asa's health and her big secret are revealed (anybody else permanently confused by her mother being younger than her) and the shocking denouement (well to me it was). I never saw it coming, I mean I did wonder what the hell he could do and what they had in-store for the box cutter but that surprised the hell out of me and I'm a cynical bastard that's seen it all before. I found it again rather moving. That's one twisted script writer.

So in summary, for reasons that are beyond me, I started watching some dodgy ecchi anime for a laugh and ended up being equally amused, entertained and moved by it.

I can only apologise for my ramblings which they very much are, as I don't often say more than FTW or it's great. I hope others can add something more as I feel vaguely fired up and would like to contribute something for once.

Oh yes, despite the Teacher being a throwaway character with enormous breasts to a certain extent, I kind of liked her and little vignette in ep 11 was kinda sad.

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#2 Post by LeeDless » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:57 am

This was very much an Anime of two halves: the first part being nothing but fluff and fanservice and the second a somewhat clumsy attempt at giving all the characters some background and depth. At least they tried.
Being the ecchi-holic that I am I was able to enjoy the series for the fanservice aspects alone, though I did start to feel some empathy for the characters as the series went on. Poor Kaeda, that crazy girl really got screwed. Is it wrong that I got a little turned on by the scenes where she went nuts?

All in all I'm glad the show ended on a happy note, the last Funimation series I watched before this was Rumbling Hearts, and I'm still raging over the way that finished. :evil:
Last edited by LeeDless on Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#3 Post by BT » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:42 am

Yes I too was surprised at how different the end turned out to conventional harems. I was happy with the ending. Asa was great because she wasn't a "slave" to Rin. They were both able to communicate with each other as equals. To quote someone from another forum "Remeber folks a vote for Asa is vote against obsessive clingy pyschotic girls." (Not my spelling mistakes).

I totally agree with you about the female characters trying to impress Rin and get him to fall in love with them. I found that awkward and at some times I wanted stop listening. Plus Rin just keeps stringing them all along, which was equally infuriating. However it is based on a hgame, which is where this "we all want you" scenario comes from.

The series tries to follow the "Shuffle!" game closely. The "Shuffle!" game was basically about the 5 main girls: Nerine, Sia, Kaede, Asa and Primula. There's also 2 other games branching off. One is "Tick! Tack!" which is all about Nerine and other demon girls. The other is "Really! Really!" which involves all the non-demon and non-god characters, and extends the cast you can "partner with". (Do I know too much about this :lol: )

You will find a lot of the fan service is actually taken from the "Shuffle!" game CG. I guess it was to keep fans of the game happy. Personally I found the fan service in this series to be "light", especially when compared with other series similar to this one.

Episode 7, the animation went down the pan. But I'm glad they managed get drag it back out to it's usual standard for the rest of the series. It's odd that they didn't go back and correct this for the DVD release.

BT

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#4 Post by kodama » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:25 pm

Lee: Yes, it is wrong that you fancied slave turned loony at her worst.

As for Rumbling Hearts :evil: I permanently wanted to give most of them a damn good slapping. Half of that was a total misery fest.

BT: Your level of research shows due diligence, disturbingly so :P

Those extra games do seem to be somewhat of a milking of a cash cow.

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#5 Post by Project-2501 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:32 am

I have to agree with pretty much everything there Kodokuro, I was thinking 'how the heck will they stretch this out to 24 eps?? Some panty shots and booby shots are all good but you can't make a series out of them! FFS Najica was only 13 and that at least had a story' and then it all went mental at the halfway point.

Admittedly I'd peeked and the ep descriptions on Wiki. If this was a series I'd been buying as singles I might not have bothered finishing it without having a hint of what was to come.

Certainly some gratuitous ecchi and the super moe-moe kitty girl maid Rimu. I would dissagree slightly with the loli content, I do not believe Rimu's interest in Rin was that way inclined. She knew that Rin had been very special to her 'big sis' Lycoris, but unlike Nerene did not have Lycoris' deep feelings towards Rin nor did she have the ability at that time to love. She knew Rin had helped Lycoris and thought that he could help her but was not doing the 'fall in love with ME' act. The only time Rimu really acted like the others was at the end when she drugged Rin.

But yes, the animators did totally abuse her, as they did the rest of the girls. Poor Mayumi!

As for Rumbling Hearts.... hide anything sharp or pointy! Not something to watch if you're at all depressed, however I thought the ending was the right one. Very very good story and real life doesn't always have a happy ending. He f*cked it up and pretty much lost everyone. Far more realistic than the 'I've still got feelings for Rin so won't go out with anyone else and both Asa and Rin are happy with this' :roll: The rumbling Hearts OVAs will be interesting to watch as they follow the alternative ending.
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#6 Post by Project-2501 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:56 pm

Some rather nice Shuffle wallpapers :)

http://www.animepaper.net/gallery/wallpapers/Shuffle/
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#7 Post by kodama » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:42 pm

Kaede's eel killing is funny.

I can see what you mean about Primula and I think if they'd played it slightly straight with her that would have been a better and less uncomfortable .

Rin helped Lycoris? Perhaps as a rock to cling to, thoughtwise.

The only time Rimu really acted like the others was at the end when she drugged Rin.


Huh? Did I miss a bit or forget something?

Mayumi was my favourite of the secondary characters. More fight than most of them put together.


The only reason I'd need to hide sharp objects would be to avoid the urge to stick them in most of the lead characters at one point or another during RH.

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#8 Post by Project-2501 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:55 pm

Right at the end of ep24 when they are all eating lunch on the roof and Rimu says she's made something specially for Rin.

The Kaede eel killing has made it into my wallpaper folder, along with the cute one of Rimu and the kitty.
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#9 Post by kodama » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:06 pm

Ah, sooooooooooper bitter herb or something.

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#10 Post by Project-2501 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:18 pm

Bingo! I love the way she nuzzles Rin ;)
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#11 Post by Tenshi » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:26 pm

I've finally watched it all and I pretty much agree with everything Kodama said.

I did stop watching it after 3 episodes after getting so annoyed by the whole "You're my world Rim-sama" and "I live for you!" and how the greatest achievement for these girls is to cook a nice meal for him and look after his every need (spoilt git). Is that a cultural thing? Possibly. Do I want to watch that for 24 episodes? No.

However I was advised to "Grit my teeth, it gets better." and I'm glad I did. It turned out to be a good show and one I wanted to watch well into the early hours even when I was up at 7am the next day.

This being one of the first full anime series I have watched I know nothing of how much is concidered a lot of ecchi (I had to look up what ecchi was too!). Once the story move on a bit from what I've previously mentioned I found the panty shots were ok as it was simply how they lived. I simply ignored them during the emotional scenes, except in the scene where Primula is being saved. I noticed much then, plus did she have to be naked?

My favourite character was Asa Shigure for the same reason as most. She wasn't devoted to Rin in the same way as the others, plus she understood him more. My second favourite was Primula for similar reasons. She wasn't in love with Rin as the others were (she's too young for that) she sees him as an older brother (I think) although there were moments where this weavered. I think the writers were overloaded with the "You're my world Rim-sama" moments that it overflowed into the wrong character.

I didn't understand why both Nerine and Sia had to have 'split personalities'. Any ideas?

I have to admit I did like (in a strange way) how Kaede reacted to Rin's affection for Asa-san. I wouldn't have imagined it any other way and I'm glad the writers felt brave enough to make her go as crazy as she did. I did think she might take a knife to them all, or jump off a bridge. I enjoyed the back story too. It made her all the more crazy though.

I never saw it comming that A-Chan was the first experimental devil. :shock: I did wonder how she was so young. i'll assume it's a devil thing. do they live longer than Humans?

I'll agree that the whole "I have permission to still love Rin from Asa" a bit odd. Again I'd asume it's cultural.

Wow I've gon on a bit. I would usually have made comments as I watched but I was warned of the spoilers in this thread.

P.S When I saw that Rin still had the box-cutter when he was at the drinks machine I realised exactly what was going to happen. Why did Asa suddenly get long hair though? :?
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#12 Post by Project-2501 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:19 pm

Told you to keep watching ;)

The hair growing thing seems to happen quite often when there is a lot of magic about. At the end of Teen Titans series 4 (OK, its not really anime!) Raven (Mmmm) defeats Trigon (her father) and her hair grows really long as well.
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#13 Post by Tenshi » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:36 pm

I'm glad I did keep watching.

Now that you mention it I do remember a short hair + magic = long hair moment in Steel angel Kurimi.
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#14 Post by kodama » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:02 pm

Tenshi wrote:P.S When I saw that Rin still had the box-cutter when he was at the drinks machine I realised exactly what was going to happen. Why did Asa suddenly get long hair though? :?


I did notice that he'd kept the box cutter, but didn't guess what he was going to do with it until quite late.

Why a nurse has a box cutter is another matter, they always carry medical scissors.

Asa's hair growing was all part of her magic being used :lol:

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#15 Post by Tenshi » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:58 pm

That's a good point. Why would a nurse be walking around with a box cutter? :scratch:
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