The real message of Endless Eight…

At this time, fan favorite anime studio Kyoto Animation has stirred up controversy by animating the “Endless Eight” episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2nd season) differently six weeks in a row and counting. What are they trying to tell the fans?

Well, I have the answer.

Yes, the show actually does have Sweet Blue Flowers.

What Kyoto Animation is saying, is “Watch more J.C.Staff shows”.

Just like back in Summer 2007, when J.C.Staff unleashed Potemayo, The Familiar of Zero (2nd season), and Skygirls, they are airing three shows in one season: Hayate the Combat Butler (2nd season), Sweet Blue Flowers, and Taisho Baseball Girls. But unlike Summer 2007, which ended with fans of Zero cursing the name of J.C.Staff, J.C.Staff seems to be doing a good job so far with all of their shows.

J.C.Staff has been unfairly pigeonholed as “the home of the flat-chested tsundere” after their string of shows (Shana, Zero, Toradora, and now Hayate) involving Rie Kugimiya playing flat-chested tsundere girls. But Toradora proved that J.C.Staff can do the DFC right, and the director of Zero (1st season) is back with a vengeance with Hayate, showing he can do it right too.

Hayate the Combat Butler‘s second season fixes many of the problems of the first. They’ve cut down on the filler and improved the pacing, and while the anime is based on a seemingly endless manga, following the source makes it seem as though the story is actually going somewhere. Hinagiku is getting her due and taking her rightful place as second main heroine, and Nagi and Ayumu are getting character development.

The complaint of fans of the first season was that the second season wasn’t as funny, and while that was true in the early episodes of the second season, starting with the hot springs arc the humor is back in full force. The animation consistency is not as good as the other J.C.Staff shows this season (is that what you get for running three shows at once?) but the character designs are an improvement over the first season at least.

The second of J.C.Staff’s three shows this season is the realistic (by anime standards) yuri drama Sweet Blue Flowers. If girls yelling “Shut up!” and being ashamed of their flat chests aren’t your thing, maybe the next offering from Kenichi Kasai, director of Honey and Clover (1st season), Nodame Cantabile (1st season) and Kimikiss will be more to your liking.

Okay, maybe those weren’t the best screenshots to illustrate my point. Sweet Blue Flowers is about two childhood friends meeting again after ten years and slowly realizing their feelings for each other. While the fact that both these friends are girls may turn off some people (and I myself think it would be better if Akira was a boy) the character interactions are sweet and meaningful, and the childhood friendship is used to good effect, unlike, say, Da Capo II. I like the contrast between Fumi’s tall, cool, graceful appearance and her crybaby personality. While that personality may get annoying at times, the stage is set for her to grow up emotionally. I think the fact that she is tall yet flat is intended to be a metaphor for her incomplete growth.

Visually, J.C.Staff is the perfect match for the original manga’s watercolor illustrations (seen in the ED). The same style of backgrounds used in Honey and Clover and Nabari fit the character designs and mood and are stunning to behold.

The surprise of the season may very well be Taisho Baseball Girls. A match for Sweet Blue Flowers in terms of visual appeal, this “girl power” story of a female baseball team out to beat the boys has cute characters and a unique setting. I wasn’t paying attention to it until Author linked to the good part, and then I discovered that the rest of the show wasn’t bad at all.

While not as much of a comedy as Hayate, Koume asking her father about theoretically wanting to play baseball was quite funny. Even if they don’t succeed against the boys in the end, the tested formula of girl friends sticking together is a good message and is done well at the end of the first episode. And while the focus is definitely on the girls in an all-girl school, there is enough of a male presence that it doesn’t get unbalanced like K-On.

Finally, it has Noe. Between her and Fumi from Sweet Blue Flowers, the glasses girl requirements are met this season.

So now that you know Kyoto Animation’s true message behind Endless Eight, why don’t you take their advice and watch J.C.Staff shows? Kyoto Animation isn’t a well-respected and fan favorite animation studio for nothing.

6 Responses to “The real message of Endless Eight…”

  1. lolikitsune says:

    Always tooting J.C.’s horn, aren’t you, even if you have to really grasp to get there? I applaud your dedication. 🙂

    I want to check out the chicken lasagna, but I just haven’t felt like downloading/watching anime recently…

  2. Will of the wisps says:

    JC staff produced Honey and Clover? Next thing you will say is that the sky is green… Although Kimikiss was good, I never thought it is by the same people as Honey and Clover.

    On a side note, which JC staff team produced potemayo? The A Little Snow Fairy Sugar team? Is Sugar even a JC staff anime? More importantly, what are they doing right now?

    As well, where did the Manabi Straight team from Ufotable go?

  3. Author says:

    I think that after Symphonia Ufotable survives by doing odd contract jobs for Gurren-Lagann, Geyass, etc.

  4. Sixten says:

    Yes, Honey and Clover is a J.C.Staff show.

    Little Snow Fairy Sugar is also a J.C.Staff show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it shared staff with Potemayo. The director of Sugar is Shinichiro Kimura, whose other credits with J.C.Staff are Karin and Mahoraba: Heartful Days.

    And isn’t ufotable doing The Garden of Sinners currently?

  5. DiGiKerot says:

    And isn’t ufotable doing The Garden of Sinners currently?

    Yup. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the Fate/Stay Night movie that appears to have just been announced was ufotable as well, given Garden of Sinners is about to wrap up.

  6. mak says:

    also hidan no aria, just to add list. i happened to be googling “flat chested tsundere jc staff” after having observed the trend. bonus points if the voice actress is Rie Kugimiya.

Leave a Reply