Caligula Episode 3 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Caligula Episode 3.

What’s the show? Caligula, Episode 3.

So last week you were mildly complaining about the fact that the show had lost some of its initial ‘weirdness’. What about this week? Well objectively speaking things are weirder this week, at least aesthetically and tonally. Straight off the bat we’re subjected to Alice in Wonderland-esque madness as two of our female characters find themselves seeking answers from a sweet obsessed “cute girl” and her decidedly disturbing flower princesses.

Right… It’s a bit hit and miss, but it all has a point which is the flavour of the day as it were. It is a weirder episode but all of it—well most of it—has a direct purpose within the episode.

So we’re given some answers? Well like I assumed from the previous episode this is some Matrix style virtual world these characters are living in, except it seems like whoever they are externally they at least chose to be in this world, even if their virtual personas have varying degrees of cognisance toward this fact.

Hmm, that’s interesting. There’s also some kind of suspicious group of ‘overseers’ who speak with a lot of ‘music references’ who are evidently in some kind of control over this virtual world. As if it wasn’t obvious music, specifically that of μ, a virtual idol plays a very important part and oh no…

What?! I just looked up the synopsis for the show on the internet and it basically spells out everything I just spent 3 episodes slowly learning in a couple of brief sentences.

Maybe you should research shows more before you watch them… And maybe you should shut the hell up! Listen, I’m fine discovering a show at my own pace, it’s just kind of annoying to know that I could have been clued in this whole time just by reading the wikipedia synopsis. I don’t know, I guess I just thought I was being clever figuring out what was going on before it was explicitly revealed, but turns out everyone already knew what was happening all along!

And how does that affect your enjoyment of the show? Well, uh, it doesn’t… it’s just it makes me consider why other reviewers may have been less than impressed by the mystery given they already knew so much going in!

I see… so are you still enjoying the show despite whatever the hell you were talking about? I think now that the premise has been established it’s either going to get better or worse, there’s a lot of pieces in play, a lot of characters introduced and there’s a certain level of depth to the plot that could result in some compelling story-telling. Also I’m down for a lot more weirdness as long as it’s better than the kind of stuff we got in this episode which was uneven at best.

Caligula Episode 2 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Caligula Episode 2.

What’s the show? Caligula, Episode 2.

Ah, the pretentious show that you raved about last week… still pretentious? Not nearly enough!

Oh, so things have changed in this second week? Somewhat, a lot less literary references, less psychoanalysis, less stream of consciousness.

That’s what crazy people say!

So basically everything you liked about the show is gone now? Not gone, just less. And I mean I get it, I should have realised that it wasn’t something the show could have kept up. It’s not Bakemonogatari quality after all, but—and this is a big but—but I’m actually okay with it.

Gives a new meaning to the term ‘Hand Cannon’.

Huh? So even if it dispenses or reduces a lot of elements I really dug, it adds enough different things that made me appreciate the wider vision the show has, even if it takes until the end of the episode to become clear (or at least as clear as this show want’s to be at this point).

That’s the look of a girl who’s just discovered her whole world is a lie.

You’re being kind of vague about it, I doubt people reading this expect these episode to episode accounts to be spoiler free. Oh so I’m allowed to spoil now, am I?

Sure, go nuts. Well it seems like the show’s got a Matrix thing going on, or at least we’ve got some elements of it, our protagonist and the side characters have all now realised they’re world is artificial (or they’re about to realise it), and it’s being created by a virtual idol program called μ who’s controlling people with her music? Again it’s all kind of vague and I kind of love it about the show, I’m never fond of shows that have great, big exposition dumps at the start of the first episode that explains everything about the situation. I love being as clueless as the characters in the show, especially in this genre of show.

How does the one on the left even stand on those legs?

Anything else? Oh there’s an annoying little floating chibi character that makes a brief appearance, Aria I think it’s called. Not fond of it at the moment but maybe it’ll have a point later on.

She’s annoying, but I do like their rapport.

So despite it losing a lot of what drew you to the show in the first place you still sound pretty positive about it. I am! I want to know more about what’s going on but I’m content for it to be dolled out gradually over future episodes. And while it’s very entertaining and interesting I am fully prepared for it to let me down by either giving too much away too quickly or never answering anything in a satisfying way, but right now I’m happy with how things are progressing!

Best girl, as if you had to ask.

Caligula Episode 1 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for Caligula Episode 1.

What’s the show? Caligula, Episode 1.

Oh no, this isn’t an anime about the sister-loving Roman Emperor of the same name is it?! I already made that joke in my post about which anime I was watching this season…

Well excuse me! But I wasn’t invited to that post, was I? Indeed. But no, unfortunately it’s not. Fortunately, it’s something much much better.

Wait did you just say “unfortunately” to the fact it’s not siscon?! Moving on!

Oop, I’m having that dream again!

Man you’re a handful, so what’s this show about anyway? I’ve got no freaking clue, but I mean that in the best possible way. Like this is stream of consciousness anime at its best (well maybe not best, Bakemonogatari still claims that crown) but I love how seemingly disjointed the parts feel and that it comes off like this anime is being birthed from some kind of chaotic, troubled, intellectual mind.

Depends on the mind.

Sounds kind of douchey. Yeah, there will be those who can’t get into this style and will think it’s either confused or wanky, or confusing wank. But I couldn’t get enough of it, like this is the kind of show I love. Yes, I’ll always have a place in my heart for cute girls, but this shit is my crack.

They’re pretty lax with the dress code at this school.

Sell it to me in a way that’ll convince me. It’s like a Christopher Nolan movie—the weirder ones, not the Batman ones—it’s stylish, and smart (or at the very least it’s learned and well-read) and it isn’t afraid to leave the viewer with a whole host of questions and little to no answers by the end of the first episode.

Most people while watching this episode.

Interesting. So can you tell me a little bit about the plot? I didn’t know anything about this show going in and I think that works in the show’s favour. Obviously it intends to tell a long-form story and I think the way it sets it up is brilliant.

You didn’t really answer my question… As intended.

*smouldering intensifies*

Fine, I get it you want to let people go into it the same way you did. Can you tell me anything else about the show? I don’t say this often but I love the male character designs, main guy and guy who likes to fight have a very cool look, and I may or may not have a crush on the main guy, Ritsu. But there’s a lot of cute girls in this anime too! They’re just not as cute as some of the boys…

Isn’t he dreamy?!

Well this is certainly a change! So I guess you recommend the show? I do, but I’m fully aware that is the kind of show that’s going to annoy some people who want to know what kind of show they’re getting into from the get go and it’s the kind of show that could easily go off the rails. It feels like they’ve started with a fairly high-concept idea, or at least have executed it in a way that makes it feel that way. The messy, stream of consciousness aesthetic pushes all my pretentious buttons and I loved every minute of this first episode, and am totally along for the ride!

Always hard to get clean screengrabs that make sense when the subtitles are translating background lyrics at the same time.