It came from inside the house: JoJo’s and the 90s horror movie

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“Good morning!” an affable voice blares from the boombox next to the kitchen table, following the trademark jingle of “Morning, morning, morning, mojo radio.” The voice belongs to disc jockey Kai Harada, a friendly, average sort who always has the perfect song to start the day. Sure enough, as eggs and bacon sizzle in a frying pan, an upbeat song starts to play, accompanied by the soft background noise of the morning news on the television.

No sooner has the table been set — a small salad, toast, eggs, bacon, and orange juice — than white noise and static interferes with the radio and the song dies out. The camera pans back to reveal a severed hand. Blood drips onto the floor from the otherwise pristine breakfast table setting.

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Butterfly in Reverse: Kiznaiver’s Emotional Development

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“You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…

…and an athlete…

..and a basket case…

…a princess…

…and a criminal…

Does that answer your question?”

-closing narration of The Breakfast Club

John Hughes’ high school movie classic The Breakfast Club is oft-considered quintessential movie viewing, with countless pieces of media referencing or parodying the iconic story of five teens stuck in Saturday detention. By opening up to each other throughout the day, they reach across their varying social stereotypes and school cliques. While it’s doubtful that their fleeting friendships, and romantic entanglements, will result in anything long-term, they leave with a deeper understanding of each other and people in general.

On the surface, it would seem like Kiznaiver aims for a similar outcome. The expressionless Noriko Sonozaki introduces her Kizna System charges as the new seven deadly sins repurposed as common anime archetypes — imbecile, cunning normal, annoyingly self-righteous, high and mighty, eccentric headcase, musclehead thug, immoral. They are tasked with forming emotional bonds through their forced physical connection and closeness. It’s this very slickness of Kiznaiver and Sonozaki’s Kizna System that casts an artificial sheen over the series itself, making the hominess of The Breakfast Club an even more interesting point of comparison.

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Concrete Revolutio and Stating the Obvious

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“He states the ordinary, the obvious. That is how he moves people.”

-Emi Kino on Devilo, Concrete Revolutio, Episode 17

Sometimes, a simple statement is more powerful than the most eloquent of speeches.

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“Kids can’t choose the adults in their lives.” Luluco and FLCL’s Ninamori

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“Kids can’t choose the adults in their lives, least of all their parents. Ninamori’s father is the mayor of our town. I don’t really get it, but it must be hard for her.”

-Naota Nandaba, FLCL, Episode 3

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Freyja Wion the First: Walkure and AKB0048

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In the wake of Macross Delta‘s spring debut a rush to identify its spiritual predecessor has cropped up. While a line of progression can be drawn from Super Dimension Fortress Macross‘s Lynn Minmay to Macross 7‘s Fire Bomber, it’s reframed a bit with the advent of Delta‘s Walkure: a highly-specialized military tactical unit. Song in Delta is unabashedly weaponized, not used as a surprisingly convenient source of confusion, or a reckless and unsolicited effort.

One of Macross creator Shoji Kawamori’s properties between Macross Frontier and Delta was AKB0048 — for all intents and purposes, a Macross series without variable fighters, solely focused on idol competition and wielding music as a weapon.

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