season 1 was better than i remembered it being

“I don’t ever want to see you again...”

So I’m still trying to process how I feel about the pregnancy plot line they’ve handed us in Episode 1. Clearly, my initial reaction was one of massive irritation (and it still kind of is), mostly because unintended pregnancy plots are fairly cliché and I had hoped Outsiders (which generally is able to offer some pretty outside-the-box story lines) would be better than that. 

I remember back during Season 1 – right after the first time Sally Ann and Hasil got together – I was worried that they were going to go this route and I was pleased that the rest of the season went by without any sort of mention of it. (The only exception to this was Haylie’s pointed question to Hasil about Sally Ann being pregnant – and his denial – and now I’m thinking, “How in the hell would he have known or not known?” because clearly – as we can see now – he didn’t know at all.)  

Okay, so aside from it being a cliché, it also really bothers me because it makes it clear that the writers are allowing the needs of the plot (and their desire for heightened drama) upstage character work. Is this really the only way they can think to get Sally Ann and Hasil back together after their disastrous time on the mountain? Is there no other way for Sally Ann, on her own time, to realize the depth of her feelings for Hasil, and vice-versa? (What makes the writers’ fingerprints on this decision even more clear is that G’win, who had unprotected sex with three different men many, many more times over the same period, is not pregnant, and I doubt they’ll decide she should be, as her plot line is more centered around her new role as Bren’in and her attempts to bring her people back into harmony under her leadership.) 

Here’s my final issue with this whole thing: we all know about Hasil’s background and how as an orphan he felt neglected and overlooked. We know the depths of his feelings and what he’s willing to sacrifice for those he loves. And of course, he would want to feel like part of a family, given that he’s felt slightly apart even from members of his own clan for most of his life. Given that, it’s so clear that once Sally Ann tells him about the baby, he’s going to be all in like we’ve never even seen. And, of course, he loves Sally Ann, but my fear is that his feelings for their child will essentially subsume everything, making her the vehicle for their newly-created family, without him ever really coming back to her and his feelings for her and her alone, apart from her role as mother of his child. 

Also, did it strike anyone else how weird it was that Hasil just seemed to give up entirely when she told him she didn’t want to see him again? I mean, he did leave the bird on her porch, which was sweet, but coming from Mr. Leave-Me-Alone-Now-Why-Would-I-Want-to-Do-That-And-Why-Don’t-I-Talk-to-Your-Brother-Too-While-I’m-At-It, it just doesn’t seem like the relentlessly caring mountain boy we all know and love from Season 1. Again, it’s almost like the writers don’t care about writing him out-of-character as long as it fits in with the needs of the plot they’re advancing. 

Anyway, I’m going to hold out hope that the writers are able to make the whole pregnancy plot work. (Although the actors really do spin so much gold out of what they’re given… honestly, everybody was so great in this episode, I was really blown away.)

So now I guess the question is how she’s going to find a way to tell him. Now that G’win’s forbidden the Farrells from leaving the mountain and he’s been rejected by his girl, it seems like Hasil’s not planning on going anywhere, so it may be up to Sally Ann to venture up the mountain on her own, which could be an interesting development. (And I guess it might explain that promo picture of Sally Ann in what appears to be Hasil’s cabin.) I guess we’ll see soon enough.

Also, please please please, Outsiders, can we finally give Sally Ann a last name? It’s getting kind of embarrassing at this point… Thanks!

Boueibu Season 2 Thoughts

So, last year, I saw Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu Love! and as it aired I gave my impressions of each episode, since I’m a huge fan of the magical girl genre. I originally planned to do the same with Season 2, but real life got in the way and I decided to simply give my thoughts on the season as a whole.

With that out of the way… I’m actually somewhat mixed on how the Season stacks up compared to the first. On the one hand, the new villains both have clear motivations for antagonizing the Defense Club, while Ibushi and Akoya seemed to just be following Kinshiro because… reasons. But on the other, there are fewer episodes that center on the group, and if season one was mostly centered on Atsushi, season two definitely centered on Yumoto.

The Good: Boueibu’s writers make good comedy, that can’t be denied. The season has a lot of funny and out there moments that work and don’t seem too outlandish for the show. Also, if you like Yumoto (as I do), this season gave him a lot of moments to shine and develop. His storyline with the VEPPer is welcome after arguably being the least developed character of Season 1, despite being the “leader” and overpowered. I also enjoyed the brief moments when the characters were allowed to interact with someone outside of their designated same-year partner (The New Year’s interaction between En and Ryuu being my favorite).

The Meh: Yumoto being front and center, while good, had the side effect of pushing the rest of the Defense Club to the background. Io and Ryuu got a focus episode, at least, but most episodes centered around Yumoto and his relationship with Gora, leaving the others to just snark in the background. Related to that, I remember complaining a lot in season 1 about how they never used their powers to fight the monsters and relied on Yumoto being an OP talking, walking fortune cookie. This problem is worse in Season 2, with the Defense Club completely unmotivated until the last couple episodes. Another thing is that, while having better motivations, the VEPPer are simply not as memorable as the Conquest Club, as both of them have very similar personalities, while the Student Council has 3 distinct ones.

Overall, I think Boueibu Season 2 is somewhat stronger in the story department than Season 1, but weaker when it comes to characters. It is very enjoyable, and, like last season, the finale is suitably grand and dramatic without sacrificing the comedy. If you liked Season 1, you’ll probably enjoy Season 2, just be prepared for the focus to shift from Atsushi to Yumoto.