Greetings! This week we have some important changes in the series, the names of the characters. When I saw the preview of the manga and then saw the anime, I was puzzled about the planetary names given to the characters. The Japanese names chosen for them seem to all include the corresponding planet’s kanji and that’s why the localization team took the initiative to name them Venus, Mars, etc. While in such cases, it’s my personal preference to leave a descriptive note at the beginning of the manga and leave the names as is since apart from the very trope-y traits (Mercury blue and stoic, Mars red and energetic, Venus=beauty and all that), planetary names seem to have no other significance.
That also might not be the case, I just saw 4 episodes and never read the manga. The only reasonable metaphor I can think of is that the planets and the stars did contribute to life on Earth and thankfully we stay on our course instead of straying off into the void. I should consider making a chibi version of myself for the educational bits.
Okay, less whining and more reviewing. Last week I thought I had cracked the narration structure of this show: the first half is about poop and the second is the horse discourse. However this week, we had them combined right off the bat! Venus gets a specific request from God, which makes Saturn jealous a little because a horse that can fly? That’s what he’s been up to all this time! But he has some cleaning to do thanks to his cute grandson.
Meanwhile, the dark clouds continue hovering in the office, everyone is tired and out of creative juice. We get small updates on what kind of designs they are working on and focus more on what kind of creative direction Venus will take with the horse. If there’s one thing she hates more than other animals eating her beautifully crafted pieces, it’s being told that “she can do whatever she likes with the design”. We already know from her earlier rant that it’s a big fat lie.
Still, she does her best to come up with ideas, and that gothic Pegasus was indeed a sight to behold! Shimoda, feeling desperate over the client’s unreasonable and a tad inconsistent demands, asks God to go easy on the designers. This in turn, only causes God to come up with more demands than before, with technical jargon this time. Venus, however, is one fierce designer, and after gathering her last drop of energy shounen protagonist style, she gets the thumbs up for her work: a bat! Technically, it has ‘horse’ in its name somewhere so seems like it counts.
After we get to know more about how bats fly, we’re back to the design room. This show really channels the 2020 energy in that regard, doesn’t it? Mercury and Shimoda walk in on Venus, working on a new bird “that’s like a gem”, all dolled up and looking prettier than ever! Higuchi joins in and they start conversing on gems. It’s clear that there’s Team Beauty with Venus and Saturn vs Team Utility with Mercury and Mars competition going on in terms of artistic preferences. We witness Venus and Mercury having clashing ideas on appearance/efficiency. Soon enough, Mercury realizes what they stand up for are equally right, and although both of them are looking at things from different angles, their approach and work ethic is the same. With this small revelation, he pitches in ideas for Venus’ gem-like-bird and the beautiful Hummingbird comes to fruition. He also helps with the “bird that makes gems” and comes up with the ostrich. Neither of them is happy with the result, but as long as the client is content, that’s all that matters!
It wouldn’t be a Heaven’s Design Team episode if Saturn couldn’t fuss over horses. “More stripey animals” order seems like a good excuse to get out of the design room and have some fun on the Galapagos Island. They also have to come up with a somewhat logical reason to give the animal said stripes, so they brainstorm whether they should function as stealth or for regulating heat. Neptune has another design request to make a ‘herbivore who looks like a carnivore’ and hasn’t slept in two days. However, he seems like a person that gets energy from being around others and looking at what they do instead of shutting himself and the stripey animal request suddenly gives the push he needs. Thus, joins in the pandas! There are small mishaps following its merge with a starfish but Saturn helps them to resolve the problem.
I do joke about the horses, but remember the animator friend I mentioned in my second-week review? One day while we were cleaning, she also took out her assignments and other work she kept from university years to sort them out, and let me tell you… there were a concerning amount of horse drawings. I asked her if she liked horses or found them aesthetically pleasing or something. Heck, we even had a plastic model horse, standing in all its glory on our shelf. She told me that horse drawing was one of the staples in learning drawing/animation. Apparently, horses are beautiful in terms of their proportions, their muscles are developed and easy to differentiate from different muscle groups, and are hard to animate. That, plus one of her professors was obsessed with horses. I did question my choice of her as a flatmate for a second, though.
Can’t wait for next week’s episode, especially to learn what happened to Ueda after cursing! Thank you for stopping by and see you tomorrow!
Personal note: This week’s review is a trainwreck on top of being late since I had to whip it up at the last minute due to technical problems and increased workload. For some reason, I can’t take screenshots on Crunchyroll. I mean, I can take them and both the website itself and the subtitles are visible but the video is not captured. It just turns out black. But my tablet’s browser lets me take them and they turn out perfectly fine, so I’m guessing the problem lies with my graphic card (?). It happens with Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. as well. Anyways, I couldn’t solve it, hence the last-minute desperate solutions. If any of you might know how to fix this, I’d be indebted to you…