Spring 2018 – Week 7

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Hinamatsuri once again hits one out of the park…  I take a look at this week’s carrots…  and I try my hand at poetry!  All this and more after the jump!
The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.  Question marks denote shows not watched yet (during the premiere weeks), and strikethrough marks dropped shows.

3D Kanojo / Real Girl Ep 8

What a mess…  Turns out that Iroha isn’t as cool as she thought with Tsutsui being anywhere near Ayado.  Even just holding her hand while he’s treating a burn sets her off.  And of course, from her point of view, it’s all Tsutsui’s fault…  There’s been hints all along, but I think this ep cements my thoughts that she’s got a streak of self centeredness.  She keeps expecting him to change – and while he’s trying hard to work things out, he honestly is socially inept.  And she just doesn’t get that, she isn’t even trying.

I did enjoy watching Takanashi stomp Ishino’s advances into the mud.  She has become something of a friend to Tsutsui & Co., but she’s also shamelessly using them for her own ends.  She deserved that.

Anyhow, cliffhanger time…  Iroha ran off into the woods after seeing Tsutsui trying to help Ayado, and now she appears to lost.

Comic Girls Ep 7

Poor Kaos-chan.  One step forward, one step back…  she just can’t catch a break.  Every time she makes progress, she discovers another flaw in herself.

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Why did it take me so long to figure she’s a HUGE idol otaku?  I mean we’ve all seen her figure collection any number of times.  And if you look over the left, though you make have to look at full size, that grouping of three looks to me to be a Love Live homage.

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Best Girl Tsubasa rocks her glasses…  And speaking of her, both she and Ruki outed themselves as otaku this episode.  That leaves only Koyume (and I guess Fura-senpai) not outed.  I guess I should have expected that.

Crossing Time Ep 7

This week…  a girl composes haiku while waiting at the crossing.  I spent most of the episode cringing for two reasons…  First, what she was composing was much closer to senryu than haiku.  Second because they were just so awful.  Though it’s hard to tell how much was the intention of the production staff, and how much was an artifact of translation.  That is, was it translated literally or poetically?  I suspect the former.

Though I did appreciate her frustration with not being able to produce a finished poem in one go.  It took  me a long time to appreciate just how much work goes into even a simple haiku.  Actually, I think any Creator can appreciate that.

If you’re wondering what she was going on about when she was talking about a seasonal word – that’s called a kigo, and is vitally important in classic haiku.

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Her final poem…  I think there’s something good in there, but after fiddling with it for a couple of days I haven’t been able to find it with certainty.  What I ended up with was this:

Snow drifting
A crossing gate
bars love

It drops the sense of love than cannot be restrained…  But maybe brings in a sense of impatient waiting?  Or maybe not.  And yes, I know the syllable count is off, it’s a work in progress.  If anyone cares to take a swing in the comments, feel free!  I’d love to see what folks come up with.  (More information about haiku from a previous posting.)

Hinamatsuri Ep 7

Hina’s segment was laugh out loud funny…  I’m impressed as hell that they can keep returning the same schtick and still make it so engaging.  Nitta and Utako’s segment was…  I don’t know quite how to put it.  Happy and sad, but not bittersweet?  Nitta has certainly transitioned from player to seriously looking to build a family, but doesn’t quite grasp that it’s not quite that easy.

And someone on Twitter pointed out…  The end title card has changed.  On the left, the original – with Utako behind the bar.  On the right, she’s absent after this week’s events.  What’s going on here? will she still be in OP next week?

But once again…  Anzu steal the show.  Not a tearjerker like last week’s ep, but no less powerful.  OK, OK, when she was bathing the onion ninjas weren’t attacking in force but there were a few scouts sneaking around.

I’ve seen a name plaque on a kid’s door in plenty of anime…  But it was a real kick in the feels for Anzu’s to be the one from the shed she lived in at the homeless camp.

Worth reading:  Matt’s review of episodes 6 & 7.  Be sure and stick with it all the way to the end.

My Hero Academia 3 /  Boku no Hero Academia 3 Ep 7 (Ep 45)

It turns out that the League Of Villains has adopted a new strategy.  They’re not out to kill heroes (or at least that’s not now the whole of their strategy), they’re out to destroy them.  And by handing the pro Heroes a decisive defeat and kidnapping a student, they’ve succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.  The public is questioning and criticizing UA.  The teachers are UA are questioning and criticizing themselves.  Of course, discrediting heroes is an ancient trope in the comic book world, but I find myself curious to see MHA‘s take on it.

The split between the students is interesting…  It was pretty predictable that Lida would take the “let’s follow the rules” position, but the others appear to be wavering.  Deku of course won’t waver long – he’s never let the rules stand in the way of doing what is right.

And it’s very cool to see Yaoyorozu’s powers be used in interesting new ways.

Worth reading: Luminous Mongoose over at Anime Junk takes a look at the ‘edgy’ characters in MHA, and what makes them so:  Revelry in the Dark – The Refined Edginess of My Hero Academia.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori Ep 6

As I said last week, I was about ready to give up…  But this week gave us a ton of history and backstory on Rokuhoudou, Kyousi, and Tokitaka.  We knew Sui had a business background, but I found it interesting that Tokitaka has been (still is?) an artisan (a potter) rather than a salaryman.  I don’t find it all surprising that he became Rokuhoudou’s cook, almost all of the talented artisans I know IRL are also very good cooks.  All the talented Makers I know love nothing better than the see stuff meant to be used actually being used…*  The fusion of seeing someone enjoy the food you cooked on plates you made?  That just has to be powerful as all hell.

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  • A few years back our local SCA culinary group was the pastry/bread team for a feast and we all had to bring our own rolling pins.  Of the twelve pins, eleven of them had come from the hand of the same woodturner.  He was at the feast, and when I told him about this he had to come to kitchen and see…  and was grinning like an idiot the whole time.  Pleased as punch to see his stuff getting used.

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online Ep 6

OK, we knew Pito was messed up…  But who could imagine that messed up?  Though M-san (who we know have a name for – Asougi Goushi ) himself isn’t exactly a shining example of mental health.

Either way, now we know at least the basic plot for the remainder of the season.

Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai / Tada Never Falls in Love Ep 7

Tada-kun has reverted to its usual way of doing business…  All about the loves and emotions of everyone who isn’t the show’s main couple.  This week, a quadruple dose of unrequited love.  And while Nyanko Big can’t vocalize his feelings, there’s no damm reason why none of the three humans can’t do so.

Yata at For Great Justice dropped Tada this week, and I’m starting to get mighty tempted myself.  I listed it as a keeper mid-season because last week’s ep seemed to show they were going to start making progress, but this week blew it.

However, this is cool:

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Ep 9

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This week’s carrots…  Being bet during a game of Blind Man’s Bluff.  And am I the only one who thinks that “This Week’s Carrots” would be a cool name for a band?

Anyhow, this week – another training camp ep.  (They’re really pounding the tropes in here, aren’t they?)  And finally Trainer-san gets off his dead ass and acts like a trainer with a clue.  Seeing that Spe-chan‘s consideration for Silence is holding them both back, he finally confronts them.  And they both realize that the other is not only their dearest friend, but their closest rival.  Both of them run their little horse girl asses off – and handily beat the others, even with their head start.

It’s kinda annoying sometimes…  Uma Musume seems to really badly want to be a proper sports anime, but doesn’t (or won’t) put in the work to sustain the tone.

Also, just now…  Arby’s (who has a history of anime references on Twitter) tweets about Uma Musume

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Ep 6

Honestly, this week’s ep seems to have been mostly forgettable…  When it came time to write this review,  I pretty much couldn’t remember anything other than the gift scene at the end.   Looking around the rest of the web, it becomes clear that I couldn’t remember because pretty much nothing happened.

I should be clear though…  In this kind of semi-anthology/slice-of-life romance series, that’s not actually a glaring flaw.  It’s pretty much par for the course in that genre.

I do sympathise with Nafuji though.  I’m the oldest of five, and there’s seven years between me and my original youngest brother and sixteen years between me and my actual youngest brother.  (Which sounds funny…  But the explanation is simple, my parents had an unexpected late life (by the standards of the day) child.)  I was in fourth or fifth grade when I grasped the truth about Santa – but my parents made it Very Clear that I was to keep my lips zipped for the sake of my younger siblings.


And that’s this week!  Remember, between the holiday weekend (which we traditionally spend geocaching) and preps for and recovering from the Kitsap Medieval Faire, there will be no weekly posts on the 30th and the 6th.  I may or may not get some editorial content out, that just depends on time and energy.

So, what did you think of this week?  Care to take a swing at poetry?  Drop a comment and let’s chat!


8 thoughts on “Spring 2018 – Week 7”

  1. @ 3-D Kanojo: I’m actually mostly fine with what’s going on. I think it’s a surprisingly nuanced portrayal of a relationship, with problems being hard to articulate because they tie into something unspeakable – either because it’s hard to admit, or because it’s hard to understand.

    First, I do agree Iroha is self-centred. It’s anime, and generally people who don’t care what others say about them are considered selfish. Self-centred is a better word, though. But the thing is Tsutsui has a similar problem, which he’s only now realising. Where Iroha’s obstacle is indifference, Tsutsui’s problem is prejudice. Iroha’s primarily concerned with her own emotions, and when they clash with her self-image, she becomes confused. Meanwhile, Tsutsui treats everyone as a type, and when they turn out to be people he’s continually surprised. Neither of them is used to engaging people on a regular basis, and they’re both not very good at “reading the mood”.

    With Iroha, part of the problem, though, is that she needs to speak about her feelings, and she doesn’t get that that’s different from speaking her mind. Saying that she’s bothered by Tsutsui being with Ayado, is not the same as demanding from him to stop seeing her, but she lumps that together, and thinks she doesn’t deserve to make such a demand. There is, I think, a second problem, and it ties back to her illness: their relationship has an expirydate (maybe because she herself has one), and if that’s true, then she probably also thinks that hogging him to herself may not be okay, since she’s not going to stick around anyway. There’s absolutely nothing to support this in the show so far; that’s pure speculation.

    For Tsutsui, there’s the scene where Ishino tells him how exhausting it is to have explain everything; Tsutsui thinks for a while, panics and moves on, and Ishino thinks to herself “Ah, he’s given up already.” Then there’s this flashback, where people talk about him behind his back, saying in essence the same thing. There’s his prejudice-driven self-isolation, that has created a set of bad habits that’s hard to break.

    Ishino, meanwhile, never had to think about these things, so she doesn’t really get how hard breaking out of this can be. Her selfishness doesn’t strike me as so bad, compared to other anime-portrayals of friendship. But she’s the odd-girl-out here. I’d say she feels more “shallow”, but that’s got a moral ring to it that I don’t intend. She’s just internalised the expected social roles to greater extent.

    Not sure that makes much sense. Jealousy is a topic that always makes me immensly uncomfortable. I’m a-romantic, and jealousy is something I just don’t understand (I’m also not prone to jealousy outside of romance, so there’s that). I can’t see any positives, but there’s this trope that pops up again and again (and popped up in 3D Kanojo, too) that jealousy has a good aspect, because it shows that the person is special (with the corollary that absence of jealouse makes people sometimes anxious). It’s not a topic I like very much, so that part was uncomfortable to watch for me.

    As a side note: I don’t hold links, so I usually use google to come here. This time, I accidentally hit “translate this page”. The first sentence was rendered (if I translate it back) as “Hinamatsuri again meets someone from the park…” Machine translation still can’t handle metaphor very well, especially when it’s based on jargon. I do wonder what happened to the “it”, which google translate seems to have ignored. (Also, I think that review link for Hinamatsuri is just Matt keeping himself company.)

    I really liked this episode of Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori, but that should come as a surprise. I also really liked the earthenware. He could have sold me a piece or two. (When it comes to visuals, this show hands down my favourite this season.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some good thoughts there!

      There is, I think, a second problem, and it ties back to her illness: their relationship has an expirydate (maybe because she herself has one)

      The doctor’s visit was a red herring… Her illness is asthma. There is an expiration date, but it’s because her family is moving. I wonder if her family has moved a lot in her life? That could explain her behavior a bit. She’s never really had to deal with the long term consequences of her behavior and interpersonal relationships. I’ve also seen that generate a certain amount of possessiveness.

      I think the real centerpiece here is neither one has ever really had to open themselves to another. Iroha seems to be that way naturally. Tsutsui is willingly and knowingly closed off because of how he’s been treated by his peers (plus a bit of social anxiety?). When two rough surfaces meet – there’s going to be friction above and beyond the norm. And that’s without figuring in all the difficulties of an adolescent learning how to handle adult relationships.

      Machine translation still can’t handle metaphor very well, especially when it’s based on jargon.

      Translation isn’t easy any way you slice it. That’s why I brought it up in my discussion of Crossing Time this week…

      I really liked this episode of Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori, but that should come as a surprise. I also really liked the earthenware.

      I have a close friend who is a potter who make practical pieces, and I’ve bought quite a few… Often not because I needed them, but because they were so sweet or felt so good in my hand. I’ve probably got as many of those as I do of her practical pieces that I actually use.


      1. The doctor’s visit was a red herring… Her illness is asthma. There is an expiration date, but it’s because her family is moving.

        What does it say about me or the shows I watch that it never occured to me to take this at face value?

        @Translation: Yes, but there’s quite a difference between the decisions a human makes and the instructions a program follows. This particular mistake is one no human (beyond maybe a second-language student who neither understands nor cares) would ever make.

        Translating poetry is pretty hard, especially if the form has adapted to the lanugage in question. (I wonder how people translate, say, sonnets into Japanese.)


  2. I appreciate you mentioning my review but just FYI Irina had nothing to do with the Hinamatsuri review, the only review we collaborate on (currently) are the Uma Musume ones, all the others are just me. I use the QandA format to bounce ideas off myself but I’m both the question asker and the answerer. If it’s ever a collaborative review it’ll say in the subject line and in the first line of the review.

    Liked by 1 person

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