Winter 2019 – Weeks 4/5 – the time skip edition.


Had a bit of writers block last week…  But fully expected to spend the last few days getting caught up.  I mean, we were going to be snowed in, what else did I have to do with my time?

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My car on Tuesday…

Turns out that being snowed in (which up here is virtually never more than overnight or a single day) for four days isn’t as much fun as it sounds…

Either way, I’ve been remiss in writing and posting and didn’t want to go any longer without saying something.  Plan is to work instead on next week’s Mid-Season gut check and overview (already in work) to get back in my groove.  (I have really had a hard time hitting my stride this season.)

Anyhow, I’m caught up through Wednesday on my viewing schedule, so feel free to drop a comment and let’s chat!

16 thoughts on “Winter 2019 – Weeks 4/5 – the time skip edition.”

  1. Ah, so it’s your turn for snow. We had a nice one last month that dropped about 9 inches on us, but thanks to the timing of it (Saturday night and Sunday) I only ended up getting half a day off from work on Monday morning. Felt like kind of a waste of a good snowstorm, tbh. Heaviest one I’ve been a part of was one back in 2010 or 11 that dumped two feet on us. We were closed all week after that one.

    I really need to get better about watching Neverland the day it comes out. I’m still not used to having a WordPress feed yet, and episode reviews popping up in my feed managed to spoil both episodes 4 and 5 for me before I got around to seeing them. Still very good episodes, but not as impactful as they probably would’ve been if I’d been able to stay spoiler-free. Nice to know I was apparently right about Glinda, though, and good call by you on Ray.

    Is it just me, or did this arc of Quints feel more like it should’ve been an episode 8/9 story instead of an episode 4/5 story? Not that I didn’t enjoy it anyway, but when Futaro’s only connection with these girls to that point was two failed tutoring sessions and a few individual interactions that mostly didn’t go very well, asking these heavy questions about “what’s our relationship?” seemed a bit premature, and I found myself siding with him more than the girls about thinking they weren’t friends yet (Miku might be the exception, but even then he doesn’t know her THAT well yet).

    I’m behind on Asuka now…once I found out that episode 4 had on-screen torture, which really isn’t my thing, I kind of lost my appetite for it. We’ll see if I can find the will to catch back up this weekend, but if I get any further behind I’ll probably just drop it.

    My personal seasonal rankings as of now (based solely on enjoyment): Dororo, Quints, Neverland, Kaguya, Asuka

    Other anime stuff…..

    A Silent Voice lost none of its power for me on the rewatch. I’ve already pre-ordered the Blu-Ray, now that we know we’re finally getting it. Also went ahead and ordered Liz and the Blue Bird and Heaven’s Feel I at the same time. I already have my ticket for Heaven’s Feel II next month, so I plan to rewatch HF1 a few days before. And my local FYE went out of business a few weeks ago, so I was able to pick up copies of Ghost in the Shell (the movie) and Aokana at heavy clearance prices.

    Still watching/enjoying Laid Back Camp. I’m kind of stretching it out because I don’t really want it to end, but I’ve only got two more episodes left anyway. Amusingly, I exchanged belated Christmas gifts with some friends a couple of weeks ago and one of the things they got me was v1 of the Laid Back Camp manga. They didn’t even know I’d started watching the series, but they definitely know me. :)

    Those same friends also showed me a copy of v1 of Hakumei & Mikochi that they’d recently bought for themselves, and ermahgerd, the art in that manga is so good! The amount of detail and texture in some of the panels is incredible. It’s too bad the anime is on Hidive or I might have tried to watch it after Laid Back Camp, but I’m definitely interested in checking out the manga now, regardless.

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    1. Over 5-6″ is highly unusual for us, the last time was the Christmas Storm back in ’96. Our closed in days were Sat-Tues, so it wasn’t entirely a waste from that POV. By my wife had paid vacation and is on salary anyhow. I know a lot of people who aren’t though… Either way, I’m so done with this krep.

      I can’t wait for tonight’s ep of Neverland, a shoe is going to drop when that door opens.

      Thinking on it, you’re probably right on Quints. Two good eps, and we really got to know the girl’s background better – but it does feel like it aired a couple of weeks early. Good catch.

      We went and watched Pancreas last week, and it was pretty darn good. Not great I think, but still pretty darn good. Our local FYE went out of business without so much as a peep… Which sucks because it was basically the only music store in the county. (B&N has a music section, but it’s selection is CRAP.) Also sucks because I would have dropped a bundle once their very overpriced anime was discounted to a more reasonable price.

      I marathoned Laid Back Camp after you mentioned it the other week… Still love it to pieces. Next up, Yorimoi! (IIRC, you still haven’t seen it.)

      For my part, I’d say Hakumei & Mikochi plus Mitsuboshi Colors are worth a single months sub to HiDive if you have the time and budget.

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      1. Well it’s unusual for us, too. Most years even the heaviest storms we get are 3-4″ at most, and sometimes not even that. I remember the first year of Obama’s presidency we had a 2″ snowstorm that shut DC down for the day, and being an old Chicago guy he was like, “seriously?”

        I didn’t know our FYE was closing either…though I suspected they were struggling because I never saw big crowds in there and they’d converted half the store from CDs and DVDs to merchandise in the last couple of years. I just happened to be at the mall that day and saw the signs. It’s kinda too bad, because they used to be a good place to pick up some used/OOP titles or Funi SAVE editions, but OTOH their anime section had really shrunk a lot in the past few years. There was a time when their entire back wall was anime discs, but the last few times I’d been there it was down to just a few shelves crammed at the end of a row next to the WWE DVDs.

        Didn’t get to see Pancreas. We had two local screening times, and both were during my work shifts. Same thing happened with Mirai, and I wasn’t interested enough to take time off work to see either of those. I am taking time off to see Heaven’s Feel II, though; I refuse to miss that one.

        BTW, did you see that Crunchyroll put up “bonus” polls this week for some of the categories people were complaining that they left out, like the genre awards? It’s a small bone, and at least shows they’re listening, although based on the vote totals I suspect there are more than a few spambots voting on some of those categories.

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        1. Yeah, there’s been a lot of signs that FYE was in trouble… and it’s probably telling that I didn’t see any mention of it anywhere on Facebook.

          Really the only reason we went to see Pancreas was because it popped up locally. It wasn’t on our “worth driving any distance for” list. I want to support as many anime movies as I can, but we’re not going to drive around to Seattle on a weeknight for just anything.

          Yeah, I saw those “bonus” polls… Which just made me madder because they are so obviously an afterthought and so half-ass.

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    2. I’ve never seen the Hakumei to Mikochi manga, but good god, that looks awesome!

      I’m watching Neverland a lot like I did Deathnote: intellectually invested, good suspense, low emotional involvement. Middle-of-the-road popcorn fare for me.

      I’m rapidly losing interest in Asuka. It’s got really good moments, but everything about the villains is not that good, and that’s slowly taking over the show, and that – in turn – is lessening the impact of what might otherwise have been pretty good.

      Quintuplets is and remains fun on a very consistent level. Really good with characterisation. And with the exception of the narrator I adore Kaguya sama (very interested how the new character is going to impact the dynamics).

      Dororo‘s been really good lately.

      I’m currently re-watching .hack//sign, and it’s as good as I remembered it to be. It’s also a lot easier to follow on a second watch; for example, the real-world segments are much easier to attribute to the characters the second time round.

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      1. Yeah, I tend to agree with you on Neverland. I feel like I’m more invested in the scenario and the puzzle of “How are they going to get out of this situation?” than I am in the characters themselves. That’s one of the reasons why I’m enjoying Quints more even if the production values aren’t as high, because I like the main cast of characters and the chemistry that they all have with each other. Dororo, meanwhile, is just really good all the way around: good characters, good story, and good production values.

        Never watched .hack; I remember hearing a lot of people say that the pacing is really slow in that series, especially in some of the later seasons.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I love .hack//sign, but haven’t finished any of the others. Sign is excellent, though. The pacing is slow and ponderous. It’s an existentialist show; some characters quote literature. It’s not for everyone, but to this date it’s still to my mind the best MMORPG show out there. The characters are as diverse as they can get, and have different motivations for playing. One thing that stands out to me: today I have word for it: “The World” is a sandbox game, with occasional events run by staff to keep things interesting, but in the end a lot of the actual gameplay is very light on content and repetitive, so the focus is on the socialising.

          A word of warning, though: the ending is… odd. It ends on a huge cliffhanger, but also gives you a “later” resolution, and then there’s some odd mysticist reframing that I still can’t quite make out. The background to that is, that .hack//sign was made to advertise the games. There a four of them, each of which has one episode of .hack//liminality (which amounts to a 4 episode OVA). .hack//liminality is about what the game characters do off-line. The games are not a direct continuation of .sign, but have an entirely new cast. However, because they share the same setting, there’s some overlap. The games start sometime during the later stages of .sign and run parallel, and then continue beyond that. There’s a one-shot OVA that brings together the cast of .sign and the games in a victory celebration of sorts, and that’s often included in boxed sets of .sign (but won’t make much sense unless you played the games).

          I’ve only seen .sign and played the first two games. IMO, .sign stands on its own pretty well (I’ve seen and loved it long before I ever played any of the games), but ends a little abruptly. However, the most important plot point is resolved.

          IMO, there are (at least) three great shows about how VR changes how we view reality:

          .hack//sign
          Serial Experiment Lain
          Dennou Coil

          Not in any particular order.

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      2. Asuka is turning into the kind of anime I have an aversion to… It can’t quite make up it’s freakin’ mind as to what it wants to be. Good taken as individual parts, weak as an overall structure. And I seem to have been the only person who noticed the sorcerers. That’s either a big frickin’ clue, or a big frickin’ plot hole. And why doesn’t the M Squad have any?

        Quintuplets is, dare I say it, one of the better shows this season… Great characters, above average plot, and (mostly) pretty smooth execution.

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        1. The sorceror-issue didn’t much bother me, because I’m not taking the show seriously on a plot level, to be honest. I just assumed, in the meta-game, the sorcerors are the Russian equivalent to magical girls. Maybe Germany has Valkyries? Maybe Ireland has Changelings? I admit, I’ve lowered my expectations for the plot the moment I saw the villains in episode 1.

          I do agree with your general point, though: concretely, considering what I said above, if it’s a pick-one-per-culture-and-run-with-it thing, why doesn’t Japan have, say, onmyouji? Magical Girls are a little too pop-culture in comparison.

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  2. And here I am thinking it’ll snow soon because it’s cold when the sun is shining every day. You did get a lot of snow and it sucks to be snowed in . :o Should send some snow my way. Lol this season my city got next to zero snow and now we’re experiencing cold weather with blue skies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was basically just shy of a century storm… We’re on day seven and there’s still deep snow (by our standards) hanging out (in the open too! not in the shade), that’s basically unheard of.

      So, I’ll be glad to send you some – I am so over it! :) :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow :o That’s a lot of snow! It must be making tasks really difficult when going outside. :o
        Haha I bet you are! 7 days is too much! Thanks lol 😂😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to say being snowed in doesn’t sound like much fun. Around here it’s been nuts: lots of snow (big dippers were shoveling snow into the river), lots of rain, and any mix in between. I hated going outside. Wading through mush isn’t much fun. Not to mention the sudden icy spots. You really don’t want to slip and fall onto those streets…

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    1. I’ve really never been snowed in longer than overnight or maybe over a single day… New experience entirely. One I’ll be glad not to repeat. Nobody was shoveling snow into the water, but the piles in the grocery store parking lot were taller than I am… and I’m not particularly short.

      Do I want to know what I wouldn’t want to fall onto “those” streets?

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      1. I remember a few very snow-heavy winters: one where I was glad our doors opened inwards, or we’d have been trapped.

        Those streets are full of slush. Half-water, half-snow, not really solid, not really liquid. Oh, and it’s grey with dust and car exhaust… When you step into it, it splashes away, and until you put your foot down, you can’t really be sure the whole thing mightn’t be keeping a rogue ice plate wet and slippery underneath it all. Sometimes city administration tries to combat this with salt, but if they’re too late it just adds another layer of unpredictability. Winters used to be either mild with rain, or have a decent amount of snow. Now the weather can’t meke up its mind, and we get both at the same time. Fun times. (It’s good now; it’s over – for now.)

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