Summer 2020 – Week 2/3 notes

Sword Art Online Alicization - Asuna in battle
And we’re back for a new season!  Something of a minimalist look while I get my feet under me again… But crawl, walk, run, FLY!  Right? Anyhow, hit the jump and let’s dive right in!


The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italicsstrikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.

Deca-Dence Episodes 1-2

Episode one was interesting, lots of info-dump, but you do need a certain amount to get the ball rolling.  Except for the school scene they did a fairly decent job.  Nothing else I have to say about Ep 1 survives episode 2…

And then there’s episode 2, where everything we thought we knew got tossed into a blender and then poured down the drain.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel.  The setup is interesting as hell…  But the cartoonish character designs are off-putting as hell to put it mildly.

Fruits Basket 2nd Season 

(No comment this week.)

Lapis Re:LiGHTs TV Episodes 2-3

I am… no longer certain just where they’re going here.  The whole “we’re on the verge of being expelled” mic drop at the end of episode 1 seems to have been mostly forgotten.  Instead, more/mostly SOL(ish) as the girls become friends.  Still enjoying, as it’s competently executed and no worse than most…  But all of the world building and plot setting out in the first episode is going to waste.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax Episode 1-2
(Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Kan)

No comment beyond damm, damm, damm…  SNAFU still knows how to break hearts.  Currently the viewer’s, and no doubt the main character’s by the end of the season.

Rent-A-Girlfriend Episodes 1-2 (ANN)
(Kanojo, Okarishimasu)

This series should be subtitled “Main characters make increasingly bad decisions”.  It’s amusing as hell to watch, but so far not outstanding.  (Especially because the plot is so predictable.)

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld: Part II Episode 13-14

And…  we’re back.  And wasting no time before diving right into the action.  Episode 13 is largely forgettable, lots of action of still set up.  Episode 14…  Ep 14 blew my socks off.

The gang arrives (including the Sleeping Knights!) and Asuna wastes no time in getting her troops arranged and heads into battle…  “I will fight from the front!”.  Sure, sure, she’s going to defend the Underworld, but Kirito’s literal soul is on the line.  No doubt in my mind who and what she’s really fighting for.  They scored this part of the episode to the OG SAO soundtrack which was really nice touch.

Back on the Ocean Turtle – they think they know how to awaken (“fix”) Kirito.  I’m taking no bets it’s going to be that easy.

But the big scene…  Bercoulli’s fight with Vecta.  That was, as they say, freaking awesome.  SAO has had more than it’s share of fights to death, but none since Kirito vs. Suguo way back in the first season have been this brutally emotional.

Between the first and the last parts of this ep, as good and emotional an episode as SAO has ever delivered with the exception of the Mother’s Rosario finale.

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Episodes 1-2 (ANN)
(Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!)

I am…  Not entirely certain how I feel about this series quite yet.  It’s moderately amusing taken as a whole… But Uzaki-chan herself is annoying as hell, and the jokes about her boobs clumsily handled at best.  And for an ecchi, there’s just not much there so far.

Though I’ve picked up hints that it does get better as the story progresses, at the moment it’s kinda painful to sit through.  On pace for a 3rd episode drop?

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Anyhow, that’s my thoughts on the past two weeks.  I apologize for the minimal format, but starting again from the basics seems like the best plan.  Once I can maintain a schedule, then I can slowly up my game.  Seems the best way to get back to what I was rather than keep running into the same wall.

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Drop a comment, and let’s chat about this season or anything else on your mind!

8 thoughts on “Summer 2020 – Week 2/3 notes”

  1. @Deca-Dence: Yeah, feeling the same whiplash. The first episode felt like an original anime cobbled together from unoriginal parts, kind of a Howl’s Moving Macross on Titan Rim. Now it’s… a reverse isekai/Avatar? Still has potential and I’m willing to hang around and see if this ride goes anywhere.

    @LAPIS: Losing me quick.

    @Kanojo: Has all the red flags of being a dumpster fire, just can’t tell yet whether it’s the good kind of trashy soap-opera dumpster fire.

    @SAO: WoU2: Yay Bercoulli fight! I’ve been frustrated with SAO’s inconsistent quality since the first arc ended. Agree this one could be up there with the first arc and Mother’s Rosario.

    @Uzaki: Ok, sure, she talks loudly and continuously, and relentlessly teases the MC, who finds it annoying. As a fellow introvert, I find that behavior annoying too. OTOH, she has a cute fang. And she knows semaphore. You never know when that might come in handy.

    Not a strong start to the season, which has allowed me to catch up on YouTube. Today I learned you can assemble an entire episode of nothing but Kumiko making cute noises.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Deca Dence:

      Howl’s Moving Macross on Titan Rim

      I have to admit, I LOLed at this – and it’s true! But they wouldn’t be the first anime to re-arrange common parts into something new. Euph (thinking of your linked video) has all the standard parts of a “school club” series, and borrows a few tropes from sports series…

      Speaking of that video, it’s pretty cute… I’ve always been fond of this one:

      I wish I could find the one that nothing but the times she made a disgusted face and that tongue click.

      @Kanojo: That’s a good way to put it and kinda what I meant. When it comes to assembling standard pieces, this would be the poster child this season. Who hasn’t seen a ton of “unlikely couple forced together” shows across all media? But execution matters, and so far the best I can say is “unexceptional”.

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  2. @Deca-Dence: Pretty much what you say. Totally undecided. I’m not normally put off by such cutesy character designs, but there’s something about this one that just doesn’t work.

    @Lapis: Oh, I think they’re on track. They’ve dropped a line about doing stuff that earns them points shortly before watching an idol performance. It is mostly a slice-of-life show, so it’s going to be meandering along the way. Also, they get points from me for chasing not after the usual cat, but after a duck. It’s nothing special, but it doesn’t bore me.

    @Oregairu: I’m not quite getting into it. They picked up right where they left off to the point that I wish I’d re-watched season 2. Episode 1 I was constantly chasing the plot trying to remember who was who beyond the core cast. Episode 2 was better. I’m hoping to settle down soon, but I’m a bit bewildered currently.

    @Kanojo: Feels like Oresuki light, and I dropped that show. Also, I dislike the male lead. The show definitely knows what it’s doing, though, and it’s a rather slim season, so I’ll probably stick around.

    @Uzaki: I’m having fun so far. Strangely, I don’t even find Uzaki annoying, though everything says I should. I’m guessing the shows going to approve (though not much) to the extent that it rounds out it’s cast. I love the coffee shop owner already.

    If people want an ecchi show, I’d personally recommend the Super HxEros. There’s also Peter Grill, though I imagine you need to be a fan of core ecchi and find the uncensored versions; otherwise there’s no point. (I dropped it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @Lapis: Thing is, from the promos I didn’t expect a slice-of-life… and the first ep dropped enough hints that there would be Something More. I have no objection to SOL, as you know it’s one of my favorite genres. I’m objecting to what feels (so far) like a bit of a bait-and-switch.

    @Oregairu: I don’t think pausing your watch and re-watching S2 would be a bad idea. They really do assume you’re fully up to speed with What Has Gone Before. Even though we watched both seasons back in April, we’re a little lost too.

    As far as ecchi (and fanservice for that matter) goes, generally I don’t seek it out… I’m just not bothered by it so long as the show offers something more. My First Girlfriend is a Gal is a prime example. Plenty of skin and innuendo, but a surprisingly good story.

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  4. Nothing interesting going on with me on the “anime” front. But that’s because I finally got around to buying the Aokana VN over the weekend, now that I can connect to Steam with my laptop again. I’m super-enjoying it so far. I’ve been playing roughly a chapter a day, so I’m up to chapter 5 at this point. The early part at least has been very linear (and I’m still in the common route), and normally I prefer VNs with tons of dialogue choices and branches, but Aokana’s story is so enjoyable that it isn’t bothering me at all. Half of chapter 3 and just about all of chapter 4 covered stuff that wasn’t in the anime, which was kind of a nice treat getting a bunch of new story to enjoy. Probably because Rika and Mashiro were the focus girls in those two chapters, and they were more supporting characters in the anime. While she’s no threat to Misaki’s best girl status, I quite like Rika now that I’m finally getting to know her properly; she’s not just Masaya’s Neighbor Who Keeps Forgetting To Close Her Curtains anymore!

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    1. Probably because Rika and Mashiro were the focus girls in those two chapters, and they were more supporting characters in the anime.

      That pairing did get an entire episode to themselves in the anime. For some odd reason one of my favorites, even though it doesn’t really show Best Girl Asuka. And it’s followed up, in the background, right through the rest of the show. As far as background stuff goes, I thought Mashiro’s struggles to find her own reasons to play (other than devotion to Misaki) interesting.

      I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the later chapters (when you get there). (The parts that were rewritten/cut out of the anime.) I’ve heard plenty from folks who went VN->anime, but nothing the other ‘way round.

      Yeah, on the anime front, if it weren’t for Deca-dence this season would be a footnote. And even then, it’s struggling. (More on yesterday’s ep next week.) Nothing that I know of in your wheelhouse at all.

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  5. That might have been their way of getting at least some of Mashiro and Rika’s arcs into the series. That whole episode you’re talking about with them making friends didn’t happen in the VN, or at least not at the same time/same way as the anime. VN!Mashiro still made her switch to speeder at that point in the story, but Rika didn’t help her with that; she figured it out on her own. I’m guessing some of the other stuff from that episode may come up later in their respective routes, but I’m not there yet – I just finished the common route (which ended after Saki wins the summer tournament) and started Asuka’s route, the first one I’m going to dive into.

    I actually started rewatching some of the early episodes again now that I’ve gotten out ahead of them, and I’m already noticing the differences, though nothing that’s making me enjoy it any less so far.

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