Summer 2020 – Wk 4, notes & comments

SAO - Ordinal Scale server
Lots of development and/or drama in many of this week’s shows…  And the cliffhanger in SAO raises many questions.  Hit the jump and let’s dive into that and more!

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.

A Certain Scientific Railgun T Episode 17

A very Kuroko-centric episode…  And actually I enjoyed it.  We don’t get to see her in serious mode that often, and it’s a refreshing change.  Only minor story progression though, but whatever.  That’s Railgun for you.

Deca-Dence Episode 4 (ANN)

Natsume happens to be thrust into her first battle by no fault of her own, but there’s no way she’s just going to stand around and watch. She borrows some tank gear and runs into the thick of it. Even when a Gadoll impales one of her fellow fighters and blood splatters everywhere, she heads towards the danger. Like a soldier. This is your place and time, a voice must be saying in her head. Don’t let it go to waste.

Deca-Dence – 04 – Changing the World That Is Yourself

Interesting write up from Braverade over at Rabujoi.

For my part, I can’t help but wonder if Kurenai is actually aware of what a “bug” is…  and if she just doesn’t care.  It’s not impossible that all of Tankers in The Power are bugs – and killing them is the whole point of the upcoming event.  If you’re responsible for a herd, as the cyborgs are for humanity, isn’t culling a logical necessity?

I also wonder what “death” is for cyborg characters…  Is this an Iron Man campaign?  (Where death is permanent and you have to restart your character?)  Or do they just go back to a spawn/healing point?  I think it’s more than the latter because the game masters treat it seriously…  There’s frustratingly little information on that side of the world given how important it is to the plot.bu

Fruits Basket 2nd Season Episode 18

Damm.  Damm, damm, damm. DAMM.

Lapis Re:LiGHTs TV Episode 5

First part of a two parter, almost no focus on the core group – but setting up for a dramatic mid season climax.

Meh.  I’m finding it increasingly hard to care about this mess.  So many possibilities in this series, but sloppy execution and lack of focus is bringing it way down.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax Episode 4
(Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Kan)

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU - Yui Yuigihama cries
Poor Yuigahama…  She’s discovered that she’s Friend A, and it’s breaking her heart.  But what makes her feel worse, is that can’t not be Friend A – because that would mean betraying her friends.  Betraying herself.

Also, a pox on Haruno for suggesting that their complicated relationships are toxic (codependent).

Rent-A-Girlfriend Episode 4
(Kanojo, Okarishimasu)

A swing… and a grounder to second.  They go for a bit of an emotional route, but they’ve haven’t established the characterization needed to support it.

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld: Part II Episode 4

After the last couple of weeks of ever increasing pressure, I didn’t think it could get any worse.  And then..  I…  I…  Never thought I’d see the day when Asuna buckles under the load.  Especially when she has to know that it puts Kirito in immediate and potentially mortal peril.

After three cour – Alicization is finally not only making me feel, but making it work.  I can’t say those long wearying weeks weren’t wasted, but they have redeemed themselves to an extent.

Then…  There’s this in a post credit scene:

SAO - Ordinal Scale server
If you don’t recognize it, that’s Shigemura’s SAO server from Ordinal Scale

Almost certainly has something to do with Kirito’s awakening… but…  Who powered it up?  Why did they power it up?  And why now?

Theories:

1 – Akihiko Kayaba could be about to intervene, not impossible as he takes a great deal of personal interest in Kirito.  (And the end of Ordinal Scale solidly established that he’s still out there, somewhere, as a ghost in the machine.)

2 – Yui is about to enter the Underworld.  I’d honestly be a bit disappointed because of how often she serves as a literal deus ex machina.  But with Papa and Mama in peril, now is about the time for her to get pissed.  (Though I think she’s inhibited from causing harm to a human being given her original purpose.)

3 – “Idol” Yuna (the AI idol from Ordinal Scale, not “Ghost” Yuna – who is dead) is stepping on to the stage.  I can’t imagine what role she’d play, but seems that Ejii has made cameo appearances.  And he’s one of the possibles for the mysterious character in last season’s cliffhanger.  (And it’s canon that her code and data were recovered and placed in a Yui style AI.)

Of the three, I’d say I was most interested in the possibilities of option 1 – Kayaba.

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Episode 4
(Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!)

Our odd-but-not-a-couple takes a few tentative steps towards becoming an odd-but-not-actually-a-couple this week.  I’m liking this slow change, it’s a considerable improvement.  Toning Uzaki-chan down a notch or two doesn’t hurt any.

Now if only Shinichi wouldn’t be such a dipshit…

=========

Up above, I mentioned the “ghost in the machine”, and reminds me of the 1981 album the same name by The Police.

“Invisible Sun” – my favorite song from that album.

========

And there we have it, that’s all for me this week!  Drop a comment and let’s chat about whatever!

8 thoughts on “Summer 2020 – Wk 4, notes & comments”

    1. Fair point… Thinking more about it… There’s also sh_t, and f_ck. Could have talked about those too I guess. Ah well, I was in a bit of hurry.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Yeah, Fruitsbasket was heavy this week, but at the same time, it’s the first episode I felt was a little overdirected in places. Not for entire scenes, just portions of it. When you have an episode this heavy, and a character you’ve seen holding things together so far, you really don’t need close-up shots to drive home the drama; these often have the oppisite effect on me than intended.

    I have little to say about everything else. The writing in Deca-dence doesn’t inspire confidence in me, I never had any expectations for Lapis, so I’m fine with what I get. Kanojo is in danger of being dropped, and probably would have been already if the season weren’t so meagre (the day it airs on isn’t meagre, so…). I can appreciate that the show knows what it’s doing; it’s not your avarage rom-com. Sadly what it’s doing is annoying me. Uzaki-chan is the most consistently entertaining of the new lot…

    I’m in and out of SNAFU this season, which is the exact experience I had with the first season. It seems the second season was just an extended good batch for me.

    I think what tops the season for me is Fruits Basket, Fire Force, and Re:Zero. Sequel city (not that I haven’t said this before).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both Kanojo and Uzaki-chan supposedly get better as we get more into them. Kanajo, meh, maybe. It’s got to overcome it’s starting conditions and that’s a tough row. It’s trying, but not quite making it. Uzaki-chan is definitely doing so. (But I also have the advantage of now having seen one more episode of both than I wrote about.)

      Deca-dence is good, but I wonder if it’s bit off more than it can chew. Would have been better to put more work into less? Does that make any sense?

      Like

  2. Did I mention to you that I read the manga version of Aincrad a few months ago? The note about SAO in your header jogged my memory, but I can’t remember now if I brought that up before.

    Aokana update: Done with Mashiro’s route. I enjoyed it just about as much as Asuka’s, though the focus is very different. If Asuka’s route was like 2/3 FC arc and 1/3 personal arc, Mashiro’s was like 3/4 personal arc and 1/4 FC arc. With how they structured the anime, it’s no wonder that virtually her entire route aside from her “alliance” with Rika got the chop (including, unfortunately, some scenes that also revealed a lot about Misaki’s character). One other thing worth mentioning is that Botan (Mashiro’s mom) is now my favorite supporting character in the game by a landslide. It’s too bad she only got like ten seconds of screen time in the anime, because she’s 100% made of win; seriously one of the best VN moms I’ve ever seen.

    Rika’s route is the next one. I’m actually taking all of this upcoming week off work – just some much-needed de-stressing time for myself – so maybe I’ll have her completed before your next weekly post? Guess we’ll see.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Botan didn’t get much airtime, but what she did leads me to easily believe she could be Really Good in the VN. Mashiro was largely/almost a side character in the anime, so now I’m really curious what she’s like in the VN… No doubt it’s more than just almost a caricature of the devoted kohai. (No spoilers!)

      Wish we could find a way to de-stress. I’ve been cooped up in this apartment since March, and my wife has been working the whole time. I’m a social person, and not having my usual round of social nights and monthly meetings has been effing’ hard. (Plus we’ve been dealing with some stuff with our piggies on top of that.)

      No, you hadn’t mentioned getting into the SAO manga. I’ve been tempted to get into the LN’s, but that’s a TON of money…. (30-40 books at $12-15 a pop.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely no spoilers, but really, reading through this VN is making it clear just how drastically simplified almost all of the characters were for the anime. Even ones you’d expect to play more straightforward roles like Minori and Satouin have managed to surprise me a few times, never mind the main characters.

        30-40 books? Good grief. Well I decided that I wanted to know the first arc’s story at least, since it’s become such a seminal work, and I figured reading the manga would be a lot quicker than trying to carve out the time to watch a full anime season. I don’t know when or if I might pick up the next arc, but it was a pretty easy and enjoyable read, for sure.

        You know, I remember when I was a kid, probably 6 or 7, seeing my brother’s collection of all 24 Tarzan novels on his bookshelf and thinking that had to be the longest book series ever written. I couldn’t even imagine how anyone else could write that many novels about the same characters and the same universe and still have more stories to tell.

        Liked by 1 person

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