Summer 2020 – Week 7 Notes & Thoughts


Another week in the life, another week in anime! Coming into the final third of the season, there’s a lot going on… Hit the jump and let’s run ’em down!

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 20

This episode kinda made me sad…  We got a long look at Frenda’s character, and she’s been pretty interesting these last couple of episodes.  But there’s a reason why she didn’t show up for dinner at Saten’s – she dies in Index III.  (Railgun T and Index III are happening concurrently.)

Not to dismiss that, but maybe we’re getting close to the end of the crossover plotline and actually getting on with Railgun‘s storyline.  There’s only a handful of episodes left and a lot of plot threads left to tie up in the Dream Ranker arc.

Deca-Dence Episode 8

As the saying goes, very interesting…  On the surface, most of the story presented is what you’d expect.  Kaburagi and Donatello putting the plan to destroy the Gadoll factory into motion.  (With lots of nods to classic heist films.)

Deca-Dence MinatoWhat caught my eye is Minato.  He’s not willing to burn the system down, in fact he wholeheartedly support it.  But he does have a collection of avatars that were supposed to have been destroyed.  A collection he could get a great deal of trouble into over if it were discovered.  There’s a subversive streak there…  I’m going call it now, it’s Chekov’s Gun.  Keep an eye on him.

Fruits Basket 2nd Season Episode 21

I have to admit to being a bit ambivalent about this week’s episode…  On one hand, the deep dive into Yuki’s past is powerful stuff.  On the other, it didn’t really bring much new to the table.  I hesitate to use the word filler, because the episode wasn’t without meaning…  But it also didn’t noticeably advance the plot.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax Episode 7
(Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Kan)

Hachiman is taking his anti-prom more seriously than he’s ever taken anything before.  That’s a bit of character development that goes unmentioned in all the concentration on the relationships…  Over the course of his time with the Service Club, he’s gone from slacker to actually caring about the people he’s involved with.

Ah, so in the end it still comes down to relationships…

oregairu - Yui Yuigahama

Poor Yuigahama, caught in the middle and the only one who sees that working so hard for each other is actually tearing them apart.

Rent-A-Girlfriend Episode 7
(Kanojo, Okarishimasu)

Now we know Ruskai’s deal.  She wants to be with Kazuya, and she’s pissed that the guy who she’s interested in resorting to a rental girlfriend.  Which, I guess I kinda don’t understand…  Seems to me that would be something to be happy about – I mean doesn’t that (in theory) mean he’d prefer a real girlfriend?

And in truth, that’s exactly what he wants.  Unfortunately for her, the real girlfriend he wants is Chizuru.  Though he hasn’t 100% figured that out yet…

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld: Part II Episode 7

Sword Art Alicization - Kirito and Asuna Reunited

What else is there to say about this episode?

OK, fine.  We’re finally reaching the endgame…  (Man, that’s hard to say nowadays.  The MCU has really hung a lot of baggage on that word.)  POS, I mean PoH has finally been defeated.  And I loved how Kirito imprisoned him.  I got vibes of this scene from Dr Who:

He never raised his voice. That was the worst thing. The fury of the Time Lord. And then we discovered why. Why this Doctor who had fought with gods and demons, why he’d run away from us and hidden. He was being kind.

Anyhow, all that aside…  Now our attention swings to Alice’s desperate fight at the World’s End Altar.  Kirito, Asuna, and Sinon are hurrying to her aid.  Will they arrive in time?  (Of course they will.)

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Episode 7
(Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!)

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! - Hangover

Not a bad episode, not a great episode, but not a bad episode…  Plays to the show’s strengths, which is our not-quite-a-couple awkwardly hanging out with each other.  Oh, and that first hangover, that’s a killer isn’t it?  They’re actually worse now that I’m getting up there in years, but decades later I still have vivid memories of that first.

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Another week done… Some feels, some laughs, mostly a good week overall. Also making it a good week is that the temperatures have finally broken and it’s swung back to the cooler side hereabouts. About the usual time too, warm days after Labor Day start getting scarce, and that’s only two weeks away.

Anyhow, what are your thoughts on this week’s shows? Hows the weather in your corner of the world? Drop a comment and let’s chat!

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11 thoughts on “Summer 2020 – Week 7 Notes & Thoughts”

    1. “Four seasons in one day!” We get those sometimes in the spring and fall. They can be a pain if it’s a day you’re out running around though…

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  1. @DecaDence: Yeah, Minato is an interesting character, but he also demonstrates the show’s weakness, IMO. The system just seems like window dressing. Any totalitarian state will have people like him; so far the SF angle adds nothing to that. What it does instead is build up expectations that never get rewarded (and give the opportunity for the aesthetic, which I’ve grown used to, and occasionally even like – there was an original Gameboy in the crowdscene for example). It’s a decent show as long as I lower my expectations.

    @Fruitsbasket: Huh, I have to say I found this a key episode. It’s true that we don’t really learn anything we didn’t already know, but they did let threads run together and look deeper into what it’s like to be a zodiac. Also, there were a few details that did fall into place for me.

    The cap, for example. It’s always bothered me. The set-up was always something like a love triangle between Tohru, Yuki, and Kyo, but with a heavy bias towards Kyo, so it’s not really a fully connected triangle. Early on, the show was always leaning towards Tohru’s sympathy for the cat, and on the same level the cat and the rat were always depicted as enemies. However, what we’d gotten was more of a rivalry. So it’s never been quite clear to me what the role of the “rat” here is. It’s been clear that from recent developments, that Tohru received the cap from Yuki, but something about this makes little sense. Unless Yuki was wildly different as a kid, for example, it couldn’t be his. But at the same time, in terms of romance and love triangles, it would have been a sort of balance between real-world happenings and the zodiac symbology on the meta level. Fruitsbasket, though, is more of a melodrama, and in such shows the meta symbology and happenings tend to align. The cap being Kyo’s, but received through Yuki, makes perfect sense, though, since it incorporates both of them, and their relationship to each other. Tohru could only have gotten the cap, because Yuki was hesitating to return it to Kyo. And he was hesitating, because Kyo basically disliked him based on little else but the curse.

    The second thing of note, for me, was seeing child Akito. Demented from an early age, but still not quite that broken until a certain event we have yet to learn about. I thought the differences in them meeting was interesting, with Yuki rejecting Akito first. It’s also interesting that they said, that out of all the zodiacs, the rat is the most similar to the Jade Emperor; this is something I picked up on, but it terms of people not zodiac: I always thought that out of all of them Yuki was most like Akito (I commented on this over on Crows blog a couple of episodes back – during the summer vacation arc, I think). It’s interesting that the show gives this a meta-symbology spin, while also saying that the Ox hates rat because the rat used it to win, when we’ve recently learned that Haru actually got Yuki out of the estate. The curse is real, the zodiacs seem to have to some degree determined personalities, but it doesn’t seem to be destiny to play out the same story over again.

    So for me, a lot of things fell into place, less in terms of information, and more in terms of framing. I thought it was a really important episode.

    @Rent-a-Girlfriend: As frustrating as ever. The show keeps doing interesting things without taking them anywhere. Such a waste of potential.

    @Oregairu: Yeah, I feel bad for Yui this season. Interestingly, she carries this season for me, something she hasn’t ever done before. I’m not really into this season as much as I want to be, and it’s no longer a case of not remembering. It’s just that I find the romance aspect surprisingly dull. And I don’t much care about either Hachiman’s or Yukino’s development. At this point, I can safely say season 2 is the (current) highlight of the franchise for me. (I do like the opening, though.)

    @Uzaki-chan: Yeah, nice episode. I’ve never had a hangover in my life, so that’s not something I can relate to. Furthermore, drinking really is far from my favourite topic. Seen like that, it’s an achievement that the episode didn’t turn me off, and I ended up quite liking it. I was wary when I realised that first alcohol was going to be the topic. At one point I need to figure out why this sometimes bothers me, and sometimes not at all.

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  2. Re:Fruits Basket

    Also, there were a few details that did fall into place for me.

    Explained the way you did… I can’t disagree with your conclusion at all. Still, the run of episodes since the end of the Summer Vacation Arc is bugging me, I just can’t put my finger on why I feel we’re on a bit of treadmill. Details and filling in is good, but it’s just bugging me.

    Re:Rent-a-Girlfriend

    I think Rusaki’s introduction may finally get the show out of it’s rut. That’s the big problem as I see it, they’ve spent a lot of time and energy setting up the situation… And it could have, probably should have, been trimmed and compressed a bit. Probably an adaptation issue.

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  3. It’s hot here, but nothing abnormal for this time of year.

    I wasn’t able to make any more progress on Aokana this week, because I’m having issues with my laptop again. I suspect it’s just a prankware infection, nothing serious, but whenever it activates I have to shut the whole computer down, and it’s been a slow process trying to clean it out.

    The copy of Flip Flappers I ordered earlier this month following the great CR-Sentai purge finally came in the mail this week, so now at least I can get back to watching that. In the meantime I spent my anime-watching time this week revisiting some favorite episodes of Hyouka, and also rewatching the final arc of Sound of the Sky, which I got in the mood for after that show came up on Scott’s blog a few days ago. I also bought the OPs for SotS and Sakura Wars off iTunes. That’s about all that’s worth mentioning.

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      1. Sound of the Sky. The song, Hikari no Senritsu, is a rather folkish piece by Kalafina, with lots of flute and acoustic guitar, but I quite like it. Interesting thing with the OP itself is that the director reprised his idea from Elfen Lied of putting the characters into a montage of Gustav Klimt paintings (same director for both shows), though in Sound of the Sky’s case the music lends a totally different feel to the viewing (it’s not as good as Lilium either, but how many songs are?).

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        1. Ah, Sound of the Sky is one of those anime so old that I’m not used to the English name. It’s Sora no Woto to me. I love the opening; it’s very memorable and one of my favourites. (Lillium, too. And, yes, completely different.)

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    1. “Prankware”? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one before… Looked it up, and man – there’s some serious jerks out there.

      Xeno has been doing ep-by-ep reviews of FlipFlap, but it’s one of those shows I’m not really interested in rewatching. Nothing against the show, it just isn’t that type for me. Speaking of Xeno, you really should get caught up on YuYuYu S2 now that we’re into the Hero Chapter. He’s really on his game now.

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      1. Yeah, like I mentioned a few weeks ago it was Xeno reviewing Flip Flappers that finally pushed me to pick it up, just in time for CR to drop it. But I liked it well enough that I already decided it was worth buying at the right price, and as it happened it was on sale at the time I went browsing for it.

        Catching up on Hero Chapter…amen, brother!

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