Summer 2020 – Week 9 – The big wall o’ text edition.

And I’m back for another week! I can sense your excitement from here! 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.

A Certain Scientific Railgun T Episode 21-22

No specific comments… Other than to say Academy City is it’s usual mucked up self.

And:

I just thought y’all would find that amusing/interesting. They’re all superpowers in reality, but it seems that franchises have to have their own terms for things.

Deca-Dence Episodes 9-10

A lot going on, all of which you’ve seen and none of which I particularly need to comment on. Despite what the Tankers think, the war ain’t over yet.

What I do want to comment about is… Now I’m really confused. The cyborgs are physically present in their cartoon bodies in the same dimension (for lack of a better word) as the Deca-Dence. But I thought Deca-Dence was inside a game? There’s some levels here that I’m not groking yet.

It does go towards a theory that I’ve been bouncing around for some time – we haven’t seen the “real” world yet. Have we? Episode 10 reminded us that Natsume’s father found a robot body inside the game world way back in Episode 1.

Was that a cyborg’s “cartoony” body? Or a cyborg’s actual physical body? Somehow inside the game world, which we’ve been told several times isn’t “real”. But that isn’t a “real” world – then what exactly are the Tankers?

Either they’ve massively mucked up their worldbuilding, or we still haven’t been given the whole picture. (My money is on the latter.)

Fruits Basket 2nd Season Episodes 22-23

Tohru x Kyo – I ship it. Though I’m kinda surprised that Yuki took himself out of the running…

Yeah, I’m being a little light hearted there, but I can’t come up with much sensible to say. Fruits continues to overwhelm on a weekly basis.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax Episodes 8-9
(Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru. Kan)

Poor Yuigahara… She actually has two wishes, but she can’t give voice to either.

The first is that the three of them stay just the way they are – forever. And she’s self aware enough to know this is impossible. Yukino is already pulling away to follow her own path, and Hachiman is going to follow her. Though he knows damn well she’s already rejected that path – she seems to view partnership as incompatible with her heart’s desire for independence. Yuigahama is doomed to be the fifth wheel.

The second is that Hachiman chooses her over Yukino, or at least gives her a fair shot. But what she’ll get if she asks for that isn’t the real thing she actually wants – for him to make a free choice. She’s too proud (and sensible) to saddle Hachiman with that burden.

It’s not clear to me how much Hachiman is aware of all the undercurrents…

Rent-A-Girlfriend Episodes 8-9
(Kanojo, Okarishimasu)

Episode 8
Kanojo is supposedly a rom-com, but so far it’s managing neither.  This episode was neither romantic, nor funny…  In fact, after quickly disposing of last week’s plot (and thus wasting an entire episode), it was pretty much garbage from end-to-end.

I thought I’d heard the show got better, but I’m still waiting.

Episode 9
Pure dumpster fire.

There’s still a couple of weeks left to go in the season, but I’m calling it now because there’s no competition whatsoever…  Rent-A-Girlfriend is officially the show for Summer 2020 that I wish I could go back and tell myself to skip.

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld: Part II Episodes 8-9

And now…  we’re just about to the climax.  Miller was defeated in one hell of a well done battle.  And they once again reminded us how much Kirito depends on the strength and inspiration of those around him.

The battle on the Ocean Turtle was a bit hard to follow… Again, the good guys won – this time due to the intervention of a literal deus ex machina.   Akihiko Kayaba himself taking control of a robotic body.  It took an unexpected form, but I’ve been expecting him to put in an appearance for a couple of episodes now…  Wherever Kirito is, Akihiko isn’t far away.

Also not surprising is Asuna.  If Kirito is going to be imprisoned for 200 years, of course she’s going to be right there with and for him.  Unfortunately the story of their time in the Underworld is apparently in a side story out of the main stream of the novels.  And with the few episodes we have left, we’re unlikely to see much (if any) of it.

On the other hand, SAO is big on “bang, we’re done” and not much on epilogues.  So they can pack a bit more into those episodes than most series. 

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Episodes 8-9
(Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!)

Episode 8
This episode was everything I’ve been waiting on… Sakurai-senpai finally grasping that gets that Uzaki is kinda into him. That’s why she chased him down way back in the first episode. And, he discovers he’s kinda OK with that.

Episode 9 however… not so good. Right back to the awkward and awkwardly executed sexual comedy of the first episode. C’mon, they can do better than that.

I did however enjoy seeing Saori Hayami pop up as Uzali Tsuki, Hana’s mother. When I first encountered her, I didn’t much care for her. But she’s slowly becoming one of my favorite VA’s.

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Everything is moving towards it’s climax… those shows that are going to have a climax anyhow. Others, likely headed for a “now go read the manga/LN!” ending. Overall it’s been a mixed bag, but with one exception nothing I regret.

Your thought’s this week? How do you feel as the season rounds the corner and sprints for the finish line? Drop a comment and let’s chat.

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9 thoughts on “Summer 2020 – Week 9 – The big wall o’ text edition.”

  1. Yahallo!

    Well, this has been kind of an interesting week. Finally upgraded my phone – the battery on my old one had gotten so bad that sometimes I’d take it off the charger right before I left for work and by the time I got there 20 minutes later it had already shut down. Still haven’t finished fixing my laptop, though, Gonna try to do that this weekend.

    Oh yeah, anime stuff. So reading Scott’s weekly writeups on Bamboo Blade for the last couple months inspired me to finally go back and rewatch that again after several years away. Up to episode 18 now and still happily enjoying it – it’s been long enough that some parts are even feeling totally fresh again.

    Also read volume 14 of Silver Spoon – or more like sped-read it in one sitting, and then went back again to savor the best parts of the book more slowly – and there were some lovely moments in this volume. They’re well into third year by this point. Only one more volume and the story is over…it’s gonna suck to see it end.

    Finally, just yesterday I discovered a lengthy video series on YouTube examining Hyouka. Looks like there’s 20+ videos in the playlist, ranging from five-minute breakdowns of specific scenes all the way up to an hour-long video about the entire School Festival arc. I saved the playlist to my library so I can watch all of them eventually. Gotta say I feel like I’ve been spoiled rotten as a massive Hyouka fan because there’s so much amazing content that’s been made discussing that series, from Bless’s and Nick Creamer’s episode writeups on their blogs to now these videos. And for as many times as I’ve watched the show now, the first few videos I’ve seen so far STILL managed to point out a few things I’d never noticed before.

    On a less happy note, it looks like Crunchyroll’s at it again. Last month I put a series called Utakoi in my queue that I was interested in watching. Hadn’t gotten around to it yet, but then a few days ago it suddenly disappeared. I didn’t even see any warnings or announcements unlike with the Sentai stuff, it’s just gone. And I’m pretty sure that series was CR-exclusive, so who knows if it’s even available anywhere else. With this apparently ongoing content purge since AT&T took over, that’s getting me worried about some of my other CR-only niche favorites like Saki and YnS eventually disappearing too (of course, we never have gotten YnS season 2 back anyway).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AT&T keeps trying to get me to upgrade, even though my new phone isn’t paid for yet. We’re probably going to jump services when it is though… AT&T doesn’t work so well where my wife works. We used to think it was her phone, but when I upgraded and she inherited my phone, the problems persisted it became obvious where the problem really was.

      Really wish we’d get more Silver Spoon anime. But I don’t think it’s popular enough.

      Yeah, Crunchy is seriously deteriorating of late. Don’t even get me started on the dumpster fire that was their August update to their Roku player. It’s not that it’s badly designed (which it is), it’s that it’s all but nonfunctional. Who ships an app that basically doesn’t work? If Funi or HiDive got serious, they could eat Crunchy’s lunch within a year.

      The big thing however is AT&T has lumped Crunchy into their “Kids Entertainment” division, and that does not bode well.

      Like

      1. Kids Entertainment? Yuck! I thought we’d finally gotten past that nonsense years ago. This is why mega-corps should never get involved with anime, especially American mega-corps.

        Not popular enough, and now that it’s over not even an ongoing serial to publicize. Too bad, because even with all of Arakawa’s hiatuses toward the end I don’t feel like the quality’s suffered at all. There are also characters like Nishikawa and Ookawa-senpai who have featured a lot more in the story since the anime ended, and they’ve had some great scenes that it’s a shame will never get animated.

        Like

        1. re: Kid’s entertainment

          As I’ve been saying for years, the basic problem with animation in the US is that it’s a medium that’s largely reserved for kids and fart jokes. What little is left is pretty blatantly shonen/seinen. Most of what we watch (anime wise) is a non-starter from the corporate executive POV. That could change is someone really wanted to change it and had the money to ride it out… (And if the production quality of the average dub went way, WAY the ef up.) But no corporation is going to risk that.

          And that’s setting aside the fact that almost all anime are far shorter than the mega corps usually want… And they’re generally serials. Serials are more popular than they used to be, but they’re far from common.

          Meh, I could rant on, but you get the drift.

          Like

  2. @DecaDence: I think we don’t have the whole picture yet, too, but I also don’t expect things to make much more sense when we do. Logging in obviously involves physical bodies, and the idea that I had that they’re AIs who are considering the virtual world real, because that’s where they predominantly live, has been put to rest when we learned that bugs get imprisoned under the Gadol factory. I’m not quite sure on their ecology, either, since they seem to rely on the stuff Gadol are made from. It’s like Death Parade all over again, a lot of interesting ideas that don’t quite come together, and over that a sappy cookie cutter story that doesn’t need any of that anyway. And now it seems we’ve got an evolved super gadoll? Don’t tell me friend and foe have to team up, and the system learns a lesson about flexibility? (I hope not. That’d be too trite even for this show.)

    @Rent-a-girlfriend: May I remind you that there’s still a girl in the opening, we haven’t seen yet? Yeah, it’s really not a very good show. But it does have an identity of its own at least.

    I still love Fruits Basket, and I still find that I’m not that into Oregairu when it focusses on the romance aspect. Except feeling bad for Yui this season hasn’t done much for me. Little to say about anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Deca-Dence: If they live full time “full dive” (in the virtual environment), then the prison makes sense. They may have entirely forgotten their actual bodies. But yeah, that may be a bit of stretch. They’re wrapped up in their meta-text (Capitalism Bad), and the worldbuilding and story are suffering a bit because of it.

      @Rent-A-Girlfriend: I’m not sure another girl can save this series from it’s tailspin in the remaining few episodes. Not unless her role is to smack some sense into Kazuya.

      Like

      1. @DecaDence: If they live “full-dive” all the time, that may indeed make sense. But then you have a needlessly complex set-up that achieves… what? I mean they log into “physically stored” avatars. I thought a “correctional facility” would dive directly into their code, resetting memories and stuff. With AIs this should be possible to an extent. But the cyborgs don’t really behave like AIs, do they? It’s just your run-of-the-mill authoritarian set-up, with a little machine flavour. I’m not entirely sure if there’s supposed to be more to it which I’m missing, or if it’s just an aesthetic. Given that this is a show where you can tell traitors by their character design, I’m not holding out much hope.

        @Rent-a-Girlfriend: I don’t think another girl’s going to save the show. It’s the opposite. I really don’t know what they’re going to do with her this late in the show. It suggests, to me, a read-the-source ending. Any potential development so far has been held back a re-set. The lie is absolute. It’s like that stupid lock in Nisekoi, but Nisekoi was self-aware. Rent-a-Girlfriend does have moments of emotional introspection that ring true, but none of the moments are allowed to develop into anything. That makes the constant saving of the lie even more annoying. The lie’s the ultimate development blocker, and more elements (e.g. “new girl”) just add more debris. It’s so annoying because every now and then there’s a hint of something worthwhile, which then turns out to be a red herring.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. With the difference that Uzaki-chan feels way more episodic to me (in a sense, the Greek chorus might actually represent the two different modes of consuming the series – developmental romance vs. skitbased comedy). Meanwhile, Girlfriend seems to have a coming-of-age aspect to it that begs for a resolution. (It’s a pity I don’t much care.)

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