Pizza! Winter 2021 – Week 2


In this episode your humble scribe briefly discusses his second favorite food and this week’s episodes of way-too-many anime. Also, a drop, a new show, and the first shows to cross the three episode threshold. Grab a slice of pizza, hit the jump, and let’s dive in!

The shows that I’m watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italicsstrikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows with no comments this week.

A reminder for the Winter 2021 season: Due to the large amount of shows this season, brief comments and no comments are likely going to be common… This is about the only way I can remain sane.

Attack on Titan: The Final Season Episode 6/65
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season


I missed that you saw them for just a flash… But I realized it as fast as Pieck did. That sound. Omni-directional mobility gear. The Scout Regiment. As I thought, this isn’t Eren on his own. This is a full blown assault on Marley by the Paradisians. A pre-emptive strike in the war they knew was coming.


And the moment… That’s got a lot of places in turmoil. Mikasa is absolutely correct – Eren has crossed a line that cannot be uncrossed. But who can say he’s not justified given how the Eldians of Paradis Island have suffered at the hands of Marley for centuries? (Presuming you think such things can be justified at all, something I am not comfortable with asserting flat out.) It’s a complicated situation, and in the end… there’s no Good Guys in war. It’s not black and white, and there are endless moral quandaries and quagmires. (Given my former lifetime with strategic weapons, it’s an issue that strikes uncomfortably close to home. One I’ve wrestled with for many years.)

Random notes the close it out… I like the Scout’s new design, I am not so fond of the new character designs. It’s fascinating to see the Scouts working with much more modern equipment.

What’s going on with the Marleyean military and political structures? Seems almost like a coup from within. Willy and Magath seem to have a side game running, and I don’t grasp the rules.

Where is Reiner? Where is Falco? Where is Reiner?

Cells at Work!! Episode 2
Hataraku Saibou!!
Cells at Work! Code Black Episodes 2-3
Hataraku Saibou BLACK

Honestly, I don’t think either series is really standing up, even without comparing them to the first season of Cells at Work!.  In particular, Cells at Work!! seems…  unfocused?  More sizzle than steak?  As much as I complained about the original format, I guess I’ve become used to it.  I don’t think U-1146 (White Blood Cell) has enough oomph to carry episodes on his own.

Third Episode Status: Cells at Work!! – mild keeper, hopefully it will right the ship and resume the course.

Third Episode Status: Cells at Work! Code Black – On pace for a mid season drop. On top of the general (and constantly shoved in our face) darkness… AA-2153 (Red Blood Cell) is simply an uninteresting and unsympathetic character.

Dr. Stone: Stone Wars Episode 1

To paraphrase something someone said in chat last night: “This episode was awesomely competent”. It wasn’t particularly good or bad, it just did a decent job of re-introducing the scenario and setting the events of the new season into action.

That being said… I have a couple of questions. Did they change goals when I wasn’t looking? Because their new one, taking control of the revival cave, doesn’t strike me as accomplishing their long term goal of defeating the Empire of Might. I mean the Empire is still going to be out there.

And that plays into the second question. What was their strategy before Gen came up with the current froot-loop one? Because this one doesn’t strike me as very viable. And it seems very odd that Senkuu doesn’t have an exit strategy or an endgame. He’s not usually rash and impulsive. There’s always a reason. But it’s also not always obvious…

Gekidol

The more I pondered on this show, the less substance I found to it. And the less satisfied I was. Now that I’ve got my whole schedule page laid out, I can actually see how crowded this season is.

And, as I said in my First Impressions comment on Gekidol “merely being ordinary isn’t enough”. As I’m already falling behind on stuff I should be watching… Gekidol gets a pre-emptive drop. There’s just too much other Better Stuff stacking up.

Horimiya Episode 2
Hori-san to Miyamura-kun

I was 100% onboard with the first part of the show… The second, I was disappointed with.

Hori doing work the student council seems to run counter to her established homebody persona… And the mean streaks exposed in her Miyamura are not very pretty. Back to rom-com please!

Idoly Pride Episode 1

I wasn’t originally going to check out Idoly Pride, but I just can’t resist an idol show.

Overall, the show was a bit confusing… It opened looking like one kind of show, centered on an idol group. Then it time skipped backwards into a prologue that (while fairly predictable) promised a different kind of show, more producer centric. Then it time skipped forward (but not all the way to the present day), and dropped an unexpected bomb… The idol who died at the conclusion of the first part of the prologue popped back up as a ghost! What in the fresh h*ll is going on here?

And then the OP rolled…

It’s not unusual for the OP to come at the end of a premiere episode… But it doesn’t bode well in this case. It’s a generic OP for a generic idol show. The producer and the ghost are nowhere in evidence. It’s not impossible the OP is trolling us, but it’s uncommon enough that I’m not inclined to bet that’s the case here.

Though Xenodude’s tweet on the question of idol shows this season is funny as heck.

Idoly Pride Episode 2

Don’t want to spend a lot of time here…  But the second episode makes me feel a little better.  The ghost is still there, but being played straight.  (Think Anohana.)  So far they’re being sparse with the cast…  Sure, there’s a raftload coming but they didn’t dump them all on us in this episode.  They spent a lot of time establishing what appears to be the main characters.

I’m still suspicious, but it looks like they’re putting in the work.  Just might be a bit above the paint-by-numbers level.  Crossing fingers.

Laid-Back Camp 2nd Season Episode 2
Yuru Camp 2nd Season


Good choice Rin! When given a choice of pizza, always choose pizza! Of course, your humble correspondent had two slices of leftover homemade pizza for breakfast just this morning…. (I also once ate pizza for seven meals across three days. And was sad we had no more pizza.) But then, I think long time readers of this blog are well aware of my predilection for pizza.

Ok, one last thing about pizza and we’ll move on, I promise… I just enjoyed this bit of microfiction that popped up in my feed yesterday:

Other than that, this was your usual well done episode. The only question it left me with was this: Will we actually get to meet and spend some time with Camping Ojiisan? I know adults don’t play a large part in this series, but I certainly hope so.

Non Non Biyori Nonstop Episode 2

I’m with Renge, bell peppers are not the most desirable members of the vegetable family. And as usual, she was the star of her segment.

The rest of the episode, cute but weak IMO. They’re leaning way too hard on the new characters… Which isn’t something the series needed at all.

Otherside Picnic Episodes 2-3
Urasekai Picnic

I am not at all sure that I understand where this show is going. More on Sorawo’s part than Toriko’s, I think both leads grasp that there’s a relationship building. Two HUGE roadblocks stand in the way of that. The first is Toriko’s obsession (?) with Satsuki. (Strongly implied to be more than just friends.) The second, and more important I think, is that the Otherside appears to operate on a primal, emotional, level. Maybe it’s just amplifying what’s already there but it’s certainly taking advantage of it.

Third Episode Thoughts:  As I said above, I am not at all certain where this show is meandering towards. And I think meandering is appropriate, it’s certainly in no hurry. (Not that that’s a flaw in this case. You can go too fast for the underlying story too!) But I am 100% onboard with staying around and seeing more.

Status: Keeper

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 2
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?

The ANN reviewer is taking to calling her Kumoko – “Little Spider”. That seems to work, so I’m going to adopt the same convention.

Not a whole lot to this episode… Kumoko goes all in on being and leveling up as a spider. The meat probably lies in the hints they slid in about dragons and evolution.

The Promised Neverland 2nd Season Episode 2
Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd Season

The first part of the episode could rightfully be called an infodump. Masterfully done, nicely showing Emma and Ray’s mounting horror… But also giving a glimmer of hope. And Emma especially is nothing if not determined and hopeful.

But I have to wonder how the “free” Humans will react to refugees from the Demon half of the world. I mean, they’re taking a wrecking ball to the social order that’s persisted for a millennium. But they’ll also be reminding them of the price they paid in other’s blood.

To understand the second half of the episode, we have to go way, way back to the very first episode… to Emma and Norman discovering Conny’s body.

Now we understand the significance of that scene. And how much, culturally, the “good” demons and “bad” demons share.

This scene was… wow. Honestly, after collecting the screenshots for these two slideshows, I had to take a break and go do something else for a bit.

Emma learning to kill was powerful to begin with. But this, this was something else entirely. Either there’s nothing that can break Emma, or she’s headed for one king hell of a breakdown/outburst.

And when she returns to the shelter, she immediately breaks her promise to be honest and truthful with the other children when something is bothering her.

Also, did anyone else notice Don and Gilda are seriously stepping up as co-parents alongside Emma and Ray? Interesting.

The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Episode 2 
Go-Toubun no Hanayome ∬ (Second season)


Lot’s of shenanigans going on, and some that leave me unsettled. Why is the episode titled “Seven Goodbyes – Part 1”? That doesn’t bode at all well.

The quint’s background is a little heartbreaking.

But it’s the end that’s really got me wondering… I’ve seen it supposed in some quarters that the Adult Mysterious Quint is a hallucination. I think it’s an actual quint… But why? Why now? How did Futaro end up in pond? Why did Yotsuba blow him off? Why did he seek Nino?

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 Episodes 2-3

Third Episode Thoughts: Pretty Derby suffers badly from sequelitis – they’re stuck with the setting, but there’s not really much they can do with the characters already on the board.  Still, it’s entertaining enough and Special Week and Best Horse Girl Silence Suzuka have regular cameos.

Status: Keeper

(*) With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun Episode 14 
Inu to Neko Docchi mo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii

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Because I know the question is going to be asked… My favorite food? BBQ. The real stuff – low & slow, smoke & heat. I have a definite preference for Lexington Style, but so long as the sauce isn’t mustard or mayonnaise based I’ll fill my plate with it.

Anyhow, that’s it for me this week. What’s your favorite food? Opinions on pizza or BBQ? Thoughts on this week’s shows? Whatever you want to talk about, the comment section is all yours. Drop a comment and let’s chat!

12 thoughts on “Pizza! Winter 2021 – Week 2”

  1. @Shingeki no Kyojin: The new character designs were prompted by both the timeskip and a change in studio (from WIT to MAPPA). In the early manga chapters, Isayama’s art was honestly subpar so WIT modified the character designs to make them more anime-friendly, and stuck with those designs with only minor updates through Season 3 even as Isayama’s art improved. MAPPA took advantage of the timeskip to make the Season 4 character designs much closer to the manga. There’s a lot of online discussion of the studio change… I’d advise staying away from it since it’s pretty toxic and often spoilerific.

    The discussion between Magath and Tybur in the carriage in this episode was moved later… it actually would have been after the commercial break of the previous episode if MAPPA had adapted the manga strictly in order. It was a good choice in my opinion by increasing the shock value of the attack. The scene of Tybur saying goodbye to the children is anime-original. And now’s a good time to go back and re-watch S4E4 to decode the cryptic conversation between Magath and Tybur sitting on the benches as the stage was being built. There are clues to their plans buried therein.

    I have taken to watching Cells at Work Black before Cells at Work S2… S2 helps me wind down a bit from Black. Likewise, Yuru Camp S2 is great for a nightcap episode.

    I’ve taken a liking to Wonder Egg Priority… it’s trippy and strange, and since it’s anime-original, there’s no source material to get spoiled on so I have no idea where it’s headed. And I may have room for it in my schedule since I’m not following any of the idol shows. This season is pretty stacked, though.

    Pizza: hand-tossed, light on the cheese. BBQ: Texas (natch), though a trip to KC for the 2017 eclipse had me questioning my religion for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. re:@Shingeki no Kyojin

      Ok, that makes sense about the character designs. I still don’t care for them though, mostly Mikasa’s. I have no intention of digging into the fan wank around studio changes. I generally avoid that kind of drama, reserving it for Stuff That Matters. (Such as which Quint is Best Girl.)

      I’ll rewatch that ep as soon as I get a chance… Speaking of eps, I can’t find the comment, but was this the on you thought would break the ‘net?

      I’m hearing lots of good things about Wonder Egg, but I just don’t have the time. I’d have to drop 4-5 shows before I considered adding one.

      BBQ: Texas (natch), though a trip to KC for the 2017 eclipse had me questioning my religion for a while.

      I did carefully consider before dropping that one… Lot’s of quarters that is a very contentious question. (And does qualify under the Stuff That Matters rule.)

      Have you ever seen Rhett & Links BBQ song? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ubTQfr_tyY

      Like

      1. It’s interesting to see how the relatively few complaints about S4 are breaking down between anime-onlies and manga readers. Most of the complaints about character design are coming from anime-onlies (the manga readers got used to the character designs in the manga long ago). Most of the complaints about pacing/cuts are coming from manga readers (anime-onlies would generally have no idea of scenes/dialogue being cut unless a manga reader tells them… or unless something flat out doesn’t make sense). And the complaints about CGI are about 50/50 from both.

        Last week’s ep (64/S4E5) was the one I thought would break the net. Really, though, the pedal is going to remain floored through 67/S4E8 or so. When I first read the corresponding manga chapters (99-105) it was late at night and I’d planned to stop at 100. Ended up binging all the way to 110 (and only stopped because back then, that was the latest chapter). Enjoy the ride.

        FWIW, like you, I’m watching so many series this season I won’t have much to say about some of them… but I agree this week’s Yakusoku no Neverland was beautiful and moving.

        Never seen Rhett & Links BBQ song… thanks for the link!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. @Quintuplets: I’m not sure about the ending either. I’m roughly 50:50 on illusion vs. real, in the sense that whatever I consider the other seems more plausible. If she’s real it would have to be someone who figured it out and whose personality would fit that sort of activity (so my money’d be on Ichika, though not very much money). If it’s an illusion, the things she said to him would have to be motivated in part by the current situation and in part by the memories… and it’s hard to puzzle out to what extent it’d be what he thinks about himself. As for the pond: who knows? The cliché would have been for a hat to blow in, and that, then, would suggest illusion and a suicidal streak (which would also fit the title, but that’s not quite the impression I have of Uesugi – any suicide I could see would be impulsive and thus not involve goodbyes). What’s clear, though, is that something been laid bare in those final scenes. An underlying depression that a strict work-ethic can no longer cover up?

    I was fine with the second half of Horimiya. People are people.

    And I’m not sure what I’m going to do with Cells at Work. If you merged them so that the regular show had the production values of Black, I’d watch it, and if you’d merge them so that Black had the production values of the regular show I’d drop them. Both are overkill, but dropping either of them and not the other feels wrong, and dropping both feels wrong, too. So I’ll probably finish both, and find I’ve finished one too many without ever figuring out which one I should have dropped. I really wish they didn’t air in the same season.

    On the other hand, having both Yurucamp and Non Non Biyori in one season is exactly what I want in the current world situation. It’s just so calming.

    And I like bell peppers. I especially like them on pizza. I can’t stand them cooked (that’s vile). Either grill them or eat them raw, or add them to a salad. Don’t ever cook them.

    The second episode of Spider was a little easier on me concerning the motionsickness, so there’s hope. I’m having fun with the show when I can actually look at the screen, and I’d like to keep up with it.

    And Last Dungeon/Starter Town has totally caught me off guard not with what happened, but how soon, and how much plot they put into a single episode. I no longer know where the show intends to go, because we’re already past what I thought might be a mid-season reveal. In fact, if you’d summarized the plot so far without telling me the number of episodes, I’d have guessed we’re about one to two episodes from the finale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re: Quints. I made the mistake of watching the next episode before replying… So now I don’t think I can. But you’ve given me a couple of things to ponder when I write it up.

      Cells, yeah. Airing them back-to-back (let alone in the same season) is part of the cause of the problem… Comparisons are inevitable. And each has their own strengths, but both are (currently) deficient. I don’t think I’d have a problem dropping one and keeping the other though. We caught up on the double drop episodes last night, and my wife is just about done with Black.

      Speaking of my wife, You and her would get along. Though she doesn’t mind them cooked, she loves bell peppers. When she’s cutting some up for our guinea pigs, she’ll often snitch a piece. (Also partly because I refuse to cook with them in any way, shape, or form.)

      No thoughts on pizza? (I wouldn’t expect any on BBQ, that’s a very American thing.)

      Like

      1. Oh, I love pizza. We’ve got a pizzeria just across the street, so we order them often. I won’t eat seafood at all, and I’m not fond of stuff that’s got too much fat (like, say, bacon), but pretty much everything else is up for grabs. Last one I had was with a sauce bolognese, bell peppers and onions. I tend to like salami based ones, or veggie pizzas, too. I like the broccoli/ham combo. And I love all the spicy ones. When we make them at home (rarely, due to convenient pizzeria nearby) we just plop any leftovers we have onto it, as long as they go together. As for the dough, I have really no preference. The deep pan ones, or really thin Italian ones, the ones with a very crispy crust… each have their own charm.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Much more open minded than me… I’m a traditionalist when it comes to toppings. I agree with you on the dough though, so long as an excess of dough isn’t a cover for a lack of toppings.

          Like

          1. My dislikes aren’t too hot for anime pizza, though. They love to put seafood and bacon on them. I’m wary of anime pizza actually. I’m actually a picky eater in many respects, so there’s plenty of stuff I don’t like, on a pizza or not. But, yeah, if I see a combination (with no dealbreakers) I haven’t seen before I’m always tempted to try it.

            Btw, I’ve dropped both Cells at Work shows. The deciding factor was that they aired on Friday, which is really, really busy without these shows added on top.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. On Idols this season. I’ve watched Gekidol and Idolly Pride and Show by Rock Stars! and will be letting Gekidol sink into the sunset while keeping Idolly Pride and the much more surreal Show By Rock third series. I do think the best idol type show this season is the soon to be ending late starter from the Fall Season, D4DJ. After a shaky start it is now delivering more solid story lines and the characters are more rounded (at least the main characters are) than the standard idol fare. Plus you see the girls actually work to create their success in more than a superficial way – its good to see the creativity doesn’t always come easy for them as it usually does on most idol shows (“Go write a song for our next show”…. three days later… “here is the song I wrote with minimal musical training, its a multi part five minute song with twenty six piece accompaniment, and complex harmonies and metres.”). Ahem… Anyway its a pity D4DJ is ending as its been pretty good, maybe the CGI has been a little dodgy here and there (more so in the early episodes) but overall its take on Deejays has been entertaining and interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the delayed reply, it’s been a crazy week… As far as current season idol anime (that I am watching) goes, yeah, Idolly Pride is the only likely survivor.

      If you like the realism of the struggle, have you ever watched the first season of Wake Up Girls? Sounds like it might be up your alley. (The second season is for confirmed fans only.) Both the prequel movie and the series are on Crunchyroll.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t seen Wake Up Girls. It does sound like I might like it. It will go on my anime to watch list. Thanks for the tip. :)
        Idolly Pride hasn’t quite got its elements clicking yet (much like the newbie proto-idols of Idolly Pride) but I’m hoping when it does it will go up a notch or two.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m also sticking with both Cells shows at the moment though I think they are both struggling to make their subject matter as fresh and entertaining as what the first series was. I sticking with them as I find the concept of these shows worthwhile and deserving of support as much as for the entertainment value.

    Liked by 1 person

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