Last of the third episodes this week…. And on their third or fourth episodes, many shows either upset applecarts or double down on their narrative. (And yes, a couple of shows earn a third episode drop.)
Hit the jump, and let’s see what happened this week!
The shows that I’m watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics,
strikethrough 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 Episode8/67
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season
There’s been a ton of electrons spilled in the last few days over Gabi and Sasha… Killing a fan favorite was bound to be controversial, regardless of the circumstances. I’m actually OK with it. Seems to me to be consistent with the anti-war theme of this portion of the show. People do die. And they don’t always do so heroically. It’s senseless.
And people do kill, equally senselessly, as a product of their environment and conditioning. And Gabi is nothing if not well indoctrinated into what her world expects of her.
Meanwhile, the Scouts are split over the value and meaning of the operation just completed… And it appears this wasn’t part of a considered strategy. Eren forced their hand for his own, obscure to me, reasons.
It looks like the Scouts have finally had exactly enough of his shit.
Also obscure is Zeke’s role. That’s a pretty high level betrayal if he voluntarily surrendered… And it seems that he was cooperating with the Scouts.
Curiouser and curiouser to borrow a phrase. (Also “oh what tangled webs we weave.)
Cells at Work!! Episode 4
I guess I have to eat my words a little bit… Last week I opined that U-1146 (White Blood Cell) couldn’t carry an episode segment on his own. This week, the show did it’s level best to prove me wrong. I have to admit that with the assistance of Ordinary Cell and a trio of cute lactobacilli, he pretty much managed to do so.
Cells at Work! Code Black
Hataraku Saibou BLACK
After the mess that was episodes 3 and 4… And with our crowded Thurs-Fri schedule… My wife and I kept putting off getting caught up. Now, we’re two episodes behind and we’ve decided to make it official.
Code BLACK wanders off to the discard pile.
Dr. Stone: Stone Wars Episode 3
My wife: That was pretty cheesy!Actual conversation after the end of the episode
Me: Well, it’s kind of a cheesy show… I mean Senku has gone from buck naked to radiotelephones in just a year.
I’m laughing over that conversation as I write… But it’s so true.
But it was good episode I think. Once again, as he’s done so many times before, Senku rolls the dice on human nature and wins. As I said last week, he’s a very shrewd judge of people. His only actual failure so far is Tsukasa – and he’s busting his ever lovin’ butt to make up for that mistake.
Senku isn’t just a good guy, he’s a good guy.
Also, the Fermi estimate he makes about Lillian’s album sales is an actual technique.
Third Episode Status: Firm Keeper. It’s ridiculous, sure, but it’s fun.
Horimiya Episode 4
Hori-san to Miyamura-kun
I guess you could call this The Backstory Episode, because we got a ton of it. Hori’s, a girl thrust too young into familial responsibilities, is conventional. It’s Miyamura’s that’s caught my eye.
Turns out, he’s had friends before. And that illuminates something that I’ve been thinking for a while… He’s not actually socially awkward in any usual sense. He’s got manners, knows what’s expected of him, and once you get to know him a pretty nice guy. It’s the italicized bit that’s important. He’s not easy to get to know because he doesn’t put himself out there or defend himself.
And his confession (the second one really) reinforces that. He’s comfortable with Hori, and willing to take that risk.
Idoly Pride Episode 3-4
My estimation of this show is generally creeping up – it’s solidly putting in the work to be an honest idol show. It’s worth noting that their manager is co-equal (in terms of character status) with the idols.
Could have done without the girl who can see Mana (the ghost) though. That’s just a pointless complication. They also aren’t doing the best job of managing the large cast, but above average is enough to keep me around because it’s so rare.
Laid-Back Camp 2nd Season Episode 4
Yuru Camp 2nd Season
Just the girls derping around… And the scenes over the end credits were just perfect.
Non Non Biyori Nonstop Episode 4
Another Renge-centric episode… Which is by no means a complaint! Overall this season is really playing to it’s strengths.
Also, finally got some Kaede (Candy Store) time, and it was a classic. And Natsumi got what she deserved…
I’m two episodes behind, and that really forces my hand to an extent… Do I really want to spend the time to catch up? After thinking for a couple of days, I’ve reluctantly concluded that I don’t.
After three episodes, we’ve barely gotten rolling. We’re still largely right where we were at the end of the first. It’s not that I mind slow paced shows, it’s that I ask that show at least give me a reason to believe there’s something worth watching. After three episodes of repetitive action and the main characters still being mostly featureless blobs… I don’t feel there is any reason to believe.
Otherside Picnic is thus consigned to the discard pile.
So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode4
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?
This episode was mixed at best. On one hand, Kumoko’s increasing tactical skill and cleverness was well displayed. On the other hand, she was saved from her mistakes by some very conveniently timed
authorial meddling leveling up. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again, K? It makes it look like the writers are running out of ideas.
Also, the flaws in 3D animation were on full display here… The rage monkeys simply didn’t look all that good. I don’t know if it was an uncanny valley problem or just straightforward animation/quality problems, but either way it didn’t work for me.
The Promised Neverland 2nd Season Episode 4
Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd Season
First, the plot points by the bullet point:
- So, the first stage of the “Underground Railroad” has been compromised. That does not bode well for the future.
- I’m not sure what Isabella can accomplish that a trained force of hunters cannot… But it’s consistent with what seems to the demon’s ethos: “Don’t waste material”. (And they’ve invested a lot of effort into her.)
And the elephant in the room… It seems the series is/has diverged greatly from the manga (the source material). On one hand, that’s bad. (Right?) On the other, the mangaka themselves is involved with producing the scenario and the show… So it’s reasonable to think this is being done with their cooperation and blessing.
But… is it actually bad? I mean, I’ve had manga I enjoyed adapted and I grok the urge for a faithful adaptation. I’ve been bothered/angry/outraged by adaptation choices. I’ve also been overjoyed when they nailed it. I’ve also watched anime-original productions and greatly enjoyed the sense of wonder and anticipation because I don’t know what’s going to happen next.
In the end, I don’t really have a dog in this fight because I’m anime only. I don’t have any basis for comparison, so that’s how I’m going to approach it. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that manga reading commenters taking it to task are unwelcome or anything! It’s just that we probably won’t share a common ground and I won’t be able to make cogent replies. I apologize in advance if that leaves the impression that I don’t care or think less of you. Neither are true.
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Episode 4
Go-Toubun no Hanayome ∬ (Second season)
One of the things I’m trying this season is keeping running notes on shows… there’s too many to try and keep it all in my head. This is my note after this episode of Quintuplets:
This episode seemed… well, rushed? Like they tried to pack way too much into it?
I get the Quints trying to lure Fuutarou back, I mean they all have some degree of feelings for them. By why the abrupt resignation in the first place? The whole episode (failure/resignation/change of scene) almost feels like the author breaking out of a corner he’d written himself into. Or (more likely) the adaptation left a lot of stuff out.
Took a lot of wind out of the sails of my enjoyment of the series.
Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 Episode 5
Well, somebody had to win and somebody had to lose. And the W went to the character we’ve spent the least time with and know the least about. This season is supposed to be Mejiro McQueen and Tokai Teio’s story, but so far it’s been all about Tokai… What next? A redemption arc? Or will one of the plethora of side characters they keep focusing on get her time in the sun?
(*) With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun Episode 16
Inu to Neko Docchi mo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii
Whew. Last season I was looking forward to this season, fully expecting it to be lit. As this week shows, by and large it has not disappointed in that respect. I’m only seeing one, maybe two shows that are close enough to line to be mid-season drops (and I’ll keep those to myself for the moment). Hopefully Quints can plug the leaks and get back on track…
Anyhow, enough from me, over to you! Hit that comment button and let’s chat!