I forgot to make notes this week – so it’s all a wing and a prayer from memory. Which is probably a good thing given that it’s mid-season gut check week… When I take a good close look to make sure I want to keep spending time with a given series.
So, let’s hit the jump and take a look!
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.
Mid-season gut check… a term that’s pretty much unique to me. That’s when I double check that I’m enjoying a given show and that I’m getting good returns for my investment of time. I have to do this because I have a very bad habit of sticking with shows I’m not actually enjoying all that much.
Attack on Titan: The Final Season Episode 10
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season
I admit to being a little frustrated after this episode. Part of it is the back-and-forthing with the flashback timelines is a bit confusing. (Even without the whiff of “everything you knew was wrong”.) And in some ways, this episode seemed to go back over the same ground as episode 9… And we’re still missing how Zeke came to some form of an accommodation with the Paradisians, so there’s more flashback coming.
Nor did I care for the whole Hidden Heir bit around Mikasa. We already got that with Historia, and a second one feels a bit like an ass-pull. (As does Historia’s pregnancy.) Political plotlines have never been Titan‘s strong point, so the plot is visibly straining under the load as the strands get more complicated.
My favorite part was Eren’s outburst. Hange is trying to talk him back down from the precipice (too late I warrant), and he reminds her in no uncertain terms that he’s restraining himself. He’s explicitly placing himself beyond their constraints. But still he waits… for what?
Mid-season status: Keeper, patiently waiting. Though it’s gone further off the reservation than ever before – Titan has never truly disappointed me yet.
Cells at Work!! Episode 6
Honestly, I don’t remember a whole lot about this episode other than the “theme/edutainment park” for the platelets.
Mid-season status: Entertaining, so, mild keeper.
Dr. Stone: Stone Wars Episode 5
This could be called, at best, a set-up episode. Despite that, the Great Detective Suika segment was pure gold… Nice to see her get the spotlight again.
But it looks like it’s about to shift gears because Chrome has finally grown some self-awareness. On the other hand, Tsukasa’s sudden “wisdom” was pure undiluted ass pulling.
Mid-season status: I called this ep set-up, but really it’s just part of the larger set-up arc of the season so far. But that’s par for the course for Dr Stone – can they make it pay off like they did in the first season? Crossing my fingers and marking it a keeper.
Horimiya Episode 6
Hori-san to Miyamura-kun
Not much comment this week. Sawada was an unwelcome addition, even if she did lead Miyamura and Hori to be a bit more open and firm about their relationship. But then, the cat was already out of that particular bag when Miyamura was spotted coming out of Hori’s house one morning…
Hori’s mother certainly seems to accept the situation, as does Hori herself. Still not sure about her dad though, mostly because it’s still not clear where he stands in relation to the family overall.
Still pondering about him cutting his hair… He’s slowly paddling out into the stream, going out into the world beyond the few he’s accepted as friends.
Mid-season status: If there’s a series that’s an AOTS contender (that’s not Laid Back Camp or Non Non Byori) then Horimya would be it. (Sorry Titan and Dr. Stone, you’re both good but…) Like any series it’s run a bit hot and cold, but it’s been the most consistently good. That it’s not playing any of the normal anime romance trope cards is also a strong point in it’s favor.
Idoly Pride Episodes 5-6
Not too much in specific to talk about… I don’t like it’s large cast, which it’s just barely managing to handle. (The large cast is a symptom of the mobage I suspect – lots of potential waifus.) But other than that, it’s mostly putting in the work to establish itself as a passable idol show. Most multi-media franchises (read: advertisements for a mobage) don’t take the anime seriously, but Idoly Pride is at least trying. It doesn’t hurt that they’ve soft pedaled the ghost angle. If the show has a weakness, it’s that it doesn’t stop referring to Mana (who died in the premiere). But then she’s there a ghost after all…
Mid-season status: Despite my earlier fears, Idoly Pride has steadily grown on me. It’s not just that it’s been too long since I’ve seen a decent idol show, it’s actually trying. Mild keeper.
Laid-Back Camp 2nd Season Episode 6
Yuru Camp 2nd Season
I’m having a problem commenting on this episode. On one hand, it was interesting to see Rin thinking enough about the other girls to be aware of the weather at their campsite. And it was well done that their teacher took enough interest to go out and see to their well being. (Unlike many anime, the girls actually do have parents… They just don’t play a big role. And it’s entirely reasonable that Rin didn’t know how to contact them.)
But having the teacher irresponsibly get so drunk that she couldn’t take the girls to safety is in character, but isn’t very funny. And that leave me conflicted.
Mid-season status: The bobble in this episode aside, a no question keeper. The second season is within a hair of being as good as the first.
Non Non Biyori Nonstop Episode 6
Classic! Though I’d have like the camping segment to fill the entire episode.
But then we wouldn’t have had the homework hijinks…
Mid-season status: Nyanpasu! One of the few series about which there is absolutely no question.
So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 6
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?
I.. almost want to classify this as a “no comment” week, because it’s basically the same comment I’ve made for a couple of weeks now… The plot of the individual episodes has varied very little. But, it manages to bring me back each week because it’s kinda fun to see Kumoko quip and *ss-pull her way through this week’s perils.
As a one-trick pony, it’s more like a short… But it’s actually working at full episode length. Unusual, but not uncommon.
Mid-season status: Keeper.
(*) The Promised Neverland 2nd Season
Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd Season
Recap episode this week. And I haven’t heard anything about any new footage either… Mid-season recaps without at least a little new footage are rarely a good sign.
Mid-season status: Honestly, on the edge of the drop zone. I’m conflicted as to how worth it the show is. I suspect my wife and I will have a long conversation on that topic once we learn a little bit more on what’s going on with Norman. That’s the make or break point.
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Episode 6
Go-Toubun no Hanayome ∬ (Second season)
It was mostly a good episode. And not just because Best Girl Yotsuba got a long overdue defining moment… It moved along right smartly and covered a lot of ground. It was a bad episode because it felt uncomfortably like a clip show. Almost as if they were trying to hit just the highlights. In particular, that resulted in the ending feeling a bit unearned.
Wing, how many chapters did they cover in this episode? However many, it was too many.
I’d like to take a moment and give a shoutout to Ichika… On top of working herself into a stupor for her sisters, she has to be the best wingwoman ever. She’s very knowingly taking herself out of the running to push Miku forward.
Mid-season status: Not nearly as good as the first season, mostly because they’re in such a rush. Still, a keeper because they’re managing to (mostly) keep me invested in the characters.
(*) Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2
Not watched this week
Mid-season status: It’s just barely good enough to make the cut. Keeper.
(*) With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun
Inu to Neko Docchi mo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii
Though I’m not commenting on every episode, as it’s really too basic for that… I do want to say it’s cute and funny and very much well worth watching if you’re into pet/human relations. It’s a [very] short, so it’s not like it’s a huge time commitment.
Mid-season status: Firm keeper.
Though Uma Musume and Promised Neverland are riding so very close to the line… I’m middling surprised there are no mid-season drops this season. I suspect that’s because I was so brutal with the first and third episodes.
Anything that you’re considering dropping? What are your candidates for AOTS here at mid-season?
Drop a comment and let’s chat!