Best Girl! – Winter 2021 – Week 10


Of course I would choose a picture of Best Girl being gleefully happy for this week’s featured image! One of the best scenes this week. (And there were a number of contenders.) Anyhow, hit the jump and let’s look at how things went this week.

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
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season

No review this week, as the episode’s broadcast was interrupted by news coverage of the Wakayama earthquake.

Crunchyroll will air both episodes next Sunday, March 21st.

The good news is that as far as I can discover, there was no loss of life and minimal property damage. This wasn’t a big quake, but Japan is understandably on edge as this quake comes on the heels of the tenth anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake.

Dr. Stone: Stone Wars Episode 9

Mixed feelings about this episode…

I’m glad they found a way to preserve Senku’s commitment to a less violent solution.  Or, at least controlled violence and saving everyone by not killing anyone.  Though I have to ask – what about those who won’t compromise?  Tsukasa isn’t the only extremist out there.  And he hasn’t surrendered or deviated one iota from his goals.

The whole truce thing feels a lot cheesy though.  It works in one sense that declining or postponing hostilities works in favor of Seknu’s slow burn “capture more flies with honey than vinegar” strategy.  But a little sister with a terminal (?) illness?  Come on, that’s about the oldest and hoariest trope there is!  And we’ve already been there, done that with Ruri.

Then there’s the matter of Ukyo.  Glad he’s not dead, the show is sticking to it’s guns…  But a narrative where bad guys end up dead (even if they are faceless mooks), but the good guys never suffer consequences just feels wrong.

Horimiya Episode 10
Hori-san to Miyamura-kun

They made the wise decision this week to shift the focus away from Hori’s possessiveness and her increasingly toxic relationship and onto the secondary characters…  And the result was probably the best episode of the last handful or so.

Horimiya Season 1 Episode 10 Toru and YukiI feel kind of sad for Toru and Yuki though.  The wall between is so very obviously artificial and both want to break through it.  But both seem more than a little afraid of what might happen if they do.  Neither seems to be picking up the signals the other is so loudly broadcasting.

What I hope for, now that we’ve seen Yuki’s side, to see at least a little from Toru’s side. 

Idoly Pride Episode 10

The whole affair of Sakura and Miss Mana’s voice was wound up with a neat little bow and no consequences.  It seemed almost like the in-world audience didn’t even notice.  It wouldn’t have taken much to show confusion / acceptance / happiness on the part of the audience…  It would have made for a much better episode and conclusion.

But Miss Mana herself…  She appears to fading as Sakura’s star rises and her self identity strengthens.  Curious to see how that is resolved over the next couple of episodes.

Laid-Back Camp 2nd Season Episode 10
Yuru Camp 2nd Season

For the first time this season, Camp switches to full bore travelogue mode, and (as usual) handles it with complete confidence and competence.  I love how Rin (in contrast to last season) was completely unruffled by the whole affair.

Laid Back Camp Season 2 Episode 10 - NadesikoAoi and Akari teasing Nadeshiko was absolutely priceless.  One of the highlights of the episode.

Also @surwill gives us a tour of the real life locations from episodes 1 & 2.

Non Non Biyori Nonstop Episode 10

Man, it’s easy to forget what a self-centered little piece of stuff Hikagi can be sometimes…  But Konomi neatly turns her greed against her.  That was funny.

Also, more Candy Store is always a good thing.  She’s one of the few older characters that really gets the kids (the main characters) and their world.  And she’s got a soft spot the size of a medium sized continent for Renge.

Spin off with Candy Store as the main character and the candy store as the main setting when?  I can’t be the only one who would enjoy seeing that.

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 10
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?

So Kumoko killed human beings…  And doesn’t seem to have been effected by it.

I get it, they were invading her home, they were hunting her, so it’s not like she was entirely unjustified.  But what’s happening/happened to her humanity?  Is this the first step on the path (as some have theorized) of her becoming the Demon Lord?  Or some other kind of high level monstrous being?

Many questions.  No answers.

So I'm a Spider So What - Kumo desu ga, Nanika - Episode 10Also interesting that she was seen as a monster by the humans.  Apparently the “cartoonish” spider we the viewers have become accustomed to isn’t her real form.  It’s her self image?  Which has disturbing implications for the questions I asked above.  It looks like she doesn’t even realize how others perceive her.  Or that she can’t communicate with them.

The Promised Neverland 2nd Season Episode 9
Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd Season

In a well written show, the opening scene would have been heart wrenching and the cliffhanger would have left us tense and pensive. 

TPN2 is not a well written show.

The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Episode 10
Go-Toubun no Hanayome ∬ (Second season)

The Quintessential Quintuplets - Go-Toubun no Hanayome (Second season) - Episode 10

It’s taken almost two full seasons, but finally Unquestionably Best Girl gets a serious chunk of airtime.  And it was glorious.

Let’s see…  what else?  Unsurprising that Ichika has expanded her manipulation to all of her sisters.  And equally unsurprising that to a woman they blew her right the heck off.  And annoying that they cut them giving Futaro his birthday gifts down to one consequence free still shot.

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2 Episodes 10-11

As was trivially predictable, Tokai Teio will attempt to run again.  I wish the series would spend less time advertising the mobage more effort on the difficulties she’s facing.  Even for a paint-by-numbers series, they’ve fumbled that a little.  Especially since it’s the third such, and they hyped a lot of drama around the low odds of recovery.

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

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It’s been a busy week… But we finally got the new washer installed, so yay!, no more trips to the laundromat.

It’s also been a year since the start of quarantine. And probably another month before I know when I’ll be eligible for the vaccine.

And though we woke up to dusting of unseasonable snow Monday, it’s finally warming up. Most afternoons I can crack the windows and let a little fresh air in. And now that the weather is nice, should get off our butts and get outdoors more often on the weekends. It’s been a long dreary winter.

Speaking of spring… It’s almost time for the Spring Preview isn’t it? Man, how time flies. Anyhow, look forward to it in the next week or two.

=========

Anyhow, that’s it for me this week. Over to you! Drop a comment and let’s chat!

6 thoughts on “Best Girl! – Winter 2021 – Week 10”

  1. @Shingeki no Kyojin:

    The good news is that as far as I can discover, there was no loss of life and minimal property damage. This wasn’t a big quake, but Japan is understandably on edge as this quake comes on the heels of the tenth anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake.

    A friend with family in Japan relates that the earthquake wasn’t even big enough to make the national news other than on NHK… as the public broadcasting network, they pretty much had to. Unfortunately that’s where contract law kicked in… the foreign licensees couldn’t stream it until it aired in its entirety on NHK. Another five minutes and no one would even be talking about this.

    @Horimiya:

    I feel kind of sad for Toru and Yuki though. The wall between is so very obviously artificial and both want to break through it. But both seem more than a little afraid of what might happen if they do. Neither seems to be picking up the signals the other is so loudly broadcasting.

    As you showed in your screenshot, I love how Toru was playing on the meanings of the names of Yuki (snow) and Sakura (cherry blossom). He was definitely trying to send a signal there.

    @Kumo desu ga, Nanika?

    Also interesting that she was seen as a monster by the humans. Apparently the “cartoonish” spider we the viewers have become accustomed to isn’t her real form. It’s her self image? Which has disturbing implications for the questions I asked above. It looks like she doesn’t even realize how others perceive her. Or that she can’t communicate with them.

    I’m wondering if there might be a timeskip issue here too. Is the Kumo that killed the human party a future version of the Kumo that we see in her own scenes? I may need to stop watching this series right before bedtime since I’m having trouble unraveling all this.

    Still not completely caught up on other series, so no comments on them even though I’m still following them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Horimiya

      As you showed in your screenshot, I love how Toru was playing on the meanings of the names of Yuki (snow) and Sakura (cherry blossom). He was definitely trying to send a signal there.

      As Dawn says, there’s a couple of way to read that signal… But they’re both positive ones.

      I looked at other shots, but kept coming back to that one.

      @Spider

      I’m wondering if there might be a timeskip issue here too. Is the Kumo that killed the human party a future version of the Kumo that we see in her own scenes?

      Nope, no timeskip. This is the Kumo we’ve been seeing, are seeing. That’s pretty obvious from the post-credits.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. @Spider: Confusion isn’t letting up. Obviously, the spider that wizard fought was Kumoku; they continued the scene from her point of view. But that also means that probably the earlier scene we got with Julius fighting “a spider monster” was probably a direct follow-up from this. So that would mean the spider monster Julius fought and “defeated” was also Kumoko. We still don’t know what she was afraid of in that scene, and it’s entirely possible that it wasn’t her “main body”, or it was some sort of illusion. So now, if I go around 14 – 15 years into future, I have to ask not only “Who is Kumoko?” but also “How many are Kumoko?” Will she learn to embody her parallel minds? Some kind of marionette magic? And how does future Kumoko relate to other spiders? I mean, I’m fairly certain the Tatarect (sp?) line is the tank evolution path, and she went the ninja evolution path, but we hear a queen tatarect has demolished that fortress. So one wonders.

    As for her humanity… I wonder if this has something to do with the taboo skill? You’re basically get that from slaying kin (Fei’s got it that way, too), so maybe there’s some complication between body and self-image (as depicted in her cutesy form)? Thing is, I still feel the show knows what it’s doing. I’m also beginning to be glad it’s a two-cour. At the beginning I was a little worried there wasn’t enough to the concept, but it’s way more involved than I thought it would be.

    @Horimiya: I liked the rooftop scene. I’m not sure how much of it is romantic, and how far Toru’s over his crush on Hori at this point. Toru’s really straightforward, which is why his metaphors were so clumsy. But Yuki’s started with the metaphor, and so he can’t really address it directly. Yuki’s final “But the snow goes away because it gets warmer,” thus does double duty: “You suck at metaphors, but I appreciate you tried,” and “I can’t really see it that way, but wouldn’t it be nice if I could?” Or something along these lines. It’s one of my favourite conversations in the show so far, and while I’m not sure my interpretation holds, I think romance while being instigator of the scene and a major theme of the conversation, it wasn’t ultimately the point. It felt more like Toru saying “Don’t put yourself down like that,” and Yuki saying, “I know I shouldn’t but I don’t know how to stop.” In my mind that’s compatible with both romance and friendship readings. I thought that conversation actually ended with them connecting as well as could be hoped without feeling like an asspull. I thought it was an extremely well-crafted scene.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Horimya

      I think romance while being instigator of the scene and a major theme of the conversation, it wasn’t ultimately the point. It felt more like Toru saying “Don’t put yourself down like that,” and Yuki saying, “I know I shouldn’t but I don’t know how to stop.” In my mind that’s compatible with both romance and friendship readings.

      Yeah, that’s my thought too… No matter how I look at it, it’s a positive message and a Good Ending. Also, it’s kinda nice to have a more ambiguous relationship alongside the more solid ones. (Miyamura/Hori & Kakeru/Remi) But I’m a sucker for committed couples.

      Now if Sakura can find a Good End (or at least not a Bad End), I think the show can end on a good note.

      @spider

      So now, if I go around 14 – 15 years into future, I have to ask not only “Who is Kumoko?” but also “How many are Kumoko?” Will she learn to embody her parallel minds? Some kind of marionette magic?

      Damm good questions! As to the “show knows what it’s doing”, though making the timeskip obvious helped, I never really had any question about that… More “I don’t understand what the show is doing”. Still don’t. From what I’ve picked up from LN readers, there’s a LOT that doesn’t become clear for a long time.

      As for her humanity… I wonder if this has something to do with the taboo skill?

      Makes me wonder about the hinted at bait-and-switch (in the school outing flashback). Which girl becomes Kumoko? Or is there a personality shift going on, and the difference between the inner (how she sees herself) and outer (how the humans see her) versions is a clue?

      Is Taboo a cause? Or a symptom?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, so those skipped chapters I’ve been lamenting for weeks? Chapters 36 and 37, AKA Futaro and Yotsuba’s date, finally shown here. And now you know why I’ve been sorely missing them. These were actually the chapters that cemented Yotsuba’s place as best girl for me, after you’ll recall I was still undecided on that during season 1. Now why they decided to push it back this late into the season I don’t know – the original version took place on Japan’s version of Thanksgiving Day, in November, with Futaro trying to thank her (albeit with Raiha’s prodding) for everything she did for him during the school trip at the end of S1. Still, much better late than never.

    The birthday gifts were actually handled the exact same way in the manga (given offscreen, except for Itsuki’s energy drinks and the cranes left on the table), so that was one thing they actually didn’t cut for once. Something that’s pretty cool though, when you think about Futaro’s “five wishes” they actually did a pretty good job with them: money (Ichika’s gift card), better sleep (Nino’s aromatherapy candles), get stronger (Miku’s gym membership), improved luck (Yotsuba’s cranes), and more energy (Itsuki’s energy drinks). Though I hate to say it, but Ichika’s probably right about him wanting the money the most out of those. But she blew it with the coffee, so that kind of evens things up.

    Weekly Yotsuba: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EuBrQxHVEAMSG8I?format=jpg&name=large

    Fun start to the Izu trip! Nadeshiko sleeping through the first part of the drive was predictable but still extremely funny, and the Inuyama sisters are a fearsome tag team. Now I got curious when one of the girls threw a “zura” onto the end of her sentence, so I looked it up and sure enough, Uchiura and Numazu City where Love Live Sunshine takes place are on the northwestern coast of the Izu peninsula. I don’t think they’re stopping there on this trip, but it was cool to be able to place everything geographically.

    And I would totally watch a spinoff starring Candy Store, no doubt about it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Weekly Yotsuba is much more confident than anime Yotsuba… I’m bumping up against stuff that’s actually next weeks discussion, but dang if she isn’t going to wingwoman herself out of the race!

      The birthday gifts were actually handled the exact same way in the manga (given offscreen, except for Itsuki’s energy drinks and the cranes left on the table), so that was one thing they actually didn’t cut for once.

      That’s kinda odd, because the scenario is absolutely ripe with possibility. But maybe too early to start the heavy drama that’s coming up (in next week’s discussion)?

      As to how fit the gifts were, that’s a neat illustration of how much attention the Quints are paying to him. And contrasts with his general obliviousness.

      Fun start to the Izu trip!

      Yep. Though I’m kinda sad we almost certainly won’t get the Rin/Nadeshiko “solo” camp, the Izu trip is making for a nice solid end to the season. This week’s review covers Ep 10, so I figure one day of trip == one episode from here, which takes us right to the end of the season.

      Like

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