I almost titled this week’s post “Endgame“, but that’s not an easy word to use lightly nowadays… Right or wrong, Avengers: Endgame loaded it with baggage and unsubtle connotations. But for Attack on Titan: Final Season and Dr. Stone: Stone Wars it’s definitely suitable.
Hit the jump, and let’s enter the endgame!
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 Episodes 14-15
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season
It’s probably a good thing these two episodes ended up airing back-to-back, as they’re a whole heck of a lot easier to talk about as a pair.
Episode 14 begins with a horrifying scene… Eren systematically and maliciously destroys the friendships that have sustained him (and not incidentally the show’s plot) through the horrors he’s been through. Why? Because he’s become to loathe them for being predestined for their roles. Is that a pose? Or an excuse? Or is leading them to hate him the final bow of his departing humanity?
It’s chilling to her Zeke say “we’re going to save everyone” since that’s also Senku’s plan in Dr. Stone. But their goals and endgames couldn’t be more different. After episode 15, we know Zeke and Eren’s terrible endgame.
Eliminating the threat of the Titans by completely eliminating the Eldian race.
I have seen some argue that it’s better called suicide, but suicide is a personal choice, an individual act. When the individual has no choice, when it’s imposed, it’s genocide.
And there’s more going on… The Yeagerists continue their campaign to seize power. I doubt they know what it is they’re enabling. And I can’t help but wonder. Zeke and Levi are locked in battle, one for freedom, one to prevent. And that dammable cliffhanger! Which one is dead? Which one(s) live?
And let’s not forget Pieck and the rest of the Warriors and Marleyans. The storm the Yeagerists hope to unleash is also right to hand.
Dr. Stone: Stone Wars Episode 10
I’ve long been suspicious of Hyouga and his predilection for violence. This episode justifies that suspicion… Tsukasa is no angel, but he’s a positive philanthropist compared to Hyouga.
I think this is the defining moment of the episode. (Possibly of the season.) We finally learn Senku’s goal – and that it’s more than just simplistically “saving everyone”. Senku too intends to build a new world, based on new principles. Only his new world is humane, inclusive, and communal. Science serves humanity, all of humanity.
And with that Tsukasa makes his choice – though he disagrees with Senku, his vision is far preferable to Hyouga’s. He’ll protect Senku, and probably die trying.
Honestly I don’t know what to look/hope for in the next few episodes. The world would be much better off without Tsukasa and Hyouga in it… But the story will be a lot weaker without a strong antagonist.
Horimiya Episode 11
Hori-san to Miyamura-kun
This episode felt like… parts came from a 4-koma version. Or maybe bonus chapters or side stories. Just kind of random and disconnected.
If episode 12 is the season finale, it’s going to have to work pretty hard for the series to go out on a high note.
Not watched this week.
Laid-Back Camp 2nd Season Episode 11
Yuru Camp 2nd Season
Mostly just good wholesome stuff. This is emphatically not damming with faint praise. This is the stuff that Laid Back Camp absolutely excels at.
A bit of a cognitive disconnect though. Toba-sensei was unable to drive after just one gulp of beer – but they never really addressed Rin nearly falling asleep on her moped. Trust me on this. I’ve done a lot of long distance driving alone over the years and fatigue is dangerous.
That being said – this was funny. She’s ready this time.
Not only does Laid-Back Camp’s use of smartphones reflect how contemporary teenagers communicate, navigate, and record their memories, but it presents an alternative to the perceived Nature versus Tech split: one where Tech can enhance our experience of Nature and can bring people together even when they are physically alone.
An interesting article from Anime Herald on the role smartphones play in the character’s lives and the show’s plot. It’s a facet I’ve long enjoyed because it’s so realistic. Smartphones come in for a lot of flack for the changes they’ve wrought… But in my opinion, the negatives are a result of misuse and personal choice. They’re not intrinsic to the technology.
Non Non Biyori Nonstop Episode 11
So Renge… I laughed pretty good at “when I was little”. Now that she’s in school she doesn’t see herself as a little kid. It’s very wholesome that she’s not using that in rebellion, but to try and be “grown up”.
Also, toddler Renge was so very cute.
I really feel for poor Kaede (Candy Store) sometimes. As a young adult (I think that’s the right word), she’s astraddle two worlds. One episode she’s playing with Renge, the next she’s reminding herself she’s old enough that she has to remember she’s supposed to an adult and an example.
Also, seems they’re mostly skipping winter… Which is OK by me. Non Non Byori is (mostly) a tale of ageless, endless summer.
So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 11
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?
Kumoko kind of refers to PTSD (from the battle with the humans?), but that plot thread is left unsatisfyingly dangling. The bulk of the episode is spent with her preparing for the Big Battle with the Biggest Bad yet. And I think for the first time, I’m really disappointed in the animation. The Big Bad looked, well, Bad.
Over on the human side, we learn more about Julius’ death. And I can’t escape the feeling that it’s Kumoko who killed him. I can’t really put my finger on it exactly why I’m feeling that though.
The Promised Neverland 2nd Season
Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd Season
Not watched this week, and I’m not entirely certain we haven’t dropped it. I am so over this trainwreck.
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ Episode XX
Go-Toubun no Hanayome ∬ (Second season)
This week’s episode was titled “Sisters War” and boy was that appropriate. The quint’s much vaunted sisterly solidarity comes apart as one after another they break away from the pack in the race for Futaro’s heart.
And this… this is, as they say, the moment the line is crossed. Ichika (on the right) had disguised herself as Miku to further her own agenda. And she was caught red handed. Worse yet, Futaro arrives a moment later to overhear Miku’s announcement of her intended confession.
But good on Miku for finally having the courage to be open. Her doubts about herself are heartbreaking. Except for Nino and Ichika, they’re all good enough for Futaro.
The Kyoto photograph kind of confuses me… First Itsuki had it. (Was she “Rena”?) Then Ichika had it. And now Itsuki has it again. (Or are there two copies? Didn’t Nino have one back in the first season?) And speaking of Itsuki, she’s still trailing the pack, though she seems to have finally admitted her feelings.
Best Girl hasn’t even made it that far. And for reasons unclear to me she wants Ichika to admit to being the girl in Kyoto. (Which I think she was, along with being “Rena”.)
Uma Musume: Pretty Derby Season 2
Not watched this week.
(*) With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun
Inu to Neko Docchi mo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii
And next week… we swing into the finales! Hardly seems to season has started before it’s over sometimes. Spring 2021 here we come!
Though it’s not looking very spring-like out my window at the moment. It’s 40 degrees and raining… We had our usual week or so of False Spring, and now it’s back to cold and gloomy until probably mid-April.
Anyhow, how’s the Spring in your neck of the woods? What did you think of this week’s episodes? Drop a comment and let’s chat!