Plans revealed! – Winter 2021 – Week 11


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 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 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.

Attack on Titan - PredestinationEpisode 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. 

Genocide. 

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.

Dr Stone - Episode 10 - Senku's plan

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.

Idoly Pride

Not watched this week.

Laid-Back Camp 2nd Season Episode 11
Yuru Camp 2nd Season

Laid Back Camp - Nadeshiko and Ena

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.

Laid Back Camp - Toba sensei - boozeThat 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.

TOGETHER, ALONE: HOW LAID-BACK CAMP SHOWS COMPANIONSHIP THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

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

Non Non Byori Nonstop - when Renge was littleSo 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.

Quintessential Quintuplets - Miku meets Ichika as herself

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

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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!

13 thoughts on “Plans revealed! – Winter 2021 – Week 11”

  1. There’s just one more episode of Dr Stone… It’s an 11 episode season for some reason.

    You missed nothing in Neverland. It was painfully bad. That one is also an 11 episode season. Guess there’s something to be thankful for at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s just one more episode of Dr Stone… It’s an 11 episode season for some reason.

      Wonder what caused that? But they seem to be reaching a natural end with no real padding and no obvious cuts…

      re:Neverland

      Yeah, nothing I’ve seen on Twitter or skimming reviews gives me any reason to believe it gets any better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Strong stuff from Miku and Itsuki this week, more Snek Ichika, and I’m really glad they kept the bus conversation between Futaro and Yotsuba intact – that always felt like a significant scene to me, and Futaro’s comment about how the other part of choosing one thing is not choosing another is oof…you can tell from the way he said it that’s been weighing on his mind for a while already, probably ever since Nino confessed.

    Regarding the photo, the anime’s muddied the waters on that a bit. Yes, Itsuki was the Rena on the boat in ep 2/3. There was a scene they cut during the shopping trip in this episode confirming that, though seeing the costume in Itsuki’s box last episode should’ve given it away anyway. In the manga we never saw the photo again after Ichika found it – this intro with Itsuki looking at it again was anime-only (also, Nino had a totally different pic of all five girls). I see what they were trying to do though, which is make it more obvious what Itsuki’s up to during this trip: trying to jog Futaro’s memory about his prior visit. Her motives were still a mystery during this part of the manga. Not sure where you’re getting Yotsuba wanting Ichika to reveal herself as the Kyoto girl, though. Unless you’re mixing up Ichika and Itsuki and interpreting Itsuki’s last line of the episode to mean that Yotsuba wanted Itsuki to take the credit for being photo girl?

    Weekly Yotsuba: https://i.redd.it/9eku8oj6qvj61.jpg

    I really liked with this Laid-Back Camp episode how even in the middle of this crowd Rin still managed to find some alone time. That’s very true-to-character for introverts – I’ve done that sort of thing myself many times, and it always makes me happy the way the show respects her true nature by allowing for things like that. Also really cool: Nadeshiko and Ena’s conversation. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time we’ve seen a one-on-one conversation between those two. The whole episode was just totally enjoyable of course, as always.

    So I got my first Covid shot last night. Had my name picked out of a lottery for the next round of staff at work who’d be able to get appointments with the county, and the choice of appointment times they offered me were same-day or same-day. It wasn’t a problem, but what if I’d had plans I couldn’t get out of? Well whatever, there were no issues and I’m feeling totally fine except for a slightly sore shoulder.

    And how about another Encouragement of Climb season? That might’ve been the best news of the last week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Futaro and Best Girl are always good… That being said, I would like to see a little more from his POV. We’ve gotten hints about his personality changes from the first Kyoto trip to the current day, but not so much post-confession.

      Snek Ichika

      I smile at that… There’s also B_chika, which I’ve seen here and there.

      Unless you’re mixing up Ichika and Itsuki and interpreting Itsuki’s last line of the episode to mean that Yotsuba wanted Itsuki to take the credit for being photo girl?

      Yeah, I got that backwards. It’s Itsuki wanting Yotsuba to make the admission.

      So I got my first Covid shot last night.

      From what I’ve heard it’s the second shot that really floors you… But you can prepare in advance (hydration, aspirin) and that seems to help.

      Not even eligible until May it looks like… So probably June or July before it actually happens. It’s been on my mind since stuff from the first weeks of the crisis has been popping up in my memories. So medieval faire this year either, and quite probably no county fair either.

      And how about another Encouragement of Climb season? That might’ve been the best news of the last week!

      Indeed, indeed! I’m hoping it’ll be 15 minute eps like the 2nd season, but I’ll take anything I can get. I wonder what “in production” means? Starting preproduction work? Or starting animation? If it’s the latter we could see it as early as Winter 2022. (Of course, I want NAO!)

      Like

      1. Ok good, yes Itsuki wanted Yotsuba to come clean, so you’re on track with it.

        That being said, I would like to see a little more from his POV

        Agreed, and I think one of the few areas where the mystery structure hurts the story a little is that we aren’t privy to Futaro’s feelings so much of the time, lest it give the game away. Can’t blame the anime for that, though, that’s all on the source.

        I wonder what “in production” means? Starting preproduction work? Or starting animation? If it’s the latter we could see it as early as Winter 2022. (Of course, I want NAO!)

        Dunno. I’m sure we’ll get some inside scoop from the Sakugabooru blog eventually though – they love EoC over there. With S3 the producers announced it about 13 months before it started airing (so if they follow that timetable again then we’ll get it next spring), but I also remember with S3 that they had the whole season in the can before the first episode’s premiere, which is unfortunately fairly unusual in this industry.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. @Quintuplets: In the last scene, it was Itsuki who told Yotsuba to tell Uetsugi that she was the girl he met six years ago. I just went back to check, twice, in case there’s something I’m missing. I’m fairly positive that’s what happened. (My old theory from season one has taken a bit of a hit with that, but isn’t quite off the table yet: that they all alternated between being that girl and that laid the seeds to their individuation to accelerate.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops, hit reply too soon. Didn’t sleep too well.

      @Spider: Yeah, I’m getting the feeling, too, that it’s Kumoko who killed Julius. In my case it’s a hunch based on who they choose as protagonists of the respective storylines. They’re definitely setting them up as each other’s antagonists, and I think the show’s going to make this personal.

      Yeah, the dragon looked really bad. Also, I’m not quite sure why she needs to fight him at all. Wasn’t she trying to get back up where its safer last episode? I feel there’s something I’m missing.

      Neither Yurucamp nor Non Non Biyori are really shows I feel like talking about much, but there always highspots each week. @Non Non Biyori: For a while, I was hoping we’d get a flashback to Candystore’s childhood; that would have been fun.

      Also, Gekidol ended up being a fully fledged SF show after all. Not perfect in any way or form, and I’d have to watch it all again to be sure what exactly happened (which I likely won’t do, since it wasn’t good enough), but it feels coherent, if a tad ambiguous. The idol part is a mere sprinkle and never amounts to much, and the acting is a framing device on what is real or not. One of the things I’d have to figure out in a re-watch (and it’s possible that that’s meant to be ambiguous) is whether there ever was a cataclysmic event in the first place. Far from the best show this season, but definitely the most interesting show this season. (I know I’ve said that before.)

      And I’m perfectly fine with Horimiya coming in snippets. I don’t need a plot to wrap up with this show.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. re: Quints

      Yeah, as I said to Wing, I bollixed that all up.

      @Spider

      They’re definitely setting them up as each other’s antagonists, and I think the show’s going to make this personal.

      Which… is an odd choice as the person we think becomes Kumoko wasn’t really bullied or anything. Now – the girl they trolled us with in the school days flashback, now there’s a possibility.

      She’s fighting the dragon to “get stronger”, but her final goal isn’t really clear anymore. Some things seem to be happening for their own sake.

      @Non Non Byori
      If there’s a character outside the main four that needs expanding, it’s definitely Candy Store. I’ve thought that ever since she taught Renge to ride a bike in the 2nd season, and this season has only intensified that.

      @Horimiya
      It’s not so much the snippets I’m annoyed at… It’s the drift in focus. It’s so much a better show when it’s about the main couple or at least the main + Toru/Yuki.

      Like

  4. @Shingeki no Kyojin:

    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.

    Been waiting for this for a while (one week because pace of adaptation slowed up on me, second week for the earthquake). The “mmgh” scene. (And now it can be told, “mmgh” is the sound of Mikasa’s heart breaking ) There’s a lot to say about this scene. Even in the manga, it was so intense I had to put it down, take a deep breath, walk away for a bit, and pick it back up to make sure I read it correctly. The principal voice actors (Yuuki Kaji, Yui Ishikawa, Marina Inoue) were outstanding. Inoue in particular for how she reverted to “little boy Armin” voice when Armin lost his temper. And your description of Eren’s cruelty as “systematic” fits perfectly. He knew his oldest friends’ weaknesses and how to hurt them the worst. Mikasa is stronger than him, Armin smarter… so he verbally abuses Mikasa until she breaks, provoking Armin, then beats the crap out of Armin.

    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?

    This is pretty much what I meant when I said the “new basement” for this show is inside Eren’s head. Unlike S1-3, we’re not privy to his internal monologue. From our vantage point as viewers, we know that at least some of what he told them was lies. Back in S3P1, we saw Kenny’s father’s deathbed confession that the Ackerman clan was persecuted precisely because the king couldn’t control them… doesn’t sound like a bunch of unquestioning slaves, no? Or so I thought… until Armin lunged at Eren and Mikasa instinctively slammed him to the table. What was it General Pixis said a few episodes back… “Want to know how to tell a good lie? Mix in a little bit of truth from time to time.”

    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?

    Nice symmetry here: Zeke made a mistake thinking Levi wouldn’t kill his newly-titanized soldiers to recapture him. And Levi made a mistake thinking Zeke wouldn’t pull the pin on the Thunderspear.

    @Horimiya:

    This episode felt like… parts came from a 4-koma version. Or maybe bonus chapters or side stories. Just kind of random and disconnected.

    It’s reminding me even more of KareKano… not only did they forget the MCs had sex, they lost the thread of the plot. It’s still fairly well written but disjointed, as you say. And… like Dawnstorm… I’m kinda ok with that. I don’t need a plot to wrap this up either.

    @Dr. Stone:
    @Go-Toubun no Hanayome:
    As hoped, on the day the last episodes of S2 aired, we get the announcements for S3.

    Spring has been great around here, highs in the 70s, lows in the 60s, mostly sunny, reasonable humidity. It’s our little slice of “San Diego” weather to make up for most of the rest of the year.

    Like

    1. Sorry for the lateish reply, busy day today…

      And your description of Eren’s cruelty as “systematic” fits perfectly. He knew his oldest friends’ weaknesses and how to hurt them the worst. Mikasa is stronger than him, Armin smarter… so he verbally abuses Mikasa until she breaks, provoking Armin, then beats the crap out of Armin.

      “Systematic” seemed less cruel than “purposefully”, though in retrospect I should have taken the crueler choice. Otherwise, yeah. He knew the chinks in their armor and went straight for them w/o mercy.

      Whatever is going on inside his head, he knows his friends are going to hate him for it. But now it occurs to me – not Hange.

      Nice symmetry here: Zeke made a mistake thinking Levi wouldn’t kill his newly-titanized soldiers to recapture him. And Levi made a mistake thinking Zeke wouldn’t pull the pin on the Thunderspear.

      Re: “new basement” Good points.

      There was never a doubt in mind that Levi would do whatever it takes to neutralize the Beast. But then, we’ve known Levi for a long time now. I’m going to be pissed if they kill him off.

      And… like Dawnstorm… I’m kinda ok with that. I don’t need a plot to wrap this up either.

      Like I said to Dawn, I’m looking for more an emotional high point to go out on. Don’t need the plot tied up with a bow, just a return to how good it was in the first half of the season before it put the MC’s on the back burner and went walkabout.

      @Dr. Stone:
      @Go-Toubun no Hanayome:
      As hoped, on the day the last episodes of S2 aired, we get the announcements for S3.

      Both more than welcome. Now we just need an announcement for Yuru Camp, no?

      Spring has been great around here, highs in the 70s, lows in the 60s, mostly sunny, reasonable humidity. It’s our little slice of “San Diego” weather to make up for most of the rest of the year.

      When I was in Florida for my uncle and mother’s funerals in 2019, I was brutally reminded why I didn’t move back to the South. As much as I love the South, I just can’t take the heat.

      Like

      1. Now we just need an announcement for Yuru Camp, no?

        Alas, we didn’t get one right away. That would have been a nice trifecta. But we didn’t get an announcement for S2 immediately when S1 ended, and we did eventually get S2, so there’s always hope, right?

        And we did get the expected announcement that Shingeki no Kyojin will resume, with episode 76 in winter 2022. And today, Isayama’s editor tweeted that the final chapter of the manga has been completed. In nine days, manga readers like me will know how it ends… if the announcement holds up, roughly a year from now anime-onlies like you will know how it ends too.

        When I was in Florida for my uncle and mother’s funerals in 2019, I was brutally reminded why I didn’t move back to the South. As much as I love the South, I just can’t take the heat.

        We all have our limits… mine is cold. I don’t mind one good hard freeze per year (it seems to really put a damper on the mosquitoes the following spring) but several months of freezing weather like the Midwest and Northeast get would really get old for me before the first winter is over. And I can’t afford to live in the parts of the west coast where it’s temperate all the time. So I put up with the heat.

        Like

        1. re: Yuru Camp

          Alas, we didn’t get one right away. That would have been a nice trifecta. But we didn’t get an announcement for S2 immediately when S1 ended, and we did eventually get S2, so there’s always hope, right?

          There’s still one episode to go for Yuru Camp – all hope is not lost! :) :)

          re: Shingeki no Kyojin

          And we did get the expected announcement that Shingeki no Kyojin will resume, with episode 76 in winter 2022.

          There’s… a lot of confusion over what, exactly, we’re getting in Winter 2022. Some (official) sources speak of “an episode”. Other (official sources) imply a second cour/season to come. Obviously, the latter is preferable to movies… Movies are hit-and-miss as to when they come to the US and how widely they’re shown. Titan is a big enough franchise that pre-COVID I’d have felt a lot more confident in movies. Now? Who knows what the ‘rules’ are now.

          Like

          1. @Yuru Camp:

            There’s still one episode to go for Yuru Camp – all hope is not lost! :) :)

            I’d forgotten this was 13 episodes and the finale wasn’t until April (today)… so good news is, sure enough, we got an announcement of more Yuru Camp. Bad news is, it’s not just a movie, but a national roadshow… which I think means a longer delay in the US release:

            https://dengekionline.com/articles/74355/

            @Shingeki no Kyojin:

            There’s… a lot of confusion over what, exactly, we’re getting in Winter 2022. Some (official) sources speak of “an episode”. Other (official sources) imply a second cour/season to come.

            True. All they really announced was episode 76. Many of us (me included) jumped to the conclusion that meant a second cour. There are 23 chapters and change left to be adapted and at the pace of the just-concluded cour, that would take 14 episodes… though there’s enough action that they can probably squeeze it into 12 without cutting anything important. But agreed, that’s way too much material for a movie, and if part of it does turn out to be a movie, no telling when we’d ever get to see it.

            Liked by 1 person

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