Spring 2021 Week 2(ish)


Bit of a bobble this week, posting a day early because I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. As it works out, only one show gets skipped but such is life. Anyhow, we’ve got a lot to chat about so hit the jump and let’s run down this week’s episodes!

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.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer Episode 2
Sayonara Watashi no Cramer

Being a sports anime it reaches for that staple of sports anime – pitting the underdog MC’s against another, formidable, team and getting their butts royally kicked.  It’s a well worn trope, but it works and can be used to great advantage to build characterization.

Instead, Cramer basically took twenty minutes of my life that I want back.  All we learned is that one girl is insanely fast, and another is a fangirl of the new coach (a former and famous athlete).  They spent more time on side characters, on the other team, than on any of our putative MC’s.  And that’s setting aside the other new (side) characters they introduced…

Cramer is steadily being crushed under it’s own weight.

Fruits Basket The Final Episode 2

fruits-basket-the-final-kyo-comforts-tohruOne of those moments when you know…  Not only that this would be an important screenshot, but that Kyo has crossed a boundary.  But I mean that in a good way – he knows that Tohru is in pain, and even if he doesn’t clearly understand why he reflexively reaches out to comfort her.  That’s not something he would ever have done before.

Because they were interrupted, we’ll never if he’d try and bluster and blow it off…  But even if he did, that small act of kindness remains.

Harder to navigate is Shigure and Akito’s love/hate/lust relationship…  Whatever happened in the past, whatever caused it to happen, their relationship is a raging fire…  and remember a fire can both serve as warmth and comfort – and bring vast and total destruction.

And I’d be remiss in not mention that it’s complicated by Akito’s view of herself as puppetmaster – controlling the Sohma family by right.

HIGEHIRO Episode 2
Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway
Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikosei wo Hirou.

Hmm…  So what’s really up with the phone?  Yoshida is starting to go to increasing lengths to ensure Sayu’s peace of mind.  And he gives in pretty meekly when she orders him about.

Higehiro - you're my only friendOTOH “you’re my only friend”…  I hope they get more into her background, and handle it well.  There’s a lot of questions there.  Why did she really cut herself off from her friends a family?

And storm clouds are building on the horizon.  More than one person is noting he’s showing obvious signs of being in a relationship.  Yuzuha seems to have missed those signs – and no doubt is setting her cap for him.  Yoshida’s life is about to get really complicated.

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level 
Episode 1
Slime Taoshite 300-nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level Max ni Nattemashita

Bland?  I mean it wasn’t awful or anything, I just didn’t feel much when the credits rolled.  I laughed a little bit at points, but they didn’t stick if you get what I mean…  This isn’t really a comedy.  It’s really not much of anything so far.

Doesn’t help that the MC’s defining characteristic is that she has no defining characteristics beyond doing the bare minimum to get by.

Let’s Make a Mug Too Episode 2
Yakunara Mug Cup Mo

If this episode, telling all about the different kinds of ceramics, is any indication…  This series is headed into some very odd edutainment territory.  Deeper than I expected even a blatant tourism advertisement to go.

Mashiro no Oto Episode 2
Those Snow White Notes

Mashiro no Oto - Those Snow White Notes - UmekoI wonder if Umeko is also from Aomori?  Did she flee the backwater as much as the burden of having children?  I wouldn’t go too far down the latter road, as she’s obviously determined to do right by Setsu if he’s going to live in Tokyo.

At the same time…  There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance.  On one hand, she doing right by Setsu while also seeing him as a potential partner in her performances.  On the other, she’s keeping her involvement at arm’s length and summons Wakana (the elder brother) to handle the business of getting Setsu started at school.

And speaking of Wakana…  No wonder Setsu feels a bit adrift.  He’s been surrounded by accomplished musicians all his life.

Maybe the school club is what he really needs.  A place where he can be mentor and teacher and learn he has a value of his own.

My Hero Academia Season 5 Episode 3/Episode 91
Boku no Hero Academia 5

It would not be inaccurate to call this “yet more setup”…  Until Class A and Class B finally meet in battle.  I was pretty impressed with Shinsho’s power-up.  The ability to mimic voices radically decreases the ability/likelihood of the other side to ignore him and thus not be affected by his Quirk.  This elevates him from a Problem (if his opponent screws up) to a Threat.

We also see more of the whatever-is-going-on with One For All.  This is more a case of just waiting out the series, waiting for the situation to become clearer.  It’s very odd however that Deku is having visions that All Might doesn’t seem to have ever encountered.

(*) Super Cub 

Not watched this week/reviewed for this post due to post scheduling.

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 13
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?

Kumoko wins her way free of the Labyrinth and defeats a powerful force of her brethren sent to force her to return.  Even though it was once again enlivened by Aoi Yuuki’s voice work, it really was kind of hoh, hum, here we go again.

On the human side however, tension abounds.  The demons may be unified, but the humans, humanoids, and demi-humans opposing them are anything but.  And that’s before Hugo finally makes his (Demon Lord influenced?) move.  There’s war coming on the human side too.

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 3

At the end of this episode I was where did all the time go?  I don’t mean the fifteen year time skip in the episode itself…  I mean it solidly held my attention and I didn’t realize that twenty minutes had flown past.

Anyhow, not-killing the Assemblyman fifteen years ago doesn’t seem to have had any butterfly effects.  Despite the past being changed, the future… isn’t.  Which is very odd indeed.  And pursuant to that, Matsumoto (that d_mm bear) pops up and give Vivy her next mission – preventing apocalyptical mass murder from being carried out by an AI.

Only Vivy senses a rat.  But is she wrong?  What is the post credits scene actually telling us?  (You did watch the post-credits, right?)  Is Estella starting the war?  Or preventing it?

=========

And there you have!  Plenty of good episodes this week to balance out the not-so-good…  Sorry for being in a bit of a rush, but I have a vaccination appointment tomorrow at a very inconvenient time for getting any blogging done.

Other than that, I think Thursday will be this season’s blogging day going forward.  It’s just the best fit between the various parts of my schedule.  There’s never going to be a “perfect” day from the point of view of the anime schedule, I’m just going to be late to the part on some shows.

Anyhow, drop a comment and let me know your thoughts this week on anime or anything else that’s on your mind!

13 thoughts on “Spring 2021 Week 2(ish)”

  1. Cramer’s second episode was a tad lacklustre.

    Fruitsbasket was Fruitsbasket: I didn’t really know what to think of Shigure’s relationship with Akito, but I didn’t expect that.

    Killing Slimes is fluff; I like it, it puts me at ease.

    I’d agree that spider defeating stuff is starting to wear a little thin, but I did think it was interesting that they ended the sequence with “psychological warfare”: If we have this connection we’re going to attack through this route certainly isn’t something I expected.

    Mashiro no Oto had a pretty good second episode, with two stunning performances bookending the episode. If you remember, one of the things I criticised about Kono Oto Tomare at this point was “not enough Koto”. I certainly can’t say the same here. That’s a show that puts its instrument front, back and centre, just as it should be. Pretty happy with the show. (The drama is so-so, but it doesn’t disrupt the show.)

    Vivy is… decently entertaining. I don’t have a good handle on what the time-travel concept is in this one, but I don’t really care, either. I find the show avarage and worth thinking about too much. I keep saying I think the bear’s trying to start the revolution not prevent it, but I’m half-joking when I say so. I do think it’s possible, though.

    I’m glad Higehiro addressed my curiosity about Gotou (how she takes the rumours), but I certainly didn’t expect her to invite him out just to ask the question. I hope Sayu’s your-my-only-friend line leads to more friends (the opening suggests so); that would also necessitate that people around Yoshida would learn about her. So far, the show hasn’t had tunnel vision. I hope it stays that way.

    Mug: I intended to look up the Tanuki reference, but I forgot. I like the show. It’s comfortable.

    I’m not going to talk about Super Cub story content, but there’s something I want to bring up, in case anyone knows about it. It’s Debussy. Episode 1 used Clair de Lune, episode 2 used La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin. Now, I wonder if more of the piano pieces are by Debussy? I recognised Clair de Lune immediately, but I only really realised that I knew the second track. I went on a Youtube wild goose chase, and tried more Debussy since that’s really the only clue I got, and it didn’t sound like older music. I think the piano music in the show works really well, and now I wonder whether they’re using classical pieces all around, or whether they have their own pieces as well.

    Under the assumption that what’s not on your schedule is fair game:

    Fumetsu no Anata e had the best first episode this season by far. An episode of heartbreaking inevitability through the lense of an utterly alien point of view. Curious where this one goes, but currently its the most promising anime-of-the-season canditate around.

    And Shadows House is really interesting, too. I don’t often get anime fantasy that seems descended from Gormenghast.

    This has turned out to be a very promising season, with both interesting and unique shows, fun and relaxing shows, and really solid genre stuff. Better than expect, likely better then winter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fumetsu no Anata e had the best first episode this season by far. An episode of heartbreaking inevitability through the lense of an utterly alien point of view. Curious where this one goes, but currently its the most promising anime-of-the-season canditate around.

      I fell behind on this season’s premieres while catching up on last season’s finales… but yes, very much yes, to this. Hadn’t read or watched any previews, walked into it “cold”, and was totally blown away.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep me in the loop. I’m holding firm on not watching too many shows this season, but I’m not going to skip something that’s Really Good.

        Like

    2. Sorry for the late reply, been a busy couple of days IRL…

      re:Vivy

      I keep saying I think the bear’s trying to start the revolution not prevent it, but I’m half-joking when I say so. I do think it’s possible, though.

      Vivy keeps subverting his directions, while accomplishing his goals… Character development, or outright rebellion? I don’t know.

      Mashiro no Oto had a pretty good second episode, with two stunning performances bookending the episode.

      For me, it’s fast becoming a “how are they going to keep this up?” show. And the incredible performances are a big, big, part of that. I think it would improve considerably (and it’s already good!) if it would slow down just a touch and work with the cast at hand.

      Fumetsu no Anata e had the best first episode this season by far. An episode of heartbreaking inevitability through the lense of an utterly alien point of view. Curious where this one goes, but currently its the most promising anime-of-the-season canditate around.

      I’m hearing about that show from a lot of places. I’ll be keeping my eye on what y’all say, but for the moment I’m holding firm on not adding any more shows. Just too much going on at the moment.

      Like

    3. Forgot to say:

      This has turned out to be a very promising season, with both interesting and unique shows, fun and relaxing shows, and really solid genre stuff. Better than expect, likely better then winter.

      Yes! I wasn’t impressed when I was working on my previews, but it’s coming in solid. It’s going to have to go a long way to beat Winter though, because in that corner is Laid Back Camp and Non Non Byori!

      Like

      1. Actually, for me it’s probably already beaten winter. I’d go so far as to say this is the best anime season since Winter 2019.

        There’s just so much interesting stuff going on with Fumetsu no Anata e, Odd Taxi, Shadows House, and Pretty Boy Detective Club actually having potential to end up great. Then there are familiar favourites like Fruits Basket and Zombiland Saga and Iruma-kun (tier-descending order). Then there are shows like Super Cub and Hige that would easily have topped most seasons in 2019, and comfortable fun shows like Seijo, Mug, Dragon House, and Slime Killing to round it out… I’ve even seen hints that there might more to Nagatoro-san than the first episode lead me to expect.

        Not to mention Spider, which I’m sure to hear about in next week’s post.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Between To Your Eternity and Super Cub, this could be a fairly downbeat season, at least in the early going. Both easy keepers, though.

    To build a bit on last week’s comments regarding Higehiro, it’s not that I’m opposed to age-gap romance per-se, it’s just this specific scenario that’s full of potential tripwires. It would be perfectly natural for Sayu to develop a crush on Yoshida given that he’s apparently the only man she’s ever met who didn’t treat her like garbage, but she’s still just been through what has to have been a traumatic six months (not to mention whatever happened that drove her out into the streets in the first place), which means she’s in no fit state to give informed consent to any kind of romantic relationship until her issues are addressed. For Yoshida’s part I just don’t want to see anything that smacks of predatory behavior towards her. So far so good. That said, it is kind of funny that the show has (so far) been careful about navigating that relationship but doesn’t seem to have any issues with Yoshida pursuing an intimate relationship his boss, even though romantic relationships between a supervisor and supervisee are fraught with plenty of their own complications and normally frowned on for that reason (my own workplace for instance doesn’t have any issues with dating among co-workers, but it does require that couples have to work in different buildings or departments and can’t be in the same direct chain of supervision). Anyway, after all that rambling, still liking the show so far.

    Beyond the Boundary was interesting. I liked it, but I can see why it’s such a polarizing series among KyoAni fans. It’s flawed for sure, but there was still some good stuff to chew on. Haven’t finished sorting out my thoughts, though, since I just finished it last night.

    For my next catalog show I think I’ll go back and watch season 1 of Dog Days again. With the news that CR’s losing it next week this’ll probably be my last chance to ever see it legally, since it’s probably just going to end up buried in the back of Aniplex’s vault until the end of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Between To Your Eternity and Super Cub, this could be a fairly downbeat season, at least in the early going. Both easy keepers, though.

      I don’t want to get ahead of myself because it’ll be in next week’s post… But yeah. The 2nd episode of Super Cub really cemented what I’m liking about the series.

      To build a bit on last week’s comments regarding Higehiro, it’s not that I’m opposed to age-gap romance per-se, it’s just this specific scenario that’s full of potential tripwires.

      Makes sense. But, as you say, they’re navigating the lasers crossing the room with great dexterity. It’s a comedy rather than a drama, so they probably won’t address Sayu’s issues in any depth. Which, in some ways, is kinda sad – done right that could be one hell of a show.

      For my next catalog show I think I’ll go back and watch season 1 of Dog Days again. With the news that CR’s losing it next week this’ll probably be my last chance to ever see it legally, since it’s probably just going to end up buried in the back of Aniplex’s vault until the end of time.

      I want to watch THE iDOLM@STER one last time… and Sound of the Sky has been on my backlog list basically forever.

      Like

  3. You would definitely like Sound of the Sky. Even though they’re unrelated, it almost feels like it could be a prequel to Girls’ Last Tour in some ways. I could see both series taking place in the same world a few hundred or a thousand years apart. That said, Funimation is also streaming Sound of the Sky and they haven’t said anything about it going away there, so for now at least you can keep procrastinating on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I held off on commenting on episode two of Sayona Cramer as it was a two parter and I wanted to see episode three before I commented. Episode three was much better I thought. I wasn’t worried about the introduction of more characters in episode two since frequent introduction of characters is common in sports anime. Other members of the team will get more development as the series develops I think. What does concern me more is the framing of the action in this show. Soccer is a great game to watch as it is a game of inter-related and fast moves on a large pitch and watching the game you can always see that. Cramer often frames its action tightly on the individual player so that you don’t get a good sense of what is going on or the player with the ball’s intentions often. It makes the action in the game seem disjointed and jerky even. Animating a wide ranging game of movement like soccer would be challenging but i think Liden Film could do a better job of it than they have. I seem to recall the rugby league anime All Out! handled that issue better. Also i find some of the character animation lacking emotional range with characters sometimes looking almost blank when saying something that should be emotionally charged. The series has also pared down the onfield action to the bare basics of offensive and defensive moves. We’ve seen no thrown ins, kick outs, penalties or free kicks so far, even thought these are common and frequent elements in most soccer games.

    Episode three showed enough for me to stick with Sayonara Cramer for now and I’m interested to see how this team develops. I’m also interested in their seemingly disinterested head coach who spends most of his time reading horse racing magazines. There is more to him than meets the eye I suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

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