Spring 2021 – Week 3

That most infamous of weeks! Week three, when either the plot is settled or the Big Twist hits. It’s also the usual point where folks make their “keep/drop” choice – and this season is unusual for me. There’s some weaker shows – but there’s no drops! Hit the jump and let’s see how each show stands.

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 (Crunchy) Episode 3
Sayonara Watashi no Cramer

The girls of Warabi Seinan manage to score a single point…  Mostly though Nozmoi finally breaking out of funk and getting fired up.  We knew she was competent, and at last we’re shown some of that.  They kept focusing on Suo too, but I’m not sure why yet.

And the sooner that girl with the d_mmed oujo-sama laugh gets her comeuppance, the better.  At the moment, she’s just annoying.

Despite it’s animation problems (both character and action), Cramer is finally showing signs of life.  Which is a good thing, because it just narrowly avoided being a 3rd episode drop.

3rd episode status: Keeper, but still hanging on by the tips of it’s fingernails.

Fruits Basket The Final (Crunchy) Episode 3

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

It was either Turn! Turn! Turn! or Bowie’s Changes…  Both convey the essence of the episode, a liminal space as our main cast say farewell to their seniors and become third years themselves.  I really don’t think I can comment and do this episode justice.

Also, Yuki x Machi.  I’ll go down with that ship.

3rd episode status:  Was this ever actually a question?  Keeper.

HIGEHIRO (Crunchy) Episode 3
Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway
Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikosei wo Hirou.

I am… not sure what to say here other than I feel really sad for Sayu and whatever she went through in her past.  What was she running from that was worth what she went through being homeless?  What so thoroughly destroyed her self image?

Also pleased that Yoshida stuck to his guns despite her pleadings and supreme temptation.

But now…  Yuzuha at least knows something not quite normal is going on.  How will the play that?  Where on the comedy-drama spectrum will it fall?

3rd episode status: Solid keeper.

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level (Crunchy)
Episode 2

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

Forgettable.  I mean, we’re already in the 2nd episode and we’re basically already repeating the plotline of the first.  Someone shows up at Azusa’s house, challenges her, gets defeated, becomes part of the growing harem family.

Let’s Make a Mug Too (Crunchyroll) Episode 3
Yakunara Mug Cup Mo

After a brief edutainment segment, Cup Mo pretty much went full on SOL/CGDCT.  Just not much to say otherwise.

3rd episode status:  Keeper mostly, but if it stays on this track it’s going on the “watched but rarely commented” list.

Mashiro no Oto (Crunchy) Episode 3
Those Snow White Notes

Shuri’s connection with Setsu seems, I dunno, just too contrived.  And the timeline is muddy too, for her grandmother to have been evacuated to the country side at a time when Grandpa Sawamura would have been old enough…  He must have been old when he died.  (Approaching 100?)  The show pretty obviously takes place fairly recently and WWII ended three quarters of a century ago.  So how old is Umeko that she has two relatively young sons?  Or was it a May-December between her and the still unmentioned father?

Still, Setsu is rising to the challenge.  That’s a good thing I think.

Why couldn’t Setsu perform for Ogata?  (Who also has a tenuous connection with Setsu, but a plausible one.  The top echelons of the samisen community can’t be that big.)  Something seems off there…  But there is this:  Except for Umeko, this is the first time he’s confronted with someone who knows who and what he is.  And that someone declined to publicly make an issue of it.  Interesting.

And what’s with Yui?  She has a… personal interest that doesn’t seem to make sense yet.

Those Snow White NotesA lot of threads on the loom, and it’s not clear how they all fit together into a coherent whole.

3rd episode status:  Mashiro has fallen a long way from it’s first episode…  Which was so good that it had a long way to fall, but I’d still like to see it pick up some.  Keeper for now.

Also helping my opinion – every episode so far has featured at least one incredibly strong samisen performance.  Even Setsu’s “botched” performance in this episode was still pretty strong IMO.

My Hero Academia Season 5 (Crunchy) Episode 4 / Episode 92
Boku no Hero Academia 5

Though they had to work for it and everyone had to pull their weight, Class 1-A manages to pull out a win in the first battle.  I enjoy the times the characters have to think and the balance doesn’t rest on brute strength.

The next battle will be interesting as it has two of Class 1-A’s weakest members (Shining Hero and Invisible Girl), Yaoyorozu (one of the most creative, pardon the pun), and Tokoyami – one of the strongest members of the class.  (But with a potentially crippling weakness if Class 1-B can take advantage of it.) 

3rd episode status: No comment keeper.

Super Cub (Funimation) Episode 2

A random thought that occurred to me…  What if Laid Back Camp was told from Rin’s point of view rather than Nadeshiko’s?  Wouldn’t you get something awfully close to Super Cub?

Either way, I’m really pleased with the role Reiko (Koguma’s new friend) played here…  She’s certainly more energetic, but she’s not overbearing, not forcing herself into Koguma’s life.

But even that brief encounter…  changes much.  That was a well done sequence, showing her turning where she went straight before – and then going further than she has before.

Super Cub (Funimation) Episode 3

Another strong, quiet episode…  Reiko takes more of a lead here, helping Koguma find a cargo box for her Super Cub and advising on helmets, but again isn’t overpowering.  (Man, that’s a hell of a run-on sentence, isn’t it?)  But it was nice to see Koguma solve the problem of protecting her eyes from the wind on her own.

Super Cub Season 1 Episode 3 Koguma Smiles

And now, every so often, she feels the need for a little speed.  Which is absolutely cute as hell.  All through the last few minutes I kept going “there it is!  The defining screenshot of the episode!”  Finally I settled on this one.

3rd episode status:  One of the few shows to maintain steady quality and pacing…  Strong keeper, at or near the top of the season so far.

So I’m a Spider, So What? (Crunchy) Episode 14
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?

Our first solid connection between the timelines…  Kumoko’s failure to kill a vampire baby leads to Big Problems on the human side fifteen years later.  And before I forget, Sophia (the vampire) is also a reincarnate – the first we’ve seen among the Bad Guys. 

Is Sophia one of the ones, or the one that Filimøs/Oka dodged talking about some episodes back?  Is she the only Reincarnate among the Demon horde and it’s allies?

Either way, the human/elf coalition is in big trouble.  Their leadership in shambles and under pursuit…

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song (Funimation) Episode 4

So…  turns our both Matsumoto and Vivy were right in a way…  Estella did crash the hotel.  Only it was a duplicate, an Evil Twin.  One of the oldest tricks in the book.

Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song- Season 1 Episode 4 Estella and ElizabethAnd that evil twin raises questions.  The first is the less troubling, why would Toak use AIs to further their ends?  Aren’t they against AI?  “Well, they’re just discrediting AI” seems too pat and simple.  The more troubling question is “Nature vs. Nurture”?  If Elizabeth is truly an identical copy of Estella (programming, memories, and all) – by both Nature and Nurture say she should have been a Good Twin instead of an Evil Twin.  Why was she a failure?  Why was she an Evil Twin?  And why did she return to Estella’s side when her memories were (apparently) reset?

That’s either a complete ass-pull, or there’s something we don’t know yet.  Crossing my fingers for the latter.

3rd episode status: Delayed because of the two-parter, but a strong keeper.

=========

There we go folks! Week three in the books!

Big news of course is that Nana premieres on HiDive today. My wife and I have decided to savor the experience… Even though we’re getting two episodes a week, we’re going to watch them one-at-a-time on night when we’re not rushed.

Last week I mentioned my re-watch of Id@lmaster, which turned out to be a marathon of my favorite episodes. Accomplished that barely in time, with the last episode (featuring Chihiya’s amazing a capella performance) on Tuesday.

So, how did week three go for you? Any drops? Any shows that are amazing or just barely holding on? Hit the comment box and let’s chat!

9 thoughts on “Spring 2021 – Week 3”

  1. “I really don’t think I can comment and do this episode justice.”

    You’re smarter than I am. I tried to comment on it. In comparison to the episode itself, yeah, it would have been better if I’d just published screen caps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Sometimes it’s best to be silent and thought wise rather than speak and be thought otherwise?” (LOL) :) :)

      Yeah, I don’t do that often, but this time I really felt I had no choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I managed to watch both season 1 and season 2 of Dog Days before they went off Crunchyroll. Wasn’t sure if I’d be able to squeeze season 2 in, but I made it. It helps that Dog Days is such a fluffy and easy-viewing series that it’s not hard to sit down for a good five or six episodes at a time. Watching it again got me thinking about some things that wouldn’t have been on my radar the first time I watched it however many years ago, but not like anything serious. The whole show is just a romp anyway.

    However, cramming in all of that Dog Days meant I haven’t really had time to watch anything else this week. So the only seasonal I can offer any comment on right now is episode 2 of Super Cub. Which I really liked, of course. It was cool how the two girls didn’t just immediately jump into being friends in typical anime fashion, instead going through that period of kinda tentatively getting used to being around each other. Very true-to-life, especially for socially awkward introverts, but not something shown in media all that often. It’s another small thing that makes me feel confident we’re in good hands with this show. Not sure I see too much of a parallel between Koguma and Rin, though, at least in terms of where their stories begin. Sure they’re both bike-loving introverts, but even before meeting Nadeshiko, Rin seems pretty happy with her life. She has her family and Ena, a part-time job, and hobbies she enjoys like camping and reading. Koguma really is alone and adrift before she stumbles across that bike, and doesn’t seem to have any hobbies or passions or anything at all to keep her busy besides going to school every day. If she’s Rin, then she’s an AU Rin who grew up with nothing, or Rin is an AU Koguma who was lucky enough to grow up in a loving and supportive family environment.

    BTW, I had an odd little adventure the first time I tried to watch Super Cub 2. Funimation’s stream somehow ended up giving me sound and captions from episode 2 but the video from episode 1. After I figured out it was screwed up and restarted the app it was fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. However, cramming in all of that Dog Days meant I haven’t really had time to watch anything else this week.
      Wasn’t sure if I’d be able to squeeze season 2 in, but I made it.

      That’s why I swapped to a marathon of favorite episodes rather than a full blown re-watch of all twenty four episode. I didn’t want to cram or rush, and only about three out of five are actually favorites of some level or another.

      Not sure I see too much of a parallel between Koguma and Rin, though, at least in terms of where their stories begin.

      Yeah, it was just a random thought that I should have thought through further… It’s the opening of their worlds that’s the only real similarity.

      BTW, I had an odd little adventure the first time I tried to watch Super Cub 2.

      Technology… ain’t it wunnerful? And, at least for us, at least once or twice a season Funi forgets to enable subtitles entirely. We have to come back the next day.

      Like

  3. I don’t really know what to say about Fruits Basket, but it’s really the gold standard for how to do effective melodrama. And Yuki X Machi really is a great ship, isn’t it?

    That was a really great episode of Higehiro, too. I like how they’re expanding the plot and aren’t content to keep Sayu a locked-away secret. It’s not how I expected things to come out, but it’s actually great. I mean Sayu and Yuzuha meeting isn’t a coincidence. They’re roughly in the same area for a reason. And the final talk Sayu and Yoshida have is great, too (but why, oh why, does the show have to insert closeups into that scene).

    Killing Slimes… why insert a vengeful slime spirit if you end up doing nothing at all with it? Maybe in the future, but I sort of doubt it. I honestly don’t care about plot much, but I don’t like pointless teasers in my slice of life. It’s a bit like a tremor in the viewing experience, where for a moment I’m not sure how to watch the show. Not a good decision; didn’t work for me.

    Nothing to say about Mug. I’m enjoying the show, but that’s all.

    After two episodes of Debussy, I now detected Lizst in Super Cub. Those classical piano pieces work really well with the show, I have to say. Also, I really like Koguma’s stupid grin. Good choice of opening pic.

    As for Mashiro no Oto, Setsu said he couldn’t play because he didn’t know why he was playing, IIRC. It’s the same reason why he doesn’t do competitions. It’s a test situation; Ogata said something like “Let me see the skill level of your club,” and Setsu basically stepped up just because the situation demanded it. So the mindset he played with was social and had little to do with music, and he’s probably an intuitive player, so if he’s no feeling he can’t put anything in. That’s how I see it. I’m actually fine with how the show develops. (As for Grandpa/Grandma, I didn’t really think of this, but you’re right. Maybe they were meeting as children, and Grandpa made the tune really early, or the tune originates, actually, with the great grandfather, and Setsu just doesn’t know?)

    Vivy, for me, is a watch-and-forget show. I’m enjoying it in the moment but it’s giving me nothing to think about when it’s not on. 86 falls into that category, too, though on balance I’d say, I maybe like 86 a little more so far? It’s hard to tell: Vivy feels a little overconstructed and too allegorical, while 86 is so on the nose that none of the supposed emotion sticks. Whether or not I enjoy 86 more or not, I think Vivy is the better show. Don’t ask me why, though. It’s intuition, and thinking this through isn’t fun.

    Spider got the gears moving; there’s something going on I’m not sure about. They were de-heroizing but not killing Shun. Is this a classmate thing? I somehow think there’s something bigger going on, and the demon lord (who may or may not be Kumoko) uses the war for a purpose, so she still needs him? Also interesting to see how Fei has evolved. This doesn’t really look like an earth dragon to me, so how versatile is the evolution system? It’s also interesting to see jealousy-born resentment address. I have to say, I’m liking the show more than I expected I would before I started to watch. I thought I’d be watching it for Yuki Aoi goofing off, but the plot seems actually interesting.

    Cramer: mmm…. not sure. I’m finding myself a little bored, to be honest. Not as bored as with Bakuten, which I’ve dropped, but the sports show of the season for me is the Kabaddi show. Those boys are all such lovable dorks.

    Also, Fumetsu no Anata continues to be real good. Ever since the preview, the show has partly put me in mind of Moribito, but there was little to nothing of this in episode 1. The vibes are strong with episode 1 (which appears to be the beginning of a new arc) and the new characters introduced. The main character now looks human, but still behaves like the pet wolf he’s been for a while before. There’s a skillful weaving of childhood/adulthood theme in here, too, while the bigger plot is… interesting. Episode 1 was really simple – moved in one direction only. Episode 2 has set up more pieces, with characters each with their own motivation, and our main character as some sort of point-of-view character, who actually doesn’t really have a point of view yet, at least not one that’s easy to understand other than in metaphors like “infant” or “wolf”, none of which really applies. I’m not even sure how our protagonist distinguishes between the boundry between body:inside/outside. The show’s really great so far.

    And Odd Taxi continues to be odd and fun to watch. I’ve seen stories like this before, but very rarely in anime. It feels more like… I don’t know, Twin Peaks? There’s a token mystery, but it’s really about the weird folks that populate the town.

    This is where I’m at after 3 episodes (not ranking Maiko-san as a seasonal anime due to the odd release schedule). *** indicates a break: shows below that won’t likely top shows above that.

    Fumetsu no Anata e (likely to end up anime of the year)

    Fruits Basket 3
    Odd Taxi
    Shadows House
    Godzilla Singular Point (imagine my surprise; the first time anime godzilla works for me – of course, godzilla hasn’t shown up yet. The show knows its genre.)
    Bishounen Tanteidan (Nisio Ishin’s reverse harem. It’s totally bonkers. I love it.)
    Higehirou
    Super Cub

    Zombieland Saga Revenge
    Spider
    SSSS.Dynazenon (It’s as good as SSSS.Gridman, but because Gridman’s already there, it doesn’t feel as fresh.)

    Mashiro no Oto
    Seijo
    Nagatoro-san (the bullying is uncomfortable, but there appears to be more to it.)

    Iruma-kun 2
    Mug
    Mars Red
    Dragon Ie wo Kau
    Back Arrow
    Kabaddi
    Slime Diaries
    Sentouin Hakenshimasu! (Konosuba > Kemono Michi >>>> this; but it’s still fun.)

    Edens Zero (apparently it’s a carbon copy of Fairy Tail? I never watched Fairy Tail.)
    Blue Reflection Ray (Way better than expected; still only here.)
    Shaman King (I liked the first series better, as far as I watched it. It’s a long-runner, so I’m unliekly to finish it anyway)
    Slime Taoshite
    Osananajimi ga Zettai ni Makenai Love Comedy (How do you make a harem where the childhoodfriend won’t lose? Make a harem that consists only of childhood friends. Are you tremembling with excitement at the genius of this concept? I bet you can’t wait to dive into it now. Yeah, stock standard harem with an attitude I don’t particularly like, but it has it’s good points, too.)
    Nomad (the show’s much better than it’s place indicates; but it’s a sequel I didn’t want, and as of now I expect it’s going in a direction I don’t want it to; It’s not really much worse than Megalo Box; that’s the highest how-much-I-like-it/how-much-I’d-recommend-it disparity on whole list)

    Battle Athletess Daiundoukai (I recognise the show and I don’t; it’s very different and sadly not in a good way.)
    Cramer
    86
    Vivy
    The World Ends With You
    How not to Summon a Demon Lord 2

    Jouran Princess of Snow and Blood
    Full Dive RPG

    Dropped: Seven Knights, Bakuten, Fairy Ranmaru

    This season is insane. Many, many anime feel like they’re way too low on the list, until I remember what’s above them. As always that’s not a clear hierarchy, just a rough idea of what goes where. Since I’m watching 36 shows, I expect at least Jouran and Full Dive to drop out eventually. Shaman King, too, maybe. I’m enjoying it, but it being a long runner puts a damper on my motivation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Re:Super Cub

      Also, I really like Koguma’s stupid grin. Good choice of opening pic.

      It really was hard to pick which grin/smile was the one to use…

      Cramer: mmm…. not sure. I’m finding myself a little bored, to be honest.

      Cramer is annoying in that respect. It’s got all the parts, but it’s not using them effectively and it’s unfocused as hell.

      Re:Spider

      Also interesting to see how Fei has evolved. This doesn’t really look like an earth dragon to me, so how versatile is the evolution system?

      It’s a branching tree, so even with a simple binary choice you can get a LOT of different end results with only a few choices. But she does seem to have gone further in a single leap than Kumoko ever did, which was more gradual changes.

      As for Mashiro no Oto, Setsu said he couldn’t play because he didn’t know why he was playing

      But he’d played powerfully before – at the riverside, as the opening act of the concert, with Umeko, with his brother… Something was different there and they haven’t really made it clear what or why. Wandering thought – maybe it’s because this was the first time where there were expectations laid on him? The first time with a peer who would judge him?

      Like

  4. Didn’t really thought about the age differences in Mashiro no Oto, but when you pointed that out – it really seems weird. The show to me seems to become less and less interesting, and only the musical parts carry all the weight.

    Agree with your thoughts about Vivy. The episode seemed half-baked, and closer to an ass-pull than some revelation of yet unknown importance. More details about the whole sister situation wouldn’t have hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re:Mashiro no Oto

      The show to me seems to become less and less interesting, and only the musical parts carry all the weight.

      Yeah. Parts of it seem so… disconnected?

      Liked by 2 people

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