Spring 2021 – Week 5 thoughts (with some leftovers from Week 4).


In some ways it’s almost a good thing that I didn’t really get a post out last week. There’s a lot of episodes where last week and this form a two part episode! And there were some good episodes this week to boot.

So, let’s hit the jump and dive right in.

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 4
Sayonara Watashi no Cramer

Note:  These comments are from last week.

The first half of the episode was a painful and mostly pointless rehash of the practice game that occupied most of the last two episodes.  I don’t even remember the second half of the episode…

Cramer has had pacing, plotting, animation, and character development issues right from the first episode…  And has stubbornly refused to significantly improve.

Sayonara, Cramer.  Dropped.

Fruits Basket The Final (Crunchy) Episodes 4-5

Last week (episode 4), I was going to talk mostly about the symbology of the fraying cord after Hatsuharu’s encounter with Akito.  (And damm, that was a good episode.)

Fruits Basket - The Final Season - Episode 5 - Akito's legacy.But episode 5 pre-empted that discussion by shoving it in our face (in a good way) when Momiji had a moment of personal clarity – and broke free.  It’s interesting that Akito was immediately aware…  and pathetic in how she went to beg.  Sometimes it seems that FruBa wants to paint them sympathetically, as much a victim as the Zodiac proper.  But given the shit they’ve knowingly pulled it’s so very hard to sympathetic.

And what about Kureno?  Was Akito not aware?  Or are they shying away from thinking about (AKA deluding themselves) it so long as he remains loyal to them?

And that Yuki x Machi almost moment…  heartbreaker.  Yeah, I’m not normally a big one for ships.  But for some reason I’m invested in this one.

HIGEHIRO (Crunchy) Episodes 4-5
Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway
Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikosei wo Hirou.

A lot of heavy stuff here.  Contrary to first appearances, Gotou is actually doing good.  I didn’t at all expect her to play mother figure in concert with Yoshida’s father figure.  But really, it’s what Sayu needed.  I’m not going to say there’s any “good cop/bad cop” going on here…  But somebody needed to see the situation with more clarity than Yoshida has so far and play the heavy in mediating the relationship.

Watching Sayu cry was both exhilarating and heartbreaking.  Whatever happens, facing those emotions is an all-important first step in healing.

And whatever is Yuzuha doing other than being a general PITA?

And that after credits, that left me with serious chills.  Dude knows something, he knows damm well who Sayu is.  From Hokkaido?  Or one of the men who abused her in the past?

I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level (Crunchy)
Episodes 3-4

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

Mindless fun…  Honestly, just barely this side of the drop zone as it’s descended into rote plotline territory.

Screenshot (115)And Azusa’s real magical superpower is walking around in that redonculous hat without breaking her fool neck.  What is it with anime witches and cartoonish hats?

Let’s Make a Mug Too (Crunchyroll) Episodes 4-5
Yakunara Mug Cup Mo

These episodes mark a departure from the first three…  It’s abandoned the edutainment approach and shifted to pure school club/slice-of-life.  As such, there’s not really much to remark on.  There’s nothing wrong with it per se, it’s just decent but mindless. 

Mashiro no Oto (Crunchy) Episodes 4-5
Those Snow White Notes

Episode 4 was possibly the finest final episode ever…  Except it wasn’t, it was an arc finale.  And I think Notes has a steep hill to climb to match that first arc.

And having shifted over to being (mostly) a school club show, I’m not convinced it’s trying very hard.  Setsu and his struggle are still unquestionably the center of the show, but a more diffuse center (if that makes any sense).  And there’s a lot of people taking an interest in his growth.  But he doesn’t strike me as the kind of person to take that kind of attention all that well.

My Hero Academia Season 5 (Crunchy ANN) Episodes 5/6 (93/94)
Boku no Hero Academia 5

Yeah, these episodes happened.  But no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t sell me on the idea that Yaoyorozu had improved all that much.  Tokoyami on the other hand…  Man, wasn’t he something?  Navel laser dude and the Invisible Girl might as well have stayed home for all they mattered.

On the other hand, it was a decent enough fight and it was good that MHA is paying some attention to the fights that don’t star the more central characters.

Super Cub (Funimation) Episode 5

Honestly, I’m on the fence here.  Koguma’s character growth and increasing confidence were all over this episode.  But I’m not so sure how well Reiko’s story worked.

Why?  Because after all that, she doesn’t seem to have really learned any lessons.  The aggression and “need for speed” she made clear early on kept tripping her up?  How many times did she outrun her ability to observe conditions and lose control of her bike?  Or is that a plot point to keep an eye on for the future?

Also, I’ve found a way to insert properly Pixiv fanart, and there’s lots of good stuff there! I wanted to link to the page properly, rather than copying the image… Copying disconnects the image from the author, and I wanted to avoid that if possible because it’s so not cool.

It’s not as clean as I would like, but I’ll be experimenting more with it in the future.

So I’m a Spider, So What? (Crunchy) Episode 16
Kumo desu ga, Nanika?

Whoah…  So now we know more of the truth of the world.  Despite it’s gamification, Kumoko’s world is tied (dimensionally) to the “real world”.  And things in the former can effect the latter.  No idea if it runs the other way.

And the post credits answers an important question:  Kumoko doesn’t evolve into Ariel (the Demon Lord).  But we still don’t know where Kumoko is fifteen years in the future – in the human timeline.  Will we find out now that the humans are entering the Labyrinth?

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song (Funimation) Episodes 5-6

The opening scenes of episode 5 make it clear that history is in fact diverging from Matsumoto’s timeline.  But that d*mn bear still seems awfully f*cking cocky if you ask me.  What does he know that he’s not telling?  (Vivy, or the audience.)  Or does he not really grasp the magnitude of what’s happening?

I think much of the show and what I think of it longer term is going to rest on how, if, those questions are answered.

Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song- Season 1 Episode 6 - Blood on her handsThat post-credits.  In the first arc, she fought for and saved a human life.  In the second arc, she fought for and saved an AI’s dignity (though failing to save her existence).  In this episode…  Look at the blood.  Human, and AI.  While Vivy succeeded in carrying out Matsumoto’s design…

As Diva, she failed to make people (humans) happy.  As Vivy, she failed to save one of her sisters (descendants).  Both sides of her personality are suffering. 

And she was never designed to have two personalities, two missions, in the first place.

Damm.

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And that wraps it up for this week!

A note for next week:  My 2nd shot is scheduled for right in the middle of when I’m usually working on my weekly post.  If there are side effects, which many people do encounter, that will likely affect my ability to write/post.

And then there’s NANA

NANA - Episode 1 - a fated meetingIt’s maybe not quite as good as my memories…  But it’s early yet.  Still very much in the setup phase.  I’m definitely enjoying it.  One huge difference is my wife and I are talking about it more.  Not just after, but also pausing and/or rewinding during the episode itself.  In the six or seven years since we first saw it, we’ve become much more active participants in the viewing process.  It’s fun.

I’m hoping to get some kind of summary/impression post up, but that may or may not work out.  Watch this space!

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And with that, over to you!  What are your thoughts this week?  What did you have for dinner yesterday?  (Grilled ham and cheese, using my mom’s cast iron, for me my wife and I.)  Whatever you want to chat about, here’s your chance!

6 thoughts on “Spring 2021 – Week 5 thoughts (with some leftovers from Week 4).”

  1. Yeah, Cramer’s nothing much to write home about, but oddly enough I’m still on board (barely), after I dropped Bakuten (the rhythmic gymnastics show) for being rote (but better executed). Oddly enough Kabaddi is my favourite sports show this season. It’s one of those sports shows where everyone has some sort of gimmick; it’s fun.

    @Higehiro: I’m loving the show so far, but I must admit I’m a little wary of that ending scene. I hope this doesn’t spiral into something beyond the expected drama. As for Yuzuha, I feel she represents the female domestic career and mindset. So far, this is a show where the male main is in love with a career woman. Gotou won’t give up her job if they get together, and he knows it. I’m fairly sure Yuzuha would expect to give up her job. Remember that Sayu does the chores around the house, and this is in keeping with gender expectations. I think Yuzuha comes from that mindset. What I’m not sure about is how the show will balance her out. I can still see the show going the route of “the point of a wife is to support her working husband.” I actually really like Gotou, so I think that route would suck (but not ruin the show). And for that reason, I’m also really glad that it’s Gotou who became the mum stand-in, rather than Yuzuha (who seems to see herself more as a rival?).

    @Fruits Basket: We did see the snapping of the string between Akito and Kureno in a flashback. They were both immediately aware, and Akito was every bit as pathetic. It really does feel like a certain type of abusive behaviour: when you only know domination, you either dominated or apologise, because you literally can’t see any other option. For Akito, I feel, that’s less a personality issue and more an upbringing issue, with her being the head of house, forced into gender representation she doesn’t feel, and clinging to “being special” for a life-line. It’s not like it isn’t a personality issue at all; I feel among all the Zodiacs only Yuki could have turned out like her (I know too little about Ritsu). But yeah I feel for Akito, but I wouldn’t want to be around her. And she needed to hear what Momiji told her; Kureno, as kind as he is, is an enabler.

    @Spider: I have to say, that show really knows how to up the ante. Kumoko really has to work for her successes, and the reward for success is survival, and the wrong sort of attention. I’m wondering about that doll; it doesn’t look like something Mum would have; more like something the “Origin Tatarect” would have. This show has turned out much more interesting and coherent than it looked like at the beginning of last season. I was really only expecting silly spider antics courtsy of Yuki Aoi.

    And Vivy… well, it’s okay. Plot-wise its in a difficult situation; it feels like a show where I need to switch off my brain so I can enjoy it, but if I switch off my brain I might not be able to follow the plot.

    Fumitsu no Anata e continues to be the best show of the season. As far as I’m concerned, so far, it’s the best show since at least Winter 2020, probably longer. It’s not quite all-time best tier, but it’s not missing by much.

    And I probably won’t be shutting up about Odd Taxi any time soon either. I’ve heard people compare it to Quentin Tarantino films. It’s not a comparison I would have ever thought of, but now that I’ve heard about it I can sort of see it. Plot strands are coming together in a very loose way. I’m loving it.

    I’ve dropped the Full Dive RPG show. The concept is actually interesting, but the show seems to subjugate it to sado-maso harem fantasies. Not my type of show.

    @Nana: It’s been such a long time since I last watched it (watched it twice – quite a feat for a 52 episodes show). As far as I remember, the first time I watched it, it wasn’t love at first sight. I quite liked the show, but I don’t think it came fully together until the show established Yasu as the pole to the show’s wether vane, if you know what I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fumitsu no Anata e continues to be the best show of the season. As far as I’m concerned, so far, it’s the best show since at least Winter 2020, probably longer. It’s not quite all-time best tier, but it’s not missing by much.

      Seriously, Derek, if you’re looking for something to fill the void in your lineup left by dropping Sayonara Watashi no Cramer, you can’t do better than Fumitsu no Anata e. It’s my frontrunner for AotS and solid runner-up for AotY so far. Not asking for three-episode rule… just watch the first episode and see if it grabs you. You won’t regret it, I promise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would have been looking for a void-filler… But then HiDive dropped NANA, so I’m more in a position of trying to make room.

        But dangit, I’m going to have to check this out. Let’s get through this week and see.

        Like

  2. @Higehiro

    I’m also really glad that it’s Gotou who became the mum stand-in, rather than Yuzuha (who seems to see herself more as a rival?).

    Yeah, that’s the source of my confusion… She seems to riding and badgering Yoshida, but’s it’s not clear why. I don’t know that she sees Sayu as a rival, more of a roadblock? She seems to see Gotou as, not-quite-a-rival either. I can’t figure out her endgame. (Gotou seems to have accepted a kind of partnership, joint custody over Sayu, with Yoshida.)

    @Fruits Basket

    I feel among all the Zodiacs only Yuki could have turned out like her (I know too little about Ritsu).

    I would peg Hatori in that role… There’s a definite generational shift between the Three Musketeers ->Kureno->All the high schoolers and younger. As they get younger, the rebellion level increases.

    And she needed to hear what Momiji told her; Kureno, as kind as he is, is an enabler.

    And that… bugs me. Despite what I said about the generational shift, he’s the outlier. He both rejects them – and is their strongest supporter/defender.

    @Nana: It’s been such a long time since I last watched it (watched it twice – quite a feat for a 52 episodes show). As far as I remember, the first time I watched it, it wasn’t love at first sight. I quite liked the show, but I don’t think it came fully together until the show established Yasu as the pole to the show’s wether vane, if you know what I mean.

    It’s been so long, and I only saw it once, that I don’t really know what you mean. I do recall he was something of the moral anchor point, is that in the right neighborhood? It’s odd that I recall some parts, especially early on, vividly and others are more foggy.

    Like

    1. It’s been so long, and I only saw it once, that I don’t really know what you mean. I do recall he was something of the moral anchor point, is that in the right neighborhood? It’s odd that I recall some parts, especially early on, vividly and others are more foggy.

      Yeah, that’s pretty much what I meant. Even though I’ve seen it twice, my memory isn’t really precise, though, so it’s really just a hunch.

      Liked by 1 person

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