Midseason comments – Fall 2021 – Weeks 5/6

Aquatope

This season has had its share of surprises…  both good and bad.  Either way, it’s mid-season and that means it’s time for the mid-season gut check!  What’s worth keeping, what’s being dropped?

Hit the jump and find out!

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 that are watched but not regularly reviewed.

Blue Period

Episode 8

Blue Period seems stuck in a bit of a rut…  Yatora encounters an artistic wall, and (mostly) with Oooba-sensei‘s help powers through it.  But I’m not convinced in this case it’s a flaw.  Two-steps-forward-one-step-back is actually working quite well here as it illustrates just how hard the path he’s chosen is.  He is making progress and discovering a great deal about art and himself in the process.  Each week is still compelling as hell and I end up so deep in the show the end credits come as a bit of a surprise.

The other plot thread is Yatora and Yotasuke…  The latter is a bit of an enigma, and I’m not sure where or what he is.  And I don’t think he’s too certain either.  But there’s certainly an interesting if somewhat prickly friendship brewing between these two outsiders.

Midseason status:  Strong keeper.

(*) Let’s Make a Mug Too 2

Yakunara Mug Cup Mo: Niban Kama  (Let’s Make a Mug too: Second Kiln)

Midseason status: Keeper.

Lupin III: Part VI

Episode 5

So now…  Lupin is a time traveler.  Interesting…  Let’s wait for the second half of this two (?) -parter to see where it goes.

Midseason status:  Is Lupin serial or episodic or some hybrid of both.  Individual episodes are fun, but critically speaking I don’t know how to approach it.  But it is fun, so let’s run with that.  Not everything has to be analyzed to death.  Keeper.

(*) My Senpai is Annoying

Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi
Episode 6 – That certainly was annoying…  The conflict between Takeda and Grandpa was just taken too far.

Midseason status: Definitely falling off from a half-decent start.  Keeper.

SELECTION PROJECT

Episodes 6-7

The issues with Suzune’s health come to head…  And like so many other shows, the earlier lack of consequences come back to haunt them.  Their attempts at pathos and drama completely fail.

Also, Suzune writes a letter to the family of the individual that donated their heart.  And a post credits scene implies very strongly that it was delivered to Rena – that it was her deceased older sister’s heart.  If that’s true, I’m dropping this show like a hot potato.  Idoly Pride did that, and did it better, just a few months ago.

Midseason status:  All it’s going to take is one small push, and it’s gone.  Keeping for the moment.

(*)Taisho Otome Fairy Tale

Taisho Otome Otogibanashi

Midseason status:  Decently watchable at best, may yet be thrown overboard.  Weak keeper.

The aquatope on white sand

Shiroi Suna no Aquatope
Episode 19

Probably the closest we’re going to get to a Fuuka centered episode…  And honestly, from that point of view it was a complete waste of the viewers time.  As a character, there’s a lot about her that hasn’t been addressed and we’re running out of time.

Unlike Kukuru, Fuuka has largely been running in place since very early in the show’s run.  That’s…  decidedly odd since she’s a main character.  Or at least they’ve mostly treated her as one.

Midseason status:  *frustrated sigh*  Because of Fuuka’s [lack of an] arc or real character development, it’s like watching half a show.  There’s side characters getting more development!  But it’s still so good…  Keeper.

Yuki Yuna Is a Hero: Great Mankai Chapter

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Dai Mankai no Shou
Episodes 6-7

So, basically in the span of two and half episodes…  We meet Chikage (and a handful of other colorless one-note girls), she goes batshit crazy, and sorta-kinda half-ass redeems herself before dying.  (Oh, and two of the other girls are dead too.  Half the team is dead in the span of ninety minutes.)  The show doesn’t really support the reason(s) she went off the rails, but it is understandable given the Taisha’s general incompetence and callous indifference to the lives and well being of their charges.  But we’re not really given enough time and character development to care.

And that’s a problem.

It’s a feeling that’s been growing ever since we entered this new arc, but really it runs right back to the start of this season.

Over on my Facebook page, Lee Vermeers (a regular commenter there), hits the nail squarely on the head.  We’re getting a clip show, not a proper adaptation.  They’re stuffing a lot in and assuming the viewer will fill in the gaps.

And that sucks if you’re an anime-only.

Midseason status:  Greatly disappointed, but keeping.

=========

Here we are midseason, and no drops this time around.  I don’t really keep track, so I can’t really tell if it’s unusual or not.  A couple of them are kinda weak and may yet go overboard though…

But here we are, another week in the can!

What are your midseason thoughts?  If you’re American – are you looking forward to Thanksgiving next week?  (I am!  As soon as I post this, it’s time to find my clipboard and start working on my lists.)

Drop a comment and let’s chat! 

9 thoughts on “Midseason comments – Fall 2021 – Weeks 5/6”

  1. Out of this list, I’m only watching Aquatope, and I’m behind on it, planning to catch up. It’s a beautiful series, and I think I can forgive a lot if there are some story drawbacks, but sucks to hear Fuuka might be more of a passive character when it was her initial conflict that started the whole story, at least from her perspective. I’ll definitely keep watching to see how it develops.

    As for currently airing stuff, the rest is going pretty well for me except for Komi, which I think just isn’t my kind of show. I like comedies like this sometimes, but most of the jokes in Komi aren’t landing for me, and I find a lot of the side characters intensely annoying, which is putting me off badly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, for the late reply… was busy.

      So far I seem to be the only one dissatisfied with Fuuka’s character arc. I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts when you get caught up.

      With most of what I’m watching, it’s not that they’re bad, just they fail to rise above “pretty average”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Any Lupin I’ve ever seen has always been episodic, but it’s been so long ago that I don’t even remember what I’ve seen. I can take it or leave it; not a fan, but entertaining enough to watch. I’m not watching this incarnation, so I can’t speak about what’s currently on.

    For me, Blue Period is fine. I’m enjoying it, and I’m especially loving the side characters, but it’s not a show I could say much about. I’m curious where the show will slot into this season so I’ll end this post with a loose ranking, just to get an overview over the season.

    And as for Aquatope and Fuuka: I don’t really have any problems here. The way I see the show, what Kukuru’s going through now is roughly what Fuuka’s been going through before the season started. Not quite the same, and the difference is why Fuuka’s no longer persuing being an idol, while Kukuru most likely will continue working at Aquariums (since that’s the motif of the show). I’d be expecting flashbacks rather than development, at the appropriate time. We don’t actually need that much, I think.

    Curious: Is Heike still on the plate? I’d definitely suggest a binge watch, if so, as it’s easier to keep up with who is who. Maybe that’s the plan anyway? It’s great, but it’s by nature of the source a multi-character thing. The show’s done a pretty good job by focussing this through an original character. I’ve never read the novel, so I don’t know how well it does as an adaption, though.

    And now for the list:

    Osama Ranking
    Heike Monogatari
    Mushukou Tensei 2
    Aquatope
    Mieruko chan
    Blue Period
    Komi-san
    World Trigger 3
    Saihate no Paladin
    Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu
    Taishou Otome Otogibanashi
    86
    Mug
    Takt.op Destiny
    Shaman King
    Shin no Nakama etc.
    Sakugan
    Vampire Dies in No Time
    Senpai is Annoying
    Visual Prison
    Tricornered Window
    Scarlet Nexus
    Jahy sama
    Assassin
    Shinka no Mi
    Platinum End

    The shows I dropped (such as Selection Project) wouldn’t necessarily have come in near the bottom. It’s been more a schedule thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late reply, had a busy few days – getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday takes a lot of work!

      “For me, Blue Period is fine.”

      Oh certainly! Most shows with this repetitive structure, I’d be all kinds of annoyed at. (I mean how many times have I bitched about “the monster of the week”?) But here, it’s more of a battering ram, solving problems and coming at them from a new angle. It’s actually working and it’s staying compelling.

      re:aquatope
      “The way I see the show, what Kukuru’s going through now is roughly what Fuuka’s been going through before the season started.”

      I can see that… Fuuka has already reached her end goal and Kukuru is still struggling to get there? It does make sense, but I’d feel a lot better if we had the background to understand how and why Fuuka reached her current condition. That’s the core of my gripe, Fuuka is still a mystery and we’re being asked to simply accept it.

      As good as aquatope is, there’s a lot of missing pieces and dropped balls. (Such as the “magical events” at Gama Gama…) It’s verging on being one of those shows that really needed a couple more drafts of it’s script.

      No, Heike is not still on the table. From what I’ve heard, it’s just not my cup of tea.

      Of the shows I’m watching, I think I mostly agree with your rankings.

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      1. I’m not surprised you lost interest in Heike, to be honest. As much as I like it, I doubt I’d have recommended it to you if you hadn’t professed interest at the start of the season.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It interested me as a historical piece, but once I realized the magical role of the new POV character, that killed it for me.

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          1. Hm, if that’s it, I’m not sure what to say. The magical eyes have little to no impact on the plot (one of the characters has one, too; not sure if that’s in the novel); it’s mostly a narrative framing device. Depends on what turned you off.

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  3. I thought the last couple of episodes of Aquatope were great. The penguin episode was excellent on all levels, animation, design, scripting, acting, it ticked all the boxes. I’m not concerned about the lack of Fuuka-centric episodes. I thought the development she got throughout the episode was sufficient. Fuuka’s story (including her backstory) is being told in the show’s now, without the need to explain her motivations etc by referring to the past.

    Selection Project. Hearts. Yes. When they trotted out the old heart transplant trope I felt a little outrage but then I stepped back and considered “Well who came up with that idea first?” Was the Selection Project Manga published before Idolly Pride’s or vice versa? Or is there a third Idol series that has used this trope before? I don’t know. Its a silly and unlikely situation anyway and that some author (two!) thinks its a powerful plot point says something about the quality of idol stories we are getting dished up these days.

    Im also quietly watching Isekai Shokudou 2 this season. It got a bit of flak last season but I’ve always enjoyed it’s gentle and inventive fantasy, and the food always looks good too – not as lush as Shaft’s Gourmet Girl’s Graffiti but it certainly looks scrumptious. It is a restaurant I would certainly like to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late reply!

      re: aquatope
      “Fuuka’s story (including her backstory) is being told in the show’s now, without the need to explain her motivations etc by referring to the past.”

      We’re getting her current story, but the background is only being referenced… as if it’s something we already know and only need to be reminded of it. She went home and pretty much came straight back – and all we’re gotten is one line about how she didn’t take the movie job.

      re: Selection Project

      Yeah, in some ways it doesn’t matter who came up with it first… it’s still pretty lame. (Predestination, lack of agency and all that.)

      I think the last anywhere above average idol show I watched was THE iDOLM@STER SideM. Overall, there’s been a LOT more misses than hits.

      I dropped Isekai Shokudou’s 1st season at the mid-season gut check. IIRC, too many plot holes and it was (overall) just going nowhere. It didn’t seem to living up to the promise of it’s premise. And yeah, Gourmet Girl’s Graffiti was pretty much peak food porn… I think it’s the only show that’s ever has an animation supervisor specifically dedicated to the food.

      Like

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