I’m late, I know – Winter 2022 Weeks 1/2

Running behind…  again!  Got to get my groove this season and get out of this habit.

Anyhow, hit the jump and see my thoughts this season.

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Eps 1-2
Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku 

Seems to be pretty much a classic SOL, maybe with a touch of CGDCT.  I’m  loving the heck out of the lush backgrounds in the outdoor scenes.  Not so much the malleable character animation, particularly in the faces…  Can’t decide if it’s a design/stylistic choice or the animation is just going off-model.

The scenes with her father in the second episode, that’s a cultural thing I just can’t grasp.  Why don’t families move when the working spouse gets transferred?  I know it’s bad to keep relocating kids (though it worked out for me), but isn’t it also bad to force the family into a weird semi-single-parent situation?

Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season Part 2

And we’re dropped right back into the heart of the action…  With a massive battle still in progress.

But who is fighting for what?  The Marleyans are extracting revenge for the attacks on their city…  The Eldians, whatever their political leanings, are in a defensive mode.  Eren’s friends are fighting in support of Eren, not believing he actually means to commit genocide.

And Gabi, poor brainwashed Gabi.  She finally sees the truth – the Free Eldians aren’t demons.  They’re people too.  With all the confusion and terror and “but he started it”, she’s the only one who sees with any clarity.  And she has no power or ability to influence events.  Everyone is in too deep and the avalanche is breaking loose.

The only people who can effectively divert it are Eren and Zeke – the guys most determined to see it happen in the first place.

CUE!

So many characters… So. Freaking. Many. Generic. Characters.

Had I realized beforehand this was adapted from a mobile gatcha, I might not have watched it in the first place.

Dropped after the first episode without a shred of regret.

In the Land of Leadale Eps 1-2
Leadale no Daichi nite

After two episodes…  I still have no clear idea WTF is going on, and I’m not sure I much care for Canya.  She slaps back and forth between seemingly being pretty self centered, and then bang she’s as caring and sympathetic a character as you could want.

They’re really dragging the setup out too…  Not that much maybe, but noticeably.  I just don’t feel enough has happened to have consumed two episodes.  And it’s not really a SOL, so they can’t lean on that crutch.

Waiting to see what happens in the third episode.

Lupin III: Part 6

Is still good, still enjoying.

My Dress-Up Darling Eps 1-2
Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru

I have to say, I’m conflicted here.  On one hand, it seems pretty sweet as far as romances go.  But it’s also pretty danged horny.  Gojo verges on being a caricature, and the fanservice…  (And the trope of the girl not seeing the guy as a guy.)

But couldn’t you also argue that Kitagawa is simply oblivious due to her obsession?  Which I might add is a nice thing to see.  She’s not the basement dwelling recluse pervert stereotype we so often see in otaku characters.

Police in a Pod Eps 1-2
Hakozume: Koban Joshi no Gyakushuu

I wasn’t so sure after the first episode…  It was something of a whirligig mess, lacking in focus and not really giving us too much of a handle on the characters.  The second episode left me feeling a whole bunch better as the series rapidly settled into something resembling a groove.

Third episode is really the charm here, so we’ll see next week if they can maintain the momentum.  Between it’s agenda, character growth, and remaining reasonably active…  It’s got a lot of balls in the air.

Slow Loop Eps 1-2

As predicted, very, very much a Derek show.  Koharu grated on me a bit, but they turned down her genki a touch in the second episode and that helped.  Now if she wasn’t just such ditz…

So, yeah, it’s not a great show by any stretch but it’s a keeper.

=========

A slim season, but only one first episode drop and a couple on the edge…  Also, I’m going out on a limb and nominating Dress Up Darling as the most obvious AOTS candidate that’s not Titan.  Mostly because it’s pretty much the only candidate so far.  Police in a Pod has a hell of a lot of potential, but also so many ways to fail.  So I’m not comfortable with nominating it.

So, what are your thoughts on these first two weeks?  Any front runners?  What stinkers have you banished unto the utter darkeness?

Drop a comment and let’s chat!

11 thoughts on “I’m late, I know – Winter 2022 Weeks 1/2”

  1. Okay, we’ve had schoolgirls being idols, we’ve had Deejays being idols, we’ve had ice hockey players being idols, we’ve got strike witches being idols, so why not seiyuus? Cue has an underlying idol type show structure and while it will continue to follow that format I found it an interesting show so far. I liked the mini Shakespeare try-out and the second episode show auditions was a better episode than the first. I agree the character models are stereotyped but I’m hoping they can get past that in future episodes. Its not the saviour of anime by any stretch of the imagination but I will persist with these girls on their journey.

    Hakozume I quite liked too. That second episode really ran the gamut of emotion didn’t it? Sgt. Fuji’s intuitive hunch was a bit far fetched but it worked in the context of the episode. The one question I have about Hakozume is how much is it a bit of a promo for the Japanese police and police women recruitment? Time will tell I guess.

    Futsal Boys is pretty typical shonen sports fare. It obviously influenced by Haikyu! with a Hinata and Kageyama duo and a range of other mostly one dimensional characters (so far). Not sure if I can take that for an entire series though.

    I’ve got quite a few other shows I’m watching but I will report back on those at a later date.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the belated reply, been a crazy week!

      I’ll keep an eye open for your comments on Cue!, but I really think I’m done with it… I’m getting pretty allergic to shows with huge casts. It looks like it may only have a few focus characters though.

      Hakozume… Yeah. It’s getting better episode by episode.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One thing I didn’t notice is that Cue is a 24 episode series. That is showing already in the somewhat slower pace of the opening episodes, as the series’ characters start to coalesce into smaller sub-groups that we will no doubt follow in future episodes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. @Akebi’s Sailor Uniform: Yeah, not too fond of the faces, either. It sometimes dips into the uncanny valley, as if they draw on 2D and then sometimes stretch it with an underlying CGI layer. I also really love the backgrounds, though, and the characters are actually pretty distincive and fun. Has some weird fanservice shots, too, of the type I’m not quite used to. Oddly, not so much during the bath scenes. I’m actually completely fine with those. Nothing special, but there isn’t much relaxing slice-of-life, so this is very welcome.

    Since I finished up with slice-of-life, I’ll continue with Slow Loop now. I find it… fine, but also a little dull at times. It doesn’t help that fishing and relaxation don’t really blend in my mind, since I can’t get over the hook-in-mouth aspect of it. The recent Breakwater show did a better job for me in that respect, but it’s a hard bias to overcome. All in all, I prefer Sailor, but neither show is exactly what I’d have liked. I’m trying to figure what the last great non-sequel slice-of-life was I’ve seen. Super Cub, probably.

    Cue and the police show didn’t get a second click from me, and in both cases I didn’t know that would happen until my finger hovered over the show’s thumbnail. I just couldn’t muster the motivation. Not sure how much I’d like the shows, but I doubt I’ll ever find out. None of them had first episodes that went beyond okay, for me.

    I do enjoy Leadale, and I don’t really mind the main character’s mean streak that surfaces at times. But it’s pretty much the same slice-of-life effect as with Slow Loop or Sailor, but this time with comedy rather than iyashikei. I prefered Killing Slimes, I prefered Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear. It’s okay, though.

    That leaves me with My Dress Up Darling, and I actually quite like it. I don’t mind the show being horny. The panty shot felt a little gratuitious in the previous episode, but pretty much everything in episode two felt well integrated for me. I noticed Kitagawa’s inseam-measuring embarrassment coincided with the moment Gojo closed his eyes, so I’m wondering whether her pretty straightforward and proactive demeanor isn’t covering up some embarrassment, too. I mean, she’s clearly comfortable with her body, since she bought a not-so-big swimsuit, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was also covering up a streak of nervoursness there, considering it’s she who wants something from him, and she’s aware she’s embarrassing him. I’d say the evidence points both towards and away from that theory.

    For me, the season is firmly in the hands of carryovers and sequels. My fave show is definitely Ranking of Kings, with Vanitas not being far behind, and I think both Princess Connect and Takagi san are as adorable as their previous seasons.

    Among the new shows you’re not watching, two stand out:

    Sabikui Bisco feels like a fairly standard shounen fighter at heart, but utterly nuts when it comes to style. You have hippos with mounted turrets, and planes that are merged with snails, and our main character is a “terrorist” who spreads giant mushrooms with a bow and arrow. The worldbuilding feels solid, if not all that unusual for post-apocalyptic settings. But it seems a fun, fast-paced show, with pretty much every character having heir own motivations.

    And Sasaki and Miyano is a pretty cute BL show. Reminds me most of something like Bloom into You, but not quite as well-written, and not quite as well produced.

    Other than Dress-up Darling, those would be the standout new shows, this season, with Requiem for the Rose King earning an honerable mention for being so over-the-top dramatic that it almsot but not quite tips into comedy. It walks a very fine line, but it works. Worked better in episode one than two, so it’s actually on probation, but no matter what, the show definitely has its own identity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Apologies for the late reply, it’s once again been a crazy week.

      re: Sailor Uniform

      Agreed, it’s not bad as a slice-of-life. But I think SOL works better without such a self-effacing character… I mean, even Super Cub introduced Reiko and Shii to balance Koguma. OTOH, it’s a bit early yet for Uniform. So I’ll just leave it at that, it’s good, but would be better if someone brought a little energy to the scene.

      Re: Dress Up Darling Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it or anything. I just find parts of it to be… curious. I mean, the second ep would have been a near death experience for many other shows – but it did work here.

      Kitigawa’s characterization will bear watching… she’s much more interesting than the somewhat tropish Gojo.

      Like

    2. I will go into bat for Requiem for the Rose King also. The animation is lushly gothic and atmospheric – it’s a J.C. Staff production so I’m expecting its consistent high standard to be maintained. Shakespeare’s Wars of The Roses plays provide the narrative a framework but there are so many departures from Shakespeare you would have to regard it as an original work – and the thing is the narrative changes mostly work. Margaret of Anjou’s scene chewing turn in episode 2 almost went too far but luckily it didn’t go on for too long. There are elements of the show that will have the Fujoshi swooning (or not if the obvious twist is finally revealed). I like Requiem for the Rose King, its got a lot going for it.

      One thing I’m finding this season and the commentary around the web that this is a slim season, I don’t think it is at all. If you look closely there are some good looking, very artfully animated shows with high production values this season. It might not be the best season but its got enough redeeming features to satisfy me at least.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. @Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku:

    I’m loving the heck out of the lush backgrounds in the outdoor scenes.

    I’m loving the indoor scenes too! Check out the detail on the floor tiles.

    @Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season Part 2:

    And we’re dropped right back into the heart of the action… With a massive battle still in progress.

    I’m having heartburn with this part of the adaptation. The first episode had very little recap and really needed it due to the 9 month break since the last season. Then the second episode has three solid minutes of recap of events that happened just last week.

    And Gabi, poor brainwashed Gabi. She finally sees the truth – the Free Eldians aren’t demons. They’re people too.

    The symbolic open birdcages in the room while Gabi was freeing her mind were a MAPPA anime-only touch. Maybe Isayama thought of it for a second while drawing the manga but said, “nah, too heavy-handed.” Loved Falco’s confession, and the unspoken connection to his previous conversation with Nile.

    With the current pacing, no way they finish the manga this season. Either we get a TV Final Season Part 3: This Time We Really Mean It, or a movie.

    @Lupin III: Part 6:

    Is still good, still enjoying.

    Same here. Fell behind, need to catch up.

    @Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru:

    Also, I’m going out on a limb and nominating Dress Up Darling as the most obvious AOTS candidate that’s not Titan.

    I might not go that far but I can’t think of any other candidates at this point either.

    I’m following several other series you’re not… may write another comment if I can summon the energy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re: Akebi Chan

      Animation wise (other than the faces), it’s simply lush all around…

      re:Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season Part 2

      Much depends on pacing doesn’t it? But you know what’s coming and I don’t, so I’m just speculating about how much can be trimmed or compressed. OTOH, we have Alicization – four cour‘s worth of trimmed and compressed…

      Do we know how many cour this season is going to get?

      And yeah, I meant to say more about the lack of a recap or soft start. It’s taking a while to get my bearings as to what is going on.

      re:Lupin.

      I don’t know how far behind you are, but eps 13-15 (particularly 15) are pretty good.

      Like

  4. Do we know how many cour this season is going to get?

    Oddly, no official announcement yet from MAPPA or the production committee. But NHK has announced that season 4 of Kingdom will start in April in Shingeki no Kyojin‘s timeslot, so that pretty much caps this season at 12 episodes.

    I don’t know how far behind you are, but eps 13-15 (particularly 15) are pretty good.

    Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: