It’s that Special Week! – Winter 2022 – Week 3

Screenshot (527)

Sorrynotsorry 

Week 3 is traditionally a make-or-break week, and I was recently reading a thing on Uma Mususme‘s second season – and I just couldn’t resist the pun.  And do you know how hard it is to come up with a weekly title sometimes?

What shows are gone in the third week?  What makes the cut?  Hit the jump and find out!

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episode 3
Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku

Akebi is settling into school…  She’s still the Weird Kid, but her classmates and friends accept her as the good kind of different.  She’s more…  Energetic? Enthusiastic?  Probably doesn’t hurt that she’s so gosh-darn open and friendly.

Probably going to see “friend of the week” (interpreted the same as “monster of the week”), but that’s not a bad thing at all.  They’re doing a pretty good job of popping the friends out of the background and not leaning too hard on tropes.

Status:  KEEPER!

Akebi's Sailor Uniform

Over on Twitter I’ve already pronounced Dress-up Darling as the front runner for AOTS…  But the more I think about it, Gojo and Marin should keep an eye behind them.  Akebi isn’t just derping about.  This show, Akebi herself, are giving it their all.

Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 Episode 3
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season Part 2 (C/F AP)

I was ready for Just About Anything, and I half expected everything that did happen – until Gabi reverted to type and pulled the trigger.

And then.  Wow.  Just. Effing. Wow.  That I didn’t expect.

Can’t decide if it’s an ass-pull or a revelation that builds on What Has Come Before…  Either way, the One Tree is some pretty powerful symbology.  (I think.)

Attack on Titan - Zeke

And now…  We know that Eren has had an alternate plan all along.  Or maybe he’s just making it up as he goes along?  Mysteries within mysteries.

Either way, Zeke now has the power he’s sought for so long…  And Eren is a hapless prisoner.

Status: Keeper.

In the Land of Leadale
Leadale no Daichi nite

While watching this week’s episode, I kept finding myself checking my watch…  and cringing at the over-the-top behavior of the siblings.  Really not enjoying myself, and annoyed that we’re getting only oblique references to the show’s central conceit.

Status:  Dropped.

Lupin III: Part 6 Episode 15

Lupin III Part 6 - Jigen's Tears

That was…  one hell of an episode.  And something I’d have never expected of Jigen.  Well, honestly I wouldn’t have expected it from any of them.  Lupin’s gang isn’t exactly the most chivalric in the world.  Not evil or cruel, but rarely going out of their way if that makes sense.

More Jigen-centric episodes please!

My Dress-Up Darling Episode 3
Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru (C/F/V AP)

Poor Gojo…  Marin is a force of a nature, and he’s caught in the hurricane.  But to her credit, she’s not quite a self centered as she seems.  She listens to him, and acknowledges his areas of expertise.  And, most unsettling to him, treats him as a human being.  Not that her *ahem* ‘earthy’ side doesn’t unsettle him…

Not that she means to unsettle him.  There’s no cruelty in her at all.

Status:  Strong keeper.

Police in a Pod Episode 3
Hakozume: Koban Joshi no Gyakushuu

Another strong episode.  And one that affected me pretty deeply because it dredged up things I hadn’t thought about in over a decade.

Police in a Pod - episode 3 - a corpses tale

(I apologize for the crappy screenshot, either Funi has changed their player or I’ve managed to forget the secret incantation for taking clear screenies.)

(OK, now I remember and it’s something of a PITA.  Will use it next week.)

My dad-in-law died at home in his sleep, and was found by his housekeeper.  She called the ambulance and me.  The EMTs called the cops… The police were nowhere near as invasive as depicted in the anime, and they were equally serious though perhaps not quite as respectful.  I know they had a job to do and in retrospect I don’t begrudge them that one bit.  But trying to keep myself together while answering all their questions (and there were quite a few) was…  Almost more than I could handle.  Especially since my wife was out of town on a business trip, and so everything landed on my shoulders all at once.

I think I’ll just stop there.  It’s still hard to write about.  And I still miss my Dad.

Status:  After a weak and unpromising start, I’m glad we stuck with.  The second and third episodes were a real improvement.  Keeper, and crossing fingers they can keep it up.

Slow Loop Episode 3

This episode wanders around a bit, and the series as a whole doesn’t give much to chew on.  May end up “watched but not commented”?

I do like how they’re confronting Hiyori and Koharu’s mourning and family issues head on.  These could so easily be skipped over or minimized in what’s essentially a CGDCT/SOL series.

Also, Koharu’s genki and ditzy knobs have been tweaked down a bit, and the series is much better for it.  I get it, Koharu and Hiyori stand in contrast and serve as mutual foils, but you can overdo it.

Status: Yes, keeper

=========

The plan for this season is to get back to weekly write-ups and to get my ass in gear and get this out on Mon or Tues, so I don’t overlap with Police in a Pod and aren’t too far behind Titan.  That’s the two shows I think I’m going to end up talking about the most.  We’ll see how it goes.

Any how, not much else to ramble on about this week, so over to you!  Drop a comment and let’s chat!

16 thoughts on “It’s that Special Week! – Winter 2022 – Week 3”

  1. Jigen really has had so many good little bits in every episode through the cooking gag or just having well textured episodes around him. I’m kind of amazed how much this show is pulling more things then I thought it would be able to from this cast, so you started on a really good season of this show :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m still trying to get a handle on her character, she’s just so mercurial. But in a good way, as I said there’s no mean streak or cruelty. Maybe a little naivete at worst.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. @Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season Part 2

    I was ready for Just About Anything, and I half expected everything that did happen – until Gabi reverted to type and pulled the trigger.

    And then. Wow. Just. Effing. Wow. That I didn’t expect.

    Needless to say, I’ve been waiting to see this animated for a long time. The title usually gets translated as “Two Brothers”, but the Japanese title “Ani to Otouto” often gets fan-translated to “Big Brothers and Little Brothers”, which I think makes more clear that the episode is about all three pairs of brothers – Zeke/Eren, Colt/Falco, and Marcel/Porco – and the lengths to which big brothers will go to protect their little brothers.

    In the manga, the Gabi trigger-pull was the end-of-chapter cliffhanger, so we had to wait a whole month to find out what happened next. For much of last season, the pacing was on track to make that scene the end-of-season cliffhanger. Could you imagine the reaction to that?

    And we get to see the Jaw Titan do what the Jaw Titan does best… be Reiner’s plot armor. Seriously, that’s the third time that’s happened this series, for those keeping score at home. And Porco gets to take one last dunk on Reiner on his way out.

    Can’t decide if it’s an ass-pull or a revelation that builds on What Has Come Before… Either way, the One Tree is some pretty powerful symbology. (I think.)

    Would it help to know that the One Tree was partially revealed waaay back in season 2, in the flashback where Freckles Ymir regained her humanity after eating Marcel?

    https://preview.redd.it/o60xd9ltkxd11.jpg?width=1920&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2b227e556adfe618a789ee7d33683b413bb7b06b

    Either way, Zeke now has the power he’s sought for so long… And Eren is a hapless prisoner.

    Zeke playing the Reverse Uno on Eren right after Eren played the Reverse Uno on Zeke was one of the great moments of the series. And what’s up with Zeke’s abs? He’s been stuck in PATHS long enough for his hair, beard, and nails to grow long but he’s still ripped? Seriously, I’m curious about his workout routine while he was stuck there.

    In answer to your last question in the last thread (to keep us both from having to go back there), there’s no indication the adaptation won’t finish. It’s just they haven’t announced whether it will be a split cour TV season, or a final theatrical movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the manga, the Gabi trigger-pull was the end-of-chapter cliffhanger, so we had to wait a whole month to find out what happened next. For much of last season, the pacing was on track to make that scene the end-of-season cliffhanger. Could you imagine the reaction to that?

      A cliffhanger, followed by a recap ep introducing the concept of the One Tree… Sounds good to me! Handled even half right, that would have been amazing. I mean, we knew it was Part 1 and the rest was coming, so it’s not like you see sometimes where an anime ends on a cliffhanger and never gets a second season.

      I’m just not comfortable with the whole idea of the One Tree. There just seems to be a lot held back, either not adapted or even the manga folks didn’t know what was going on.

      As a side note: That’s also why I tend to read completed series that are available in toto, whether in tankoban or under the Jolly Roger. (Although I often find the fan translations for the latter tend to range from the mediocre to the execrable.)

      Freckles Ymir… Hadn’t thought about her in a long time, but there’s been a lot of water under the metaphorical bridge since then.

      Zeke playing the Reverse Uno on Eren right after Eren played the Reverse Uno on Zeke was one of the great moments of the series.

      Agreed… (Also on Zeke’s abs.)

      As to the answer, yeah, that makes sense. And shifting to a movie (or OVA/OVA series) isn’t unheard of.

      Like

      1. I’m just not comfortable with the whole idea of the One Tree. There just seems to be a lot held back, either not adapted or even the manga folks didn’t know what was going on.

        Some of that is on Isayama… he likes to peel the layers slowly on his reveals. Some of it, as you say, is adaptation; both WIT and MAPPA have a tendency to chop dialogue out of talky scenes to move things along. Sometimes what they chop is inconsequential; sometimes decidedly not. The description Eren gave of the “tree” in the jail cell conversation with Armin at the end of season 3 was, in hindsight, actually pretty complete in the manga. There’s also a lot of info in the conversation between Grisha Jaegar and Eren Kruger that didn’t make it into the anime due to WIT’s decision to cram all of chapters 88 and 89 into a single episode:

        https://manga4life.com/read-online/Shingeki-No-Kyojin-chapter-88.html

        (One other scene in the last episode I meant to comment on but didn’t: Eren’s transition into Paths looked to me like a deliberate homage to Bowman’s transition into the Star-Child in 2001: A Space Odyssey.)

        And shifting to a movie (or OVA/OVA series) isn’t unheard of.

        Honestly it worried me last season, since it looked like there would be too much left over to cram into a movie. But at the pace they’re going, the number of chapters remaining will probably fit nicely into a two hour movie. And a movie budget will do far better justice to the visuals than a final short TV cour would.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. One other scene in the last episode I meant to comment on but didn’t: Eren’s transition into Paths looked to me like a deliberate homage to Bowman’s transition into the Star-Child in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

          It’s been so long, I couldn’t say. The last time I rewatched Space Odyssey I fast-forwarded through a lot of that.

          Like

  3. I’m not quite as high on Akebi, but I still quite like it.

    I’m not surprised you dropped Leadale; I kinda like it, but the latest episode (not sure if you still watched it, had a scene that might have trivialised violence, or set something subtle up – not sure). I’m not sure I’d say the references to the show’s central conceit are oblique, though. I find they’re driving the plot. (Someone called it the girl and and her favourite game meet in their respective afterlives; which is actually a pretty good interpretation as to how I see it.)

    I’m still fine with Slow Loop, but I won’t probably think about it much once the season’s done (or once I’m not watching it, actually, or reading about it).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m still fine with Slow Loop, but I won’t probably think about it much once the season’s done (or once I’m not watching it, actually, or reading about it).

      Which is perfectly OK, as I’ve said before not every show is one for the ages.

      Like

  4. Nobody puts Special Week in the corner!

    I like Akebi and her desire to wear a sailor suit. I really do. So far it’s assembled a nice artfully executed setting, it’s assembled a quirky but cute group of support characters. So after three episodes it’s time to ask the question: “Well Akebi what are you going to do with them?” For me I dont think the show can rely on Akebi being aimlessly cute for 12 episodes but we shall see…

    This season also seems to be the season of in-game reincarnation – whether its fated, accidental, or deliberate. The isekai fantasy genre has found another twist – in three shows in the current season.
    These are the aforementioned Leadale, Kenja no Deshi wo Nanoru Kenja (She Professed Herself Pupil of the Wise Man), and Shikkakumon no Saikyou Kenja (The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest). All of them take a different angle with some patchy results. Take Leadale. As others have said its okay when Cayna’s awful children aren’t in scene -at those points its a sturdy enough isekai actioner….But those children…. Admittedly in Ep.4 Cayna does try to rein them in but the damage has already been done.

    Strongest Sage is more fantasy in that reincarnation occurs in-world rather from some external source. A powerful mage and demon hunter deliberately reincarnates in order to gain an extra skill crest and become stronger. For some reason he reincarnates far into the future of his world and things have changed. He comes back as a young man and magic is much weaker (not his of course). Then its off to the magic academy and its back to demon hunting and things take off from there. Strongest sage is pretty conventional – its animation is competent and there aren’t a lot of deviations from trope expectations. Its okay for a relaxing brain-in-neutral twenty minute watch but dont expect too much – I do like how much the MC enjoys his demon hunting though.

    Pupil of the Wise Man is my favorite of the three so far. it’s a Studio A-Cat production so you have to know what that means – some patchy animation but good tight story telling. The basic premise is that a particular gamer (who we never see as him/herself) has worked his way in game to being a very strong mage character complete with white beard and flowing robes and massive power. One night he is fiddling with some character skins he has bought in-game when he falls asleep and wakes up as a cute girl (character design reference point – Rimuru Tempest) and the plot leads on from there. Favorite moments include his return to the kingdom he serves as a cute bishoujo, much to the hilarity of the king – another gamer and friend of the MC (The show’s main characters regularly switch from in-game persona to themselves when interacting). Also for some reason (again!), its thirty years into the games future and there are other substantial changes to the nature of the game. Some of the CGI is a bit obvious and clunky but apart from that it’s pretty well animated, if heavy on the tropes at times. So far the first episode had the clunkiest animation (mainly CGI) apart from that, the animation has been fine. Of these three shows this is my favorite and i think, the most interesting of the three so far.

    Cue update. Sub groups continue to form with four girls participating in a crowd-funded blue sky idol group project. I do like Cue’s relatively realistic approach to conditions in the industry and so far no-one is relying on “shininess” to succeed. Its also got 24 episodes to do its thing, which explains its pacing. More updates later!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re: Akebi

      So after three episodes it’s time to ask the question: “Well Akebi what are you going to do with them?” For me I dont think the show can rely on Akebi being aimlessly cute for 12 episodes but we shall see…

      YMMV, but shows have done more with less… Non Non Byori comes to mind, and Yuru Camp is certainly bare bones in many respects.

      Cue update. Sub groups continue to form with four girls participating in a crowd-funded blue sky idol group project. I do like Cue’s relatively realistic approach to conditions in the industry and so far no-one is relying on “shininess” to succeed.

      Once my schedule clears up (this week’s entry posted), sounds like I should check it out. In theory Cue should be right in my wheelhouse, but the first ep was so unpromising..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cue still has the same stereotyped characters that were present in episode one but they are becoming less noticeable as the girls learn to deal with the situation they find themselves in. In a couple of cases, what drives their characters to be that way is explored also. Already too we have two sub-groups and plot lines developing, and there may well be more on the horizon perhaps. With 24 episodes there should be enough for everyone to get a go. Like I said it does show up some of the realities of the industry for these girls but they are protected at least from some of them because reasons (ahem). I’m not sure if you will like it or not but Cue has certainly become more interesting than the first episode indicated it might be. If you are going to give it a look I would recommend watching episode two and three (or beyond) for a clearer view of Cue.

        Liked by 1 person

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