Quick, hot takes – Winter 2022 – Week 9

Attack on Titan - Final Season - Annie

Last week’s weather was spring-like, and now we’re back to a bit more winterish…  And the winter season of anime is rounding the corner into the final sprint!  Hit the jump and see what happened!

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.

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episode 9
Akebi-chan no Sailor-fuku

Something we haven’t really seen since early on, something closer to a true CGDCT episode.  Akebi and the gang are ostensibly at the mall for supplies for the upcoming Field Day – but get distracted and derp around shopping for everything but.

Akebi's School Uniform - I got it!

Some nice character moments for Kojou…  But the centerpiece of the episode is Akebi rallying the troops to help out her friend.  It’s her show, but it’s nice to see the scope widened a bit.

Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 Episode 9
Shingeki no Kyojin: The Final Season Part 2 (C/F AP)

On one hand, Titan seriously needed a rest-and-reset episode after the frenetic pace and repeated gut punches of the last few episodes.  On the other hand…  Titan really, really sucks at exposition heavy sequences/episodes.  Even as we’re coming into the homestretch they remain heavy handed and dull.  And it’s all the worse since so much of it is essentially a recap.

Attack on Titan - Final Season - Annie

But there’s also quite a bit of both of confronting some very unpleasant truths about the whole enterprise.  Annie isn’t wrong – the Scouts are going to have to make some unpleasant decisions in the hours and days ahead.  Can they, will they, ultimately confront that terrible choice and decide in favor of the world over their friend?

I’m not sure how much faith I have in that.

Lupin III: Part 6 Episode 21

Lupin III - Fujiko

My favorite moment from the episode.  I really love how Fujiko takes precisely zero crap from Lupin.

Overall, that was…  odd.  Fun as hell, funny as hell, enjoyable as hell…  But very odd.

And maybea bit misplaced considering how close we are to the end of the series with the Tomoe arc as yet unresolved.  Lupin experts, have they carried arcs forward to a new season in the past?

And <censored> <censored> <censored> HiDive – it’s 2022 and there’s no damm reason why I should have to log into the website every single time I visit

My Dress-Up Darling Episode 9
Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru (C/F/V AP)

My Dress Up Darling (2)

Marin, Marin, Marin…  Gojo is not a pervert – he’s a perfectly normal teenage boy.  And sooner rather than later you’re going to stop hurting him.

That’s an interesting, but little explored (so far) side of Marin’s character.  As I’ve said before, she’s not mean or evil or anything…  Just a bit clueless when it comes to the feelings of people around her and the boundaries on behavior.  You can also see that by how she was pushing Juju into a partnership.

As for the cosplay scenes at the end, I appreciated the heck out of what the show was trying to do…  But it telegraphed it’s punches way, way in advance.  The result was the flashback that filled most of the segments runtime seemed draggy and redundant.  A rare miss on the show’s part.

And I did not miss that the character Shinju cosplayed is the character Juju’s cosplay character is pining for.  Laying it on a bit thick there folks.

Police in a Pod 
Hakozume: Koban Joshi no Gyakushuu

Episode 8 dropped last week without subtitles, and they still weren’t available by Sunday…  And we never could muster the motivation to go back and check after that.  So, now, we’re two episodes behind.

Dropped at 7 episodes.

Salaryman’s Club
Ryman’s Club

Couldn’t get to episode 5 weekend before last because IRL scheduling.  Couldn’t get to episode 6 last weekend partly because also missing episode 5 put us two episodes behind.

And when we (my wife and I) discussed it over the weekend, we decided we’d rather keep working on our rewatch of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

So, yeah, it wasn’t a bad show by any means, it just wasn’t compelling enough to make time for.

Dropped at 4 episodes.

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All that being said, I’d be just fine if the universe would stop messing with my head for a week or two.  Just.  Fine.

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Slow Loop Episode 9

The episode I didn’t know I was on the edge of my seat waiting for…  Along with fifth wheel and general wet blanket Koi, Hinori and Koharu finally set out on an actual adventure.  <shrug>  Maybe I’ve spent too much time with Yama no Susume and Non Non Byori, but I like my MC-chan’s to have a bit more independence and agency.  Koi is…  kind of an ill fit in that respect.  It’s not that she’s not serving a role, but more that she’s like a shirt that’s a size too large and bit itchy.  She just doesn’t feel integrated into the main cast and plot as well as I’d like.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an excellent show.  I love how this episode showed Hiyori growing and Koharu getting her act together…  I just don’t care much for Koi.

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When I saw this comic the other day, I seriously LOLed…  Who hasn’t seen this same thing between LN/manga readers and anime onlies?

It’s an eternal debate.

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Screenshot (223)

I’ve been playing a lot (some might say too much) Sims 4 recently…  And I just love this house by a little stream.  Probably should have taken a picture of the house, or at least waited until the one character got off the toilet…  But the light and shadows of the sunset caught my eye.

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Anyhow…  Enough from me!  What are your thoughts on this week’s shows?  How did your week go?  Been playing any games lately?

7 thoughts on “Quick, hot takes – Winter 2022 – Week 9”

  1. Heh, Koi’s my favourite character. We don’t usually get characters like her in a hobby show; she’s connected but not that interested herself. Maybe it’s because in real life that’s been my role wherever I go? In any case, it’s a fun show I never know how to talk about.

    I actually enjoyed this episode of Dress-up Darling more than the last two, but that’s probably because I’ve complained about the fanservice-framing enough and I got it out of the system. There were plenty of scenes in this episode, too, but I just found them easier to ignore this week. My money’s on me getting used to it. Also, I’m not sure I’m that fond of encouraging breast binding. It should be okay on occasion, but if that becomes a habit, isn’t that a health risk? The fun thing is that the show could have used this situation as foil philosophy: going for iconicity instead of simulacrum. In any case, Dress-up Darling remains my favourite new show this season.

    Also, Salaryman Club had an all-work episode, and I really enjoyed it. It also showed that the inter-company turnaments forge connections, and there’s behind-the-scenes exchange of resources. It was interesting. I wondered, early on, if the job aspect would ever be important (because it felt like such a standard sports show), but if the question wasn’t settled during the brainstorming session, it certainly is now. Still, if you never get back to it there’s nothing in it you’d be particularly missing, and rewatching Ezoken sounds like a better use of your time.

    Fun comic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In any case, Dress-up Darling remains my favourite new show this season.

      Yup. Despite it’s flaws, it’s far-and-away AOTS (that isn’t Titan).

      Yeah, if it’s something you do regularly, breast binding can cause health problems. (They kinda toyed with that in Taisho Otome but didn’t follow up.) I wouldn’t think an occasional cosplay would be a problem, but I’m no doctor.

      re:Salaryman

      Yeah, it had all the parts and pieces… I enjoyed the brainstorming episode and the onion hunting. But in the end, it just didn’t grab me.

      Like

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

    On one hand, Titan seriously needed a rest-and-reset episode after the frenetic pace and repeated gut punches of the last few episodes. On the other hand… Titan really, really sucks at exposition heavy sequences/episodes.

    It was rest-and-reset for the animation staff, too… and they’re going to need it, too… not to spoil what’s in store for the last three episodes of this season but, you know. Episodes like this live and die by the voice acting and the animation of the facial expressions, like last season’s “Declaration of War”, which was basically Eren and Reiner talking in a basement until the very last scene. This episode delivered the voice acting in spades. The latter… well… it’s very telling that they cut away from the faces to still shots of tree branches during dialogue, so they wouldn’t even need to animate the lip flaps. Thematically, the tree shots are defensible as a callback to last season’s episode “Children of the Forest”… as Sasha’s father would have put it, both the Scouts and the Warriors need to “find their way out of the forest” of generations of hatred. But it still came off as static as a Powerpoint slideshow.

    Even as we’re coming into the homestretch they remain heavy handed and dull. And it’s all the worse since so much of it is essentially a recap.

    I’m still glad they filled in the gaps from last episode on how Hange hooked up with the rest of the gang and convinced them to go along with her plan. Otherwise the team-up with the Warriors would have seemed way too fast. And this episode also answered your question from last week on how the team would cross the ocean and catch up with Eren (the Azumabito ship and flying boat moored at the port).

    I am getting concerned with the pacing of the latter part of the season. The last few episodes have each adapted only one manga chapter, way below average. At this pace, some of the scenes I’m most looking forward to will be deferred from this season to whatever comes afterward, whether it be a (short) TV Season 4 Part 3, or a (more likely) final movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re: Titan

      Episodes like this live and die by the voice acting and the animation of the facial expressions, like last season’s “Declaration of War”, which was basically Eren and Reiner talking in a basement until the very last scene. This episode delivered the voice acting in spades. The latter… well… it’s very telling that they cut away from the faces to still shots of tree branches during dialogue, so they wouldn’t even need to animate the lip flaps.

      Nods And it’s a darn good thing Titan has pretty consistently delivered strong voice acting. It’s what saved this episode. To the extent it was saved… As I said, Titan has never been at it’s best when it’s practically pure exposition. And there weren’t even any flashbacks or cutscenes this time around.

      I am getting concerned with the pacing of the latter part of the season. The last few episodes have each adapted only one manga chapter, way below average. At this pace, some of the scenes I’m most looking forward to will be deferred from this season to whatever comes afterward, whether it be a (short) TV Season 4 Part 3, or a (more likely) final movie.

      Yeah. I’m hearing that same concern from a lot of quarters. My gut says movie over OVA series… And if it’s a theatrical release, that’s going to suck big time considering the very likely delay.

      Like

  3. I’ve been watching Police In A Pod too. I think it’s problems are that it’s stories are mostly dull, are often repetitive, and mostly lack much emotional impact. They had a chance this episode with a heavier and relevant issue to police everywhere and fluffed it with a glib conclusion. There is also too much time given to their young male detective counterparts and so far they just aren’t interesting characters. The only interesting character, Sgt Fuji, has faded into the background too which doesn’t help things. I probably should have dropped it episodes ago but I’ve made it to episode 10 and if it doesn’t get horribly dire from here on in, I will probably see it out to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re: Police In A Pod

      Yeah, the thematic repetition and continued shoving the side characters into the spotlight were a part of what killed it for me too. There was some good stuff early on, but they never followed up on it. So in some ways I’m kinda glad I was forced away from it by Funi’s subtitle flub.

      Aren’t you still watching Salaryman’s club?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I ‘m still watching Salarymen’s Club. I need to catch up with the most recent episode but I’ve been entertained by it so far., The badminton action (so far) is solid and grounded which I like. I dislike sports shows where the protagonists have shonen style special moves that aren’t based on real game play (As Futsaal Boys does for example). I also like that the age and lifestyle of the characters places it outside of the shonen sports genre in general. It’s not the greatest sports anime ever but its far from the worst also. I’ve enjoyed the animation in the matches also. For me its about a 6.5 out of 10 effort.

        Like

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