Looks like Spy X Family is going to be my main source of header shots for this season… Ah well, what ya’ gonna’ do? If it’s earned the spot, it’s earned the spot.
Hit the jump to see more on the scene above and about the rest of this week’s shows.
The shows that I’m watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics,
strikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.
A Couple of Cuckoos
Kakkou no Iinazuke – Episodes 1-2
I’m somewhat at a loss of something to say here. We’re pretty much still in the setup phase, and it’s mostly bog standard rom-com/harem stuff.
I do like how Nagi’s very overactive imagination is being used to good effect. And do keep an eye on him, he’s not at all a nice guy. He’s got a nasty streak he keeps well hidden from his family. I mostly like Erika’s characterization but I do hope they back off a bit on the “rich girl” schtick. That can so easily be overused. They’re trying to make us sympathetic to her plight, and it’s mostly working.
Of the relationships with the real parents… It’s interesting that Nagi hasn’t even tried. (But, to be fair, he really hasn’t had a chance.) Erika, supposedly the rich bitch, is the vulnerable one who appears to actually care what the Uminos think of her. But she seems strangely indifferent (?) to her adoptive parents.
First Impressions: I kinda like it. I’m a little apprehensive about what’s to come in the next couple of episodes… But so far Cuckoos carries off the tropes pretty nicely. Keeper.
(*) Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
Aharen-san Is Indecipherable – Episode 5
Sometimes I think this series would have been better served by being a short.
Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness
I’m not sure what the segment on Saki is going to lead to, but I do appreciate that it was handled with discretion. Lots of chances to go wrong, and show steadfastly refused to take those chances.
The pool – we’re either being teased, or set up. And I’m not sure which.
Nagomu’s missing sempai? Itsuka’s missing dad? Both?
And confirmed, Kanako has unfinished business with Nagomu. Whether she seeks closure or to pick back up, I dunno.
Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task
Heroine Tarumono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto
Hiyori appears to secretly harbor feelings for the lads… at least in her dreams. Foreshadowing or red herring? The OP strongly implies foreshadowing.
And speaking of the lads… Boy, do they have issues. Yujiro very obviously has some deep family baggage – but still no hint of why his mother had to fetch him from police custody. As I think I said before, I think he’s got some anger issues. Aizo, I don’t know what his deal is. Going catatonic in the presence of girls is just weird. And judging by his brother he’s got family things going on too.
Wrapping up the episode is a development I sort of anticipated – Hiyori’s dedication to her work has lead to an injury. An injury that’s going to put a halt to her participation in her beloved track club.
Love After World Domination
Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de – Episode 4
I do not care for the “jealousy because of mistaken impression” or the “I’m not worthy of love” tropes… And having said that, I’ll just move on.
It’s interesting that Desumi is also a high school student. It would have been a bit creepy had she been an older woman. Instead it’s creepy in a different way because of her uniform/outfit. But, to be fair, they’ve never used overt fanservice or made a big deal of it, so there’s that to their credit.
I’m not sure what to make of Haru-chan,but it’s standard rom-com fare competently executed, so no complaints.
Ah, well. I enjoyed the episode despite it’s weaknesses. That’s what counts at the end, neh?
SPY x FAMILY
Let’s split the review of this episode into the two parts it falls neatly into…
The first, the Forger’s procession into Eden Academy, was ZOMG! over the top stupid. And I chuckled right through it. So well done. Family sometimes toys with spoofing the genre and itself, and has never failed to nail it.
The interview… Wow. They’ve foreshadowed Loid becoming fatherly in spite of himself, but I never expected Yor’s switch to flip so fast and hard. I mean, I expected it eventually, but I almost think it’s in spite of herself? (If that makes any sense.)
I’ve seen a lot around and about the ‘net about Yor going full Mamma Bear on that jackass… (And make no mistake he deserved it.) But I’d also like to give a shoutout to ya boy Loid and his reflexes. Not just his impulsive defense of Anya, but his self control in not turning that piece of garbage into a grease spot. Bravo!
And looking at it as I’m editing… Is it just me, or is the look on his face shock at what he’s doing and why?
But I’m not going to neglect Yor… What she did was far, far scarier. She deliberately changed into Executioner (Assassin) mode. She wanted Swan to know that he’d fucked up and now faced Death personified. This was very nicely foreshadowed this back in episode 2 – “may I have the honor of killing you?”
A tip o’ the hat to Crow for giving that train of thought a nudge to get it started.
I don’t know where this is going next, but that last scene in the Forger’s apartment was both hopeful and just a little bit heartbreaking.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life
Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road – Episode 5
I have been trying all week to write coherently about this episode without lapsing into profanity. It hasn’t been at all easy. Basically, I am very pissed at the show – it took all of it’s careful world and character building and tossed it overboard in favor of a cheap ass-pull of a plot twist.
Ya Boy Kongming!
Paripi Koumei – Episode 5
A bit of a zig in the plot here… With Eiko and Kongming once again simpatico, the focus shifts to Kabetaijin. A talented and driven natural rapper – who can’t perform in public because of stress. (Over what it’s never made quite clear.) Kongming want to recruit him to help with the “100,000 Likes Project” and… somehow manages to. (By intriguing him? It’s also never quite clear.)
I’m not sure how this is supposed to work, and I don’t much care for Rap. But Ya Boy hasn’t disappointed me so far, so I’m just going to hang on for the ride.
And did anyone else notice Kabetaijin reading a Three Kingdoms manga?
Weather is finally turning seasonal after being pretty cold the last couple of weeks… I’m actually sitting here with the sliding door open and in a t-shirt. It’s getting cloudy and starting to cool though, so that’s gonna change.
I have Jury Duty next week, so if I get called in/when I get called in may muck up next week’s post or possibly the week after that.
And that’s it for me this week! Drop a comment and let’s chat about this week’s shows or whatever else you want to talk about.
4 thoughts on “Spring 2022 – Week 5”
@Cuckoos: For some reason, the art isn’t my style. It’s not off-putting, but neither is it particularly appealing. I’m really not sure what to say about this; I remember holding back last week, but now I can’t remember what I was going to say. The thing is it’s… just sort of there. I definitely feel the show has a gameplan, but I’m not particularly into any of the characters so far. I’ve got the pression that the story favours nature over nurture, which is mostly not going to matter much, but might if somehow, if it goes into the-poor-are-destined-to-be-poor patronising nonesense (I’m not seeing it so far, but the seeds are sown). Not fond of the not-the-real-little-sister trope. That said, it’s not all bad. We’ll see.
@Daeimon: I’m nearly sure it’s both, though the narrative framing definitely hints more at Itsuka side so far. I’m really enjoying the show, though I find Nagomu annoying, to be honest (he’s probably supposed to be, a littel – and he’s likable, too, not just annoying).
@Heroines: Oh, it was always going to get romance vibes eventually. It’s a shoujo, right? You can’t have a heroine without love interests, and you can’t have those be anyone else but the mains. And it feels – shoehorned in. It’s not a good fit, so far. It’s a little annoying that gaining more understanding and respect is always framed as the road to romance when it cuts across gender, but it comes with the genre (what can you do?).
I’ve noticed (if it’s not a selective attention artifact) that the only time our two male leads aren’t fighting is when (a) there’s a camera pointed at them, or (b) when they’re talking about our heroine. It’s weird. It’s as if they’re seeing something in her they have in common, or come together more easily when they’re distracted? I half-wonder if the management expected something like this?
@Spy X Family: You know, the show drew attention to the number of outfits they brought, but what I really want to know is: How did they change? Was it elegant?
Anya starting to cry over her mum caught me off guard. I didn’t realise it until that time, but I always assumed she was taken early and didn’t remember her parents. I don’t know why. It’s a baseless assumption.
And finally something totally off-topic, it struck me how much the character dynamics and character designs have in common with Kaguya-sama (which also airs this season). Kaguya-sama could stage a pretty covincing Spy X Family play, if they wanted to.
@Executioner: I don’t really think the worldbuilding and characterisation suffered all that much. But the plot has taken a huge hit. A clear-cut villain isn’t the show’s best interest.
@Kongming: Not entirely sure about the source of rapper stress either: I remember thinking he couldn’t deal with the jealousy, until at some point some interior monologue I can’t remember now made me think it’s pressure to succeed? And I totally missed the 3-kingdoms manga. I actually sort of like the new character, but I don’t really like rap much either; it feels too confrontational, and on the music side I’m not very good with rhythm.
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@Daeimon: Yeah, Nagomu is supposed to fall into the “annoying but likeable” slot… Which I mostly find annoying because he’s mostly a one-note character (I.E. barely competent). Which is kinda screwy since he’s the MC and gets so little screen time otherwise. Last few episodes this has really been the Kanako-and-Itsuka show. Not that that’s a problem, it’s actually been pretty good. Kanako makes for a decently compelling MC.
@Heroines: The boys and the conflicts are… I dunno. They’ve been shoehorned together and agreed to go along with it for the sake of their careers. They don’t have a healthy relationship. (Good point, forgot it was a shoujo with all that entails.)
@Executioner: “I don’t really think the worldbuilding and characterisation suffered all that much. But the plot has taken a huge hit.” That’s kinda what I was trying to express – the credit they’d built because of the former two was wiped out because of the ass-pull of the latter.
The plot needed something to force Menou to re-evaluate her world… Something to force her into rebellion and to cleave unto Akari. And something rotten at the core of the Church was in theory a good idea, just poorly executed.
Good luck with jury duty — and kudos for being a good citizen about it!
That moment with Yor — I’m glad you pointed out how much more terrifying than Loid’s! Also, Loid does look surprised, doesn’t it?
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I didn’t catch Loid’s look until I was collecting screenshots and then I had to re-write what I’d already written… :)
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