Spring 2022 – Week 6 & Mid-Season Part 1.

Spy x Family - Yor and Princess Anya

A couple of dramatic and tone shifts this week…  Plus some hit episode 6, mid-season, where I traditionally give a quick review of the show to date.  All that and more after the jump!

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.

A Couple of Cuckoos

Kakkou no Iinazuke – Episode 3

A Couple of Cuckoos - Erika

Our Fated Couple is shoved together for two weeks…  And they’re getting along with each other despite their vows not to interact.  Roughly as surprising as the sun coming up.  About the only surprise (and only kinda) was Segawa’s sudden challenge.

And I’m ever more convinced that Erika seeks, human connection, a normal life?

Third Episode Thoughts:  This show feels…  comfy?  That’s not quite right as it’s not a comfy anime.  Comfortably familiar?  That’s probably better.  Basically, it’s not coloring too far outside the lines.  I’m enjoying the characters though, and not thinking too hard about the plot.  Just isn’t a show that profits much from that.

Third Episode Status:  Meh, keeper.

(*) Aharen-san wa Hakarenai

Aharen-san Is Indecipherable – Episode 6 (ANN)

Midseason thoughts:  Though some segments aren’t the best, overall I’m enjoying the heck out of this show.

Midseason status:  Despite not having much to say about it…  Keeper.

Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness

Episode 6 (ANN)

Part of this episode was a continuation of the Itsuka and Kanoko storyline…  And it mostly served to repeat what we already knew, Kanako has unfinished business with and still has some kind of feeling for Nagomu.  I suspect the main problem here is intrinsic to adapting manga into an anime.  We’re seeing episodes weekly rather than chapters monthly, so we get a more intense experience.

Other than that, it’s nice to see their companionship growing as in a lot of ways their both peas-in-a-pod.

The Obon segment with Nagomu’s grandfather, still processing that a bit.  We learn a lot about the history of Ryokusho (the sweet shop) and about Nagomu’s rediscovering his desire for family connections.  We also saw the father in a different light – unsure of himself and seeking confirmation from his mother, one of the founders.

Also, you go Grandma!

Midseason thoughts:  Man, this show spends a lot of time going back and forth and repeating itself.  The narrative equivalent of “two steps forward, one step back.”  Still it’s solidly directed and acted even if the comedy needs to be turned down a half notch and the drama tweaked up a bit.  Or vice versa, make a decision and stick with it!

Midseason status: Keeper.

Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task

Heroine Tarumono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto
Episode 5

Massively flawed episode.  Hiyori’s injury practically fades into the background.  The lads are all the sudden nice to her – and even dedicate a song to her during the concert.  Hiyori pulls a heel-face-turn and is suddenly absolutely enamored of idols in general and the lads in particular.  Neither of these latter two feel particularly earned.

If this were a manga or LN adaptation, after this episode, you could reasonably ask if they’d skipped a chapter or five between episodes 4 and 5.  Since it’s an original, the only possible question to ask is “WTF are they thinking?”

Love After World Domination

Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de
Episode 5 (ANN)

Not the strongest episode of the season…  Neither segment was particularly bad mind you, just not great.  Or worth much comment.

SPY x FAMILY

Episode 5 (ANN)

Oh, my goodness!  This was such a deliciously over-the-top episode.  I loved how gamely Loid got into the spirit of things…  And how Yor was such an amiable drunk, right up until she forgot the whole thing was playacting and Anya was actually threatened.

And man, she came within a hair of kicking Loid’s ass into the next episode.

Also fun to watch was how the spy organization leapt to fulfill Loid’s (Anya’s) every wish.  He’s the top man, and he must have a reason, right?

And this popped up in my feed this morning….  sqquueeeeeee!  I’m not normally fond of Nederoid style figures, but this one is Just. So. Freakin’. Adorable.

I probably don’t wanna know how much it costs though.

The Executioner and Her Way of Life

Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road
Episode 6 (ANN) HiDive

Aand…  yeah.  What even to say here?  They managed to get past last week’s ass pull, but we’ve literally got a brand new show and no clue where it’s going.

The Executioner and Her Way of Life - Akari rewrites her memories

Akari is very actively re-writing the timeline.  She’s not only aware of her powers, she’s scary good at using them.  And unless she suicidal, I don’t get her endgame yet.  What the hell is she doing and why?  A commenter on Facebook theorized she’s ensuring her own survival – yet she refers to dying at Akari’s hand… 

And speaking of theories, I was kinda correct – she is being controlled, a puppet.  I just never imagined she would be pulling her own strings.


Lots of flashbacks with Akari and Menou and we don’t know what they mean yet.  Actual memories?  Akari projecting her feelings?

And Menou – she should be dead.  Shouldn’t she?  And yet Orwell simply discarded her.

And who and what exactly is Flare?  She a lot more important now, and we know practically zip point nada about her.

Midseason thoughts:  Honestly, in a lot of ways episodes 5 & 6 were practically a two-part first episode.  Everything up till now has been a prologue.  I’m still not happy with the bait-and-switch ass pull, but this last episode made me curious to see what’s going to happen next.  The writing is showing signs of picking back up, so crossing fingers.

Midseason Status: A reluctant and wary keeper as the show is skating on thin ice due to the aforementioned ass pull.

Ya Boy Kongming!

Paripi Koumei – Episode 6 (ANN) HiDive

I… did not expect to like the rap battle.  But I found it hard not to as both Kongming and Kabetajin were so obviously giving it their all.  (Seriously good work by the director, animation team, and voice actors.)  Solid writing of the raps and Kongming’s almost poetic delivery of in the face of Kabe’s very obvious anger just sealed the deal.

Ya Boy Kongming - Rap battle

The only thing I didn’t care for was Kongming slipping Kabe a mickey in the form of a drink with stomach tonic mixed in.  I mean it makes sense, and Kongming’s mastery of herbal decoctions has been foreshadowed…  But dude, here in the 21st century informed consent is a thing.

Midseason thoughts:  There’s been the odd misstep, but I straight up look forward to this series each week.  A good part of that is how well Kongming is written – it’s not easy to be that self confident with also being an absolute _sshole.  Dude is top of his game, and doesn’t have anything to prove.  And he know it.

If I could wish for just one thing…  It’s midseason and it’s past time to pop Eiko’s characterization a little more into the 3rd dimension.  For her to be something more than well worn tropes.

Midseason Status: Solid keeper, no question.

=========

Went an saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over the weekend…  Good, but not great.  Mostly because they never really managed to make it feel like they were any great stakes at risk.

They played the Lightyear trailer, and I went from sitting on the fence to yeah I want to see this.  (“Narrating helps me focus!”.)  They also had the new Avatar trailer which completely failed to induce any desire to see the movie.

=========

Spring keeps refusing to spring…  we had a little bit of warm last week, but since then it’s back to unseasonably cold.  Man, I’m in no hurry for really warm weather, but this is crazy even by Seattle standards.

=========

Anyhow, that’s it for me this week – over to you!  Drop a comment and let’s chat!

2 thoughts on “Spring 2022 – Week 6 & Mid-Season Part 1.”

  1. Cuckoos: Yeah, I’m watching it. Nothing much else to say. I’m not looking forward to the show. I watch it and have a reasonably good time. I forget it exists almost immediately. The result is that I have nothing to say.

    Aharen-san: Also a show I have nothing to say about, but one I like considerably more, mostly because both mains are such likable dorks.

    Deaimon: It’s one of these shows that gets the generational procession right. All the characters really feel like they’re in their own age bracket. Grandma was such a great character, and now Nagomu’s dad isn’t the oldest around… You sort of feel the social web vibrating in the show. Was this the episode where Itsuka got stuck between Kanako and teenage girl whose name I’ve forgotten? I felt genuinely bad for her. The segment was so well done, you could feel the tension. I’m really loving the show – and this week it outdid SpyXFamily for me (mostly because I thought the Loidman episode was the weakest so far). So:

    SpyXFamily: Still a fun episode, but not up to the previous episodes for me. It’s about time they start expanding the cast. It’s not a bad idea to take it slowly with a fun episode like this, but that makes this episode more a vector than a point of interest for me.

    Heroines: I don’t really have any pacing problems, here. The more the show dips into shoujo standards, the less interesting it becomes, and make no mistake, at heart it’s a standard shoujo.

    Executioner: Well, it is what it is. I’m not quite sure how to read Akari: I’ve always thought she knew more than she lets on, and her wanting to die by Menou’s hand is actually within my field of expectation. I wouldn’t be surprised the desaster they’ve been talking about all along was Akari’s doing in the first place (which would explain why Menou’s the sole survivor). What I don’t quite get is how Akari’s ability works: apparently she’s doing stuff over again, but forgets, and then when it’s time to reset again she suddenly knows again? I might have missed some key ingredient here, or maybe we just haven’t been told yet? That confuses me a little. As it is, for me the show’s better than expect, which still falls short of great and rests firmly in pretty good. I’m fine with what we have. I’ve always had this feeling that you started the show with more interest than I did, and maybe you’re now starting to dip below my level? Unsure. I feel the show’s decently entertaining, has an intersting setting and a good grasp on its characters (none of which are a draw for me, and none of which I hate – surprisingly not even Momo, whose creepy attachment actually seems based on a solid character fundament). I expect the show to remain at that level for me: it can’t really disappoint me much (because I’m expecting little), and it’s unlikely to draw me further in (because my emotional investment is basically zero). But it’s fun enough to watch. It’s also easy to talk about, because almost all its appeal is intellectual. I’m very nearly convinced this is a sekai kei anime, where Meonou-Akari issues determine the fate of the world.

    @Kongming: I wish I’d understand why they need a rapper in the first place. I’d agree Eiko could have more development. As it is, I’m unsure what the point of all the goals here is; and I’m equally unsure what Kongming’s strategeme is. The latter is part of the show’s concept, but the former is sort of… troubling me. Having lots of fans isn’t inherently good; it’s good if it does something to you. What does it do for Eiko, though? Yeah, we’d need more development on this front. I’m still having great fun with the show, though.

    I’ll make a tentative midseason list for me:

    SpyXFamily
    Daeimon
    Paripi Koumei
    Healer Girl
    Onipan
    Birdie Wing
    Demon Girl Next Door 2
    Heroine
    Kaguya-sama (I forget which season this is. 3? I think it’s 3.)
    Bookworm 3
    Aharen-san
    Mahoutskai Reimeiki (It’s no Grimoir of Zero, but I still like it. Think Utawarerumono –> False Faces – a bit like that)
    Kono Healer Mendokusai
    Requiem of the Rose King
    Kunoichi Tsubaki
    Summer Time Render (Feels like a 90ies show, complete with the casual fanservice of the time)
    Komi-san 2
    Demon Lord Reborn as Avarage Villager (as if…)
    Yuusha Yamemasu
    Executioner
    Science Fell in Love 2
    Aoashi
    Shikimori-san
    Otomegame/Mob
    Cuckoos
    Dance Dance Danseur
    Corporate Slave/Baby Ghost (very close to the precipice)
    Shield Hero 2 (I thought I knew what I’d be getting, but it got more boring, while not getting rid of its flaws)
    Skeleton Knight Isekai
    Jantama Pong
    Tomodachi Game (Reasons I haven’t dropped the show: a) I’m a masochist, and b) it airs on a slow day)

    So that’s 31 shows, not all of which will likely be on my plate by the end of the season. I’m actually quite enjoying this season. Ao Ashi and Summertime Render are both fairly typical shows in genres I traditionally enjoy less. If you’re into typical sports or horror mystery: these shows aren’t going to reinvigorate the genre, but they’re solid stables. Nearly all the best shows these season are either cute or calming or both, which I appreciate. Yeah, I’m anime happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re: Aheran-san: Love after World Domination, Tonikawa, and *Tsuki ga Kirei”… I was going to say something else, but I think what I found is a pattern. I like loveable dorks, and could probably find more examples if I tried.

      re: Deimon:

      Was this the episode where Itsuka got stuck between Kanako and teenage girl whose name I’ve forgotten?

      Yes. And that was a pretty good segment. Agreed on the tension.

      re:SpyXFamily: I disagree that they need more characters – IMO what they need is to stop dragging things out now that all the pieces are on the board. This is very much not a show that’s going to profit from slow walking. Needs to be deeper to do that, and then it wouldn’t be this show.

      re:Executioner: Sekai kei? I would not be surprised at all.

      Re: Your tier list… Mine would differ, but absolutely agreed that SpyXFamily is way out in front.

      Like

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: