And I’m back! Here with two weeks worth of thoughts and comments! With no further ado, let’s hit the jump and run ’em down!
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 4-5
Segawa-san, what’s her deal? She runs hot and cold on MC-kun, with no discernable pattern. They’re in a competition, but I’m not exactly certain what the prize is beyond bragging rights… OTOH, that’s sufficient for many.
But on the flip side, she’s determined to be involved with him…
And there’s definitely a pattern forming here – Erika is fast becoming friends with her putative romantic rivals. First Sachi, and now Segawa. Yes, squicky as it may be, Sachi is thinking along those lines.
(*) Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
Aharen-san Is Indecipherable – Episode 7
This made me chuckle, the funniest line in the whole episode. (Not that there was a shortage. Aharen-san excels at one liners.) And it’s so true. Never change Raidou-kun.
The festival story… Man, that was just so on-brand and practically perfect for this show. (Except for the parts with Toubaru sensei, her schtick leaves me cold.) But darned if it didn’t feel like a finale.
Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness
I am… not entirely happy with Itsuka being (quasi) abandoned by her mother for a second time. That badly needed some explanation rather than simply being presented as fact. I kinda get that she doesn’t feel fit as a mother, and that Itsuka has a new family, but it just doesn’t sit right.
Seventh verse, same as the first… We’re introduced to fairly two dimensional new character whose sole purpose it to make Nagomu look good and then be forgotten.
Deaimon has a huge problem in that respect, there’s not a lot of growth. It’s not running in place either… It’s just slow walking.
Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task
Heroine Tarumono! Kiraware Heroine to Naisho no Oshigoto
I am not fond of the “potato girl gets a makeover and is actually a beauty” trope… And how will it play with the childhood friend? Will he confess because he never realized how pretty she was? (I hope not.) Will he prefer her in potato form (usually because she was already pretty to him in that mode)? These are pretty much the usual ways this scenario plays out.
Well, the childhood friend doesn’t always win… But I guess he didn’t lose per se, because Hiyori’s answer was a solid “not now”, rather than being turned down cold. And even if he does take over the family restaurant, some exposure to the outside world is never bad – right?
And good on Hiyori for standing up for herself. She needs to do that more often. Though we all know the plot driven reason – Aizo and Yujiro are waiting their turn. And they weren’t above shoving Nagisa out of the way either. Ah well, all’s fair in love and war. And the boys are at war on several fronts.
Midseason thoughts: As a music show, it’s kind of OK. Unlike, say, Chihayafuru, the not romance part is definitely secondary because Hiyori is not a direct participant. The romance part isn’t progressing all that quick either – I suspect that’s because this isn’t intended to end with a romance.
Midseason status: Might as well keep at it.
Love After World Domination
Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de
Teenagers on summer break, or couples in love, both routes invariably involve the fabled Beach Episode. With both things in play here, it was inevitable. And this rendition was hilariously good – especially with Beast Princess misinterpreting everything Desumi did.
And of course Gelato Five has a combining super robot – why wouldn’t they?
And it’s really funny how both Fudo and Desumi casually give away their teams secrets…
After teasing us a little bit last episode… We get the rest of Desumi’s background, and it wasn’t bad. It explained what needs to explain. But she’s also connected to Gelato Green, and unlike Pink – he hasn’t picked up that Desumi is also Reaper Princess. Plot hole, or Chekov’s Gun?
Midseason thoughts: Mostly predictable, mostly workmanlike, pretty much stays in it’s lane. Nothing particularly objectionable or praiseworthy. And, honestly, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that as it’s a fun little show.
Midseason status: Keeper.
SPY x FAMILY
Last show to cover, and I’m running out of steam… This pair of episodes have been all about Anya and they’ve been charming as hell. I do sort of feel sorry for her though… She’s got a lot of weight on her shoulders, and she’s quite aware of it. She’s not really a happy camper, and Loid isn’t helping much.
In some ways, he is acting more and more like an actual father… But then he snaps back into the Mission Is Everything Mode. And he’s not at all aware of the tension between the two.
Midseason Thoughts: Mostly a jumble? Just a teeny bit dissatisfied because they keep recycling the same material… But engaged because they do it so feckin’ well?
But I am enjoying the ever-lovin’ heck out of it! I look forward to it every week, and that’s the bottom line, no?
Midseason status: Despite the grumbles, solid keeper.
The Executioner and Her Way of Life
Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road
This pair of episodes are largely exposition and setup for what’s no doubt going to be the final arc as they head into a “our battle goes on/go read the source” ending. They were neither particular good nor particularly bad.
Two things I did notice: Folks are paying a lot more attention to Menou as Flare’s successor than they previously were. Makes sense given the setup… But it doesn’t seem to be something Menou thinks of herself as.
And where is Flare? She is curiously absent and there’s been no mention of her fate. And neither Menou nor her enemies seem to care one way or another.
The other thing, there was quite a bit of re-used animation episode 8. And it’s not from Akari re-winding time…
Ya Boy Kongming!
Paripi Koumei – Episodes 7-8
I’m thinking that Kongming is basically a Three Kingdoms era Batman. His real superpower, the whole point of the Stratagems, is to foresee and be ready for every eventuality. But… I don’t think he foresaw Namami. (And it’s not clear that Eiko has told him about here.) And what is up there – what is she (Nanami) hiding? There’s definitely something she’s not telling Eiko.
That being said, it’s good to see Eiko out making choices on her own. For too long she’s simply been dragged along behind Kongming.
And let’s not forget Kabetaijin – he’s not as flashy as Eiko, and a lot more self-effacing (which is saying someting)… But he’s out there doing his best as well.
The full OP has been released (and it’s available on iTunes!), and… I dunno. Usually I can pretty easily make the choice between buying the TV sized or full length versions. For some reason, it’s difficult this time.
Also came across this fan made live action version of the OP, it’s absolutely cute as hell.
Man, do I sound even grumpier than usual? (And that’s a pretty high bar.) I was sick for over a week, and yesterday was the first day I felt anything resembling normal. Still not completely back in battery, but getting there.
And I feel kinda bad after missing last week, but the next two week’s posts may be very short form or skipped as well. This weekend is a holiday weekend in the US, and we traditionally spend it geocaching. So, dunno whether we’ll be able to watch this week’s shows or if I’ll feel up to writing.
The next weekend is our anniversary (32 years!) and then my niece and her husband will be in town visiting her husband’s folks and we hope to get to spend some time with them. So, may not have time to watch shows, and may not have time to write about them.
Spring has finally sprung here… after a long cold
March May the weather is finally, finally truly turning warm. Still some cold in the forecast, but at least a couple days I’ve been in short sleeved shirts rather than my flannels.
How’s the weather in your part of the world?
Anyhow, that’s all from me this week – over to you! Drop a comment and let’s chat about this week’s shows, the weather, or whatever else crosses your mind!
7 thoughts on “Spring 2022 – Week 6 /7 & Mid-Season Part 2.”
I’m not feeling Cuckoos. It’s perfectly alright, and fun enough while watching, but, for example, I couldn’t reply to what you’ve written, because I’ve mostly… forgotten about it? Not really forgotten; if it matter I could probably summon the memory, it’s just not really worth it.
@Aharen-san: Pretty much, up to not caring much for sensei’s stick. Side characters are hit and miss. I don’t really hate anyone, but I’m not fond of worried friend and sensei, but I did take to the kids and little brother.
Deaimon is probably the show we differ on the most wildly. I quite liked the mother episode; their meeting took place mostly in what was not said, and summed up with Itsuka saying “thanks for visiting.” Obvious tension, no hostility, no clear resolution, and no drastic measures. That’s what I saw. As for episode 7; I actually just come from episode 8, and was trying to remember what happened in 7. I’d actually sort of agree that some of the introduced characters don’t add much. What I liked most about the episode, though, is that it put its tendrils into the other staff that’s usually just side-characters. I still really like Deaimon. It’s actually possible that it’ll overtake SpyXFamily as favourite by end of season.
@Heroines: That arc perfectly demonstrated both the strengths and weaknesses of the show. It’s doing a typical arc in a typical way, and the typical way of doing things is what I usually don’t like about the shoujo romance genre. But despite doing it the typical way everything makes sense in character, and miraculously our Heroine comes out of the arc uncorrupted by genre expectations. It’s not a subversion. It’s played straight, and I still don’t much care for such arcs. But the show walked over a lot of landmines and didn’t trigger a single one. Really, for me Hiyori is the main draw here. Adore her. I liked Nagisa more than I thought I would, too. After Hiyori, I’d say my favourite characters are the managment of the agency. They’re fairly good bosses.
@Spy X Familay: Love the school arc. Damian’s development is pretty much a typical genre arc well done. I’m also quite fond of Rebecca (did I mix up her name, no sure, but something feels off). It’s just so sweet. I’d say Loid wavering between family and mission mode without noticing is only partly a character trait; it does work and is consistent with his backstory… if you don’t think too much in favour of comedy. They might lean more on it later and develop it better for all I know, but right now it feels like one of those don’t-think-to-much-it’s-fun things we get in some comedies. I don’t expect Spy X Family to wow me with deep characterisation. It’s confident light entertainment; that’s what it’s good at. Very good at. Excellent at.
@Executor: Yeah, I’ve been wondering what Flare’s doing, too. I’d think if she’s dead we’d know by now? In any case, I’m slowly losing interest in the setting. Overall, I’m enjoying the show more than I thought I would at the start of the season, but there’s definitely unmined potential. Also, right now Akari annoys me more than Momo; this is also something I didn’t expect. But she mostly just feels like an entitled brat right now.
@Kongming: Nanami is definitely the masked singer of their rival group and I’m fairly sure Kongming sent Eiko her way on purpose (second pouch contained a permission ticket). They’re telegraphing it left and right, with all the adds on tracks and televisions and Nanami’s reaction. Watch me be wrong in weeks to come… Also, personally I think the TV OP is better. I found the shift to the B section charring, the tune not up to scratch, and I’m not really into rap, so that inclusion also isn’t for me. TV size is excellent; full isn’t bad but loses focus and delves into realms I’m not going to follow. (Also is this the season of rap battles: Kongming, Aharen-san, Kaguya-sama – anything else?) – That fan-OP is such fun.
Ooh, glad the worst of the illness is over. Recover as well as you can; health is important. Weather? It’s a bit of a mess. Can get hot, then colder (though not cold), then it starts and stops raining every few steps, then it’s humid and thus feels hotter than it is. It’s hard to figure out what to wear and easy to forget your umbrella on the train. That sort of weather.
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I actually do like it and enjoy it each week, the MC’s are doing nicely in their niches… I’m just frustrated because I think it could be so much better if they (the MC’s) hadn’t been fixed into place so early. (This is written w/o regards to episode 8, that’s next week’s discussion.)
I actually enjoyed how the makeover arc managed to thread it’s way between landmines and tropes without setting any off… and without straining credulity. I’m not all that familiar with shoujo, so I’m going in without much in the way of expectations. (Which has lead to confusion sometimes…)
I think I’ve been asking after Flare for a number of episodes now, but I’m too lazy to go check. The series really has worn out it’s welcome. Maybe I should just go ahead and drop it.
That does not sound like fun weather. We get weeks like that (sans the humidity) and I hate them.
Really liking Spy x Family and the strange tension in that family. As for Aharen-san, I set it aside for a few weeks. I’d like to pick it back up, but that one friend character is like nails on a chalkboard — I can’t stand those kinds of over-the-top characters who can’t take a hint at all. I get that that’s the joke, but it’s usually not a funny one to me, and I think it’s most of the reason I dropped Komi-san too (I know, everyone loved it but me; must be a personal problem.)
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Sorry for the late reply, holiday weekend and all that!
I have to say, if you don’t like over-the-top side characters, Aharen-san doesn’t get any better… I don’t care for them either, but the show overall is net positive so I stuck with it.
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No problem! Thanks for the notice about Aharen-san too. I like the leads, so maybe I’ll just grit my teeth through the rest, or try at least.
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Meant to post earlier in the season but I’ve been a little busy. Here’s my watchlist:
Current season (caught up):
Spy x Family: AotS frontrunner. Anya best girl. Often veers into downright stupidity but I forgive it because it’s so well executed.
Paripi Koumei: Best OP theme (and best music in general, though the phrasing of the English lyrics is… awkward to say the least). Kongming best boy.
Summer Time Render: Shame this one is stuck in Disney jail. A good time-travel horror show.
Aharen-san wa Hakarenai: Aharen-san is adorable, best girl runner up. Male MC could have been annoying in lesser hands. Agree that some side characters are annoying.
Shokei Shoujo no Virgin Road: Started out higher on my list… I had high hopes that someone was finally doing a thorough deconstruction of isekai tropes, but the show went in another direction. Still decent.
Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki Yonsatsume: I keep watching this because 1) short episodes (3 min) so not a big time investment, 2) friend’s wife is from Nagoya so I like to learn about the place, and 3) Nagoya seems to have a lot in common with Houston – hot, humid, industrial, not very scenic, and the bigger-city folks (Tokyo and New York) think the locals talk funny and act strange.
Jantama Pong: Based on an online mah-jongg game. I watch it because 1) extremely short episodes (30 s) and 2) I like mah-jongg.
Holdovers (will go back and catch up, swearsies!):
Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2205~ Aratanaru Tabidachi: Stuck on episode 2 (of 8). Story hasn’t really kicked in yet.
And who am I kidding… it’s very unlikely I will have time to finish these, especially given how loaded next season is shaping up to be:
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Gekitotsu
Lupin Sansei: Part 6
Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu
Houston weather? Think I already touched on that. It’s hotter (and dryer) than normal. Could use some of that PNW coolness/dampness.
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Yeah, I saw what you were busy with – congrats on the success!
re: Spy X Family (for some reason I want to type SPY X SPY): No, it’s not AOTS frontrunner… It’s running unopposed. (IMO, YMMV, etc… etc…) Anya is a good girl, but I’m in the Yor camp myself.
re: Ya Boy Kongming: Some of the songs are very good, some not so much. Unfortunately the one they play the most is firmly in the not-so-much category. I have been impressed by the quality of the raps. Also been stanning Eiko since the first ep.
re: Virgin Road: Also agreed, started out so good and has slid steadily ever since. But it’s good enough to not drop though it’s not going to finish with a high score.