Summer 2022 – Week 2

Made in Abyss - Majikaja

Man…  Abyss.  I suspect that just like last time, I’ll be saying that a lot.  But Lycoris Recoil was also pretty good!  Other shows, not so much.  Anyhow, hit the jump and let’s run ’em down.

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.

Luminous Witches

Not watched this week.

Lycoris Recoil – Ep 2

Is Chisato actually the airhead she plays?  Or was she shining Takina on?

Lycoris Recoil - Bullets

And what is up with Chisato, bullets, and other things shot in her direction?  Man, I’ll be disappointed if there’s something supernatural going on, but I don’t see any other plausible explanation except superscience…  which hasn’t really been in evidence so far.

Otherwise, I don’t think I have too much to say about this episode.  I do wish I had a GIF of the two kicking each other at the end of the ep.  Almost despite themselves (or at least despite Takina), they’re becoming buddies.

Crow has some interesting things to say in their review of this episode – check it out!

MADE IN ABYSS: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun – Ep 2

MADE IN ABYSS: Retsujitsu no Ougonkyo

Abyss doing what it does best…  building a growing sense of dread in the audience, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Only it doesn’t, more of a subtle cliffhanger…

Made in Abyss - Majikaja

There’s a freakin’ civilization in the depth of the Abyss.  And it’s speech pattern/language seems to be awfully close to the indigenous population we saw in the first episode.

My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex – Ep 2

Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta

Introducing Kogere and Minami…  They’re in the OP, so the obviously play a large part in the plot.  (OP’s are usually pretty reliable that way.)  Kogere, we don’t see enough of to learn much.  And Mizuto’s abrasiveness doesn’t help.  OTOH, Yume and Minami seem to hit it off pretty quickly.  Which either blows my theory about social awkwardness out of the water, or Yume is pushing herself…  which would be consistent with the rest of her changes (in dress and behavior).

The back half of the episode reinforces something they hinted at in the first episode…  Mizuto and Yume definitely have feelings for each other.  Strong ones, not lingering ones.

Still waiting on more details of their past relationship.  Something just feels fishy there, like we haven’t really been told the real story.

Prima Doll – Ep 1

That was…  disappointing, not to put too fine a point on it.  Largely predictable and drab.  I could see what they were trying to do, but it was all paint-by-numbers.

Status:  Against my better judgement, on probation.

Rent-a-Girlfriend Season 2 Ep 2

Kanojo, Okarishimasu 2nd Season

Rent-a-girlfriend - Chizuru

Is it just me, or are we seeing a tonal shift this season?  The focus appears to be more on Chizuru as an independent character in her own right…  and less on Kazuya being complete scum.  I hold out faint hope that trend continuing, this series doesn’t strike me as one that will stray far from it’s roots.

Episode also re-introduced Ruka and one of the grandmothers.

Shinepost – Ep 1

I am conflicted about Shinepost.  The character design and animation are top notch.  The creative staff has an above average resume.  But…

The characters themselves are a fast food mix of tropes.  The scenario is a well worn groove.  The “gimmick” is, well, gimmicky.  It’s a supernatural power, and it’s a poor fit with the rest of the series.

Typically of a multi-media franchise, it’s designed to appeal to no one without offending anyone.  (Other than picky semi-purists like your humble correspondent.)

Status: Teetering on the edge.

Tokyo Mew Mew New~♡ – Ep 1

TOKYO MEW MEW NEW

Overall, a pretty standard first episode for a mahou shoujo series…  Our Heroine (to be) is a slightly ditzy schoolgirl, and she’s being dragged into the middle of a war without being given much choice in the matter.  Beyond that, we have no real clue what’s going on.

It’s very much a period piece in all respects.  The character designs are a bit bothersome in that respect.  They’re not quite period, but they’re also not quite modern…  Unlike Fruits Basket (2019) they’re not doing a good job of selling the designs, instead they’re stuck in a weird time warp.

Status: Not yet rated.  Mahou shoujo team series live or die by the main character and the characters of the balance of the team.  Ichigo is still something of a cipher, and we haven’t met the rest of the team yet.

Ep 2 – Not watched yet.

Uncle from Another World

Isekai Ojisan

Won’t be available on Netflix until July 20th.  If you’ve seen it, please don’t spoil it.

The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting – Ep 1

Kumichou Musume to Sewagakari

I won’t say this first episode was bad – only that it failed to be good.  By the middle of the episode Kirishima had already settled into his role as surrogate father as though he was born to it.  Isn’t the whole point that he’s a yakuza and thus uncomfortable in the role?  And Yaeka is simply a bland caricature.

Without some kind of conflict, we’re really just left with treacly sentimentality.  And without much stronger characters, that just doesn’t appeal to me very much.

Status:  On probation.

Note:  As this series airs on Thursday nights, I’ll steadily be a week behind.

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Almost to the end of the premieres!  Just Devil is a Part Timer and Love Live Superstar!! this upcoming week, and then the maid show the week after.  Even if I end up dropping the shows that are questionable, could still end up with a pretty packed list.

Anything I’m missing so far?

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Speaking of a packed list…  Going to be a couple of interruptions this season.  In August, we’ve got the Geocaching 20th Anniversary Celebration (delayed two years due to COVID) and that’ll be a full Saturday.  So might not get all my Saturday/Sunday shows that weekend.

And the big one, if you were watching my Twitter – I’m flying home to NC for my brother’s wedding for two weeks in Sept!

Seriously looking forward to spending time with family not at a funeral and eating my way across the Triad/Piedmont.  There’s at least two BBQ restaurants, plus Winkler Bakery, plus Waffle House…

But the downside, I’ll entirely miss the last two weeks of the season.  Ah well, nothing to be done.  I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.

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Well, that’s it for me this week!  Over to you!  Let’s chat about anime, the weather, or whatever else strikes your fancy.  Drop a comment!

14 thoughts on “Summer 2022 – Week 2”

  1. Tokyo Mew Mew New – I’m treating it as a tribute to Magical girl series from 20-30 years ago almost. I thought it really had that feel. Hard to tell on one episode though.
    Luminous Witches first episode I loved. Shaft were just the right studio to animate this interesting take on Strike Witches and it poses an interesting question in episode one – What are witches going to do in peace time when it comes?
    I’ve checked a lot of the current isekais and echi themes are strong this season. So far most of what I’ve seen has been execrable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve checked a lot of the current isekais and echi themes are strong this season. So far most of what I’ve seen has been execrable.

      Yeah, despite some standout individual shows, overall it’s not the greatest season. I don’t think I’ve ever had this many shows “on probation”.

      Like

    2. Another show I enjoyed the first episode of was Yofukashi no Uta (Call of The Night). The first episode was pretty good and if it can keep up that standard, It will be a good show for this season.

      Like

  2. Prima Doll: I get it. I’m hoping they do something good, but it’s not looking all that hopeful. I’ll still probably watch it, even if it turns out to be just a timewaster.

    Tokyo Mew Mew New: The designs look pretty “modern magical girl” to me, in the same vein as recent Pretty Cures or the girls in Waccha Primagi!, for example. For example, picking a specific instance, there are strong resemblances in design between Bu-Ling as depicted in Tokyo Mew Mew New and Ran/Cure Yum-Yum from Delicious Party♡Pretty Cure. They do seem to be making a bit of an homage to the original Mew designs, but it’s really subtle.

    As usual, I’ll hold off on reading what you have to say about Made in Abyss until after I watch it in a couple of days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Mew Mew New designs definitely seem dated to me, but you watch a ton more than I do,

      re: Prima Dolls It’s not impossible they right the ship and sail straight, but it’s not the way I’d bet.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I see a lot of positive reaction to Licorise Recoil, but for me it’s the epitome of mediocre. Nothing too bad, nothing too good, nothing memorable. There are worse ways to spend the time. As for Chisato dodging bullets, I just put it down to anime superman syndrome. The show never struck me as particularly realistic. It’s an okay show, and one of the better shows in a pretty weak season, but nothing to write home about.

    Made in Abyss is great as always. The implication, I think, was that these strange creatures near the end were all once human and are warped by this place, if it’s not something even more sinister. I’m intrigued. I have to say sewing hair into the butt of a dead critter is a mighty weird ritual. What was that about? The Abyss is nuts on so many level, yet it feels entirely consistent. This is world-building A game.

    My Stepmom’s Daughter is My Ex: I’m not convinced Yume hitting it off with Minami is much of a sign of anything. Minami is the type of character who just naturally pushes through anyone’s defenses, and it was Minami that took the initiative. That said, I’d imagine Yume has gotten better with effort. She plainly stated she made a conscious effort this episode. That part played out as I expected. There was something that I wasn’t expecting about her, too, but sadly I can’t remember what that was. (My memory isn’t what it used to be.)

    Prima Doll is rote. I’d probably have dropped it last season; this season there’s so little on the plate, I might actually get through it.

    Rent-a-Girlfriend 2: Dropped five minutes into the episode. The show constantly annoys me, and there’s no reason to do that to myself. I’m still actually curious about some aspects of the show, but not curious enough. I won’t look back.

    I didn’t even try Shinepost, and with Tokyo Mew Mew New, I keep having the feeling I should just watch the first adaption. This one’s not particularly bad, but I’ve seen the first episode of the old, and it was just better. I don’t care too much for the character designs. They feel budget seinen magical girl to me.

    @Babysitting: “Fails to be good” is pretty spot on. I actually do like the show, and see potential in nearly every scene, but the show doesn’t really draw me in. I had the impression Yakuza dad put our protagonist in the position because he needed him to mellow down. I, too, expected a fish-out-of-water show, but Yakuza and family values are a secondary theme in so many shows, that I adapted pretty quickly. So instead the theme seems to be nurturing vs. destroying. There are a lot of scenes that could have been touching in a show that’s more than just competent, but it’s not really like that here. (Even more in episode 2, which I’ve already seen.)

    Other than Chimimo, which I mentioned last week and isn’t a sure thing, I’m drawing a blank. All the best non-sequel shows are middle-of-the-road entertaining at best. And shows falling behind their potential is a sad theme this season (not watching Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer? Yeah, it’s obviously falling behind its potential, too, but it might still be good.)

    Honestly, this is the season squarely belongs to sequels. Made in Abyss and Shadows House are exactly what their first seasons promised. Most of the others, too. It’s just that among the new stuff not much stands out. I still say the best new show is Chimimo. It wouldn’t be in any other season. From the shows you’re watching I’m giving the best marks to Ex and Yakuza Babysitting.

    Like

    1. As for Chisato dodging bullets, I just put it down to anime superman syndrome.

      I did too – until the hair band failed to hit her while she wasn’t even looking. That’s what caught my eye…

      Made in Abyss is great as always. The implication, I think, was that these strange creatures near the end were all once human and are warped by this place, if it’s not something even more sinister.

      That’s a good catch, consider what happened to Mitty and (to a lesser extent) Nanachi. Both were once normal human girls before Bondrewd lowered them – to the 6th layer. The same layer Our Heroes are currently at.

      Rent-a-Girlfriend 2: Dropped five minutes into the episode. The show constantly annoys me, and there’s no reason to do that to myself.

      Yeah, I really need to have a conversation with my wife and make sure she isn’t watching because she thinks I’m watching… while I’m watching because I think she’s watching. We’ve done that before, not wanting to disappoint the other.

      Re: Biscuit Hammer: Checked out the synopsis, didn’t appeal to me. I’ve heard nothing since to make me thing I’ve made a mistake.

      Re: Shadows House: I’m getting a strong feeling I need to go back and watch S1 and then dig into S2. I don’t know how I missed the 1st… But the synopsis for the 2nd sounds good, and there’s a lot of buzz. But I dunno, I’ve got so much on my plate this summer.

      Like

  4. Thanks for the mention! And I’m with you — I really hope there’s an interesting, narative-enriching reason she just waltzed through a hailstorm of bullets. Can you imagine how cool that would be if they pull it off?

    Abyss? I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for something dreadful to happen. Like Dawnstorm said, that hair-in-butt ritual is mighty strange. And though Reg is getting kind of blaise about keeping Riko’s inattention from killing her, I’m not. I was practically shouting at her to watch where she was going!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Made in Abyss: Retsujitsu no Ougonkyo:
    My only complaint about this story arc in the manga is for reasons that the anime adaptation is easily addressing: the story became hard to follow because 1) manga chapters are being released infrequently and irregularly, and 2) the shading in the B&W art makes the panels somewhat “muddy”. Weekly episodes fix the first and the gorgeous use of color the second. Barring major production issues, Abyss has AotS nailed.

    Kanojo, Okarishimasu 2nd Season:
    Strictly a guilty pleasure at this point. Watching for Chizuru. Kazuya is a trash MC, but at least he seems to have some self-awareness that he’s trash and needs to do better, but keeps failing.

    Engage Kiss:
    Speaking of trash MCs… man, I’m giving up trying to figure out what all these girls see in them. Also a guilty pleasure… sticking around for the sakuga scenes, whether it be the battles or, uniquely here, the kissing scenes.

    Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta:
    Enjoying it so far. Your description of the show as “horny, trashy, and stupid” is apt, but at least the MCs themselves aren’t trash and the dialogue is well done.

    Isekai Ojisan:
    Not familiar with the manga it’s based on, but based on the pacing and “feel” of the anime adaptation I’m guessing it’s a 4-koma gag strip. I’m enjoying it but probably would have enjoyed episode 1 more if I had that expectation in mind going in.

    Summertime Render:
    My only holdover from last season. Probably won’t have much to say about it to say week-to-week since no one else here seems to be watching it (understandable since it’s locked in Disney+ jail).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m watching Summertime Render. It feels like a 90ies anime (including the casual type of fanservice). First episode gave me a de-ja vu experience, and I still don’t know why. It’s not a show I have much to say about. I’m enjoying it well enough, but I’m unsure I’d notice if the next episode never appeared. One thing the show excels in, IMO, is character designs. They’re great; every character is instantly recognisable.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Barring major production issues, Abyss has AotS nailed.

      That’s actually kind of a tough position to be in… But Abyss is one of the few anime I have every confidence that it will maintain. Of course, I said that about Neverland too… But Neverland went sideways due to adaptation issues, not from anything intrinsic in the source. (That’s Euph, which still managed to pull out a decent showing regardless.)

      re:Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta

      “Horny, trashy, and stupid” and “I’m still gonna watch this” are not mutually exclusive… :) The question is whether it goes into “watched but not regularly commented”, which is already going to be the fate of several other shows this season.

      Like

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