Sunrise on Mt Hiwada… Such a darn good sequence.
Anyhow, time to wrap up the week. Some good eps, some great eps, some otherwise. All that and the last of the mid-season mini reviews after the jump.
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.
Akiba Maid War
Akiba Maid Sensou
Maid Sensou just took a big headfirst leap into uncharted waters. It’s become serious – and, it’s not working really well. Three mistakes… First, for five episodes Ranko has been more or less the MC. She practically doesn’t appear in this episode. Second, Nagomi has been something of a one dimensional character, too slender a thread to hang this episode on. Third, the whole drama of the episode hinges on a side character we’ve gotten maybe a minute or two of screentime with.
The only reasonable event in this episode was Nagomi freaking out over someone getting killed. That’s pretty much the sum of her character for the last five episodes.
Midseason status: Before Ep 6, I would have wholeheartedly recommended Maid Sensou because it took a thoroughly ridiculous premise and played it straight. Now, it suddenly wants to be taken seriously – without having actually putting in the required setup work. The whole structure is groaning under weight it was never designed to take.
Therefore, downgraded to provisional keeper.
Bocchi the Rock!
Bocchi finally meets someone who (not knowing her) doesn’t just blow her off… and gives her a much needed metaphorical kick in her metaphorical ass. As a result, she gains a measure of self confidence and takes a huge metaphorical step forwards.
This is something Bocchi badly needed. Question is, can she do the hard part and accept it? Like many people with self-doubt and self-confidence issues, Bocchi is often her own worst enemy.
Hopefully we see more of Kikuri, I kinda like her.
Mid season status: With the last couple of episodes, we’re finally getting some solid movement plot wise. Not that Bocchi has ever been bad, but it’s always nice to see and just confirms my thoughts: Solid Keeper.
It’s still anyone’s game for AOTS-that-isn’t-Gundam Witch… But with Maid Sensou‘s stumble, it’s going to be hard to dislodge the trio of Bocchi, Do It Yourself, and Encouragement of Climb from their spots at the podium.
Do It Yourself!!
A bit of a different episode because they spent a lot more time telling us (instructing us) on the details of the projects. Not that the fun SOL parts were lacking… Though, as a cook myself, I really hate it when people aren’t honest with me about my cooking. It’s no kindness to mislead people!
Frog-kun has an interesting post up: The Do It Yourself!! Anime Will Be My Bible.
Encouragement of Climb: Next Summit
Yama no Susume: Next Summit
The first part of the episode was pure undiluted classic YamaSu, loved it to pieces. Though it neatly illustrated how much Aoi has grown over the course of their adventures, I’m not really so sure about the second. Not really fond of the sudden introduction of so many new side characters.
Seriously. This screenshot, the whole sequence atop Mt Hiwada is pure undiluted best of why I love Yama no Susume. And I’m glad Aoi finally had the courage to ask Hinata about what happened at Fuji’s summit.
And something else that occurred to me this week… Much was made over how this season was getting “full length” episodes, except we really aren’t. We’re getting two short episodes back-to-back. Not really complaining though! It’s still one of my all time favorite shows.
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury
Kidou Senshi Gundam: Suisei no Majo
No episode this week, instead a recap episode which was not streamed on Crunchyroll.
My Hero Academia 6
Boku no Hero Academia 6
More back-and-forth fighting… All setting up the inevitable, getting Class 1-A and 1-B into the fight. Still no word on Hawks’ condition, so that’s a Chekov’s gun still sitting on the table.
Most interesting part of the plot… Shigaraki rejecting All For One’s Prime Directive. There’s a lot of back and forth over that. And of course Deku worries about that, because he fears One For All being stolen above all else. And he’s right to worry, because Shigaraki is still intent on confronting him.
And Dabi, self appointed heir to Stain’s mantle. I suspect he’s headed for a collision with Shigaraki over that.
Play It Cool, Guys
Cool Doji Danshi
More slice-of-life, this time between Shun and Souma. Kinda funny that Shun’s sister and Souma’s employer were the same person – but the gag was telegraphed way in advance. Overall, fun though… especially Souma’s antics and the way Shun reacted to them (even though he’s the same).
Midseason status: Solid keeper. I wish more people were watching and talking about this laid back slice of life.
SPY x FAMILY: Part II
Two more self contained one-shot mini episodes. And I really feel sorry for poor Yor. She’s become something of a meme within her own show.
I’ve been given to understand we’ll be back to arc content soon enough, so looking forward to that.
(*) Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! W
Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai! W
Demoted to “watched but not commented” because, well, there’s just not going to be much to say each week. It’s simply the nature of the show.
Another unseasonable warm patch… this is getting really old.
Went and saw Wakanda Forever last week. Left us with more questions than answers. Still don’t have a good handle on the meta-plot of this arc, if there even is one.
Remember, there won’t be a post next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Should be back the week after with a double length post.
That’s all from me this week! Over to you. Drop a comment and let’s chat!
7 thoughts on “Fall 2022 – Week 7”
I can’t understand your problem with Nagomi. For me Nagomi has always been the moral centre of the show. The Every-maid who has wandered into this mad world and whose normie moral sense conflicts with a world where one wrong move or gesture could lead to outrageous fatal consequences.
Nagomi has been developing her relationship with Nerula from Invader Cafe Destron in snippets across the series, sensing another normal person she can reach out to (Though I did worry during the episode whether Nerula would betray her trust). Following the sisterhood ceremony (which I loved) the episode riffs for a while on a Romeo and Juliet vibe that kept me engaged, while I wondered where this episode was going to go.
For me, the climax was truly shocking. I’m not sure what I did expect but I didn’t expect that. Sure, anime characters die all the time but in anime situations like Nerula’s fight with Manami the “Crimson Supernova”, somehow good more often triumphs over evil when it comes to characters like Nerula. But not this time, not this fight. There is no happy ending. Nerula is coldly riddled with bullets by Manami., for whom the killing is all in a day’s work. After I had calmed down, I found myself admiring the way they had turned that good versus evil trope on its head and defied at least my expectations (I know maybe there were death flags throughout the entire episode but all they did was increase the tension for me in that were they false flags or real?) about poor Nerula’s end. Nerula’s death seems to point towards some sort of catalyst for Nagomi but what will it be? (Well, I do know since I’ve seen episode 7 but that’s for another post maybe.).
So, I didn’t mind the change of mood this episode set up. After all any of the crazy perils the girls have been trapped in up to this episode could have ended in a different and more final way for the girls of Oinky-Doink. Life in this alternate Akiba seems to have often been “nasty, brutish and short'” and actions that transgress their Yakuza-like code can have life changing consequences, even if they are often kind of mad. This episode strongly brought this home and was really well constructed by P.A. Works (as has been everything in this series).
Bocchi The Rock. I’m still struggling with this series and have found myself questioning why I’m still watching it more than once – up to this episode anyway. Kikuri came across as a much more nuanced character than the mostly one-dimensional characters the show has given us so far (to the point that I’ve almost wished for one of them to start burbling on about being “shiny and sparkling” on stage lol). Bocchi’s predictable and one-dimensional anxiety attacks I find tiresome and overdone, and for me overshadows everything else the show is trying to do. Bocchi’s anxiety was maybe interesting in one episode but by episode 6 it’s just tedious and overbearing. I’m hoping Kikuri’s catalyst will lead to more growth for Bocchi (and the show). I suspect we will see more of her since she is becoming a mentor for Bocchi and is seemingly a member of a popular and well-established band. I found her bass playing interesting too since she uses a Japanese plectrum like tool used on a traditional Japanese/Chinese string instrument (the names of both which escape me) to play the bass. So for now I continue with Bocchi, living in hope it will continue to improve.
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Well, I don’t know what to say about Maid Sensou other than we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
I don’t see how, they haven’t acted anything like idols…
Interesting you didn’t care as much for the second part of Encouragement of Climb ep 7. That part was directed, storyboarded, and written by the animator China, so it was quite a big deal for sakuga fans. Personally, the story didn’t seem out of step with the rest of the series; even though there were a lot of side characters in that story, it stuck pretty closely to Aoi’s perspective so it wasn’t too overwhelming. Also, I really enjoyed how it revisited Mt Takao (the only mountain in this series which I have actually climbed myself lol).
I’m more about the characters than the sakuga. :) And shows that let their ensembles grow overlarge is a particular bugaboo of mine. I didn’t have any particular problems with the story, just the growth of the cast over the course of this season.
OTOH, what ya gonna go when there are few challenging mountains you can climb? So, I can kind of see what’s shaping the story when the mountains are snow covered.
Jealous! My old and fat self wouldn’t even be able to handle Mt Tenran.
For me, anime of the season (that isn’t a sequel) is obviously Do It Yourself. It’s probably the best slice-of-life anime since… I don’t know, Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori? It pretty much always gets the mood right. Every character is distinct and instantly recognisable, down to the bodylanguage. The art’s great, probably visuals of the year, for me. There hasn’t been too much good slice-of-life lately, so that’s absolutely appreciated.
I never really was that hot on Maid Wars, so I didn’t mind the swerve. I’d say its a fairly logical development, but I still think Nagomi doesn’t quite work, tonally. There’s just… something off. I don’t mind the mood change; that was sort of in the cards. And they need to do something like this to bridge the power games with the service. I didn’t see it coming, but it makes sense in retrospect. Still, there’s just some… sort of gap the show fails to bridge, and I’m not sure what it is.
I find both Cool Doji Danshi and Spy X Family hard to talk about, but I enjoy them lots. And I do think Cool Guys deserve more attention.
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Sorry, for the late reply, crazy busy weekend…
With the additional qualifier “that also isn’t Gundam Witch”, I’m going to agree with you I think. Bocchi is falling slightly behind because it keeps leaning heavily on the same gag. Often VERY well executed, but still the same gag.
I do have to admit that Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori isn’t one I would have thought to compare with… It was a good show, I just don’t think it would make my top 10 even. Heck, I wouldn’t even have thought most people who weren’t me even remembered it.
That’s kind of my main complaint about Maid Sensou – it just all the sudden became a different show… with no real connection in terms of narrative to What Came Before.
Rokuhoudou is some sort of benchmark for me, which is probably why I thought of it. I was going back and trying to find a slice-of-life show that can compete with Do It Yourself, and Rokuhoudou was what I ran up against. I admit I forgot, for example, Super Cub, but I do think, even if I’d thought of it, I’d have passed on. Now that I think of it, Deaimon was pretty good, too…
I keep expecting diminishing returns to set in for Do It Yourself, but so far it hasn’t. Ultimately, the real test of the show is time: how will I be remembering it, say, a year from now. But currently, it’s really, really good.
But, yeah, Rokuhoudou ranks pretty highly for me. I wouldn’t be suprised if it made my top 10. Hm, what would be my candidates for a top 10, I wonder?