It’s February now, and I’m getting back onto the rhythm of writing review posts again, with my review for last season’s Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina going up yesterday. I have a long list of other shows on that review post list; a mixture of recent and less-recent shows. One day I’ll get Justin […]
The post Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2021, Week 4 appeared first on TheOASG.
It’s February now, and I’m getting back onto the rhythm of writing review posts again, with my review for last season’s Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina going up yesterday. I have a long list of other shows on that review post list; a mixture of recent and less-recent shows. One day I’ll get Justin to let me review something truly terrible in a “so bad, it’s good” way. Just kidding; I know that I’ll be seeing flying unicorns before that ever happens. But, let’s first focus on what’s airing right now shall we?
Otherside Picnic Episode 5
For this show, it’s like I’m waiting for that yuri that everyone has been talking about everywhere. So far with 4 episodes already, all I seem to be getting is Sorao getting embarrassed when she suddenly realizes she’s just gone and saved Toriko from…whatever mess she got herself into, and Toriko playfully teasing Sorao. Could all of that count, though? Perhaps. But I’m still waiting for a little more.
Not sure if we’ll be getting at anytime soon though, as this week’s episode is different from past ones that had singular stories. Here instead is the beginning of a extended story. After a night of celebration (and apologizing to Kozakura for leaving her on her own in the Otherside), Sorao is forced to take a drunk Toriko home, only for the two of them to somehow step into the Otherside by themselves, without the use of a special gateway. But this is just the beginning.
The two of them have never been to the Otherside at night before, due to it being too dangerous, and when two gigantic monsters start to chase them down, they are soon confronted by US marines from a base in Okinawa. It seems like they have been trapped there themselves for over a month, and have had to survive and set up a basecamp. With this being an extended story now that’ll last two or more episodes, this could end up being the plot point that bring Sorao and Toriko closer together. Toriko has already been using the “as long as I’m with you, it’s okay” line to death, giving Sorao a closeted level of euphoria. Having not read the original manga, I have no idea what kind of extended story this will be; I guess I’m just going to have to get used to all the bad Engrish that we’ll be getting in the future…and considering what we had this week, there will be a lot of it. I just don’t understand why studios don’t make the effort to bring in people with non-Japanese accents when they need them, even if it’s just for a handful of lines.
Not so many annoying technical terms that I was worrying about last week, but I do worry that we won’t be seeing the last of them. I mean, this will probably be a recurring thing that I’m just going to have to get used to. Please don’t get me wrong; Otherside Picnic is growing on me, and I’m enjoying the characters still. I’m also liking the idea of chasing after urban legends in this manner. The original manga may have told it even better, and considering I’d never even heard of Felix Film before (the co-producers of the show), it’s left me scratching my head. All they have done is a cutesy nondescript show from last year (Nekopara), but we’ll see what newbie studios can do. I mean, Studio A-Cat had never done a full-length anime until last year’s Tamayomi, which I really liked despite its animation flaws. We’re around halfway through Otherside Picnic now, so I’m really looking forward to how the story will develop, what other urban legends we’ll see, and how Sorao and Toriko will actually get together properly.
The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 4
There are a good amount of things I would like to discuss when it comes to this second season of The Promised Neverland, but it would take far too much space, and I don’t want to over-criticize what is already a fine show. Here in this week’s episode, we have the children getting used to life in the shelter while the elders (Emma, Ray, Don, and Gilda) try to figure out the cryptic messages William Minerva (or whoever this person really is) had left them. This episode, and the children’s activities in their shelter gave off a lot more Lost vibes for me. In that show, the entertainment was more about what we weren’t told instead of what we were. We didn’t know who the ‘others’ on the island really were, or what The Hanso Foundation was or what all the research stations were for, or why there was a polar bear on the island, and so we were just as mystified as these ordinary folks who crash-landed there there.
Take for instance, an early scene this week; the shelter’s phone rings mysteriously. Emma picks it up believing it to be this amazing William Minerva person they are all looking for, except it isn’t. The person on the other end of the line is someone else entirely, but who exactly? Why did they reveal so much information to them? And why did they call in the first place? That scene alone gave a lot of interesting and suspenseful stuff that will likely crop up again in future episodes, so it’s worth waiting for all of them. But we do get some huge plot points this week, and they’re all stuff I dare not spoil in any way.
The suspense this second season dishes out really is killing me here. However…there is one thing I’d like to say about this season so far: it’s all going rather quickly. We are jumping from one moment to the next in such a short amount of time. Episode 1 introduced Sonju and Mujita, episode 2 had them all learning survival skills, and episode 3 had them finding the shelter. I haven’t read the manga, but I’d be willing to bet that that didn’t go at this quickly a pace. And because of this quick pace, it could even be said that this season lacks the impact that season 1 had. From what I understand, this season is only 11 episodes long, shorter compared to other single-cour shows. So maybe that might be a reason why so much is being told all at once. This season might even go down an unconventional (but not unheard of) route of going off-book and telling a different story.
Ehh, I don’t know. I am enjoying all of this though, and am loving the suspense and everything, but I probably won’t be returning to this franchise again once this show is over…in the same way I chose not to return to the likes of Food Wars! and Sword Art Online. It wasn’t entirely because I was disliking it; instead it was more like I knew I could enjoy other shows and franchises considerably more.
Yuru Camp Season 2 Episode 4
For example, franchises like Yuru Camp. Each episode brings us the same fluffy and cozy loveliness we expect each week, and yet we never ever get tired of it, and are left desperate for more. That really is an accomplishment that not a lot of anime shows/adaptations are able to successfully pull off. You may not have noticed how a lot of perspective has been on Rin, but we don’t get that for this week’s episode. Instead it’s the Nadeshiko show.
Interesting how the first season made Nadeshiko look like a real airhead compared to the others in the group, so it’s pretty cool to see a totally different kind of Nadeshiko. The kind who is finding camping more and more fascinating a pastime. She has long seen her beloved Rin go solo camping and questioned why she prefers that to going in a group. But this week, she finally understands: solo camping makes one appreciate loneliness more. And while she carries on having fun with the others in the Outdoor Activities Circle, practicing camping with the new gear they’ve bought from their part-time jobs over the winter holidays, Nadeshiko suddenly gets curious on what else she can get, and so decides to keep on the job hunt, with the intention of going solo camping herself.
This unexpected switch from Rin to Nadeshiko was a real treat, and I hope they do stuff like this again in the rest of this season. I do like a lot of the other characters after all, both main and secondary. Here was me hoping we’d see some more of Nadeshiko’s old friend Ayano this week, but alas we didn’t. She probably is just a single episode character. But I suppose having single episode characters like Ayano aren’t a bad thing. They add to the rest of the cast and really make the show much better. Instead of the main girls all dominating the show, we are given a lot of little scenes where secondary or single episode characters take center stage.
Another thing I can praise about Yuru Camp is how wonderful the OP and ED themes are. I absolutely loved the ones that season 1 had, and the ones made for season 2 are just as good. I shouldn’t really say they’re any better, because they are all just as wonderful to watch and to listen to.
Unlike one other OP and ED theme that has annoyed the heck out of me…
A Lull In The Sea Episode 4
Something I will say though: I’ve seen a lot of OP and EDs in my time, but never have I disliked something like the OP and ED theme that this first cour of A Lull In The Sea has. I may well be alone in this opinion, but there’s just something in both songs that I find so…annoying and grating. Have we all become so accustomed to the more ‘off-beat’ OPs and EDs shows are beginning to put out that the ones from 2013 (yes, this show is 7 years old) or earlier are ones we can’t get into anymore? Tell me if I’m being too nit-picky there…
Back to the show itself, and I am beginning to get a little worried. I’m only 4 episodes into A Lull In The Sea, and I’m worried that this show might end up getting a little too melodramatic for its own good. I felt this same way when it came to Hanasaku Iroha and Angel Beats! Sure, the melodrama in Angel Beats! was kind of needed, what with it being Studio Key, but this is a completely different thing. I’m also starting to think about how this show would have been if all the melodrama had been cut down or even omitted. Maybe not as great; perhaps I just need to watch this a little more.
Episode 4 brings some small amount of unity between the sea people and the surface people, but there’s still an us vs. them thing going on here, and it’s definitely something that’ll stay for a long time. The ignorance of the younger surface kids isn’t helping, and neither is the stubbornness and ‘holier-than-thou‘ attitude the elder sea people have. Here, an important statue (Ojoshi) is vandalized, and with tensions running high, Hikari jumps to the conclusion that the kids in his class are responsible, when it is in fact someone else. The younger children that we’ve seen a lot of (and who don’t seem to go to school) have their own story to tell and play center stage here. Miuna is Itaru’s daughter, while Sayu is her closest friend. And because the both of them have different reasons to look down on the sea people, both take responsibility for the vandalism.
Despite my feeling that I’ll be getting an excessive amount of melodrama, episode 4 has done it for me. The children of the sea people and surface people are starting to get along finally, leaving only the elders of the sea people and their annoying stubbornness to get in the way of true peace and equality. Will A Lull In The Sea‘s melodrama come crashing in like a wrecking ball, or will it be slowly drip fed instead? I hope it’s the latter. I’ve seen shows do the former, and ended up becoming an absolute mess.
Now onto something a little different this week. EX-ARM is, apparently, a very very bad show this season. So bad in fact, that nearly every anime critic I follow has destroyed it without mercy. And so of course I had to check it out. I just wanted to watch these opening episodes and see if they were right, and boy did I regret it…
This bizarre sci-fi story is about a police officer and her android partner who track down a mysterious dormant weapon called “EX-ARM”, and changing circumstances mean they have to activate it. It took only two minutes for me to laugh my head off in embarrassment. Characters are emotionless 3D messes that are poorly animated, and make even those in Polygon Pictures’ worst shows and movies look good. The script is laughable at best. It’s easy to see how the studio deliberately made animation techniques, like mouth movements and facial expressions, invisible; it saves them the hassle of actually drawing them. You can also really tell that this show was made on a very low budget that may have well been made with a mixture of Photoshop, one of those 3D animation programs that are free-to-use, and real-life video shots. What makes it worse is how I discovered that none of the production team have ever worked on an anime before. It’s almost worth me legitimately watching this outside of Otaku Theater, for a laugh.
Don’t believe me? See the trailer for yourself…
…and yet this is also meant to be a ‘Crunchyroll Original’, just as last seasons’ Tonikawa was. At the Crunchyroll Virtual Expo back in September, apparently no footage of the show was aired, which was telling in of itself. It’s also worth pointing out that this trailer says it is “declaring war against all of the SF series around the world!!” Well, if this shows that anyone (literally anyone) can make a show this bad, then they might just be right, in a bizarre way.
So…suspense, fluffy slice-of-life and melodrama. And a show that makes you despair for anime’s future. That’s been my week, but what’s been your week? How do you like your suspense, or your slice-of-life, or your melodrama? And do you think EX-ARM is hot garbage too? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below!
The post Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2021, Week 4 appeared first on TheOASG.