Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Spring Anime 2022, Week 9

I had initially made plans to come over to the US and attend Dragoncon in Atlanta during the Labor Day weekend, but all of that has gone down the drain when I found out not so long ago that I’ve been denied entry into the country. They don’t like to give reasons out to people why they do it, so for me it could be a number of things. I ought to be mad, angry and frustrated about this news, but as I’ve been there so many times, it has become more and more of a routine, so I suppose this news isn’t as devastating as I originally thought it would be.

All of that will take place during the Summer season, and so I now have more time set aside to watch those shows.

The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 Episode 8

One thing has been on my mind while I’ve been watching this second season of The Demon Girl Next Door. I’ve complained in the past on how I’ve had to struggle to keep up with the story, and have to remind myself constantly about what had happened in season 1. Who was who, what was what, etc. But I think another major thing is whether I even care about the story anymore. Shamiko may not have made Momo her vassal quite yet, but it seems she’s content enough to finally see a smile on her face. And so now that she’s achieved that much, what can happen in the story now that I’m genuinely excited to see?

Last week teased the date-not date that Shamiko and Momo are going on: a trip to the local zoo. Well this is that episode, with Shamiko pulling out all the strings to make her girlfriend the best bento box she can.

The Demon Girl Next Door
The Demon Girl Next Door

The date-not date doesn’t go as well as they hoped…of course. I mean with a comedy gag show like this, something always has to happen. And in this case, it’s Shamiko’s work colleague Lico who invites herself and ruins the fun.

As I watch each episode, I ask myself so many questions. Like I mentioned above, I begin to wonder whether I am enjoying the story as much as I did in the first season. Yes the season 1 finale left on a cliffhanger meaning a second season was kind of needed, and now it’s here I can’t help but think whether it would have been fine to leave it at season 1. I remember feeling this way when season 1 of The Promised Neverland ended. The children escaped Gracefield Manor and went out into the unknown, and despite the manga continuing their journey, I would have been just as okay with an open ending. That way their journey would be something us anime-only folk could just imagine ourselves.

Going back on The Demon Girl Next Door Though, while I like the stories and lore that surround both Shamiko and Momo, I’m not sure if I appreciate some of the secondary characters coming in and hogging limelight every now and then. I am probably alone in thinking this way though, as I know this season has been well received.

The Demon Girl Next Door

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 3 Episode 9

It sucks that I have to feel this way about a sequel season, and it also sucks that I’m beginning to feel the same way about Kaguya-sama too. What makes it even worse is that this is meant to be the big arc to decide it all.

Okay, maybe a better way to describe how I feel now is that while I love how the story is teasing us a lot, I’m not sure how I feel about some other things. One thing in particular is the animation itself, and how different it is compared to past seasons. Different styles have clashed with each other in each episode, nothing like what we saw in season 2, and I’m not really sure if I like it anymore. Facial expressions are more exaggerated, sketches sometimes use different color/hue/saturation filters, and while I have no objection to the heaps of media references we see, it feels like there’s a bit of a disconnect now. Perhaps I need to look at this season with a newer perspective, and with some fresher eyes. I love this franchise, and yet why have I become so much more eager to pick out what I don’t like about season 3 than what has been really amazing so far? Take this week for instance, where we get to see a first-year Miyuki and Kaguya for the first time, and what drives him to become the student council president.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Kaguya-sama: Love is War

The cultural festival continues, and as this week’s episode doesn’t open with credits, we get the impression that the episode will be full of important plot points. While it didn’t have as many as I thought it would (this week, I stress to add), it paves the way of what we’ll see in the finale (outside of the inevitable confession).

I do think it’s good to see that the show is making sure that we get to see a lot more outside what we expect to see in the finale. Want a band performing Kraftwerk-like songs? Sure. Want a Blair Witch-style haunted house? On it. But I’m sure many viewers are just as happy to see Kaguya in a Taisho-style maid outfit, as her class does the obligatory cafe. On top of this, I didn’t expect Maki to take such an interest in Ishigami’s plan to confess to his Tsubame-senpai. Me thinks that she is doing this because while she can be so full of spite towards her second cousin, she still doesn’t want someone else she knows to make the same mistake of wasting away school life and missing the chances they do have.

Like I said, maybe a newer perspective and some fresher eyes may help me see less of what I find more irritating here. I loved season 2 so much, and so I don’t like why I’m not feeling the same way about this third season.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2 Episode 6

I figured that, after last week, we’d get the new year’s episode, and I was right…sort of. No kimonos and no fireworks; in fact this was all set the day after New Year. Anyway Najimi goes and does the decent thing and invites everyone to the shrine, except Yamai who much to her dismay, has spent the rest of the winter break with family in Hawaii. But during this sketch, a part of me really thought that Najimi had intentionally left out calling Komi and left it for Tadano to do. Are they really trying to be a love doctor of their own? Sadly it didn’t work, but a New Year shrine sketch is a New Year shrine sketch, although I’m sure that many people would have been desperate to have seen Komi in a kimono; I know most of the cast would have too.

Komi Can't Communicate

This being the final winter break episode, it was very very sweet to watch. You thought that Komi and Tadano are getting more and more awkward being around each other, well it’s plain to see here and now. We had two more cute scenes between them, but the best one was the second one, hands down.

At least one cast member in a school anime has to have a cold and spend time hunkered down in bed, and for Komi Can’t Communicate, this person is Tadano. I think that for scenes like this, it’s best to keep things so incredibly simple, and so I really liked how this scene played out. Calling for Najimi for help, Tadano accidentally dials Komi, and she’s the one who ends up rushing to his aid.

Komi Can't Communicate

I admit that I was a little worried that some of the sketches in this season would get a little wooden or stale, but they’ve actually been the complete opposite; I don’t even mind the narration anymore. The introduction of new characters has been excellent to see, and we get many more moments where we get to see Tadano for what he is: not an invisible nobody, but a selfless and considerate guy – an absolute catch, I think.

But the next episode sees…him enter stage, and to be honest I’m not really looking forward to watching this kid who has narcissism coming out of his ears be so arrogant in front of everyone, and try to outdo Komi. Although I do love how the show presented this, devoting a whole section to him coming next year, fanfares and all.

Komi Can't Communicate

Iroduku: The World in Colors Episode 9

The final stretch for shows like this means everyone confessing to each other, and to be honest, I’m not too fussed on who ends up with each other here. I just ask for one thing when Iroduku ends:

Can you please stop making Asagi suffer?

Iroduku: The World in Colors

(I also want to point out that her VA, Kana Ichinose, also voiced another character who lived in suffering: Ichigo from Darling in the Franxx).

For episode 9, Sho finally makes his feelings for Hitomi clear. Yuito is a bit unsure on what to think, mostly because he himself isn’t sure on how he feels about Hitomi. His drawings for her are progressing well, but they haven’t really had much in the way of one-on-ones recently. Meanwhile, Asagi learns the hard way: slowly and painfully. And even though Hitomi rejects Sho, it’s plain to see that he has no interest for our poor and suffering ‘childhood friend’.

What is bothering me quite a bit is that I think there are too many romance issues to cover and complete in the 13 episodes this show has. Love triangles are all over the place, and while Kohaku is trying her best to be some kind of love doctor, nothing is really solved. Or a more accurate way to put it is that nothing is really progressing. There are 4 more episodes left, and I hope that what is left will have something resolved. Someone will always come out the loser, and it sucks that it’s going to be Asagi. I did find it interesting how Kohaku said that she has never been confessed to herself; a good part of me thought that people are just far too intimidated by her, which is totally understandable.

Iroduku: The World in Colors
Iroduku: The World in Colors

And with these romance issues not really being resolved or going in any firm direction, I’m even more clueless on what the ending will be. Despite her recent more upbeat attitude, Hitomi still maintains the idea that she does not have the right to be liked by or to like anyone – this same feeling she had in her own timeline and when she arrived in this one. I’m more than certain that she’ll end up confessing to someone by the time the show ends (likely Yuito), but if you want my personal opinion, I think that introducing these romantic feelings so suddenly in a short amount of time would overwhelm her. Sure enough, she’s known these dorks for a fair while. On top of this, the fact that magic has not been explained so well in the show adds to my uncertainty over the ending. Of course I’m interested to know what that ending is; I suppose my frustration comes from the fact that, so far, the show hasn’t really teased us with what could happen.

As I’m waiting for shows to end, I went and did my regular poll. And the lucky show for the Summer season is Akebi’s Sailor Uniform. I had been meaning to check this out when it came out in January, but just never got around to it. So I’m happy that I can get the chance to now.

Akebi's Sailor Uniform

Any time I go to the US meant I had to do catchup posts for Otaku Theater, and so this time I won’t be needing to do that. As for the shows I’ve picked myself, I’m quite looking forward to them. Maybe Disney will take another big step and pick another show to license. Let’s all hope not, since that would likely mean we wouldn’t see them until next year.

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