#westandtogether

This week’s post will be about the episodes I’ve seen of course, but there also has been news that happened a little close to home for me which made me pause from anime. I have friends who live in Manchester who are feeling way worse than I am. This weekend would have seen me at MCM London Comic Con, but unforeseen circumstances meant I had to pull out on the Saturday and Sunday. It’s pretty much our version of the ones in San Diego and New York, and considering the recent headlines, everyone has been on edge. The entire con was nearly cancelled, but the show must go on. I have several friends who went, so I’ll just follow Anitwitter and catch up on any adventures they had. Sometimes I even feel like I’m too old for all of this convention-going…

Anyway…my hunch was right in Little Witch Academia. Deep in the Cavendish archives was the next Word. We can say that it was only fate that drove Akko to chase after Diana when she heard she was in trouble. Last week, I was really wondering why Akko even cared about what Diana really wanted to do (perform the ritual and be head of the Cavendish family, or ditch it and continue at Luna Nova), but then it came to me. I don’t think it was so much that she wanted to keep her rival in check at school, but she was just frustrated at how an honor student would just up and leave without notice.

While this episode closed this mini-story concerning Diana and her leaving, its handling of delivering the next Word was a little lacklustre. It almost feels like the writers nearly ran out of ideas, so just decided to hand it to Akko instead of writing a detailed story about it. It’s a shame because the relationship between Akko and Diana has been one of the most concrete things in Little Witch Academia, and to see this episode end in such a disappointing way makes me a little sad.

Saekano Flat has had its own little dramas though. For some reason (I blame Amazon on this one), I wasn’t able to watch last week’s episode then, so I’ve had to catch up a bit. Essentially, they all manage to complete the game, and get it set up for Winter Comiket, and even though Eriri humbly accepts defeat and apologises to Izumi, their game sells out within half an hour. With Utaha’s drama of scriptwriting and Eriri’s drama of falling behind of work, Tomoya has had no time to think about the one person who really brought this game together: Megumi. She pulled many all-nighters, worked when she didn’t have to, and eventually became co-producer of the game, and had received absolutely no thanks from Tomoya for it. It’s both the Winter Comiket episode and the ‘two-months-later’ episode that shows what kind of idiot he really is.

What really does annoy me is: why has it taken so long for Tomoya to understand why he upset Megumi in the first place. Almost reminiscent of how Utaha originally felt when she asked him (in a flashback episode in season 1) what route he preferred in her upcoming novel; he refused to answer and didn’t think for a moment how that would make her feel. Tomoya’s focus was so much on the girls who were noticeable (Utaha, Eriri, Izumi), that the one person who wasn’t so much gets pushed back and ignored. It mirrors what it was like at the beginning of season 1, you could say…before blessing software was even formed.

The two will eventually make up…or rather, he will apologise for being such a hopeless idiot and not taking her feelings into consideration because she isn’t as visible as the others in the circle are.

Sakura Quest has firmly put itself in the wholesome comedy-drama genre. This time, the story is about finding  a local dish to advertise Manoyama. Shiori is the only one out of all of them who can actually cook, but she doesn’t like to take charge. In this episode we take a look at her and her family; they own a farm and are very traditional in their ways. Her parents already have their eye on the chef of the local French restaurant as her future husband.

Unfortunately, the bombshell drops when we learn that the reveal date of the new dish clashes with the opening day of the town’s summer festival. Here we learn that the Board of Merchants and the Tourist Board do not ever see eye-to-eye. While the Board of Merchants have the final say (since they are larger), the Tourist Board (or rather just Kadota) always want to take charge but end up failing miserably. Frustrated that neither will compromise, Shiori decides, out of the blue, to take over the local dish project.

People I know have been speculating whether romance will ever land onto any of the 5 main characters; I don’t think it will. In the show’s ‘predecessors’, Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako, work dominated the entire show, and I think it will happen again for Sakura Quest. I’m not totally sure on how this show will even end. Yoshino will probably decide to remain in Manoyama since there’s nothing for her in Tokyo anymore, but as for anything else? Who is to say.

This week’s episode of Haibane Renmei is one of the more surreal ones, and oozes symbolism and metaphors. While Rakka has remained firmly as the main protagonist, it feels like, as she descends deeper into depression, we see and feel her pain. The black marks on her wings still aren’t going away, and any reassuring words the others at Old Home give her aren’t helping. When she gets separated from Reki after winter clothes shopping, she disappears off into the Western Woods (where the wall is closest) and finds herself almost in a trance-like state as crows lead her to a well, which she finds herself in after tripping.

None of this seems to phase Rakka though, as her thoughts are more on these crows who, ever since her hatching, have been watching and following her everywhere she goes. Before, these crows are just in the background, but they have now become more central to the show. The dead crow that Rakka finds at the bottom of the well is presented as something/someone who cared for her in the life/existence she had before she came into this world and became a Haibane. We can only see this as speculation though, since it is never confirmed what is really beyond the walls.

Next week will see some more development in Rakka’s ‘depression arc’, and I’m pretty sure Tomoya will finally confront Megumi and tell her he’s an idiot…which we already knew.