Rest in peace, Nyaa.
So…Nyaa Torrents got shut down right underneath our noses. Just in time for the news by Crunchyroll and Amazon Prime that it’ll be offering offline streaming sometime this year (read more about the news here). Amazon Prime has only just gotten in this race, and not everyone’s happy with how they’ve approached this.
Talking about Amazon, I’ve been saying it a lot in this column, I love Saekano, so I was a little annoyed that Amazon Prime had exclusivity for season 2. Watching Saekano Flat has been cool, but I really haven’t been liking it being on Amazon Prime. A good while back, our very own Justin wrote a piece about noitaminA signing an exclusive contract with Amazon to get their shows on Amazon Prime (read it here). Season 1 of Saekano was a part of noitaminA, but Crunchyroll managed to get rights for it. In regards of licensing rights, it still begs the question on what Netflix will do exactly in regards to Little Witch Academia. More on LWA later, though.
In the mean time, beyond licensing problems, in Saekano Flat, they have effectively killed off two romances with one stone this week. The group finally reach a decision on which one of Utaha’s scripts to use (by borrowing some elements from her successful novels), and Megumi finally accepts a girlfriend character she is comfortable with playing for the game. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of character that both Utaha and Eriri know that Tomoya would fall for (in real life) instantly. Back when Utaha was writing her books, she asked Tomoya which heroine he preferred, but he refused to answer (leading to the slight friction between them every now and then). This time, as director of the game, he has to make a decision.
This was very easily the most heartbreaking episode of Saekano yet. While I consider Megumi as best girl, Utaha has always been a very close second.
It was rather weird to see Megumi wear her hair down at the school festival this week; I’m certain she will be doing it more in the future (for getting into character). Sometimes, it feels like she has her own thoughts for Tomoya set aside, and refuses to show them to anyone…sometimes even doubting them herself…much unlike all of the others, who are just so obvious. Tomoya has been a bit of a pain to these girls, though; not just this week, but throughout this whole process. It’s like he has this amazing self-control…4 girls are constantly around him (plus Megumi), so he has so many opportunities, but he still does nothing. Another fan of the show told me that that was probably why he’s called “Mr. Ethical”.
Back to LWA, this week diverted from the main story once again, with rebellious Amanda telling Akko she is thinking of quitting the Academy. When Akko hears a rumor of the next Word being connected to a holy grail being housed at the nearby prestigious boarding school, she and Amanda end up getting into trouble with its stuck-up students, one of whom is Andrew himself. The fans of the show have already lost their minds watching Amanda duelling like Utena on the school roof.
It’s this episode where I see a new OTP, and I’m kicking myself for not seeing it sooner. Amanda is a talented witch, but she genuinely doesn’t care about using magic. She gives Akko the cold shoulder to begin with, but when she learns that Akko is just as much of a misfit in the academy as she is, a friendship begins to grow. I think, with this one, opposites attract a little.
Last week, I put forward the idea that Sakura Quest would be a better live-action show than an anime; now I’m not so sure. I still think it lives a little under the shadow of P.A Works’ other Spring show, season 2 of The Eccentric Family.
This week, Sanae has the idea of renovating the town’s train station into more of a tourist attraction. It’s a sound idea, as the train station is the first place people will come to, and as first impression always matter in the tourism industry, I think it’ll pay off. Wasting money on that ridiculous palace was pointless, and they all know it. Kadota, meanwhile, won’t stop being a stubborn idiot, and is even harder to like, but the chemistry between the five girls has become much stronger in this episode. It’s also good to see they actually have different clothes to wear, as supposed to many shows where we only see the protagonists wearing the same thing every episode.
For the record, I have absolutely no idea what has happened in the more recent episodes of eromanga sensei. Quite frankly, I don’t care, but I would imagine it might just have turned into a retread of Oreimo. Lucky I don’t have any trouble when it comes to the classic show I chose. While it is sticking with what could be called fillers, the main story of Haibane Renmei is starting to bear more fruit in episode 5. While Rakka spends some time working with Nemu at the town library, she discovers that it is possible to go beyond the walls, that there is a second Haibane community on the other side of town, and that Reki used to be a part of it until she left.
We learn a lot more about Nemu as well, the one Haibane in Old Home that has received very little screen-time. She was given that name because of her dream (where she was actually asleep). Nemu is the ‘oldest’ Haibane currently living in Old Home. She is a very down-to-earth person who sees her role in Old Home as looking after Reki and keeps her grounded. She doesn’t especially enjoy time with the children in Old Home, leaving that job to Reki and the housekeeper. Also, like Kana, she isn’t really bothered about what’s beyond the walls either. So it seems the only one who is pondering their own existence in this world is Rakka. I suppose it is a little understandable, as I’d imagine that, at this point in the show, only a month or two has passed.
This episode also gives us a very subtle hint on what young Kuu is up to in the very near future. It’s something I didn’t expect when I watched this for the first time decades ago, so I’ll keep quiet until it comes.
Little Witch Academia is now making the long stretch to its end, Saekano Flat is now firmly halfway through (just waiting for the obligatory beach episode now), but Sakura Quest still has a long way to go until I feel really comfortable with it. Should it have been a 2-cour show? Perhaps I’ll give it a few more episodes before I answer that one.