I need to work on my patience.

I used to be okay when it came down to patience, but not anymore. Not sure why. I mean, this season has only just begun and some shows are already beginning to give me ennui. Not Love & Lies though.

This week’s episode has answered a lot of my questions. Ririna seems to be fine with Yukari and Misaki spending time with each other, and so proposes that they kiss once a day, every day, in order to get to know each other more. The idea is that she (as in Ririna) can see what love is really all about. However while the two of them seem to be enjoying kissing each other (no saliva this week, thank goodness), Misaki is starting to doubt herself, and is trying to get Ririna to see the good in Yukari (with the intention of the two of them hooking up).

Now a new entity has come to shake things up: Yukari’s friend, Yuusuke Nisaka. He knows that Yukari harbors feelings for Misaki and also knows that he has been ‘assigned’ Ririna. He has so far given off a very antagonistic manner, even behind the mask of joking around in front of Yukari. Despite being very popular at school, he is a serious jerk to all the girls and acts very high-and-mighty in front of everyone else – and that’s not one of those stereotypical ‘bad boy’ characters either…this guy is just unpleasant in every way but he either wants to step back and watch all of this chaos ensue, or shake things up himself; so far it looks like the latter.

Love & Lies has really surprised me. It was a show that I chose at the last minute and I’m very glad I did. Reading through fellow anibloggers’ first impressions, they are not finding too much fault here either, praising the Yukari/Ririna relationship that has already begun to look like a marriage. One recent article from Beneath The Tangles is definitely worth a read; it talks about the difference between love and actually being in love. Another aniblogger even compared Love & Lies to the reality TV show Married At First Sight which began in Denmark, but now has its own versions in the US, Australia and now here in the UK.

Every week I think to myself that Tsuredure Children will, somehow, get a little better…only to discover that it won’t change.

I think this is largely down to a couple of things:

  • There are no characters that we can remember. These short stories (around 4 in every episode) are just that; short, and forgettable.
  • There is no long-running story…or anything much that links these episodes together, aside from high-school love stories.

This week’s 4 stories varied from the couple that have been going out for a year, only for a boy to think they’re only together to be part of a comedy duo…to the socially-awkward nobody who freaks out when a highly-popular girl asks him out. I honestly wish that I could find something memorable in this show; I mean I can’t even remember any of the stories in episode 1 (and have to refer to my review post from 2 weeks ago to refresh my memory). Or perhaps that’s the idea, though? Perhaps Tsuredure Children is just a show to let us know that high-school love can be very stupid, but it still exists.

Okay, I’m reading too much into a highly unremarkable show…

Sakura Quest now has some kind of long-running mini-story now; instead of the two-episode ones, we appear to have something that will last much longer. It began with the arrival of the Spanish paranormal investigators, and now moves onto an old festival that was held in town 50 years ago that Kadota stopped due to going crazy on the float.

Turns out that he, Doku and Chitose formed a garage rock band in high school. Chitose had had dreams of running away with the band to Tokyo, but Kadota chickened out and thought he would make a difference to the aging population of Manoyama by making a scene at the festival. He did, only to convince the authorities to shut down the festival for good. After learning all of this, Yoshino has the idea of reviving the festival; her time spent back at her hometown clearly gave her the chance to clear her head.

In unrelated news…best new couple emerges. Perhaps meeting Lucia will be Ririko’s ticket to leaving Manoyama and living life (like her grandmother is urging her to do)…

I think Sakura Quest is beginning to lean much more on slice-of-life drama, and avoiding comedy altogether; the best decision, I think, as only subtle humor has succeeded in this show (anything more would just be cringe-worthy). If only P.A Works could learn something about comedy from Dogakobo. Saying that though, this week’s New Game!! takes a little more dramatic turn, as opposed to its trademark humour. With Hifumi, Hajime and Yun stepping aside from the character design competition, Aoba goes ahead with her rather chibi-looking character ideas which, strangely enough, impresses the director. Frustrated that all she has ever known is character designs from the Fairies Story games, Ko finds herself in a slump when her initial ideas are scrapped, and takes out her frustration on Aoba…only to remember how she felt when she began working at Eagle Jump as a new hire.

It appears that Eagle Jump want to go in a slightly different direction from their Fairies Story games, opting for a new style of artwork. After a long reflection with her best friend/lover Rin, Ko decides to fulfil her role as a mentor to Aoba, and help her grow as a character designer (instead of wallowing in jealousy).

It’s been a bit weird, seeing less comedy and more drama in this show. I’m thinking that now that this plot point is out of the way, the show can focus to what it excels at: high-quality humor with highly subtle yuri undertones but I honestly don’t know what will happen in this season; I suppose I was just so used to the one narrative in season 1, while Eagle Jump were making Fairies Story 3.

Speaking of comedy, my higher-ups are telling me to be patient with Squid Girl, so I’ll just be following their advice. Because I think I’ve been very snobby with this show. Squid Girl is an old show after all and I suppose I’ve just become too used to the slice-of-life humour that has come from the shows released in the last couple of years. This could mean that my memory isn’t what it used to be. A sign of age, and me losing my mind.

Now I will look at this show with the glass half-full instead of half-empty. For episode 3, the others decide it is a good idea to take Squid Girl on one of those tests of courage into haunted forests; I swear this family that she has ended up with are real sadists sometimes. Later she teaches the bratty younger brother Takeru how to swim, only to realise that inflatable killer whales have become a craze on the beach (for your information, killer whales are squid’s natural predators). But a new hire gives her some form of happiness, in that Squid Girl finally finds someone who is actually afraid of her.

I know that it’s become a given now that I find at least one show I hate for every season I do for OASG. I’m trying my best, but at least I have 3 shows I know I really like…I just have to work on my patience for the other two.