Bit of a mixed bag this week.

Anime Expo just announced some big names. I’ve decided not to go though, as I can’t afford both AX and Dragoncon (which has become a nearly-annual pilgrimage to me now).

Meanwhile, I’m still recovering from the eromanga fallout (this will be something the others at OASG will be on about for a good while, so I’m anticipating any teasing). But this week’s shows didn’t completely blow me away. I think Little Witch Academia has gone back into that trend of mini-stories. Not that I’m complaining but considering we’re deep into the main story now, it just seems a little out-of-place, despite the focus being put on my favorite girl and her taking Akko and Sucy to visit her family in Finland.

Little Witch Academia

Don’t cry, Lotte. So what if a rare disease inflicts the village, making moss grow on them, and leads to their flesh withering away? You have Akko to save you. I think the fact that she is still very inept in magic is no longer that relevant. She has a mission to do, and we know that she needs Lotte and Sucy to help her find the remaining words. These final episodes should hopefully show a strengthening in the relationship between the three girls. Okay, so Sucy will always be Sucy, but she’s actually willing to take apart in this week’s mission to create an antidote for the disease.

I’ve found it rather unusual that we haven’t been given that much information regarding Akko’s background though. Aside from the fact that she’s not from a witch family and she idolises Chariot, we know next to nothing about her. I do hope we’ll know more soon, as we’ve had devoted episodes for the others. Oh, and I couldn’t help but notice the very subtle Moomin reference at the end of this week’s ep; I grew up reading the books and watching the show, you see.

Saekano Flat

Over in Saekano Flat, the popular doujin circle Rouge en rouge have returned, and the fact that Izumi has decided to be their artist has rattled Eriri in particular. Mostly because she’s a naturally mean and vindictive person, and jealousy is in her blood, and still thinks that Tomoya wants to be in bed with her. I honestly don’t see why Tomoya would want to keep on hanging around with her; she’s my least favorite out of all of them. And the fact that she still insists on this catfight is what makes Eriri all the more of the atypical tsundere girl.

It’s interesting to see Megumi take even more of an interest in the game now. This week, she’s trying to get Tomoya to understand which one of Utaha’s scripts are better, and how to break the news to her. While the other girls are constantly on Tomoya about the silliest of things, Megumi is the only one that keeps him grounded and focused on the game itself. It’s almost as if, sometimes, the game is the sideshow to the other girls, and that they are only concerned about their relationships with Tomoya. I’ll say that the show is getting better, and that picking up from where season 1 ended has worked much better than writing a brand new story.

Sakura Quest

But in the meantime, Tomoya just seems to enjoy having the company of so many girls who take some form of interest in him. So while Saekano Flat is currently on that fine line between good and okay, Sakura Quest hasn’t inspired me anymore. Last week’s episode effectively confirmed that not only Yoshino was going to stay, but she would get the other four girls. It’s only been now when I’ve had a good look at them all:

  • Sanae (top left): Web designer who ended up moving to Manoyama because she was sick of Tokyo.
  • Maki (top right): Local ‘celebrity’, but only because she had a bit-part in a TV detective show (something she doesn’t like to be reminded of).
  • Shiori (bottom left): Local girl who is constantly upbeat. Upbeat to the point of annoying.
  • Ririko (bottom right): Young girl and grand-daughter of bitter sweet shop owner.

While last week we discovered that the current town mascot, the Chupakabra, isn’t popular at all, this week we learn that Manoyama was once famous for wood-carving. At this point, it’s clear now that Yoshino and the others are very much out-of-touch in what the residents really like, and what they really want in order to boost tourism; even Shiori seems a little clueless. I also think that Yoshino is making the same mistake that Kadota is, in that she believes flashy gimmicks (like the Chupakabra mascot, the grand ceremonies, etc.) are the only way to help the town. They might work for a town with a younger population, but this is a countryside town with mostly older citizens. Despite them all being oddballs, they don’t really care about gimmicks, they only want their town to prosper in the way they know, whether it be wood-carving or manju or whatever.

I remember when I first watched Hanasaku Iroha and thought that it would make a better live-action show than an anime, and currently, I feel the same way about Sakura Quest. Picturing this as some J-drama shown on prime-time TV (and later on Crunchyroll or Netflix or something) is rather easy.

Haibane Reimei Classic Watch

This week was episode 4 of Haibane Renmei for me, and this was one episode that I had actually forgotten about. Rakka begins her mission to find a place to work, and so she begins by scouting with the other Haibane and their workplaces, beginning with Kana and the town’s clock tower. We discover a little more about her this episode: Kana is a tomboy through and through, and she kind of stands out among the others due to this. She wants to work hard, and doesn’t seem too bothered about being stuck behind the walls of the town, like Rakka is. This episode, we also see that birds are beginning to become more of a regular thing in the show. They are the only creatures (aside from the Toga merchants) who are allowed to go beyond the walls and leave the town. Noone knows what lies beyond the walls…for all they know, it could be just another world, or another plane of existence entirely (it isn’t implied that this world they live in is living or dead, or somewhere inbetween).

So, while all the cool kids are going to Anime Expo in two months’ time, people like us have to join the Anitwitter train over that weekend. Works for me; I don’t want to have to travel another 5,500 miles (8,700 km) on top of the miles/kilometers I’m travelling to Atlanta in September anyways.