Aoba returns.

Come on…tell me you haven’t missed this girl, I dare you.

In season 2 of New Game! (where they, predictably, add another exclamation mark to the title), everyone else is back too! I like how they decided to just go down the tired-and-tested route of adding new employees straightaway, as the focus would be shifted straight to them instead of the characters that effectively make this show what it is: from the socially awkward Hifumi to the gun-mad Umiko.

The show begins with the company, Eagle Jump, contemplating their next move after the success of Fairies Story 3. Ideas are passed around on what kind of theme their next game ought to have; I have to admit, I kind of loved Hajime’s superhero team/Power Rangers idea, even though that was way off from what Eagle Jump have done in the past.

Ko then breaks the news that they are planning an in-house contest on character design; whoever designs the best one gets to be the head character designer for their next game. This is certainly a good plot point, and very fitting for these guys. We get to see Aoba, Hifumi, Yun and Hajime (even though she actually works in motion design) put their competitive caps on…but of course all of this will be shown as one great comedy.

As I say, it’s so good to see this show come back. I don’t think the probability of it of failing miserably is very high; season 1 was a high-quality show, and only more of this very same thing is good in my books.

Not totally sure about this week’s Sakura Quest though. Yoshino, Sanae and Maki come back to Manoyama to find the town has become one big hot-spot for a group of Spanish paranormal investigators, and thus Spanish and Engrish is heard left, right and center. It is a very odd plot point to have, even for a show like this. You’d think their presence would get Kadota in another one of his mad and happy frenzies, but his mind turns elsewhere when the Spanish group hear about a rumour about something at the bottom of the town’s lake.

Even with this great mystery that Kadota wants to keep hidden forever (what on earth could it be?), I’m not totally won over with this P.A Works show like I was with the likes of Shirobako and Hanasaku Iroha. There’s just something that I can’t quite put my finger on; maybe it’s because I don’t like all of the characters, or maybe it’s the nature of the work itself (tourism hasn’t warmed to me like anime production and hospitality has done)…

…the fans of the show have already found a OTP though. I can’t picture Sanae and Maki together though, but eh…

Tsuredure Children still sucks though. I used to be all for short-story shows, but this has just become so monotonous and dull. This week, the airhead girl from the Astronomy club tries to recruit a first-year who admits to be boring, the blue-haired girl from last week confesses to another guy…or maybe it was the same guy…I can’t even tell…then a gloomy girl receives a sort-of confession in the rain, only to shrug it off.

The art in this show isn’t bad in any way; I think the problem with this show is definitely the characters. They are totally forgettable, unlikeable and incredibly dull.

At least Love & Lies is actually starting to improve. I’d say ‘get better’ but there’s still more time for this show (which I’ve had to turn to Amazon for). Nejima’s future wife, Ririna, turns out to be quite a character. I’m very glad that she didn’t turn out to be a pain-in-the-ass; she’s just a very socially awkward girl who has had to deal with illness in the past. It was actually this episode where I saw how differently Nejima acts between the two girls.

With his classmate and crush Takazaki, he acts all stressed, bothered, flustered and pretty much like any atypical guy in a romance show, but with his future wife Ririna, he talks much more casually, as if she were a friend than a life partner. I think that can be seen as central to a long-lasting relationship: having the courage to have a casual conversation with someone who is destined/assigned/whatever to be your future partner. It’ll probably be where Takazaki and Ririna will clash, despite them already being friends now. Though, note that Nejima is happy enough to call Ririna by her first name already, even after just meeting each other.

I honestly don’t know who to root for now, even if Nejima is too much of a clumsy idiot to deserve either of them.

I’ll tell you something though about comedy shows (like the ones I’m watching for this season); they have always been hit or miss for me. I’m very glad that I have at least found one hit already in New Game!!, so it’s a shame that I can’t see the same in either Tsuredure Children or my out-of-season show Squid Girl.

The opening episode was the introductions; I didn’t really like the characters at first glance, and the comedy setting itself was something that I couldn’t really warm to…which is rather strange. In episode 2, Squid Girl has began to make herself at home some more, as she gets to meet the beach lifeguard and then later some more friends of the family. Then later gets jealous of not having a birthday party, so demands one of her own.

I know I’m only 2 episodes in out of 12, but I just can’t warm to this show at all. I hope I will in the coming weeks though. Not that my getting Splatoon 2 will have anything to do with it; I mean I’ll be trying to spend as much time as I can (outside of my new business) playing the damn game.