Lowering expectations is next on the list of things I need to work on.

I’ll just add that, next to patience.

This week’s New Game!! has been, I hate to say, rather unremarkable. I look back at the third episode mark in season 1, and jokes came left, right and center. I’m not sure if I like this different approach to the show, with a script that has more drama than comedy.

Aoba’s character has been approved for the next game, but because she has so little experience in 3D, she becomes the last person people consult and come to for questions about her designs. Seeing this makes her think why her design was chosen in the first place. This episode shows us a different Aoba; instead of the rather clumsy new hire, we see an employee who is still rather new, but even with a project that she has dreamt of doing, she is totally out of her depth.

Meanwhile, Nene is working on programming her own game from scratch, without relying on a game engine. This is essentially so she can spend some time with Umiko, who doesn’t seem to mind taking the time to give her own opinions and advice on how to better what looks like a very crude-looking 2D game. Also, we seem to see so much more of Shizuku now – this is neither a good thing or a bad thing. Shizuku is not the best character in the show, and only has one expression: playful older woman with yuri goggles permanently on. Again, neither a good thing or a bad thing. Blame my impatience once again…

In terms of this second half of Sakura Quest, one mini-story has now morphed into another, and I’m now thinking that this festival that was stopped 50 years ago will be the end result, and thus mark the end of the show…but let’s see. Anyway, the 3 most important items for the festival turn out to be in a neighbouring village…somewhere. On the way the gang of five come across a retired college professor with an insane superiority complex who shows them the aging population, who are frustrated with their lack of connection with the outside world. Despite the help of the tablets they are given for free, they decide to take their frustration out onto Yoshino, with some bizarre consequences.

Sakura Quest is starting to look more substantial now, and I can now see how it can be matched with Hanasaku Iroha and Shirobako, its ‘counterparts’ in P.A Works’ “Working” series of shows. Its vast amount of characters (both big and small) have made their mark in the show, and we all have our favorites. Not sure why everyone seems to flock to Sandal though; he’s just plain annoying. There is one character I used to hate but now love though and that is Erika, the young waitress in the town cafe. She’s cynical, sarcastic, condescending and smug, but that’s why I like her so much. In this current trend of where being smug on social media seems to be ‘the cool thing’ now (see Wendy’s smug anime girl for more), Erika fits right in.

Now, onto a show I can happily talk a lot about…an awful lot about…

…I can sit here and I can praise Love & Lies for being the surprisingly good show that it has become in the space of 4 episodes. If episodes like this week’s one can be called filler episodes, so be it. Both Yukari and Ririna’s parents are pushing for the two of them to get closer, and so have planned a group camping trip for both families.

I think one way to describe Yukari and Ririna’s relationship would be a ‘silent marriage’, if you can even call it that. They both communicate with each other as friends, call each other by their first names, and are willing to share personal and intimate details about themselves without so much as a red cheek. My own experience with love is poor to say the least: my first girlfriend was more of a good friend than a lover, and my most recent one turned out to be a merciless gold-digger…so I can’t really criticise too much about how a long-lasting relationship should be like. But I will give the writers of this manga adaptation a lot of credit for putting together a couple that click straight away, without either one of them realising that their behaviour can be seen as what a lot of marriages look like. Even Ichijou, the female Ministry employee who pays Yukari a visit this week, talks about how some marriages fail when people look at only what’s on the outside (i.e. physical appearance) than what’s on the inside, which I thought was very interesting. Maybe she is making a subtle poke at Misaki; it’s obvious that Ichijou knows who she is. Yukari sees Misaki as a pretty girl, but from the looks of what happens this week, she has a lot of secrets of her own that she wants to keep hidden.

Now onto Tsuredure Children. I suppose you could say that I was expecting so much more in a show with this kind of format. Not sure why I look at other reviewers and see them praise it like they do. Last week I was complaining at how little patience I have for shows these days; you’d think at my age, I’d grow to accept shows for what they are. This week brings back characters from past episodes; the gloomy girl, the manipulative student council president and the comedy skit couple. I’ve forgotten all of their names, and quite frankly, I don’t really care. I do like the fact that we are finally getting some returning characters, though. Unlike Love & Lies, the romances in this show are artificial, superficial and shallow. And unlike some other reviewers who are liking these characters and their stories, I just can’t find anything outstanding about this. Give it three months (where I’ll be in the fall season), and I will have forgotten about this show.

What about my classic/out-of-season show? Will that be something I’ll easily forget? Well it isn’t what I was hoping it would be…

This week, Squid Girl trashes the beach house TV (by accident), and so is invited to spend the night at the owners’ house. Later, she meets the rival beach house owner, who believes they can have their own Squid Girl by putting his daughter in a Squid Girl outfit. It seems like the owners just want to keep Squid Girl as a kind of gimmick for the beach house business, and isn’t really interested in developing some kind of genuine relationship with her.

This has been a weird season for me so far. I am watching shows that require an unusual amount of patience for me, while at the same time, other shows with similar genres are giving me no trouble at all. Did I choose badly this summer? Who is to say. Ask me again in four weeks time…although I’ll be in the US around that time…