Coming home to discover I have missed out on a lot of stuff in these shows.

The New Game!! girls in maid outfits…the school play in Love & Lies…major changes happening in Manoyama in Sakura Quest…oh, and hurricanes are happening. Hope you stayed safe if any of the hurricanes affected you. If I’d have stayed in the US for another week, I’d have likely have been stranded there myself. Time to stop feeling miserable though and let’s catch up on the 3 weeks of shows I have missed. I have to say that this line from Love & Lies made me feel better for missing out on so much:

More on my favourite show of the season later.

In New Game!!, the crew have to welcome the two newcomers, Momo and Narumi, both of which have given off a very standoffish impression.

Momo acts very cold at the offices, instantly starting a rivalry with Aoba, who seems to accept any challenges she proposes with a smile…which is something Momo cannot understand. Narumi is put in the programming department, and is immediately at odds with Nene. Narumi takes offense at the thought that Nene got her role at Eagle Jump because she got special treatment from Umiko, which is kind of true.

I was hoping that these two standoffs would lead to some comedy skits and plenty of humor, but the depression that came from the opening episodes of this show has somehow returned.

I don’t really want to cheer on either of these two, as they both immediately stick out in the group like sore thumbs. I’m sure a third season of New Game! will come along next year or the year after, and Momo and Narumi will have more of an opportunity to shine, as right now they don’t, and with this season ending soon, unless a miracle happens with the release of Eagle Jump’s Peco, I don’t anticipate either of them to come out with anything outstanding.

While I’ve been away, a lot has happened in Sakura Quest. Erika/Shiori’s storyline ends in episode 22 with Erika still desperate to leave Manoyama, but when she realises that her foolishness has gotten her little brother involved (he decides to run away in a snowstorm to look for her), she takes a step back, only for her to bounce back when she discovers a popular (and local) pastry shop plans to open a branch in Manoyama. Something like this would get the Board of Merchants all excited, but the level-headed Chitose finds herself at a crossroads when she finally realizes while the town is benefiting from new people coming in, the shopping district itself isn’t getting anything out of it, and with shops shutting and their owners getting older, what’s the point anymore? This in turn leads us to the next plot point..and the one to close the show: the nearby city of Tomikura has put in plans to expand to Manoyama.

As a city boy, I can see so many benefits in all of this, however I can understand how the rest of the town would react, of course. Manoyama has history, and its residents are very traditional in their states of mind. As I watch Sakura Quest, I often get the idea that the 5 girls here are trying to flog a dead horse. Manoyama is dying a slow death, and perhaps the Tourist Board are just doing their best to ease the pain. It would be interesting to see what happens in these final episodes. No doubt these plans will go through and Manoyama would have to merge with Tomikura. What I’d like to see is this festival run for one last time before development and construction begins.

While being in Atlanta, I admit that I’ve had the opportunity to just not think about anime for a while, and that was actually a little refreshing. I guess it shows now that I’m not the rabid weeaboo I used to be, but I have missed Love & Lies.

In episodes 9 to 11, we see Nisaka play a bigger role in the show, and not just because of the Romeo & Juliet episode…the idea that Misaki and Nisaka could ever be paired up is now officially nonsense, despite their great performances. Sadly, another spanner was thrown in the works, in the form of former middle-school classmate Shuu Igurashi.

It seems that there is no real mystery behind the reasons why Yukari was sent a text message saying Misaki was his partner all the way back in episode 1; from the looks of it, it seems like it was all the work of the extremely bitter Shuu, who has some deluded notion of wanting to protect Misaki by abusing the notice system her grandmother created and pairing her and Yukari up, when Ririna is in fact the person Yukari is meant to be with. By doing so, she created this chaos and has increased the already high emotions that are running in Yukari, Misaki and Ririna. I could be wrong, but all of the fingers point straight to her; as granddaughter and heir to the notices system, she has the keys to the Ministry’s computers.

No. Ririna was not an idiot for wanting to cheer the two of them on. Now that that text message riddle from months ago has been solved, we have to think about who Yukari really wants to be with, and whether Ririna really likes him, which is still very much under debate. In episode 11, we see Yukari and Ririna effectively working together as a couple, but Misaki is still very much on her mind.

As for Squid Girl, well I’ve decided to make one big catch up on that next week, since technically, next week’s post would have its last episode.

I’ll try not to disappear for that long again.