It's been a long week.
Not great as my sleep pattern has done a 180 because right now I’ve been absorbed by some esports. The Overwatch League, Hearthstone World Championships, Heroes Global Championships, and WCS (Starcraft 2) will be starting properly next week. If I still followed League of Legends, then the European and NA LCS would be on that list too. Has said esports clashed with my anime schedule? Yes and no. Yes, in that I now have a home team (London Spitfire) to worship religiously and no, because I have actually managed to use the time when a match isn’t on to watch some of the new shows out…just about…
Citrus trashtalk time. Yes, that’s right, I have decided to treat this show as the yuribait trash show it has clearly become, because as it has already skipped so many things from the manga after only three episodes, I somehow find it hard to believe that this is any more than just something to please those who were desperate for this to be adapted, regardless of how bad it would end up becoming.
This week sees Grandfather have a change of heart about his new granddaughter. In this episode, him being sick and changing his mind takes up the space of about 10 minutes, while in the manga, it goes on for a good while…once again, proof of how this adaptation is deciding to rush things. With Mei returning home and Yuzu back at school, the two are still winding each other up, and as the yuribait trash show this is, you can kind of guess what happens.
I had hoped for more in this, but I am really disappointed. Harumi has become the only reason I watch this show now. Before I began this season, I ran a mock survey on my Twitter on which show (out of the ones I picked) I would drop first, and Citrus was a 100% unanimous vote, so I suppose after being here on OASG for nearly 3 and a half years, you guys can read my minds now?
Onto a show that cheers me up. A show I didn’t think I’d enjoy as much as I do, considering its content. Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles hasn’t really operated on much more than just Koizumi (and someone else maybe) going to a ramen place, ordering a unique/bizarre/promo/etc ramen bowl and us watching how much she enjoys them. A very simple plot, but it’s the 3 other characters in the show (Yuu, Misa and Jun) who make the show complete and add their “WTF-ramen-is-cool?!” behaviour to it. Yuu’s rather unnatural yearning for Koizumi, matched with Misa’s tsundere interest (only as a popular girl rival) and Jun’s more level-headed passing interest (as the class rep) actually makes this a enjoyable watch.
This week, she gives in to Yuu finally, and lets her follow her to a ramen place…one that has one-man cubicles where people choose to eat alone. Later on, as she collapses out of exhaustion in the street, Yuu carries Koizumi over to her house where she shows off her cooking skills (which are actually quite impressive). This is something Koizumi appreciates greatly, but in the end, still chooses to keep her distance. She even tells Yuu, as she shrugs off her invitation to eat out, that ramen is the only family she needs.
The next show to love this season is Yuru Camp. This week’s episode continues on from where last week left us; Rin being taken aback that Nadeshiko, the girl she has grown to avoid, suddenly shows up at her camp spot, with a basket full of food and a pot dish. As she makes her hot pot as a way of thanking her for ‘rescuing her’ in episode 1, Rin takes the chance to apologize for acting so coldly.
Yuru Camp has added and developed something that slice-of-life comedy shows like Non Non Biyori have; making the best out of minimalism. It’s a very soothing show to watch. I was secretly anticipating to not like Nadeshiko, but I have actually been rather enchanted by her sweetness and adorableness. I want to get to know her more now, likewise with Rin and the members of the Outdoor Activities club. I actually want Nadeshiko and Rin to develop a healthy friendship. The last outdoor girls show I watched was Long Riders! (which I reviewed here), and that turned into an embarrassing, disjointed and poorly-animated show that ended up being delayed deep into the next season because not even the staff were especially fussed in completing it. I’m glad that Yuru Camp is nothing like that; it’s actually the total opposite. The jokes are funny, the characters are really likeable, and the little camping tips shown in the show are interesting, as opposed to the rather boring road cycling information we were given in Long Riders!
This week gave us some more meat on what the core of Darling in the Franxx is about when it comes to what these child pilots/parasites are required to do to defend their home. It shows us properly how the two-person teams are able to pilot these FRANXX mechas. The male and female are placed in a very sexual position inside the mecha, where the male enters the female’s mind to merge into one and make the mecha move, transform and attack. Carrying on from the opening episode, Hiro returns to the dorms to find Zero Two make herself at home. As the rumors about her spread fast, Ichigo (as the leader of the squad) objects to Zero Two just being around and cosying up to Hiro. Soon enough, Hiro is given another chance to prove himself as a pilot, and Ichigo volunteers to be his testing partner; Zero Two is still recovering from all of her injuries anyway.
It’s this episode where we learn something very curious about these parasites. As they have all been trained from birth to become FRANXX pilots, they know absolutely nothing about love and sex. Ichigo wrestles with her emotions as Zero Two gets closer to Hiro, but she has no idea on what these emotions even are. Zero Two calls Hiro her darling, but none of the pilots even know what that means. As Hiro describes what he remembers from his Klaxosaur battle (where he merged with Zero Two) to Ichigo, he remembers they kissed, but neither he or Ichigo know what a kiss even is. I actually like this approach, as while it shows that these pilots are as naive as you can get, we see that it isn’t in that atypical high school sense; these pilots were raised and trained to do only one thing, and falling in love is not a part of that, and so when that suddenly comes along, they are at a standstill since they have never heard of it before.
Darling in the Franxx has already divided opinion in the anime community, in terms of its presentation of sexuality. Influenced by fellow anibloggers, I have decided to look into this show much more and do a separate post on it after we see some more episodes and thus get a better look on the characters, the story and all of the hidden messages and metaphors within the show. I read all sorts of articles on anime blogs concerning the show and any hidden messages it has given us so far, and I have been impressed by nearly all of them. Here are just two of the many I’ve enjoyed reading:
- Your Body Is Not Your Own: Darling In The Franxx and Sexual Agency (Or Lack Thereof)
- Hello, I’m Queer and I Like Darling In The Franxx
I’ve also learned that Darling in the Franxx will be a 2-cour show and will continue on into the spring, which I am actually rather relieved of, since I think this is the kind of story that can’t be wrapped up in 12 or 13 episodes. A show like this needs a backstory and lore, and so I’m glad to see that it will get the opportunity to explain a lot of things as episodes go on. I was beginning to get concerned after episode 1 ended up leaving us with quite a few questions.
Is this the show that will get me into mecha again? We will see.
And so as I’ve been wrestling with a not-so-good yuribait show, a mecha show with a lot of sexual connotations and two rather laidback SOL shows, I have my classic/out-of-season show Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun to fall back on in case any of the simulcasts put me in a bad mood.
Up to Episode 3 now, and here we meet Kashima, the Prince of the School, and Hori, the drama club president, for the first time. The two both work together perfectly and get on each others’ nerves. Kashima ends up getting jealous when she discovers that Hori is, in fact, another one of Nozaki’s assistants (who does his backgrounds), leading her to think that he is spending more time away from her, and at the same time, we see that, while Hori is a highly accomplished actor himself, he prefers to be in the background watching the best in the club (namely Kashima) act their hearts out for the plays they put on.
I think Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun has this unique specialness about it. You can see the rather atypical school comedy jokes left, right and center, but at the same time, they still feel fresh and original. I think that is probably why this show is so universally praised.
I’ve been keeping up with Violet Evergarden as well, but like I said, I’ll be keeping my mouth shut on that here. I mean it’s not like I’m gloating to my US OASG colleagues who are unable to watch it legally…or anything…
What do you think of this week’s anime season so far? Do you like your yuribait suitably trashy? How many Evangelion traits can you spot so far in Franxx? Have you been following the Overwatch League, and if so, why isn’t London your favourite team? 🙂 Feel free to air your opinions in the comments below…