So back to the grindstone. Personal real life issues meant that I had to skip last week’s column, so I have even more anime to catch up on. There’s now also the matter that I might need to get a PC replacement after the one I’m currently using is misbehaving. Fingers crossed that I will get it replaced very soon.
Weeks 10 and 11 in seasons have always felt really weird to me. I know I say that I want new seasons to hurry up and come, but at now, I think that we kind of want them to come even more. Is it simply the case that we’ve just grown too tired of the shows we’re currently watching too quickly? Back in December when I chose my Winter shows, I was really hoping for a lot of good things; of course I say that each time in each season. But what have these Winter shows really given me?
NieR: Automata Ver 1.1a Episode 7 & 8
NieR: Automata Ver 1.1a was portrayed in all of its promo pieces as some massive landmark in the franchise, but it just hasn’t done that for me right now. Is it because I already know what happens, or is it something more? When I last left, we got teased with A2. Now she’s firmly arrived in the show, and she is every bit as I remembered from the game. And no I won’t give any spoilers as to who she is.
The last couple of episodes have emphasized flashbacks and building mood; episode 7 goes back to normal…or what one could perceive as ‘normal’ in a show like this. 2B and 9S are still at the robot camp and having to deal with these robots who seem to still be quarreling over small things, and soon enough have to chase after Big Sister who has ran off looking for repair parts.
This week’s episode fell down the trap of not doing much to move the plot in a decent direction either. We got small little moments copied from the game, such as Operator 6O calling 2B and telling her about a crush she has on someone at the Bunker, as well as another piece that is actually a side quest in the game. But I think the biggest moment comes when 2B and 9S take their blindfolds off. In the game lore, the units wear ‘blindfolds’ so they don’t see ‘the truth’. And so this moment in the show is pretty important.
But I think one thing that does annoy me when it comes to this adaptation is the way humor has been injected into the show, almost as if it has been forced in so that it caters to a larger audience, and not just the NieR fans. The character Jackass is a big example of this; the zany antics we see with them does not match well with the deep philosophical mood of the show as a whole.
…and guess what has happened again now at A-1 Pictures? Yes, another delay. In fact episode 9 onwards will be pushed back, and it seems like another outbreak too. So now we’ll have to wait once again for NieR: Automata Ver 1.1a to come back. I say that this adaptation hasn’t done much for me, but I’m pretty sure now that it’ll be far better known for being delayed this much.
Tomo-chan is a Girl! Episode 10 & 11
I’ve said what I have to say about the NieR: Automata show, but what about something like Tomo-chan is a Girl!? Well it’s approaching the finishing line now, and it feels more and more like any ‘confession’ coming from Jun’s side will only hit us right in the finale, and it will hit us like a wrecking ball too. If it ends up doing this, then it really feels like the journey to this point was all filler. I know a lot of people have been praising this show a lot, and I honestly do not know where all the praise comes from or what it is directed at exactly. I only say this now that I’m looking at the show when it’s almost at its end, of course.
Episode 10 kind of showed us things that we knew already. Jun is well aware of Tomo’s beauty, but every time it comes up in the show, it still feels like a shock horror to him. Saying that though, last week’s episode did show us how difficult keeping relationships can be. Tomo has had to put up with both Jun and Misuzu on different levels, and now they’ve all reached this point in high school and are that much closer to being adults, are they really going to be stereotypical friends forever? It’s a corny line, I know, but I do appreciate the show questioning this.
Meanwhile for this week’s episode, we reached the point where Misuzu is feeling more and more like a third wheel, even though she refuses to admit she does. Deep down, she doesn’t want the two of them to be together because their relationship will mean the three of them breaking apart. She has tried to play this cynical love doctor, but it’s only really been now when she has realized that all of her hard work into making Tomo be someone to catch Jun’s eye may end up breaking them all up and going in different directions. This was handled well in this part of the episode, I think.
So despite what I have said, Tomo-chan is a Girl! has been an enjoyable watch, but at the same time, I really want it to end soon. Whether Tomo and Jun will end up a couple by the time episode 13 comes, or whether we’ll end up getting a second season is something I am honestly not bothered by.
In/Spectre Season 2 Episode 10 & 11
Then there’s this second season of In/Spectre as well. Here was me hoping that Rikka was going to make her biggest move against Kotoko and Kuro, and it’s taken this long in the show for her to finally come back. The show even ends next week as well, and because we haven’t seen our main antagonist very much (if we can even call Rikka that now…), it feels like this season has fallen flat a little. I say this despite the very cool and interesting little arcs and stories we’ve seen here.
I say all of that, but this one with the president murder mystery went on for a little too long in my opinion, but I’m glad it’s been resolved, albeit in a way I wasn’t entirely expecting. In the last arcs, we’ve seen Kotoko even confess that a lot of the stories and theories she tells to the clients she has are all ones she thinks of there and then, on the spot, and without much in the way of solid evidence. She doesn’t have any malicious intent of course; maybe she only does this to put these naïve and oblivious humans’ minds at ease. Well it’s no different in this case. But I didn’t expect Rion to be as smart as she was in this arc. Of course it came as a big shock to her that her entire family wanted her grandmother dead, but to theorize that they themselves were played as well was pretty impressive.
Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to hire Kotoko for this, the father is thinking. And that’s what I loved the most in this week’s episode. These ‘naïve and oblivious’ humans really have no idea how smart and on-the-ball Kotoko really is. I mean she’s been given the title of ‘Goddess of Wisdom’ for a reason. But then came the big twist at the end; it turns out that Rikka was the one who recommended that the father turn to Kotoko to deal with his troubles. While I have already said that this arc went on for a little too long, this ending to it was like icing on the cake. We may only have one episode left, but with the reemergence of Rikka, you surely know who is going to come back into Kotoko’s life again.
Netflix has decided to misbehave recently on me, and this means I’ve had no access to watching Dorohedoro for a while. This sucks for me, considering that the show has gotten to a point where the endgoal is approaching, and where I am actually very interested on how the show will end. Will Caiman ever be his old self? Will Nikaido get that mushroom growing out of her back off, and will she end up having to return to the Sorcerer’s realm? And will Shin and Noi end up actually becoming a thing? I really want to know the answers to all of these questions; if only Netflix wasn’t being such a pain right now. I guess that as the final posts in this seasons’ Otaku Theater come, I’m going to have to add a far more generalized piece on the final episodes of the show. Unfortunate, since I really want to talk about it, but at the same time I don’t want to make posts too long.
Well…our anime may keep us nerds going, and some of those shows may drive us insane, but it looks like someone has taken it one step further, with the help of AI. A Twitch channel has emerged called Always Break Time, with three high-schoolers interacting at school using an AI program. Walking down school corridors, chatting to each other, never-ending, 24 hours a day. It’s…addicting to watch, especially when something crazy comes up in conversation. Sadly I can’t embed it here in the column, so here’s the link to it. And the fact that these three AI-generated models seem to have more personality than some characters in other more mediocre school shows is almost terrifying.
I apologize if this week’s post seems a little different than what usual ones look like. Real life things have had to take priority at the moment, but at the same time I didn’t want to feel like I was rushing through these shows either. It sucks even more that I can’t access Netflix either. This really has been a stellar start to 2023 for me, hasn’t it? Well, I guess it beats having to endure a cringeworthy sci-fi ecchi show, right?