NORA’S WEEKLY ANIME DIGEST — WINTER 2022, WEEK 3

Greetings fellow comrades! Hopefully the week is treating you well and life is going according to keikaku. Things are as alright as they can be at this part of the world, and I’m enjoying the seasonal shows while finishing or adding up series that have been sitting in my backlog for so long. I won’t keep you here too long with introductions and here are some of the series I just got into, some I’ve already been keeping up with, and some that I had to say goodbye. Enjoy ~

Newcomers

Sabikui Bisco Episode 1 & 2

Japan’s post-apocalyptic wasteland replete with dust can only be saved by one thing—fungus. Bisco Akaboshi, a wanted criminal and skilled archer, searches for a legendary mushroom, known as Sabikui, said to devour any and all rust. Joining him on this epic saga to save the country is a giant crab and a young doctor. Can this unlikely trio find the fabled fungi and save the land?

Do I get a special prize for being the millionth person to say how trippy this series is? Because… haha… get it? the ‘shrooms? … Okay, now that I got that out of my system, I have to say I! AM! IN! LOVE! Love how clashing elements or palettes are blended in together seamlessly and Sabikui Bisco is visually stunning. I immediately clicked with the redhead with anger management issues x blue head who’s calm and a chemistry whiz duo as our core dynamic. I was instantly interested in the world the series built and as of now, it’s one of my favorites in this season. Can’t wait to see how things will unfold!

The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt Episode 1 & 2

Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a prince, a genius prince. The genius prince fought alongside his people and led them to a great many triumphs. However, truth be told, he just wants to let everything go and live in tranquility.

Like last year’s Girlfriend, Girlfriend, The Genius Prince will be my ‘no thoughts head empty’ series this season. You know how when you can manage to shut down your brain and the series you’d otherwise nitpick on actually becomes enjoyable? The Genius Prince is that series for me. I wouldn’t frantically recommend it to anyone, but the production is okay enough and I find the plot funny. I’m still not sure if I will add it to my weekly review bunch or not, but for now, the prince gets an OK from me!

Continuations

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episode 3

For now, the structure is similar to the villain of the week, but instead, Akebi makes one or two new friends in every episode. This week, she befriends the class representative by continuously asking for a photograph of her legs (yes, a weird yet effective way to get close to someone) and after finding out that her book-loving friend Tomono is anxious about reading aloud in front of other people, Akebi tries to comfort her by giving reading out loud a shot herself.

That moment when you sign up for a shoujo-esque slice-of-life and get yuri instead. Jackpot, I say! Jokes aside, I love that kind of intimacy which allows for different possible readings and makes way to an almost-erotic feel without characters themselves trying to be erotic, and instead, it’s the gestures and the closeness that makes your heart skip a beat. Through her interactions with Tanigawa and Tomono, Akebi is finally able to find a club that truly suits her tastes and talents and in turn, Tanigawa is able to find a club that she might be interested in. Hopefully, Tomono is more comfortable reading after their shared moment with Akebi. Another episode that’s just *chef’s kiss*.

Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout Episode 2

Tachibana and Jinguuji continue to make their way into this new world and try to understand its rules while trying to find a settlement. They are equally blessed with good and bad luck; there is a settlement but it’s being looted by a group of bandits. But fear not! Tachibana is there to punish them in the name of cuteness! After a couple of marriage offers and being worshipped by the townsfolk, the duo requests clothing suitable for traveling for Tachibana. The episode ends with two new characters entering the series.

He’s really going there, is he now…

Fantasy Knockout is here to provide a life-long worth of screenshots that will fill your meme folder. Seriously, this series is so funny! And they continue to thread on the worldbuilding lightly so there aren’t any complicated skill sets or leveling up schemes that are dumped on us and I comfortably have fun watching these two being dumb together. It’s also remarkable how the real world Jinguuji and Tachibana cover every BL trope on Earth one by one. Love that for them. I don’t have more to say except PLEASE watch this show if you aren’t.

Love of Kill Episode 2

I still don’t know what to make of this series. Especially because as of now there’s very little build-up, explanation, or emphasis on what’s important, and that affects the consistency of characters’ actions. For example, I don’t understand why Ryang-ha is so hung up on Chateau or gets that worked up over the accident. If it’s because of her scent, then I’d expect a bit more emphasis on his discomfort over how others smell. These little clues or answers to why’s are little blocks that help me connect with the characters. While a part of me says it’s still early on in the series, and I certainly won’t be dropping Love of Kill right now, the lack of these essential details makes me confused, rather than curious.

My Dress-up Darling Episode 3

In this week’s itinerary, there’re wet dreams, insecurity, shopping for materials for cosplay, and eating out. Marin, being the way she is, treats Gojou in the very same way she’d treat any other friend and her popularity puts Gojou under the spotlight as well, for better or worse. Luckily, the two are quick to bounce back and are finally hitting the shops for whatever Marin might need to become Shizuku-tan. Towards the end of the episode, they have a heartfelt conversation about what each of them constitutes as “beautiful”.

Is it just me who thinks these episodes last, like, 8 minutes or so? I continue to fall deeper for My Dress-up Darling the moment I ask “Is it even possible to fall for it more,” because it certainly is. At least for me. If I had to pick a word to describe this series, the first word to pop up in my head would be sincere. Every detail and bit of interaction between the two feels sincere and well-thought-of. Particularly in this episode, the most memorable part was where Gojou talked about the weight of the word ‘beautiful’. To me, that’s also a form of sincerity. 

Me being similar to Gojou in this sense and not using words that have weight or meaning towards everybody or everything aside, I loved seeing how easy it became for Gojou to voice his opinion that’s different from Marin. It was also a nice detail that although he didn’t think of the cosplayers Marin was showing as ‘beautiful’, that was the word he uttered when the two entered Swallowtail and he noticed the thought and detail went into the wigs. I can almost hear you sigh and think “If you had THIS much to say, you should’ve reviewed it weekly!” and you’d be right. I’m wrapping it up with the bestest screenshot. 

I’m gonna need her to stop being so adorable all the time!!!

Tokyo 24th ward Episode 2 & 3

The gourmet festival that was mentioned in the second episode, Sepia Graffiti, finally takes place, but of course, not without problems. Mari’s Special requires cabbages and the gang that’s trying to sabotage the small businesses, Mari’s okonomiyaki place in particular, makes sure they aren’t supplied with the most important ingredient. RBG and others stick together to make the Gourmet Festival a fair competition and handle bigger calamities that come their way.

Can you believe I watched the 2nd episode last week and even had things to say about it but I totally forgot to add Tokyo 24th Ward to my post? Let’s chalk it up to me being not yet warmed up to this new format. Anyways, I categorized Tokyo 24th Ward together with The Genius Prince; a series I’d watch without thinking. However, what happened at the end of the episode was kind of a deal-breaker. If you wish to avoid spoilers I suggest you skip the next paragraph.

There should be a weight to a character’s death. Doesn’t have to be in a religious/spiritual manner, but at least, in the narration sense. There’s no way the audience could form a bond with a character and care about his death in the span of 20 minutes. Not only does the teacher’s death draws zero emotions out of me, but the parallel the series tried to draw was cheap, for the lack of a better word. I won’t be dropping it as of now, but I’ll see how the next episode fare.

Sasaki and Miyano Episode 3

Another episode where both Sasaki and Miyano take small steps towards each other. We see them talk about BL tropes, Miyano catching Sasaki standing his ground about BL when his classmate expresses his distaste and of course, he falls a bit more for his senpai. There’s also the White Day present that almost K.O.’s Sasaki.

When the reality of what you said kicks in.

I know, I know. I said in my first expression that high school fluffy BL is commonplace for me now and I was lukewarm towards Sasaki and Miyano as well. As any other honorable soldier would do, I admit defeat. THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING THIS CUTE! I don’t have much to add to this episode being another adorable one apart from that Ogasawara’s girlfriend is an intellectual! I love delinquent ukes as well, there’s a different kind of delight that awaits you when that hardheaded guy everyone’s afraid of is subdued. Especially when it’s by the hands of that good-looking, cheery and popular class president the whole class adores. If you know, you know.

As a side note, last week’s discussion topic in the Twitter’s BL realms was that there’s a good chunk of people who think Sasaki and Miyano is a ‘problematic’ series. So as a fun exercise, I tried to name a couple of actions that could be considered as red flags but even though I was doing it for giggles, I couldn’t find anything. Oh wait, just thought of one as I’m typing this. As a returning gift for Miyano’s White Day present, Sasaki brought a bag of sweet snacks!! Even though he knows Miyano doesn’t like sweets!! That’s some hardcore bullying right there!!!!

Saying Goodbyes

Orient Episode 2

It’s not you, it’s me,” I choke on my tears as I face Orient away, fumbling my bag, looking for something, anything, to wipe my face. I got through the second episode as well but Orient is giving me nothing to hold onto. Not really enjoying the plot, not warming up to characters, and certainly not liking the designs, be it the characters, objects, or the backgrounds. 

I find there to be a lot of clashes; you see motorbikes with huge crystals on them, but then they fight in deserted places surrounded by rocks, clothes, armors and accessories all have something different going on, and those cute-ish monsters do nothing but stand out instead of serving a purpose. I’m not saying different elements cannot be blended, I think Sabikui Bisco is doing one hell of a job looking coherent, or the cartoonish avatars in Deca-Dence had a purpose in the narrative. In the end, I decided to say goodbye to this friend. Maybe it works better on paper in the manga form, but I’m not really interested in it investing more of my time. 

The Strongest Sage With the Weakest Crest

With this friend, the problem lies in not having time and the energy, I’ll definitely keep my promise of giving it another chance but it won’t be happening now.

I think I finally have an idea of what I’ll be reviewing weekly and from this point on, there probably won’t be new additions or drops and the format will settle down. For some reason, I thought we’d be getting Spy x Family in the Winter season and I was planning to make gallery episodes for that but now that that’s not happening, I might do one for either Sabikui Bisco or My Dress-up Darling. If you have any preference for either let me know, otherwise I’ll go with tossing coins.

How was this week for you? Any series that you just discovered? What have you been enjoying the most so far? Let me know in the comments and see you around!

If it’s your first time visiting my blog, you can click on the image below to find ways on how to connect with me ~

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