NORA’S WEEKLY ANIME DIGEST — WINTER 2022, WEEK 7

This week I had somewhat limited time and attention span to focus on the weekly episodes. And as if the last week’s blunders weren’t enough, I watched the Sabikui Bisco episode to review last night, took notes, screenshots and wrote about it, only to realize I’ve watched episode 7 and not 6. No wonder it was a confusing experience and my notes consisted of varying forms of how in the actual F we got here. It’s okay. I’m okay.

One of these years, I’ll be less of a mess when it comes to blogging but for now, let’s take a look at what I have in store for you!

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episode

This week on Akebi’s friend-o-target there’s Hebimori. She’s just chilling by herself, reading a magazine that features her favorite musician while listening to music when Akebi approaches her to strike up a conversation. One thing leads to another and Higemori ends up lying about playing the guitar but that puts her in a pinch; of course, Akebi wants to hear her play. What’s more, her roommate Tagano knows that Hebimori’s guitar is no different than any other decor in their room. Will Hebimori be able to learn enough to impress Akebi? Or will she come clean and won’t take up the challenge?

As if the series read my blog last week and decided to deliver, we finally get to see two girls confiding in each other, and this development didn’t necessarily happen through Akebi. Her classmate Hebimori’s lie escapes her and Akebi’s excitement is what started it all. However, during a conversation with Akebi, Tagano finds out about the situation and together, they have a heartfelt conversation over Tagano’s favorite board game about hard work and perseverance.

This episode was also quite dear to me due to its focus being on music and playing instruments, taking me on a trip down memory lane to years when I was considering doing music professionally. I’ve wanted to be many things when I grow up as a kid but none of them left a tiny, lingering feeling of regret as not insisting on being a classically trained musician. Hence, Hebimori’s aspirations but not having the guts to realize them and feeling little when there’s someone who’s managed to achieve what she didn’t or couldn’t, rang more or less true to me as well. In short, another brilliant episode as always.

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

Last week at the end of the episode Schwartz and Tachibana were looking at the hero’s skillsets in the magical menu and he clicked on something that created a huge purple rift in the sky. Turns out, it wasn’t anything bad and just the goddess who summoned Schwartz. The Goddess of Night sheds some light on why Tachibana and Jinguuji were summoned together and uncovers the hidden, and of course, embarrassing truth that Tachibana thinks of Jinguuji as the most powerful. There’s no way she’ll openly acknowledge that anytime soon, though.

Quite literally.

As a modern-day office worker, Tachibana constantly complains about having to walk from one village to the other so when the mayor offers lodging and meals in exchange for Tachibana to stay, she jumps in. To be honest, I’d accept without thinking as well. However, Jinguuji is quick to figure out that what the mayor actually wants from Tachibana is to attend dinners with high-profile guests or important visitors from other villages. Plus, he reminds Tachibana that just a couple of days ago both agreed on taking this isekai as a chance to travel and see different places instead of settling down. And he does have a point, so off to the royal capital they go.

This was yet again fun, but more of a transitional episode. They say their goodbyes to Schwartz and make progress in their course, continue to encounter weird villages, like the one that’s extremely gung-ho about squids. Tachibana’s beauty continues to cause them trouble and overall, the basic structure of the episodes kind of repeats itself so there’s not much to talk about for now.

My Dress-up Darling Episode

As an Ancient Greek philosopher said, sharing is caring. Marin has the box set of the anime series that she wants to cosplay as one of the characters and Gojo needs to watch the series so he can get a grasp on the said characters and their costume designs so he can determine what type of materials he needs for Inui and Marin. That’s how Gojo shows up at Marin’s door with pudding in his hands and ends up being a guest at a friend’s house for the first time. Pretty neat! In the latter half of the episode, Gojo gets confirmation from Inui on the details and asks if her sister can give him tips on photography. And we have ourselves a cosplay date.

Before anything else, I’d like to applaud Marin’s VA Hina Suguta for being able to vocalize random keyboard smashing. Those two moments were pure brilliance and really brought out the charm of Marin as if we weren’t already blinded by her. After the slight discomfort of the last week’s episode, we’re back to Marin and Gojo being adorably cute around each other.

What I loved the most in this week’s episode was to see Marin having fun and immersing herself in her feelings towards Gojo instead of worrying over them to the point of being awkward around him. Sure she’s self-conscious about her crush, the fact that they are alone together in the room, or frustrated over the food not turning out as good as she hoped. However, none of these surpass the excitement and warmth these feelings bring and I missed seeing that in romance. It was so cute to see her getting giddy over the little girly things he wants to do for her crush!

The recurring theme of today’s episode was two different emotions the same setting can evoke. Marin’s room? Gojo hasn’t even been to a friend’s house before, let alone a girl’s room. But at the same time, her room is so like Marin and there’s nothing unknown or mysterious to Gojo that his nervousness immediately dies down. Marin’s cooking? Eating homemade food that her friend made will be a one-of-a-kind experience for Gojo. But he also witnessed what she’s capable of creating in the kitchen, which was the very reason she started to frequent the Gojo household for dinner. All of these details prove that they are already at a point where they know each other’s everyday habits and are deepening their relationship. It’s just endearing. Now that Gojo is sure that he’s on the cosplay boat together with Marin, he doesn’t stop at just tailoring the costumes, but doesn’t miss the chance to ask for help from Inui’s sister, who’s been photographing her all this time. I’m gonna need these two to STOP making me feel lonelier than I already do, gosh!

And of course, there’s the end result with “sorry”. : )

Sabikui Bisco Episode

After fighting the turtle-slash-temple last week, Bisco and Milo continue traveling but they are in a pinch. The area they have to go through to reach the metro station is under deep snow and they have to find blankets at least to keep themselves warm. Their paths cross with the Jellyfish, the pink-haired girl from before, and although Bisco and she constantly clash, everyone knows deep down that it’s a faithful encounter. Through the group they come across, which looks like a group of nomads who speak in a different language that Milo knows of, Bisco and Milo try to trade what they have for blankets with the help of Jellyfish. We get to learn a bit more about how this world came to be, and more lead on the Rust Eater.

On one side, we learn that there was a big explosion happened in Tokyo that greatly changed the landscape of Japan, including the currency, language certain groups use, and climate. We’re gradually learning through casual comments and that’s really good. On the other, I can’t still get a grasp on what the land as a whole looks like, especially how the climate can change so drastically in such short distances, and occasionally think to myself “Well, seeing a map would’ve been nice,” but seems like there’s not much I can do besides hoping Sabikui Bisco will bring all of these details together.

I wish I could care about tsundere characters. I really wish I could. I especially can’t stand them when these characteristics seem like they are thrown in just for the sake of conflict or to get the conversation going. We find out towards the end of the episode that Jellyfish’s name is actually Toril, and probably because she had to survive by herself and refuses to form bonds with others in order to protect herself, she’s the way she is. I wish she had a bit more nuance to her character so her conflict would shine better. She’s honestly so cool!! A talented mechanic who’s worked her way up to become a forewoman until the working conditions got detrimental to workers’ health and she had to run away.

This episode was yet again fun, full of tasty bits on the mechanics of current fictional Japan, very emotional at times, and overall, very enjoyable.

Salaryman’s Club Episode

This week, we rewind time to the year Shiratori and Azuma, the friend he injured, met. Past memories come in the form of those unwanted collages Facebook automatically does for you, and we learn that it was Azuma who encouraged Shiratori to join the team. Then we switch gears and focus back on the tournament, where Saki wins the first match but our main duo is preoccupied with something else; green onions. To solve the new product problems regarding the green onion taste in the drink, Mayuzumi and Shiratori decide to visit an onion farm, hoping for inspiration. In the second half, on the third day of the tournament, Sunlight finally faces the famous Tomari, which Azuma is a member of, and finally faces Shiratori after all those years.

Would you believe me if I said this series’ charm lies in its ability to talk about badminton in one scene and green onions in the next? I wouldn’t believe me either, but I’m totally serious. And surprisingly those jumps from past memories to the tournament, to the green onion farm, and back to the tournament worked well and didn’t feel disconnected or weird at all. Or I’m awfully smitten with these Badarymen to a point I’m blinded by them. Both are equally possible.

One thing I can nitpick about, however, is the animation quality of the matches. As I mentioned in my first review, witnessing the consistent quality throughout in Hanebado!!, I was pretty much excited about the matches in this series as well, but it’s been subpar, save the match between Miyazumi and Shiratori in the first episode. The awkward moments during the match wouldn’t stand out this much if we could at least get one or two good hits or angles sprinkled here and there and those scenes would do Shiratori freezing in the middle of the court more justice as well. The colors and the overall quality of close-ups and scenes where characters are moving less are great as always.

Sasaki and Miyano Episode

Thankfully Miyano is well-informed about BL and explains everything in simple terms so I don’t have to lift a finger. Cross-dressing is indeed a popular all-boys high school festival event and even though Miyano isn’t exactly over the roof that he was chosen as the candidate for his class, with Kuresawa’s help and Sasaki’s reassurance from the previous episode, he doesn’t feel dejected. I have to add that I’m with Miyano on getting a tall, buff guy to cross-dress. I wanted to say he has taste, but we already knew that. We also witness a milestone: Sasaki buying a BL himself instead of borrowing from Miyano. This is a huge moment that signals a deeper interest and I teared up a little. Your friend believing in your tastes and trying out something you recommend is the best feeling ever! 

That hand snatching and Sasaki’s desperate “Don’t,” might have my heart skip a beat, but my favorite moment from the episode is Kuresawa and Sasaki’s conversation, especially the part where Kuresawa suggests they visit his girlfriend at the hospital. I was so confused as to why he would propose something like that, only to find out, of course, it has to do with his fujoshi girlfriend. I certainly didn’t see that curveball coming and it made my day! Need to find me a friend who’s that considerate towards my tastes. 

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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