NORA’S WEEKLY ANIME DIGEST — WINTER 2022, WEEK 9

Hi everyone! Hope your first half of the week passed by without a hitch and the seasonal anime you’re keeping up with is making you happy. Nothing too bad on this side of the planet, and I’m here to talk about the episodes I watched. I thought a lot about intentions this week; not creators’ or animators’ but the characters’ established intentions towards other characters or events that unfold. I especially wanted to discuss it in Sasaki and Miyano context, but since I’d need a bit of space, I won’t get into details today. Hopefully, the post will be up soon. Let’s roll ~

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episode

Since the festival is drawing near and their classmates need certain supplies, Akebi, Erika, Tomono, and Usagihara decide to visit the mall and spend the day together while they’re at it. They spend their time mostly idling, visiting stores that each one of them is drawn to, finally getting to do the errands they were supposed to do, and eating lunch together. It’s fun and relaxing until Tomono notices she has lost her bookmark, which was handmade by her mother specifically for her and has become a good luck charm over the years.

She understands me on a fundamental level.

What’s your stance on bookmarks, my book-lover friends? Are you on the camp who shoves the nearest found grocery store receipt into the book or physical manga? Is it a pen? Or do you go out of your way to buy bookmarks whenever you see a cute one? I personally love bookmarks but use other stuff like receipts, charging cables, my phone, or a coaster as well if I’m lazy to get one or I’m outside. If you noticed, I didn’t list the dog ears as an option because I refuse to be friends with them. 

I’m kind of stalling because I don’t have much else to say apart from it was yet again a visually stunning and relaxing episode. I’m afraid my reviews will turn into weekly reports to assure you that, yes, the girls are still cute and continue to uplift each other. The episode also made me wonder whether the “wealthy girl who never ate fast food before going out with friends in high school” trope is real. I’m inclined to think there must be some truth in it since it’s so common. Watching Erika eat the hamburger with gusto had me crave some. Let me go to Instagram to rip off a recipe real quick (and fail gracefully as I always do).

How to go back to high school and enroll in the Akebi Harem.

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

The guy who introduced himself as a trader and was involved in the kidnapping last week, Shen, joins Jinguuji and Tachibana in their journey to the capital because he knows the area. However, Jinguuji is rightfully suspicious of Shen because he has assassination among his skill set. He wants to deal with Shen when Tachibana is away so she’ll be safe, but things take an unexpected turn as they always do and Jinguuji finds out that Tachibana is not the person Shen has his eyes on.

If I were to open an ‘out of context’ Twitter account for this series I’d never run out of material. I mean, look at these.

What the hell is even going on… This episode was one of the most fun for me as I’ve laughed a good deal and was thrown around because of what I expected out of the situations vs. what I got. Jinguuji continues to experiment with the rules in this new world, trying to find out in which conditions do both of them level up, but the mechanics are still secondary to whatever wacky is happening in that episode. Oh, the pool party Jinguuji and Tachibana crashed? That’s the temple of the goddess that summoned the two. I, too, suddenly feel the urge to convert, I know!

My Dress-up Darling Episode

Both Marin and Inui’s costumes and accessories are ready, and they will finally have the photoshoot in the abandoned hospital they scouted last week. However, a shocking surprise that was kind of hinted at in the previous episode awaits the magical girls.

Loved this framing a lot!

My Dress-up Darling really went there, huh… One of the reasons why I thought about intentions was that, although Gojo blushes at the other fanservice-y moments as well, the series makes sure to note that it’s different with Marin. This week as well, when he gave his shirt to Shinju so she can try cosplaying her favorite character, he thinks whether he’d give his shirt to Marin as well. And his reaction establishes the difference in the way he looks at these two young women. I think to myself “Cool! At least we know which of them Gojo finds sexually attractive,”. But then middle schooler boobs are thrown at my face. Again and again. And that intention the series just tried to establish fizzles away.

But I’m here to talk about moments I enjoyed because the series hurt my brain at times, in a way that I don’t know what to think about it. It was quite meaningful that it was Gojo who picked up on Shinju’s hesitation and who extended a hand. I had a good laugh when he said Sajuna wouldn’t judge her for not turning out exactly like the character she wanted to cosplay as. She 100% would if she wasn’t her beloved sister, and that’s kind of her charm because that exact idea that stops Shinju from cosplaying and Sajuna was standing up for is probably what’s keeping a portion of people from cosplaying. The moment of reveal and Marin and Sajuna becoming ecstatic with joy crowned the episode.

Sabikui Bisco Episode

Can you believe I did the same mistake of watching the wrong episode again? In my defense, Episode 9 was titled “I Love You” and it’s not even ‘suki‘ but the whole “Kimi wo aishiteru” package and I HAD to know which of the two confessed his feelings for the other. Thankfully though, I noticed it 2 minutes into the episode this time and came to my senses. There were a lot of very convenient last-minute saves and several miscalculations on Milo’s side, but what can I say. This series is still exciting and lovely as ever. I’m also glad Jabi is back because a geezer with a few screws loose is exactly what gets me going. I need Jabi to stop sacrificing himself so he can get more screentime. 

We also find out that the governor himself was also a Mushroom Keeper. “The enemy within” is a frequently used trope but I still didn’t see it coming. He’s the top contender for the wackiest character in the series and wow, Tsuda Kenjiro did a marvelous job when voicing him. That melodic intonation adds a nice layer to Kurokawa’s carefree yet menacing attitude. 

Salaryman’s Club Episode

The D-day has finally arrived for Shiratori to present his green onion drink and have a tasting session with local store owners and citizens who wish to try Sunlight’s brand new drinks before they hit the market. Everyone in the office is pitching in to help Shiratori turn his proposal into success, but of course, the universe has other plans for him.

This episode started painfully. Like, it hurt me physically. Please have a look and tell me you don’t feel a chill running down your spine.

After seeing that, I couldn’t focus on the episode and waited for the impending doom to fall upon us, only to be hit by a different kind of massive mishap that’ll prevent the drink to be served at the tasting session 10 minutes in. Towards the end, when we finally get to see Shiratori presenting, I managed to let out the breath I was holding, thinking “Ah so the presentation slides were safe,” only to find out that he indeed discarded an important supplement. The day is saved when others, especially Usuyama pitched in but boy… My anxiety was NOT having it. 

Other than the stressful opening I’m sure quite a number of us can relate, I think it was the funniest episode yet in this series. From how Miyazumi finds out Shiratori has only one suit and dumbfounded, he drags his younger coworker to the nearest shop and graces us with the Pretty Woman trope we deserve (and get matching tie clips while they’re at it), to Takeda listens to Saruhashi’s imagining everyone naked advice and bless us with one of the best sports anime moments, the episode was full of bits that were so sweet and funny! Now I need to rewatch without the stress breathing down my neck the whole time.

Sasaki and Miyano Episode

This week’s episode was one of my favorites. It’s been a joy to watch Miyano opening his petals one by one and blooming into the beautiful and resilient flower he is. Not only he’s doing his best to sort out the nature of his feelings earnestly, but he also asks questions when he feels stuck or doesn’t blindly go with what Sasaki asked of him, all the while being open about what he’s been thinking. Similar to how Kuresawa’s immediate reaction was to fulfill whatever wish his girlfriend has but he stops in his tracks to think more deeply, Miyano obviously has developed feelings but he needs to come to terms with it, and of course, he wants to indulge Sasaki. Not only because deep down he came to love him, but he also feels indebted towards all the help or encouragement he got.

I didn’t even get to talk about how cute the nurse’s office scene was, damn!!!

I also wanted to expand my thoughts on Sasaki, because this was the other episode that made me think about intentions but it got too long. So I decided to talk about something else: how the series never shame its characters for feeling what they are feeling. And that’s great. I know by now we flinch at the sight of the word ‘problematic’ because it’s being thrown around too carelessly, but there’s this tendency to label mistakes, exploration, or even feelings themselves as abusive behavior or manipulation. Seeing Kuresawa not even breathing before saying yes, he’d indeed do whatever he was asked to do, but then slowing that thought process and putting it into context, or Sasaki feeling jealous of Miyano but trying his best to do the right thing despite his feelings, the series does a great job of not labeling the feelings themselves as wrong and of underlining that actions matter. I’d like to ponder on these ideas a bit more, but I’ll finish the weekly review for now otherwise it’ll turn into something else.

As always, I’m eager to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments and see you tomorrow.

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 ~

4 Replies to “NORA’S WEEKLY ANIME DIGEST — WINTER 2022, WEEK 9”

  1. I keep wondering if I should try Akebi, because I like the concept of it. But every time I see a recap, I’m not really sure. My concern is that it’s going to be relatively plotless.

    But as to your bookmark question, normally I use a business card or a random piece of paper. That said, I become strangely attached to that piece of paper, and I want to keep it as a bookmark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re on the mark about it being plotless, it doesn’t have an overarching plot and it’s just girls becoming friends, spending time, and supporting each other. It has a charming tone to it, so I’m fairly enjoying the series. But being episodic might be a good thing; you could give it a chance and drop it later on without feeling forced to finish it. None of the episodes until now left me hanging on.

      So can I assume you have a collection of papers-as-bookmarks? xD I totally get that, for me it’s usually the receipts.

      Like

      1. To be honest, they never end up sticking around. I usually lose them along the way, but since they’re scrap paper I don’t feel bad about it. It’s weird.

        Liked by 1 person

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