NORA’S WEEKLY ANIME DIGEST — WINTER 2022, WEEK 11

Greetings! Another week, another set of hot takes, fresh out of the oven. This week’s episodes sent me on quite a roller coaster of emotions; I felt nostalgic, anxious, at times I got cramps for laughing too much or suddenly the room felt too hot I had to take off my sweatshirt. I’d consider that a success! Let’s quickly take a look what I have in store for you. Enjoy ~

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episode

Akebi’s enrolled in many groups for the athletic festival, and this week, she’s practicing with the volleyball team. She’s also going to do a dance performance because she’s in the drama club, and a part of the episode focuses on Erika, with the help of Usagihara, decides to play the accompanying piano melody for Akebi as a surprise. In the meantime, the volleyball team is having a hard time finding empty slots in the gym to practice together. Akebi thinks of a solution that’ll make them happy. And maybe cry a little.

Including me. I don’t exactly know why but this episode touched me, friends. But let’s track back a little. It’s been hinted a couple of times that Erika is really fond of piano, but not so much of violin, which she might only be playing due to her family’s pressure. This is a great excuse for her to play to her heart’s content, and with added excitement, because it’s for her favorite person. The dance sequence Erika imagined Akebi dancing and pouring those emotions into her performance at the end of the episode shows the great lengths this series is willing to go when putting emphasis on even the smallest moments.

The solution Akebi comes up with about the gym is to contact her elementary school teacher and get her permission to use the gym and the equipment the school has. Her sister Kao joins in on the practice to cheer on the sides, Akebi couldn’t refuse when she realized that what she went through being the only student in a giant and empty building, is what Kao’s going through as well. Finding out that the school’s going to be terminated once Kao graduates and Akebi’s other motive was to see the building full of friends, bursting with energy and laughter. I teared up as if I was the person who’s spent years alone there. The emotional build-up and the delivery were perfect as always.

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

The beautiful princess from the last week, Ygraine, is gathering people and forming a rebel army. Because Tachibana sees Jinguuji’s younger self in the princess, someone who had to live a strictly sheltered childhood and wasn’t allowed fun or freedom, she can’t help but to side with her. Although the rebel army Ygraine is trying to gather is more like a K-pop idol fandom than an army, it’s enough to alarm the king and his men to come up with some kind of counterplan without hurting Ygraine which somehow ends up including Schwartz.

I don’t have anything else to report other than it was yet again a fun episode. I do enjoy seeing bits from how Jinguuji and Tachibana met or how others saw them during the years they were close friends, and I can’t help but want more! Not that the story lacks context without these scenes as it is now, just a dash of curiosity and to be able to fully see how their dynamic plays out in real life.

My Dress-up Darling Episode

Maron and Gojo are still on their non-date date in Shibuya and because it’s so hot, Marin suggests they spend some time in a manga cafe. Although the close proximity is a problem for Gojo at first, he quickly gets swept by Marin’s excited manga recommendation. Their talk on slice-of-life manga and Gojo’s earnest encouragement means a new cosplay project for the duo. When the costume is ready, Marin being Marin, she accidentally (I wonder…) books a love hotel room for the photo shoot. Safe to say… Gojo is flabbergasted for the right reasons.

Looks like the only sentence I wrote about this episode in my notes was “What an episode!!!” and that was it. It’s true that the sentence pretty much explains the emotions I went through and the insane amount of sweating. I don’t think I have clever-enough words to describe the episode, but the series still manages to squeeze in cosplay-related bits in a very natural way and it’s commendable! Hearing Marin’s concerns and meeting the Inui sisters, Gojo did his best to stay completely loyal to original designs. And this project required him to improvise and he was concerned about what Marin would think. Of course, he gets the encouragement he needs from Marin, his number 1 fan!

And that scene on the bed… Oh… My… Gooood! Not sure if I’ll be able to recover from how sexy it was for a week or so. The more I try to eloquently talk about the more the words escape me, so I’ll end it here by applauding the voice actors Suguta Hina and Ishige Shouya for brilliant delivery of the characters’ anticipation, nervousness, and thrill solely through breathing and I’m going to need them to stop because my fragile heart might not be able to take it a second time. Thank you!

The most convincing sadface in the universe.

Sabikui Bisco Episode

Now that Kurokawa is buried under the rust he’s been accumulating and Bisco shot by his companion Milo, he finds Pawoo and Jabi outside to let them know what happened. There are brief exchanges or silences otherwise that allow characters to mourn their beloved friend. Right when they decide to get back on track and finish what they have started, the Tetsujin awakens unexpectedly. What’s more, it’s fused with Kurokawa and the ball of rust is on the lookout for Bisco. Now it’s up to Milo to kill Tetsujin/Kurokawa once again.

My last week’s “Will Bisco revive as Tetsujin?” quasi-theory was debunked. While I based it on the idea of mixing a Mushroom Keeper’s blood with Tetsujin’s rust might trigger something, in truth, it was me not wanting to let Bisco go. I still refuse to believe he’s completely gone. Well, there’s a character that I still -delusionally- believe that’ll make a comeback even after 70+ chapters in a different series, so I feel like a veteran when it comes to denial. Although the show does try hard for me to make peace with the idea. Towards the end of the episode where Milo faces Tetsujin/Kurokawa, we see him speak in a very Bisco-like manner. They even had Milo sing the ending theme by himself, which was performed together by Bisco and Milo up until now.

Salaryman’s Club Episode

The episode opens with a small shockwave of news. First, Takeda, who’s been imagining people naked left and right, decides to quit being a player and become the helping coach for the team. Then, the yakuza-looking coach Ono announces that Souta is to be paired with his younger brother Touya and Usuyama to compete in the singles category. Being the serious person he is, Souta takes this new decision as “You’re not needed anymore,” and hands in his resignation from the team. When all of this is going down, Shiratori is suspicious that his life is too quiet because one annoying person is kind of missing as of late, and is about to open a different can of worms soon.

Whenever Drunk Shiratori appears in an episode, it’s immediately my favorite. The position shuffle in the team did a good job of unearthing a tension that’s been there for some time. Souta has been unhappy with his performance during the tournament but he’s not someone who can run around and scream like a shounen protagonist. What’s more, we find out that the reason behind his holding onto his position in singles was because of Touya. The little brother idolizing his big brother with sparkles in his eyes and big brother reciprocating by doing his best. Although the air between them is ice-cold for a while, and the one who suffers the most from it is Shiratori because Touya has been crashing his place, I’m glad it’s resolved by the end of the episode.

Miyazumi’s case, however, seems like it’ll take a while. He’s been leaving the gym as soon as the practice finishes. During work as well, he’s nowhere to be found. His behavior, of course, stirs up some gossip. Touya thinks he must have gotten himself a girlfriend and that snowballs into Miyazumi getting married the next morning. Shiratori is 200% sure that’s impossible (rude much?), but what he doesn’t know is that he might be accepting that promotion he’s been declining because of badminton. He’s probably trying to use this to cover up his injury, but this doesn’t stop Shiratori to drop his bags K-drama style and run to the train station at full speed. His drunken shenanigans showed that despite his usual complaints, he’s very protective of Miyazumi and won’t let him go so easily. He even wore those matching shuttle necktie clips with him!

Or… you know what? My theories have been proven wrong week after week and maybe next week will come and Shiratori will find a wedding invitation on his desk, who knows! Not me!

Me every week after something bad happens to my favorite characters in anime.

Sasaki and Miyano Episode

Miyano finally managed to put a label on his feelings and Sasaki starts to pick up on the signs that there’s some kind of progress between them. Miyano feels ready (well, almost ready) to respond to his friend’s feelings, but the exam season comically gets in his way for weeks. Damn you exams & college preparations! Let my boys be lovey-dovey already!

I’m double frustrated this week. No. Make that frustrated squared. Of course, I didn’t expect things to sail smoothly all of a sudden considering the pace of the series up until now. I just hope things don’t get too complicated after those last minutes of the episode as this series is the weekly comfort I need in my life… Well, my feelings aside, I want to conclude that I understand Sasaki’s frustrations and how conflicted he feels. Good thing he stopped himself though, kissing your homie on the stairway where people might see is not exactly a good idea, no matter how romantic it is. The upside was that Miyano was ready to reciprocate for a second there instead of being his usual startled self. Until he got a reality check, that is.

During the whole cross-dressing event and this week’s episode until we got clarification, Hanzawa was stealing sneaky glances at Miyano and I was stealing sneaky glances at him. My BL senses were tingling, fearing he would end up as a love rival. I love him as a character, I thought it was very late into the season for a rival when Sasaki and Miyano already provide enough drama with their inner conflicts. Hanzawa’s family seems interesting and although that little coming-out session was really cute, the way child-bearing responsibility was all dumped on Hanzawa’s shoulders was concerning and it seemed he felt pressured from his expression. We need a second season!! When will we the green light we deserve!!

Even the busts in the art room get their fill of spring and cuteness!

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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