I have finally realized this week that I’ve been looking at the shows I picked to watch for this Fall season in different ways. I already knew that Assault Lily: Bouquet was going to be one action-packed yuri fest, but a part of me was still expecting Adachi & Shimamura to go at a much quicker pace. As for Tonikawa…well I think I should expect it to be more of a comedy show than an actual drama show filled with drama-filled joy and angst about married life, but my opinion on BNA hasn’t changed though; I was definitely expecting more of the show, and I’m constantly finishing episodes feeling disappointed.
Perhaps I should take a quick look at some other Fall season shows some time; I hear that what’s happening in The Journey of Elaina is something that not everyone was quite expecting to see but I don’t talk about that here so let’s go back to my usual shows.
Adachi & Shimamura Episode 3
I supposed I’ve grown so used to yuri shows that operate on a ‘love-at-first-sight’ plot and rush the relationships that I never expected Adachi & Shimamura to be such a slow-burner. Don’t think that’s me putting this down; I’m saying this in a good way. Actually, the fact that their relationship is building so slowly really suits this story. I do worry though that this slow burn story might put off some viewers who are used to rushed relationships.
After what happened at the end of episode 2, both Adachi and Shimamura think about the ‘shoulda woulda coulda’ – Adachi on whether she should have made the move or not, and Shimamura on whether she should have accepted it. All of this causes Adachi to do exactly what she seems to excel at right now: run away. Shimamura wants answers, and we get to see her genuine concern after Adachi fails to show up at school the next day. And then a spanner is thrown in the works, in the form of Yashiro, who finally takes off her spacesuit this week.
I noticed very quickly how much she resembles both Erio Towa and Yashiro Hoshimiya from 2011’s Denna Onna to Seishun Otoko. Erio was the girl with shimmering blue hair who was convinced she was an alien, while Yashiro arrived in a spacesuit claiming to be an esper. Denpa Onna is one of my favorite SHAFT shows that hid under the radar; it came out directly after Madoka Magica, so perhaps SHAFT needed to ‘wind down’ and ended up adapting that. The Yashiro here in Adachi & Shimamura might not be a main character in this show, but I do get the feeling that she will have a significant part to play when it comes to getting these two together.
Episode 3 is titled ‘Isosceles Triangle’, which pretty much describes the ‘date/not date’ the three of them end up going on. Shimamura is right at the top of the triangle, and has both Adachi and Yashiro attached at the bottom, vying for attention. At first glance, it comes across as a young girl just being mischievous, but I really do get the feeling that Yashiro is doing this on purpose to coax the both of them, like some kind of cupid. To get Adachi to open up about her feelings, and to get Shimamura to understand how socially awkward her friend is.
This is definitely a slow burn, and I don’t want the two of them to jump into each others’ arms so quickly. Seeing this relationship develop is somewhat refreshing compared to other yuri shows, and I do hope that it’ll carry on with this slow burn and not rush thing unnecessarily.
Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You Episode 4
I think that my initial problem when it came to Tonikawa was that I took the show a little too seriously. In case you didn’t know, it’s a long-running joke that the mangaka created Tonikawa as a kind of exaggerated autobiography of his own married life, and how lucky he considers himself to be a husband. Another thing that irked me was how much Tsukasa was unwilling to talk about her past; well we get a little bit of relief on that in this week’s episode, when her adopted sister Chitose arrives in an attempt to bring her home.
We see this week that Tsukasa originally comes from a very wealthy family, with a lot of influence, and so it appears that it’s precisely this sheltered lifestyle that she is running away from…and Nasa just so happened to arrive in her life. We also get to see how much of a nice guy Nasa genuinely is. After hearing about who Chitose is, he immediately proposes a resolution and discussion, all of which she has none of, and goes as far as abducting him to force him to divorce her beloved onee-sama.
Last week saw us see a little of what the kind of person Nasa was before he met Tsukasa; the kind of person who would go out of their way to help a neighboring business (the local bathhouse) with their accounts to avoid bankruptcy. Here this week, we see how much he wants to extend an olive branch to Tsukasa’s side of the family, only for Chitose and her crazy maids to make a ridiculous and laughable attempt to wreck their new marriage. Which leads me to why I felt like I was holding back on Tonikawa – because I took it too seriously.
Chitose’s maids, Charlotte and Aurora, are both kind-hearted but very dim, while Chitose herself still seems committed to bringing Tsukasa home, even after Nasa uses his skills to repair a special case containing moon rock that belonged to Tsukasa. I’m more than certain that we’ll see much more of Chitose, Charlotte and Aurora in future episodes; the next episode teaser already shows us that Aya and Kaname from last week will return.
Oh, and did I mention that Nasa made the move to kiss Tsukasa this week? He has gone from meeting his true love, to getting married, to living together, to holding hands, to kissing in the space of 4 episodes; many other anime couples require around 2 whole seasons for all this to happen, so Nasa is clearly doing something good…right?
Assault Lily: Bouquet Episode 4
So I’ve talked about shows I had varying opinions over, and now it’s time for the one show I’ve had a solid and very positive opinion of. So far it seems like Assault Lily: Bouquet is developing a pattern of action episode then slice-of-life episode. This week it’s a slice-of-life episode, and this time Yuyu orders her new charge Riri to put together a Legion.
Just as the Lilies and Gardens are elaborate ways to describe recruits and academies respectively, Legions are basically squadrons put together to take on the Huge where and when they attack. While this Legion is headed by Yuyu, she lets Riri take charge of recruitment in an attempt to get her to take her role of a Lily more seriously…since all she seems to be doing right now is gazing blissfully at her new Schutzengel whilst looking cute.
This new task of hers is actually a chance for us to get a good look at some of the other Lilies. While there are some we know about, there are a few others that haven’t gotten that much spotlight – others like Kuo Shenlin and Wang Yujia. The two share a room at the Yurigaoka academy, and each have their own histories of becoming Lilies. While Kuo Shenlin is an exchange student from Taipei (because of course they can’t say Taiwan in the show…) who has been committed to being a Lily since junior high, Wang Yujia is an insecure girl who has Chinese heritage but comes from Iceland. All of her sisters are world-class Lilies back in Iceland, and so she feels conflicted on why her family would send her to Yurigaoka if they knew she felt so unsure about being one herself.
While this week’s episode of Assault Lily: Bouquet was more of a filler than anything else, it does bring the question of what makes Riri stand out. She’s a brand new Lily, with no combat experience and knows next to nothing of how the realm of Lilies, Gardens and the Huge work, not to mention the fact that we still don’t know what her Rare Skill is, if she even has one. Perhaps with this new Legion forming, she can find the answer to all of that. I won’t be entirely sold on the notion that Riri’s one redeeming trait is her kindness and commitment; she’s a Lily after all, and she needs to pull her weight when it comes to battle. But we still get the impression that Yuyu is subtly trying to make Riri regret her decision in forming a pact with her. After what we saw last week, it’s rather understandable, but I still think that there’s far more than meets the eye here.
BNA – Brand New Animal Episode 4
I’d been saying a lot of things about BNA, and how it reflects society as it is now, and episode 4 highlights a special part of that in particular: division between different societies, in this case being humans and beastmen.
We are introduced to Mafia boss Giuliano Flip properly in this episode, along with his spoiled daughter Nina. She takes particular interest in Michiru since they have both had to readjust to a new life in Anima City. They both want to break the walls of human and beastmen, but Nina’s own upbringing as the daughter of a mob boss gives her a bit of a complex, leaving her a little clueless on how regular people act. Not even her own role of being an influencer using social media blocked in Anima City has broken this complex of hers.
By the end of this episode, we see Michiru choosing to adapt to life in Anima City, knowing full well that old friends and a family are still out there looking for her, leaving her conflicted on what to do. Should she carry on fighting for a cure, or should she just remain in Anima City?
I’m still very much in two minds when it comes to BNA. Perhaps I just need to watch this again in my own time, so I can digest a whole lot more. I don’t regret this pick though (well technically, it was your pick), and I just hope that I can enjoy it more as episodes go by.
I’m looking forward to future episodes getting better, and so as each week goes by, how have the shows you’ve been watching going? Are they getting better for you, or worse? Are you even picking new ones? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below!