Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Spring Anime 2021, Week 2

5 months ago 93

I wish I had a lot more exciting things to say for every column post, so sorry to disappoint you every time. This Spring season is only just kicking off, and I’ve already formed a solid opinion of all three shows. I see a lot of great things when it comes to both To Your Eternity and SSSS.Dynazenon, and my opinions of Pretty Boy Detective Club is kind of the same as it was last time (style over substance). Outside of all of that though, I’ve gotten really absorbed into this second cour of my out-of-season show, A Lull In The Sea. More on that at the end of the post, but let’s get stuck into the seasonal ones.

SSSS.Dynazenon Episode 3

A heck of a lot of people have made comparisons to its sister show SSSS.Gridman, and I agree with a lot of them. We see so many tropes from that past show put into place here; from major things like wide open shots and minimal score, to tiny things like the ‘special dog’. And this is all something I can firmly call this auteurism.

SSSS.Dynazenon
SSSS.Dynazenon

For episode 3, we get to see our kids learn even more about the Dynazenon, and not just that either. The so-called antagonists, the Kaiju Eugenicists make their presence known, and introduce themselves properly. It’s very curious to see one member of the group, Juuga, want to know more about Yomogi though; whether this is genuine curiosity or some kind of ruse is something we might not know for a while. We only just found out about these guys last week.

But the one character I am most intrigued by is Yume. While the others act more like regulars in the show, she has a rougher history, with her still not really sure how to mourn her dead sister Kano, and thus trying to handle it by building a not-so-nice reputation at high school. This week we learn that she was a member of her school’s Chorus Club. While she and Yume never really spoke, we find out that Yume was invited to a big recital of hers, only for Kano to not make it. We do get the impression that she is living in regret, and wants to know why the two weren’t so close. And after finding out more about Gauma, where he came from, and why he is here fighting kaiju, an idea forms in her head – one that might set a tone for future episodes.

SSSS.Dynazenon

Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 2

Have you been sucked into the fancy opening theme of this show already? It’s possible you have, considering how pretty it looks and how perky the opening theme song is.

Well I knew that this would be something that would go on for a few episodes, and this week, we are given a legitimate reason as to why a four-year-old Mayumi was unable to identify a star. The five boys put out the idea that a military satellite was shot down with a nuke by a secret government society. I laughed at first watch, and so maybe it was better explained in the light novels than it was here in this anime adaptation.

Pretty Boy Detective Club
Pretty Boy Detective Club

Last week I put out the term ‘NISIOISIN Syndrome’, where people dive head first into NISIOISIN x SHAFT shows immediately thinking they will be one of the greatest shows ever. I still get that impression here in episode 2, but there’s something else I want to add to that. This was something I often noticed towards the final parts of the Monogatari series, where episodes sometimes got too complicated and instead prioritized aesthetics. So far, Pretty Boy Detective Club is being received well by anime followers, so I wonder if these people are seeing something that I am not. I am still seeing five narcissistic boys who all love the sound of their own voices, a story that I am just not buying, and poor Mayumi caught in the middle. And speaking of Mayumi, I do hope that the show expands on her backstory. She still curses beauty, and is unable to see herself as beautiful. We’ll see if this ‘arc’ goes more into that, as there is one thing that has been spoiled to me already: she decides to keep her hair short.

It’s not great that the show is making sure to show off young Hyouta’s legs way too much as well. It borders on uncomfortable, in fact. These are meant to be pretty boys, sure, but having to go through some more episodes where all I see are these legs doesn’t sit well with me. Yeah. I think I’m definitely missing something in this show. Am I looking at the show from a far more logical standpoint, and not from the more outlandish way that other viewers are? Maybe in time I will warm to this, but not right now. Give me something more substantial, and I’ll turn to the dark side, perhaps…

To Your Eternity Episode 2

To Your Eternity is the final show on my list, and that’s purely because of its release time – it comes out on Mondays, meaning it usually ends up right here at the other end of the post. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since I can take this time to talk about how much it has stood out from the rest of the season. We’ve had the big franchises bring out sequel seasons, and then we have something like this which is totally on the other end of the spectrum. But has it won over everyone?

To Your Eternity

Last week’s episode really did pull at our heart strings, but it acted more like a prologue to the whole show than anything else. The boy that featured was unnamed then, and it was only when Fushi decided to take his form when he becomes the character he is now, and will be for the rest of the show. The critics and writers have all praised it, but I personally don’t think that this will be a show that everyone will rush to. The fantasy and the drama are things that could well put people off, and make them return to their big franchises. But I could be proven wrong; I mean it isn’t like that hasn’t happened before, right?

Compared to last week, episode 2 brings us something a little different. The focus turns to a young tribe girl named March, who has been chosen to be sacrificed to a mountain god. As she tries to escape, she comes across a reincarnating Fushi. Fushi has ‘died’ seven times already, and being immortal, is able to regenerate his body. He still has the mentality of the wolf that we saw last week though, and is unable to understand human society. So even when the young March speaks to him, he is unable to respond. But the promise of food is tempting for everyone, I suppose.

This will be another slow burn show for me, especially if we’ll be getting episodes where Fushi learns about human society. We can understand his behavior in this second episode, of course. He has never had any understanding of speech since he never needed to. Reading, writing, and good manners mean nothing to him…yet. But I have been converted, and am very curious as to how things will turn out. I was expecting this show to go on an episodic route, but it seems like we’ll be getting an ongoing story instead.

To Your Eternity

I guess that’s about all I can say here. I understand that not everyone will agree with me when I say that To Your Eternity will be a show that tests people’s patience. But don’t get me wrong; it really is wonderful and fascinating to watch, and it reflects the manga perfectly. It being two cours long, however, might be something that not everyone will want to stick around for…especially if they are expecting Fushi to know how to behave like a human as early as this point.

A Lull In The Sea Episode 15

A Lull In The Sea

I said last time that I was very glad you guys picked A Lull In The Sea for me to watch, and while I’ve been a critic of its Melodrama™, these most recent episodes (episode 10 onwards) really have been amazing to watch. Following on from the previous episode, Hikari has awoken from his hibernation and appeared on the frozen sea. And this episode makes it very clear from the start that everyone is hurting from his return…but not in a bad way.

Miuna has kept her crush on Hikari since they met, and now they are effectively the same age now, she believes that she can make a move, except she hasn’t stopped to think about his own feelings, considering that only two days have passed for him, and he still sees her as that confused and emotional kid from the first cour. The rest of the town have taken Hikari’s return as something to celebrate, since there’s a sign now that the rest of Shioshishio will wake up too, but this celebration is something Hikari doesn’t want one bit. And then there’s Chisaki…

A Lull In The Sea

I knew straight away why they wanted to keep their distance from each other initially; both of them were so scared of change, and now them being totally different ages means that their relationship will be severely tested. Chisaki has spent the last five years making a life for herself on the surface, graduating from high school and becoming a student nurse. And Hikari is still the emotional middle school-aged boy we first saw in episode 1, only not as angry anymore. This is all an enthralling watch to me, and I think this P.A Works-branded melodrama has got me hooked line and sinker. I love this new and different tone from the first cour, and the better focus on emotion and establishing characters has won me over.

I had a lot of reservations in Pretty Boy Detective Club’s opening episode, and now having seen episode 2, some of those reservations remain. But what do you think after its debut episode? Are you seeing something in the show that I’m not? Do you think that To Your Eternity will be a show that wins over everyone? And now the Spring season has properly begun, have there been any other standout shows for you? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below!

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