Real life gets in the way of all of us when it comes to anime watching, I suppose. Many, if not all of us, watch the shows we love to escape from the world. As I avoid the major franchises, I end up finding solace in the lesser-known ones that help us escape just as much. Personally, I would get pretty tired in seeing the same kids again and again in a show like My Hero Academia, although maybe that makes me come across as a hypocrite. This spring season offers all sorts of anime followers a mixed bag, and I guess we have to filter out the shows that tire us from the ones that help us escape from real life.
Pretty Boy Detective Club Episode 4
Getting started straightaway with Pretty Boy Detective Club, and with the first arc over, we move onto the next story. With Mayumi now officially a member of the club, their next case covers the second light novel: The Swindler, The Vanishing Man, and the Pretty Boys. But before I get into the episode itself, I’d like to touch on Mayumi once again.
After the timid mouse we saw in the last arc, it seems like on the outset she has had some kind of makeover and change of character, but from what I could see this week, there’s still so much of the old Mayumi that remains. With the boys given their own nicknames/labels, Mayumi has become ‘The Seer’. But while the five boys (Manabu, Michiru, Nagahiro, Hyouta and Sousaku) pretty much carry the show, the story remains to be told from her point-of-view. And it does still feel like she is the outsider looking in. She wants to be a part of the team, but still has a lot of hesitations; almost like the new recruit starting a new job and feeling like they don’t belong.
The Swindler, The Vanishing Man, and the Pretty Boys starts off with them getting a bizarre invitation to a strange casino run by teenagers. We also get the first appearance of the president of the student council, Fudatsuki, who is also the manager of the casino. He lets us know that he looks at life with “a playful mind”, and sees it all as ‘entertainment’. Now if this isn’t signs of a creepy Nisioisin antagonist, then I don’t know what is. This week’s episode all culminates in Nagahiro playing against Fudatsuki himself, with the core of the arc likely to come straightaway in the next episode.
What I will say is that these five boys have absolutely no idea how to dress casually. I can picture Manabu in a hoodie and sweatpants easily.
I keep saying that Pretty Boy Detective Club gets too stylish leaving less in the way of substance and I’m hoping that this new arc will get me into the show properly. With Mayumi now becoming ‘The Seer’ in the club, perhaps a lot of things will change for the better. Considering we have an entirely different story than the last one, we’ll just have to wait and see how SHAFT decide to adapt this. But with 13 years’ experience of adapting Nisioisin stories, you’d think that they’d do no wrong, right? Well the Zaregoto OVA adaptation didn’t really succeed as much as people had hoped, and let’s not forget that a few of the Monogatari arcs were fairly lackluster compared to others.
To Your Eternity Episode 4
I think I’ve said enough about how I’m getting annoyed with the ‘style over substance’ thing going on in this show, so I’ll give it a rest. This week’s episode of To Your Eternity sees March, Parona and Hayase on the move, with Fushi seemingly tagging along too. Thanks to the events of last week, Hayase decides to take them as prisoners to return to her homeland of Yanome. It’s here where we learn that Yanome is desperate for Ninannah’s lush forests and land, and so puts on a fake sacrifice show to keep the country’s population under control.
With a plan to escape from the Yanome prison and tell her village that the sacrifice ritual is all an elaborate show, Parona plots an escape with March and, with a piece of the Oniguma-sama body, return home…providing they let her return home, that is.
This week’s episode touches quite a bit on immortality, and how Parona is disturbed at the thought of Fushi living forever; being immortal means you have nothing to strive towards, the people around you will die, and you end up with no end goal in life. Fushi is constantly learning more things, and is very nonchalant about being a prisoner as well. I would think that the readers of the original manga warmed up quickly to this idea of a ‘newborn’ creature (if you can call Fushi that) gradually learning about life, but it’s now a question of whether that can be translated well in an anime.
To Your Eternity has become the big show this season. The new season of My Hero Academia and Fruits Basket, along with the dividing Don’t Toy With Me, Nagatoro!, are all pretty much playing second fiddle now, as all of the episodes of this show have impressed so many people. As someone who has become too accustomed to watching lesser-known shows, I’m not 100% sure on what to think. I mean, sure, there’ve been some big franchise shows that I got into (Kaguya-sama: Love is War being a great example), but since To Your Eternity is so much more unique compared to the other big shows, I think that by the time it ends, it will become a show that people will really love, or really hate. It’s too early for me to pick a side, and so I’ll just remain here on the bench and wait until more action happens.
SSSS.Dynazenon Episode 5
The Trigger Gridman Universe really has hooked me in, although I think SSSS.Gridman did it better so far. We’re only about a third of the way into this, and while some antagonists have been established here, we still don’t really know for sure what the real story is.
I could never imagine a show like this having a beach episode, but then I think back to its predecessor, which sort of had one except it was some kind of school trip instead. I’m loathe to call this a filler episode, but I really got those vibes this week. Yume is still on the hunt for the truth about her sister’s death, Yomogi hangs around for emotional support, while Koyomi and Chise banter about pretty much anything.
But I’m finding the Kaiju Eugenicists interesting characters too. Sizumu, the boy who transferred into high school is just the beginning. First we have Juuga, the defacto leader, who clearly has some grander plan and is just not revealing it to anyone. Then there’s Onija, who has a massive grudge with Gauma and usually ends up the joke character out of them all. And finally there’s Mujina, who seems to be enjoying regular life in this new world a lot more than the others. Last week saw her eager to try a cafe’s desserts, and this week we see her desperate to have fun at the water park.
We get a bombshell at the end that threw me way off, and could potentially affect a lot of people in the show but it’s a bombshell that’s definitely hooked me in and eager to want to know the outcome. Like its predecessor, I love how modern life is emphasized a lot more than the actual kaiju action. It’s like the fighting becomes a sideshow, with the real story being what goes on in these kids’ real lives.
A Lull In The Sea Episode 17
Over now to the out-of-season show, and what I had anticipated has come: Kaname wakes up from his hibernation, and becomes the next one to discover 5 years have passed.
Just as Miuna’s crush on Hikari hasn’t gone away, Sayu’s crush on Kaname hasn’t gone away either. Not just all of this either; Kaname still holds those stubborn feelings for Chisaki, despite knowing that she has moved on on the surface. It was pretty noticeable to see how she and Tsumugu are operating like a unit now. It’s kind of hard to describe, but it’s sort of like how one would see a couple interact in a kitchen or bathroom, passing items around, drawing water from a tap, and so on. In the show We Never Learn, I noticed this in the arc where Fumino finally tells her father she wants to pursue a career in astronomy. He throws her out, forcing her to move in with Nariyuki, and we get to see how they work together so quickly, almost like a newlywed couple.
Now, here in A Lull In The Sea, is this a telling sign that Chisaki and Tsumugu will end up together by the time the show ends? I think so. Episode 17, though, expands on how Miuna was able to breathe underwater last week; it turns out that, because of her biological mother, she has developed ena too. And with Kaname awake now, the town hold out more hope that more people in Shioshishio will wake up too.
In its first arc, I complained a lot about the melodrama that A Lull In The Sea had, but now I finally see that all of that was necessary in order to build this story; without it, the show just wouldn’t look right. Maybe the same can be said about a show like Pretty Boy Detective Club; without all that style, what kind of detective show would it become? But as for this season, what have been the shows that you have put into the piles of ‘tiresome’ and ‘ones to escape’? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below!