Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2021, Week 8

1 month ago 34
A Lull in the Sea, Otherside Picnic, Yuru Camp Season 2, The Promised Neverland Season 2

I think it’s safe to say that, in the three seasonal shows I’m watching, some significant progress has been made in the story now. Otherside Picnic reveals that Satsuki, the girl Toriko has long been looking for, might not be all she seems after all. Yuru Camp sees our little Nadeshiko grow up and go camping on her own. And over in The Promised Neverland, we see Norman concoct a master plan that Emma has a real problem with. These are all adaptations, and as I don’t read the original sources, I’m eager to see what’ll be in store for the future.

Otherside Picnic Episode 9

Otherside Picnic

This week’s Otherside Picnic might well be another filler episode, just like last week, but after finishing it, it’s pretty evident to see that we are definitely building up to the show’s final part, where we get to see Satsuki in the flesh…or not, depending on how the Otherside wants to treat her.

Akari from last week returns, much to my surprise, and this time she has another problem. Her childhood friend is in some serious trouble, after mishandling a curse that fell on her lap. After she threw away some teeth a mysterious monkey gave her, all sorts of strange and weird stuff suddenly happened to her all at once, from finding monkey hair in the cars she fixes at work to her parents having unfortunate accidents and landing in the hospital. I’m not always so hot on filler episodes, and even though this week’s one didn’t really delve so much into the Otherside, it certainly has given us a lot to think about when it comes to the final part of the show.

Otherside Picnic

One very subtle thing it brought up is how Sorawo is neglecting to get her hair cut. Why does this tiny thing matter? Well, just as Akari looked up to her old tutor Satsuki almost like some idol, Akari is almost at the point of idolizing Sorawo with her apparent knowledge of urban legends (despite her not really being too interested in them). Here was me thinking Akari would be a single-episode character, but I think she’ll definitely be someone that’ll be in these final episodes. As a former student to Satsuki, she’s going to turn to Sorawo now. Otherside Picnic is really starting to get far more interesting. It won’t be a show that’ll end up in my final top 5, but I’m now reached the point where I’m glad I picked to watch it for Otaku Theater.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 7

So was I glad I picked to watch season 2 of The Promised Neverland? I’ll admit that a part of me felt sort of obligated to, for two reasons:

I had only just completed my watch of season one, and was really itching to know what happens to the kids after their escape.Season two was something many of us hyped up, and so I wanted to see if it lived up to it.

At this point, we’ve had the great reveal of Norman’s master plan (with plenty of added boring exposition), but what does Emma really think of this, considering all that she has encountered in these woods after their escape from Gracefield Manor?

The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland

This great time skip in The Promised Neverland hasn’t gone down well with a lot of people, and so jumping straight from leaving the bunker to this just feels like they’re rushing everything. Perhaps if a third season of this is green-lit (and maybe it will), this master plan might be the main plot in that. It would actually make me more comfortable with that, considering how potentially detailed this current plot point is. I really didn’t like the “tell, don’t show” they did last week, and we get even more of that this week; more on that in a bit, but let’s get onto the episode itself.

It was hinted last week that Emma and Norman would be at odds with this master plan to kill all demons, and it becomes much more apparent this week, when Emma says she wants to save those that she has met along the way (Sonju, Mujita and even the old temple demon from two episodes ago). This is just Emma being Emma, though – the same Emma we loved watching in season one. But now because she has to deal with a changed Norman, things really get awkward. In fact, the entire episode feels a little awkward to even watch. Dialogue is forced, and lacks subtlety. Aside from a few tiny things, all of the dialogue (and there was a lot of it this week) sounds like stuff that we knew already, or had guessed already.

The Promised Neverland

From the start of this week’s episode, we get even more exposition from Norman. We instead have to use our own imagination on what really happened to him after he left Gracefield Manor. I have to say that it is nice that we get some kind of teaser at the end of the episode, but in all, I really wish that this could have been executed better. Maybe then all of us can feel what Norman went through to get to this point. As anime viewers, we prefer to be shown what happens, instead of told.

Yuru Camp Season 2 Episode 8

We’ve now reached the third ‘arc’ of this season, with the first being Rin’s solo camping trip, and the second being the trip Chiaki, Aoi and Ena go on. I suppose we can all predict that the final ‘arc’ will be another massive group trip – that would be our ‘happy’ ending. Then again, Yuru Camp just is not a ‘sad’ show, is it?

Yuru Camp
Yuru Camp

Too many of us know Nadeshiko as the incredibly ditzy character we first saw in the very first episode, and so it’s really great to see how much she’s matured since then. Regardless of this, Rin still feels that indescribable feeling that something will go horribly wrong, as does Sakura. Rather cool and funny to see the two of them act like some kind of responsible and over-protective parents, and actually go out of their way to check up on her after not hearing from her for a day (real reasons being no phone signal).

But this is an Nadeshiko episode, obviously and like last week, it makes us think back to the first episode of this season, where we get a flashback to Rin’s very first solo camping trip. Nowadays, it’s just like riding a bike or learning how to swim for Rin; once she’s done it, she knows how to do it over and over again. I get the feeling that when Nadeshiko decides to solo camp again, it’ll be the same for her. We get a few hiccups from her this week, but honestly I was expecting far more. Saying that, to see a responsible Nadeshiko is very fun to watch. And seeing Rin and Sakura sneak behind a bush to check up on her was even more fun.

Yuru Camp

A Lull In The Sea Episode 8

As I said last week, I’ve now reached the unknown in A Lull In The Sea. I have no idea what happens in the show now. Episode 8 is what happens now that both Akari and Hikari have left the sea village, but I have to say that this episode wasn’t really what it was clearly meant to be. Instead we get the two of them putting up at Itaru’s house for the meantime, then the kids going into the big city with Miuna who wants to get Akari a pendant.

A Lull In The Sea

Hikari finally mellowing out is something I welcome greatly though. Episode 8 also makes it clearer that he has been way too selfish when it comes to watching over Manaka. He just has not thought about how she feels or who she likes, and all this time he has only thought of himself being the only one who can protect her. But there’s more than Miuna finding a present for Akari and Hikari finally realizing how selfish he is being. This episode just keeps on pouring more and more Melodrama™, at the point of too much. I now understand why some people got annoyed with the show. We know P.A Works like to do these kind of shows, but when it comes to Melodrama™, A Lull In The Sea has to be their magnum opus. And I say this despite not even finishing the first cour, so I wonder how the second one will turn out.

A Lull In The Sea

I had had plans to start on the new Pretty Cure show, Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure, which started this weekend, but I only discovered that just as Crunchyroll put it up, I can’t watch it here in the UK, and you can thank licensing limitations for that. So the only way I can catch this is via a VPN, which I have never used before. It’s a real shame though; with what I watch and read about, this looks like an incredibly colorful and gloriously fun one, and one where the Cures actually roll their sleeves up and fight, instead of just relying on beating the baddies with their too-long transformations. The Pretty Cure franchise is not so well-known on this side of the Atlantic, and no distributor here would want to pick it up either. Oh well…

Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure
Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure

I’ve had to grab these screencaps from clips that were quickly put together online, but if you’re able to catch it and love the magical girl genre, and don’t really care about how colorful and show is, then you might just like this one. If I hadn’t enjoyed previous generations of Pretty Cure, then I probably would have not given this a second look though. Oh, and bear in mind that this generation (another word for season) will go on until the end of 2021, then even if Crunchyroll UK were able to show it here, I’d need a lot of patience.

Still watching Wonder Egg Priority, still watching EX-ARM, just not Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure, like I’d hoped. I really should just make this column longer, so I can review 5 or 6 or 7 shows at once. That would just knock me out completely, plus it would also mean that I’d have to get invested in a lot of the big franchises, which is something I don’t really want to do.

Has this Winter season been good for you? Has this second season of The Promised Neverland been what you hoped it would be? Do you think I should watch 7 shows for Otaku Theater? And the most important question: will you be watching Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below?

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