Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2021, Week 9

4 months ago 79
A Lull in the Sea, Otherside Picnic, Yuru Camp Season 2, The Promised Neverland Season 2

I seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment – like my writer’s block of a couple of weeks ago has just vanished completely. As I’m typing this week’s post out, I’m already making a start on some review posts (one of which will be up at the end of the week). The overlords gave me a long list of shows to review a good while back, and so making my way through them plus what I’m watching here for Otaku Theater, plus Wonder Egg Priority and EX-ARM in my own time (and yes, I’m still following that show for a laugh), plus some ideas I have for my own personal blog…a busy bee I am. I’ll burn out soon enough, but I might as well make good use of this moment, right?

Yuru Camp Season 2 Episode 9

Well, I guess it’s official now – the final group trip is set in stone. Nadeshiko comes back from solo camping now with a new state of mind: she wants to embrace both solo camping and group camping. Since the school year is ending and finals are done, everyone in the Outdoor Activities club, along with Rin, might as well just go out and do it.

Yuru Camp

It’s also worth noting that this is just episode 9. The group trip in season 1 was built around pretty much just one episode, so there’s a very good chance that an awful lot will happen in this one particular trip, maybe both good and bad. Heck, even Aoi’s little sister wants to tag along as well, so now Sensei has a sixth minor to be responsible for. They could have brought Aoi’s dog too, just to make this trip that much more interesting and cool to watch. But yeah, everyone (Nadeshiko, Rin, Chiaki, Aoi, Ena, Sensei, and Aoi’s little sister) are heading off to a fairly warmer part of the country, in the Izu peninsula where they can get an excellent view of Mount Fuji.

Yuru Camp

I say every episode of Yuru Camp is wonderful, but this week was a especially wonderful one. A lot of time is covered seeing the girls raise money for their Izu camping trip, and in the latter half, Rin’s grandfather (whose VA just so happens to be the show’s narrator) pays a visit and offers some advice for his granddaughter. We learn this week that everyone in Rin’s family were all hardcore campers and wild bike riders, even Mom who doesn’t want Rin to see her wild days as a youth. Oh, and Sensei has been told to cut back on her booze too, by Chiaki of all people. Whether this will actually happen, I have no idea, but considering this trip will likely to be a multi-episode trip with lots of small yet fun things to watch, we could well see a drunk Sensei again.

In fact, I’m very keen to see what will happen in these last episodes. The last big group trip was themed around Christmas, and so this one’s theme is…I guess…the girls ending their school year.

Yuru Camp

Otherside Picnic Episode 10

While Yuru Camp is taking its time, Otherside Picnic seems to be in a bit of a rush to be over. But then, with the way things are in the show now, can you blame them?

Otherside Picnic

Something noteworthy this week is how we carry on with what Akari and Toriko mentioned briefly last week; how they thought that Sorawo’s hair looked longer, and Akari even thought, at some point, she looked like her old tutor Satsuki, the one person Toriko has long been looking for. This all just gets curiouser and curiouser now. But moving on this week, and this episode sees everyone go out for Japanese barbeque, only for Akari to somehow get lost in the ‘In-Between’. Now we’ve been through 9 whole episodes of this show, and yet seeing how this ‘In-Between’ place is made out to be such an important place to get to the Otherside, why am I hearing about it for the first time now?

Otherside Picnic

I think that might ultimately be my conflict with Otherside Picnic right now, and it’s a conflict that will probably stick until the show’s over. The stories themselves are good – each urban legend/ghost story/old wives’ tale is fascinating to know about, and I’m sure they are written well in the light novels. I’m just not sure that they’re translated as well onscreen. These characters have all become cool people to watch and follow, and yet something just does not feel right – a je ne sais quoi, if you will. Also, despite them all being very different stories, why does every one of their adventures all seem to blur into one? And not just this, if the yuri in this show is meant to be slow-burning, surely we would have had something a little more substantial to watch at this point. There are only two more episodes left, and yet Sorawo and Toriko still give off the impression of ‘partners-in-crime’.

I hope these final two episodes will give me what I want, which is a decent ending. Otherside Picnic is a show that I’m slowly getting bored of now. I haven’t reached the point where I’m desperately waiting for it to end, but I definitely know that even with the nice character design and interesting urban legends told, this will not be a show I will return to. Just as I don’t think I’ll return to The Promised Neverland franchise, considering how uncomfortable this week’s episode was.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 8

If you’ve been following this, you might already know that I had been getting very concerned about how anime-only plot points would dominate this second season. Well we’ve reached a pivotal point now, but despite all the big events that happen in this week’s episode, I still have some mixed feelings about it all.

We start off with a short flashback on what really happened to Norman after he was ‘adopted’; how he became a part of a larger experiment run by a narcissist human planning to take control of all the farms. His daring escape from this laboratory with some other test subjects have clearly made him the person he is now. We all know that his experiences post-Gracefield Manor and now have made him a different person, but after the path that Emma, Ray, Don and Gilda have chosen, is his close link with them going to remain? He still seems very committed to this genocidal plan of his, and as we see in the latter half of this episode, it all goes ahead as he planned.

The Promised Neverland

Norman promised to give the others 5 days to find Sonju and Mujika and bring them back, and even though they’re successful, Norman decides to break his promise and launches his attack early. It’s all an rather uncomfortable watch too, and not just visually. There’s one extremely awkward moment (that I might as well spoil since it’s not that important in the plot) where Norman finds a young demon girl crying out for her grandfather, with Norman suddenly finding out her name is also Emma. It’s very reminiscent of that extremely cringeworthy moment in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Superman pleads with a crazed Batman to save his mother Martha, who just so happens to have the same name of Bruce Wayne’s mother too.

I’m sure I’m overthinking all of this, because despite all I’ve said here, this week’s episode of The Promised Neverland wasn’t terrible. It clearly paves the way for the finale, where an initially cold and emotionless Norman finally realizes the consequences of his actions. He gets to confront Mujika at last, Emma and Ray should be able to snap him out of it, and…well I have no idea what will happen after that. I never read the manga, but I know the gang of three do make it out of there in one piece. Whether someone will have to make a sacrifice of sorts is something I’m just going to have to wait for.

The Promised Neverland

A Lull In The Sea Episode 9

And now, after that uncomfortable episode of The Promised Neverland, it’s time for some P.A Works-brand Melodrama™. Compared to some of the sickly sweet episodes we’ve had so far, episode 9 has a much different tone. And this will be a tone that’ll set the scene for the end of the first cour; I can tell easily.

A Lull In The Sea

The school is committed to make sure the Sending ceremony takes place, even going as far as arranging a boat to hold the ceremony on. While those on the surface (including Hikari and Akari) have kind of brushed off the fact that sea snow mysteriously fell that previous day, Shioshishio have not taken this news well. In fact as this episode goes on, we see that the village’s residents are all treating this as some kind of foreboding and foretold prophecy. So while all of the Melodrama™ between the gang of five goes on, the sea village residents are making their children stay home, Manaka, Chisaki and Kaname included.

The first cour of A Lull In The Sea is slowly wrapping up for me, and I have no idea what this end result will be. Whether Hikari (being the chief priest’s son) will have to return to Shioshishio or some major event will happen is something I just don’t know. What I do know is that the second cour will take place several years later, so it’s something clearly big. Also, this being a fantasy show means that it won’t just be a matter of more quarrelling between the sea and the surface. All of this Melodrama™ in the show that started to get pretty annoying, and now we have this…I’m suddenly intrigued.

A Lull In The Sea

Nearly at the end, and it’s like I want the Spring season to arrive already. With my shows already picked, I’ve already made a start on the preview post, and am getting further and further into that review list the overlords sent me. Are you like me and just want to get stuck into the Spring season already? Are you getting desperate for shows to end? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below!

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