Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2022, Week 2

Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2022, Week 2

It’s the second week of the winter season, and how am I feeling about my shows so far? You know, I don’t really know. Okay so maybe it is a little too early to decide what shows are my favorites and what are the ones that sucks; even still, I can’t help but put on my judging face this early on in the season. Characters have barely had time to develop, and I’m already making heavy decisions on them. That’s not to mention how World’s End Harem has gotten off on its start. I’ll be getting into that one especially towards the end of this week’s post, but for now let’s get back into the one that I’m still covering yet has finished already…

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 11

Interestingly, episode 11 is the first one (other than the opening one) that revolves around one particular moment, as opposed to the others that have covered 2 or 3 moments. And for this one, it is the school’s cultural festival. Yeah, it’s easy enough to call this one the ‘cultural festival’ episode that we see in the dime-a-dozen school comedy shows, so I won’t be critical for that.

Considering that Komi is already worshipped by everyone in the class, it’s no wonder that everyone wants her to decide what their class theme is going to be.

Komi Can't Communicate
Komi Can't Communicate

With this being the penultimate episode, I thought it was good that we get to see how much Komi has progressed since we first saw her back in October. She remained being loved by the class, but could not find a way to give that love back due to her extreme social anxiety. The final episode appears to go on further with Komi’s ‘progression’, and eventually get us set up for the second season, which has already been confirmed.

Also, one other thing I noticed this week is how Komi doesn’t seem to need Tadano or Najimi to hold her hand anymore to interact with others in the class…and I suppose this was a main goal for her all along. While she is enjoying her time with Tadano, Najimi and co immensely, Komi knows that she needs to take these steps all by herself, and not to rely on others. I think even more secondary characters will appear as the second season comes, and so it’s cool to see that list is still getting longer and longer, even if said characters only appear periodically, and not in every episode like some of the others do.

I know Komi Can’t Communicate has finished on Netflix already, and that they will be getting season 2 (once again with a short delay, I’m sure), but I wonder what the final episode will have. As mentioned it seems to be a continuation of what we saw here, but it isn’t like Komi is going to confess or something.

Slow Loop Episode 2

With the opening episode of Slow Loop out of the way, it’s time to introduce our third character, Koi…who is apparently not named after the fish.

Slow Loop

This is the ‘first day of school’ episode, where our two kids find out they’re in separate classes, which makes perfect sense considering they are related now. It’s also the episode in which Koi introduces herself, and considering I was so very undecided on the first episode, the introduction of the third character might be something to sway me, and here’s why. Curiously, out of all the characters seen so far, Koi is the one that fascinates me the most, and yet is the one I fear will get considerably less airtime, to make room for the main two. She has to put up with her fishing-obsessed father and worry that she wasn’t there for Hiyori when she found out about her father’s death.

Just as much detail has been put into a backstory for Hiyori, a same level of detail is here for Koi. The question is whether I will get to like her more than the others. I mean it’s not like it hasn’t happened before: me turning to the secondary characters far more than the main ones.

Slow Loop

Here in episode 2, we get something else that will probably set the tone for the rest of the show: informational snippets on fishing. This isn’t anything new in these kind of shows; Yuru Camp had it after all, teaching all of us about winter camping. Now I could well be called a hypocrite when I say that I’m not really warming to these informational pieces on how fly fishing works. We had things like this in the show Diary of Our Days on the Breakwater, but they weren’t things that dominated each episode. And so I worry that Slow Loop might not be so lucky. We’ll see I guess.

But it won’t just be all the informational parts that seem to get to me here; instead it mostly is the fact that so far I just haven’t felt anything towards the main characters so far, not even the joke character of Koi’s fishing-obsessed father. Alright so we haven’t got to the third episode yet, and it’s usually when the third episode passes when we all get a much better idea on how a show will be for the long run. So am I optimistic about Slow Loop for the long run? I honestly don’t know. Our two step-sisters are both characters that I feel nothing for. Hiyori is the very stereotypical shy and quiet one, and Koharu is the very stereotypical loud and dumb-as-bricks one. With third party Koi introduced now, maybe I can get to laugh a little.

Slow Loop

I wouldn’t say that I’m disappointed with the show, as I didn’t really have many expectations going into it. We’re getting ‘cute-girls-doing-cute-things’ here, and I suppose that’s all that matters for some viewers. Not everyone wants to overanalyze these kind of shows.

My Dress-Up Darling Episode 2

I turn now to My Dress-Up Darling, a show that I did have some expectations for, and they have so far lived up to them. It’s just now a matter of where else it will go. I say that because right now it looks like it might go down a route that’s far more than just cosplay.

My Dress-Up Darling
My Dress-Up Darling

This week’s episode picks up directly from the last one, in the home ec room where Wakana and Marin agree to work together to create the cosplay she wants. And it’s here where we learn more about the character herself: Shizuku-tan. She is from an eroge with a very long name (Saint Slippery’s Academy for Girls – The Young Ladies of the Humiliation Club: Debauched Miracle Life 2, or just Slippery Girls 2), and has an ice queen persona…which melts as the player character gets to know her better. Marin also makes the point that she doesn’t really care that the character she wants to cosplay as is from an eroge; she has fallen in love with her, and so has already made her decision.

But the bulk of the episode was about Marin visiting his house to take her measurements for the outfit, wearing only a bathing suit. And after what I saw in that very long scene, I began to worry whether My Dress-Up Darling will throw a lot of ecchi at us. Marin already has a cute body, and we get small shots every now and then where she shows it off, and naturally Wakana gets all flustered and embarrassed and everything. Will this be the entire show? I don’t think so, as even with all of that, there is good character design and story in the show so far. But it’ll be something that will be very visible in every episode.

Just as it was noticeable in the first episode, we really get to see the two different worlds Wakana and Marin live in, and not just in their own hobbies either. Wakana has put himself in the role of wallflower and pushover, and is comfortable there because he knows that his niche hobby of making Hina dolls will be something no one will understand. Marin, on the other hand, is far more forward with her cosplay hobby, and while it’s something that she doesn’t share with the group of girls she hangs out with both in and out of school, that doesn’t stop her from being so outgoing about it. As I have said before, I would be really disappointed if this went down some romance route.

My Dress-Up Darling

My Dress-Up Darling has started off strong, but this was a very awkward episode to watch. If I ever wanted to make a show that revolves around cosplay, I definitely wouldn’t devote an entire episode to a girl going to a guy’s house and getting her measurements taken. How much raunchiness can an episode be?

And just as I ask that, I move onto…

World’s End Harem Episode 2

Well they didn’t pull the plug on this show; not yet anyway. And I know I said I’d be extra careful when it came to screencaps, but I need to show the people who aren’t aware of the censoring how awful it really is.

World's End Harem

…and from what I understand, these black bars aren’t Crunchyroll’s doing either.

This week’s episode gives us some new material; episode 1 was first broadcast back in October, before the delay was announced. We get to meet Number One for the first time: Ryuuji Hino, the first guy who woke up from cold sleep and a guy who really has embraced the thought of mating with as many women as he possibly can. So far he doesn’t give off the energy of a bad guy, but it’s clear to see here that World’s End Harem is giving off the notion that his misogynistic behavior is ‘acceptable and normal’, and that it’s Reito who is the weird one by being so shocked with the current world situation and so hesitant in his new role.

World's End Harem

We later get some more information about the virus itself, and that Erisa is still alive but in hiding. Also that there’s a huge possibility that it was in fact artificially created for some reason. Maybe one could even say that the story is starting to pick up now – that we get a bit more of an understanding of this new world, as opposed to the shock moments we had in episode 1, where we saw Reito escape from the facility and have random civilians run rabidly towards him. He says this week that he wants to work on the cure for the virus, but to be honest, do we even care?

I’m scolding myself on overanalyzing a show like Slow Loop, and yet I’m fine with doing it for a show like this? What kind of person am I? I reiterate the point that World’s End Harem is trying to be two polar opposite shows at once. Their approach to combining a sci-fi story with ecchi and nudity of this magnitude is just not working at all. Maybe a combination would have actually worked, providing that the sci-fi have taken center stage, and that all of this mating is firmly at the back seat, or even only suggested or invisible to the viewer. That way, we would have cared more about Reito’s mission to find his childhood sweetheart, and not the fact that everyone in this top-secret facility wants to sleep with him.

World's End Harem

I am still going to finish this show though. Because I think that the sci-fi story that’s intertwined will end up being a good one? No. Because I actually care about how the show will end? Nope. Because I’m that much of a pervert? Absolutely not. The answer to why I’m sticking with it is a difficult one, but I really really don’t like to talk about shows that I’ll end up dropping halfway through, even if they are controversial as heck.

And also because I kind of dug my own hole in doing this:

The Helpful Fox Senko-san Episode 2

Episode 2 of The Helpful Fox Senko-san is a stereotypical second episode, where the main lead wakes up and realizes that an 800-year-old fox god is still in his apartment happy and willing to ‘pamper’ him, and that it wasn’t all a weird dream.

I think one thing I didn’t quite touch on last week is how Nakano is more connected to Senko than he thought. We get little flashbacks of him as a young kid playing at his grandmother’s house and sometimes praying at a temple. Now Senko has mentioned that the food she uses to make dinners are sometimes offering from shrines, and so I’m kind of putting two and two together here. For episode 2, Nakano even brings it up, and while Senko responds by saying that it’s a possibility and that she’s met thousands of children in her time, it’s definitely something to think about.

I still feel uncomfortable about these scenes where Nakano gets to mess around with Senko’s fur. The last episode was her tail, and this one has her ears. This is all awkward, and the show likes to make it well known to us that she is 800-years-old, and not some prepubescent girl. Thankfully, these moments are nothing more than awkward, and not really that suggestive.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san
The Helpful Fox Senko-san

Back when I was deciding my Winter shows, I admit that I did have some trouble – not because there was a lot of choice, but the opposite. This season is unusually bare, with the final season of Attack on Titan and the new season of Demon Slayer firmly in everyone’s vision. I know that the Spring will give us a hecking lot more, and so that’s something to look forward to. As for now though, I’ll just see if the three shows that I did pick will turn into something decent…well two shows not counting the harem one.

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