Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2022, Week 3

Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2022, Week 3


My coverage of Komi Can’t Communicate ends in this week’s post. It’s been a ride, with some episodes not sitting well with me, especially towards the beginning. Looking back in hindsight though, I think there may have been a lot of other shows that I could have done alongside the Fall ones. Although I know I think I’d get called out for torturing myself on purpose if I did; 5-6 shows would be way too much. But I do applaud other anime writers who are capable of doing that. I, on the other hand, am just a mere mortal.

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 12

Reached it at last; the final episode of this season. And I say this season as Komi Can’t Communicate will be returning to Netflix sooner than we think. Well this final episode gives us part 2 of the cultural festival. While we’ll be getting more action from these guys, what did I really think here?

Komi Can't Communicate

Well it feels like every school show has at least one cultural festival episode, and this is no different. I’ve never been a critic of them so why does it feel so different here? I mean over these weeks I’ve grown to really enjoy the antics that these guys have. I initially had some criticisms on the portrayal of Najimi, only for them to be quashed immediately.

A part of me is rather glad that the idea of cultural festivals hasn’t really come here to the UK, as it would have been something I’d dread and I think that’s why I feel the way I do about this final episode. It hasn’t been the show in general; instead it’s more like I’ve seen enough cultural festival episodes now that none of them really stand out anymore. Even if this school worships Komi as a god among gods. Plus I would have thought that, at this point, OLM (the studio) would have known that a second season was more than guaranteed, hence the ending that we got.

Komi Can't Communicate

Now I suppose the next question if whether I’m game for coming back when it gets its second season. Well as much as I have gotten to love the characters here, and how I’ve gotten to believe that Najimi has become less of a gimmick character (and more of a meme one), I think I’d prefer to look elsewhere, to other shows that are coming out. I mean I already have two confirmed ones for Spring, and both of them are sequel shows. So I don’t really want to make it three.

It’s been a fun ride watching Komi Can’t Communicate, but I’m going to call it a day and let everyone else enjoy season 2.

My Dress-Up Darling Episode 3

I did not like the direction last week’s episode went down, and I was really worried that the show was going to go down some ridiculous ecchi-fest. This week was way better, and has given us a better look at what kind of relationship these two are going to develop while they create the cosplay of the ice queen Shizuku-tan from the eroge with the ridiculously-long name (Saint Slippery’s Academy for Girls – The Young Ladies of the Humiliation Club: Debauched Miracle Life 2, in case you forgot). But this 3-episode also showed us that the one singular thing that is going to make a show a potentially awesome one: Marin herself.

My Dress-Up Darling

I really get the feeling that her character design is going to be deeper and more complex as time goes on. In the meantime though, as she and Wakana go out shopping for materials for the cosplay, we see her for exactly what she is: straight-talking, uncaring of others’ opinions of her, and full of resolve. It’s like she is the yin to Wakana’s yang, and I suppose that is why these two are going to get along so well, despite coming from two different backgrounds.

It’s also this kind of episode where, while a lot of focus ends up being on Marin, we get a little bit of an understanding of how and why Wakana is in the position he is in; similar to what we saw about him in the debut. Saying that though, I like how it isn’t dwelling on past stories, and focusing more on the present. A potentially good show like this does not need any unnecessary exposition. I already experienced a Cloverworks show with far too much unnecessary exposition, when I watched season 2 of The Promised Neverland, and so I don’t want to see any of that here, thank you very much.

My Dress-Up Darling

This was a much better episode than the last one, where I was worrying that ecchi and sexy scenes were going to dominate the show. And I say that Marin appears to be the glue that’s holding it together, but I’m hoping that Wakana isn’t going to be portrayed as the total loser who needs to be ‘cured’. Makes me think back to the first episode, where Marin joined him in cleaning duty, only to find out that the rest of the class are actually taking advantage of Wakana and running away from their own cleaning duties because he is that much of a pushover to object. Maybe Marin will be the one to get him to stand on his own two feet.

My Dress-Up Darling

Slow Loop Episode 3

And now another Slow Loop episode. And I should have known long ago that school would not be the setting where our two dorks get to know each other more; it would be out at sea, trying to fish. Well, Hiyori is the one who seems to be fishing, while Koharu makes silly straight-forward jokes. All rather predictable, but I think that’s exactly what the routine of this show is going to be like, now that the 3-episode rule has passed.

Slow Loop
Slow Loop

The relationship these two step-sisters are building feels forced and even a little stiff at times, almost like we already know what’ll happen next. Have cutesy shows always been like this, and I’m the one who has not realized it?

I brought up last week how I’m struggling with connecting with these main characters, well even with the sob story we are given about Koharu’s mother and brother, I am just unable to feel anything about either her or Hiyori. Maybe it’s perhaps both of these characters are the kind that we see so often in these cutesy shows; they become so frequent that character designs kind of meld into one and aren’t unique or remarkable any more. Koi on the other hand is still someone that stands out for me, and that’s precisely because her character design has connected with me more than the others.

Slow Loop

Koi is someone who is very much attached to Hiyori and wants to stick with her after hearing about her father’s death. She’s sick to death of her own dad’s fishing addiction and no longer fishes anymore (I think). And after what we saw last week, it may or may not be possible that she has sensitive skin…although that might just be me looking too much into this.

After the 3-episode mark, Slow Loop has been very…not quick to warm up to (purposely avoided the pun there). It’s not bad, and it’s not the worst cutesy slice-of-life show either…it’s just not very interesting. Show elements like informational snippets on fly fishing and new stepfamilies, and the childhood friend Koi, might be the things to watch for me here; everything else just feels so gray. It sucks that I feel this way, because this could have been a really awesome watch. Last season saw me give the cold shoulder to both Komi Can’t Communicate and Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut, but they both delivered over time. Maybe the same can happen here…

World’s End Harem Episode 3

…but another question will be if World’s End Harem‘s so-called amazing sci-fi story can deliver. Well the target audience for this show certainly don’t come for our lead character to look for a cure to the MK Virus and find his missing girlfriend. They come for the other stuff. But yeah another week, another awkward watch. This time though we look at it from the perspective of Shouta Doi, or Number Three.

World's End Harem

I’m kind of mixed here. On the one hand, I like how they decided to shift focus away from the gormless Reito, even if it is probably only for one episode. I also have to admit that I like how they’ve humanized Shouta, and someone you actually want to root for. Just as he was diagnosed with Cellular Sclerosis, he was the fodder for all the bullies at his school, as so as you watch him wake up from cold sleep with his hyperactive attendant Karen in party mode, a part of you is kind of glad that those people are all gone now.

On the other hand, there’s the obvious awkwardness around the fact that he is one of the few males that are left in the world: the only high-school boy among an entire school of women, both students and teachers. And as Number Three, he is expected to do his duty, and it doesn’t matter how old he is. The kid is not stereotypically horny in any way, and just wants to redo his life now that the troubles he had before have all miraculously vanished. Even the lovable teacher he looks up to is more than happy to see him again.

World's End Harem

Reito is incredibly gormless and a very predictable main lead, while Ryuuji is more than willing to be with as many women as he can. Now that we look at this from a man who is considerably younger, a minor in fact, has made World’s End Harem still as awkward a watch as it already is, but I can’t help but think that that ‘serious’ story is hidden away in this show somewhere. Is a minor like him really that valuable in this new world? Surely they would wait until he is of age. There’s definitely more to this story than just nudity and horniness.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san Episode 3

I think my out-of-season show is getting into a good rhythm now. I’m more than certain now that what Senko and Nakano will get up to in this show won’t be any stereotypical guy-and-girl comedy. Senko is a wise and mature fox god, even if she’s half Nakano’s size. And Nakano appears to be far more grounded and mature himself; a man who knows his limits and right now is just taking all of this in his stride. But I still get the feeling that something inside him is just going to snap, especially how he has been reacting to touching Senko’s fur tail and ears.

Episode 3 is mostly around the two of them shopping for groceries, but we also get to see character number three: Koenji, a neighbor of Nakano who works from home. I’d be suspicious of a neighbor who somehow has a young-looking girl now living with him suddenly, but it was kind of funny how she was immediately won over by one of Senko’s home-cooked meals. Koenji seems like a fun secondary character, and as we’ll definitely be seeing much more of her later on in the show, I’m curious on all the future interactions.

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

However episode 3 felt different than the last two, and not on face value. I’ve already accepted that there will be a lot of filler material in episodes, and I believe that with these kind of shows, pacing is extremely important. It was something that Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid did very well; it introduced new characters and gave them fitting scenes and scenarios. In this episode of The Helpful Fox Senko-san, I didn’t quite get that. The filler material we had in the first two episodes felt far more natural; perhaps that can be attributed to Senko’s introduction into Nakano’s life. Now that a third party (Koenji) is in the picture, it feels that much weirder. I hope this is something that’ll get better in the next episode though, as regardless of all that, this is a fun show to watch.

A very mixed bag this week; some good episodes for Komi Can’t Communicate and My Dress-Up Darling, while every other show has felt kind of…off. I know I’m not expected to love every show I watch, but I always hold hope that shows will get better. I’ll just wait and see, I guess.

Oh, and one last thing. The movie Sing a Bit of Harmony has hit theaters across the world this week, and it’ll be arriving here on this side of the pond too, so look out for a review on the movie from me soon.



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