Ha, if only.
Dagashi Kashi S2 Ep. 6
Still no Hotaru. Boo. Boo this anime. So Coconuts visits the recently-opened conbini next to his dagashi shop, and he ends up running into the owner Yutaka Beni. This guy apparently loves convenience stores as much as Hotaru likes dagashi. Unfortunately, he also lacks common sense since he’s trying to sell 3500-yen cakes in the boonies. As a result of Coconuts pointing this out to him, he would like to recruit his competition to work for him instead; this would kill two birds with one stone. At first, Beni tries to lure the kid with an 850-yen salary, but when that doesn’t work, he also offers Coconuts the privilege to buy dirty magazines discreetly. But who still needs to buy dirty magazines in this day and age? Can’t you find all the smut you need online? I mean, I’d understand it if Coconuts was an old man who didn’t know his way around a computer, but surely, a resourceful kid like him can look up porn online. He could even find Dagashi Kashi smut if he really wanted. Still, our virtuous hero manages to resist the temptation thanks to Hotaru’s image suddenly flashing through his mind. Well, her bust size is certainly drawn like she’s straight out of a dirty magazine…
…and just like that, the episode is over. God, I hate this half-episode format so much. When we do get plot progression, it’s at a snail’s pace. Anyways, it looks like we’ll finally be properly introduced to the new girl in next week’s episode. Took them long enough. Any time a young woman shows up in a show full of kids, however, they always portray her as a drunk adult dissatisfied with her current life. No wonder no one ever wants to grow up in anime.
Dragon Ball Super Ep. 128
Yeah, I’ve seen what Goku looks like in his Perfected Ultra Instinct form. I think it looks terrible. It feels like we’re going to have a form for each color in the visible light spectrum. Anyways, there’s not much to say about this episode. Vegeta essentially stalled for half of it, and yet, I still feel bad for the guy. He actually has strong, compelling reasons to fight — like his family, the other Saiyan race, his pride — but he never gets to be the last man standing. I know it’s the last arc so it’s all about Goku saving the day, but the redeemed Saiyan Prince should’ve gotten the chance to be triumphant in at least one of the previous ones (I vote for the Frieza arc). But I guess this is supposed to show his “remarkable” character development or something, since all that matters to him now is Universe 7 winning. As for Jiren, he continues to be a boring, flat villain, but the silver lining is that it’ll be fun to watch Goku kick his ass… eventually. Also, there are just “two minutes” left in the tournament. Sure.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Ep. 6
Huh, I guess this story is already over after just two episodes. Shunsuke, aka the Submarine Ninja, tries to lure the Niwaka Samurai out with the prospect of a job, but Banba is too busy napping to accept it. So instead, Lin tries to take the job by impersonating his buddy, but he gets his ass handed to him when Shunsuke starts attacking him. He’s not exactly a swordsman, and really, who is in this day and age? Thanks to Jose, however, Lin still manages to escape his captors’ clutches, but not before Banba goes looking for him out of worry. This anime loves its twists and turns, however, so before he and Submarine Ninja can actually throw down, the Kakyu Association drops in and kidnaps the Niwaka Samurai to enact their vengeance. Not happy that his target got stolen, Shunsuke goes and saves Banba… just so these two can finally have their duel. They supposedly fight to a draw, but it’s pretty obvious to me that Banba won. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Kakyu Association is assassinated by a hitwoman who might just be Banba’s ex-lover. See? Nothing but twists and turns. Also, even the girl you date is an assassin. Unlike the previous arc, however, this two-episode short story is short on any strong emotions or character development. If anything, it feels like an all-too-busy introduction for a pair of characters. Meh.
Ito Junji Collection Ep. 7
The first adaptation sucks. In the manga, the record actually contains a jazz song, but this change doesn’t actually bother me all that much. Rather, it’s all the other weird stuff that got cut out. Like how after the girl kills her friend, her friend starts singing under the tarp:
Then when the girl dies later, she also starts singing from the grave:
You can actually hear her singing in the anime, but because we don’t get to hear her friend singing earlier, it doesn’t have the same chilling effect.
The next adaptation feels like four different stories mashed into one. First, you have the “Aristotle effect,” which a kid apparent uses to get the heroine to fall in love with him. Odd, I don’t remember studying that when I took a class on Ancient Greek philosophy in college. But before you can say “Aristotle effect,” the kid is quickly murdered by Jack the Ripper. Yep. Next, you have the girl’s creepy family peeping in on her for no apparent reason. It literally just starts happening one day. Her family was completely normal, then all of a sudden, a flip is switched and they start drilling holes into her walls and ceiling. And for what? For sexual reasons? It doesn’t seem like it. Even the mother is doing it! Finally, our heroine tries to escape the situation by deciding to live with her aunt, but she comes upon a town with no roads. There are literally just buildings everywhere, and in order to get from point A to point B, you have to walk through people’s homes. If you try to block people from entering your home, they’ll break in with a mob and beat you senseless. Yep again. Since nobody has any sort of privacy anymore, people in this town have started wearing masks just to retain a tiny shred of anonymity.
When the girl finally manages to find her aunt in this labyrinthian mess of a town, she finds a woman who has given up on the idea of privacy altogether. Instead, she prances around in her underwear. I think she’s supposed to be naked, but this got (understandably) censored. Hey, it’s cool if she wants to be naked; it’s her life, after all. But the lady starts trying to force her niece to go nude as well. Like I said, it feels like “Town with No Roads” should’ve been four different stories. As it is, it’s kind of all over the place. For instance, why on earth did her family start peeping on her? I guess they are also from this town, so they’ve inherited that perverted trait, but then why move away at all? Why do they peep on her and her only? Why did they only start peeping as of recently? Ah well…
This part looked creepily cool, though.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san Ep. 6
Is it really that hard to ride a bike with two people? I think Nishikata just needs to get into better shape.
Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san Ep. 7
The girls are on summer vacation, but I literally don’t care. The other characters are alright, but Yuu and Yuu alone pretty much ruins the entire story for me. I hate characters like her. I know it’s exaggerated for the sake of the anime, but it’s not even done in a funny way. The girl’s just pathetic. As a result, I’m just here for the ramen. Unfortunately, I can’t tell if the bowl pictured above has any gimmick to it. Maybe it doesn’t; I think it’s just plain ol’ shoyu ramen. Also, I don’t like eating ramen in the summer. Or any steaming hot food, really. Contrary to popular belief, I do not feel cooler afterwards unless it’s really spicy. A bowl of hearty ramen wold probably make my body overheat in hot weather.
And according to a Quora post, chuuka soba is just China’s take on Japanese noodles. Well then.
We get another bowl with more dried sardines. I thought we got that last week. Plus, you can’t talk about Japanese food without hearing the word “umami” at least once. It’s unavoidable. Hell, it’s overdone at this point.
Here’s a bowl of ramen that apparently specializes in having almost no fat at all in the broth. I think one of my readers would like it. Something about having good skin. Anyways, I find that these broths tend to lack body, so they’re just not as satisfying to gulp down. Then again, I used to be a fat kid around 200 lbs. I’m down now to around 135, which I think is okay for my height. I could stand to lose another five or ten pounds. In any case, I still prefer rich, fatty food, and that probably won’t ever change. Right now, I’m craving a blueberry muffin, which, if you think about it, is just a mini-cake without frosting. Muffins are practically all sugar and fat. If I do, I’ll have to go jog an extra pair of laps tonight. Hmmm. Well, let’s get back to ramen for now.
I personally want this bowl of Toyama-style ramen. Unfortunately, the anime is doing the ramen is a disservice. The actual broth is much darker than the brown soup that you can see on the show:
God, that looks amazing. There are basically three things I love overdo in every dish I eat: 1) garlic, 2) fresh black pepper, 3) onions. Just don’t kiss me afterwards. And this bowl is full of black pepper. I’m not sure where I can find something like that around here, though. There’s this thing…
…but it’s really a misnomer. I actually enjoy it as far as instant ramen goes, but yeah. Afterwards, as if to balance out all the ramen with clean, clear broths, we get a flight of tonkotsu bowls.
Supposedly, tonkotsu ramen is served with straight noodles because they would cling together and help transport the broth up and into your mouth.
I prefer thin noodles over thick, personally.
Wow, three bowls of tonkotsu ramen in a row. There’s no way these girls can stay slim after all that. No way. But that does it for this week’s episode of Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san.
Like I said last week, I’m skipping ramen this week to save some money. So instead, I’ll talk about my sushi dinner! Yes, I realize the irony in this; sushi is way more expensive than ramen in most cases. I had this dinner back in December, though. I went to a place called Hinata, because it has one of the cheaper omakase in San Francisco. You usually have to pay at least $100 in the city for decent sushi; the higher-end restaurants will hover around $150-200. Hell, Sushi Hashiri offers a $500 option for the extravagantly rich. If I was going alone, I’d give it a shot, but I had two coworkers with me. As a result, I picked the $78 option. When you want to convince friends that sushi is good, you shouldn’t really burn a hole in their pockets. Not yet, anyways. Once they realize how good sushi is, then you can slowly nudge them towards the more expensive stuff.
What’s the difference between a $150 dollar omakase and what I ended up having instead? Well, it’s everything, really. Technique, variety, preparation, you name it. The cuts at Hinata weren’t as precise, and the chefs weren’t as tidy either. Nothing is unclean, mind you, but I wouldn’t mind having my station wiped up periodically. Every time the sushi chef served up a nigiri, he would leave behind a small amount of water from his hands. Over the course of the night, it built up a little, and these small details matter. Also, the rice at Hinata wasn’t as fluffy as I would like; it was still decent, but the rice is my favorite part of nigiri. It also felt like Hinata only use one type of soy sauce for every preparation. Also, I got nothing but fish for nigiri on the main menu — no eel, shrimp, squid, or any other animal from the sea — but hell, fish was good enough. For my friends who often only eat sushi when it comes in a roll covered in thick sauces, this meal was a revelation to them.
The best bite of the night was the chu toro that was half-seared. The seared end melted like butter in your mouth, so it was a nice texture contrast. The worst bite of the night was something I ordered as an extra: a piece of wagyu beef with gold flakes on top. It was way too salty. Last but not least, I always get black sesame ice cream if it’s on the menu.
Anyways, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled ramen adventures next week… unless you guys want me to talk about my dinner at a super popular Hawaiian restaurant instead. Seriously, getting a decent reservation there is like pulling teeth. I’m finally going this upcoming Friday, though.
Takunomi Ep. 6
Man, just ask the guy to share. Anyways, Michiru is craving fish, but not only are the restaurants she goes to out of what she wants, so are the supermarkets. I find that hard to believe in a country like Japan. I find that hard to believe in any first-world country, honestly. Luckily for her, the two sisters are from Hokkaido, and their family just sent them a package full of… fish. Y’know, I hated eating fish growing up. I hated eating anything that had come from the sea. The smell just got to me. But like most foods we used to hate as kids, it turns out I only hated fish because my mom didn’t know how to cook seafood dishes at all. Nowadays, I’ll happily order fish if it’s on the menu… as long as it’s not steamed. I don’t particularly like that preparation for any ingredient, fish or otherwise.
Anyways, the girls enjoy sake with their fishy dinner. Sounds good. Personally, sake’s low on my list of preferred alcoholic beverages. Tastes like medicine to me. There are some that I like, though. The dry ones with hints of apple skin are nice with sushi.
Toji no Miko Ep. 7
I wish the show would explain to us why Yukari is so goddamn well regarded by her people. Sayaka’s gone missing, and her handler President Takatsu wants Yukari’s Elite Guards to go look for the girl. Why? Duh, it’s for Yukari’s sake; Sayaka is supposedly the ideal candidate to become the villain’s right-hand woman. Because Yukari-sama this, Yukari-sama that. But after seven weeks, I still have no clue why they practically deify this woman.
But yeah, Sayaka tries to run away, because she no longer wants to be a generic emotionless anime archetype. Yume goes after the girl and she’s got a really annoying voice, so this episode is even more unbearable than previous ones. Long story short, Mai and Sayaka are both in hiding now as well, and the woman who opposes Yukari is none other than her own sister. This means the team is finally complete, right? Don’t worry, I’ll probably drop this show in the spring when I have better stuff to watch.