Just do it.
Dagashi Kashi S2 Ep. 8
Hajime’s a giant, idiotic goofball who misunderstands everything, so I actually enjoyed this episode. Still no Hotaru, but at least Hajime is superior to Saya in every way. Is she really going to run a dagashi shop in that businesswoman suit, though? She seems a bit overdressed for a part-time, minimum wage job.
Dragon Ball Super Ep. 129
Even though all the promo stuff already showed us what mastered Ultra Instinct Goku would look like, it still took all episode for him to reach that form. Yep, that’s Dragon Ball for you. For a casual fan like myself, the old adage still holds true: just watch the last five minutes of every episode. Everything before those five minutes are wholly unnecessary. Plus, I find the whole thing a bit lacking in drama. It really feels like Goku stumbles onto this form out of nowhere. Nobody had to die like Krillin or Android 16. The bad guy isn’t even really a bad guy. Goku just gets pushed to the limit then blammo, Ultra Instinct. Eh. There’s no juicy drama here. Sure, sure, the entire universe will be wiped out if he doesn’t win the tournament… but I dunno, the threat doesn’t feel credible. After all, they already told us that this entire series happens right before the last episode of DBZ. Anyways, thanks to Dragon Ball‘s penchant for dragging things out, you’re lucky if you get one hype moment per episode. Last but not least, Goku’s incomplete Ultra Instinct form looks way cooler than his mastered form.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Ep. 8
Like I said last week, there’s always a twist. Enokida looked like he had gotten captured and tortured by the bad guys in the next episode preview, but it turned out be Lin in a bowl-cut wig. Yep, our resident hacker cooks up a master plan to turn the tables on his enemies, and a part of his schemes requires Lin to take a beating for him. Christ, such dedication to the job. In the end, everything works out for our heroes, and not only that, it turns out Enokida’s father never actually ordered a hit on him after all. So the two kinda make up, and all’s well that ends well. Aw, isn’t that sweet? Sadly, it looks like Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens‘ best arc was the very first one, and the rest of the show can only go downhill from there. This anime series is not objectively terrible, but the recent stories lack any sort of emotional weight.
Ito Junji Collection Ep. 9
You know the first story is pure fantasy right from the get-go, because nobody actually cares this much about art in this day and age. I kid, I kid… sorta. On a more serious note, “Painter” certainly takes an odd swerve at the very end. The vast majority of the short story is almost too typical to even bother recapping: artists find themselves so captivated by Tomie, a beautiful model, that they slowly lose their sanity. They stop eating and sleeping altogether; all they can think about is capturing her beauty through their chosen artform. Of course, there’s always a twist, and the girl is not what she seems:
Is this what Tomie really looks like? How come we can only see this through the lens of a camera? In the end, Mori paints another portrait of her that actually resembles the photograph above. She of course hates it and insults him. As a result, he kills the girl and chops her into tiny pieces. After a few days, however, those body parts suddenly start to grow into separate Tomies:
Yeah… I don’t get it.
As for the second story, it’s horribly rushed. The adaptation leaves out two major scenes with the vampire kids. First, when the kids attacked Kana and sucked her blood, Anzai had to fight them off. We don’t get to see any of that here. The anime just awkwardly cuts to the couple walking by themselves afterwards. Second, the kids eventually break into the evil guy’s home in order to feast on all his precious blood bubbles. This moment of chaos is what allows Anzai to escape with Kana. Again, this gets left out completely from the adaptation. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. The husk that speaks to Anzai? He’s actually one of the kids’ father. It’s such a pity that this adaptation ends up being such a hack job.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san Ep. 8
These two are still in middle school, so I guess it’s not too surprising that they have a little chuuni in them. In one of the stories, Nishikata tries to compete against Takagi in a marathon, but she seems to have him easily beat. The girl mercifully gives him a way out, though: if he can just touch her, he’ll automatically win. Unfortunately, he gets too easily embarrassed to take the easy win. She knows it, too. But that reminds me: I need to sign up for a 5K run this summer.
Overlord II Ep. 8
Climb bumps into Sebas and learns how to overcome his fear of death by thinking of Princess Renner. Afterwards, Brain joins the party, but they are rudely interrupted by assassins. Naturally, Sebas doesn’t even have to break a sweat to take down these interlopers. As for Climb, the kid launches a pathetic-looking attack, but it still manages to take out one of the assassins. Well done, I guess. It’s still hardly enough to protect his princess from all the evils of the world, but you gotta start somewhere. In the end, Sebas decides to take it to the bad guys, and the two humans decide to join him. Yawn. I feel like nothing important happened. Yep, that was an entire episode about nothing. I can’t believe this is such a popular anime series.
Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san Ep. 9
Koizumi climbs a mountain just to try some ramen. She’s crazy enough to do that sort of thing. Even so, I initially thought she was going to go camping. After all, camping is so hot nowadays. You’d never find me sleeping in some woods or atop a mountain, though. I don’t hate the wilderness, but I very much appreciate my safe and comfy bed. No serial killers or bears to worry about… okay, okay, fewer serial killers and bears to worry about. Most importantly, I’d have a private toilet to use at my discretion. I love civilization, alright? I even own all the games!
Those are giant slices of chashu. I’ve never see chashu that big.
Koizumi ends up getting an even taller bowl, because like most anime characters, her stomach is truly bottomless.
Afterwards, the fallen leafs of autumn remind her of back fat, so she goes and gets a bowl of ramen full of it. I know, it’s weird, but this is Koizumi-san we’re talking about. Misa gets roped into eating a bowl as well, but who really cares about the side characters? Back fat ramen sounds good, though. I love rich, heavy foods. I’m sure a single bowl probably contains like 3,000 calories, but it doesn’t hurt to try something once.
I certainly would not go and have it seven days in a row.
Yeah… but on the bright side, this episode has a distinct lack of Yuu, so I approve!
As for me, Iza Ramen opened up a second location just 15 minutes away from my office, so I decided to drop by on a rainy day. I really wanted to try their tsukemen, but they only serve that at dinner. So instead, I got their lunch combo, which included a bowl of ramen, three pieces of gyoza, two pieces of chicken karaage, and your choice of soft drink.
The chicken karaage is pretty good. Nice and crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the outside. On the other hand, the gyozas were well-fried but sadly underseasoned. The ones I had at Nojo came with a light dusting of seasoning on the outside. These ones are plain, and there just wasn’t any flavor to them. The appetizers came with a vinegar-y dipping sauce, but that too was pretty light in flavor.
The tonkotsu ramen was pretty good. The broth was an interesting mix of pork, chicken, vegetable, and bonito tuna. The bonito tuna definitely lent an interesting character that I haven’t tasted anywhere else in the city. I liked it. The toppings were nothing special, unfortunately. Also, the restaurant only really offers two types of ramen. You can either have the tonkotsu bowl with chashu pork, or you can get the vegetarian miso bowl.
So would I ever come back? Nope. I know the place just recently opened, so they have some kinks to iron out, but good lord, the service was terrible. My combo came with a beverage, right? I never got it. I could have said something, but I really wanted to see if anyone would notice. They didn’t. It was only a Diet Coke, so luckily, I didn’t feel terribly ripped off or anything. Still, that wasn’t the worst part.
Eventually, I saw my bowl of ramen come to the pass. I knew it was my ramen bowl because I had ordered fresh spinach on the side to go with it. It’s hard to miss a giant bowl of spinach. So I waited… and waited… and waited… servers would come up to the pass and stare at the bowl, grab something else, and serve another table instead. I have no clue why anyone would leave any dish sitting at the pass for more than a minute. Hot food should never sit that long. Plus, this is ramen we’re talking about. You don’t want the noodles to get soggy. Plus, you can tell from the photo above that the toppings looked kinda wilted by the time I got around to snapping a picture. That’s sad.
Finally, the head waiter came by and served me the bowl. The whole thing was a farce. Even after I had finished my food, nobody brought me the check. At this point, the restaurant was already closed. I sat down at 1:30 pm, and lunch service ends at 2 pm. I didn’t get to finish my bowl of ramen until 2:05pm. There restaurant was mostly empty by this point, so I don’t understand how three servers failed to notice that I was waiting to pay and leave. I ended having to ask for the check. Otherwise, I’d never make it back to work.
To sum it all up, the food’s not bad at Iza Ramen (SOMA location), but the front of house definitely needs an overhaul.
Takunomi Ep. 8
Michiru lands a big contract after a successful presentation, so Nao treats her to a whiskey cocktail that’s mostly soda. She calls it a kaku-highball. My friends enjoy a nasty ginger ale and Jameson combo (a whiskey ginger?), so this is pretty similar. Apparently, this cocktail goes well with chicken karaage. I’m not a whisky drinker, but sadly, all my friends love it. I have one friend who likes taste-testing Japanese whiskey. Luckily for her, San Francisco has plenty of whiskey lounges. Another friend got aged whiskey from her boyfriend as a birthday present. Personally, I don’t get it, but whatever floats their boats.
Toji no Miko Ep. 9
Terrible storytelling. First, we have irrelevant scenes at a festival for no particular reason. Light-hearted fun isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Toji no Miko doesn’t do anything amusing with the festival. You simply see a montage of the girls doing stuff. Then afterwards, everyone stands around and listens to Friedman drone on and on about noro, aradama, and how mankind is truly to blame for everything. More importantly, the US is complicit. Of course they are. They always are. Again, it’s not that exposition is necessarily bad, but just having the characters stand completely still and yap for ten straight minutes is really lazy storytelling.
Eventually, Yukari’s goons show up looking for trouble, i.e. arrest anyone associated with Mokusa. Yukari herself would never do any of the dirty work, so Yume gets to go on a one-woman wrecking crew. Unfortunately, she sounds like a whiny, petulant teenager, so it’s hard to take her seriously.