Don’t despair, guys! We’re so close to finally moving on from this winter season! Wait a minute, I actually enjoyed quite a few shows this season. That’s a first.
Dagashi Kashi S2 Ep. 11
With his friends’ help, Coconuts manages to finish his manga chapter in time. Unfortunately, you can’t fool a professional. One glance at Coconuts’ work and the editor can tell that it’s a rushed hack job. The kid is devastated; he can’t even bear the thought of returning home and delivering the bad news to Hajime. Nevertheless, this is a good goddamn lesson for him to learn. I think we all encounter this exact situation at some point in our lives, too. I coasted through high school and still got straight A’s. As soon as I got to college, it quickly became apparent that the same half-assed effort wasn’t going to fly. Luckily for Coconuts, his career isn’t at stake. His grades aren’t at stake either. He simply dropped the ball for some random contest. He can easily recover from this if he takes the lesson to heart. Plus, he’ll have Hotaru to help him:
Next week’s episode should do it for this second season of Dagashi Kashi, and honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing another sequel. Bring back the full length episodes, though. I hate the shortened format.
Dragon Ball Super Ep. 131 (Final)
Welp, that’s all she wrote, folks. The only proper way for this series to end is to have the frustrated wives turn away from their meathead husbands in exasperation.
I personally would’ve had Vegeta take Frieza’s place in the final episode, but whatever. Just look how heart-broken Vegeta is, though.
Android 17 ends up being the winner of the whole tournament by default, and as expected, he wishes for all of the universes to return. Basically, the Tournament of Power didn’t really amount to anything. Goku even loses control of his Ultra Instinct form, but he’ll probably get it back in time for the next Dragon Ball movie.
On the other hand, Frieza gets to come back to life, which just seems asinine to me. After all, this guy is an intergalactic mass murderer. So was Vegeta, sure, but we at least know that Vegeta has changed for good. On the other hand, Frieza says outright that he doesn’t intend to be any less evil. But whatever, that’s Dragon Ball for you.
Basically, it’s the same mindless show it’s always been. This probably would have blown my mind back when I was still in middle school, but it just doesn’t cut it anymore. Some of the earlier fights might’ve featured a modicum of strategy, but not against Jiren. Not really, anyways. If you’re going to argue that Goku and Frieza sacrificing themselves in order to take Jiren out of bounds is top-notch strategy, then you’re on the wrong blog. Moving along, the animation is alright, but the show cuts way too many corners with repeated callbacks. Plus, I could always skip the first two minutes of every episode since they’re nothing but recaps of what had happened the previous week. Last but not least, Jiren was such a weak, uninspired villain. His personality, his motivations, and his backstory were all pathetically half-assed.
Final grade: I’ll just grade the final arc, so uh… I guess about a C-.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Ep. 11
Even though Feilang survived, he ended up being sold to a pervert who abused him all throughout his childhood. I thought he was trained to be a killer, though. Shouldn’t it have been easy for him to kill some random dude, child molester or not? Or was this guy also a hitman? Ah, no matter. Feilang claims he just wants Lin to join him on some worldwide assassination tour, but who’s going to believe that? Anyways, this week’s episode mostly serves to set up next week’s finale. As a result, we get to see all of Lin’s friends drop by and treat him with kindness. In the end, he tells Feilang that he loves this city despite all of its brutal violence. Feilang fittingly responds by swearing to kill every single one of Lin’s friends. But the problem is that we know this won’t happen. It can’t happen. It’s not in this anime series’ nature.
For a show all about hitmen and cold-hearted murders, none of the good guys ever die. Hell, they don’t even so much as lose a limb. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens wants to be a feelgood anime despite its subject matter, which is just patently ridiculous. I’ll readily admit that I ended up enjoying this series more than I thought I would, but I can’t deny the plain fact that it’s shooting itself right in the foot with its nonsense refusal to ever raise the stakes. Every apparent betrayal always turns out to be a ruse. Case in point, Nitta pretends to hand his childhood friend Saruwatari over to the Kakyu Association, but — BIG SURPRISE! — he always intended to save his friend after getting the bad guys’ money. Oh man, I totally didn’t see that coming. Phew, what a topsy-turvy anime I’m watching!
Ito Junji Collection Ep. 12 (Final)
This is it? This is the last episode? Yeah, yeah, I know there are still two OVAs coming up, but man, talk about a letdown. Ito Junji Collection joins Kokkoku and Violet Evergarden as my biggest disappointments of the winter season. What a shame. Bad animation, bad voice-acting, and cut corners everywhere. Ito Junji deserves better than this.
Final grade: D
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san Ep. 11
Nishikata finally managed to land a critical hit on Takagi without realizing it. It was such a cute moment that I decided to look up that spin-off manga where he and Takagi have grown up and gotten married. They also have an adorable daughter named Chi:
The sad part, however, is that even as a married man Nishikata is too embarrassed to do things like lay his head in his wife’s lap. God only knows how Chi was ever conceived.
Overlord II Ep. 11
Well, we finally get to see more than just Climb do battle this week, so that’s cool. Evileye can defeat Entoma, the insect maid, and all it takes is a can of Raid. Unfortunately, she can’t beat Demiurge (naturally), but Momon shows up “out of nowhere” to save the day. No, really, that’s the master plan. He’s going to pretend to defeat the big, bad demon boss, this’ll make all the weaklings fall in love with him. And by fall in love, I really mean Evileye falling in love with him, ’cause every goddamn isekai show is just a harem series in disguise. Ho-hum. The show’s kinda predictable. But like I said, I’m still thankful for the fact that I didn’t have to spend most of the episode gawking at Climb fumbling around with his sword.
Takunomi Ep. 11
I’m not a fan of hot sake. I like my dinner beverages to be cold and refreshing.
I am jealous of this hot pot, though. I haven’t had hot pot in over a year, but at the same time, I’m not willing to go and pay top dollar for the experience in San Francisco. I could make it at home, but it’s too much for one person, and I’m too lazy to clean the place up for guests.
Oh, I guess I’ll use this opportunity to complain about the dinner I had at International Smoke last Friday.
My appetizer was a red curry soup with dungeness crab, but I tasted neither curry nor crab. It was very sour. In fact, it kinda reminded me of a sweet and sour soup in Vietnamese cuisine. On the side, you’ll see a cornbread topped with more red curry. The first bite was fine, but the whole thing was too sweet. Also too large a portion for such a tiny amount of soup.
My main was a black garlic and miso salmon fillet swimming in a kimchee stew. The kimchee flavors were really muted. Not enough spice, not enough pungency. The salmon was okay, I guess.
My dessert was a banana tarte tatin. It looked nice, but I couldn’t finish the dish. There was a strange bitter aftertaste from the caramel sauce. All in all, the whole dinner was a huge letdown. The service was bad too, but I don’t wanna get into that.
Toji no Miko Ep. 12
Basically, Yukari allowed herself to be possessed by Princess Tagitsu in order to save Kanami and Hiyori’s mothers. She placed her bet on the future, hoping that when Princess Tagitsu restored itself to full strength, there would be toji strong enough to take down the monster. Well, none of our toji are good enough. The big, bad baddie pretty much has them defeated. All of a sudden, Kanami is possessed by her mother’s spirit. Nope, you didn’t read that wrong! Through her daughter’s body, Minato weakens Princess Tagitsu enough for Hiyori to use her mother’s special sealing move. But like Minato, Kanami saves her best friend in the end. Awww… that feels cheap, though. I mean, when you start pulling ghosts out of your ass, yeah, that’s cheap. But where do we even go from here? If Princess Tagitsu is truly defeated, what’s even the point of the second cour? Are you telling me that Yume will become an evil aradama that will threaten the world? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see… or will we? Should I even bother with this nonsense next season?
Mid-series grade: D