Let’s wrap this winter season up. I know a couple shows haven’t finished airing yet, but they’re not all that good anyway.
Dagashi Kashi S2 Ep. 12 (Final)
Coconuts pours his heart out as Hotaru listens attentively. She then cheers him up with manga and ramen, which would honestly work on any decent man if you ask me. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Still, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Hotaru. On the one hand, she brings a whole lot of energy to the show, and her absence has keenly been felt over the past few weeks. But on the other hand, she doesn’t have much to say about herself at all. Hotaru merely tells Coconuts that she had some things to take care of. At the end of the episode, she reveals her plans to start her own dagashi company, so she needs the guy by her side. But I’m not just talking about what she’s been doing or her future plans. I’m talking about her thoughts, feelings and motivations. This episode is heavily weighted towards Coconuts, so it feels a little unsatisfying. Hotaru’s back, but we don’t feel as though we get much closure on with her character. She’s very much a manic pixie dream girl. She’s fun to be with, but she has very little depth.
Oh yeah, Beni is apparently her older brother. Odd.
Final grade: C
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Ep. 12 (Final)
The last episode plays out exactly how you expect it to. The old flame initially gets the upper hand, but thanks to Lin’s new squeeze and their precious friends, all of the bad guys go down. The entire Kakyu Association are taken out, and Lin does what he couldn’t do as a kid: kill Feilang. Their final moment together is oddly intimate, don’t you think?
Sadly, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens‘ strongest arc was unfortunately the very first one. Everything that followed just couldn’t deliver a better product. What we end up with is a forgettable show full of forgettable characters. Lin’s bromance with Banba is pretty much the only thing the anime has going for it. Unfortunately, for a show full of bravado, it shyly skirts around its one romance.
Final grade: C-
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san Ep. 12 (Final)
Ironically, the final episode takes us all the way back to the start of Nishikata and Takagi’s relationship and shows us how they first met. Back in the present, he returns her handkerchief to the girl and even includes a little “thank you” note. It seems like nothing to us but it’s everything to the girl. What can I say? The show’s adorable. Is it repetitive? Yeah, of course. But for some odd reason, I never really got tired of its gimmick. I also didn’t mind the fact that the anime had full length episodes either.
Final grade: C+
Overlord II Ep. 12
This is mainly a set-up episode for the “exciting” conclusion that will air in a couple days. Momon fights Jaldabaoth (a.k.a. Demiurge) for a bit, and this is enough to make Evileye swoon. Yeah, that’s a groaner. Eventually, Jaldabaoth makes up some convenient excuse to leave, then he stages a demon invasion into the city, so Princess Renner asks adventurers to assist her soldiers in repelling the enemy. Momon will obviously be in attendance. Not only that, he’s sure to reap all the fame after he fake defeats Jaldabaoth. I want to say how this season never felt like it was building towards anything interesting, but the same criticism can also be applied to the first season. There is never really any triumphant moment. It’s just Ainz staring out as a badass and becoming more badass every single day.
As for the whole Tuare rescue mission, it’s about as anti-climactic as everything else in this series. Brain and Zero has this big ol’ song and dance, but as soon as Sebas shows up, the baddie dies instantly. That’s what we’ve come to expect, but it still feels like a giant waste of time. I don’t know, I guess if you’re into overpowered characters having their way with everyone, this is the show for you. Like Garo – Vanishing Line, the main characters lack depth. But instead of actually giving them interesting arcs to follow, however, the second season has us watching gimmicky side characters like Crusch Lulu and Princess Renner. Even Sebas’s pet project merely nets him a moe maid so thoroughly used and abused that she can’t help but fall in love with the first damn person who shows her any kindness. Ugh.
Anyways, I may as well grade the season since I doubt the final episode is really going to change my mind. This also means I don’t have to bother covering the final episode when I eventually watch it on Tuesday.
Final grade: D
Takunomi Ep. 12 (Final)
Makoto is worried about her job hunt, so the girls band together to help her get through the harrowing process. Beer also helps. Having said that, I never felt as though this anime taught me enough about alcohol. It certainly tried, but it also featured a lot of slice-of-life nonsense involving the four girls. Unfortunately, they’re all incredibly flat and boring characters despite their love for booze. There isn’t a Hotaru to inject a jolt of energy into every scene. There isn’t even a dorky Hajime to screw things up in hilarious fashion. It’s really just Michiru droning on and on about how she hopes she can pull off being a Tokyoite one day. Yawn.
But let’s be honest… you don’t really care about Takunomi. Hell, I don’t really care about Takunomi.
Final grade: D
If you’re only here for anime-related nonsense, you can stop reading now. But for everyone else…
…I’m gonna talk about the one time I visited Liholiho Yacht Club, a super popular Hawaiian fusion restaurant in San Francisco. Seriously, attempting to get a decent reservation at this place on a Friday or Saturday night is like pulling teeth.
Since I just wrapped up Takunomi, I guess it’s only fitting that we talk about the alcohol first. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge drinker, so I don’t even remember what was even in these cocktails.
I just remember them being way too sweet for their own good. I certainly did not even feel tipsy by the end of the night.
First up is something to snack on: a bowl of popcorn coated in butter, nori and togarashi. Togarashi is just Japanese for chili pepper, but I failed to feel the heat. That’s just me, though. My friend who has a much fairer complexion certainly found it spicy, so your mileage may vary. Don’t get me wrong, ’cause I thought the popcorn was tasty. I’m just used to very, very spicy food so this did nothing for me.
Next, we shared a bowl of fried rice, bay shrimp, house-made spam, and abalone mushroom. Why did we split a starter? The first thing the waitress said to us was that the portions are really big, so she even advise us to split an entree. We decided to split a starter instead. Anyways, I’m not sure if this was a deliberate choice by the restaurant or not, but this dish had piping hot rice sitting beneath relatively cold shrimp. The whole thing tasted good, but I’m not sure what the temperature difference was trying to achieve. Maybe it was just a plain ol’ mistake on the kitchen’s part.
And if I could nitpick, I don’t think the house-made spam is strongly flavored enough. When you think spam, you think of that strangely congealed chunk of meat that tastes like a porky salt lick. On the other hand, the house-made spam buried within this bowl simply tasted like fancy ham. Had it been a little saltier, I think it would’ve nicely contrasted the shrimp’s sweetness.
We also ordered this dish, which features beef tongue and kimchee sitting in a poppy seed bun. The bun is nice and pillowy; I’ve got no complaints there. The kimchee is alright. Like the popcorn, it’s missing some heat, but the sweetness and acidity seemed correct. The biggest letdown is the beef tongue. It’s super tender, but the cut isn’t thick enough. As a result, I didn’t get enough beefy flavor to counteract the kimchee, so the whole dish was unbalanced.
For our mains, my friend had a country pork steak, apple, pickled mustard seeds, and a whole bunch of ingredients I can’t recall anymore. Well, you can certainly spot the frisee. I only had one bite, so I can’t really review the whole dish. My friend really liked it, but she was initially concerned that the pork was cooked to a medium doneness. Usually, you’re told that pork should be well done, but it really depends on the quality of the meat. If it’s from any old supermarket, then yeah, I guess go with well done to be safe. Otherwise, medium is just fine.
As for me, I had grilled shortrib and mushrooms. What’s the bone marrow thing on the side? It’s a twice baked potato stuffed with escargot. Honestly, it just tasted like earthy mashed potatoes. Escargot doesn’t really have its own flavor; it often blends in with whatever it’s cooked with. Anyways, yeah, I’ll admit that this dish wasn’t the most daring choice for a Hawaiian fusion menu. None of the other entrees looked all that enticing, though. I enjoyed this well enough. The whole thing is like one huge umami bomb, which isn’t a problem at all. But beyond that, it’s just your standard “meat and potatoes” dish. Honestly, I don’t know if there’s even anything Hawaiian about it.
For dessert, my friend had a banana cream pie.
I had a baked Alaska, but the restaurant calls it a baked Hawaii instead. Whatever floats their boat. They were both fine.
The bill came in this neat cover. So did Liholiho Yacht Club live up to the hype. Yes and no. If you want huge portions of competently made food, the place is great. But if you’re looking for strong Hawaiian flavors, the restaurant definitely plays it safe for a certain type of clientele.