There are way too many shows to get through, so let’s just get started.
Dances with the Dragons Ep. 2
After two whole episodes, I still have no real clue what’s going on in this series. Part of that is my fault for not paying attention. I’ll admit that upfront. Every time the anime tries to discuss its politics, my eyes glaze over. The other part of the problem, however, is that the storytelling just plain sucks. 2/3 of this week’s episode is clumsily delivered exposition. Our heroes are hired to guide Cardinal Mouldeen around the city, but in practice, all they do is stand around and talk our ears off about the current state of affairs. It. Is. So. Boring. Near the end of the episode, we finally get a bit of action, but it’s still shrouded in mystery. Gayus and Gigina bump into the Jushi-whatever serial killer, and she wants revenge on them for killing her beloved. Unfortunately, they have no clue who she’s talking about. But our boys only kill dragons, right? So I can only guess that she’s a dragon-lover. In the end, they can’t beat her, so they just bounce.
Gundam Build Divers Ep. 2
This is some corny ass shit. Riku tries to test his Gundam’s Trans-Am mode, but it can’t take it. He’s not strong enough and his Gunpla isn’t built well enough. Okay, sure. But Sarah, the mysterious girl from last week’s episode, cries out that the Gundam is suffering. It’s suffering, y’all. The Gundam has a soul, and you have to be in tune with its kokoro if you want to become the number one Gunpla Diver!!! Ugh. So what is Sarah? Is she going to be revealed as some kind of “ghost” within GBN? Lame.
High School DxD Hero Ep. 0
This is the first time I’ve ever touched this series, so I have no clue what’s going on. All I know is that the harem lead has gone berserk, but if you play some shitty song about breasts — a song that was recorded in front of a bunch of kids — it’ll calm him down.
Then when the main haremette goes topless and lets him touch one of her nipples, he finally turns back to a human. In the past, we would get like four or five of these trashy harem shows in a single season. I guess we should thank our lucky stars that they’ve largely been replaced with a torrential pour of shows about VRMMOS, isekai, and idols instead. Nevertheless, this series has somehow spawned four anime adaptations, so it’s gotta be doing something right. Let’s see how long I can last with it.
Hinamatsuri Ep. 2
Women are treating Nitta differently, because they think he has a daughter. He thus tries to redouble his efforts to be a playboy, which leaves Hina feeling lonely and neglected. In the end, the two of them have a “heart-to-heart.” Since this is no ordinary father-daughter drama, however, Hina and Nitta just end up having a blast at a cabaret club. Honestly, I’m really enjoying this show so far. It’s a goofy comedy about being a young and single dad in Japan. It’s not particularly deep or insightful, which is why it won’t get its own post, but it’s probably my second favorite show of the season. Oh yeah, this episode also features a subplot about Anzu, another weirdo girl sent to Earth. Her mission is to destroy Hina, but she just ends up being homeless instead. Whoops.
Hisone to Maso-tan Ep. 1
Cute show. At first, I was like, “How on Earth are you going to fool anyone into thinking that a the dragon pictured above is actually an aircraft?” But color me surprised when the poor animal somehow transforms into one. Oh yeah, our heroine can only “pilot” the dragon by first allowing it to swallow her up. She then sits in its esophagus full of gross fleshy matter and fluids, but thanks to some fancy helmet, she can still see what’s going on outside the dragon. No wonder people kept making vore jokes about the show. I hadn’t seen the episode yet, so I was really confused for a while there.
Regarding the main character, Hisone apparently lacks a filter, so she tends to hurt people’s feelings whenever she opens her mouth. I usually dislike people like her, but I really enjoyed the way she eventually stood up for herself and blew up in front of everyone. I’m not liking Nao, though…
Anyways, I hope we got the set-up out of the way, and the show can introduce its main plot in next week’s episode. If this is just a slice-of-life series about a girl flying a dragon, then that’s going to be disappointing.
Libra of Nil Admirari Ep. 2
The first half of the episode is basically Tsugumi meeting each and every single one of the hot boys that she’ll be living with for the rest of the series. Once she’s finally settles into her new home, she gets to have her first day out in the field. This pretty much just boils down to visiting countless bookstores in search of glow-in-the-dark books. Unfortunately, she just can’t find any so she starts to get discouraged. These scenes literally consist of Tsugumi staring intently at a bunch of books in the hopes that they start radiating negative emotions. Watching paint dry is more exciting than this. Anyways, when our heroine’s self-esteem is at its lowest, a man is extremely pleased to learn that he’s not cursed. This is somehow the pick-me-up that Tsugumi needs, so the episode ends on a high note. Hah, okay. Whatever floats her boat. This anime is apparently based on a Playstation Vita game. I can’t even imagine how this would even work as a game.
Piano no Mori Ep. 1
Piano no Mori’s story is a little too… mystical for me. Oooh, a mysterious piano in the forest that hasn’t been cared for or tuned in years! It won’t sing its song just for anyone. Like, it literally makes no sound no matter how hard you pound on its keys. Nuh-uh. You need to be worthy if you want to coax out even a single note. What? Could you imagine this being applied to any other show? I have a cast iron skillet that simply won’t heat up on the stove. But if you’ve got the God Hands, only then can you cook with it! And no matter what you throw on the pan, it turns into a steak! Yeah, that would be silly, huh?
Also, I don’t think the show takes it seriously enough that a bunch of kids will bully the poor transfer student into showing his penis to them. Like what the fuck?
Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori Ep. 1
There are some delicious-looking anime food on this show.
I only wish I actually liked ikura.
But the sweets are the real standouts.
It’s also nice to see the chef actually go through the process of menu planning as the season changes. The rest of the episode is a little too slow for my taste, but this is by design. The languid pacing adds to the chill, zen-like feel of the restaurant. It’s tucked in its own little pocket away from the hustle and bustle of city life. You need to walk down a path outlined with bamboo trees just to get to the front door. The place is so old-fashioned, you gotta wonder if they even accept credit cards. Don’t bet on them having a public wifi. Does the place really do enough business to stay afloat? Well, I guess that’s not something we really have to worry about in fiction, huh?
As an aside, you can definitely feel the differences in cultures. You wouldn’t even think of picking up a stranger’s kid here in the US. The mother would flip her shit.
Shokugeki no Soma S3 Ep. 14
Our heroes have to pass a series of exams in order to become second year students. Unfortunately, Azami has rigged the entire process to force the “rebels” out. For instance, Yukihira and his group has to cook up the best possible salmon dish. Unfortunately, they’ve been given salmon that had taken the long, arduous journey upstream to lay their eggs. Afterwards, the salmon will stick around for a week or two to defend their nests, but they’ll soon die. Basically, they’re just not very good for eating. Nevertheless, the instructor in charge of administering the exam can’t help but cackle like an evil witch, because she is just that eager to fail a bunch of young, aspiring chefs. This is exactly why I don’t cover this show in more depth. The conflict between Azami and our heroes is just too ridiculous.
Call it silly if you want, but even though I love cooking and I love food (who doesn’t?), just seeing shounen conventions applied to them instantly sucks any enjoyment I might have had out the window. I used to watch all of the cooking competitions religiously. Some good (Top Chef), some not so good (Hell’s Kitchen). And y’know what? Those shows were entertaining without the need to resort to over-the-top villainy. There were asshole contestants, sure, but you didn’t have an evil judge conspiring to screw people over. If you think I have the wrong expectations for Shokugeki no Soma, maybe you’re right. I can certainly understand where that sentiment comes from. Nevertheless, I honestly just can’t stand the show’s current arc.
Anyways, Yukihira’s team manages to find good quality salmon anyway. They then proceed to put together an amazing dish. Ho hum. Erina also finds herself blushing around the shounen hero lately, so there’s also that. But what I said regarding shounen romances in the My Hero Academia post also applies here:
“Yep, that’s it. That’s all you going to get, folks. Come back in a bajillion episodes if you want to see if their relationship ever goes anywhere. That’s the curse of shounens.”
The best part is that Yukihira isn’t even competing against an edgy best friend. His main competition is own damn father.
Toji no Miko Ep. 14
Behind that screen is the mysterious hooded toji who has been stealing noro. She looks like a whole new character, but then again, it’s always possible to change your hairstyle. Plus, I can’t imagine they would just kill off Yume in the first cour, right? Anyways, this is a Mai-centric episode. Her father wants to pull her out of toji school, because it has gotten increasingly dangerous. Nevertheless, she wants to fight! He then takes her to some fancy laboratory, but this is anime. As a result, scientists are always doing something exceedingly reckless:
“Tamahagane steel is a metal that can affect the netherworld while existing in this world. By using that characteristic, we can blur the boundary between this world and the netherworld…”
Sounds like a plan, dude. I can’t see how this could possibly blow up in your face. Also, because this is anime, super-important laboratories are always poorly defended. As a result, the mysterious hooded toji simply waltzes in and steels whatever noro that they had been working on. Mai tries to stop her, but she’s no Kaname. Nevertheless, seeing her bravery in battle convinces her father to let her remain a toji. Not a great episode, but it could’ve been worse.
Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu Ep. 2
Oh, I guess you guys are probably expecting food pictures. If you’re only interested in anime, feel free to bail out now. Anyways, these photos are from my visit to Quince, an Italian-inspired restaurant in San Francisco. The night started off with a series of amuse bouches.
Abalone will always win me over.
On the other hand, I’m not keen on pomegranate.
What we have here is Nantucket Bay scallop crudo, green apple, knoll farm horseradish and finger lime. I had this meal back in November, so it was a bit odd to get such a bright and sunny dish in the middle of fall. Tasted great, though.
The second course was sea urchin creme brulee, riso venere, crab, grapefruit and chervil. No matter how many times I try to love sea urchin, I just can’t. It’s too rich. Rich and slimy. The creme brulee itself was nice, though.
Tagliolini all uovo, American sturgeon caviar, quail egg and smoked potato. Simple, but pasta rarely needs to be complicated.
At this point, bread service came to the table.
Pici di castagne della casa, ragu of goose with pomegranate. Yeah, more pomegranate, but this time, it’s in the gastrique. This was probably the least memorable dish of the night.
St. Canut Farm suckling pig, belgian endive and potimarron pumpkin with quince mostarda. Not surprisingly, the best bite was the cube of pork belly in the back. Also, the quince mostarda added such a nice sweetness that helped to cut through the fattiness of the pork.
Your cheese plate with honey and more quince. I chose all the soft cheeses, because that’s what I prefer.
After all that rich food, you get a palette cleanser: lime sorbetto, honey granola and yogurt panna cotta.
Then finally, dessert was served: nocciolina e gelatina, cocoa nib coulis and nougat gelato. Kinda looks like a croquette, huh? After all the beautiful dishes, I was kinda taken aback by this chunk of hazelnut on my plate. The whole thing kinda tasted like peanut butter and jam… but y’know, with hazelnut. Ah well. I’ll be headed back to Quince in June, so I guess I’ll see how the menu has changed for the summer.