3D Kanojo Real Girl Ep. 7
The big drama between Iroha and nerdy girl Sumie ends up being a huge letdown. Our heroine is jealous at first, but she immediately changes her mind after talking to her “rival.” In fact, everyone is immediately disarmed whenever they get a chance to talk to Sumie. I personally think she’s kind of annoying, but honestly, they’re all pretty annoying in their own ways. Iroha basically realizes that if she wants Hikaru to trust her, then she should trust him as well. Sure, but he still does stupid shit like this:
But anyways… we just have some silly nonsense afterwards like Hikaru getting fashion tips from Mitsuya. This is apparently what’s cool:
Is this the standard fuckboy outfit in Japan or something? An ill-fitted blazer over a t-shirt and a fedora? Next week’s episode is going to involve a camping trip, apparently. I’m so thrilled.
Hinamatsuri Ep. 6
The first half introduces Hina to Nitta’s mother and sister, and this is just as funny as anything else we’ve seen from the series. It’s great stuff.
The second half, however, delves right back into Anzu’s melodrama. Thankfully, a family has finally decided to take her in, so maybe Hinamatsuri will stop trying to jerk my tears. It’s not that I don’t like emotions in my comedy. I just don’t like the way this show does it. If you wanna tug at my heart strings, do it gracefully. Have it interwoven into the comedy. What Hinamatsuri does instead is give you huge chunks of nothing but silly comedy, followed by a significant chunk of dead seriousness involving Anzu and Anzu alone. It’s such a huge shift in tone that I end up feeling something akin to emotional whiplash. Plus, if I gotta be honest, I have a hard time believing that those homeless men are such gentle souls. But like I said, now that the girl has been more or less adopted, maybe we can move on from all the sad Anzu moments. Maybe she can even start attending school with Hina and get into hijinks with Hitomi.
Hisone to Maso-tan Ep. 5
Interestingly enough, our dragon pilots are hand-picked precisely because they all have issues. Although they were all reluctant to become OTF pilots, the girls no longer want to be separated from their dragons. Minus Eru, of course; at the moment, she couldn’t care less as long as she gets to be a pilot some place else. The story here is written by Mari Okada, the same woman who penned melodramas such as Kiznaiver, so we’re not really treading any new ground here. Rather, we should actually commend her for keeping the melodrama dialed down compared to the rest of her oeuvre. So far, Hisone to Maso-tan hasn’t been too on-the-nose with its characters emotional problems, a major issue that tended to plague Mari Okada’s previous works. There’s still time for this anime to devolve into an emotional mess, but I hope it never goes too far in that direction. These poor girls don’t even have noses. They shouldn’t have to deal with typical Mari Okada melodrama as well.
In this week’s episode, the girls are forced to work together in order to survive being stranded on an island and return home to base. Why? In case they ever get shot down, I guess. But what’s the big deal, right? Can’t the girls just hop inside their dragons and fly home? Not so fast, my friends. If it was that simple, it wouldn’t be a test. For some odd reason, the OTFs refuse to take flight, and our heroines have only seven days to figure out why. If they screw this up, they might even get kicked out of the air force. To compound matters, they are given three days worth of rations, but the fat(test) dragon proceeds to eat them all in one go. Hisone tries her best to rally her team, but she’s got a crybaby in one corner, and Ms. Lazybones in another. Worst of all, Eru continues to be self-centered. She starts creating a raft which would carry her back to base, but obviously, big-ass dragons wouldn’t fit on a raft. She doesn’t care, though. She only wants to be an F-2 pilot, not necessarily an OTF pilot.
Anyways, Hisone eventually stumbles upon a shrine on the island, which also conveniently doubles as a fresh water source. Mayumi also pulls through and finds at least one shriveled-up potato for the girls to eat. Last but not least, Liliko knows all the ins and outs to creating fire (and apparently rainmaking as well). These three then agree that they should let the dragons have their fun before eventually convincing them to fly home. After all, they will eventually get hungry, so the dragons will want to return home. Food is always a prime motivator, and these three girls understand at least that much about their OTF buddies. Y’see, they actually love their dragons unlike a certain someone. In the end, it always comes down to teamwork. Teamwork is always the key to every solution in anime. Even Nao is pulling her weight in a unique, Astolfo-inspired sort of way. Unfortunately, Eru continues to insist on being the lone wolf. Obviously, the story won’t be able to move forward without her. Nevertheless, our little tropical island escapade looks to be a two-parter, so we’ll have to wait till next week to find out how the Eru situation resolves itself.
Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori Ep. 6
Sui used to work in an office job like a lot of us. He always wanted to continue Rokuhoudou, but he never had the confidence to match his dreams. He wouldn’t want to sully the restaurant’s reputation — a reputation that had been so carefully built up by his grandfather. After all, he’s not exactly the best cook. His version of omurice is a bit of a hot mess. On the other hand, his tea managed to impress at least one old man who used to patronize the restaurant when his grandfather was running the place.
And with Tokitaka’s help, the food’s not half bad either. Those two men thus decided to take the plunge. Of course, not all old memories are happy. Sui’s brother seemed to really reject the place for whatever reason. We’ll learn more later, I’m sure. We’ll probably also learn how the other two guys came to join the business. I’m even surprised that we got a savory dish in this week’s episode. Up until now, the show has focused heavily on Tsubaki’s desserts. Still, the whole episode was kinda snooze-inducing, so by the time I got to this point, I was ready to throw in the towel. Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori just isn’t very compelling.
Shokugeki no Soma S3 Ep. 18
It’s now time to taste Akira’s dish. It’s literally just chicken fried bear. In fact, eating it will make you have hallucinatory visions of a bear with wings. As far as the judges are concerned, Akira’s meat is superior to Yukihira’s meat. Oh ho ho! But wait, don’t celebrate just yet! What about the secret sauce! This time, the taste-testing goes in reverse as the judges indulge themselves in Akira’s secret sauce first. This should pretty much clue you in on the fact that Yukihira will win, but then again, we already knew that, didn’t we?
Yes, the sauce makes you lose your clothes. This is just par for the course. But when the girls try Yukihira’s sauce…
…they don’t lose all of their clothes? Whatever. Our hero’s use of honey and balsamic vinegar is apparently what makes his sauce a standout, and as a result, his dish has caught up to Akira’s. The judges have a hard time deliberating over which should count for more, meat or sauce? In the end, however, Alice’s dad praises Yukihira for adding a specific honey in his sauce. He didn’t just use any regular ol’ honey; nah, he used honey from a special tree — a honey that has a slightly bitter aftertaste, which helps to cut through the heaviness of the dish. He could’ve only stumbled upon this amazing flavor combination through sheer hard work. Meanwhile, Akira, uh, didn’t work as hard because he lost of sight of a special someone (read: Jun). In my opinion, only the taste of the dish should matter; hard work shouldn’t be a tiebreaker. I’m not really worked up about it, though. The story wants Yukihara to win, but not in a lopsided faction. As a result, the judges attribute his victory to an intangible quality like work ethic. It’s kinda bullshit, but it is what it is.
Akira wants to know what drove Yukihira to try so hard, and our hero claims it was all for his buddy. The former then tries his rival’s dish, and of course, he has a food orgasm over it. In fact, he feels as though he’s been visited by God. That’s a bit much, don’t you think? But it’s not all fun and games, because Jun quickly shows up to slap the guy across the face. Then she tearfully confesses that she doesn’t care about her research if it meant depriving Akira of his joy in cooking. Aw… too bad I don’t really care about either of these two characters.
Erina then bursts into the room all sweaty and worn out. She ran all the way here, because she wanted to know if Yukihira had won or not. Yo, why don’t you two kids just hook up already? Unfortunately, her father’s aide shows up with some bad news. While our hero may have been victorious, his friends definitely were not. Oh no, is everyone gonna get expelled! Of course not. Tune in next week to see the latest asspull that prevents our kids from leaving this dumb cooking academy.
God, it’s just a deep-fried chunk of meat surrounded by a moat of gravy.
Toji no Miko Ep. 18
Our heroines kinda suck. As soon as Princess Takiri decides that humans are not so bad, the girls allow Princess Tagitsu to attack and absorb her sister. Nene reverts to its old form to try and protect everyone, but it goes down easily too. Welp, so much for that.
Tokyo Ghoul:re Ep. 7
Welcome to the money-saving episode. Lots of talking this week, which I don’t necessarily mind. There are, however, moments, in which nothing is animated. Now that is going a little too far. Anyways, Hinami ends up being spared from death at Haise’s request; she’s currently imprisoned, and this might lead to tension between Haise and Akira later on. The entire Quinx Squad receives a promotion for their efforts, so Haise throws a party afterwards for everyone including Akira and Arima. Haise gets Ken’s old mask in the mail, so he revisits Touka’s cafe. Memories of his past life are slowly starting to leak out into his current life, but nothing comes of this just yet. He tries looking into Ken’s past, but he finds almost nothing. Right before the episode ends, we see Tsukiyama in great pain, but I’m getting kinda tired of the story drip-feeding us info about this guy. There are also character-building moments with the lesser Quinx Squd members, but I still don’t care about any of them. The status quo hasn’t changed much. For instance, Urie continues to be a jackass even if he begrudgingly admits that Mutsuki had really helped him out in their last mission. Speaking of which, Mutsuki is supposed to be a guy, right? Sometimes, I wonder…
I went to Gary Danko last friday to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The restaurant offers a prix fixe menu where you pay a set amount for, say, four courses. The price is inflexible, but the menu is not. You can pick whatever you want for your courses. For instance, if you want to have four meat dishes, go for four meat dishes. Likewise, if you also want have four desserts, so be it. It’d be stupid to pay $100+ for four desserts, but the restaurant leaves it up to you.
But before the actual courses came out — before the waiter even took our order — the kitchen gave us this pathetic soup. I hate, hate, hate lukewarm soup. To make matters worse, it had absolutely no flavor. It was just this watery, slightly meat-tasting soup with a tiny piece of lobster. The white stuff you can barely see in the soup? It’s probably supposed to be creme fraiche. Everything about this amuse bouche was just sad.
Next came my risotto with rock shrimp, dungeness crab, asparagus and beech mushrooms. It tasted fine, but one dimensional. Basically, it had a ton of cheese, and I had a hard time discerning any of the other ingredients as a result. But I like cheese, so I guess I could live with this dish.
For my second course, I got seared sea scallops with English pea puree, leek fondue, mint and turnip. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the scallops were only seared on one side. I don’t know about you, but that bugged me. That screamed laziness. I also thought that the pea puree was a little too grainy.
Next up was the lemon pepper duck with duck hash, bacon braised endive, and huckleberry bordelaise. I could have definitely used more of the bordelaise. The duck breast was cooked fine, but the duck hash threw the whole dish a bit off kilter. There wasn’t enough sweetness and acidity to go against all the savory elements on the dish. The endive felt like an afterthought.
Finally, I had a strawberry souffle with strawberry sorbet for my dessert. Souffles are pretty standard. Poke a whole in them, then pour in some creme anglaise and flavored sauce. In this case, I got a whole lot of strawberry sauce to make the strawberry-themed dessert even “strawberrier.” It was fine. I liked it. Maybe a touch of ginger would’ve made the flavor a little more interesting, but it’s obvious that this restaurant likes to play it safe.
All in all, my Gary Danko experience was pretty uninspiring. To be fair, other than the soup at the very start, nothing tasted bad. There were simply a lot of minor flaws and execution errors that I didn’t expect to see, especially considering how straightforward the food was. It’s a good place to get people acclimated to fine dining without having to step out of their culinary comfort zone, and this was precisely why I picked it for a birthday celebration. I didn’t want my friends to make a face at anything they ate, and predictably enough, they thought it was the best dinner that they had ever had.