First up is the second episode of My Next Life as a Villainess.
— Our girl still has that scar on her forehead. I guess it still hasn’t healed up.
— Meanwhile, Keith and Geordo are already sorta fighting over Catarina. Even so, I bet the story ends with everyone become close friends, because that’s just the sort of upbeat conclusion that you can expect from a show like this. The only question is whether or not our heroine falls in love with any of the boys. Right now, they all seem pretty lame to me, but they’re just kids. We still need to go through a time-skip.
— Catarina goes to a tea party where she bumps into Mary Hunt. The latter is supposedly a genius at gardening, so our heroine seeks her advice. I don’t know why she wouldn’t just pick her own gardener’s brains, but whatever.
— In no time, Mary helps Catarina save those veggies. Now, I’ve never gardened before in my life, but these results usually take weeks at the very least, right? So how come our heroine’s scar hasn’t healed yet. Hmm…
— Unfortunately for Catarina, befriending Mary interferes with one of the routes in the game. To make matters worse, she used one of the bishie’s lines on Mary. Man, wouldn’t we flip the story upside-down if Catarina ends up with one of the girls instead? Ah well, that probably wouldn’t happen.
— See, I wish one of the male isekai protagonists in other series would acknowledge this.
— Anyways, Catarina’s inadvertent interference incurs the wrath of Alan, Mary’s fiancee, so he starts coming over everyday to challenge our heroine to a duel. Unfortunately, he’s not very bright, so he keeps letting Catarina choose the contest. And since she’s apparently a tree-climbing savant, that’s all that they do.
— Eventually, she feels bad for the guy, so she picks piano playing towards the end of the episode. Everyone is shocked that Catarina even knows how to play the instrument, but for once, Alan is even better. In fact, Catarina had no idea that he could play the piano so well. Huh. I guess it just never came up in the game. Or maybe our heroine doesn’t know the game as well as she thinks she does.
— Afterwards, Alan confides in Catarina about his inferiority complex to Geordo. To help him feel better, our heroine reveals that her fiancee is afraid of snakes. In fact, this is one of her backup plans. If she does end up getting a bad end, she hopes that a paper snake can allow her to escape Geordo’s wrath. See, this is the sort of thing I want to see, not Catarina cozying up with the bishies.
— Unfortunately, this is a pretty standard episode. Catarina is befriending the boys one by one, and this is exactly what you expect from a harem anime. If this is how it’s going to be, then I might quickly lose interest in the anime.
Yesterday wo Uttate Ep. 2
In this week’s episode, we meet Ro. He and Shinako go way back, and it’s obvious that he has feelings for her. He wouldn’t have confronted Rikuo if his feelings for her were simply platonic. Unfortunately, she used to have feelings for his brother. And oh yeah, his brother’s dead. In a different series, I would say that Ro is being somewhat unfair to Shinako. After all, he will always remind her of his brother. Even if he gets what he wants, will it truly be what he wants? What I mean is that unless Ro gives Shinako time and space to heal — and with these tragedies, you never know how long it’ll take — he will never know if she truly loves him for him or if she’s just trying to find a substitute for her first love. These are somewhat interesting questions to think about. Unfortunately, Ro has the same problem as Haru: they’re both teenagers. In fact, he’s also one of Shinako’s students. C’mon, man. Who are these manga authors? And why are they going around writing stories about adults getting into messy love polygons with teenagers? It’s so pathetic.
There’s one other thing I want to bring up. Midway through the episode, Shinako tells Rikuo that she can’t return his feelings. As a result, she just wants them to stay friends. For the rest of the episode, he mentally grapples with this request. He even wonders if men and women can truly be just friends (of course they can). He ultimately decides that he can’t honor her wishes. For both his and her sake, they should stop being friends for now. If he had come to this conclusion towards the end of the series, I would’ve been inclined to believe him. But it’s the second episode, so it’s a bald-faced lie. If Rikuo ever manages to decide between Haru and Shinako — and I can’t believe a teenager is even in the equation — it won’t come until the very end of the story. And like most wishy-washy protagonist, he will probably have to learn his lessons the hard way. There’s a good chance that Rikuo and Shinako will enter some sort of relationship at some point only for him to realize that she can never truly love him back. And once he finally burns his hand on the stove, he’ll probably go running for that manic pixie dream teenager like the mangaka always intended!
Snark aside, I think this is the last week I cover this show. I gave it another shot. Even if all of the characters were the same age, I just don’t wanna deal with another tangled mess. I like my romances to be limited to just two people. Which brings us to our next series…
Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai S2 Ep. 1
Oh, I suppose to say a bit more about the show. Well, I’ve actually read a fair bit of the manga. In fact, I like Kaguya and Miyuki as a couple, and I’ve read enough to see some rather important developments between those two. As a result, now that I’m watching the anime, I can actually sit back and just laugh at the silly nonsense that these characters often find themselves in. If, however, I was in the same situation as when the first season aired, I’d probably still be griping at the fact that the story seemingly refuses to forward. In this week’s episode, Ai prevents anyone from entering the student council room, because Miyuki has fallen asleep on one of Kaguya’s shoulders. Afterwards, Nagisa and her boyfriend play a trick on the student council members. Then we see Chika rope her friends into playing a lame game of life. And last but not least, Kaguya tries her darndest to celebrate Miyuki’s birthday even though she had told him a year ago that she wouldn’t. So like I said, no progress whatsoever.