A lot of powerful thematic stuff happened this week as every show heads to their climaxes. I wouldn’t expect all of this material to be brought up any other way.
Dororo Episode 21
This episode is the most intense set up for the endgame of an anime that I’ve seen in a while. The first half of the episode sets up the stakes with Daigo’s country about to be at war against the Asakura and Hyakkimaru is on his way. Tahoromaru knows that not a single person could be spared to go against Hyakkimaru, so he and his small crew decide to face him instead. And then on the other end, Dororo says they should turn back because it’s not worth it, but Hyakkimaru wants to see and touch Hyakkimaru with his own hands and eyes. With that, Dororo concedes and the move towards Daigo’s territory continues.
Then disaster strikes in the second half. Tahoromaru and his crew of former children thrown to waste in order to serve face Hyakkimaru. And they lose. Each of Tahoromaru’s people lose an arm on different sides of their body after their lord saves them. Then a new person riding on a horse stolen from land tries to tame it, attacks Hyakkimaru with it, blows up the horse to send Hyakkimaru down a cliff, and captures Dororo while also taking Tahoromaru home. The horse must be a symbolism for Hyakkimaru, because the horse forms back into itself from demon power at the end. It’s a very powerful set up episode leading into the finale.
Sarazanmai Episode 9
I really did enjoy this episode, but it would have been stronger if there was another character stuff to make me feel for what is going on. I’m all for thematic stuff, but having more then ok character work behind the thematic elements would be more ideal with this story. This series is only eleven episodes because it’s for the Noitamina anime block, so that was never going to happen here was it? Still, I have to admit that regardless of all of that, episode 9 was a good set up episode for the two episodes of conclusion to happen. A lot of thematic threads to solve.
So what happens in this episode? Two major plot threads with a small third one on the side that doesn’t matter as much to this anime’s story. First one is Kazuki refusing to let Enta die which leads to Enta turning into a Kappa with a ticking time bomb on his head with a quest to find the wish plates to save his life. Second one is much more powerful and centers on Toi proving to his brother that he isn’t just a kid anymore by showing he can be a gang member too. Of course, the only time Toi proves it to his brother results in his brother dying. Two very powerful things and call to action to set up the last two episodes.
Lastly, we have clone otter cop problems. Reo notices that a clone of himself is making out(?) with clone mabu in which the clone mabu chooses Reo’s clone instead of the real one. Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be dramatic and everything, but this anime would have been a lot stronger if they didn’t have this otter cop stuff and just focused on the main cast. I usually talk about how anime should have a more fleshed out villain to round out a show’s cast and Sarazanmai is trying to do that here, but it’s not working for me. Couldn’t we have one villain called society fighting against the three kappa boys? It would have been a lot more thematically cohesive.
JoJo Part 5 Episode 33
Well, what isn’t a crazy episode for JoJo these days? Episode 33 was one, but it was all grounded in some at the same time. Well, as grounded as a series that has punch ghosts and literally zombies walking around. I really do love it though. Hmmm, maybe I should talk about this episode more. Yeah, I might want to do that. I guess thinking about it, this episode was a little too fast for me. Still solid, but having the appeal of Polneroff from Stardust Crusaders show up, figuring out what he and Jotaro have been doing since Part 3, and then killing him off was kind of mean. Maybe I should have mentioned spoilers, but oh well.
So yeah, Polneroff was killed off, but it at least showed how much he has learned since Part 3. I mean, his stand is just a guy with a sword. Considering that powers now involve breaking dimensions, time skips, and so on, he would have to adapt to keep living. I mean, he and Jotaro have been hunting around for stand making arrows since part 3 ended. Some experience naturally happens. Him unfortunately meeting up with the villain of this part before hand really screwed with him though. It’s sad to see that he was wheel chair bound. That’s so unfortunate. I bet he wished he could have lived a normal life.
I’m sorry about focusing on Polernoff instead of the main cast, but he was the most interesting part. Otherwise, the episode was a lot of wondering around the street. Trish getting a vague sense of where her father was one part and some others reacting while Bruno and Dopio wondering the street was another thing that happened. Ok, fine, that part was a lot of fun considering that Bruno is dying and Dopio/Diavolo/Main boss trying to get Bruno somewhere for his own gain. That was a fun dynamic. I wish it stayed a little further.
So yeah, a decent episode. Some fun stuff, some powerful stuff, and a lot of wandering. A great follow through to all the mystery going around.
Senryu Girl Episode 9
The cute fluff train never stops doesn’t it? Nor should it. It’s some of the best stuff ever, so why not keep having more? Especially this week with the classic slice of life scare fest episode. And as you would expect, all our cast members where there to get Nanako and Eiji together. Again. I like this cast and seeing what schemes their club president plans, so not too many complaints there. Still a good short and good fluff material.
Fruit’s Basket (2019) Episode 10
With this episode, I smell the story for this anime is starting. And all around Valentine’s day things too. I guess there is always drama attached to romance and love because you can’t just have people loving each other for some reason. But anyway, some important developments in this episode mostly centered around Kyo with a big one centered on Shigure. Kyo felt very vulnerable in this episode for some reason. How innocent his heart is under his rough façade was brought up completely here. Could be because of Friday the 13th, could be because of Valentine’s day and love stuff, or could also be because Kagura is right around the corner.
Then the main part of this episode happens where the real meat of what is going on is brought up. Yuki, Kyo, Kagura, and Tohru are on a movie double date, which is completely adorable that Tohru and Kagura are into an action movie while Kyo and Yuki seem somewhat offputted by it. Fascinating. And then Shigure shows up at the Souma household to bring Tohru’s chocolates to people. There we learn that Hatori sees right through Shigure’s façade and he is using Tohru for some reason. For what reasons, we don’t know yet, but it will be presented to us for the future.
And on that note, the episode ended on a funny note focusing on Shigure again. We meet Shigure’s editor Mitsuru almost cutting her wrist with a knife because Shigure didn’t let her in or wasn’t there, then we see how the two operate. Mitsuru is too innocent for this world, isn’t she? How many characters are like that in this anime? Oh well, another fantastic episode as usual. This is just too strong of a show. There are weak points, but the show makes me not care about them as usual.
Demon Slayer Episode 10
I can’t help but admit that my interest in this show is waning recently. These last two episodes are far from being the best that Demon Slayer has to offer. Maybe episode ten was a little stronger and not as awkwardly paced, but there is still the fact that this episode hurt a lot of good will that came from other, stronger episodes. There are some touching moments here and there with some cool powers on display, but why do some things need to be more emphasized then others or why are there some redundantcies? Also, does Tanjiro know anything about broken bones? He said he probably broke his rib and leg, but he was walking around five minutes later completely fine. I guess he could have just sprained it, but come on? What’s the deal here.
Ok, I got ahead of myself there. In general, this episode was alright. Tanjiro defeating arrow guy and trying to survive the guy’s power before he disappeared was somewhat compelling and interesting. Tanjiro launching one ability after another to survive fly and falling makes sense, but he still hit the ground hard. That’s what is making me question why he maybe broke a leg and rib? Does he have physically limitations or doesn’t he? Training on a mountainside doesn’t account for falling from the sky at a significant distance even if he is a shonen protagonist. I’m glad Tanjiro’s warm side didn’t leave him though.
The second half of this episode was fine though. Tamayo’s abilities are absolutely terrifying because we don’t know them. Seeing more arms coming out of Tamari Ball Demon’s body and then attacking her was horrifying. Man, the body horror is just so good in this show. Oh, Nezuko was brilliant as usual in this episode. Her kicking the Temari ball back to Temari Demon was great and I’m glad to see soccer represented in this anime for some reason. Why are sports just randomly appearing in my shonen anime recently? Also, her love toward Tamayo and Yushiro along with showing that it isn’t the enchantment that is giving her an opinion of others, it’s herself was great too. Also, the head pats and hugs. Those are always wonderful. Yeah, this episode was ok. I just have a lot of questions.
Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2 Episode 7
Ok, this episode was the big reveal episode. After years of waiting, we wait some more until the secret of the basement is revealed. Of course Armin was let in on why he survived and him wondering why he was chosen to be revived instead of Erwin. Definitely needs to be brought up as well because how else is that supposed to be handled? Then Levi, Hange, Mikasa, and Eren head over to the basement of Eren’s house. It’s a very subtle reveal, with Levi kicking down the basement’s door, leading to only three books that reveal how Eren’s father was from another place in this world. The photograph in a book revealed a society that was far more technologically advanced then the one we’ve seen for a long time. Absolutely wonderful. Good, world changing material being subtly revealed is wonderful.
Then the after credits sequence happened that was backstory to Eren’s father. It had a lot of World War 2 imagery. Some yellow stars in a very WW2 like setting, and them living in a ghetto. Like, a jewish ghetto. It’ s kind of shocking. I will give this show the benefit of a doubt for where it’s going and what it’s trying to say in the coming episodes, but I don’t think any of this imagery was needed. I’m sure it probably will all be meant to represent something else hopefully. Hopefully. I’m so nervous about this one.
Good recap as usual. The Dororo remake really sounds intense. Granted, I don’t watch AoT, but I hope the imagery you mentioned doesn’t become a problematic thing.
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Yeah, Dororo has just been nuts in a good way. It’s kind if surprising.
Me too. I’m sure there is much more people in the know for what it’s going on.
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Definitely. I’ve been seeing that with some of the episode recaps from you and others. Tezuka certainly knows how to make stories for multiple demographics.
Yeah, I’m not going to judge about that issue since it’s far too soon although I’m sure the manga fans know what’s going to happen.
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“It would have been a lot more thematically cohesive.” Well, welcome to Ikuhara lol! There are many themes in his works but most of them don’t flow well together. The narrative is all over the place too, usually, though it’s a lot more straightforward in Sarazanmai. I think it’s just a matter of personal preference, liking the cops and Sarazanmai in general, or not. I can understand it not really being your thing.
I’m so excited to hear what you think about Attack on Titan as more secrets are revealed! I read the manga so I know. No spoilers, but that imagery is pretty important to the world outside the walls.
Anyway, very nice weekly recap!
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The thing is that I generally do like what this anime is doing and it’s not like it’s my first Ikuhara work. I did like Yuri Kuma Arashi too and watched a little of Penguin Drum before it became too much. Just need to try Utena at some point.
Oh good, I hope the imagery wasn’t just for shock value. It just felt strange to have it as an end of episode stinger.
Thank you 😁.
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AOT has dropped a few hints here that are amazing. Their world is about to get much much larger.
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