Now to catch up, if I can. Let’s start with Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shounen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu Youna Monogatari … what is the short name for this? Sometimes the show’s web page will use it … Lasdan? … Anyway episode 2 has Lloyd down after failing his exams and getting a part-time job at a restaurant where the proprietor, Chrome, can see the boy’s innate power and thinks he up to something. Meanwhile at the academy, everyone is trying to figure out why Lloyd failed, aha! The doodles he wrote for answers are actually ancient runes. Everyone looks for Lloyd, there’s a fight, I think, also a captured princess and the threat of war, and if anyone can get the princess back they can have their wish, but that bit is more or less forgotten with all the other stuff going on.
Yeah, this episode starts with the main story, basically finding Lloyd, but stops for exposition that has nothing to do with anything this episode. Then they find Lloyd, and then they don’t because of, er, why did Marie fly off with him like that? You’d think this would be simple, that once they reexamined Lloyd’s test paper he would be accepted, but then there’s this talk of rescuing the princess to get their wish so they can get him accepted anyway. And, you know, with this missing princess and a possible war, you’d think everyone would have other things on their mind. At least Merthophan knows that Lloyd would be invaluable in his army … oh, but that would mean interfering in humanity’s petty affairs, but you know they gotta rescue that princess sooner or later. Okay, so the big issue is whether to use Lloyd or not to rescue the princess … I suppose that makes sense.
And did episode 3 clear things up? Sort of. The princess bit is done with, but now we have another conundrum, where it looks like Merthophan was the one controlling the king to whip up hate against the neighboring Jiou Empire, but in fact he was the one being fooled. So are we supposed to dislike Merth now, or side with him when he gets betrayed by the king? He’s set up to be a regular character, but there should be some sort of reckoning for him. As for who’s controlling the king, things are more straightforward. He’s possessed by a demon lord, which means Lloyd, despondent and unconfident, is back in the action, if he can get away from Alka trying to make a chocolate banana out of his banana at the fair. Meanwhile I’m wishing there was a little more substance to this whole thing. I suppose it’s a kid show, but everything in this fantasy world seems stuck in randomly to get to gags (which aren’t bad). The serious moments, like Marie and her father, don’t have the impact they should.
In Ura Sekai Picnic we meet Kozakura, a researcher for the other world, and we learn a basic fact about Toriko. Both she and Kozakura were friends with a girl named Satsuki, who vanished in that other world. So we get a chance to work on the Toriko-Sorao relationship, as the latter is privately dismayed at a rival, and a little hurt because she feels Toriko’s just using her to get Satsuki back. That puts her in the grumps for a while. This time, along with a guy who lost his wife to, well, we don’t know (disgusting Sorao, since there are now two people in the party who have people they need and miss, while Sorao doesn’t have anyone), they encounter our urban legend of the week, a Hasshaku, and we learn just who might be dependent on whom. It was a nice little twist at the end, and it may answer the question of how important Sorao is to Toriko. This is a spooky variation of a step forward in a yuri show. So, when they go back, what are they going for? Satsuki? More cubes? Will the other girls in the OP show up?
Episode 3 has the series and the relationship in a holding pattern. Looking for a shack Toriko had found earlier the girls find a village and are chased by “big heads,” and they escape. That doesn’t take long. Instead we have a lot of scenes of the girls just walking, arguing, and tossing rocks to trigger glitches. The show has a head-size running theme, with Sorao looking at a fashion magazine article about de-emphasizing head size, Toriko joking that Sorao’s head is big at the end, and the big-headed monsters in between. Also a rock metaphor. As for the relationship, all we get are some meaningful looks into each other’s eyes, followed by a gag. It’s not a bad episode, but it doesn’t seem to do much overall. At the beginning Sorao wonders if she shouldn’t re-think the trips with Toriko, and at the end she’s thinking the same thing. They don’t even find the supply shack.
Speaking of girls who go to interesting places, Yuru Camp 2 2 splits between Rin on her journey to Iwata to see the New Year sunrise, and the other girls just driving out to see it around, er, Mt. Minobu I think. The trouble with this show is that I keep stopping to look places up and they get jumbled in my mind. Anyway, thanks to smart phones, they all get to see double sunrises, and almost a triple as they race to catch the “diamond Fuji” effect, the first scene where I was concerned for the girls’ safety, but with this show what was I thinking … I’m also concerned for Rin–what is she going to do for two days while she waits for her grandpa. Two days of cold. That’s another thing this show does–I always get cold watching it and put on another layer of clothing.
Turns out Rin didn’t have to shiver outside for two more days. Because this is a happy show where almost everything works for the better, she’s invited to Nadeshiko’s grandma’s house, where Nadeshiko will also go. So not as much camping this week, but just as much sightseeing, and friends. And eel. And birds. Lots of eel and birds. We also meet Nadeshiko’s old friend Aya, who seems like the type of person to befriend Nadeshiko, and we learn that Nadeshiko used to be plump in her middle school days. This is not important to the story, but since this show has no story, it’s fine. Besides, Nadeshiko is cute when someone is tugging on her cheek.
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka 2 continues where it left off and spends most of the time with our spider pal as she tries to make a home (burned down), open a dragon egg (taken away from the humans that burned her place down), get chased by centipedes, and generally discovering her skills and weaknesses to the point where she manages to level up some more, while still lamenting the fact that she is basically weak (though no longer passive). It would be kind of dull if it wasn’t for both the good animation and Aoi Yuuki doing what she does best. But we also get a bit of plot from the luckier reincarnated. Most interestingly, a girl who bullied her in her past life is now a baby dragon and thinks it’s punishment, so now she feels bad for the victim, Hiiro Wakaba, and wonders if she’s okay. The victim is obviously our spider-Hiiro. Also, there’s the question of some other dragon causing trouble for them. I’m looking forward to how this will work out because, frankly, in spite of what I said, watching Wakaba (I assume) the spider scooting around is getting a little old.
In episode 3 we learn one way to stop the cave-skittering from getting old, and that’s to throw a whole bunch of threats at Wakaba (I assume) one after the other, and sometimes doubled or tripled. Humans, lizard-men, snakes, wasps, and a dragon, but she lucks out because her enemies are also enemies of each other. Don’t know what she’s going to do about the dragon, though. And why were the damn humans after her, or were they? They might have been going for more eggs or to clear out the lizard-men. So all that’s fun, but it will only remain so if Wakaba (I assume) somehow joins the other story, cliched as it is, with the other kids doing a magic practicum when a dragon shows up and incinerates their teacher, and almost the rest of them until Shun (a dull kid, a protagonist in most other isekai stories) and a couple of others manage to kill it, thanks to Fei the remorseful dragon, who gets the title of “Kin Eater” for her troubles, just like Wakaba (I assu … oh, I’m tired of this gag now). Fei’s shocked, maybe not for the title, after all, both her and Wakaba had to survive, but because she could wind up like the monster that almost killed her friends. And her friends now know a possible future for Fei. That’s more interesting than the petty jealousies in the group. But meanwhile, Wakaba, the most interesting character, is still skittering around in her cave.