After going through the list I decided on a few shows to watch, but I’m still not confident about the season. Let’s go with episode 2 of Leadale no Daichi nite, which picks up the day after the drinking party, with Cayna swearing she’ll never drink again. She heals a warrior and the grateful dog guy Elineh, whose wagon he was protecting, agrees to escort Cayna to the city of Felskeilo. She is turned away at the door of her elf “son” Skargo, but meets her dwarf son Kartatz and embarrasses him in front of his boatmaking crew. Then it’s off to sign in at the adventurer’s guild, and she chases down an errant boy in a scene that took far too long. In fact, all the scenes took far too long. But at least her children all know she’s in town now. Hopefully the family-oriented angle can carry the series for a while.
Slow Loop 2 has the girls going to a designated fishing spot so Koharu can practice more, but really it’s to get the other main character into the story–Koi, childhood friend of Hiyori, who’s fishing-addled dad runs a fly fishing store and neglects important live moments like Koi’s birth because he’s out fishing. So while we learn about the types of lures and how to make a clinch knot, we watch as first Koharu gets jealous of Koi and Hiyori’s friendship, and then as Koi get’s jealous of Koharu and her new status as sister and friend to Hiyori. The former jealous comes off as cute, and the latter as sad, and of course neither girl is nasty about it and in fact talk out their feelings. This is a happy show. And these scenes aren’t milked for angst and take no more time than they should. So far the show is doing a nice job of balancing the emotional issues with the cute, happy fishing bits. Oh, and Koharu doesn’t catch a thing.
Next, Cue! 2 takes us to the surprise audition. I used to do some theatre, and I know how nerve-racking the process can be. You are performing bits of a role for a bunch of tired people who will shunt you in and out of the room before you can even think. The people running the audition can seem businesslike to the point of rudeness, cruel masters of an unfair process who mock you when you leave, when in fact they’re just looking for the right people to fill the roles and sympathize with the audtionee’s nervousness, but have to move on. Since there are so many girls the show fortunately doesn’t show all of their auditions for this weird futuresque volleyball anime they’re auditioning for (nice bit showing a bit of this fake anime at the start, come to think of it, they did it last episode too. I hope it’s a running bit). Instead, we get bits of some of the auditions, plus little flubs like bumping the microphone. And also a nice touch showing the manga-ka and the director taking sudden interest in one or another girl’s reading.
So the episode manages the events as lightly as it can, but Haruna is last, and she hasn’t read the manga. Naturally the nerves for her and for us ramp up. In an interesting turn, she reads well until a flub and loses her confidence, but the manga-ka asks her to read another role, and another, and another. This is rare in auditions, we’re told, to get to read so many. What does it mean? In reality, probably nothing in terms of this audition. They’re probably not going to hire a novice voice-actor. But it does suggest that she has something in her performing that people notice. A nod to the future. Great for Haruna, but frankly, I find her dull, and I hope the show starts focusing on other characters soon.
In Shikkaku Mon no Saikyou Kenja 2, Matthias’s plan for WORLD DOMINATION continues! … Not really. It’s unclear what Matty’s up to, even when he asks for his reward for exposing and killing that demon last week–free rein in all the dungeons, and gets it. At the moment he’s planning to protect the kingdom from the demon invasion he’s expecting by putting up a magic barrier, which means looking for artifacts to use, which means visiting a dungeon conveniently right below the city. Naturally he asks Yurie and Alma to join him, which means more training scenes with Alma killing cute little hermit-crablike critters on the first level. He finally goes down to level 25 and nonchalantly dispatches a monster there. Matty has a nice evil face he makes when he gets an interesting battle–even if he should run from it, it means he’s going to go head-on. Sorry to say that for the series he’s still overpowered and so a little boring to watch, as is Yurie’s fawning over him. Alma’s sly remarks help mitigate those scenes, though. Still, I’m looking forward to an actual crisis to appear, not one that Matthias can handle, either a huge monster or another cute girl coming on to him.
I figured Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi o Suru would have a measurements scene, but I didn’t expect it so soon and to use almost all of the episode. I also didn’t expect it to be so funny. There are the expected overly-nervous bits from Wakana, but somehow the scene manages to keep a light air about it. Probably it’s due to Marin’s lack of inhibitions and innocent trust of this boy. She invites herself in, goes straight to his bedroom, and strips to a sexy swimsuit without any thought at all. The show doesn’t mind ogling her, but rather than say it’s for fanservice (well, it partly is) it ups the stress for Wakana. I would argue that Marin’s nonchalance at all this doesn’t feel right. Surely she knows the impression she must have on this sheltered, shy boy, but she innocently presents various parts of herself and says “What are you waiting for?” like he’s an expert dressmaker used to this. Obviously she knows this because she does tease him from time to time (I had no idea “bust points” were a thing). I was also a little surprised that Marin actually gets flustered when it’s time to measure her inseam–the first time we’ve seen a shy side of her. As for Wakana, he goes from flustered to all-business and back, and eventually every part of her is measured. All in all, a scene I had been dreading turned out to be quite entertaining.
Akebi-chan no Sailor Fuku has Akebi on her first day of school, where she gets carried away in her introductions and generally makes a cute fool of herself for most of the episode. But since this is a nice show, the rest of the class are more amused than annoyed by her antics. Her innocent spirit is played with by, er, Hotoru I think (We get a lot of names dumped on us this week), who almost gets her to switch uniforms and has her imitate her favorite idol, again to the amusement of the classmates in her lunch group. While it’s sweet and cute, I feel almost embarrassed for Akebi, and not a little bored by the cute dullness of much of the episode. When she gets home we meet her slightly awkward father, home for one day. Oh, and another bath scene. I swear we see almost as much of Akebi’s skin as we do for Marin. That aside I really ought to point out that in spite of the dullness this show looks fantastic. The art and animation make up for whatever yawns I let out.