Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Summer Anime 2021, Week 2

I’m going to put out the phrase ‘episode 2 blues’ this week. We get hyped at the end of debut episodes, and then compare them to second episodes and sometimes end up getting disappointed. It’s a thing like this that can make us decide whether we want to continue watching the show or not. I’ve said before that this is a summer season I’ve been looking forward to a lot, and so I don’t want my Summer Curse to return this year. I had a lackluster Winter season, and I missed most of Spring, so I want the two remaining seasons of this year to blow me away.

Remake Our Life! Episode 3

I suppose when it comes to Remake Our Life!, it’s ‘episode 3 blues’, but you know what I mean, right?

Something I didn’t really touch on last week is how much I think Remake Our Life! is a show of self-reflection. Kyouya has this second chance thrown at him for some unknown reason, and he seizes it to better himself. Now if you or I had some other life goal and were given the kind of opportunity that Kyouya has, what would you do? All the goals I had in life…well, there are too many to count. At the end of episode 2, the team were at a train station about to start their shoot for the 3-minute-long film, only to realize that they accidentally ordered the wrong camera. I really liked how pumped Kyouya got when he realized that the ‘it is what it is’ mantra is what lead him to ruin when he originally grew up. They may have ordered the wrong kind of camera, but they’ll be damned if they’re just going to give up.

They’re able to complete their film, and have it ready for class presentation, where it is well received. I think this episode wasn’t about the reception of their film, but instead of how the rest of the house see some spark in Kyouya that he is unable to see himself. While the others seem to have a clear goal on what they want to do, we aren’t really told what Kyouya himself wants to do. What exactly would he do when he leaves art college? He seems so determined and driven in class projects, but when it comes to him personally, what would he want to do? Curious to find out.

One character I have grown very interested in now is Eiko. She was Kyouya’s superior at his last job before the company went bankrupt. At that time, she felt personally responsible for the project they were working on spectacular failure, causing the collapse of the company. Here though, she is a classmate who feels compelled to be a rival to Kyouya. Out of all the girls so far, her story has interested me the most, and so I’m keenly interested in what kind of relationship she’ll end up making with Kyouya in the future…this future, that is.

Remake Our Life! has turned out to be better than I expected. I came into the show thinking that the art school/creative aspect was going to be second fiddle, and comedy/harem was going to be center stage. I still think this will be a show that might be forgotten in 5 years’ time maybe, but I’m still finding all of this enthralling to watch so far. Maybe it’s because I went to art school for a year myself; that might have something to do with my opinion. It has passed the three episode rule for me, for sure. Have the others on my list, though?

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S Episode 2

These ‘episode 2 blues’ definitely fit in for this week’s Dragon Maid, though. I had initially thought that we would get the same kind of format that season 1 had, but I’ve noticed a lot of things that make this second season stand out. Whether they work for a short sketch comedy like this is something I’d need to think about more.

We carry on from the end of episode 1, where Ilulu plays a lewd prank on Kobayashi. Interestingly, the format of carrying on from past episodes is something that the first season did not have at all. So has it worked here? It creates a linear story, that’s for sure – the introduction of Ilulu and her integration into the family.

We also get a backstory for Ilulu as well, which is very unusual, showing us that there originally was peace between humans and dragons. We get the same-old regular short skits that we know the show for, but this introduction of a (sort of) linear story will surprise viewers. While I was looking at this, I thought about KyoAni themselves, and how they have been forced to adapt after two years (last Sunday marked the second anniversary of the arson attack). The studio is very keen to nurture new talent so we wonder what kind of work they will put out in their upcoming shows. Will we get a lot of things seen from their older franchises (K-on!, Haruhi Suzumiya, Free!, Sound! Euphonium), or will we see something different?

Dragon Maid S will develop more, that much I know. I have seen some criticize the pacing of this season, and how different it was to season 1. Now I don’t know if we’ll genuinely get one long story involving Ilulu and some great feud between humans and dragons, or if we’ll get the same old thing we had in season 1. Personally I hope it’s the latter, but I would not complain too much if it’s the former either.

The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 2

For me, ‘episode 2 blues’ carries on here in this week’s The Aquatope of White Sand. We get some more character development this week, but I saw a completely different episode here. We get to see Kukuru completely thrown off by Fuuka’s offer of full-time work at the failing aquarium, and we also get a better understanding of what troubles they are really feeling.

Kukuru is committed to saving the aquarium, and nothing else. Tanks and equipment all need replacing, food needs to be bought for the fish, a vet needs to come by to check on them all, plus they need to arrange shows for visitors. Kukuru may be the interim director over the summer break, but she knows that the aquarium really needs a miracle to survive the summer. This determination of hers is more visible as she lashes out at staff. She unleashes anger on Fuuka on her first day and threatens to fire her, and talks down to other staff who don’t care as much as she does. We get her commitment and determination, but I think it’s going to take me more time to warm to Kukuru.

As for Fuuka, she knows that she is out of her depth here in the middle of Okinawa. A very different kind of work from performing and singing in the big city, rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty comes as a shock to her. She hasn’t even told her family where she is yet, and only tells Kukuru the reason why she came to Okinawa at the end of this week. This is only episode 2, though, and we’re still in the middle of character establishment.

It’s a beautifully animated show, and I know that it’ll get even better as time goes by. It really does remind me a lot of past P.A Works shows that have a ‘working’ theme to them – shows like Hanasaku Iroha, Shirobako and Sakura Quest. In all of those, we saw main characters enter a whole different world than their regular ones. Kukuru is all settled in her life here in the Okinawan countryside, but how will city girl Fuuka cope?

Girlish Number Episode 2

The new anime project is set in stone, and Chitose has her first main character role in the absurdly-titled Millennium Princess x Kowloon Overlord. I still want a real show with this stupid title, by the way. But how has this show started so far? Well there’s one huge delay already, and the show hasn’t even started yet. At least Kuzu-P has the passion. Passion is all he seems to care about, and not how an anime show is made, how long it takes, what every role is, and the budgets they keep.

At least the PV has been made, and an event to promote it takes place. It’s just a shame that the animation in the PV looks terrible already. Kind of reminiscent of one other PV of a terrible show that came out this year…

Chitose, meanwhile, is loving every moment of this. As she has been cast as the lead heroine, she already starts to develop an air of superiority over the two other rookie voice actors: Yae Kugayama and Koto Katakura. Also, the thought of working with experienced voice actors boosts her already-massive ego even more, as she thinks: “I’ll be like them someday.” Judging by the PV, the anime looks like it’s going to be trash so far, but then it’s not like the fans care, and that’s another thing I find funny in Girlish Number. It doesn’t just parody the anime industry, but the fans themselves, and how accepting they can be with any show, regardless of how terrible it ends up being. But I can tell you this already: the big delay shown in episode 2 (reference sheets not finished) is just the start of a long list of mishaps…

I’ll say now that there are other shows I’ll be watching closely this year, both in this season and catching up on past seasons’ ones. Season 2 of The Promised Neverland made me want to tear at the walls, but other shows that I hadn’t covered in Otaku Theater have still caught my eye. I just need to convince Justin to let me write up 6 or 7 shows for each season…not like that’ll ever happen. So what are your Summer shows been like so far? And are you feeling ‘episode 2 blues’ as well? Feel free to hit that like button and air your opinions in the comments below!

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