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The Kinda New, Sorta Improved Anime Weekly Round-Up

It's just a new day that's all everything else is the same lol

Nobara fighting in Jujutsu Kaisen episode 17

Happy “still not Monday Bri your timing is always off” Tues… sorry, Wednesday, my fellow anime watchers!

LOL let’s just name this a Weekly Round-up and call it good.

Some quick notes before we start:

  1. Given the Movie premiered last week and I thoroughly enjoyed it! However, instead of including it in the round-up, I’ve written up a full review here!
  2. Both SK8 and Horimiya aired the first episodes from their dubs on Saturday! You can see Funimation’s dub cast here (SK8) and here (Horimiya). I’ve watched the dubs for both and they’re wonderful, so if you haven’t started either series now would be a great time to start! You can check out my first episode thoughts here.

Let’s talk about anime! Spoilers for everything on the list, as always.

Thursday, February 4th

The Promised Neverland season 2 episode 5

Where to watch: Funimation

The Promised Neverland S2E5

WTF is going on with this anime?

I mean that in a bad way, why is this series fumbling its bag?

I haven’t read the manga, but even as someone who’s just watching the anime, this feels like the kind of filler arc where they don’t know what to do with the story.

On the record, I don’t mind media that deviates from the source material if a good story comes of it, but in the case of The Promised Neverland, not only does the source material sound better than what we’re getting (and has been, just look at season 1), any new ideas we get are kinda glossed over in favor of what I’m assuming is supposed to be a better idea? 

In the previous episode, the kids were forced out of the safe house when the military showed up on behalf of the demons pursuing them. I’ve already explained how odd of a decision that was, but I thought, “Maybe something interesting will come from it.” What we get is the kids slipping into a demon village to get food, and I dunno, the demon designs are kinda… plain? Compared to the giant, otherworldly beings we met in the first season, these demons look like humans wearing masks. In fact, they look SO much like humans wearing masks that the kids can blend right in with the disguises they’ve made. 

How? How is it that easy? You mean the demons can’t at least smell the humans? Oh wait, they can, they do later when they get close enough, but these kids have been walking amongst demons for MONTHS how has this not been an issue?

And yes. I said months. Because there’s a time jump where the kids suddenly have a new place they’re hiding and they travel back and forth to the local demon village. We don’t get to see them making the disguises, don’t get to see them planning how to slip into the village, nope, we get none of that. We’ve gone from “series showing kids making survival gear with what’s around the house” to “time jump that puts the kids where they need to be.” 

The other infuriating thing about this episode is how it introduces us to a pair of demons who are desperate for food for the sake of deteriorating demon children. That plot isn’t the problem. The problem is it doesn’t get fully explored. There’s an entire scene where the kids run into a blind demon who laments how the town is deteriorating and in need of food and you think, “Oh I see, the kids are gonna have to come to terms with the fact that there are demons who HAVE to eat them to live.” Unlike the previous two demons they met (Sonju and Mujika) who choose not to eat humans for religious reasons, demon children NEED to eat humans to grow. So you think, “Wow, this will be a lot to grapple with,” especially when the kids are being chased by the demons who are trying to find food for their kids.

None of that matters, though, because those demons get killed off. End of that story, I guess. Those little demon kids are gonna die.

Before I get to the BIG reveal of the episode I gotta ask… when did Emma and the others get so reckless? Why in the world would they let Thoma and Lannion go into the demon city with them if they aren’t prepared? And since when can they just… scale across rooftops? Everything they’ve trained themselves to do has been in the realm of reality, but suddenly they’re just… hopping across rooftops? And jumping down from them? 

Whatever, I guess, because Norman’s alive.

WTF?!?!?!

Honestly, this should be a tender moment, but it feels more random than earned. There’s been no build-up for a Norman return and it feels like everything else has felt this season: rushed. After doing some digging I found out that Norman does come back in the manga, but we get to see what he’s been up to before the big reunion versus having him just show up out of nowhere. Basically, the reader knows that Norman survived, but has to wait for several chapters until he sees his friends again.

The characters think he’s been dead since chapter 30 and don’t see him until chapter 118. That’s a LONG time. The second season, however, just has him save Emma and Ray like it’s nothing. This feels like they didn’t think the season could survive without Norman so they threw him back in. 

I really don’t wanna give up on this series because I became so invested after the first season, but these last two episodes have been so lackluster that it’s getting hard to care about the outcome. I should just read the manga, lol.

2.43: Seiin High School Boys Volleyball Team episode 5

Where to watch: Funimation

2.43 Volleyball episode 5

***CW: mentions of attempted suicide***

As Yori warned Yuni about when he tried to help him during that fight, Yuni is accused of fighting and the team is forced to sit out of the game they had planned. Yuni tries to explain that he wasn’t involved, but the bruise he has says otherwise. The bruise is from his cousin, Itoko, and Yuni, for some reason, decides to not tell the truth about it?

Why?

Especially when, near the end of the episode, Itoko goes and tells the school what happened so Yuni is off the hook and the team can play in the upcoming tournament. Seriously, it’s unnecessary drama in a series that already has plenty of dramatic plot threads.

Chika practices alone and is furious to see Yuni casually strolling along as if he didn’t just get the entire team in trouble. Yuni accuses Chika of trying way too hard with this upcoming tournament because he feels some kind of way about what happened with his old team and his teammate who tried to kill himself, Sota. This argument leads to Chika deciding to go to Tokyo to face his past and Yuni goes with him, feeling bad for pushing Chika in that direction.

As irritated as I am that Yuni continues to put his foot in his mouth, I’m glad Chika’s not dealing with this alone, especially when he finds out the truth about what happened with Sota.

Because it turns out Sota didn’t actually try to kill himself. That was a lie.

Chika finds out from his old teammates that they all came up with this idea to have Sota lie about being pushed so hard by him that he tried to kill himself, and this has got to be the most wildly insensitive thing I’ve seen characters in a sports anime do in quite some time. They just made Chika think that he hurt this kid so much that he tried to take his own life? And they LAUGH it off? SURPRISED that Chika took it so seriously?! Of COURSE he did, assholes.

Remember how I said I was glad that Yuni was there? I’m EXTRA glad because Yuni reacts the same way I did when hearing the news.

Chika ends up passing out, which, yeah, that’s the appropriate response when you find out your teammates set you up like that. Also, he had a fever when going to Tokyo, but my point still stands: do NOT lie about suicide, OMFG!

As he’s recovering in the hospital, Sota shows up to see him, the two talking and Chika getting some sort of closure. Sota wanted to quit the volleyball team from the get-go, but everyone had made a promise together to play in middle school. He felt pressure from that, plus school responsibilities, and really, I’m listening to what he’s saying and school is definitely hard, but I just can’t wrap my head around making up a story that pins this on Chika?

It’s just so unforgivable to me. You’d rather make your teammate think he drove you to attempt suicide instead of just quitting the team? Jesus.

It’s over and done with now as Yuni and Chika meet up with Chika’s old volleyball coach, Ms. Minami, who ends up taking the boys to the stadium where the tournament will be held. With both of them now fired up, they return to school to get ready with their team.

Heaven’s Design Team episode 5

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Heaven's Design Team episode 5

OVERARCHING PLOT?!

Eh… kinda, but it’s done in a rather hilarious way.

Ueda, if you remember from last week, was exiled to Hell after cursing those pandas (a sentence I never thought I’d have to write). The other angels try to continue on without her, Shimoda trying to take her place, but it’s difficult when giant bugs fly around thanks to the insect department. Fortunately, Ueda is there to catch the bugger, and-

Wait.

Ueda?!

So it turns out that whole exile thing was way more dramatic than it needed to be (like a lot of this series). Not only was God understanding about why she had to curse the pandas, exile was just her… going on a business trip.

Yep.

That’s it.

We find out that Heaven and Hell don’t actually have much of an issue with one another. In fact, Hell sends its own worker, Yokota, to hire the angels to make a mascot for its theme park. Yokota has an exact idea and is quick to mention payment when he ends up liking BOTH designs, the Cerberus and the three-headed dragon. Yeah, in Hell you get to be more creative with the creature designs, not limited to Earth’s pesky limitations. The angels openly weep over having, for the first time, a sensible client who doesn’t speak in vague riddles or tells them to do whatever. 

Heaven’s Design Team confirms that Hell is the better place to work for… even if you have to make your own outfit design to wear… for all time… ok that’s a little harsh.

The second half of the episode is the cutest ten minutes of content as we are treated to the creation of the sea otter. What was supposed to be an “animal that can’t swim well” (see, there God goes with the vagueness) turned into a seafood-loving, back swimming, fluff nugget of adorableness. Granted, the seafood part was Jupiter’s fault since he introduced the little guy to it, but it all worked out in the end.

Seriously, the last half of the episode is just them marveling at how perfect the sea otter is. Please watch to improve your mood.

Friday, February 5th

Jujutsu Kaisen episode 17

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Maki fighting in Jujutsu Kaisen ep 17

OKAY LADIES NOW LET’S GET IN FORMATION!

The preview to this episode already had me excited, but watching it? PHEW! Let’s talk about the girls Nobara and Maki

First of all, thoughts and prayers for Kasumi, who was told by Mai that Maki wasn’t that much of a threat because she can’t even see curses. But what she lacks in jujutsu sorcery she makes up for in being an absolute badass. Basically, Maki should be a higher level sorcerer, but is being held back by the Zenin family (hence her animosity toward them) and baseless assumptions about her as if she isn’t an absolute BEAST in battle. Maki makes quick work of Kasumi, even steals her sword so she can use it in her next fight.

Before we follow Maki, we get to watch Nobara go up against Momo. Momo gives a speech about how being a female jujutsu sorcerer is hard because you’re expected to be perfect. She links it back to Mai and her hardships, but Nobara don’t wanna hear none of that. Nobara points out how nasty Mai has been, and how her having it hard doesn’t excuse any of her negative actions (THANK. YOU). She goes on to say that she loves Maki (AH!!!) and how she loves herself when she’s pretty AND being strong (again, THANK YOU, girls can be pretty and strong, ok?). We get a really cool demonstration of her technique, complete with her slamming a squeaky toy hammer into Momo so she doesn’t kill her from the sheer amount of power she possesses. 

You read that right.

A squeaky toy hammer.

Damn, Nobara.

Seriously, I already loved Nobara, but this episode truly cemented her place as a fave for me. The fact that she loudly, and proudly, declares that she fully embraces herself and that’s how she’s gonna go about this whole jujutsu thing is incredible. The fact that she asks why SHE has to try and fulfill these unrealistic goals that Momo’s talking about is amazing. The timing is just perfect, too, in regards to discourse going on in media where female-driven properties (Winx Club, Powerpuff Girls) are getting gritty makeovers as if these girls can’t be unapologetically feminine AND badass. Nobara basically smashed a hammer into all that nonsense and said, “I’m both. Deal with it.”

Bless.

Unfortunately, Nobara’s taken out of the fight when Mai shoots her (it’s a rubber bullet), but now Mai will be facing off against Maki. The sisters go at it and Maki pretty much annihilates her, so much so that she catches the special bullet Mai creates with her bare hand because, as I said, Maki’s a badass, and her family is all the way wrong for thinking otherwise.

During the fight, we get to see what led to their hostile relationship. When they were younger, Mai was frightened by the curses she saw, but she had Maki to guide her forward because Maki couldn’t see them. Since she couldn’t see them, Maki wasn’t scared of them, and Mai came to rely on her. However, Maki decided to leave their home and set off to become a jujutsu sorcerer who would, one day, take over the family. She was laughed at, of course, because she doesn’t have power in a way that gets recognized by their family, but she’s set to prove them all wrong.

This leads to Mai’s hatred for her, but it’s more than just the fact that Maki leaves her, it’s because now their family expects Mai to make something more of herself. Mai was perfectly fine with staying at home, doing chores, and living a normal life that didn’t involve the terrifying creatures that exist in the jujutsu universe. However, since the weakest member of the family (in the family’s opinion) went off to become a jujutsu sorcerer, Mai was forced to do the same thing.

Maki tells her sister that she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she stayed home. She had no interest in staying there to become a servant. She apologizes and leaves Mai in the forest, Mai left to cry as we see one more flashback where Maki, once upon a time, promised to never leave Mai behind.

Saturday, February 6th

SK8 the Infinity episode 5

Where to watch: Funimation

Langa vs Adam in SK8 episode 5

Adam. Langa. SIRS!

Before we get to the whole Adam and Eve symbolism that Adam’s writing fanfic about, let’s backtrack to the hospital. Reki’s injured after his match against the Skateboarding Creeper of Love – sorry, Matador of Love. Reki begs Langa not to face Adam because he’s so dangerous, but Langa isn’t listening. Reki tries to get the skateboard shop owner, Oka, to talk some sense into Langa (and we finally see someone reference using safety gear for the first time), but Langa’s set to win against Adam.

Now in a full-blown panic, Reki goes to Cherry Blossom for help… while Cherry’s at work. Come now, Reki. The first rule of S is to NOT talk about S (in public). Still, Cherry decides to help since Langa is trying to do the impossible, leading to him and Joe not bickering (kinda) as they break down the secret behind Adam’s Love Hug

After the lesson, Reki tries one more time to appeal to Langa’s logical side, revealing that he had a best friend who was so severely injured from skateboarding that he quit. He doesn’t want Langa to be hurt, nor does he want to lose his skateboarding boyfriend, ahem, FRIEND, my bad, y’all. Langa promises that no matter what he’ll never stop skateboarding. 

Adam (in real life) is excited for his upcoming date with Langa (his words, not mine) and there’s some BAMF red-haired lady watching him from around the corner. We’ve seen her in the opening and, like, I need to know who she is. Is she a skateboarder PLEASE tell me she’s a skateboarder I WANT A LADY SKATEBOARDER. 

We don’t get to find out, we have a date to get to. I mean it. There’s a bouquet of roses and everything. At least Adam knows to bring the skateboarders he courts flowers. 

The match between Adam and Langa is, by far, the most exciting one – and listen, ALL of the matches have been great. The fact that Langa doesn’t take the head start that Adam’s trying to give him. The “dance” they engage in. Langa frickin’ SMIRKING. Langa LEAPING over the Love Hug. It’s intense. It’s cool. And it’s, oddly, kinda scary, because Langa is vibing with Adam, of all people, who realizes that he’s found his Eve.

Get it? Cuz Adam and Eve? Adam’s so clever.

The match is interrupted by the police showing up, Reki getting to Langa before he can get caught. Adam isn’t happy about it at all and says something about contacting the chief of police (oh dear). Elsewhere, Reki asks Langa not to get involved with Adam, and Langa agrees.

I have a theory, here. I think it was Reki who called the police, desperate to make sure Langa didn’t race. I’m sure it would be seen as some sort of skateboarding bro violation, but I think Reki was worried enough to do it. Insert tension between him and Langa when Langa inevitably finds out (assuming my theory is correct).

Meanwhile, Langa’s worried because he’s feeling something in his heart after skating with Adam. It’s clear that Adam’s bad news and I’m thinking that Langa’s worried that he may be similar to him. Perhaps the upcoming beach episode will go into more detail?

Horimiya episode 5

Where to watch: Funimation

Horimiya episode 5

The episode starts with Hori still being sick, yeah, totally, cough cough. She’s not skipping because of Miya’s love confession or anything. Nope. Not at all. It’s not like she’s trying to avoid him.

It’s fine, Hori, because Miya’s got a girlfriend now.

LOL WHUT?!

I’m kidding, he doesn’t, but when Sota comes home and tells his big sister that he saw Miya walking with a girl she starts to suspect the worst. Yes, she could just ask Miya who the girl was, but that’s not how I’m in love with this boy but I don’t know how to tell him brains work, silly. Hori tries to avoid Miya at school, but Miya approaches her and asks if she was awake during his love confession (aw). He admits that he knew she was awake, which is why he said it (aww), and Hori responds by…asking who that girl was he was with…

Hori.

Girl.

She finds out that Miya knows Chika-chan and flips out because he not only refers to this girl by her first name, but he calls her Chika-CHAN! It’s fine, though, because Chika’s just Shindo’s girlfriend (Miya’s middle school friend), so there’s no reason for Hori to flip out and throw her book at him…except…that’s exactly what she just did.

Hori.

GIRL.

It’s fine! I mean it this time! Because the two talk after school and patch things up, just in time for Hori’s, um, interesting dad to show up. My poor soft goth boy, Miya, just wants to be able to talk about his feelings with Hori in peace. Fortunately, the two get time to themselves that evening, actually holding hands as they walk together. This scene is so precious, like, you can see that they’re purposely walking slowly together so they have more time with each other and my little heart can’t take how much I love these two.

I also, oddly enough, like how the series is handling Toru.

Toru still obviously likes Hori, but he’s also not trying to interfere with what’s going on between her and Miya. Still, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck to see your crush with someone else, especially when that someone else is now a person you consider to be a friend. Meanwhile, Sakura notices that Toru is looking down in the dumps, but doesn’t really know how to approach him since she’s clearly developing feelings for him. After she talks with Remi we find out that Sakura doesn’t think she’s cute enough, not the way Remi is, so she wouldn’t know how it feels to like someone but not be cute enough to approach them. I was two seconds away from yelling at Sakura that she IS cute and Remi IS her best friend so she’d definitely listen to her…but Sakura reaches that conclusion on her own. At least the part about Remi being her friend, I have a feeling she’s gonna need more pep talks about her looks.

The episode ends with Toru reassuring Miya that he shouldn’t feel awkward about what’s going on re: Toru’s feelings for Hori. After that, Miya convinces Hori to call him by his first name, which leads to an explosion of blushes between the both of them.

Sunday, February 7th

Theatre of Darkness: Yamashibai 8 episode 5

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Yamashibai S8E5

This episode is about a young man who’s trying to study but he keeps hearing an old woman’s laughter. It seems to follow him wherever he goes and at one point it looks like it’s coming from his mother, but no, she’s not laughing, and there’s no one in the neighborhood who sounds like this woman. When the boy’s father finally goes to investigate he doesn’t see anyone outside, laughing the whole thing off.

And laughing.

And laughing.

And laughing.

Oh dear.

Tuesday, February 9th

Wonder Egg Priority episode 5

Where to watch: Funimation

Wonder Egg Priority episode 5

***CW: mentions of suicide and inappropriate teacher/student relationships***

***Also will be using she/her pronouns for Momoe now since that seems to be what she wants to use***

I’ve been saying that I feel like the series is leading toward the girls all realizing that they can’t save the ones who killed themselves and they, instead, need to move forward with each other. I didn’t expect that idea to play out as quickly as the fifth episode.

Before we get to that, we get to see what Neiru’s world looks like and how she fights in battle, and wow, she’s giving me major Homura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica vibes with the firearms she uses. What’s interesting about Neiru is that unlike the other girls she has zero interest in learning about the girls she’s protecting. She barely speaks to them and is pretty blunt about how she’s saving them for her own sake. Up to this point, when the girls have been rescued, the ones rescuing them showed compassion toward them.

But not Neiru.

The group gets together at Ai’s house and we learn that Momoe is Mr. Sawaki’s niece (Mr. Sawaki is Ai’s teacher). As they all talk in Ai’s room, Rika starts asking intrusive questions about Mr. Sawaki, asking if he had an inappropriate relationship with Koito and if that led to her suicide. Ai isn’t sure, and Momoe’s extremely uncomfortable with the accusation, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think the exact same thing Rika’s thinking. 

Through a flashback we see Mr. Sawaki painting a portrait of Ai and telling her to be more confident. Koito, later, tells her that he’s very passionate about art and is interested in entering her portrait into a contest. When Ai seems hesitant, Koito tells her to decline, because this is important to Mr. Sawaki. This, to me, hints at Koito, at least, caring about Mr. Sawaki. Whether it leads to anything is still up for debate, but considering everything else we’ve seen in the series, I wouldn’t be surprised.

The girls enter the other world together, but instead of buying eggs immediately, they ask for the chance to just hang out. This leads to Ura-Acca letting them hang out in the bowling alley they’re in and we actually get a moment of everyone being allowed to unwind. They even take selfies together, Momoe commenting on how she always looks like a “boyfriend” when taking pictures with girls. During this scene, we learn that the girl Momoe is trying to bring back (Haruka) was a close friend, but then she made unwanted advances toward her (the scene from the last episode where Haruka put Momoe’s hand on her chest and said said “touch me”). This caused Momoe to run away from her and, presumably, led to Haruka’s suicide.

This leads to the episode’s big talking point where Rika actually wonders what would happen if they stopped buying eggs. She goes on to say that they aren’t at fault for the ones who killed themselves, even if they feel bad about it. Momoe, for example, didn’t want that kind of relationship with her friend, and while Rika feels bad that Chiemi killed herself, she ultimately doesn’t feel like she’s responsible for her decision. While we still don’t know why Koito killed herself, Rika doesn’t think Ai is at fault there.

Then Rika goes on to ask something that none of them considered: do these girls even want to come back?

She also brings up what I did: they’re all friends now, can’t they just be content with that?

Ura-Acca confirms that the girls can stop all of this at any time, but Neiru says that she isn’t going to stop. We find out that her sister stabbed her then went on to kill herself, and with each egg she collects and each girl she saves, the wound hurts less. So really, she’s not doing it for her sister, she’s doing it for herself. That’s kinda the vibe the episode has given off the whole time, tbh. Even as everyone’s starting to bond, Neiru’s purposely trying to keep her distance. This much is seen because she fights against a monster alone and the source of it is actually from the girl who was in the egg, the girl regretting killing herself because in her attempt to be forever beautiful, she’s lost the ability to have anyone call her pretty again.

The girl had also told Neiru to kill herself and at the end of the fight Neiru almost sounds like she’s thinking about it and … ah … how does this series keep taking such turns? Just when I think I got it figured out something else happens, like ALL the girls going to buy eggs even if they’d been talking about stopping, and Ura-Acca saying something about “teenage rebellion” and how if you tell them to do something, they’ll do the opposite.

So if you tell them they don’t have to buy eggs … they’ll keep buying them.

Ah …this is fine…

_

See everyone next week for another round-up, probably on Wednesday, since it’s between my Tuesday pick (Wonder Egg) and all my Thursday shows!

(Image: Crunchyroll)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)