Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Summer Anime 2021 Review

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We’ve reached the end, at last. Not going to lie when I say I do enjoy it when a season ends. It gives us all the chance to reset and watch something new. One of the shows I’m watching will carry on airing through the Fall season, but I’m hoping the story in The Aquatope on White Sand will go in a (slightly) different direction than the one it’s going through right now. More on the end of the first cour later though. In the mean time, let’s talk about some finale episodes.

Remake Our Life! Episode 12

We were teased at the end of last week’s episode that this wasn’t the end of the story after all, and Kyouya wouldn’t get to live in his beautiful house with his beautiful wife. And yes, we were finally told something that most of us had known already: Keiko was behind these time jumps the whole time.

The ‘how’s and the ‘why’s aren’t explained at all, but in the end they don’t matter so much. Is Keiko some alien, or some celestial being? It no longer matters. After Eiko had to slap him silly last week for being too selfless, Kyouya has learned his lesson. Noone should interfere with fate, and that he should just let things happen instead of purposely get involved. All of this work he put in to make that game ended up pushing Shinoaki, Nanako and Tsurayuki to make the decisions they did, but none of that was on Kyouya at all, despite him believing that it was. This ‘remake’ of his can happen properly now.

Even with all of that, I still felt a little dissatisfied with the ending. We are given a very open epilogue that leaves us with lots of questions. Despite that ambiguous end, I do not believe Remake Our Life! will return for a second season. The story has been told, and everyone’s fine and dandy. Kyouya even takes the chance to be best buddies with Eiko, which would be awesome considering she won me over in the end.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S Episode 12

I had predicted that the episode we had last week would be the one that would end the more ‘serious’ parts of the show, however in this finale I might have been proven wrong. What Tohru and her father said to Kobayashi last week has stayed fresh in her mind, leaving her in a real contemplative mood. Why would a fierce and mighty dragon from the Chaos faction choose to live in the human realm and be happy with a mortal woman? I know the manga runs a lot more on comedy, so I think in general, the way that Kyoani has approached this adaptation (both seasons 1 and 2) has been great. But has it all led up to this episode?

This was the fireworks/hanami episode, where the mood of the show is much more relaxed, and with the extended family having more fun than being serious. No returned affections on Kobayashi’s behalf, but in her mind, it feels like letting Tohru, Kanna, and now Ilulu, live in her home/act like a family unit/so on have all been something that has now come naturally to her. It just…is.

If that sounded soppy, then I apologize, but this finale episode was a lot more heartwarming. It makes me think back to season 1’s finale, where Kobayashi risked her life (against the Emperor of Demise) to defend Tohru’s decision to remain in the human world. I don’t know if this would ever get a third season, but I actually hope it won’t. The reason why is because there is no other direction it can possibly go without it failing miserably. And so did this last episode go out with a bang? Well I think it’s far better you watch and make up your own mind.

Two shows that have ended, but what about my 2-cour show?

The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 12

Well it ended pretty much the way I had expected it to: a farewell party for Gama Gama, and Kukuru having to make a decision what to do in the future.

Last week’s typhoon episode was needed in order for Kukuru to accept Gama Gama’s closing. For her to accept that not everything lasts forever, no matter how much she wants it to. And for her to chase after a real dream, instead of clinging on to the past. I wasn’t anticipating Fuuka to make some rash decision to cancel her flight entirely and remain in Okinawa; she promised her family she’d return to the mainland, and she has school to finish. It was a very good episode to end the first cour on, as it has given us plenty of thought on what will happen in future episodes. Knowing P.A Works though, we’ll get the same kind of drama, only in a slightly different setting (whether it be location or time, or both).

But this episode of the first cour gave us a bit of a bombshell, and an explanation of the maternity cards Kukuru had found earlier on in the show. It turns out that she had a twin sister who didn’t survive childbirth. She had been someone who had appeared in Kukuru’s visions, except she didn’t really know who she was. It’s good that this has all been explained, and this will hopefully let her think forward, instead of look back.

I still thought that there were some things that were missing. Could they be things that will be carried on into the second cour? We get the impression that some time will pass in the show as the new cour (starting next week) will start. Tingaara have made job offers to Gama Gama staff, and have their eyes on Kukuru especially. For all we know, the next episode will see Kukuru in Tingaara work clothes.

Girlish Number Episode 12

Now reinvigorated, Chitose can finally focus on finishing the show, even if Nanami will end up getting more of the spotlight now that the fans seem to love her more and more as each day goes by. It really was the attention of her brother that mattered to her the most; praise from fans/strangers just don’t compare. The final episode focuses on, of course, doing the dubbing for the final episode of Millennium Princess x Kowloon Overlord, the show that the entire cast have had to both enjoy and endure for two whole cours. And with Chitose being fashionably late for the session, she decides to give an apology speech for being such a frustrating person to work with, and pledges to be a better and more considerate newbie voice actress in the future…something that the others were hoping she’d realize a long time ago.

I’ve always liked Girlish Number, in how it poked at the industry and didn’t mince words when it came to voice actresses having zero talent, producers being complete screw-ups, and light novel writers despairing and wishing for the world to end. The darker humor in the show might not have been something other followers would have enjoyed though, considered it showed how some anime shows can really fall apart. I mean, they wouldn’t want their precious franchises to be complete disasters…like what happened with The Promised Neverland, right? I’ll have plenty to say about that in the yearly review post in December, though.

Season Review

The first thing I will say is that that Summer Curse I have been afraid of for so long was something that was just in my head. This summer season has proved that any season can suck, just as much as any season can be amazing. Throughout the whole of 2021 so far, there have been some really great shows I’ve enjoyed watching. And the fact that, by the time the season was over, I didn’t regret my show picks, says something alone.

I was left scratching my head a little as Remake Our Life! ended, but it still remains a show that was very enjoyable to watch. Yes, Kyouya ended up becoming a bit of a know-it-all, trying to complete that visual novel in art school, and then ironing out the bugs in that gacha game in the other timeline, but he ultimately learned his lesson. I’m also glad that the show didn’t dive too far down the harem route as well. He could have had his pick of Shinoaki, Nanako or Eiko, but he ended up putting real life stuff first.

I suppose, by the end of the show, some of us will have questioned Kyouya’s decision to return to the art school timeline, when he had a great life with a wife, daughter and an awesome job. Well think back all the way to the first episode, where he was desperate to prevent the mistakes he made 10 years previous. Well now he is back in the art school timeline, he is able to live through that properly, with no more regrets. The better ending, in some peoples’ eyes. And while I was all for Team Nanako initially, Eiko ended up being the better girl to root for.

The Aquatope on White Sand has room for expansion in the second cour, and I am in fact very curious on what will happen. What will Kukuru and Fuuka decide to do? What kind of dreams will they really go on? Will Kukuru’s job at Tingaara help her find that dream? And will Udon-chan make some more of that delicious champuru? We’ll just have to wait and see.

As for the show itself, it gave us a few filler episodes, but amidst all of that, the story revolved around Kukuru clinging onto the dying aquarium, unable to let go of the memories she had with her parents. Well I think her parents would have wanted her to chase after her dream instead of being depressed, and making people around her depressed. But Fuuka was a bit of an anomaly in my eyes, and while she was hoping to be some support for Kukuru, her character could have been just a little better. I really do hope that her character design is expanded on in the second cour, where she will return to Okinawa having finished school.

But bonus points go to season 2 of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. This was Kyoto Animation’s first TV show since the terrible arson attack of 2019, and the entire staff deserves a round of applause for picking themselves up and carrying on doing what they love. It was also wonderful how it paid homage to season 1, in how footage was used in one episode’s ED, and in the final episode, where season 1’s ED was used. And that’s not to mention that season 1’s director, Yasuhiro Takemoto, who tragically lost his life in the arson attack, was credited posthumously. While we had the same jokes as before, with the introduction of new character Ilulu, we had some expansion stories of Elma, Lucoa, Kanna, Ilulu, and Tohru.

I’m sure people were concerned that adding Ilulu to the main cast would make the series inferior, well I don’t think it’s done that at all. It is neither inferior or superior; both seasons are on the same par. And as I said earlier, I don’t think a third season would work; the story has been told, and the extended family can carry on living together and enjoying life. Tohru has no regrets with the decision she made to live in the human realm, and Kobayashi no longer has to think on why a lowly mortal like her would be a close companion of a mighty dragon. Okay, so I’m being a little too philosophical there; Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a comedy show, and the jokes are the same as before. It’s like the show never left.

Here’s to the Fall season. My shows are ready to go, but these ones are shows that don’t start in the first week of October, so there’s a little while to go for me. Maybe I’ll take this opportunity to catch up on the shows I missed out on this year. Or maybe I’ll carrying on praying that Tropical-Rouge! Precure will be available to watch in the UK (as so far it isn’t)…

The post Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Summer Anime 2021 Review appeared first on TheOASG.

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