Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Summer Anime 2022, Week 5

Shows usually get their stories really going at around this point in the season. Last week in Yurei Deco we had a bit of a weird time jump and some expository dialogue to let the viewers know that four months had passed since Berry and Hack had allegedly died. Akira made her introduction in Call of the Night – someone who could potentially be the third wheel in the show. And over in When Will Ayumu Make His Move?, the obligatory cultural festival episode showed us that he may not even need to make that move, if Urushi is carrying on with her behavior. So with all of this, what can we predict will happen next? I suppose thought with shows like Ayumuwe can already guess what the final episode will bring, but as for the others…

When Will Ayumu Make His Move? Episode 4

Well while I have seen a lot of people heaping praise on Ayumu, I’m relieved to see that are at least some people out there that are seeing the same thing that I am when it comes to conflicting personalities in the characters. And by this I don’t just mean Tanaka and that emotionless look that I suppose a lot of kendo players have to show seriousness.

Urushi is a smart girl and a good senpai to the others, but her over-the-top emotions frequently get the better of her, and while this itself is not a bad trait to criticize, the fact that it conflicts so much with Tanaka’s personality is something that bugs me a bit. We already predict that Takeru and Sakurako are going to hook up, but because we still have seen very little of these two together in the show, we can’t really connect with them both yet. And Maki, Urushi’s classmate, is the stereotypical love doctor of the show, and is playing wingman for her friend. But we have barely seen her either, and thus are unable to connect with her too.

When Will Ayumu Make His Move?
When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

This was the Christmas/New Year’s episode, and we are left curious on how the pacing is going to be for the rest of the show. Episode 2 had the sports festival, and last week had the cultural festival. All of this has likely all taken place in the space of 3 or 4 months. It could be argued that the story’s focus is far more on the characters themselves, and not the timeframe. But it is curious to see how Ayumu is just speeding through all of these atypical school romance moments. I would be willing to bet that next week will bring us either just Valentine’s Day, or both that and White Day. And then we’ll move onto the beach episode, the summer fireworks episode, the new school year episode, and by the time the show ends, Tanaka will have been the one who graduates from university.

Joking aside, I predict that we’ll be getting these same kind of episodes for the rest of Ayumu, as I really get the impression that the writers do not want to deviate into any ‘unsafe’ or ‘unknown’ territory. They know how to write these characters, they know their plans to hook them up, and that’s about all. Just as I don’t want to criticize Yurei Deco so much, I want to find more to like here; I want to see more. I want these characters to come to life, and be wild.

When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

Yurei Deco Episode 5

I suppose every show must have its filler episodes, and Yurei Deco wasn’t really an exception here. Yet with the story it told, it gave us some small amount of insight on what kind of place Tom Sawyer Island really is, and what time it is even set in. The plot this week revolves around a museum owner/professor who makes Decos of animals, whether they be living, endangered or extinct. I would imagine that a lot of them are extinct in fact. Anyway, he has learned that someone/something has altered the Deco of one of his most beloved creations: the nue.

Yurei Deco

Calling on the detective club to correct the information on the show’s equivalent of Wikipedia (because of course they cannot call it that here), as well as some things that don’t really exist in this universe (actual books), they end up discovering that the nue never even existed in the first place. Ironically, I used Wiki to look this up, and the nue is actually a yokai, and looks nothing like what the professor believes it to be.

I call this a filler episode, but this raises one topic that is semi-important in the show: false information. The term ‘fake news’ has been bounced around over the last half-decade that it has pretty much lost its meaning entirely. The show is set in a world where truth is a very loose concept. After a mishap in the Hyperverse, the entire island ended up with this Nue that doesn’t look what it’s meant to be, and yet it is treated by its residents as a passing trend. You know like when some funny news article happens, and tee shirts are made/ringtones are set/etc, and within a week or two, it is forgotten entirely.

This was a bit of a depressing episode. Maybe if the professor decided to change his museum to house fictional creatures and cryptids, then things may have turned out different. The episode also touches loosely on data privacy, something which I think will be a recurring thing in the show. Each member of the detective club has some part of their past they want to keep to themselves; heck, the dumb things I’ve done in the past are too embarrassing, I want no-one to know about them.

Yurei Deco

I ought to say that I am looking forward to future episodes of Yurei Deco. At the same time, I don’t want to say that the show has been a disappointment to me. Like I said at the start, we still need to get into the real meat and potatoes of stories in shows, and the main one told here could be something I don’t see coming.

Call of the Night Episode 4

Well Call of the Night has been consistently awesome, and has made me really love all of the characters so far…even if there have been just three so far. More are coming in time, of course. While Yamori is dealing with the aftermath of Nazuna’s unexpected kiss, this week was Akira’s episode.

Call of the Night

Yamori has convinced himself that that one kiss has meant that he is in love with Nazuna now, and is eligible to become a vampire – typical adolescent thought, right there. Meanwhile, Akira is slowly starting to understand why Yamori has started skipping school. Interesting how the director has highlighted how colorful and vibrant the night is, and how gray and monotone the day is, and this is reflected on Akira’s behavior right now. She has begun to see how exciting staying up all night is.

Akira’s character design in the show has been written very well. She has a mixture of concern for the benefits of social norms (school, study, etc.), and beginning here this week, she has shown a willingness/interest to look outside of the box. She has accepted Yamori’s decision to become a vampire, and it seems that right now, she wants to know more about what he gets up to now. Not so much so she can do it herself, but instead how to better understand him more…as a friend (who has already started calling him Ko again).

Call of the Night

I thought it was also interesting this episode brought up how keeping a consistent sleep pattern is good to have. There’s a small chance that this is something the writers feel compelled to add to the show…you know, to prevent the kids who do watch the show not to roam around in the early hours of the night when they ought to be fresh and alert for class. I picked up on this especially because of the medical condition I have. Keeping a good sleep pattern is very important for epileptics like me; my neurologist likes to call it ‘sleep hygiene’. And so staying up into the late hours is something we shouldn’t really be doing so much…yet I still end up doing it every now and then.

Anyway, staying on-topic, I think that Akira is going to be a more important character to Yamori than people think. It’s possible that I might be completely wrong, having not read the source manga, but I believe that she won’t really be the third wheel in the show. She might not really understand Yamori’s motivation to become a vampire, but that doesn’t matter to her; the whole supernatural-ness doesn’t even faze her. If anything, she just wants to become a supportive friend to Yamori; the kind that she tried to be when they were little kids.

Call of the Night

Akebi’s Sailor Uniform Episode 5

While the overall mood didn’t really change, I thought that episode 5 of Akebi’s Sailor Uniform stood out a little. It remains what I can only describe as the most photogenic show I’ve seen in a long time though. Here, the focus is on Minoru Ohkuma and is now firmly a part of Akebi’s ‘harem’. I suppose I can call it that now, because it really feels like every girl in her class has eyes on her. Ohkuma masters the art of observing her surroundings silently, and this interests Akebi greatly. This is largely because she is still very eager to know more about the classmates she has; Something important to her as this is the first time she has even had any classmates.

The second half of the episode is all about Ayumi Tougeguchi, someone that Akebi had met before in the school entrance exam. She has been waiting for the right moment to return a handkerchief Akebi gave her, and so the awkward moments these three characters have just adds to the wholesomeness of the show in general.

Akebi's Sailor Uniform
Akebi's Sailor Uniform

This has become a pattern in all the episodes in the show so far; Akebi either finding new friends or people to talk to, or deepening the friendships she already has developed. I already mention that because these girls are her first ever classmates, she feels the urge/need/desire to get as close as she can with them, so that the memories she’ll have at this private school where she got to wear her beloved sailor uniform will be long-lasting.

School slice-of-life anime doesn’t need to be complex or be very deep, and something like Akebi’s Sailor Uniform shows us that. Just as she develops connection with her fellow classmates, we as the viewer become just as eager to learn more about these other girls. I felt this way when I was watching Komi Can’t Communicate too. They were all misfits with largely stereotypical school show traits, but even still I was hungry to know more about them. I don’t really see much in the way of stereotypes here in Akebi’s Sailor Uniformbut that adds to my curiosity even more.

Akebi's Sailor Uniform

Call of the Night has been poking at that other modern-day vampire anime made by SHAFT, with headtilts and scene direction. Each week I wish that the kids in Ayumu would just do…something. Anything. And Akebi’s Sailor Uniform remains photogenic. Oh, and my Fall shows have already been picked. No surprises there.

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