Nonon’s Otaku Theater: Winter Anime 2022, Week 11

Well today is the day I get to celebrate. More on that at towards the end of the post though. For many years doing Otaku Theater, I’ve suffered from a ‘summer curse’, where I inadvertently pick a show that is just absolute hot garbage, or pick shows that are generally mediocre. Well last year saw me covering season 2 of The Promised Neverland and praising EX-ARM‘s terribleness. So this ‘summer curse’ is slowly turning into a ‘winter curse’. Well, at least there was one awesome show to watch this season.

My Dress-Up Darling Episode 11

My Dress-Up Darling

This is the one show that I will be sad about it ending next week, because it has been so consistently strong. The theme has been, of course, Marin and Wakana working together to do cosplay. And while some puppy love/romantic teasing has been sprinkled here and there, in this episode the two of them realize that there may be something more serious in it.

The Veronica outfit from last week was called off, and so Marin found something else: Liz from ‘I’m a Mega-Best-Selling High School Student Light Novel Author That Has A Succubus Thirsting For Me Every Night And I Don’t Know What To Do!‘. A yonkoma slice-of-life manga about…well, you can guess what. But the focus is shifted from the actual making of the cosplay to the photo shoot itself, in what turns out to be a love hotel.

They immediately hit a hurdle in the outfit due to the fact that the artwork in the manga is very chibi, meaning figuring out what kind of shoot to have becomes that much harder. And while the two of them have fun doing the photo shoot, it only dawns on them later where they are. Marin already has some puppy love for Wakana, and even he isn’t being so oblivious anymore.

My Dress-Up Darling

Most of this episode is set in this love hotel, and it’s certainly funny how Marin is harmlessly teasing Wakana over finding condoms, sex toys and a giant jacuzzi in their modern-looking monochrome room. Despite the awkward setting, the chemistry between them is no different than what it has always been. She is in constant praise on how much time he invests in the outfits, and we also get to see a far more open and relaxed Wakana – nothing like what we saw all the way back in episode 1.

Marin feels comfortable in showing skin in front of him because they both know it is all a part of their cosplaying activities. This reminds me of the show Love & Lies, where two teenagers are assigned their life partners at an early age. And despite them having never met before (and him crushing on another girl), it becomes second nature to them almost straightaway being very comfortable together. She’s totally fine being half-naked around him, they share intimate stories that they wouldn’t really tell anyone else, and they call each other by their first names upon first sight. Here in My Dress-Up Darling, Marin knows that showing this much skin to a high-school boy isn’t really heard of, but they both know that it’s just a part of the job. Their romance is just something that naturally occurs.

My Dress-Up Darling

What the final episode will have is something I’m not sure. For all I know it could build up to a second season. It would be cool if it did though, as it’s something I would definitely return to. But I’m thinking far too ahead there. This was another excellent episode for My Dress-Up Darling and I’m more than certain that next week’s finale will be a great send-off. It’s actually hard to think now that Cloverworks, the one studio who have had many hiccups in their shows recently, made this.

Slow Loop Episode 11

Slow Loop

This week was the week where they go on the super-duper camping and fishing trip that they had been planning. They have since made some adjustments, meaning some adult guardians join the motley crew so they don’t do anything stupid. But then again, if you look at these kids’ faces, do you honestly expect them to do that?

This penultimate episode of Slow Loop doesn’t leave us on some cliffhanger because it just isn’t the kind of show to have one. Saying that, I am curious what the theme will be for the final episode. Going back to this one, even with poor little Aiko worried that her beloved Futaba will turn to other people to have more fun with and Koharu making everyone ukha (Russian fish soup), this episode belonged to Koi.

Slow Loop

Even with the show centering around Hiyori and Koharu, Koi has been a very important main character, and has played a massive part in the development of both of them throughout the show. Hiyori is someone she is especially attached to; They met through family, and she was the one who had to be there when Hiyori found out her father died. As she says in this episode, Koi acts all mature with an older sister persona, but the real truth is that she is just as fragile as her closest friend was. Koi frets on little things from her past, and thinks a lot about ‘what if?’s. She begins to believe that as a result of all this, she has been a terrible best friend to Hiyori in the times where she has needed her the most. As she says this week, being a best friend can sometimes feel like the heaviest thing ever.

This was a very strong episode, and I’m looking forward to how the show will end. I know that there’s been a lot of things in Slow Loop that I have missed, not covered as much, and even wished I’d looked into some more. In past posts I have made it out to be very dull when, to be fair, I am overanalyzing what is just a ‘cute-girls-doing-cute-things’ show. Not everyone is going to care about how some episodes use still images a lot, or how some elements of the story are looked over. I think that, as someone who has been reviewing shows like this for a good long while, I find more to nitpick at. It’s something I know I need to work on.

Slow Loop

So the moment I’ve been waiting for for 11 weeks: World’s End Harem‘s final episode…

World’s End Harem Episode 11

…and you can tell straight away in the first few minutes that even the studio stopped caring. If I say one thing about the show as a whole, it would be that the animation started off being fairly decent. Characters moved well, and we could really feel the whole new weird sci-fi world that Reito had suddenly woken up too. But as the weeks went by, the animation team appeared to have just given up. We got a lot more still images, unnatural character movement, and even some characters without mouths at all. It feels like all of their animation budget was spent on the first 10 episodes, the final one looking like a complete leaving mess. You see I’m being careful to avoid all the raunchy action that was censored in the worst way possible. Will Crunchyroll release the uncensored version? If they want to keep in Sony’s good books, then absolutely not.

World's End Harem

I went on last year on how the second season of The Promised Neverland fell apart due to the fact that the writers wanted to cram in as much of the manga story as possible in a one-cour show…along with the countless other problems that show had. I think that they have done the same here too. In these 11 episodes, so many plot points are brought in, touched on and disappear into obscurity as if they were never there in the first place. Of course no-one would ever want this to be a 2-cour show, but you know what I mean.

One very clear example is what we saw at the end of last week, where Reito meets a far more mature and arrogant-looking Shouta (who scientifically aged himself…for some reason), with new assistant/accomplice Karen in tow. Considering how much his switch has been flipped, a whole story could have been woven on how he wants to help Karen be the most high-profile person in UW ever…and that could have even been a half-decent plot point too. But instead that becomes another plot point that vanishes, and so instead this final episode goes back to Reito’s girlfriend’s new cult, and the two of them finally being reunited. That reunion scene was hilariously bad alone; I’d say watch and see for yourself, but believe me when I say you really shouldn’t.

World's End Harem
World's End Harem

In the end, was anything resolved? Hah, of course not! UW is still at large with their plan to make women get pregnant without the need for men, Reito never got to finish that cure for the virus, Erica’s cult is still at large, and Karen never got to be the big hot-shot that she desperately wanted to be. As for the other guy who slips with way too many women? I have no idea. And who really cares? This episode alone has shown the higher-ups in animation that there could never ever be a season two of this show. This show is now dead, and while it won’t have the immortality that last year’s EX-ARM has, it can still act as a pariah on how studios shouldn’t mix science fiction and strong sex scenes in a single cour show.

I wasted something like 275 minutes on watching this show (25 minutes x 11), and I want those 275 minutes back. I’m happy that this piece of garbage is over. Justin’s happy that he has something to dangle in front of me when I next pick a weird-looking show to review for Otaku Theater. Everyone’s happy. And I know anything in the Spring season is going to be infinitely better than whatever this show was trying to be.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san Episode 11

Time to cheer myself up with my out-of-season show. Episode 11 of The Helpful Fox Senko-san was a pretty standard one but entertaining nonetheless. Senko has been living in Nakano’s apartment for around a year now, but she starts to see that he isn’t really showing any signs of recovery. She was sent to him to get rid of his negative thoughts and feelings, and with more work being piled onto him, not even copious amounts of hot sake will help.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san

But the second half of episode 11 was a little more interesting; it was only later when I found out that this section is anime-only content too. While Nakano heads out to visit the family and try to clear his head, Senko vanishes. Now the first thing that’s in my head is her own connections to his family. All the way back in the first episode, we see the reason why she came in the first place: Nakano and his family paid a lot of respect to the fox deity shrines, making Senko keep a watch on a young Nakano from afar.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san is meant to be a show about healing, and yet her disappearance is very unusual. Of course it makes a great buildup for a final episode, and it leaves me scratching my head on what kind of final episode there will be. Senko’s job is far from over, and no doubt she will return maybe with some more vigor and a reason why she had to vanish.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san

This has been a good second-to-last week. Both My Dress-Up Darling and Slow Loop had really strong penultimate episodes, I’m getting hyped for what the Spring season has to offer us, and everyone’s favorite sci-fi ecchi show is finished for good. I suffered watching the show so you all don’t have to, and when the season review post comes, I’ll talk plenty on how contrived its story was…and more. The winter curse is real now.

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