A Channel Eps07-09

Pearz should arrive in Beijing in 12ish hours, which means lots of meandering and site-seeing along with Rho. (I should buy better shoes to keep up with the two of them running around...)

Tooru is very tsundere with Yuuko.

This batch doesn't seem to really incorporate the character-focused episodes of the last few episodes, instead opting to portray daily life with a central theme. Ep07 focused on the activities as summer vacation neared an end, ep08 showed the first day back after the vacation (and was Tooru-focused, slightly), and ep09 showed the friends celebrating Halloween (or some semblance of) in their own ways. For me, it was a quiet batch to watch on a lazy summer evening.

I pick outings based on food, too.

Ep07 began with Run and Tooru in the former's bedroom, eating ice cream and hanging out on one of the last days of summer vacation. (There was a nice bit of continuity, since the stuffed animal seen in the background would be gifted to Nagi in ep09.) Given Tooru's obsession with Run, I wonder if it's normal in Japan for two girls to be so close to each other. Although, I've seen instances girls bathing together, to relax, out of their own free will, so I suppose it's a worldwide phenomenon. Anyway, the quartet gathered at a cafe and planned outings to karaoke and an end-of-summer festival. (Quite obviously, these ended up being the two events of this episode).

It was foreshadowing to her lack of singing prowess.

The karaoke scene was humdrum; it felt as thought it were purely fanservice (of sorts). Having watched Genshiken, this scene seemed purely crafted for Super Otaku to gather and discuss (and then buy the character CDs). I seriously wonder about the appeal of this anime and their target audience; I might be missing something essential.

She won herself!

The end-of-summer festival was more amusing than the karaoke; it was fun seeing the yukata-related humour before the festival actually began. (The idea that Run couldn't walk with such tiny heels was highly laughable; even I can walk in heels much larger than those. It's a slightly torturous story, so I'll just quietly move on.) The festival scene was ultimately composed of lots of still-shots of the girls enjoying the festival, playing very familiar games (all end-of-summer festivals in Japan must be oriented the same way, too). When it came time for the girls to run to the secret spot to watch the fireworks, I found it a little strange that Nagi didn't want to climb the stairs; I thought she was on a diet? You'd think that she'd take fitness more seriously instead of showing such chagrin at the thought of exercise...

Doki even used the right spelling of "yukata" every time thereafter...

I think my standards might be too high. I can't help it; I come from some really old days of fansubbing. It feels like I'm stereotypically old, beginning every story with, "Back in my day..." In the end, of course I'm still very appreciative of all the work put into preparing an episode for release, so I don't want to sound like I'm constantly unhappy. I'm just curious if, at some point, certain standards changed (such as proofreading). It's just a thought.

Classic Shounen Bat Tooru behaviour.

Ep08 covered two different stories, and the first one was the first day back to school after the summer vacation. It followed Tooru around, for the most part. Various related people made appearances, such as the teachers and Tooru's classmates. This portion went faster than the second half, but was still pretty slow.

She's making friends!

A good development was how Tooru seems much more adjusted to her classmates. I found the concept of having fans pretty strange; this anime shows many forms of obsession that are all slightly questionable. It feels like a forced shoujo moment, where a person is so "pro" that they have "fans" all throughout the school. What's next, the girls making pacts to not confess to Tooru? They've already imposed a 3min rule...

Is she drinking all the ones she would have given to the others? Glutton.

The second part of the episode focused on a "fight" that Run and Tooru had, causing some discomfort amongst their peers at school. (Although, not really.) The fight itself was strange, but I can understand how friends can bicker over their worries for each other. The extent to which it was taken wasn't particularly realistic (with everyone worrying about them, some despite not knowing what had happened and acting on minor signals). Because I hadn't really identified with the fight itself, I didn't find this story to be interesting. The make-up scene on the rooftop made me think that this anime must really be some kind of shoujo-ai in disguise.

I did genuinely think she was wearing a costume of some kind.

Ep09 made the jump to around Halloween, and the episode was themed about the quartet getting together for a mini-party, complete with baked snacks. Before that part of the episode, however, was the story of Run having made some sort of stuffed animal (it was revealed to be a squirrel later) that scared Nagi (due to its creepiness). It was nice how, after finding out that Run had made it, both Yuuko and Nagi tried to point out its good characteristics. Friends are nice~

Damn, I wish life were really like that.

Speaking of friends, Tooru's interactions with Yuuko and Nagi have been becoming friendlier, and part of this episode was dedicated to that, since she invited Nagi to meet up with her before heading over to Run's house together (thus avoiding the baking part). The aspect that Tooru gets a lot of freebies while in the Shopping District is a little confusing; I think it's either because her mother runs a convenience store (as seen at the end of ep08, although I could be wrong about that) or because she looks like a little boy (and thus adorable).

Depending on the genre, this scene could take a plethora of turns.

Yuuko and Run's segment - baking while the other two were out meandering - was the weakest; food is not to be wasted! It did get a lot better after the bath scene (seriously, this is just borderline yuri, isn't it?), when the other two showed up (along with the adult manga featuring a Yuuko-lookalike as the heroine). The episode completed with the friends, in typical happy-go-lucky fashion, making the pancake together and eating it (while also feeding each other...). Overall, it was a slightly boring episode with some high points.

So, he's really into that type, hm...

So, with this newest batch, I realize just how much I like Nichijou over this right now. While the quick-paced and random comedy took a little while to get used to, I began loving it the moment it clicked into place. With the slow-paced style of A Channel, it only seems interesting until the initial charm wears off. (That kind of sounds like the problem Pearz is having with Hanasaku...)