Peeling Back the Layers — Summer 2020 Week 3 Check-In

Hey, welcome back to our weekly check-in! It’s hard to believe that we’re already about a quarter of the way through the Summer 2020 season, but here we are. We’ve got a lot of good plot and character development from a number of shows this week, a beach episode, and the first round of drops for the season, so this one’s a little packed. Hop on in!

What’s good this week?

Re:Zero

Okay, so after the huge buildup of that trailer we got a while back, and me thinking like a dummy that we were going to get maybe a tiny glimpse of the Witch, we actually have come to find out that Subaru has met a Witch – just not the Witch. The Witch of Greed, Echidna, is surprisingly delightful, and gave us some welcome lore about Satella and the other Witches. That was great, and we’ve finally gotten to the trial of the Sanctuary that was alluded to for some time. With the standard setup of “Emilia gets into trouble and Subaru comes in after her,” I figured we would have some gnarly fight on our hands coming up. Instead, what we have might be worse – the trial is to face your past, and that means Subaru has been flung back to a Japan of the past with his family. I am not ready for this.

The God of High School

GoHS is delightful in that it continues to build and pull back its layers bit by bit on a weekly basis. The plot is not fully laid out there, the powers have not yet been explained in any meaningful way, and things continue to move at a breakneck pace – this, however, does not bother me. I love Jin and the gang, to be sure, and I am deeply interested in where the story itself is going, but for the here and now, I’m here for the spectacle of it all, and my god, does it continue to deliver spectacle. With the tournament chugging along, Jin’s power continuing to rise after eating some weird fruit, and a tournament committee member busting out a Stand, the show’s ability to deliver some incredible stuff going forward is looking very bright.

Oregairu

The prom planning is going well so far, except for the fact that they had to make a promotional video for it, and Hikigaya and Yui were billed to play the main dancing couple, and it breaks me every single time to see how Yui looks at Hikigaya and to know deep down in my heart that she doesn’t stand a chance. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not exactly confident. This show is breaking me.

Obviously, you should be watching it.

Rent-A-Girlfriend

Hey, remember how I talked about how this show sort of reminded me of Gamers! In how much of a consistent shitshow it was? It’s worse this week. Kazuya continues to be a sniveling little shit who can’t stand up to anyone or anything, and it’s increasingly frustrating to see as Chizuru is going out of her way to help him and to trust him. It doesn’t help that his ex Mami is so obviously toxic, and there’s absolutely no way that Kazuya doesn’t recognize that on some level. It’s infuriating to watch, but in a good way. Oh, and it’s a beach episode, because of course it is.

Deca-Dence

Okay, it’s been a week since episode 2’s wild reveal, so from here on out, I’m assuming that you’re caught up, and if you get spoiled, that’s on you. Kind of like how I said that GoHS continues to peel back layers each episode, Deca-Dence is doing so as well, but, you know, actually building some plot as it goes along. The way that it continues to build its world, especially in the relationship between the Gears and the Tankers through their gamification of human life, as well as the mentor/mentee relationship of Kaburagi and Natsume, really makes Deca-Dence stand out as a frontrunner of mine for this season.

What was okay?

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out

Uzaki-chan is always fun, and it’s nice to see a somewhat more caring side of Uzaki herself this episode as she cares for Shinichi while he’s sick (even if she still is a gremlin). I still wouldn’t classify this as an absolute must-watch or anything, but it’s still a good time.

The Misfit of Demon King Academy

Misfit was alright this week. We continue to get Anos being Anos – strong demon man with an attitude – just doing demon king stuff, like using ancient magic on a dean of the school that he knew eons ago. The episode was particularly (and surprisingly) plot-heavy, giving us more insight into how history had been rewritten, as well as into the strained familiar relationship between Misha and Sasha. While I do enjoy seeing that, I also realized that the show does feel just fairly okay when it isn’t being just absolutely ridiculous. That’s not to say that I don’t like it – I still have every intention of finishing out the whole series. I’m just wondering if it can develop a solid plot that can make the show stand on its own without relying on hilariously overpowered spectacles.

What got dropped?

Lapis Re:LiGHTs

I thought a lot about Lapis this past week, and what I wanted to do with it. Ultimately, as I’m sure you can tell, I decided to drop the show. Does it hold some promise to get better as the season progresses? Sure. But do I care enough to stick it out for when it does get better? Honestly, no. Part of the appeal of idol and idol-adjacent shows for me is that the ones that really nab me grab me from the start with their characters. Lapis simply did not do that, as our core cast is quite lackluster. While other idol shows would have some sense of charm and that something special about its main cast by now, the girls of Lapis continue to feel as though they’ve all just been cut out of an idol archetype handbook and just left there without any real development or sparkle. I’m sure some folks will be happy to continue watching this show, but at this point, it’s really not for me.

Mr. Love: Queen’s Choice

As sort of a 180 from Lapis, I did not have to think much about Mr. Love to decide that it was time to drop it. I’m all for watching a show because the dudes in it are fine as hell, but the guys in Mr. Love are honestly just…fine. That, and the whole overarching plot is just not that interesting. There’s obviously an audience for this show, but I’m not part of it.

3 thoughts on “Peeling Back the Layers — Summer 2020 Week 3 Check-In

  1. “it breaks me every single time to see how Yui looks at Hikigaya and to know deep down in my heart that she doesn’t stand a chance.”

    Reason #414 Oregairu keeps breaking our hearts… But what of Yukino? As much as Hachiman has matured, I don’t get that he’s seeking a relationship of that type.

    Like

    • Honestly, yeah, I feel the same way. I believe that Hachiman has the capacity for a semi-romantic relationship, as it’s clearly something that he’s expressed interest in in the past (such as in middle school). However, it feels like so much of what he’s really striving for is what he’s said before – he wants something genuine. A relationship, platonic or otherwise, where he is accepted for who he is and vice versa, and everyone can be their full selves.

      It’s that kind of stuff that also breaks my heart, because it just feels so continuously difficult for any of the cast to actually reach that end goal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “However, it feels like so much of what he’s really striving for is what he’s said before – he wants something genuine. A relationship, platonic or otherwise, where he is accepted for who he is and vice versa, and everyone can be their full selves.”

        Exactly… which is interesting because he has exactly that relationship with his sister… But can’t transfer that ability outside the confines of home and family.

        Liked by 1 person

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