A lot of episode 4 is just friendship: there are some romantic moments, sure, but the bigger story is that of friendship, and just how wonderful platonic love can be. It’s nice to see the show open up to that message: while I’m fully here for ShikIzumi, I’m also very much starting to get invested in their friends, and the beautiful simplicity of their joyful, everyday lives.
A lot of Nagi and Erika’s relationship is going to be proverbial bridges. Despite being integrated into each other’s families, they’ve got a lot to do before they’re even close to being friends, nevermind a couple that is able to understand and empathize with one another. There are worlds between them, and I’m intensely curious to see how these cuckoos overcome them in future episodes.
Like I said in the premiere, I have no clue if this will develop towards actual commentary about gender roles; if anything, I expect that it probably won’t, and it doesn’t need to be – just watching the genuine chemistry between these two teens is more than engaging enough.
A Couple of Cuckoos‘ premise is unrealistically wacky in a pleasant “lean into it” kind of way. The cast is likable enough, and it’s a genuinely pretty show. It’s also actually funny in a way that reminds me of Wotakoi and Tonikawa—you’ll hear me reference both of these for my coverage of Shikimori as well—the blend of tropes from that shared genre all combine to make Parent Trap, but in Japanese and with no familial blood between our would-be couple.
I think it’s fair to say that Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie is having a conversation with gender norms: how deep that conversation will go remains to be seen, though I’m going to preemptively lower my own expectations to “it’s probably not going to be subversive” which is alright. I don’t think I subverted a single thing at sixteen: I don’t expect these kids, nor the source material it draws on, to be doing heavy lifting on Japan and its entanglement with binary gender expectations.
A seemingly promising premiere that’s ultimately too many tropes doing… nothing at all.Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie – Episode 1 — Anime Feminist
Love After World Domination reminds us that heroes loving villains and villains loving heroes will always be pretty good to watch.Love After World Domination – Episode 1 — Anime Feminist
Tribe Nine is a series that I don’t regret spending time with, if only because of my insatiable desire to devour everything Kazutaka Kodaka lays his hands on. I just kind of can’t help myself: every since I played Danganronpa in grad school, I’ve been very into everything he makes. Tribe Nine is the fast food of anime. It is is the 7-11 pizza slice of the animation world. Will it do in a pinch? Yeah, of course, but is it exactly what I wanted?
No, not at all.
That said, things did get good when I started to cheer for the bad guys, which I don’t think was the intent. Oh, and it got good when the Adachi Tribe crew showed up, thereby jossing my idea that they’d all absolutely died. (I think I posited that at some point: I am steadily losing touch with what ideas I’ve made up in my head and what ideas I’ve actually put into a review.)
Watching Tribe Nine is like paying Funimation to give you whiplash: they take $7.99 a month and in return, I get a plot that I fully expect to hurt me, but also, a plot that fully knows I’m on the hook just enough to like the pain. I thank Funimation for the food, even if this food has given me indigestion for weeks on end. At least it’s back to being this side of corny to be entertaining. That’s not to say that this episode is perfect, but hey: it’s leagues above what we’ve been served up for the past month.