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Frieren, episode 17

Yeah, right there with you, Sein. New OP song isn’t as off-genre as the previous one, but still doesn’t grab me. ED song is just new lyrics for the previous song.

Verdict: mildly worried about massive cast expansion next week, but they’ve earned my trust.

Solo Leveling, episode 1

Welcome to The Tutorial. We’ll be providing flashbacks, exposition, and cameos of characters you’ll learn to care about later, as well as a chance to see the consequences of poor decision-making in a dungeon.

On the bright side, despite the trailers and previews, the original Korean character names are used, which leaves me wondering if they’re producing two versions of the Japanese audio, with some lines re-recorded for the international audience. If so, I imagine they picked the Japanese names to match the lip flaps.

Verdict: showing several side characters early is a good choice, despite how random those scenes will look to people who haven’t read the source material.

(okay, I’m really just here for Esil; if they get that far…)

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 13

There are significant tone shifts in the new OP and ED, but the show itself is picking up right where it left off, with Jinshi and Maomao seeing each other a little differently.

Verdict: yes please.

Watching Paint Dry In Another World

(officially, Sasaki & Peeps)

They made a double-length episode that delivers an entire novel’s worth of exposition. One would hope this is so that every future episode can consist exclusively of magic, action, and cute psychic girls doing cute psychic things, but I kind of doubt it.

Verdict: he’s a magical girl and a crossworld trader and a newly-minted secret agent. And probably other things that I’m unlikely to stay awake long enough to find out.

Pon Pon-pon-pon Pon-pon Pon-pon

[not to be confused with Pon-pon-pon Pon-pon-pon-pon Pon-pon]

(officially, Pon no Michi; no one’s licensed this one)

The only active torrent seems to have multi-language machine-translated subs, which offends the folks on Reddit who know something about mahjong.

The “This Is Comedy!” background music is mixed way too loud, the exterior background art is obviously just a bunch of traced photos, and the character art is only occasionally attractive, and not terribly fan-serviceable. Except in the OP/ED animations and the trailers, which apparently used up all the money.

The girls are slightly more animated than cardboard cutouts, but their giant breasts are firmly glued in place. I might have seen one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bounce on Girl#4 as she got excited about the chance to join the cast; the rest of the breast physics are restricted to the OP/ED.

The less said about the “humorous” deformed faces and inside-baseball reference jokes, the better. And of course there’s mahjong exposition. I’m sure there will be a lot more, especially with a magical talking bird hanging around, with a very familiar voice.

Speaking of voices, I did not recognize Our Loud Speed-Reading Heroine as Miss Kuroitsu. Then again, I didn’t recognize her as Magia Magenta from Gushing, either.

(unrelated gaming girl is not this stacked in-game)

Note on Molesting Magical Girls

Apparently, Our Sadistic Heroine and Her Magical Playthings are officially middle-school girls. Which will come as a real shock to anyone who actually looks at them. I mean, the last time I saw a fourteen-year-old girl who was that stacked, her name was Sakura Ando [1, 2] (Ai Shinozaki was doing busty bikini work at 14, but she still had a lot of baby fat in her face, which made her look her age; Saaya Irie was of course famous for having huge boobs at 11, but it took years for the rest of her figure to catch up; Erika Yazawa’s boobs made a good living, but she was at least 15 when she bounced into Idoling!!!).

Meanwhile, the season-preview thread on the ANN forums is full of people throwing around the word “pedophilia”, with no grasp of the meaning of the word (hint: an actual pedophile would be repulsed by the sight of a teenager with the body of a Penthouse model).

One correction: I initially described the junior member of the bad-girl team as A, based on her brief appearance in the credits. Looking ahead, she’s an actual little girl who looks her age, but she doesn’t seem to get lewded. The other girls lewd overtime to make up for that.

(speaking of words that don’t mean what someone thinks they mean…)

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