The end is near

Frieren, episode 27

If either Fern or Stark were slightly more self-aware, they’d have figured out why she went out to the middle of nowhere to see him when she was upset. After all, she’s made some connections to the other young female mages, who would be sure to sympathize with her situation.

Other good news includes some prime OG flashbacking, revealing the chance encounter that brought the party together. But the best news of all is that the test is over; stick a fork in it, it’s done.

Verdict: the bad news is that the show ends next week.

[Now subbed on Youtube by ADN, if you prefer immediate ads to slow-arriving torrents]

Our Pon Girls ring in the New Year, then meet up to spend a full day at the parlor. Yes, they’re in new winter outfits, although at least Girl#3 and Gothy are in unseasonably short skirts. But there’s no good reason for the THIS IS COMEDY music to show up to celebrate homemade mochi, and we end this penultimate episode on a cliffhanger: Janta-kun broke. For some reason, this is considered a crisis rather than the minor inconvenience of taking the cover off of one of the half-dozen other tables that have been in the background all season. I’m guessing they never read the part in the manual about cleaning and maintenance.

Now, if they wanted a real surprise, the girls would finally find the stairs to the second floor. The exterior shots clearly show a big upstairs window, but the interior has normal ceilings, so the door behind the counter must provide access. They did promise a pajama party, after all…

Verdict: Rehash all the things! Cooking, eating, playing, talking to the magic bird, and making random mahjong references! Fortunately they left out emulating cheat videos and making man-face jokes. Next week, it ends.

Solo Leveling, episode 10

And so we bid a fond-but-unfondled farewell to Joohee for a while, and then follow Our Unlaid Hero through a dungeon grind until he levels up enough to qualify for a prestige class. Via a major quest, of course.

Verdict: two more episodes to go, which doesn’t sound like enough time to enter the red gate after switching class, much less clear it. Which means that the time spent on his sister’s classmate is all setup for a second cour. Which they really shouldn’t keep us in suspense about.

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 23

Nothing in previous episodes has given us any reason to feel sympathy for Lakan, but we’re going to get his life story anyway, up to the point where he discovers that he accidentally abandoned his pregnant lover and ruined her life. At the end of the flashback, he’s been humanized, but he’s still a dick in the present as Maomao challenges him to chess for very personal stakes.

Verdict: despite some small stumbles, this has been a great show. Wrap-up next week. If they don’t announce more coming soon, I’ll finally start reading the novels (translation of book 11 comes out in May, and the show has only covered the first two).

(I’ve run out of decent Maomao pics, so here’s some nyan-nyan instead)

Chocolate Bunny Power, Activate!, episode 23

It’s dangerous to go alone; take a pair of shoulder bunnies. Our Too-Casual Hero forgot to bring a holy weapon to a lich fight, and only succeeds because Chocolate Bunny is just that awesome.

Slow-Living In A Van Down By The River, episode 11

This week, Our Psycho Hero snaps completely and goes on a killing spree, and His Crazypants Girlfriend is right there beside him, pissed-off enough to reveal the full extent of her power. So naturally, Our Slow-Living Pharmacist challenges him to a one-on-one duel to prove a point. Next week.

Verdict: and next week is the end, so this show is definitely not going to go back to what it’s good at (cheesecake bathing) and will end on its weak point (the story).

(maybe we’ll get lucky in an end credits montage?)

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