It’s Friday, everyone! My first Friday since I came back from vacation so let me tell you I really really wanted it to get here. Partly because there are so many great shows airing on Friday this season. I always do good with Friday shows.

For my personal taste IIWTTTPUGIAD is actually my least favourite of my 3 Friday shows and I think this season is great! That’s how awesome my Fridays are. Why did I open an entire post bragging like that? Not sure. I guess it’s because it’s Friday!

Are you happy it’s Friday Crow?

Very, very happy. It’s been a loooong week. And Friday is jam-packed with anime goodness this season! The only downside is that there are so many good shows this season that it’s hard to keep up. But then, that’s a good problem to have.

BTW, I hope you enjoyed your vacation!

You know how these things go. I will be in bold cause Crow is too distinguished and delicate for this type of font. And we’re probably gonna spoil the episode. But in a good way!

I’ve always been more the power behind the throne sort of person, so normal type suits me. And all spoilage will be of the best quality! None of that cheap spoilage for us!

And wait a second. I’m not delicate…

I never said delicate! Moving right along, 

This was a talkie episode. Reminded me a bit of reZero that just finished. But we learned a whole lot. I really wonder why Makoto and Haruhime seemed so grim during the monster party.  I think we’ve properly established that these are nice monsters. Even Lili was having more fun although she didn’t mince words. And good for her!

I noticed that! I got the impression that any party would have been uncomfortable for them, at least to start. I don’t think social events are their strengths. I also noticed two more things about that scene: First, the monsters around them were really friendly and offered them drinks and snacks. That’s a great way to reduce inter-species tension! And after a few tankards (at least, I’m guessing there was more than one!), Makoto and Haruhime were both dancing around the fire with their new friends. So they warmed up in the end.

Their expressions were pretty entertaining in both cases.

The early party scenes sort of foreshadowed the possibility of a link between humans and monsters. And I thought that was going to be a season-long thread. Like is there a link, what is it… In a way, it’s a bit of a weak thread. Or rather it cheapens the one established theme of the season. In a world like IIWTTTPUGIAD where you have humans and elves and pretty fox girls and so on, all cohabitating seemingly without any racial/species based prejudice, you need a very clear “other” in order to introduce a discrimination storyline.

And the monsters were the ideal “other”. Terrifying in nature and concept, but also deeply mysterious. A species no one had ever bothered to get to know, but also capable of great harm. A species completely alien to the humans (humanoids) of the surface. So accepting them would take an effort. The surface dwellers would need to open their minds and hearts in order to meet these folks halfway. (Even though everyone speaks the same language, so that’s already one huge bridge crossed). However, if these same monsters turn out to not be “other” at all, then that kind of makes the whole thing much less impressive and lessens the conflict. Duh, you gotta be nice to your brothers.

I was hoping it was a red herring or maybe a much more complicated story. But no. Ouranos just basically clearly confirm what was already strongly hinted at. So the talking monsters are reincarnations of monsters slain by adventurers. Whoots. And if they draw a clear line between talking monsters (reincarnations we got to respect them) and not talking monsters (just monsters kill them all), it also completely sidesteps any unfortunate implications of our heroes having slaughtered dozens of them in past seasons. 

What did you think of this twist?

I had a sense it was less reincarnated adventurers and more the reincarnated monsters whose spirits had returned to the depths over and over again over thousands of years. The net effect, though, is exactly as you described: the sentient monsters have the same sensibilities and drives as the humans. Of them, Fels said that, “an intense aspiration towards humanity, or the surface, is the sole commonality.” 

They are, in effect, the intellectual equivalent to adventurers. So you’re right. There’s not much of a cultural gap to bridge.

It is a bit disappointing, but like you said in our review of the second episode, IIWTTTPUGIAD is not a subtle show. Dealing with extreme otherness might have been too great a reach, but what about exploiting a population via xenophobia for profit? That’s well within reach, and I think that’s what we’re seeing play out. 

In a way, that might be more visceral exactly because it’s more accessible.

We got to meet Fels. I feel like we’ve heard the name before. They’re a guild member and I do think they were mentioned in season 1. In any case, I really like them! Fels the Fool sounds more lovable than Fels the Sage.

More approachable, too! I had to laugh at Lili, Haruhime, Makoto, Welf, and even Bell’s reaction when Fels took his hood down. Also, in his shock, Bell taught me a new term: spartoi

I think I should probably be disturbed that I learn more from anime lately than most other sources.

I think IIWTTTPUGIAD looks beautiful! I mention it in every review. But there were some pretty obvious animation shortcuts this week. I first noticed that Lyd’s mouth doesn’t move at all when he talks. It annoyed me a lot for some reason. But then I realized there were a few repeated scenes and movement cycles throughout. Stills were used in a couple of scenes. And character designs included lots of movement obscuring helms and armour to really tone down the actual amount of animation needed. 

I don’t mind though. I think it’s smart to manage the budget this way. Much better than to have random episodes look horrible or pathetic late-season fight scenes. Did you notice Crow?

Yes, I did. You said earlier that this was a talkative episode, so the movement count was generally down throughout. If Fire Force has taught me anything, it’s that if I see a good show visibly conserving budget, it means something special is coming! So I’m looking forward to the next couple of episodes.

But you know, you just reminded me of a caption from your review of Fire Force Season 2, episode 8. The models were all clunky, and your caption was, “excuse me sir, who might you be? It’s like they’re middle-aged Fire Force cosplayers…”

This episode didn’t get quite that bad (and, to be honest, that was pretty bad…).

That’s a long way of saying, yes, they cut some corners. But they gave us a ton of info!

Whenever I lead a post I always think I sound super negative. I guess I feel like setting up the little criticisms I have is much easier to respond to than just going it was great. But I really thought the episode was great. I like the monster familia! And we now have a clear and simple plot for the coming episode. Bell and co. are going to have to rescue the monsters from Dix’s clan. And if there’s time, maybe negotiate peace between them and the surface dwellers. That sounds good. I’m on board!

I’m so onboard I’m still angry about the last scene. I’m not even a huge fan of Ranieh, but seriously, for the danger he and his little crew of monster slavers is doing, Dix has got to go. I guess that means they’ve created an effective villain!

Now, how fast can Bell get down there to save Wiene and her new friends?

Leave me a comment and make my day!