86 special: Episode 21.5

Frederika, observing Kiriya’s final moments

After more than two months off, 86 is finally returning this Saturday (March 12th) and next Saturday (March 19th) for its two-episode finale. So, naturally, that means yet another recap episode precedes it.

This time, though, I will begrudge the production team this recap. It does not provide any new content beyond somewhat in-character narration by Seiichiro Yamashita (the voice of Raiden), instead being just a collection of scenes from episodes 18-21, with the heaviest lean on episode 21. However, as recap episodes go, it’s done pretty well, concisely summarizing the moves and emotions which brought the series to its cliffhanger ending in episode 21. It provides a good primer to refresh your memory on important details before watching episode 22, should you not have time to go back and watch the individual episodes as a lead-in.

Naturally, I will be commenting on episode 22; it will, in fact, be my priority for the day, which may delay Realist Hero a bit more than normal in getting posted. Look forward to it!

Other Series I Am Following:

Have not done this commentary for a few weeks, so this short write-up seems like the ideal place to update on a few titles. They are in order by when they air during the week.

Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc – Damn, those were some impressive battle scenes. The overall story could be stronger, but at least Nezuko got some opportunities to shine. Now we get to take a breather for a year or two to wait for the next arc to get animated.

Attack on Titan Final Season – At this point the series is up through episode 84, and the last few episodes have been one hell of a ride. Aside from the occasional odd tonal blips (dammit, I liked the scene where Conny’s first reaction to seeing post-thaw Annie is to laugh at her stuffing her face), this has been heavy stuff thematically, but the series is better for it. Characters on both sides have committed atrocities (an all-too-common occurrence in warfare, unfortunately) and the series is neither trivializing it nor allowing easy justifications as ways out. The survivors of the original cadet corps (minus Eren, naturally), the Marleyans, and even some of the former Jaegerists all have to find a way to work together to stop Eren’s mass genocide, each for his own reasons, and that won’t come easily. The big revelation here was how Marco ended up getting eaten, and that was just the capstone of a beautifully tense episode. Really, unless this series miserably fails its finale, I don’t see how it cannot be the series to beat for 2022’s Series of the Year.

Princess Connect Re:Dive Not every light-hearted series can pull off the kind of serious turn that this one is trying to do in recent episodes, but I like the approach this one is taking. Finally the bigger story – i.e., multiple recyclings through similar settings and events, though to what ultimate end is still unclear – is starting to coalesce, and even Pecorine is mustering up the courage to be frank about her real identity. This series has always looked good, with some surprisingly fantastic action scenes in recent episodes, but now it’s becoming genuinely compelling, too.

Sabuki Bisco – On the other hand, this series is going in the opposite direction. Frankly, I have de-prioritized it so much that I have come close to dropping it. It’s not that the series is necessarily doing anything wrong, but nothing about its plot or characters is grabbing me. Unless it finds some kind of better spark, I will be coasting on it into the end of the season.

The Genius Prince’s Guide to Rising a Nation Out of Debt – Still finding this one quite enjoyable, and seeing Falanya getting more actively involved in the most recent episode – to the point of becoming the focal point character – was a pleasant surprise. This one I can get enthusiastic about, although it’s still not the most fun series even on its release day.

Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Turned Into a Total Fantasy Knockout – Yeah, this one is still easily the most enjoyable series of this season. Every episode had been a lot of fun, and it’s still a priority view. The recent notion that Jinguji is Tachibana’s “special weapon” is terribly amusing, and that was far from the only bright point in the last couple of episodes.

In the Land of Leadale – Recent efforts to introduce other former players and delve at least a little into the backstory of how Leadale came to be this way have piqued my enthusiasm for a series that I was only largely coasting through before. Hopefully this will be the start of a trend, but I can also easily see the series just reverting to Cayna’s OP antics.

Arifureta 2 – It is what it is. The MC still annoys me, but I am finding the series just entertaining enough to maintain interest. The prospect of a bigger plot playing out and Hajime finally running into a tough-looking foe have gotten me a bit enthusiastic, and the production effort is a distinct upgrade from the first season. Will almost certainly finish this one out.

World’s End Harem – Been a while since I’ve seen a series glory so much in being trashy as this one does. . . Oh, wait, I only have to go back to last winter’s Redo of Healer, don’t I? Frankly, the series is not worth watching censored, so this is the rare case where I recommend hunting down an uncensored version if you’re going to watch it. And damn, Doi has turned into quite the little monster, hasn’t he? The recent plot twist has gotten me a little more interested, and I am still curious to see what is really going on behind the scenes, but this is still trash. . . and I will continue to watch it nonetheless!

Yashahime – Too bad the weekly episode reviews on ANN ended, as I feel that this half of the current season has generally been stronger. Nothing glorious here, and Kirin turning into a quasi-villain is disappointing, but the cast is still plenty likable enough.

My Dress-Up Darling – This one came into the season with a lot of fanfare, but even so, how much I’m appreciating it is still the surprise of the season for me. Marin is adorable as she deals with the prospect of being in love with Wakana, and I am even appreciating the regular fan service moments, but the scene of deeper meaning and subtle commentary about cosplaying are appealing to me more and more. This is one of the season’s better-constructed series overall.

One thought on “86 special: Episode 21.5

  1. I finished Demon Slayer forever ago and I think I am just waiting for the anime to finish to watch it. Dress Up has been the one I have come around to, it was a little too slow in the beginning for me, same as the manga, but when other characters got introduced, I started enjoying it more. Leadale lately has become way more interesting with the introduction of other players, would like to see more people appear not like Log Horizon levels, but enough to have a small group that interacts occasionally. I have fallen behind in Genius Prince and its counterpart Realist Hero, The Gilded Age and weirdly Downton Abbey have caught my attention and have been eating into my anime time. Though I enjoy watching those shows more so when I have 2 or 3 episodes to watch in one go, so I will probably make time in the next few days to catch up with both of them.

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