「恋慕」 (Renbo)
“In Love”

What a strange episode.

Anju In Love With Oshutoru

Say what you will about this episode, but it played Anju’s crush on Oshutoru correctly, I think. She seemed earnest about it, but the other girls were immediately punching holes through her sob story about being a caged bird. The girls trying to help Anju was funny, I think. Especially Atui and her in love with being in love bit. Rurutie’s yaoi production skills … I feel like that jokes being done to death, I think. Once in a while and it’s funny, but any joke can be run into the ground, I think. Nekone, however, was adorable. Though the question remains: What’s the point of this extended Anju-loves-Oshutoru plot? Especially since it’s extending into another episode. Once again, it feels displaced from the overarching plot, I think. Whatever the overarching plot is.

Nosuri, Haku, and the Nugisomukami

Nosuri and Ougi return, and I have to ask: Was there a reason for them to appear two episodes ago? This did their reintroduction just as well, and at least they’re involved in the plot for more than a quick cameo, I think. Though perhaps that was foreshadowing for what will come next. While I very much enjoyed the Noble Thieves gag, which was quite funny, the Nugisomukami is another element that requires previous Utawarerumono knowledge, I think. At least, I didn’t catch it in context, other than knowing that “nugi” has something to do with undressing or nudity, and “kami” being some kind of god. Some kind of spirit that strips people, or appears naked, I think? Original series watchers can fill us in, unless it’s an important spoiler, in which case use spoiler tags, I think.

Nosuri was painted a lot more comically this time, which I enjoyed, I think. Her whimped when she went off to take her bath, or her reactions throughout, were all funny. And her overhearing Anju’s request was in line with her current comedic portrayal, I think. Not sure if that’s good or not.

“I’m told you know little of the subtleties of the heart.”

Haku has Kuon set to rights, I think. About the subtleties of the heart, perhaps, but no friends? Circumstances would suggest otherwise, I think. Kuon’s reaction to all the romance talk, and to Haku in particular, were the most interesting element again. I enjoy the slow burn their relationship is on, I think. I just wish the rest didn’t still feel so slow and random, I think.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Anju loves Oshutoru, & the girls are helping. Meanwhile, Nosuri is back, & she’s an idiot #utawarerumono s2e10

Random thoughts:

  • The way they told Haku’s story while it was happening was weird. Very immersion breaking, I think.
  • Looks like the emperor has some new clothes. Also, a yaoi lover.
  • I like how Haku said the one thing that wasn’t true (Kuon has no friends), and not the two that were (monstrously strong, eats too much). He fell for the obvious gambit, I think.

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      1. @Liessel: I certainly hope that’s the case, but at this point, I’m betting on nothing much happening until the second cour or perhaps the last episode of this cour to set up the second cour. This show is not in ANY hurry to get moving on the central plot – unless random SOL comedy hijinks is the “plot”.

      1. I agree that it isnt as great as before the capital, but harem? Aside from Kuon, none of the girls even pay attention to Haku anymore. I think some harem-hijinx would actually do it some good!

      2. @Bob: I’m with Aex on this. Agree the show was better before they reached the capital (well, the first two episodes anyway), but harem? Not seeing a harem at all in this. As discussed below, there’s even room for doubt in terms of Haku x Kuon romance let alone Haku x any other girl.

  1. Decent episode , and I’m actually happy with that ending since between the idiocy of Nosuri and the naivety of Anju, this could turn into what this series actually needs: a crisis.

    Nosuri is unbelievably stupid. As in, I’d rather not believe someone can actually be that dumb. Of course , she’ll never be punished since she was trying to do good, no matter how bad things turn out.

    Oh, and I see we’re still ignoring Haku’s trip to the magical room. Joy. I’m starting to think there’s a whole other layer to this story about Haku that’s getting cut from the anime for some strange reason.

    And not that I care, but where’d the floating jellyfish go after ep. 8?

    1. I’ve been told the jellyfish comes from the game. It’s Atui’s pet. It eats bugs, sits on Atui’s head like a hat, and Haku drew a funny face on it. Otherwise it’s not important to the plot.

  2. The anime’s still following the game events, but the execution’s different.
    The anime omitted most of Haku’s playable agent jobs, and occasional references to Haku’s past, which together with the slice of life carried most of the story’s 1st half.

    Instead the anime seems to be strongly focusing on slice of life events, and introducing all the central cast, for the series’ 1st half.

  3. Utawarerumono 3’s developers say Game 3’s main story and music is almost complete, and the plot will have more volume than False Faces had.

    -New character confirmed for Game 3: Fumiriru, voiced by VA Gibu Yuuko.
    (Fumiriru comes from the Utawarerumono 1 OVA, an abandoned baby Urutori takes care of.)

    -There will be NO X-rated version of the False Faces game for PC.

  4. Again as a fan of Slice of Life, who’s pinnacle is Aria where plot almost does not exist more does drama exist, I am really enjoying this. Except as a fan of the first series I also love the action part of it and it’s time.

    Aria is a must watch, watch it to go to sleep, relax, unwind, for it’s tag tender euphoria. No you don’t have to finish a episode watch it for 10 min then sleep, repeat next night nothing dramatic will show up that you want to rush. Watch for a author how a story violates almost all the drama rules but still entrances. For those who share creator or Star Trek Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a humanity who has grow up and improved it’s self, Aria is what it would be like to live on a Federation Planet at peace. The main character has been criticized for no such innocent wonderful girl could exist in the real world, that’s true now but not in situation where humanity has worked for centuries to achieve peace and transform Mars in to the the water world of Aqua. Warning frequent viewers have navigated in Venice Italy by the New Venice of the story as it is mostly a copy of it. Aria is the anime you would want to rase your family in.

    Sorry for going off on the tangent. But in some ways I hate for this story to go all drama, the capital for the most part seams to be a peaceful civilized place so these episodes do remind.

    1. The difference is that Aria, as godly-fluffy as it was, always had a point. By the end of 95% of the episodes, one of the three girls had learned something, and the other 5% showed a hidden and fun aspect of another character or the planet itself. It never had to try to find a hook because it was actually a soothing coming-of-age story. The girls were all always growing. Uta2 still needs that hook and growth, not just throw a bunch of events together without even trying to connect them. It’s trying too hard to be episodic that it’s missing the fact that it already started telling us a story, and now is going out of its way to ignore that story.

  5. This series’s pacing reminds me of another one I just watched a couple of months ago: Zetsuen no Tempest. That was also a 2 cour series that notably had a distinct tonal and shift at the midway point, although in that case it went from dark and brooding to cheery and playful; I expect White Fox is doing something similar, just in reverse, and believe the next couple episodes or so will continue to be slice of life before we switch over to the major conflict. I won’t say I particularly endorse or disagree with the way they’ve handled the adaptation, but it would make sense for them to want the lighter material relegated to a separate portion to not break up the core story’s sense of urgency. As a fan of the original game/show it’s not that bad, but I can certainly see how this might be exasperating so far.

  6. I won’t lie… I can watch this just for Atui’s accent alone… Nosuri is also becoming a favorite of mine (kinda?). Reminds me of Touka, just a bit “less” reserved and much more, involved in her shennanigans.

    Goodwill Wright
    1. @Thundershock81: I’m in the opposite camp. I didn’t find it as… bothersome this episode, but on the whole not a fan of Atui’s voicing. It’s not so much dialect as pitch/tone. For me, Anju’s voicing >>> Atui’s.

    2. Y’know, the funny thing is, the voice actor voicing Atui actually comes from the Kansai region- Osaka I believe. And in comparison to her role as Marielle in Log Horizon, the one found here does seem to have a rather unnatural pitch. In any case, Atui as a character? Can’t get enou- AHEM.

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  7. Kinda hoping things pickup next week. I mean, kidnapping an imperial princess doesn’t usually end well. That might be expecting too much, but I’m fine with a nothing serious happens conclusion. That just leaves the twin girls needing a proper introduction. It should complete Haku’s group as seen in the opening, I think.

    I really can’t remember a “Nugisomukami”. A quick search actually led me the DVD/BD specials. Check out the 3rd and 4th for the full story. A fun story involving Touka Okaa-sama. Those specials should be spoiler free, I think.

    Even with all that randomness, it was surprising that somehow everything came together at the end. Had a blast seeing all the chaos that Nosuri got herself into. At least now we know she’s a real thief and not a government agent. Real fun episode.

  8. Meh. I’m tempted to leave that one word as my reaction to this episode since that pretty much sums it up. To the show’s credit(?) it has certainly been consistent. Arguably too consistent as Stilts rightfully points out. The comedy IMO has very hit or miss as it is, and repeating the same “jokes” is not the way to improve things. Same goes with more meandering plot-less faffing about.

    I get that I’m not supposed to take things seriously which leaves me with the SoL comedy. As I noted above, that’s been very hit and miss (mostly miss lately), which is a problem because that’s all I’m given. The “noble thieves” joke was mildly amusing, but the whole girls sleep-over love-love talk fell flat. Dare I say the show lately is… kind of boring, ’cause it is for me. More menial jobs (fortunately for Kiuru since apparently his sole role is be Haku’s menial job buddy), more yaoi jokes, more PG bath time fanservice, more of the same superficial themes repeated. For all the time spent, to me there’s surprising overall lack of character depth and background for the cast at hand. :/

    ZZTop had an illuminating comment above. “The anime omitted most of Haku’s playable agent jobs, and occasional references to Haku’s past, which together with the slice of life carried most of the story’s 1st half.” Uhh… Haku’s past is, you know, kind of a big deal. To me that speaks volumes about a major reason this show is not doing as well as it should. Back to ‘ye old inefficiency argument.

    I’ll end with this. I recall Stilts once writing about “elevator pitches” and stories. With a good story, one could give a compelling 2 (or so) sentence summary. I struggle to come up with one for this show at this point.


    @Stilts: Kuon’s reaction to all the romance talk, and to Haku in particular, were the most interesting element again. I enjoy the slow burn their relationship is on, I think. I just wish the rest didn’t still feel so slow and random, I think.”

    This might be were we diverge a bit. Agree on the slow burn romance as a concept, but IF there is romance here, IMO the “burn” is a little too slow. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure what their relationship is. Is it romantic? Kuon pushed into the friendzone? Again, the show is incredibly consistent on this front as well – tidbits here and there which effectively amount to little if anything. This episode was a GOOD opportunity to advance any romance plot, but the show defaulted to its SOP – some repeated comedy routine and nebulous status quo. *sigh*

    1. I think the point is that neither Kuon or Haku are romantically interested in one another, but their relationship is ripe for that to develop the first time one (or preferably both) of them get the idea into their heads. It’ll more be the type of relationship where they realize they’re pretty much dating already long after everyone else realized it, I think.

      1. @Stilts: That’s a fair point I suppose. It’s just that with everything else not going anywhere, their relationship doing the same doesn’t help. I think what you suggest would work better if other parts of the story moved along. Even then, IMO the two could use more screen time together beyond reused comedy hijinks – especially if a romantic relationship does, in fact, develop. Slow burn is fine, but there should be some foundation laying during the “burn”. Again, I go to my Spice and Wolf comparison. “Slow burn” relationship, yet discernible progress is made along the way.

      2. I agree. I enjoy the slow burn, but you’ve got to give us something to pay attention to while it’s happening. Otherwise it’s just slow. (Also, progress along the way, though I think we do have that, albeit with a notable dearth of Kuon x Haku scenes lately.)

  9. I treat it as a fantasy-slice-of-life. Actually it makes sense that whatever Joe Average teleported into mysterious fantasy setting would not start epic quests from the get go. Remember killing rats or bugs on lvl 1 of Baldurs Gate/Icewind Dale? Or all the carry/fetch quests?

    1. That was the first 5 episodes, and it was good because the focus was Haku getting used to the world. 6 was fine as Kuon backstory, but then the focus vanished. Apparently Haku was still doing interesting stuff, but we get to watch the girls be random and basically irrelevant instead. Not a great shift.

    2. The Baldurs Gate/Icewind Dale anology is actually a good one. Imagine doing that for one third of the game. I know I wouldn’t have finished the game if that was the case. I’d probably get bored before getting to the main plot.

    3. I remember fighting those kicking snakes outside the gates of Freeport in Everquest. Of course, that was an MMO, so it never had any plot. We had to make our own plot! Damn kids and your music television *shakes fist*

      I went off on a weird thing there.

  10. It’s said in the original anime that Nugisomukami is the god of misfortune, disease and catastrophe.

    Spoilerish: The race Shakukoporu believes that Witsuarunemitea is Nugisomukami. -Utawarerumono Episode 17


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