Ace Anime Review Rwednesday #4, 3 February 2021: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME SPORTSBALLS???!!!

In which everyone is vaguely exhausted but trying their best.

Audio Transcript: Ace Anime Reviews Rwednesday
3 February 2021
Ace (A), Charlie (C), Noah Haley (NH)

A: Welcome to Ace Anime Reviews Rwednesday, I’m Ace Barret King, founder and chief editor of I use he/him pronouns. And the other two here are…!

NH: I’m Noah Haley, they/them! I’m the newest and youngest writer at Ace Anime Reviews…

A: You just faded out or stopped talking.

NH: I stopped talking because I stopped introducing myself. Did you catch any of it?

A: Yeah.


C: And I’m Charlie! They/him. And we’re just havin’ so much fun here today.

A: Yeah.

NH: Yep. Goin’ great. We’re all at the top of our game.

C: Oh, yeah!

A: Oh, yeah. Ok, Ace Anime Reviews is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s an anime review site that mainly specializes in anime. Though it also has like, we also talk about whatever the heck else we want to talk about. (to game) I don’t need this one. And the most recent article from Friday was by yours truly. It’s called “The Remarried Empress: Rashta is Fine, Though?” It’s basically just an analysis/somewhat half-hearted defense of Rashta’s character from The Remarried Empress. We have a Patreon. About right now would be where we’d shout out any new patrons if we had any. But as we do not… Let’s just briefly summarize our tiers. If they’ll load.

A: Alright. They won’t. Anyway. Tier one: it’s one dollar a month. Basically get- Oh here it is!- get to read reviews a week early, excluding premieres and other first impressions. And then you can vote on which light novel Fen has to suffer through each month. Five dollars a month, you get access to our Discord. Where we’re just chatting about random whatevers. Mostly anime. And then at ten dollars a month, you get placed into an automatic drawing to join us in one of these oh so stimulating discussions.

C: Just wait ‘til we start talking about anime! That’ll be stimulating.

A: Oh, yes.

NH: This time I will not spend several minutes screaming about The Old Republic.

A: Oh, no. Alright, and that’s… that’s that on that. And now we can get into it. And this week, I actually- well, sorry, I mean – starting Sunday, I actually started taking notes! Which I actually probably should have been doing from the beginning! But, hey, better late than never.

NH: Nah.

A: So the only one I didn’t take note- I started on Sunday, so the only one I don’t have notes on Heaven’s Design Team, so let’s just get that one out of the way right away. I forgot what they- they made a bat.

NH: Yes, they made a bat! And they made, oh god, what was it?

C: They made a panda!

A: Oh, yes, a panda!

NH: They made a panda, and the running urchin.

A: Oh, yeah.

C: And a zebra!

NH: And they killed one of the angels.

A: Oh, yeah. She went to hell.

C: She’s not dead, she’s just in hell.

A: She went to hell so she could make bees. And dogs. [Transcriber note: bees are already canon in HDT; they’re what they based the hummingbird’s wings off of]

(things moving around)

A: Did you guys stop talking, or…?

NH: Yeah, sorry.

C: Sorry.

NH: It was very cute. I enjoyed it. They changed what they were romanizing their names as, now they’re all

A: (crosstalk) Oh, yeah! That was weird.

NH: (crosstalk) Apparently that’s – oh, sorry, go ahead.

A: Apparently that’s how it is in the translation of the manga.

NH: Yeah, but I was very confused when they started referring to Venus as Venus, because if she’d been referred to as that the entire time, I would’ve remembered her name better.

A: Yeah, like, it wouldn’t’ve been a problem if they’d been calling them by those names from the beginning, but suddenly switching part way through is odd.

NH: Yeah. It was a little weird.

A: Yeah. Anyway. Alright, should we move on?

C: It was cool to learn why zebras are black and white. I didn’t know that before that episode.

NH: (crosstalk) Because God wanted stripey animals?

A: Oh, yeah. And when they’re together, you can’t tell where one ends and another begins, which they did not cover in the episode.

C: Yeah, and also it helps with the flies.

A: Yes. Anyway. Shall we move on to Sk8 the Infinity?

NH: It was good. I’m gonna beat someone to death. I’m gonna beat that anime character to death with his own fucking skateboard, and stab him in the dick with his fake horns!

A: Let’s not! You mentioned that he was one of those guys who takes the sport too seriously, but he takes it really seriously, but not in the same way that they usually do that is annoying. It’s like, it seems like he just has to deal with a lot from work and his family just being kinda really kinda crappy. And, like, he just uses it as an excuse

NH: Which he uses as an excuse to bully teenagers.

C: He tried to kill a kid!

A: Well, yes, he did do that.

NH: I mean, he tried to hospitalize him, I don’t think his goal was death.

A: Yeah.

C: At the speeds they were going, and the incline, he could very easily have died.

A: Yeah. Well, when I complain-

NH: Oh, yeah. There was blood.

A: When I complain about the motherfucker who takes it too seriously, it’s not the guy that, they enjoy it to an intense degree; it’s to where they get all pissy about other people not enjoying it ‘The Right Way.’ You know?

C: That’s fair.

NH: Yeah. He’s still a motherfucker who I want to beat to death, though.

A: He is. But he is just straight up a JoJo’s character. He even moves like a JoJo character. And then I discovered that ADAM is a, is uhm, what’s the, what’s the word? Where you take the first letter from each word and then turn it into a word?

C: An ana- an acronym.

NH: An anagram.

A: An anagram! It’s an anagram for A Dio Ass Motherfucker. [Transcriber’s note: we meant acronym. We were all very tired.]

NH: Makes sense.

A: Yep. Let’s see, and the first of my notes that I put here is that ADAM is JOE’s ex. And also that him finding a bride seems unlikely.

C and NH: Yeah…

NH: That’s unlikely because I personally am going to beat him to death with his skateboard.

C: And also because the vibes he gives off would scare away any sane, reasonable woman-

A: And also because he’s gay.

C: And also that.

NH: Sure.

A: OK, after that, my only other note is just ‘buy A&W’ over and over and over again.

C: *laughs*

NH: It’s just what?


C: *laughs more*

A: Because you remember there was that incredibly obvious advertisement for A&W right in the middle of the episode?

NH: No, I didn’t…

A: Oh, they went to A&W for lunch.

NH: Nice.

A: Yes.

NH: Good for them.

A: And Shadow was telling Catboy to eat a lot of hamburgers.

NH: Oh, I do remember that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah, no, I remember. It’s- light hearted little things like that, just suddenly- I just forgot about by the end of the episode for some reason.

A: It’s just, it reminded me of Akiba’s Trip with the Carl’s Jr. You just cannot integrate real world products into anime and make them seem like they fit.

NH: No, unfortunately not.

A: Yeah. Anybody got anything else to say about Sk8 the Infinity?

NH: I’m looking forward-

C: (crosstalk) I really love the art.

NH: Oh, yeah, it’s great.

C: The animation, every episode it just blows my fuckin’ mind.

A: It’s pretty! 

NH: It’s very nice.

A: Yeah. It’s a very pretty show. It’s not the prettiest, because Wonder Egg exists, but it’s very pretty.

C: Oh, yeah.

NH: I will say, I do appreciate that they’ve softened my attitude on Shadow just by him constantly being referred to as old, and him having to protest that he’s only 24.

A: He is a florist with a girly name and he drives a pink car.

C: Yeah.

A: It’s very easy to soften your impression of him after that.

NH: It is, yes.

A: He’s a great character, I like Shadow.

C: Yeah.

A: Plus, he keeps getting pushed around by all these kids.

C: He also engages in attempted homicide, but, you know…

A: He gets- it’s cause he knows that their world runs partly on cartoon physics, so no one’s gonna actually get hurt. Or, at least, they won’t die.

C: Yeah.

NH: I’m looking for something to do to keep me focused. And I’m not finding anything.

C: Oh, well…

NH: Just gonna have to zone in and out while we’re talking.

A: OK. Should we move on…

C: OK. Well, that’s Sk8, what’s next?

A: Next is Jobless. Oh, this episode was rough. This is gonna be a jumping off point for a lot of people.

C: Yeah… I knew it was coming, ‘cause I read the manga, but it still- The man’s a dick.

A Okay, so which is grosser, Rudy actively and knowingly planning to groom Sylphie, or literally everything about Paul?

C: Oh, I think they’re tied. They’re very much tied.

A: Yeah, like-

C: (crosstalk) Fuckin’…

A: And Rudy saying, “well, he’s got a hold over her, because he knows something.” No, he doesn’t need to know anything about her, he’s her boss. And also he raped her.

NH: Ok, I’m gonna take my headphones off, let me know in the chat when you’re done talking about this.

A: Yeah. 

C: Yep.

A: So, yeah, he doesn’t need blackmail to have a hold over her. He’s got power over her! Also, you know the holy relic? I think it’s a holy relic just because it’s panties, not necessarily because it’s Roxy’s panties. He’d probably treat ‘em the same if they were just a random pair of panties he’d picked up off the ground.

C: Yeah, maybe, but I think it’s a little more for him, because it’s hers.

A: Yeah.

C: Which is still gross! But…

A: Yes, it is still gross. But it could be worse.

C: Yeah… What else happened?

A: We saw Roxy again, and her gross- her new student who’s even grosser than Rudy.

C: Yeah. And he got- and his dad knocked him the fuck out and had him kidnapped for a job.

A: Oh, yeah. And now he also has two little sisters, which I’m sure is not gonna be creepy at all.

C: Well, he did say he wants to be the cool big brother, so at least he’s not pervin’ on ‘em yet.

A: Yeah. One of ‘em is his full sister, has a dumb name. What’s it, Norn?

C: Uh, yeah. Norn.

A: The other name, the other, the other kid’s name is much better. Aisha, I think.

C: Yeah, and her mom is going to groom her to serve him.

A: Oh, yeah, that’s creepy.

C: Yeah. Why the fuck would you do that to a kid? However grateful you are to another child?

A: Because she’s got very messed up ideas about stuff because it’s the Middle Ages.

C: Yeah.

A: But yeah. Trying to think if there’s anything else to talk about in this episode. Basically, just, it was gross. The episode only had one star on Funimation, and I quickly figured out why.

C: Yeah. Mm-hm. It has reached its low point.

A: Oh, good! So we’re only going up from here.

C: One can hope.

A: I hope so. Alright, should we move on to Egg?

C: Yeah, let’s get Haley back first.

A: Yep.

NH: You guys havin’ fun?

C: So much.

A: We’re ready to talk about eggs!

C: Yeah.

NH: Egg!

A: So the girl in the OP that I thought might be a trans girl is a trans girl! That’s cool!

C: Maybe?

A: Well, I mean they left some room for, maybe she’s just a butch lesbian, but most of the episode revolved around her being misgendered, to the point where she was crying over it. So I think she probably, pretty clearly, is supposed to be read as trans.

NH: Yeah.

A: Like, they wouldn’t have people not calling her the name that she wanted to be called and all that. Like, she did have her wearing a skirt in her flashback, but it’s possible that her middle school either let her, or she was just wearing it ‘cause it was after school. But I think it’s way more likely that she’s trans, then that she’s a butch cis girl.

NH: Trans lesbian.

C: Well, it’s never really implied that she likes them back.

A: (crosstalk) Like, she could still be lesbian, but you know.

C: Girls just keep falling in love with her.

A: Yeah. So…

NH: Yeah, and during her flashback –

A: And also did say that she found Adam’s apples sexy, so.

NH: That’s fair.

C: Yeah.

A: So, you know.

C: She could be bi!

A: Yeah! She could be. But, yeah, I think trans is probably where they’re headed with that. Or otherwise, in some way gender non-conforming, but she’s pretty adamant about being seen as feminine. Specifically feminine. Like, ‘Momo’ is a girl’s name. [Transcriber note: Flying lemurs notwithstanding] But, um. And when she said that Momoe is her real name, that could be that that’s her legal name, or it could be that that’s her preferred name. It could lean either way.

C: We’ll find out.

A: Then, are we supposed to recognize the last name ‘Sawaki,’ am I forgetting something about that, or…?

NH: I don’t think so.

C: I think it’s something that they’re gonna talk about later. 

A: Ok.

C: They’re introducing a plot point.

A: Yeah. But, AiNeiru is the-

NH: (crosstalk) Oh, that’s-! No, that’s Ai’s homeroom teacher.

A: Oh! The counselor.

C: Oh, yeah!

A: The counselor that she doesn’t like. Yeah, him. Oh, ok.

C: Who had a moment with her friend.

A: Yeah, I don’t- I think she was probably reading that wrong. I hope.

C: Probably.

NH: Maybe.

A: Oh, yeah, but AiNeiru is the correct ship. That is what you should be shipping, because that is the one that is right. 

NH: Yes.

A: Also, the mannequins are sexist.

C: A little bit, yeah.

A: Yeah. And the girls they keep saving-

C: (crosstalk) That whole discussion of, like 

A: Yeah. All that kinda gendered reasons for suicide and stuff is like, yeah, lots of people have lots of reasons. But I’m hoping that they’re going to like, push back against that, and like, that’s gonna be one of the things that they do. And, um. But the girls they’re saving, they’re always so goddamn brave. They just kick ass, every last one of ‘em.

NH: I know! It’s great.

A: And you know –

C: There’s going to be a point where they find one who’s not… brave.

A: Yeah. I’m sure that’ll happen eventually, but so far, those, the idol fangirls, they were awesome, I love them both.

NH: I don’t know, I think… A running theme that I’ve noticed so far, is they can’t really beat any of the big bad boss monsters, until the girls they’re trying to save step up and help.

A: Yeah…

NH: Until they’re ready to fight back, they can’t be beaten.

A: Yeah, ‘cause they gotta give them their item that turns into a cool weapon.

NH: Yeah, so I think the eggs don’t hatch until they’ve reached that point, like, you’re not gonna get their eggs until they’ve reached that point.

A: Yeah. And then, I think the verdict on Rika is that she’s a Big Damn Hero.

NH: Sure.

C; (inaudible)

A: I think it’s super cool how she had that big hero moment, and it was awesome.

NH: She did have that nice little cavalry moment.

A: I like Rika, she’s cool. Though I also appreciate that we have got less of her in this episode. She does, we can possibly have an overdose of Rika.

NH: Possibly, just a little.

A: Yeah.

NH: I’m looking forward to seeing how Momo fits in the group, and how she gets along with everyone.

A: Oh, yeah. She clicked with Ai right away.

C: Yeah, ‘cause Ai’s the best.

NH: Everyone clicks with Ai.

A: Yep.

NH: She’s so sweet.

A: Yeah. She’s great. Yeah, that was, it was a good episode, I liked that episode. Anybody have any random thoughts about any other anime they’re watchin’? I have a whole list of

NH: WAVE!! was cute.

A: Oh, that’s good.

NH: Yeah, they got their, uh, got through their competition. And I think Tanaka lost- got in second. It was very cute. And then at the end, they had their little ‘let’s go! We’re all friendly rivals forever’ meeting, and it was very sweet.

A: Oh, good.

C: Yeah. We talked about the spider yesterday; I enjoyed that episode.

A: Yeah. But the monkeys looked bad.

C: The monkeys looked bad. So did that other dinosaur-lookin’ dragon.

A: Yeah. Those did not integrate as well as some others have.

C: Yeah. It would be nice if they stopped makin’ all the humans 3D, and all the monsters CGI. 

A: Yeah.

C: That’s kinda weird.

A: Then, um. I’ve been thinking about this since the first season, but Rin and Nadeshiko in Laid Back Camp should change names. ‘Cause Rin is a more suitable name for- name that you associate with a cheery pink haired girl, and Nadeshiko is the sort of name that you associate with a quieter dark haired girl. So, they need to swap names. Do the little dance thing in, like in Wayside School. And Kemono Jihen had the best monster girlfriend, their version of a nekomata, is a sexy cat lady. Marry one of those. Did I lose you guys, or are you just not talking?

C: No, we’re just quiet. We’re listening!

NH: I don’t know what anime you’re talking about. I got distracted looking for something to focus on.

A: Well, apparently

C: (crosstalk) Kemono Jihen, I think, is the last one.

A: Yeah, Kemono Jihen. And then, Cells at Work! You have not reminded me to talk about the lactic bacteria, but that’s ok, because I put it in my notes.

NH: I wrote it down on something  somewhere and then lost it!

A: Anyway, it wasn’t specifically the lactic bacteria, but more specifically the general idea of there being good bacteria in your gut. ‘Cause basically there’s some illnesses caused by having not enough of them good bacterias. And, you know, one of the ways they treat that is by putting in more good bacterias, and you know how they do that? A fecal transplant. You know what that is?

NH: That’s gross!

A: That’s when they take the poop from one butt and put it into another butt!

NH: Yeah, we guessed! Thank you! That’s beautiful, thank you so much!

A: Yep!

C: We delight in all the facts you choose to share with us, thank you Ace.

A: Yes. And then, another alternate title for this week’s episode of Horimiya could’ve been Toru’s Terrible Awful No Good Very Bad Day.

C: Yeah?

A: Oh, and a little pro tip, you can make the can- if you think the can’s gonna explode because it’s all shaken up, you can avert that by tapping the top of it. 

NH: Yeah. Three times. Or just, pay attention when they warn you that it’s about to explode, and set it aside for a couple minutes, too.

A: Yeah.

NH: Don’t automatically assume that your best friend and the girl you have a crush on were fucking in the middle of a school building in the middle of the day.

A: Yeah.

NH: That might also be something to consider.

A: Well, I mean, he is an idiot. 

NH: (crosstalk): He’s so dumb.

A: This is well established. The Moriope Calliope, Mori, one of the english HoloLives dropped a new song, and she is the best english Holo, and do not @ me. I will fight you on that. 

NH: Okay.

C: I’ll take your word for it.

A: And Osomatsu-san! Totoko… I like that they just pretty much Totoko and Nya are just straight up married now. And they are just complete disaster lesbians. And there was a, they, I’ve never had imoni, which is what they’re makin’ in this episode. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but there was a slight argument about soy sauce versus miso, and I can tell you that 100% of the time, miso is the better option.

C: Yes. Soy sauce is just salt.

A: Yeah. Well, miso is salt and beans. Well, it’s fermented mushroom stuff with soybeans and salt, and it’s tasty. The grocery store where I go used to have Cup Udon with miso flavor, but they stopped carrying it once the pandemic hit.


A: Yeah. Did they ever explain how two non-military or yakuza associated girls in Japan got guns? In Otherside Picnic?

NH: Toriko finds them lying around the Otherside and hands them out.

A: Ah.

NH: Apparently there’s a lot of them around.

A: That makes sense.

NH: Yeah. Does it? Does it make sense?

A: I mean…

NH: I don’t know what makes sense anymore.

A: There was a bunch of marines in there. So, yeah, it kinda does.

NH: That’s true. There are marines.

A: Yeah. Rimuru is done being a teacher, and he has ended by passing on some good taste in manga. Making Parasyte with kids, which is a good, that’s a good show. And once again, organized religion is coming to ruin everyone’s good time. Because that’s just what they do.

C: Damned religion.

A: Yeah. Finally,  Re:Zero. Somebody referred to the disciple of greed, or whatever the fuck he is, as anime Ben Shapiro, because he just never stops fucking talking. And I just could not stop thinking about him as anime Ben Shapiro the whole episode, and he really does talk the way Ben Shapiro would talk if he was an anime villain. So it was a lot of fun seeing him get buried and ragdolled all around. And then, finally! There was a new Shonen Jump series called i tell c, it’s about a lady detective who solves crimes by being a creepy stalker. It would be good if it was played less straight.

NH: That sounds horrible, actually. Is it good?

A: Yeah. If it was played for humor? It’d be fine; they played it too straight and it was a bit too weird. I mean, I like that the token chick is the main character, or at least the protagonist of sorts. But, like, well, she’s at least of equal weight to the two brothers. But, uh, yeah… It’s just, it’s just a bit weird. And that’s all my random thoughts on anime, so now it’s time for just our general discussion. And, hey guys, I’ve got a riddle for you. What’s both gay and homophobic?

C: Uh, is it Free!?

NH: Uh, sports anime?

A: Uh, the correct answer is Boy’s Love, but sports anime is also a good one. And there’s a sports thing this weekend, so let’s talk about sports. Specifically sports anime.

NH: What sports thing is this weekend, Ace?

A: I don’t know! Football.

NH: Football?

A: I’m taking chips- I’m making homemade salsa to take with me to work on that day.

NH: American football or European football?

A: Bad football.

NH: Bad football.

A: It’s the Superbowl. Superbowl’s on Sunday.

[brief diversion until 27:20]

NH: AH! Sorry, brief diversion. Charlie, do you happen to have three different characters on my copy of Oblivion?

C: I don’t think so. I don’t remember.

NH: Oh, god. It’s either you or Adam. Ok, I was just wondering, sorry!

C: Sports ball!

A: Sports anime! Let’s talk about sports anime, what sports anime do you like? Other than Sk8 the Infinity.

NH: (mechanical screech from the depths of purgatory)

A: Uh, sorry, there was a weird noise and then nothing, what?

C: I don’t watch sports anime.

A: You haven’t watched any sports anime? The best sports anime is Keijo!!!. That’s the one where the girls fight over a pool, and they hit each other with their boobies and their butties.

NH: I see…

C: Ok…

A: It’s delightful. That’s the one that came out the same season as YURI!! on Ice, and it was better sports anime than YURI!! on Ice, and yes, I will fight you on that.

NH: What’s it called? 

A: Keijo!!!

NH: Keijo!!!. I haven’t seen it, but I have seen YURI!! on Ice, and I love YURI!! on Ice

A: YURI!! on Ice…

NH: I’m a huge-

A: YURI!! on Ice was good, but I quickly got tired of seeing the same figure skating routines over and over and over again.

C (who has never seen the show): Yeah…

NH: That’s fair.

A: Like, I understand why they would only animate them each once. I know that animation is not cheap. But it was boring to watch.

NH: I liked it…

A: Yeah… 

NH: But then, I don’t pay much attention to the visual element of the things I’m watching. So, that’s fine for me. YURI!! on Ice was perfectly fine for me because I could it on in the background, and I didn’t have to watch it.

A: (crosstalk) That anime won best animation [at Crunchyroll’s Anime Awards] that year, even though it was the same year that Mob Psycho and Flip Flappers came out! Which is just-

NH: (crosstalk) Oh, it’s cause it was gay!

A: Oh, yeah, I know, but still!

NH: That’s the whole reason. That’s the whole reason it got any of the acclaim it got. It’s not ‘cause it’s great, it’s ‘cause it took the homerotic subtext and made it text.

A: Yeah. And that was good! And I appreciated that. But, still…

NH: As did I.

A: (to game) I haven’t played Madolche in so long, I don’t remember what to do… Oh, here we go.

NH: I didn’t really watch a lot of anime before I signed on with you guys, and I don’t really watch much anime outside of the premieres now. So, I don’t, I don’t know a lot of sports anime. I watched YURI!! on Ice because everyone and their mother watched YURI!! on Ice. 

A: Yeah.

NH: I’m liking Wave!!! And I’m liking Sk8 the Infinity, but, we’re all liking Sk8 the Infinity, so I guess that doesn’t count.

A: Yeah.

NH: Yeah.

C: That’s ‘cause Sk8 the Infinity is good.

NH: It’s the best, I love it.

A: So, I used to complain about sports anime the same way I complain about idol anime, where all of them are the same, but they actually, like, will switch up the sports anime sometimes, which they won’t do with idol anime, and as a side note, because I wanted to say this in the premiere thing, but I forgot: I would like to see an idol anime that starts off like a totally normal idol anime, and then a few episodes in it starts turning into psychological horror. What’s Gen Urobuchi up to? Yeah, just starts turning into psychological horror about these girls being groomed by their producer or something. They wouldn’t even have to change all that much, to be honest.

NH: I don’t think they’d really have to change anything, except framing.

A: Yeah. Pretty much. Is Urobuchi still playing with puppets, you think he would do that, because he’d be good at it. But last semester, I mean, not semester, season, there was Gymnastics Samurai, which was fine. Apparently there was some production issues, so it kinda ended off as a little bit underwhelming, but it was good.

(rude Truck-chan idling in the background)

A: But, um. Yeah. And I did threaten to rant a little bit about Free! 

C: Mm-hm.

NH: Let’s hear it.

A: Ok, so the first season of Free! is really good. Second season of Free! started ok. But then it got really bad. Because they introduced- ok, so in the first season of Free!, they had That Motherfucker™ in the form of Rin.

C: Mm-hm.

A: But by the end of the season, he had gotten over himself. So, they bring out season 2, and they need conflict, so in order to make a conflict- I mean, they do introduce a good and interesting one, which I’ll get into- but they also, basically try to resurrect Rin in the form of Sousuke, who also cares way too much about the fact that Haru is not interested in the actual competitive aspect of competitive swimming. But he just wants to swim because he likes to swim. And, um…

C: How terrible, why would anyone ever do that kind of thing.

A: Yeah. I mean, like, he’s got his issues, and, like, I don’t give a shit. Because it’s none of his damn business. And, um… I’m trying to do too many things at once.

NH: Same. Okay, so do what I do and just –

A: OK! So, what they do- how the second season of Free! works is that they start off, it’s focused on where it should be, which is on Haru and all them, because Haru is the closest thing that Free has to a main character. 

C: Mm-hm…

A: And then, they introduced the conflict which should be the main conflict of the season- series, which is that everyone wants Haru to go on to swim professionally, but he’s not interested, because he didn’t like the competitive element of swimming. He wants to be ‘free,’ you know, like, he wants to do what he enjoys, and not be told what to do.

NH: Right, like-

C: Like a normal person.

A: Yeah. And because, again, he’s not competitive. So all the competitive stuff is going to stress him out and annoy him. And he knows this because he’s not an idiot. But, so they set up this conflict, and then they move away from that for the whole center of the series, focusing on Sousuke and his whole deal, and it’s not good, and it was annoying, and I was glad to see him go. And then on the back, they try to go back to Haru, but by then they’ve only got, like, three episodes left. And they also want to introduce a thing where it seems like he might be- need to learn to be less dependent on Makoto, because Makoto wants to go into teaching, which means he’s gonna go to school in Tokyo. And Haru still hasn’t decided what he wants to do. So in those three episodes, they set up- so on the third to last episode they set up this thing with Makoto. The second to last episode Rin shows up, takes Haru to Australia- and first of all lucky that Haru even had a fricking passport, because he really has no reason to have one. But, you know, whatever- and then at the end of the episode, Haru decides, ‘Okay, I’m going to change my personality and start caring about the thing I don’t care about now.’ So that in the last episode they can just do the nationals. Which means that they just sped run his whole character arc and came to a conclusion that was completely unnatural, did not suit the character arc that they were given, and basically just had it come off as, ‘they’ve been nagging me and nagging me and nagging me all fucking year, and I cannot handle it anymore, so I’ll just do what they want so they’ll leave me alone.’ That’s basically what it kinda came off as. Is that, he’s not doing what he wants, he’s doing what’ll shut them up. Which would be fine, if that’s what they were framing, but they didn’t. We were supposed to buy that he really had this change of heart, even though, again, it did not suit him, or his character, or his arc up to that point. And that’s why Free! pisses me off. And why I didn’t watch the third season, which, from what I understand, the main conflict is somebody gettin’ pissy at him for something he did in middle school, and they’re in college at this point, so, like, dude, grow up. So I think I may have made the right call on that. 

NH: Yeah.

A: Yeah. But, so, that’s my issue with Free!. And the reason I was gonna play Sims today, if it had been willing to work, was because I made a Sim based on Haru to kind of play out an alternate ending, where he tells them to go fuck themselves and goes on to become an artist. Because he does have other things that he’s good at and is interested in other than swimming. He is a good artist, he can cook. He, like, has other- like in the second episode, they’re doin’ their whole club advertisement, and he gets really, like, amazed, watching the show, the film- their film club is putting on, and he’s just, like fascinated by this costume they made of their town mascot. And I think that him deciding to go to film school just because of that, would have been a better and more natural resolution to his character arc than what they shoved together in the last minute. Just so they could continue having sequels, potentially. 

C: Yeah…

A: ‘Cause that’s the only reason they did it, not because it suits his character, but because they wanted to make more Free!, and Free! is a swimming anime, so they need to be able to do swimming. And they can’t do that if he decides he doesn’t want to swim [competitively] anymore. 

NH: I mean, they could just get a new character who wants to swim. 

A: Yeah, they could focus on Rin, he could be the main character. He wants to go to the Olympics, that’s an interesting thing that they could follow. But, they didn’t. And that’s why- so, there you go, that’s my rant on Free!

NH: That was very- that’s much more subdued a rant then I was promised. 

A: Well, I told you that it was going to be as heated, but less loud. As your rant against Star Wars Old Republic.

NH: I see. 

A: Which I believe it was. I’m also tired, it’s about as heated as it could get. 

C: Yeah. I think we’re all tired today.

A: Yeah.

NH: Yeah.

A: I think- Does anybody have anything else they want to talk about with sports anime, or should we just wrap it up?

NH: Sports anime…

C: I have never in my life enjoyed a sports anime except for Sk8.

NH: I’ve enjoyed YURI!! on Ice. Because, again, it was gay, and I appreciate gay. 

A: Oh, you’ll like the first season of Free!, it’s not openly gay, but it is super gay. Like, um… Oh, yeah, that! Right, I forgot to mention the thing with Makoto, is that they end up livin’ near each other anyway so that Makoto can continue to wake him up. It’s like, why don’t you guys just move in together?

NH: Wait, what? Seriously!

A: Because Haru tends to take baths early in the morning when he can’t swim, because he’s, like, heavily coded as autistic, and, like, he really likes the sensory- That’s why he likes to swim, is ‘cause he likes the sensory experience of being in water.

NH: (crosstalk) Same.

A: So he tends to be in the bath every morning, so Makoto will always come over and get him out of the bath and say ‘we gotta go to school.’ So when they move to Tokyo, they’re going to different schools, but they may as well just move in together if they’re gonna keep doin’ that. Ya know?

NH: Yeah, but that would be-

C: (crosstalk) But that would make sense…

A: Yeah. But, you know. And besides, it is a swimming anime, and you like swimming. You would at least like the first season. You probably wouldn’t like Rin, though. Rin’s kind of an asshole in the first season.

NH: (crosstalk)

A: He has shark teeth though, they’re kinda cool.

NH: He has what? Shark teeth?

A: Shark teeth, yep. His teeth are all very sharp.

NH: I see. Uh, that, hm. Ok.

A: Yeah. But, uh. But Free! is made by Kyoto Animation, which has a kind of track record of being really bad at second seasons, like, their second season of Sound! Euphonium kind of also pissed me off, because they spent the whole of both seasons building up the nationals, and then they didn’t show them performing at the nationals, they just kinda skipped past it.

NH: What!?

A: Yeah. They went there, and then they skipped to the, to them announcing the results.

NH: I see…

A: Yeah. It really made me mad. Compared to those things, Endless Eight is a lovely walk in the park. 

NH: Endless Eight?

A: Yeah, it’s this thing in the second season of Haruhi that makes everybody mad. They just basically played the same episode eight times in a row.

NH: Oh, I see.

A: Yeah. But, yeah. I think that’s probably, let’s see what’s next on the, what the final things are on the itinerary. Ah! Best and worst of the week. Haley! What’s the best TikTok you saw this week? 

NH: I don’t watch TikTok, so I’m afraid I don’t have one.

A: Aw. Alright, what’s the worst one you saw this week, Charlie?

C: Uh, same.

A: You don’t watch ‘em when they come on Tumblr? 

C: No.

A: Well, then we’ll find- try a different one. Then, Haley, what’s the best thing you ate this week?

NH: The best thing I ate this week?

A: Yeah.

NH: Oh, that was last night’s jambalaya.

A: Alright, and, Charlie, what’s the worst thing you ate this week?

C: Bagel. Just a plain bagel. It was good, but it wasn’t the best thing I ate, so.

A: Yeah. Alright, so the next article comin’ up is Haley’s probably incredibly scathing review of Peter Grill

NH: Yes. According to the person who read it for me, it’s scathing, and maybe a little too sarcastic. 

A: Oh, it’s fine.

NH: It’s called- I’m going to just let you know now – It is titled “Male Rape Isn’t Funny: A Review of Peter Grill in the Philosopher’s Time” 

A: Oh, yeah, that’s true.

NH: Which tells you- gives you a good idea of the general tone, I’m very angry for all of it. I rewrote it a few times, trying to find a less angry but still emotionally honest review in me, and I just ended up going back to the first one I wrote, except I added a few paragraphs at the end about Piglette, who is, uh, bad.

A: Yeah. Well, I never tried for, like, a moderate tone, I basically- I usually try to be at least somewhat humorous, so it’s like, find jokes. I mean, I don’t always succeed, but, it’s like, just go for whatever tone you like. Whatever tone works for you is the right tone. Alright, let’s plug some stuff! Charlie, plug something!

C: Oh, Heartstoppers, it’s a webtoon on Webtoons, and they just got a Netflix adaptation. So that’s awesome for them.

A: Oh, what’s that one about?

C: British boys falling in love. 

A: Aw, how cute. 

C: But it’s sweet, and it deals with some heavy shit, so just keep that in mind, but it’s a good- It’s a good one. And I’m proud of the writer. And I’m happy for them.

A: Aw. Haley, your turn.

C: (crosstalk) You should read it’s good. 

A: Yep. Your turn, Haley.

H: Well, I don’t really have anything new to plug. I could plug Oblivion, because that’s what I’m playing, but I think instead, I’m going to recommend that you watch, there’s this little Netflix show that’s about fifty episodes long, an hour per episode. 

A: (crosstalk) Is it called The Untamed?

C: (crosstalk) Called The Untamed.

NH: (laughs) It’s an adaptation of a light novel that I don’t recommend you read. If only because, if you, like me, don’t speak Chinese, you’ll have to go through a fan translation, and the fan translation isn’t ideal. Sorry, the light novel is called The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation. It also has a dong- I’m mispronouncing this like shit, but – donghua adaptation called ‘The Founder of Diabolism’, which is on YouTube for free with english subtitles. That has the first two- it has two seasons up right now, the third season is supposed to be released at some point this year. But The Untamed is good -stop attacking me, I’m trying to talk, you little shit!- Sorry, I was being attacked by a rat.

A: Oh. That’s not good.

NH: It’s about a necromancer and his boyfriend. It’s an exploration of revenge, trauma, and the pressure of societies in which we live, and it’s very good! And you should watch it! I’m plugging it here because I do not plug it in my Peter Grill review, even though I do plug another show. And so I’m going to make up for it by plugging it here, go watch it, it’s great, I love it.

A: Alright. And, I was going to plug a mobile game, but, uh, they can pay me. So if the people who make

(NH and C laughing in bitter capitalist hellscape in the background)

A: Manor Matters, if you want me to plug Manor Matters, pay me. My email is So instead, I’ll plug another Shonen Jump manga that’s fairly recent and very good called Magu-chan: God of Destruction. It’s cute. I like it. You should read it. I want it to have a hundred episodes and get an anime. It’s about a little girl in high school- no, not in high school, she’s in junior high. And she finds a little god of destruction who looks like an octopus, and adopts it as her pet. And then they go around getting people to sign their names into a little BFF book. And it’s “Something of the Destruction God’s Blood Oath”, and it’s incredibly silly and cute, and I adore it with all my heart. And all of you should read it. And, yeah. Alright, plug your plugables!

C: Didn’t we just do that?

NH: Promote!

A: Plug stuff!

NH: Promote your twitch channel!

A: Yes, promote! Promote your promotables! Sorry.

C: Does Haley want to go first? 

NH: Alright! I stream three times a week! Wednesday and Sunday, all day, Saturday afternoon at, no special characters, no capitals. I start, usually, between ten and eleven in the morning on Wednesdays and Sundays. Wednesday’s a bit more iffy, because I do make breakfast on Wednesday as well. I play Sims in the morning, and then I try to play Dragon Age in the afternoon. Saturday is only a Sims stream, because Sims is destroying my life entirely. But, yeah. Wednesday and Sunday, starting at about ten or eleven. Saturday afternoon starting about 1:30, 2.

A: Alright, Charlie, it’s your turn.

C: Yes. And I stream on twitch,, Wednesdays and Sundays, I’m trying to stick to. ‘Cause those are the days The Sister doesn’t have to work, so I can talk in the living room and not worry about volume. But also, I might stream any other day. And then there’s ecpaulstein- no, it’s headtyrantandtoru- no! I! Words! 


C: Yes. That’s on Tumblr, you can come and talk to me about daemons, and, fuckin’ anime, if you want, or whatever. And that’s me! And now it’s Ace’s turn! [note:daemons as in His Dark Materials, not hell]

A: Yep. I stream here on Twitch, usually, I’m scheduled for Tuesday, and then Wednesday after this. And then, but, um, I did not, but- Tuesday kind of depends on Radio Dead Air being on Monday, and Radio Dead Air is actually today, so I will not be streaming tonight. Because whenever Radio Dead Air streams is my regularly scheduled leisure time. But I will be streaming, I also stream Thursdays… well, technically, Friday, from midnight to 6am-ish. I stream LOTRO, for my Late Night LOTRO, usually Haley will join me for part of that, and then I do the rest on my own. And then if you happen to miss that, because you don’t want to be up that late, that’s cool. I put that on YouTube @AceBarretKing, or whatever the YouTube channel is. That’s also where I put the recordings of this, so chances are, you’re already there. And, yeah, I also have my Tumblr, which is the one where I announce my Twitch streams for video games, is rhlotr, the one where I just do general nonsense is booty-uprooter. I also have Twitter, which is @bootyuprooter, and that’s pretty much it. 

NH: I have Tumblr and Twitter, too, it’s the same username, arctickchild. 

A: Yeah. That’s us. 

NH: Yep. Pretty short today. Sorry about that. 

A: Yeah. We’re all very tired. I only slept an hour and a half last night, and I tried to nap and failed miserably, so I’m probably going to try to nap right now. 

NH: I got ten hours of sleep, but that was after having a bit of a crisis, where I spilled coffee all over my desk and computer. 

A: Yeah. And I did sleep very very a lot on Monday and Tuesday. It’s why I didn’t stream Monday, was because I was exhausted. But, yeah.

NH: That’s fair. 

A: So, yeah.

C: And I’m just a generally tired person, so 

A: Yeah. So y’all have a great week! Watch some anime. And, uh, get into that good gay shit. Everybody take care. Buh-bye!

NH: Stay safe! Love you!

A: Love you, bye! (kissing noises)

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