The cringe is real…
And here we have the first episode in this series where I honestly have to just say “…eh.” Which isn’t to say the episode was at all bad. It’s certainly got its shining moments and still manages to be really funny at times. And if you enjoy cringe-worthy things, then hoo boy does this episode have a treat for you. But compared to the rest of the series, it’s the weakest episode, barring maybe episode 5 if your patience for line-waiting is lower than my own.
We do finally get a bit of an answer regarding what in the world is up with Minoa’s dad, but it’s honestly kind of underwhelming, given all that buildup. Actually, a lot of things that were established throughout the series came back, here. Beibei’s in the episodes, albeit very briefly. Though her appearance is a bit of an unimportant coincidence. And it’s also incredibly brief, which was unfortunate. We finally get a little more of an inkling as to who’s actually calling the Student Council’s shots. And that reveal, while small, was equally as underwhelming. Though it’s amusing how blatantly villainy the dude looks. Really, that’s one of the episode’s cardinal sins. Most of these reveals are just not all that impactful, at the end of the day.
What I think may honestly work against the episode the most if simply the lack of the one thing this series has been consistently good at – characters. The bulk of the episodes centers around Minoa. The others aren’t in it as much as usual, so those charming interactions are fewer and farther between. The endearing, lovable characters we’ve come to admire throughout the course of the series are pushed to the background. It’s a Minoa episode. In another series, I’d typically be okay with this. Give each character their spotlight, etcetera. But the thing is that Minoa is essentially an audience surrogate. By herself, there isn’t a terrible lot to be interested in. She’s certainly likable on her own and there’s nothing particularly wrong with her, but she’s definitely at her best when she gets to play off of the others.
Of course, then there’s that final act and… oh dear goodness. The cringe level. It’s over 9000! If you enjoy cringy things, you’re in luck. Because the point when they manage to actually put on their presentation… hoo boy. Of course, the other thing that still comes across is the show’s propensity for anime references. They are plentiful in the episode, despite the lower volume of character interactions. And all of them land. There’s a Gurren Lagann one, in particular, that just took me off guard.
Still, the episode didn’t do a terrible lot to impress unless you enjoy cringe-factor. I’m not really one for cringe-humor (at least not unless there’s a character that acknowledges the cringe factor in-universe), so it really didn’t do a lot for me. Though I did appreciate the references even in that bit. Also, is using the Ending as a scene in the show cheating? I kinna feel like that’s cheating. Well, whatever. The episode didn’t annoy me or anything, so I’d say that for you cringe-lovers, it’s probably delightful Junk Food. Certainly still not up to par with the rest of the series up to this point. But if you’re like me the episode is just Harmless and little else. Not good, not bad, just… there. If you want something perhaps a bit more engaging, there are plenty of other anime out this season that have been consistently up to the task!
Or, if you’re perfectly okay with a little cringe, Anime Gataris Simulcasts on Crunchyroll, Sundays at 10:00am EDT.