Split Screen: Meatball Mania

Hey there Split Screen fans! Thanks for tuning in for another episode of everyone’s favorite semi-regular k-drama/shonen anime watch blog. We’re planning to fast-track our watch schedule over the holidays, so it’s the perfect time to join us! Grab a cup of coffee (or a thermos and a comfy backyard rock), reflect fondly on the most stressful standardized tests you ever had to take, and get ready for some Coffee Prince and My Hero Academia!

(New to Split Screen? Catch up on all the madness here!)

Coffee Prince Episode 2 (up to minute 30)

M: Coffee Prince is so funny!

E: It really is! I am really appreciating that it’s starring characters that are adult ages too? Like, not that this held Boys Over Flowers back exactly, but it does open up the number of things that can happen from the get-go by not having them be stuck in a school.

M: While still maintaining awkward parent dynamics! The best of both worlds. 

E: Exactly. They’re not 100% self-sufficient adults.

M: Well, Eun-chan definitely is, but she happens to live at home. Her mom is the dependent in this relationship. 

E: I do like that she still isn’t super serious though. Like, I feel like characters that are the kid supporting the parent are often understandably mature and serious, I guess, but she’s very excitable.

M: I like that all of the characters have a sense of humor already. It took a long time for Boys Over Flowers to find that, especially for Ji-hoo and Jun-pyo. It’s refreshing.

E: The meatball man.

M: Why was he called that? I never figured it out. 

E: Maybe it’s a pun. That doesn’t translate.

M: I sure hope so. 

E: Anyway, we pick up right where we left off last time-

M: Wink and all. 

E: -with Han-gyul drawing up a contract for Eun-chan to be his fake boyfriend.

M: Contracts are always a good thing. I ship Team Contract on this show. Glad they have this in writing. 

E: It’ll be good fodder for Lawsuit Watch at least. 

M: It’ll be a fun prop for their wedding toasts, honestly. 

E: Really though, it’s relieving that they’re taking the time to put this agreement in some sort of writing. Because it is an uncomfortable thing to ask someone to do. And you gotta set those legal boundaries. $100 per hug. This is also my personal policy.

M: Yikes, what’s my balance with Clickbait Boyfriend at that rate? I should have written this down.

E: Verbal agreements are for chumps.

“Now the name of your first pet and your first car model please”

M: It does make Han-gyul seem a little more mature and together, even though it’s patently ridiculous. He’s probably filling out paperwork so her wages can be taxed and he doesn’t shirk his civic obligations.

E: Too bad he has her wrong citizen number or whatever it is.

M: Yeah, someone else is getting implicated in some tax fraud.

E: Do social security numbers have markers like that? Like, do I have a female social security number? I don’t really like that.

M: I dunno, let’s post ours here and let the readers tell us. 

E: Okay, it’s 5555555555

M: Emma, that’s your phone number. You’re an adult, you should know this. 

E: Oh man, I get those mixed up all the time.

M: All those spam calls from 555-555-5556, am I right?

E: I don’t know, I don’t pick up my phone.

M: Neither does Eun-chan apparently, but we’re not there yet. 

E: Despite psyching us out initially, Eun-chan is halfway decent at haggling. She manages to get a decent chunk of change in advance so they can make a dent on the missing diamond ring. That’s totally just gonna turn up near the end of the story.

M: You know someone is going to use it to propose. Chekhov’s ring. 

E: They’re also using her sister’s college fund, but she doesn’t seem to be doing well in school anyway.

M: She didn’t say what she got on the midterm, right? She just stood there in her mud mask. Maybe she’s like me (humble brag alert) and is embarrassed to share how smart she is. 

E: I thought the mom was saying it in like a “remember what you got on your midterm?” negative kind of way. But you never know.

No Kang-san but still a cute fam overall

M: Emma got a perfect SAT score, so she’s probably the expert here. 

E: Nobody can ever touch my score again because it only goes up to 1600 now.

M: I tell my students about it sometimes and they’re like “damn, can she tutor me?”

E: Unfortunately all SAT knowledge dropped out of my head the minute that test ended. The key is to be really stressed about making it to a terrible high school theater show on time afterwards.

M: Yes! I took mine before the VHSL theatre competition! 

E: See at least that’s better. That’s more legit. I was just going to see a terrible high school theater show and then put up with the horrible nomination process afterwards.

M: I wrote my lines all over the page when I finished each section. Anyway, the sister’s probably dumb. On the show, I mean. 

E: It’s okay to be dumb! Apparently she wants to sing or, at least, her not-boyfriend thinks that she wants to sing, since he was stealing money to pay for her singing classes. Which is what launched this whole situation in the first place.

M: I did really like the mom writing post-it note admonishments to herself. I need those, but instead for very specific NYC restaurants. 

E: Sweeper’s dad needs them to not get back with his ex-girlfriend.

M: Dog Dad’s at least pretending that he did it to hurt her. Whether or not that’s true is anyone’s guess. 

E: I doubt it’s 100% true. He woke up, regretted it, went and mediated in his awesome backyard with his coffee and came up with an excuse.

But not before some NSFW toe touching

M: I’ll need to go back and add that to the coffee total from the first episode, I don’t remember where our tally’s at. (Edit: we’re at four cups for the series so far)

E: It wasn’t actually confirmed to be coffee. But you just have to assume.

M: Like anyone’s drinking tea from a thermos on Coffee Prince

E: And then at the end we actually got to see a little bit of the…successful? first venture of the fake boyfriends. Oh, but not before….drumroll please…..makeover time.

M: I’m so glad we got a man makeover. I’d been missing this. 

E: Even if she ended up in the classic Jun-pyo.

M: Should I get a black suit and white tie for fancy events? 

E: You know what, it’s a good combination. I won’t lie. It’s very classy. 

M: You can spill on it, and no one will know! Just avoid the tie, unless you want to call it a modern art piece.

E: It will also cause a powerful wind to follow you wherever you go.

This one, meanwhile, is called the classic Ji-hoo

M: That might have been my favorite part of the episode. I really like that Han-gyul and Eun-chan are getting along. Not that I don’t enjoy the “they hate each other, now they love each other” dynamic at the heart of so many romances, but it’s fun to watch them gallivant in step around the town. 

E: They are a little snippy with each other still, but it’s definitely not the flower-card-in-your-locker-type situation here.

M: I’d forgotten that F4 used to order hits. 

E: They really came a long way.

M: Is it regressive that I’m excited for the gender farce of Han-choi thinking Eun-chan is a girl and Han-gyul thinking she’s a boy?

E: I was reading a good article on the glut of gender-bending genre manga from the 90s and 2000s a while ago, and it’s interesting, I guess. Some of them took the chance to play with the concept and others just brought it back to a “you’ll grow out of it” lesson to tomboys. I don’t know if we could have a whole conversation, especially this early into the show, about the whole Shakespearean tradition and where this fits in.

M: Let the record show that autocorrect likes Shakespearience over Shakespearean. I like it. Shakespearience as a shorthand for “somebody’s dressed as a boy.”

E: It’s new teen slang. 

M: But this show has already proven to be pretty funny, so I think the hilarity is only going to build. The kissing scene alone!

E: So far it’s managed to push me just to the edge of my cringe capacity, so hopefully it doesn’t go over at any point.

M: It takes itself a lot less seriously than Boys Over Flowers, which is welcome. Part of the joy of that show was that it took itself too seriously, but this is a nice change of pace. 

E: It definitely has better editing too.

A rare sighting of some bigfoot-like cryptids on the town

M: That is a low bar, although those wipe transitions during the makeover were pretty WIndows Movie Maker. 

E: Hey, I like looking at nice ties, so I was chill with it.

M: Do you feel qualified to weigh in on Romance Tracker yet?

E: I don’t know! The relationships are very messy on this show.

M: Do you think Eun-chan will end up with Han-gyul or Han-choi? Take a bold stance. 

E: I mean, Han-gyul is the obvious choice right now. I don’t know how old he is, but Han-choi is maybe a little old for Eun-chan?

M: Yes, over the hill at 31. 

E: Then again, she’s a very mature, capable person. 

M: I probably wouldn’t date a 31 year old

CBB (from the other room): Excuse me?

M: Don’t worry about it!

E: I just want Sweeper to find love.

M: Sweeper did not appear to be home while Han-choi was having revenge sex. 

E: Sweeper is not about that life.

M: I wish I remembered his real name. He’s so good. Maybe Eun-chan can end up with Sweeper as her life partner. No romance at all.

E: Best ending.

My Hero Academia S3E18: “RUSH!”

M: Let’s cut to the chase: it’s so dumb that they all passed. Come on. 

E: First round though. 

M: I’m a little annoyed they weren’t clearer that there were going to be more rounds. I only noticed him say the word “round” at all this week. 

E: I sympathize with you, because I remember seeing the post-credits scene and just being like “no, there can’t be more of this exam.” So I didn’t even notice on my first watch (until the very end of this episode) that it wasn’t over.

M: I’m glad I get more hubby and wife action from the stands with Aizawa and Joke, I guess? But a sneaky second round is pretty unfair to some of the contenders. Momo must be pissed. Chug some olive oil, sister. 

E: She was eating. Something.

M: Bao, I think. Something pillowy. 

E: So they let you catch your breath at least. Not like real heroes! Real heroes go 24/7!

M: They do not seem to. 

E: Stain was right, no breaks for heroes. No benefits. You get injured, that’s just your sacred duty.

Me and Madelyn realizing this was only phase one

M: Have the heroes considered unionizing?

E: Stain would be anti-hero union, you know it’s true. Anyway, who knows how the pro-hero structure works.

M: They could never unionize. There’s always ten more heroes who are dying to have their job. They should be grateful. So many people want to work in this industry. It’s not even really work. Right, Emma?

E: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I’m so glad I avoided that!

M: We’ll just take away their hero name, give it to someone else, and hire them as a contractor!

E: Let’s talk about Mr. Meatball instead.

M: What a tremendous bit of synergy. How unlikely that meatballs were mentioned in not just one but two of our shows!

E: And in both cases, the meatball turned out to be people.

M: Mister Meatball…is people!

E: Anyway, I’m so glad that they took down Mr. Meatball in this round. He deserves to fail.

M: It’s just Meatball. Mr. Meatball is his father. 

E: But it is a bit obnoxious of this guy to decide that he knows what a real hero looks like, and he’ll serve as an unofficial judge of that instead of focusing on being a good hero himself. He’s really just non-murdering Stain with a less compelling speech.

M: Here’s what you’ve forgotten: Stain was dope. 

E: And Meatball boy is a worse wannabe that the lizard from the League of Villains.Nobody’s going to be selling Mr. Meatball merch any time soon. You know, on that note, we didn’t really touch on it in the episode we saw the Stain merch, but what a horrible twisting of Stain’s ideals. Corporations making money off of his image.

I had to track down this image

M: Capitalism does not keep its ideals, swe swe. 


M: Is that not the lyric?

E: I thought it was “with me,” with a funny accent on the “me”

M: No it’s not. I thought it was in Japanese. 

E: It has the subtitles at the bottom. It is definitely not “swe swe” though. (EDITOR EMMA’S NOTE: It’s “sorezore” in case anyone was wondering with the “sore” and “zore” blended together to make it all two syllables. Apparently the whole first line translates to “I keep my ideals alive when destiny calls!” The more you know.)

M: It doesn’t always!

E: Anyway, Kaminari elecutes flesh with the power of friendship. Probably smelled awful and also crashed our wifi.

M: Spectrum internet was not ready for toasted fleshballs. 

E: And then we get the duo we never knew we needed in Iida and Aoyama. Where Madelyn got a whole one prediction right! 

M: Aoyama was hiding! I’m brilliant! No, I predicted some people would pass, and lo and behold, those people did!

E: That doesn’t count when you were like “no way Deku passes”

M: We’ll see. I didn’t realize this was only the first round. No way he passes the second round!

E: You should have predicted a second round. Weak sauce.

M: Everyone was already grumbling about how one hundred licenses was super low. How would I predict that? Also, do you think fleshman eats his meatballs in weak sauce? Now you feel bad for mocking me. Swe swe. 

E: Aoyama gets his second big hero moment of the season. Honestly he’s just the member of class A with the best track record so far.

M: He passed his final, saved people’s lives at camp, and now he’s single-handedly responsible for about half the class passing. Kind of disappointed we didn’t have any angsty “tag me so you can pass, because there’s only one slot left” action, but maybe next round. 

E: It’s a somewhat similar vibe (even if it pans out differently) with Aoyama’s original intention to make himself a target so Iida can pick off the distracted folk.

M: Yeah, but nobody expected Aoyama to pass. Unless I predicted that he would, in which case, I did. 

E: I don’t remember so I’ll give it to you.

Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”

M: Poor dude must be hurling chunks after that sparkly display. 

E: Twinkling, twinking chunks. Of meatball.

M: Where’s the episode where I get to see them all as kids? I feel like that’s the end-credit sequence that I deserve. 

E: We’ve seen a number of them as small children briefly.

M: I’d like to see the pre-pubescent tail. Or baby birb. 

E: Birb Boys.

M: Why is that capitalized? It sounds like a gang or a band. 

E: Yes.

M: Moving on to Caffeine Watch, I might give the edge to My Hero

E: It was titled RUSH! and that is how I feel after a few too many cups of coffee.

M: Like you’re a fleshball expanding into human form? Because that’s how I feel after a single sip.

E: Yeah, that’s definitely what I’ll say now when people ask me how my coffee is. It makes me feel like a fleshball expanding into human form, but could I get some cream?

M: Good water cooler conversation for the office! Coffee Prince had a chiller vibe this time. Not quite as manic as the seven dates in a row. 

E: Until the woman started beating him with her purse. That was pretty caffeinated.

Madelyn after one sip of caffeine

M: I can’t argue with that. 

E: Are you ready for the title?

M: Heck yeah!

E: This one….is called….”Rescue Exercises.”

M: That’s so disappointing. 

E: Don’t worry, the titles will remain underwhelming.

M: Okay, prediction one: we do start the exercises next time. I thought there was a possibility we’d have an “everyone chills in the waiting room” episode where they all grumble to each other and Bakugo says something mean and makes the girls cry. But we also probably won’t finish this until…two more episodes from now? So three episodes total?

E: I know some fans would scream “filler!” if there was an episode like that, but really the show could use more normal teenage hijinks plus Quirks.

M: This whole arc is kinda filler though, no?

E: Sort of? Like I understand the connection to the themes and necessity to the overarching plot, it just goes on for a touch too long.

M: Prediction two: I’m not sure if the rescuees are going to be robots or people. How do you get that gig? 

E: That’s the acting business for ya.

M: It’s tough out there, but that’s showbiz folks. So yeah, there are going to be some actors in some crazy gore make-up. Just intense stuff. 


M: Prediction three: I’m looking forward to hearing how this one will be scored. That hasn’t been explained yet and I think it will probably be dumb. Maybe it’ll be by number of people saved? Or maybe, most likely, they won’t explain it to us at all until the end, and it’ll look like UA did really well, but actually they broke some red tape and failed. 


M: Prediction four: there is going to be some major infighting among the different school groups. Bakugo is going to get into some SCRAPS with the other contenders


M: Prediction five: Only Invisible Girl will pass. No one will notice. 


Hey, Emma here! Thanks for sticking with Split Screen. We’ve got a decent backlog now, so you should be able to expect weekly updates from now on. Or…at least for the next three weeks.

Speaking of next time! Fake boyfriends continue to bond as Han-gyul begins to realize just how much Eun-chan does in a day and we meet the actors playing victim for our aspiring heroes!

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