Merc Storia: Mukiryoku Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo stars Yuu, the son of a man who heals monsters (makes them less nasty) and is gone most of the time. One time when he returns he brings Yuu a jar of liquid, and one day a cute little fairy thing called Merc pops out of it. The rest is fairly straightforward–Yuu has to use his healing powers for the first time to protect a monster from attacking the village. And he and Merc set out on a journey, though for what reason I forget, accompanied by a fluffy friendly little monster thing that’s very fond of Yuu, though Yuu actually has a fear of monsters.
Another voyage of discovery for a young hero tale, maybe cuter than most. Not great, not bad. Yuu is an inoffensive lad who seems to take his healing powers seriously and doesn’t brag about it, like some young heroes. The animation is adequate, some nice light shows. Argh, I have nothing more to say about it. Sorry.
So I’ll move on and see how the episode two shows I want to watch are faring. For Akanesasu Shoujo, I was worried that the show was going to be all about Asuka and the other Asuka, stuck in our world, manage to hide the latter, bond, and make for a boring series. I was wrong. This time around, after a misleading opening bit with some other girls, Nana gets a new frequency number from a “fortune teller” (actually that possibly evil girl from last episode), the get whisked off to 696.9, which turns out to be one where all girls have to get married when they’re 17. Nana finds herself stuck with this world’s set of girls, freaks out, etc, while our set of girls learn what’s going on from the other Asuka, who just happens to be there. It also allows Nana to blow up in front of her otherworld parents about her second father, something she’d like to do in her own world.
But just to make the episode fun, Nana is to be married to a handsome celebrity heartthrob who actually seems to like her … maybe this world isn’t so bad after all! … So it looks like every girl in the batch is going to get a world to get confused by, and while I’m relieved that it won’t simply be Asuka/Seriouska’s story, I’m worried that the show will get too insipid with its now-obvious “reveal each girl’s problems and sort of fix them” structure. But the surprise later on leaves me optimistic.
I’m even more optimistic after episode 3, a great load of nutty fun. While the girls figure out what to do, Nana decides she doesn’t want to get married because her name will sound like “Choco-banana.” But the marriage enforcement department comes in, looking like special forces, and drag her off. There’s a nice scene between her and her second father, who tries to make amends by returning something she threw away, which leads to memories of her original father, and the concept of crystals separating darkness from brightness, or something, it’s ridiculous. So Nana’s head’s on straight. Meanwhile the other girls get another Asuseriouska infodump about bunnies (bad), clutters (worse), and “King of Twilight” (world-destroying bad), we learn that the wedding’s been pushed up, and Asuka meets another herself, who is shocked in an Asuka way.
Which leads us to a classic story bit, the rush to break up a wedding. It starts in the usual way, switching from the vows to the pandemonium outside, back and forth. Nana does the right thing, “I refuse to get married!” and all hell breaks loose. Aseriouska breaks in, and we discover an interesting fact about the groom. Now we got a superpower-battle in that yellow universe, and just when it looks like it can’t get any weirder, Nana finds the power to transform, more lightshows (the day-by-day events animation isn’t very good, but the battles are excellent), etc. What makes me so happy about this episode is that they dealt with the personal issues Nana’s experiencing, as expected, but the story went insane doing it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch this series, but if they keep up this balance then I’m on board.
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 2 is more development. He swaps names with Veldora and becomes Rimuru, he “eats” Veldora and wanders around the cave for way too long a time acquiring more powers until he finds a door, which conveniently opens when some adventurers we’ll probably get to know later come in. After s switch to some humans talking politics we switch back and Rimuru encounters a bunch of terrified goblins and finds himself helping them out against a pack of direwolves. Really, this all took way too long–we didn’t even get to the battle. Maybe next episode things will pick up.
Things pick up in episode 3, though it still dallies a bit, like in the name-giving section. And I’m getting an idea that this is going to be a long series.Rimuru hangs out with the goblins, defeats and makes peace with the wolves, and sets out to find the dwarves, which sounds like a busy episode but completely left out of this episode were the political angles they teased us with last time, and the adventurers. Mostly it’s because the show, while generous with the infodumps, still has Rimuru learn everything through experience, such as the business with running low on magicules. And then he has to respond and experiment with every new thing. While it’s kind of fun to see him gain all these new powers, I’d like to move forward with the plot a little more. Is he going to hang out with the goblins and wolves the whole time?