Abbreviated new shows Fall 2016 3

October 18, 2016 Leave a comment
Girlish Number starts with a shot of subway stairs.

Girlish Number starts with a shot of subway stairs.

I went into Girlish Number expecting cute girls doing seiyuu things, but was taken aback. We start at an anime live event where the girls say sparkling things into the microphones and snarky things to each other, and we meet newbie Chitose, whose been getting bit parts for a year and has a bit of a half-assed attitude toward it all, beginning to realize, as almost everyone says this episode, that there’s something wrong with the industry. The head snarkers is an actress who thinks she’s above it all and whose name I didn’t catch, and, er, Momoka, a young blond thing who hasn’t learned how not to be insulting and really doesn’t care. Chitose comes to like her, for now. Anyway, Chitose’s picked pretty much at random to star in a series, and whatever qualms she has is overcome by greed and ego, Gahahaha!

She doesn't really mean it.

She doesn’t really mean it.

It’s a good first episode. We watch as Chitose watches and hears all these veterans say cynical things and wonders what her job as seiyuu really means anymore. Is it to do voices, to wear skimpy, frilly costumes and sing for fanboys? At the same time, she is a little lazy and selfish, led by the same base desires everyone has, which makes her more entertaining to watch than a “happier” show could give us. Don’t know if I want to put up with all the bitchy rivalries the show is promising us, but hopefully they’ll even things out somehow. A definite maybe.

Drifters … not in the mood, so no.
Lostorage incited WIXOSS–I watched the first two seasons and the whole thing just got messier, in spite of how good it sometimes looked, so going to skip this new season.
Haikyuu!! Karasuno Koukou VS Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou … Didn’t watch the first two seasons, so it may be sacrilege, but I’m going to skip this one too.
Ajin 2, never watched 1, so no.

ClassicLoids begins with gyoza being made and the 9th Symphony.

ClassicLoids begins with gyoza being made and the 9th Symphony.

ClassicLoids … Why not? … So after a very confusing opening sequence with burnt gyoza and other things, we meet Kanae, a schoolgirl and apparent owner of a lovely old mansion with lots of cool things in it, but she can’t pay the bills so, to her immense regret, she’s going to tear it down, in spite of the two freeloaders living there, Beethoven and Mozart. Then, before the wrecking ball can strike, a series of events occurs involving the mansion’s old organ and more ruined gyoza, and suddenly Beethoven has superpowers, and, er Kanae has a nice experience and the wreckers go away.

Beethoven conducts while Mozart-bot (pink) dances with a wrecking ball.

Beethoven conducts while Mozart-bot (pink) dances with a wrecking ball.

I would love to like this show more. It’s got composers with superpowers! But much of it is a mess. Beethes and Mothes are more annoying than anything, and Kanae’s understandable exasperation with them makes HER annoying (well, she gives off unfriendly vibes anyway. Maybe it’s the situation). Then there’s that other guy. Yeah, the super-Beethoven bit was nice, even though the aftermath was unexplained (are the wreckers going to try again?), and I like how Bach, in his brief appearance, was shown to be a complete badass. But the reality of the situation doesn’t mesh well with the surreal moments. Don’t know if I’ll keep watching.

There's a cherry blossom petal there somewhere.

There’s a cherry blossom petal there somewhere.

I was going to skip Long Riders! but someone said they thought I’d like it, with all the cute girls and all. So I watched Ami, college freshman, though she could be in high school for all it matters, wondering what club to join when she sees a girl ride a cute little folding bike, and Ami falls in love, with the bike, not the girl. Her friend Aoi shows her bike shops, she finds a cute bike, and then nearly kills herself from exhaustion on her first ride, whereupon she meets two new friends, and so on … Ami reminds me of Yui from K-ON!, with her bike as Gitah. Aoi would be Mio, then. Don’t know about the other girls.

Ami hits the wall.

Ami hits the wall.

Pretty boring, and a little sloppy. Ami is set up as a klutz so you figure she’ll fall off a lot, but she doesn’t. Don’t know why they decided to give her that trait if they’re not going to use it. Her sudden desire to ride bikes was clumsily dealt with–she’s always wanted to, but … , no, that bit wasn’t set up well at all. Neither was her sudden and deep passion for the sport. Meanwhile, Aoi plays the straight man and gives advice and is a little dull. The future friends don’t have much personality either. Finally, the pacing felt draggy and lazy. Not convinced by this episode at all.

Boodivores … not in the mood for vampires, sorry.
3-Gatsu no Lion … Shogi? No. Even if it’s a shaft show.

I'm sure they'll explain the opening to Occultic;Nine one day.

I’m sure they’ll explain the opening to Occultic;Nine one day.

Wasn’t expecting much from Occultic;Nine and almost didn’t watch it (for those of you who say it’s the same company that did Steins;Gate, I’ll remind you that it’s also the came company that did Chaos;Head). Anyway, we start, er, oh, yeah, an underwater motiv, leading to a series of fast quick-cutting scenes introducing us to the nine people of the title, but mostly Gamon, NEET para or anti-parapsychology-addled NEET and his crazy friend Ryouka, I think (the nicknames fly so fast between these two I’m not sure what to call them). All nine of them either investigate or are involved with the supernatural, and few of them have met yet, though Miyuu the psychic meets Gamon before the episode ends, and he also meets a corpse of someone just about everyone talks about in the episode more than once.

Gamon turns on the charm.

Gamon turns on the charm.

Hell of a lot of fun if you can keep up. It jumps around from scene to scene and camera angle to camera angle that there’s barely any opportunity to read the subtitles. Plus, the story, the connections between all these people, are given quick little dollops that I’m sure will add up to something if I manage to keep track of everything, but I wind up trying to make connections anyway (did that scalp that Aria found in her mailbox from the dead guy? Probably, but why?). Even I don’t, it’s still fun. The characters are all interesting, even if Gamon/Ryoka get a little overwhelming. I also like how the strange stuff is handled, like Ryoka’s ray-gun and Aria’s ghost-buddy. It’s not about discovering spirits or bizarre alien tech–it’s already there, dancing around the characters. Will definitely TRY to see more of this.

Sengoku Choujuu Giga … tempting, but no.
Udon no Kuni no iniro Kemari … The setting is tempting, but I don’t want to watch a guy meeting cute kid story.
Fune wo Amu … noitaminA show, slice of life, any other season, yes, but not this season.

So there you have it. I hope that by the winter season I’ll have more time to watch and write, and I’ll try to add a post or two over the next three months,but very often. Sorry.

Abbreviated new shows Fall 2016 2

October 11, 2016 2 comments

The last installment had me considering a lot of shows and saying “no” a lot. This time we’ll begin with …

Natsume Yuujinchou looks good as usual.

Natsume Yuujinchou looks good as usual.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go … YES! YES! YES! Instant approval! I will watch this series no matter what! After some usual re-intro scenes and a bit of mystery, Natsume meets a girl in a pot who starts demanding her treasure back. Reika, naturally, stole it. Turns out to be a doll. Natsume finds it, discarded and dirty, and the pot-girl rejects it and gets threatening. But thanks to flashbacks brought to him by another youkai who met Reika long ago, he discovers that pot-girl actually stole it first. Nonetheless, she gets it back, and everyone is happy. This brief synopsis does not do the episode justice.

Natsume!  Nyanko-Sensei!  Welcome back!  Great to see you!

Natsume! Nyanko-Sensei! Welcome back! Great to see you!

Just like Random Curiosity, I was a little worried that this fifth series of the franchise might not have anything more to say, but episode one is great. It works in Reika’s loneliness and need for love subtly with her leaving the now-unwanted doll for someone who can take care of it (unlike her, though the story doesn’t say it out loud), and mentions a man she had a child out of wedlock with. This season might give Reika, and Natsume’s curiosity about her, more time, and it’s a good angle to take. Though Reika is an important character, and actually appears from time to time, we know very little about her. As for the rest of the episode, it has the same look and feel, even some of the same music as before, and Nyanko-Sensei is in fine form. Happy that the show is back!

Stella no Mahou has a pretty opening image, too.

Stella no Mahou has a pretty opening image, too.

Then I doubled back and found Stella no Mahou, because it looks light and silly enough to get me through a season. And that’s how it turned out. Tamaki is out of the country and joining a high school in town, one that is big on clubs. She doesn’t really know what she wants to do, though. She’s tempted by the tea ceremony club, her friend Yumi joins the illustration club … Meanwhile girls at a doujin game club have set up a booth and are warming up their expected cute-odd traits for the new girls. Tama and Yumi check out their game, leave, and Tama returns to join, meeting the other members. All pretty much as expected.

Perhaps not the best way to lure in new club members.

Perhaps not the best way to lure in new club members.

It’s more subdued than I expected, more nice. Not so crazy. In fact, a little dull. The only character that seems to display any interesting emotions at all this episode is Shiina, the programmer, and even that’s in a monotone. I’m a little intrigued with the setup. They want to make a new game this year but the girl who inspired, organized, and led them last year has graduated, and they’re rudderless. Also, I like shows where they make things, so there’s that. And I wonder how Tama’s completely different art style will fit into a club where they make games called “Tearmint Tearstars.” Probably not enough to keep watching, however.

Chidora's hair whipping through a blood-red moon.  The actual show isn't nearly as dramatic.

Chidora’s hair whipping through a blood-red moon. The actual show isn’t nearly as dramatic.

Another earlier show, Nobunaga no Shinobi, where a girl named Chidora swears she will become a servant of you-know-who, because she saved her once. She says goodbye to her family, whom she may have to kill later depending on her orders, and is accompanied by her would-be boyfriend, Sukezo, and they join the Nobunaga team.

Chidori re-introduces her to Oda Nobunaga.

Chidori re-introduces her to Oda Nobunaga.

Five minute show, or thereabouts, and a long OP. The gags are okay–I like the kill you while you poop bit. Chidora is cute. I learned a bit about shinobi. In my “Nothing too deep” mindset for this season this might work.

Moving on, Nanbaka‘s promo-image hurts my head to look at, so no … Soushin Shoujo Matoi, started it. Didn’t look so great, so stopped it.

You don't need to tell us what we're going to watch, you know.

You don’t need to tell us what we’re going to watch, you know.

Hibike! Euphonium has a new season, and it looks heavy duty. We start with the triumphant victory at the regionals and things go downhill from there; I suppose they couldn’t go up. Everyone buckles down for the next competition and we’re sort of introduced to Mizore, an oboe player who’s friends with Reina, though you’d think the show would have mentioned that last season, or I forgot. Since Mizore’s even more laconic than Reina I don’t know what we’re going to get out of her, well, in the second half, we do, as we see her getting sick over the sound of a flute player, Nozomi, one of last year’s quitters who desperately wants back in. Everyone involved in that spat is against it, but she seems okay to Kumiko, and so the adolescent dramas begin …

One episode in and our heroines already look worried.

One episode in and our heroines already look worried.

Wow, a double-length episode of this stuff was nearly too much for me. KyoAni’s attention to detail means subtle moments go by that you’ll miss if you blink. Also, we have remember who all these people are again, and I was getting some of them mixed up. And I’ve forgotten some of the situations from last year. All this makes me wonder if the new season, in my different situation, would get the justice it deserves if I try to write about it, and to make it clear, this show deserves consideration. The episode was excellent, more of the same, tight editing and story with the usual drop-dead gorgeous KyoAni art and animation. I suppose I don’t need to tell you that.

Moving on, Bungou Stray Dogs new season, which I would normally watch, but not this season, sorry, no. Brave Witches–I didn’t even watch Strike Witches, so no … Yuri!!! on ICE, er, no …

Shh!  Kokona's taking a test.

Shh! Kokona’s taking a test.

Why not Flip Flappers, you say? Okay … What we got is a orange haired girl named Papika, with super powers, or at least a flying surfboard, running off for reasons unknown, and then we switch to normal middle schooler named Kokona, having trouble deciding where to go to high school. For reasons unknown (there are lot of reasons unknown in this episode) she walks into a part of a forest where people don’t go, where Papika spots her and drags her off to the land of “Pure Illusion,” with sweet tasting snow and giant white heaps that nearly crush them before they roll into the sea, taking Kokona’s glasses, and Papika, along with them, until it’s transformation time for Kokona! Later they go back to reality only to be captured by robots.

This is all too much for Kokona, but Papika doesn't seem to mind it.

This is all too much for Kokona, but Papika doesn’t seem to mind it.

The early scenes, with Kokona going about her routine while Papika spies on her, are charming and funny. It’s uses a lot of color and turns it off for extra effect. But when they go through the rabbit hole and reach Pure Illusion it loses part of its fun. You begin to worry about poor Kokona, not so much about Papika, who perhaps is too stupid to get worried. And the wonders of Pure Illusion get boring after a while; you want them to get to the point. But through it all it’s great to look at, graceful and fluid. A good start, could have been a great one, but good enough that I’ll keep it in mind for the future.

Keijo!!!!!!!!, about girls wrestling with their boobs and butts, no … All out!!, I tend not to watch sports anime, so no … Watashi ga Motete Dou Sunda, male harem show, no … TO BE CONTINUED …

Abbreviated new shows fall 2016 1

October 4, 2016 Leave a comment

With my schedule being what it is I don’t have the time to look at as many new shows, let alone follow them. so I’m afraid that this season I will be a lot more picky about what I’ll watch and skip shows I would normally take a look at. Sorry about that. As usual I’ll follow with the order given on the Random Curiosity preview page, and I’ll start with the first coherent image from each episode one. ┬áHere we go …

I got bogged down in the first season of Bubuki Buranki, so I’ll skip this new one.

Shuumatsu no Izetta starts with little floaty things that will be important later.

Shuumatsu no Izetta starts with little floaty things that will be important later.

Which takes us to Shuumatsu no Izetta, where we see a girl named Fine chasing around the woods with her dog until she discovers floating glowing things which leads to a redhead floating there. Jump to 1939 and Germania invading everybody, and threatening the tiny country of Eylstadt (Austria, or part of it) where Fine is princess. She’s on a train to a neutral country (Switzerland) to meet with a rep from Britannica (you know) to agree to marry their prince if Britannica helps out Eylstadt in the war. Oh, Germania soldiers and some sinister officers are chasing them around in a train for a while. She’s captured eventually, and, wouldn’t you know it, winds up on the same plane as the top secret thingy where guess who is kept in cold storage. It’s a happy meeting, things blow up, and so WW Whatever gets a little crazier.

Hell of a way to meet an old friend.

Hell of a way to meet an old friend.

Not bad, a little darker than the promo picture with the redhead floating on a bazooka would suggest. Fine has two subjects watching over her, they act like they’re going to be regulars, but they’re both killed. Fine reminded me of Chiko from Daughter of Twenty Faces, brave and resourceful. Too soon to tell about the witch yet. There’s a hint of yuri about between the two girls as well. On the other hand, the whole rewriting of WWII is simplistic and you can be sure, as dark as the show might get, that the atrocities of that war will mostly be left out. They’re just using the war as a framework to tell their story. Also, I didn’t care for how the show ogled Fine in the shower. So some good and bad. But in my current state I won’t watch any more.

It's always old in the Working world.

It’s always cold in the Working! world.

Working! was okay, Working!! was excellent, didn’t finish the third one, and now we got WWW.Working!, based on the webcomic. We meet Daisuke, the new kid at Wagnaria, where he works because his dad went bankrupt (Tou otousan!, or something like that). He spends the rest of the episode meeting the rest of the staff, all of them weird, especially the girls, and watching them interact while finding a niche for himself. In other words it’s just like the previous Working(!!!) but with different weird characters.

All Wagnarias are the same, apparently.

All Wagnarias are the same, apparently.

It’s off to a good start. One thing the first three seasons had trouble doing was finding a comic rhythm, but when it found it the series was terrific. This new series has the comic framework already in place and so the obligatory introduction episode avoided the problems such episodes usually have. The new characters all have potential for fun. My favorites at the moment are Miyakoshi and Sayura. I’m a little concerned about Daisuke. He’s too normal right now and his family are more annoying than funny–I miss the Takanashi sisters already, but that’s about the only thing I missed this episode, well, apart from Popura, of course. I may have to keep this one.

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku … a dark take on magical girls. I can’t deal with anything heavy this season, so no. … VIVid Strike is another take on a franchise I never watched in the first place, so no. Never got far with Uta no Prince-sama, so not going to watch this new one … Not interested in wrestling, so going to skip Tiger Mask W. Never watched the first Gundam Orphans, so no …

Those colors, this is Show by Rock all right.

Those colors, this is Show by Rock all right.

Let’s look at Show by Rock!!#. I was one of those strange people who liked the first season, not that I’d put it on any list. What will they do for an encore? Well, we start with our newest villain, the Queen of Darkness, as she and her armada launch a “black hole Canon” beam at Planet Sound, and everything blows up. It looks bad, so some folks go back in time to stave off the attack, leading us to Plasmagica, minus Cyan, Criticrista, and those Key guys bickering(and thus reintroducing themselves) about a big concert. Then they announce an earlier, bigger concert, everyone goes off to play, but are interrupted by an evil girls group, and it looks bad until the future group actually called Ninjinriot, interrupt the interruption. Oh, Cyan, back in reality, tries to write a song but an armored suit enters her bedroom and carries her off, hopefully to Midi City.

A look at all the characters that matter except Cyan.

A look at all the characters that matter except Cyan.

Yeah, the show never cared much about a coherent story, that and the nuttiness they use to replace it are one of the things I liked about the original. I think this episode made a misstep in not showing us Cyan until nearly the end, since I for one was waiting for her to appear. Meanwhile, everyone else in the cast goes through their motions until she does, which isn’t a bad thing, though I get a little tired of all the Shingan Crimsonz members having to deliver a line at once, entertaining as some of then are. Not sure if I want to keep watching this with my schedule and all, but since there’s no significant drop in quality I’ll keep it in mind.

What’s next … Touken Ranbu–I think I’ve seen people play that game on Niconico, but no … Idol Memories–no … 12-Sai. Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki, didn’t watch the first season, so no … Stella no Mahou, maybe later … Trickster looks interesting but heavy and I want silliness for the time being, so no … Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume–no. TO BE CONTINUED …

Finales: Delta(?), Kuromukuro

October 1, 2016 Leave a comment
A bit too quickly, I think.

A bit too quickly, I think.

Now, ANN says they have 27 episode titles but says the number of episodes is 26, while MyAnimeList says 26 and AniDB says it’s finished. Well, the ending of Macross Delta is a little abrupt, but apart from diplomatic negotiations with Windemere there’s nothing more to be done.

delta26-2

And it sure as hell felt like a final episode, Macross-style. They waste no time. The battle starts in the first couple minutes and it looks great. Believing there would be another episode, I was wondering how long the offensive would last until the bad guys get the upper hand, but that happens quickly too, with Roid and Heinz getting Mikumo to sing the star song (a melancholy variation on “Do You Remember Love,” while I ponder the idea of stars: is Mikumo a star, like an idol, or is she part of Walkure, an idol group? Did she come to think that she wasn’t suited for the former? Dunno if the show wanted to use that metaphor, but it popped in my head. Anyway, it freezes everyone up and Roid then announces that they will be part of a single galactic mind, like the Vajra. This doesn’t go over well, but everyone’s trapped and can’t get out. So the show has to get a little nutty, not that it wasn’t before.

delta26-3

We got Hayate, Freyja, and Mirage close enough to talk but fading away, in that weird space everyone’s in. I guess the thought of fading away was too much for Hayate, so he ups and confesses to Freyja. This prompts Mirage to confess to Hayate, whereupon Freya is shamed enough that she confesses to Hayate too, and we have the sort-of satisfactory conclusion to the love triangle. Somehow, it forces Freyja out of the hive-mind, she pulls the two other corners out, while Heinz sings his old notes and Mikumo also changes her tune, so to speak. Soon everyone’s free. Time to turn on Roid. There’s no “The (insert opponent here) are not our enemies,” line, but that’s what happens. After that it’s classic Macross, aerial battles, rescues, bad guys redeemed, a final bit of plot as Keith stabs Roid and both blow up, and songs, songs, songs!

delta26-4

Which is great. This latest Macross installment hasn’t been the best. At times, even during the galaxy-wide story, it felt … small, like the concerns of a handful of people rather than the fate of thousands of planets and their inhabitants. Maybe it’s because Windemere felt like a small, backwards planet with a primitive class structure and a lot of cold pomp. No sympathy for them. But the final episode felt big. The battles were beautifully done and great to look at. It had silly moments, like breaking out of the hive-mind, but Macross is kind of silly to begin with, that’s one reason why we like it. Glad to see the show ending on a high note, if it’s indeed over.

Freyja sums up the Macross franchise nicely.

Freyja sums up the Macross franchise nicely.

 

What the hell was this all about?

What the hell was this all about?

Kuromukuro‘s big fight was two episodes ago, and then post-war reality set in. The UN reestablished its dominance, which meant everyone was a threat, and so no one was having any fun. So for the finale Kennosuke decides to join Zeru to help him fight for HIS planet. Least he could do. They spend most of the episode escaping, while others try to stop them and still others try to join them. Yukina is in the latter group, of course. It’s not the best sequence in the series; I spent too much time wondering what was going on, and why the hell were they doing this and that. What the hell was that staged reporter confrontation about? Why did Tom try to stop them (in that monster mecha, again fairly easily repulsed) then gloat about how he actually disobeyed orders? The trouble is they had two covert missions going on at the same time … One thing I was sure about was that Hiromi was right: the security in that place WAS pretty lousy.

kuromukuro26-2

As muddled as the fighting was, the motivations of the main characters remained clear. Yukina was determined to go with Kennosuke; she understands his sense of loyalty but has needs and opinions of her own, and finally he accepted them. Too bad she missed the ride … The other high school kids remained true to their natures. Everyone’s characters were strong enough by now that we understood what they were doing, even if I didn’t quite get how they were getting about it. So Kennosuke, Muetta, and Zeru manage to make the leap, then WE leap five years, helluva five years, too. Fully functioning spaceport, UN fleets heading off to join the fight on Zeru’s planet. How did they manage that in such a short time? It took about that long to build the Toyama shinkasen station … No matter, we get a “where are they now?” montage, with Yukina heading off to fight (with Sophie and Sebastian, happy to say), but lawfully this time. The best way to handle it, I think.

Left behind, but only for five years.

Left behind, but only for five years.

And so ends the latest PA Works show, a step forward after Charlotte and that other thing, but nowhere near the level of Shirobako or Hanasaku Iroha, no shame in that. I tend to watch PA Works shows no matter what, apart from Haruchika, so I probably would have watched this anyway, but for me there was the extra thrill of the story taking place in and around where I live. I still remember the glee I felt when the mecha started fighting just outside Toyama City hall, and when one fell on the NHK building. “Hey! I walk around there a lot!” And am still a little disappointed that they didn’t smash up some local buildings I dislike. At least they left my favorite bar alone. And the station. And the new glass museum. I haven’t been there yet. I could go on. I think PA Works wanted to tip its hat to the place it calls home, so they made everything look great. I thank them for that, and hope there’s a sequel so they can smash up some more places, like the CiC building. Never cared for that place apart from the Saizeria on the fourth floor, and the Hyakkuen in the basement … Sorry.

NO!  Not the Toyama Chitetsu Light Rail!  Bastards!

NO! Not the Toyama Chitetsu Light Rail! Bastards!

Categories: Kuromukuro, Macross Delta

Kuromukuro 24-5, Delta 25, bye-bye Sousei

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

kuromukuro24-1
Kuromukuro 24 has the big battle, but it felt rather small. I said last time that I wondered what the rest of the world was doing while the Efidolg was busy getting ready to upload the hinge stone. Maybe they haven’t been checking out their answering machine because this battle was between all the regulars with some extra soldiers thrown in. You knew the battle would go well when these soldiers aren’t treated like cannon fodder but actually deliver timely shots that save GAUS pilots’ butts, and so the whole thing is a success. No one had to make a noble sacrifice and die honorably, though just about every character made such a declaration at one point or another in the episode. Well, apart from Kennosuke and Yukina, who trusted their lives to each other, a nice moment made silly by his marriage offer, which, of course, everyone hears. In fact, they gain a life, since Sebastian returns (at just the right time to bail out Sophie–this battle has a few too many “in the nick of time” moments).

Well, it LOOKS formidable, but ...

Well, it LOOKS formidable, but …

Apart from those moments it’s a pretty good battle, maybe for me because I didn’t really know what the good guys were up to. Why were Ken/Yukina fighting alone? What about the GAUS people? And so the strategy worked. The necessary people showed up to bail out the ones who needed it (in the nick of time! Over and over), while the others snuck in to the still fully functional headquarters and rebooted it. Frankly, Efidolg didn’t fight very well. Typical bad-guy arrogance. I don’t think they expected the enemy to have improved, not only in skill but with firepower; I mean, in episode 2 those shots would have bounced right off. The two efildog robots fusing to make the Final Boss made me think that casualties would finally occur, but they (thanks to Yukina, of all people, perhaps channeling her inner Yukihime. I hope they remember to explain that) defeat it with little trouble. I’m a little shocked. Did ANYONE on our side die in this fight? I figured Tom might. Well, it’s all good. Now to figure out what those 220-odd cycles amount to before the next invasion.

kuromukuro25-1

And in #25, the battle is won! Hooray! Now things can get depressing. Everyone in the show has to figure out what to do next, starting with the high school buddies, most of it predictable. Nice to see Ryoto is still determined to pass exams and join the mecha military. I’m also not worried about Jundai; it’s not that he has an overreaching goal in life, but his desire to film and broadcast minute-by-minute will keep him moving toward something. Wish Mika had an idea, but there’s nothing to say a highschooler should know exactly what she wants to do with the rest of her life. As for Jose, who cares? Then we move on to adults, including Tom, now not fully human but fine with it, burning some unseen orders and having to work with Liu again, to his, er, delight.

Well, yeah, but ...

Well, yeah, but …

Then it’s the main characters’ turn, and it gets more unpleasant. The UN, having won for now, is pushing people around. Hiromi is canned, poor Muetta has a hard time, forced to wear a neck thing like Kennosuke once had, and being (mis)treated as a spy. Almost as sad is Zeru, whose work is done and wants to return to his home world and fight there. But the giant earth forces stand in his way. Kennosuke is disgusted by all of this, and so we reach the big emotional moment, when he decides to go off with Zeru and fight, if they can. Being a samurai this is appropriate for him, but also he decides not to take Yukina along. As Ryoto said earlier, in a rare moment of clarity, she shouldn’t have to live her life on a battlefield. Of course, Yukina isn’t very happy with this decision, and once again in this series, we see how powerless she is. In this episode we see this is true for everyone.

A bit of cuteness before bad stuff starts happening.

A bit of cuteness before bad stuff starts happening.

Macross Delta 25 is a long, deep breath before the big fighting begins. First we have to take care of a few matters. We learn that Hayate’s dad, told to destroy the protoculture ruins with that dimensional weapon, actually carried it away to lessen the casualties. Berger tells them more things, much of it steeped in franchise lore that I never learned or have forgotten, but it makes us all wonder, not for the first time, just who the hell Lady M is and what she’s on about. Oh, NUNS is going to blow up Windemere and our fleet is ordered to Ragnak because that’s the other important ruins site for galactic control, which is lucky because the captive Mikumo, still in thrall of that phrase, is ordered to sing and so all the NUNS fleet goes boom with their own weapons. This is right at the end, and after a long introspective session where everyone swears they will protect or defend something, much like he Kuromukuro guys did, come to think of it, only we’ll have to wait for next week to see it. Lots of angles to play at, but I think Walkure will have to rescue Mikumo somehow, and maybe Heinz with him. Oh, Hayate’s fight with Keith for a bit, and Bogue will take another shot at Freyja.

Bye guys.

Bye guys.

And finally, I’m going to say goodbye to Sousei no Onmyouji. I let out a sigh last season when I learned it would run for another, but now I learn they intend to keep it up for a whole year. Sorry, I don’t like the show that much, and with my time strictly limited now–I don’t even know if I’m going to watch any shows next season (though things will hopefully lighten up next year)–it’s time to prioritize.

BTW, sorry, but I may not cover the new shows for the Fall season. But I’m not abandoning this blog entirely.

Delta 23-4. Kuromukuro 22-3, Sousei 22

September 13, 2016 Leave a comment
Not such a happy memory, but pretty to look at.

Not such a happy memory, but pretty to look at.

Macross Delta 23 makes you wonder what CHAOS and all those other guys were thinking, sending the Walkure to the enemy stronghold without much of a backup. Okay, getting through that gate last week was tricky, but they should have had a better plan in mind. In the first half of this episode the good guys hang out in separate groups mainly to chat until the time comes to get captured, well, Makina, Reina, Arad, and Kaname are still out there, but they’re not central characters. Mikumo shows off some super powers before she goes down, possibly to be a tool for Roid thanks to some exotic words. For the others it’s guilt-trip time as Hayate is taken to the place where his dad dropped The Bomb. We still don’t know what’s going on with that, or with Mikumo, or with Roid, and even at 27 episodes (says ANN), more than most two-cours, they’re running out of time to wrap it all up adequately.

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We get no real answers to any of the questions in #24, but at least the good guys are off that cold planet. We start with the expected kangaroo court scene, softened by Freyja and Heinz’s talk about music and compare notes about their own performance, before they’re inevitably condemned to death. But we know there’s going to be a dramatic rescue scene since Berger showed them the relic of the plane, which we hear can actually fly. Hayate’s behavior during the walking the plank bit suggests that he knew what was coming, or at least suspected, while we at home waited for the plane to show up. Didn’t expect the other planes, or for the planned attack on the ruins to continue as planned, including the music backup, bit of stretch of plot there, but at least something was happening. That is, until Mikumo debuted as the Star Singer and screwed everyone up on both sides. Well, they got out, and I’m sure Makina’s fine. But again they put off the questions for another time. Not to mention the question of what Roid’s going to do with Mikumo

Yeah, well, don't take it personally.

Yeah, well, don’t take it personally.

Now to catch up with Kuromukuro … Episode 22 at least (haven’t seen 23 yet) is understandably quiet after all the bad news last time. Both sides are settling in and doing the things they should be doing. Edidolg’s side start to raise the lost pieces and stick them with the others so they can, as we discover, make a wormhole for their main fleet. There is no hint of dissent or doubt on their side now, so no one’s going to screw up their plans from inside, now that Muetta’s outside. Rather annoyed that Mirasa didn’t buy it last episode as it makes Sebastian’s sacrifice less meaningful, though he did save Sophie, who sadly mutters that he shouldn’t have gone to the trouble. Elsewhere among the good guys, we mourn Sebastian, hear a lot of talk about things being real bad, learn about Takehito’s sad demise, and Muetta runs off to god-knows-where looking for god-knows-what, so Yukina searches for her, nearly dies in the snow (wonder about the reference to her dad’s death there), and winds up naked with Muetta for a while, mainly to please certain members of our audience. But the big question remains: how did Zeru manage to get Amazon to deliver packages to him?

After all that I believed the action, or at least the story, would get back up to speed in ep23. Sadly …

About the only action we get this episode.

About the only action we get this episode.

I guess after the regrouping they did last time, the good guys decided it would be a good idea to do even more. So we get a lot of nonsense and a lot of talk about how the nonsense is necessary because we’re probably all going to die soon. Oh, some character work is done; Muetta hangs out with the schoolkids, discovers she likes omelet-rice, gets some decent life advice from Marina, and later, Kennosuke, who has had career worries of his own dumped on him, not to mention a weird story about frogs using butter to escape a pail, asks her to fight alongside him as equals. And everybody makes a silly movie. There’s no mention of counterattacks, or even strategies, nor any word from the world outside, who must be concerned about the UN base being turned into a snowdome. Meanwhile, Efidolg goes about its business, raising up the completed stone to begin their invasion. Hope the good guys had enough fun.

Suzu injects some fun into the eternal war with demonic folk.

Suzu injects some fun into the eternal war with demonic folk.

Sousei no Onmyouji 22 … oh, damn, there’s that kid again. Fortunately she takes a back seat during most of the episode’s events, which is a “dragon spot” opening up and allowing kegare to roam freely on earth. So everyone goes off to seal the hole and get rid of the corrupting smoke which is making everyone who’s not a regular character fall sick (heightened magic abilities–at least they gave a decent excuse). It’s all better than watching Sae act cute for an episode, but not very interesting, except for the basara Suzu, who finds the hole, traipses into our world with her entourage, boombox, and death metal music, to administer some actual justice to an asshole who deserted his girlfriend. Then, after a look at the good guys, especially Sae, she sashays back to Magano. I don’t think I could tolerate her presence for long, especially when they let her song and dance routines run so long, but for a brief time I thought her existence in the show refreshing.

Delta 22, Kuromukuro and Sousei 21

September 3, 2016 Leave a comment

I think Macross Delta is misplaying its story; I just can’t get excited over anything that’s happening at the moment. We start in Windemere where Bogue states the obvious: if Heinz dies or is otherwise unable to sing, they can’t use the ruins to control minds and their entire galaxy-domination plan goes kerflooy, and those guys only live to around 30 anyway. No one seems to have a solution. This could be part of my problem right here; the enemy is so wrapped up in their internal problems that they can’t mount an effective offense. And the good guys didn’t do anything to make this happen, unless that contact with Mikumo has accelerated Heinz’s illness.

Slap!

Slap!

As for Mikumo, I’m not clear on this … How long has she been aware that she’s a clone and only three years old? It doesn’t seem like a shock to her. It’s everyone else who’s worried. But Mikuno has always been a a cypher, early in the episode even more so. A brief scene with Hayate might have been put there to show her settling in on her goal, that is, to sing, but when she rejoins the group her positive words sound rote. Maybe she said them to reassure everyone else. Also, Freyja’s sudden inability to sing didn’t seem natural. I understand that she’s worried about setting off Hayate again, but the whole situation seemed forced, or maybe it was so we get to see Mikumo slapping her. As for Cassim’s death, his whole story wasn’t set up well enough for me to care, though I enjoyed Hayate’s attempt to rescue him at the end. Yeah, not much in this series is working as well as it could right now.

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Kuromukuro 21 starts with the necessary welcome back bits, and putting Muetta under arrest (and we learn her origin, not that we hadn’t figured it out) and the demon showing up and giving exposition while no one shoots him. So I figured all this time that he was actually Yukina’s father, warped in some way, but now I’m not so sure, even with that watch he’s wearing and the quick flashback. This means the mystery of what happened to daddy is nowhere closer to being explained, and they don’t have a lot of episodes left to do it, not when, in the second half, the shit hits the fan in a big way.

Here they come!

Here they come!

And actually, on the surface it all looks hopeless. The Efidolg forces launch everything they got, and it all looks doomed from the start. The odds are, say 1000 to six, not counting all those powerless, tax-wasting (nice line Sebastian) regular forces. What follows are a lot of fights with some individual duels thrown in. Shenmei fights bravely but is outmatched. Tom beats up a lot of headless robots and gets rescued. Kennosuke/Yukina/Zell duke it out in the skys and under water with that one guy … not sure what happened at the end of that battle, but they manage to pull Tom out.

Well, at least he died well.

Well, at least he died well.

The most satisfying duel is between Sebastian and Muetta, even though it ends in the death of both. You knew Sebastian wouldn’t let Sophie get hurt. The saddest part was Sophie, who can fight with the best of them but not being allowed to, watching Sebastian sacrifice himself for her. Well, I figure the worst is over. Next week (this week, actually), the good guys will regroup in their respective places, Muetta, Kennosuke/Yukina/Zell/Tom, and we’ll start getting the counterattack.

Actually, Mayura does pretty well on her first mission.

Actually, Mayura does pretty well on her first mission.

After all that happened last time I didn’t expect much action from Sousei no Onmyouji 21, instead, I thought we’d get a filler thing. It’s two years later and they have to catch us up, after all. But not much has changed. Our lovebirds act the same way toward each other as they always did, but there are some changes. Mayura is now an adorable exorcist in her own right. Rokuro works harder, is more confident, and all of a sudden girls are starting to like him. Interesting that this doesn’t bring up any jealousy, ineptly suppressed, from either Benio or Mayura, so I figure it’s just them for the love triangle now. But they have to start a new story sooner or later, so there are “holes” showing up, a sickness going around, and a mysterious, cute little girl they find in that bad area, which, alas, drives the episode into cute little girl territory. Hope they wrap up her story quickly because I don’t know how much I can handle of her.