Darker 10, Fairy Tail 9, 11Eyes 9

Darker than Black continues with the conundrums, but things begin to settle into place. First, we get an idea of what Suou really is. Second, Kirihara is back in the action, though I can’t quite imagine her incredible luck of getting involved. I mean, stopping for coffee and just happening to spot Suou and July hiding behind the vending machine …

Holy coinkidink, Batman!

This is so improbable in a show this smart that I have to think it was set up by one character or organization or another (There is another coinkidink moment when Mao recognizes a woman because of his taste for women’s ankles). I kept waiting for an answer, but it looks like what it is, sadly. Never mind. It gets Kirihara in the game, something I’ve been waiting for since the start. She tussles with Hei, and confronts Suou’s mother, who gives us the story of the girl’s actual death years ago. This works wonders for Suou’s self-esteem and sense of identity, as you can imagine, and it also helps the plot along, though where it’s going is still a matter of conjecture: The kidnapped Yuoko tells Hei about the Mikata Documents prophecy we heard last week. Alas, Hei breaks a cardinal rule of the series. Hei! If you’re done with a prisoner, let them go, or a rival will finish them off! Poor Yuoko. Meanwhile Dr. Pavlichenko and Shion are still around, mainly undetected, calming muttering things that don’t make much sense, yet. And there are those blonde girls, and the moon coming out …

The important thing through all the confusion is Suou, and her continuing confusion over what she really is. A contractor? Sort of. A copy? Yes. Or is she an organic life form that everyone refers to as Suou? All we really know is that whatever this show has in store for us, it’s going to involve her. So while everyone else runs around talking cryptically or killing each other, I’m keeping my eye on her for answers, even if she has less of a clue than any of us.

That was all so confusing that I was also confused by the conclusion of Fairy Tail 9, but then, so are most of the characters. Lost and starving, our gang reach a deserted village, a landlocked Mary Celeste, as well as a forest full of magic mushrooms. A perfect opportunity for them to act stupid.

The village is actually over a magic seal gone awry, or something, and soon it opens and we get the action scenes. They’re exciting enough, but since we don’t know what’s going on, and suspect that fighting these things won’t take care of the problem, I didn’t have the same connection that I’ve had with earlier battles. On the other hand, they’re motivated to defeat the monsters, because they’re so hungry they’ll eat anything.

An appropriate outfit to transform into, Erza.

And in the end, we still don’t know what’s going on, and Makarov, who probably saved their bacon, isn’t saying. And they’re still hungry. And I’m still confused. And the ep title was “Natsu Eats a Village,” something that DID NOT HAPPEN. I was looking forward to that … I’ll just leave it to Happy:

11Eyes 10 is two-thirds exposition and one-third bloody fighting. It’s getting so I wonder if anyone is going to survive this thing. Mainly we learn about Liselotte, the nasty witch who kept trying to destroy the world on behalf of her dead lover Verard, the guy Kakeru got his eye from.

There are ways of telling if she's a witch ...

The team is dispirited and split up. Kakeru, who doesn’t have the same despair over the world that Verado did, tries to bring them back together, apologizing to Kukuri, comforting Misuzu, though it’s too late. For one thing, Yuka is still a basket case and Kukuri decides to vanish–literally.

But what I don’t get is if the Black Knights are working for good, and our heroes are also good, why don’t they work together at this point? Surely Kakeru, Misuzu or Shiori, the three smarter characters on the home team, could figure this out. Well, maybe they would have, but Yukiko rather spoils things by going off on her own to attack the remaining Knights (Sayonara Yukiko), and then there’s our favorite lovable murderous nut, Yuka.

Yuka, listen to me, put the fragment down. Just put it d--No! Don't throw it over there!

So now all hell’s broken loose and the death count will certainly increase. I must say I liked the twists this time around, at least when they got around to battling rather than receiving Shiroi’s infodumps. But the buildup to these moments has been a long and often dull and annoying one. The final episodes had better be good.

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