Elevens: Railgun, Kimi ni Todoke, Yumeiro

In Railgun 11 we get Uiharu’s rescue, a possible antidote to the Level-Upper blackout syndrome, for want of a better name, but mainly we get lots of Kiyama.

After a battle between Kiyama and Anti-Skills forces, and the former’s defeat at the hands of Misaka, some scientific hocus-pocus enables Misaka to view Kiyama’s memories and why she’s doing this. Turns out it’s a bad plan full of good intentions. We see multiple flashbacks of her interacting with a class of orphaned children, who will be used as test subjects of some kind. Now, ignoring the ridiculousness of Misaka being able to see Kiyama’s memories, it’s an effective way of showing why she is so angry now, especially since this show can be bad at pure exposition scenes. It works because before this stuff happened Kiyama was a likable character. Lost in thought as researchers often are, speaking in that low voice, she was helpful to the main characters. Of course, her adorable penchant for removing parts of her clothing didn’t hurt, either. Now we see her past, still drawling slowly, still removing her top in the wrong situations, put in charge of kids, frustrated by them, saying she hates kids, but nevertheless connecting with them, or at least with one.

Shortly before the tragic experiment ...

When the experiment turns out to be more insidious than she thought and the children are lost, naturally she wants them saved, and this leads to revelations that Admin has secrets they want no one to know. Misaka is shocked, and I’m delighted. This is juicy enough to carry the show to the end of its run. Sadly, the show goes back to silly, and we end with a glowing, floating fetus-thing that doesn’t look very nice. Again, this show can go from good to stupid in seconds.

In Kimi ni Todoke 11 it’s fascinating to watch Kurumi at work. Like a skilled boxer, she ducks and weaves to try to get a punch in. Sawako, with her vulnerability and lack of social skills, is no match for her. In the first scene Sawako does something I never expected: she refuses (nicely) to help Kurumi get Kazehaya. I almost wanted to cheer for that, but Kurumi is a skilled fighter and dazzles Sawako with ring skills, rewriting the rules of love:

Fancy footwork.

Sawako, sadly, buys it, and wonders if she has the unfair advantage over Kurumi. Once again, since we’re all watching it from her POV I again get frustrated at Sawako for being so damn naïve. But things change a little. Kurumi begins to relax in front of Sawako and show some of her true side.

I’m wondering why she’s doing this. Maybe it’s because she feels safe, that Sawako isn’t the kind of girl to misuse this sort of trust. It’s obviously something that we’ll see more of in future episodes. Not to say she’s done with the manipulation. She’s already put it in Sawako’s head that maybe she feels that way about Kazehaya because he once was the only person to be nice to her. Therefore, maybe Sawako should try meeting other boys. From an outsider’s perspective these are actually good points. The fact that Kazehaya obviously has feelings for Sawako doesn’t change that. Sawako’s social circle is still quite small, and she is still too inward-directed. Maybe she should try looking around.

Ah! Kurumi is a master! Unfortunately, Kurumi suggesting she start with Ryuu will end up in laughs, or heartbreak. Probably both.

Yumeiro Patisseire takes a breather from story arcs to show us how the boys in group A became friends. Well, it’s more on how Kashino and Hanabusa became friends. It’s hard to get close to prickly Kashino. He even rejects Chocolat when she offers her services.

I'd be a little freaked out, too.

Meanwhile, Hanabusa comes off as … flaming. So naturally they have to room together. We have lots of bickering and a food fight. Naturally there’s a crisis, they rescue each other, and they bond.

Nothing happens we didn’t expect except that we learn the fairies have powers not having to do with sweets-making, and they’re not so good in the wild. Caramel nearly getting attacked by a spider was a disconcerting moment in a show like this.

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