Darker 11, Letter Bee 11, Fairy Tail 10

Darker than Black 11 contains more shocks for Suou and more power moves from the various parties, and I’m still not sure what to make of it. But it has become apparent that all the organizations trying to track down Dr. Pavlichenko, Shion and/or Suou are pretty much background in order to give us fighting and chasing scenes, while the heart of the story is Suou herself, and maybe Hei … No, not Hei. He’s the backbone to the plot, not the heart, the one who is trying to interfere with the Izanami/Inazagi prophecy, or maybe because he just wants to see Yin again, for whatever reason. Taking Suou with him allows her to go on her own voyage of discovery, and that’s the important thing in this show.

This time Suou and her pals go to the aquarium where she meets her father. He fills in the details about who created her. Various groups track them there somehow, and they need to escape.

Heroic father maneuver.

What I like is that Pavlichenko is happy to see her. This cryptic, behind-the-scenes manipulator shows her fatherly love. He even saves her from some Contractor-created death spear but is fatally wounded in the process. Before he dies (from a leg wound??) he provides a moment of reassurance by telling her, as Hei did the previous week, that he thinks of her as Suou, his Suou, a real person. Whether this will give Suou a sense of closure is anyone’s guess. But it’s one less thing she needs to do: she found her father and made peace with him.

The star is a nice touch.

The rest of the episode is a dark comedy of errors, as Section 3 swoops in, followed by the CIA, each chasing their own tails. Kirihara is given nothing useful to do again, except get taken away by the blonde woman. Each group seems to know less about what’s going on than the last.

I thought EVERYONE had figured that out by now.

Hei goes to find Yin only to find her gone, and is about to get skewered by Hazuki when the scene cuts. I mean, apart from Suou I really don’t care too much what happens to any one of these people anymore. It’s simply background noise. I do kind of want to know what’s going on with Yin, but that’s about it. I never thought the DtB sequel would make Hei so inconsequential.

Letter Bee 11 goes back to single-episode story format, as Lag goes off on his new job delivering letters. But the letter, sent by a starving artist to his mother is full of lies about his enormous success. Pure-hearted Lag has some qualms about delivering it.

At this point we can see the end a mile away. Alcott’s mother won’t mind at all because she sees through the lies. The important thing is that he wrote. So if anything is going to make this episode interesting it will be the journey there, to the town called “Breath Mint Gelato.” Heh.

And it’s not bad, with monsters and rickety suspension bridges, but it’s not enough to make up for the banality of the story line, even when Lag has to make a decision about what a Bee’s true purpose is. I hope they go back to larger story arcs soon. The show works better that way.

Fairy Tail 11 starts well, fizzles out later, then sets up the next story arc. They should have kept up with the opening bit: Natsu vs. Erza!

Fight! Fight!

But a guild official stops the fight and hauls Erza away on trumped-up damage charges. And the show comes to a screeching halt. Then when the show has picked up some steam again it’s all made moot when we learn it’s a show trial, and she is released. The rest is all exposition. Turning completely away from the rest of the ep, Natsu goes off on his own plot tangent by stealing one of the superdangerous S-Rank missions. He’s not qualified and will surely get himself killed, so naturally he asks Lucy along.

Really, this episode was a mess. It changed direction every few minutes and lost any momentum it had built in doing so. I’ll chalk it up as an in-between episode and hope it gets back on track next week.

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