Sora no Woto 4, Vampire Bund 3, Hidamari Sketch 4

Sora no Woto 4 continues with the serial bonding, this time with Noel, the sleepy mechanic. The only problem is we don’t learn much about her except she’s gifted at what she does. But we can make a few guesses.

We peer into Noel's mind as she peers at us.

The squadron is a contradiction. On one level they’re a handful of young women who don’t seem to do much except play at dawn, eat, and try to fix a tank. On another they’re a military outfit who should be ready to do violence should the order come. I can’t imagine any of these girls doing such a thing (apart from Kureha), but the trappings of war are all around to remind them, down to Rio asking Kanata if she’s packed the guns and grenades for a routine trip for supplies. And there are the memories of the war that everyone in this world share.

Judging from her actions this episode Noel suffers the contradiction the most. Always seemingly calm, it seems as though she is actually hiding conflicting emotions about what she is doing. She’s trying to fix a tank, a weapon of war. On the other hand she loves machines, “They won’t turn on you,” she says (Interesting comment). Kanata suggests that it’s the people who make the wars, not the machines, which is true enough, but normally might not be enough justification, but remember, this tank also plays music. Yeah, don’t ask me why, maybe it’s an Apocalypse Now type of thing.

It does, however, lead to an idea for testing aberrant tank optical lenses. Kanata has perfect pitch and so can pick out the lenses with the wrong sound. And it works! That, and a lengthy scene where she and a glass blower talk about all sort of things, big and little, gives Kanata, who had been worrying about her musical skills, a jump start in confidence. At the beginning of the episode we had seen shots of her playing badly mixed with Noel’s testing of failed lenses; at the end, both problems have been solved, a little.

Vampire Bund
3 lightens the mood then brings it down again. After last week’s adventures Akira wakes up beside a sleeping Mina, and he’s only a little surprised. He seems to have accepted this whole thing awfully quickly, except when it comes time to dress.

We continue with a transfer student scene, made refreshing because Mina fully admits that she’s a vampire, and that Akira is her servant. More wacky student hijinks follow. Student council prez Namami and her gang are dead set against vampires in the school. Mina tries bribing her, then challenging her to capture Akira. Later she works on a power play to allow vampires into the country, or something. She uses extortion to do it. And Namami agrees that the class that captures Akira will get special privileges, thus showing that all the powers in this show work at more or less the same moral level.

... Which is no comfort to Akira.

Indeed, we cut from Mina laying down her intentions in a boardroom to the attempted capture of Akira, like Sora no Woto’s matching bad bugling and failed optical lens tests, you have to draw the conclusion that they’re supposed to be somehow the same. However, in this case the scales are tipped in Mina and Akira’s favor, and what happens to Namami at the end of the episode is unfair to her. I thought Mina rather liked her gumption.

And another nice scene or two with Yuki, where she and Akira can openly and honestly talk about things. Well, he can’t tell her everything, but he’s saying as much as he can. I’m hoping that nothing as nasty happens to her. And we have a mystery vampire girl as well. Don’t know what side she’s on, yet.

I think Hidamari Sketch is the show to turn to when I have lost the energy to write. Because nothing much happens. Things happen, but then they pass and something else happens. A great way to kill a half-hour.

Apart from Nori describing her first class with Yoshinoya …

… And a Natsu/Sae interlude, most of the episode is about visiting a home center to buy curtains. Each department gives the girls a chance to have fun with something.

Then they plant tomatoes, and eat. The end. Well, there’s a little more with Nazuma feeling she doesn’t fit in with the others. The girls reassure her. This is nothing new, but it’s the closest this cheerful, fluffy show gets to serious drama.

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