Cross Game 45, Vampire Bund 6, Hidamari 6

Cross Game 45 has a record three games in it, but they’re background for the personal dramas and do little more than reflect them. Besides, they’re all wins on the way to the big games coming up.

The first half mainly concerns Aoba and what’s been bugging her for a while. Kou has surpassed her as a pitcher. Although she would never admit it, she’s beginning to think she’s become expendable, which is ludicrous, of course. The team needs her, and Kou still takes her advice to heart (perhaps too much. After taking her advice on his pitching motion he momentarily loses his control and allows eight walks). On the other hand, it means she is sacrificing some of her own happiness for them. Again, she would never admit it. Meanwhile, Kou is getting close to the 160kph mark, and Aoba once famously said she was only interested in boys who could reach that mark. Hmm …

This scene has to represent something, but I can't figure out what it is.

Akane is featured in the second half, though she doesn’t actually appear much except for one scene. She winds up in the hospital for tests and Akaishi immediately goes into a slump. Meanwhile, Kou doesn’t seem to care, saying that worrying isn’t going to help her. Kou’s like this, of course, though it starts to come off as cold-hearted. Akaishi, meanwhile, obviously worries too much.

So the relationships continue to fluctuate, even if the characters don’t realize it. Kou shows more sympathy and gratitude to Aoba than usual, and seems indifferent to Akane’s problems, though he probably isn’t. It’s Aoba and Akaishi who do, Aoba because she remembers Wakaba, and Akaishi because he’s in love with her. This late in the series, we still don’t know who’ll wind up with whom.

Dance in the Vampire Bund 6 gives us Akira’s growing dissatisfaction with Mina and her vampire hoarde. Kidnapping the Prime Minister’s grandson and turning him into a vampire is simply too much for him. Not that Mina cares.

And thinking about it, it was inevitable that it would come to this. He’s disapproved of a lot of her actions ever since he got his memory back, as do we all, come to think of it. What makes me wonder is what his attitude was like back before he lost his memory and he was her willing servant. What changed him? Yuki? Just living like a normal student? The fact that vampires are getting more numerous and aggressive within the school? At any rate, he teams up with some classmates intending to drive them out, something I never imagined would happen only a couple episodes ago when it was all “Can’t we all get along?”

Akira and Yuki TOLD you not to open that door ...

Leading to a plan to expose the vampires. But in a delicious turn of events they are undone by the vampires’ first victim—the class president. And there the episode ends. I would say that it’s a rather good episode, but I’m getting a little sick of the quick cuts and blackouts that seem to happen every five seconds. I don’t think they’re helping the mood of the story; they’re just distracting.

Hidamari Sketch 6 has a lot of cuts, too, rather too many (Do we really need so many set cards thrown in there?), but it’s a show to be digested in little nibbles, so it doesn’t bother me as much. And again, we get two little stories.

In the first, Yoshinoya seems troubled and keeps checking her cell phone. Naturally, the girls assume it’s love. Turns out its a drippy cell phone novel she’s reading. In the second the girls spot Nazuna with a number of different boys. Naturally they assume it’s love. Actually it’s because she comes off as so helpless she inspires people to help her out. This one works a little better; the conversations flow normally until someone adds a non-sequitur and the others react … and we get another set card. But I don’t mind too much. It’s when the show throws in a little eccentricity that it shines the most.

This episode was all about the love ...

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