Letter Bee 24, Ookami’s silly finale, and Hidamari Sketch 11

Letter Bee 24 had the potential to be quite an exciting episode, but, well …

It starts off just fine, with Zazie making his surprise appearance and rescuing Lag, but then they flash back as to why he followed, sort of. Zazie likes to kill gaichuu, but says “I had intended to meet you coming back.” Huh? And already the story has stumbled.

But the gaichuu isn’t dead, it’s just patiently waiting for this nonsense to end before making its next move—burrowing back into the ground. The Bees manage to force it back up. It snags Ann, and her memories begin to go. It’s similar to Suou’s “death” in Darker than Black 2, but not nearly as moving. That’s a little unfair. We’ve only known Ann for two episodes, but even taking that into account, viewing the memories as she loses them was more maudlin than in Darker.

Hunt desperately tries to get the show back on track.

Then back to the heroics. Hunt tries to rescue Ann, only to get overwhelmed himself, and now we have to see HIS memories. Naturally there’s a revelation there for Sarah; what point is there in this seeing memories cliché if it doesn’t affect the plot? But that’s TWO sets of memories, twice in this episode we’ve seen it used.

Make it three times. Zazie tries to rescue them both and gets caught, and guess what? Worse, we’ve already seen these memories. They add nothing to what’s going on. So much for what I said about advancing the plot. Finally Lag, running around pointlessly underground, gets the right angle on the gaichuu and destroys it. Guess what? We get to see all the memories the gaichuu ate. All the other gaichuu we’ve seen blown up didn’t do this …

Well, at least we learn what happened to Gauche. I swear, this series can drive me up the wall.

As expected, the last episode of Ookami Kakushi is a throwaway. I guess I can live with that. The show never really lived up to its potential, so why not have some fun with the characters?

It works pretty well. Just about everyone and everything that was weird or threatening in the show is sent up, from the Nemeru’s family’s cultish ways (and why are they trying to form an occult pursuit club when one of its members is as occult as you can get? They don’t have to pursue anything; she’s sitting at their table!), to random townspeople coming on to Hiroshi (who’s learned to carry some hassaku juice in a spray bottle). Nemeru cosplays and plays with Mana, though their mindsets are somewhat different.

The first story is amusing, but the second one is better. A tea-shop is going to be featured on a TV show, so naturally Isuzu and Kaname get jobs waitressing, and for no reason whatsoever they call Hiroshi over and force him to be a waitress, too. Hiroshi is a wuss to the very end … It’s all full of little sight gags that will work on regular viewers, and rather a relief after the heavy-handed seriousness. There’s a nice bit at the end as Hiroshi looks at Nemeru and Isuzu talking while memories of what they’ve experienced together flow by. But strangely, Kaname is left out. She went through some rough stuff, too … Well, there was a lot in this series that didn’t make sense, but overall I liked it.

Hidamari Sketch 11 is one of the better ones, or at least because at least one part played to my interests.

Not Shaftsoft, really, but computers in general.

Though I think it’s odd that these girls, apart from Nori, have so little experience with computers. Miyako is flabbergasted by the concept of computer graphics. They’re in an art school! Surely the receive at least a little training in it. On the other hand, it’s cute watching them explore basic computery things. And they come to a conclusion shared, from time to time, by all us computer nuts:

Part two is interesting when you start asking yourself exactly what art is. The seniors have a voluntary exhibition of work, and they’re allowed to put them anywhere they like in the school, leading to some confusion.

Yuno and Miyako begin to see everything around them as a work of art. This messes with their girlish minds and gives us some amusement. It also gets Yuno thinking about next term, and eventually, her graduation, but that’s a long way off, and there’s still cute fun to be had until then. Besides, as Miyako says to cheer her up, “Maybe we won’t graduate!” Pretty good episode.

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