Yumeiro 26, Angel Beats 7

After a long delay I finally have a new episode of Yumeiro Patissiere to play with! And we get the dual adventures of Kashino in Ojou’s camp and Ayukawa’s slow redemption.

I don't think she can hear you, Chocolat.

Kashino, naturally, is appalled over the slavish attitude Ojou’s teammates have, while Ayukawa, not needed now that Kashino’s there, is relegated to substitute. Really, she should have seen that coming. And it’s that, frankly, that makes the episode work. Kashino’s seething is to be expected, and for a while nothing much comes of it. Ayukawa, who did bad things for Ojou, is now reaping what she sowed. What’s more, it turns out she’s quite a good confectioner. She takes criticism from Kashino and improves her test sweet tenfold, which earns his respect. Meanwhile, Ichigo has seen her working on her sweets late at night. The path to her redemption is set.

But it takes Kashino to turn the tables. After Ojou tells him he can do anything he wants, he insists that she become the substitute and let him run the team, which is too much for Ojou, and just like that, he’s fired. I was frankly disappointed by how easily he managed to get away; they could have milked it further, but I guess the show wants to press on. And it means Ayukawa is back as an official Ojou team member, and it’s her sweet they’ll be using in the final. Redemption complete, especially after she takes the time to thank Kashino for all he’s done for her.

As for team Ichigo, none of them save Ichigo herself (who seethes a lot) are too worried about losing Kashino. They expect he’ll be back soon enough, and even help him with a test sweet he makes for the other team. So mainly they stay on the sidelines for this one. And Ichigo cannot find it in her heart to dislike Ayukawa for what she did earlier. Ichigo has the strangest heart.

Judging from the previews it’s a return to fairyland next episode.

Angel Beats 7 has a maudlin first half and a more typical, insane second. In the first, Naoi, now a member of SSS, hypnotizes Otonashi in order to recover his lost memories, and naturally, we get the whole story.

And for the most part it’s pretty saccharine. He had a sick sister who longed to do things and enjoy life, while he found life not worth living. Before she dies he snuck her out of the hospital to see the Christmas lights and have a good time, realizing at the time that she was his reason to live. Of course she later dies, but inspired by her he gets his ass in gear and qualifies for medical school—only to die in a train crash. In other words he failed to accomplish anything he wanted to do. This realization in the afterlife salvages the scene. Sick girls dying isn’t very dramatic. Changes they make to characters is.

Then it’s back to the fun, with a few twists. The SSS decide to go river fishing, and there’s a really big fish they encounter. The former Angel, now just Kanade, invited by Otonashi, reels it in and kills it. They cook it up and serve it to the regular students, wondering to themselves just how they’ve come to this. A volunteer organization rather than a combat unit! And it made me wonder, too. With Kanade and Naoi both on their side they have no enemies left to fight. I can’t see this bunch doing anything else. They’re not equipped to intelligently discuss their existential state.

Until, ahem … Well, Angel Beats does like to keep us guessing …

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