Daimaou 7, Neko Overrun 6

A messy episode for Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, as they try to do too many different things and not have them fit together.

First, Korone is shot, but being an android, apparently it doesn’t mean much to her. What does is that she’s failed in her mission to seduce Akuto and is off to face her superiors. But that’s not what the thrust of this episode is about.

To no one’s surprise (no one watching, that is) we learn that “sorting hat” of this show designated Hiroshi to be a hero. His family and neighbors on the island can’t believe it. He’s scrawny and not very brave. So he’s conflicted by responsibilities and his apparent weakness.

Then this guy shows up, with his own giant sea cucumber of island destruction.

What his motives are no one explains. He babbles on about art and noise and how destroying the island will make a great work of art. He gets a little lewd with Keena and preadolescent Yukiko, and generally makes life miserable for everyone, including Hiroshi, who is brushed aside like an ant and falls into the lake, still thinking of his responsibilities and failures. The next thing we know he’s at a shrine pulling a sword out of a stone, for chrissakes. Guess what? The sword is a device-thingy with the codename “Brave!”

If I had to wear that suit, I wouldn't want to be a hero either.

I mean, c’mon! Beyond the silliness of the outfit, I could be a hero if I had a power suit like that! You can predict the rest of the episode by now. Only a couple twists: Korone returns, and Hiroshi (still in his super suit) and Akuto have a brief confrontation over the life of the weird guy. In one of the episode’s few nice touches, Hiroshi backs off because he trusts Akuto’s judgement.

Wow, a messy episode. It’s redeemed a little because Hiroshi has been elevated beyond wimpy sidekick status.

While Mayoi Neko Overrun still can’t get its pacing in place, the eccentricity of episode 6 shines through. Not only that, but they almost completely avoid the sentimental lapses which often makes the show stumble. Just when you think they’re leaning towards such a moment, they madly veer back or sublimate it into the background.

Ieyasu: visionary director.

Chise wants to publicize her club, so they decide to do a music video and post it on YouTube. First, Chise and Fumino can’t agree on the song, and you think that it’ll wind up as a “Let’s all cooporate” scene (which, okay, DOES happen, but only later, and it’s not so bad). Then Ieyasu, the director, goes power-mad and forces Chise (she of the unlimited bankroll) to jet everyone around to exotic locals and do things like paint part of the Amazon Forest autumn colors, or dump snow on the pyramids, and you think they veer off into an introspective bit where he regrets it. But no, in both cases they become comic backdrops. While preparing to shoot, Fumino hums her song and Chise yells at her to shut up in the background, while Ieyasu announces his latest bizarre shooting plan, Takumi keeps seeing legendary creatures and grows more and more tired. It’s repeated, locale by locale, all for essentially the same shot, which works as the punchline.

And you know? It works. Each time they repeat it it’s more outlandish. The girls’ background bickering gets sillier, Takumi gets more tired, the dumb shot gets more absurd. It’s a shame they have to add a little drama at the end involving being stranded on a mountain and the aforementioned cooperation scene, but at least those are brief and no one’s crying, for once. As for the video, well, it’s what you would expect from Ieyasu. When this show works, it works very well.

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