Eights: Heroman, Angel Beats

Heroman 8 has some good battling, but there’s something humorless about this episode. Not that I expect people to stop in a life-or-death crisis and crack jokes, but for some reason it just wasn’t that fun to watch.

I take it back. Denton's invention at least is funny.

Having lost Joey on the walkie-talkie, Denton and Psy press on to disarm the dastardly bowling ball technology, only to be spotted. The Skrugg sensors are tuned to look for white, and Denton’s wearing his lab coat. They whip out their ultrasonic attack and run away a lot. If I hadn’t remembered the plan from last episode I’d be wondering just what their aim is now. Kogorr (a typical Marvel villain name if ever I heard one), the head Skrugg, goes down to kill them himself. Fortunately, Heroman shows up.

The ensuing battle is rather one-sided at first. Heroman is too slow and can’t fly. But you figure he has to do something, so we patiently wait until that something happens. In the meantime, as I said, it’s really not much fun to watch. Heroman gets hit, Denton, Joey and Psy gasp in worry, and I’m wondering why I’m not getting into it. Then it gets ludricrous. Joey mysteriously gains a new super power!

This is the second time this episode Joey has pulled a new ability out of his ass. Earlier, he flew in order to pull Psy out of the way, while I thought “How the hell can he do that?” Now, he’s got super speed. Mind you, he doesn’t have much else apart from a force field, so I don’t really know why Kogorr is so concerned. Meanwhile Denton talks a lot about teamwork and how they should have fought like this in the first place.

So it’s just a back-and-forth battle. In the end, Joey is injured and Heroman will fight alone. Previews show him going beserk. That might be fun, or it could be as joyless as this episode was.

Angel Beats 8 starts out rather joyless, too. The second Angel has appeared (Suddenly I’m having Evangelion flashbacks), tries to kill everyone, until the original angel, let’s call her by her real name of Kanade, intervenes.

Let’s see. Yurippe discovers Angel can clone herself. No one knows why she did such a thing, but there’s odd talk about unconscious wishes. Meanwhile, the hospitalized Kanade, the original, is abducted, so that she can’t recall her clone. Yurippe reprograms the system to undo the clone after ten seconds. Here’s where it gets senseless. Going back to the lower depths where so many of them died comically earlier, they discover more clones. They were made before the reprogramming. Yet their goal to get Kanade to use the program is still in place? Make one new clone and the others will vanish when the new clone does? It contradicts what they were talking about. And now they’re trapped between clones. Happily, this is when the show decides to get silly again.

The SSS members take turns sacrificing their lives so that the others can go on. It’s a reprise of the previous lower depths episode, but it’s no less funny. With each Angel, a member does some trademark thing and gets himself skewered. The survivors respond in a “Omigod! You killed Kenny!” sort of way. The repetition makes it more amusing. Rarely has gruesome death been so funny.

It works. Yurippe and Otonashi make it down to the bottom and rescue Kanade, only to have a monkey wrench tossed into their plans. Well, I didn’t enjoy the first half of this episode, but the second half made up for it, not only with the humor, but with well-done action sequences, and with the fact that I have no idea where the show is going to take us next.


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