Five Leaves 6, Angel Beats 9, Neko Overrun 8

House of Five Leaves 6 continues with characters only explaining what they have to, and little if anything to Akitsu, but it’s notable in that Akitsu actually does something. We carry on with the story of Senkichi, the man who asked the Elder for money last week. The blackmailer, Denshichi, won’t leave him or his past alone.

And there’s more to it. Denshichi’s boss is coming to Edo, and apparently Denshichi wants Senkichi and his skills to join them, whether Senkichi wants to or not. What’s more, Denshichi wants to know where the Elder is living, to get the money he thinks the Elder is giving Senkichi to give him. Maybe he’s just trying to eliminate the middleman. Anyway, with lots of threats and accordian music, it takes us to a confrontation at the Elder’s, where Akitsu is still recuperating.

Interesting that Akitsu says this twice, both times of the presence of a man who everyone, including Ume, considers a “saint.” But I suppose Akitsu’s motives, like everyone else’s, is his own.

So after six episodes Akitsu has had to fight twice, and this time he merely disarms Denshichi. It takes Senkichi to do the killing. So the Elder is safe for now, and able to continue his peaceful life of retirement, taking in the occasional kidnap victim. But let’s not speak about such things, shall we? In this show there are always things that must not be said …

Angel Beats 9 is where Otonashi learns the truth about Kanade, though I suspect everyone watching will have figured it out already. However, it does so in a rather clumsy way.

Kanade/Angel is in the infirmary. The SSS gang are wondering which version of her will wake up. The odds aren’t good that the nice one will. Meanwhile, Otonashi, holding a bedside vigil, falls asleep, and we learn there was more to his death than he first thought. Sadly, it doesn’t work too well. It was nice to see that he initially survived the rail crash, possibly saved the lives of some others, and in his dying moments filled out his organ donor card to save even more. In other words, his belief that he died without accomplishing a single thing is false. The whole survivor sequence goes on a bit long and is fairly predictable, not to mention maudlin; this show has a tendency to do that. It also feels clumsy, like the creators were plugging a plot or motivation hole they had forgotten about.

The conversation with Kanade when he wakes up puts things back on a even keel (for this show). Kanade’s role in all this is to guide these high school kids who had had rotten lives to a more happy existence, so they can smile and let go. But she’s so awkward about it that it’s driven everyone to this bizarre state of war. It’s a weird conversation, with Otonashi agreeing to secretly help her, but presents us with a nice point: Now that Otonashi has seen his true past, he still hasn’t moved on. Is it because of Kanade? Because he wants to ease Yurippe’s distress? Perhaps a little of both.

For a moment I thought I was watching Saki all over again, but no, it’s Mayoi Neko Overrun, a show that’s not afraid to try weird concepts, and half the time, fail. This episode, happily, pretty much succeeded. Chise invites the gang to test a new game called Superblocks. The concept isn’t new. You have to pull out blocks from a tower and place them on the top. The twist comes from the fact that if you succeed you have to follow the directions written on it.

Naturally, Chise is cheating. She’s getting information on where the safe and non-humiliating blocks are. And naturally, it begins to go wrong. So basically what we get is a half-hour of watching Chise’s manipulations, and watching the characters forced to do silly things. It passes the time.

Interesting crisis at the end, concerning who will get to pull out the “Kiss a member of the opposite sex” block when Takumi is the only male left. If Fumino, who sees the writing, chooses it, she’ll have to kiss Takumi. If she declines, Chise would be happy to take it. Goodness knows if (meow) Nozomi will or not. And what if Takumi takes it? They stretch it out too much, but overall it was a fun episode that makes up for the botched experiment they tried last time.

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