Heroman 18, K-ON!! 16

One thing that’s cool about having super powers, or having a robot who has them, is the sheer potential for fun. You’ve got powers! You can do stuff! Unfortunately in most superhero comics you have the flip side. You never really get a day off. Yeah, yeah, great powers and great responsibility and all that, and I know there’s a story to tell, but every now and then even the mightiest heroes want some time at the beach. It looks like in Heroman 18 they’ll get just that. And it’s nice to see our heroes and the big robot frolicking on the beach for a change.

If you've never seen a giant robot frolic before, here you go.

I guess Joey decided Heroman deserved to be in on the fun rather than sitting in inert toy-mode. I enjoyed watching Heroman take it all in. He tries to do the things that the humans are doing, but it feels off, like he’s just imitating them, though there were the bits when he’s surprised by a spark from the barbecue, and his rising from the water, revealing … and was he showing a sense of humor there? I begin to wonder if he actually has emotions. Well, I remember when Kogorr “killed” Joey and he went beserk …

But, as I said, there’s a story to tell. Naturally the fun island vacation is ruined by events.

The stuff leading up to this goes on too long. Psy tells a ghost story and everyone, especially Denton, the scientist, is freaked. Things Psy describes, e.g., the lights going out, actually happen, but in our mind it could be a big NIA practical joke (as Lina believes). But then the wounded man shows up followed by some giant tentacles. Vacation is officially over.

Though the rest of the episode is straightforward I was was surprised by the direction it took. Everyone gets separated, Joey rescues Lina (but is afraid to give the possibly dying girl CPR because it means putting his hands on her chest. Geez, Joey!) but Heroman’s nowhere to be seen. But it gives the kids another chance to bond. Until they encounter more tentacles with mouths. I didn’t realize this was going to be a two-parter. Anyway, this episode is proof positive that heroes don’t get days off.

K-ON!! 16 gets frustrating. Frustrating for me because, while this show can excel at doing nothing, this is not one of those times. Frustrating for Azusa because the HTT is driving her insane, in more ways than one.

And the fact that she’s rightly frustrated adds to our frustration. The festival is coming up and they have to practice, but they never seem to get around to it. What we get instead is three or four scenes of a determined Azusa arriving at the clubroom and getting distracted by whatever the others are doing. First it’s Mugi, who wants to scare people and try the guitar. The next day it’s Mio, who actually does want to practice but must change her strings first, and by the time she’s done Ritsu has come in with her own distraction.

There are two things happening here. We get to see Azusa interact with most of the other members one-on-one, which we haven’t seen before. Second, we see how their mannerisms and eccentricities are rubbing off on her. And there are indeed some cute interactions going on. However, they still aren’t practicing, and we’re watching basically the same scene with variations, and that gets tiresome.

At least SOMETHING gets accomplished here.

Yui, of all people, almost rescues us. She can’t read music, so Azusa teaches her a little, and we think maybe they’ll move forward, but they don’t. Not only that, Azusa is beginning to think and behave like the others. She’s fighting it, and I hope she wins. Azusa’s interesting because she DOESN’T act like them. Not the show’s best episode.

Fight on, Azusa!

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