Heroman 25, Amagami 12

The pentultimate episode of Heroman is called “Crisis,” and like any good action series it gets to that crisis with an entertaining battle.

Joey, Heroman and Will (whom they find and rescue) work to get closer to the big plant thing and Kogorr, who seems half stuck in it. It’s fun enough as they manage to fend off tentacles and warriors formed out of tentacles, but the show has more to set up. So we often switch to Denton and Psy (and occasionally Keisha and Hughes), who are also working to get closer so they can do their power-up-Heroman plan, thanks to Minami’s green monster truck. Lina and Holly are with them, for absolutely no reason I can think of, except it might give Lina a reunion scene with Will later. They have their own crises, in fact they should be dead at the end of it, but instead they’re still rolling so that they can implement their plan—next time. And that should have told me something.

Because for a while the good guys, apart from a few minor setbacks, easily dismissed, make excellent progress, and for a moment I wondered if the conflict would actually end this episode (It helps that Kogorr starts eating his own troops). That would mean an entire episode to fill in the gaps … rather a long time. Will says Kogorr’s weak point is the crystal on his chest. With minutes to go in the episode Heroman leaps up and smashes it. Kogorr cries out in pain, etc. But (evil laugh) that wasn’t really his weak spot. Nope. No episode-long denouement next time.

So now Heroman’s dead (again). That’s how it should be. We can look forward to whatever Denton has in store next week, and although the previews were careful not to show Heroman alive you know he’s going to make a comeback. Maybe they’ll explain what those flying bowling balls were doing melting. Nah.

Amagami SS 12 ends the Sae story arc pretty much the way you’d expect. Happily they throw in just enough eccentricity to give it some life.

Banana parfait of love.

We don’t actually see much of the falling in love process. It sort of happens to them while little events take place. Again, shy Sae knows what she wants, so it’s off to a estrogen-filled cafe where, Sae is told, if a couple finish a certain banana parfait, they’ll be in love forever. We never know if they succeed because it’s off to the best couple contest. This, too, manages to work even while the clichés (Sae is afraid to get on stage, nearly trips, etc) try and make it stale. The joke couple of Haruka and Hibiki (Junichi’s next victim) works especially because they DO make a fun couple, even if one is in drag.

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do ... Hey, who's this guy?

Our lovely couple wins tickets to a private room to see a movie. Naturally it’s a love story. You can guess what’s going to happen. But again the show throws us something we didn’t expect. Junichi, still burned by the two year-old heartbreak, is afraid to tell Sae his feelings. In the bathroom he encounters some bearded guy who gives him love advice in English in the way a character in a western might. We find out who he is later but it doesn’t take away the sheer weirdness of the moment.

One other thing it does is give us a metaphor: making movies. Junichi uses it to his advantage. Then the sofa back collapses and well, you can guess the rest. Thus the Sae arc comes to a successful close. The show found enough things to keep us occupied in spite of having a mostly passive lead character. They threw in a narrator that seemed to be gently laughing at Junichi and Sae, other characters upped their game, especially Miya, and then there were the moments of quiet oddness. Not bad at all! Next week: scary Hibiki.

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