God Only Knows 5, Amagami 18, Arterial 5

The World God Only Knows 5 brings us Kanon, an idol singer, who, in an incredible coincidence, just happens to be in Keima and Elsie’s class.

Elsie and the rest of the school adore her. Keima couldn’t care less, and in a long sequence involving Nazi-style rallies, makes it very clear why he prefers 2D idols. The trouble is, while Kanon is nice and sweet to everyone, she has a desperate need to be, er, idolized, and she has weapons (the cutest stun-guns you’ve ever seen!) to make her point, which Keima painfully learns. It comes as no surprise who this week’s girl is. So while Kanon alternately threatens and sings to Keima to win him over (or as she says, to “defeat” him), he works out his own strategy.

Right now we don’t have any clear reason as to why Kanon acts this way. Her manager says she didn’t use to. It could be the lost soul. We see a lot of her at work; everyone praises her every move, and of course her fans adore her. Keima’s indifference certainly gets a rise out of her. But how is he going to turn that into love? It’s a good challenge for him, but then the episode’s end takes a turn into real strangeness, and it might all be moot.

I’m still not in love with the current Amagami SS story arc. But it’s livened up by a couple characters.

Ruriko and Manaka are seniors in the Tea Club, which is in danger of folding after they graduate. The only other person in it is Rihoko (someone I wouldn’t imagine in such a formal situation). In order to attract more members, and because they see Rihoko’s attraction to Junichi, they shanghai him into helping the club with the Founders’ Day ceremonies. It’s a good thing, too. Junichi and Rihoko are making no progress with each other. They’re not really trying. It’s like they’re not even aware. So the show uses other characters to push them together. It helps that the Tea Club girls have a strange but entertaining rapport, Ruriko is the snarky one, Manaka the cryptic one.

Junichi knows what to say to a girl, sometimes ...

But they can’t save the arc by themselves. Junichi and Rihoko do their normal things. They go skating, they talk about their childhood, they talk about the Tea Club. It’s just not very exciting. There’s a sweet moment when Rihoko gives Junichi gloves she knitted for him, but that’s about it. It’s not like I expect dramatics in every scene, especially in this show, but this arc just seems duller than usual. At least they got away from Rihoko obsessing about her weight …

I think the vampire story in Fortune Arterial gave up and went home. This episode is all about the athletic festival and trying to get one grump to participate. The festival goes off with only a minor hitch or two.

They run out of prizes and have to beg sponsors for more. There’s an amusing moment when Kohei is forced to announce a race. Everybody’s having fun, except for Kuze, who indifferently runs her races then wanders off to pet a cat. We get a lot of moments where Kohei just stands there looking at her. There’s a cryptic conversation where she says she doesn’t refuse to do things because she doesn’t like them, well, I don’t know what she’s thinking. Kohei just wants her to join in the fun. Finally she is talked into participating in the three-legged race (with a costume change at the end).

And we get a lot of her being embarrassed and fighting down the fact that she had fun and people had a good time with her. In other words, it was just another athletic festival episode. And it wasn’t bad, not on the level of the one in Toradora, or the Azumanga trilogy, but I’ve seen worse. But again, no vampires. They don’t even use the word. Are they setting us up for something?

2 thoughts on “God Only Knows 5, Amagami 18, Arterial 5

  1. I appreciate that The World God Only Knows hasn’t settled into a stock formula routine – I was afraid that it would. I couldn’t quite figure out what to make of the ending, though.

    I don’t know what’s up with Fortune Arterial, though — these guys almost make the Twilight crew seem like real vampires. I did enjoy the episode – Kohei’s attempt at race calling & the room key joke at the end both had me laughing.

  2. I thought about dropping God Only Knows until last weeks “game from hell” episode, but I’m afraid the stock formula may still prevail. But with this episode the ending was so weird I at least have to find out what’s going on. Even so, I might eventually drop it.

    I don’t mind it when people reinterpret vampires. Having them drink blood from wine glasses in broad daylight? No problem for me. Those two scenes You mentioned were good stuff. Kohei tries so hard in the first one, and Lori’s fingers rippling on Kohei’s shoulder in the second was creepy, and then the punchline. Lori’s little games can be entertaining.

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