While I was too busy to write last week, I wasn’t too busy to watch an episode or two and scribble notes, which I’ve hastily assembled here and dare to call a coherent blog post.
Usagi Drop 4 and 5 manage to balance Daikichi’s problems with the sheer cuteness of the situation. The big crises, such as they are, the meeting with Rin’s mother and deciding what name to give her are tempered by the joy that Daikichi obviously finds in the little tot. The mother turns out to be an irresponsible manga artist with issues who hasn’t fully realized she’s partially responsible for this mess. As for the name, Rin decides that for herself. Unaware of ramifications or expectations, she goes to the heart of the matter: she’s with Daikichi now. No, he’s not her father and she won’t take his name, but who cares? You wonder if she’s actually right, or just too young. Maybe the show will get back to that. Meanwhile, Daikichi continues to rise to the challenge of acting like a father, even if he isn’t one. In episode six the point is made that a family tradition had been maintained, especially important considering Rin’s existence is definitely NOT traditional. And so Rin becomes a little more a family member. … And we get some nice bits with Rin’s best friend Touki, who has a mother, but is in desperate need of a father.
Hanasaku Iroha 18 features Nako and her mermaid metaphor, but unlike all the other mermaids with shell bras, Nako rather likes swimming in the ocean where she feels free. It’s work at the inn, and school, that drag her out onto dry land. But after getting an unexpected raise she’s convinced to try a few new things out with her friends, to branch out and improve and earn that pay raise. I expected her to make mistakes and feel huge remorse, but the show, as usual, is too smart for that. Some things she regrets, others, she discovers, aren’t so bad, and she now looks upon the land with more confidence. Not much to the episode but, like most in this series, it’s consistently entertaining to watch.
Sacred Seven 5 brings us a beach episode that turns into a darkstone encounter inside a mountain that is shaped like a pyramid. There’s arguing between Kagami and Arma about protecting Ruri and not distracting her from their outing, Kagami goes to investigate, and when he realizes there’s danger there he doesn’t think about going back and getting reinforcements but goes half-cocked right into the danger, eventually causing Ruri and Arma to fall into danger as well. Such is the life of a character in a silly adventure series. Episode 6 gets back to Kijima/Fei and throws Kenmi in for good measure. Nothing much to it; just another story-arc starter. More variations on the “Protect Ruri at all costs” theme, with Kagami screwing up this time. At the same time, he doesn’t want Arma involved, which doesn’t explain why he stops his car to fill Arma in on the situation. “I have a crisis to tell you about, and, oh, stay out of it, please.” Actually Arma spends this episode standing around looking confused, from an odd bento scene (where Ruri flips through several girl-modes, finishing with tsundere, while Arma merely blinks) to grumbling while the others plan. Oh, and a fight with Kenmi’s assistant/dog, who is fun because she simply doesn’t care.
In Uta no Prince-Sama 5 it’s Syo’s turn as problem boy of the week. Since he’s basically a clown, it’s a silly episode where he, with the misguided help of his friends, tries to overcome his fear of heights. It’s predictable enough. The highlight is an impromptu song made by, um, I forget, about Hyouga’s action movie. Just one question: why hasn’t Syo beaten the shit out of Natsuki already?
I don’t really know why I’m still watching Idolm@ster, but I am. I’d say that it’s my silly escapist anime for the season, but I’m also still watching Yuru Yuri and Nyanpire, to name two. Maybe it’s because I don’t expect much from it apart from a small army of characters having goofing around, with maybe one girl spotlighted each episode. And, I would add, it’s relative lack of fanservice in spite of all the opportunities. That is, before I saw episode 5. In ep4 the cooking show camera crew’s interest in fanservice shots was intended to be humiliating for the girls, or at least for Chihaya, but one episode later the show is revelling in swimsuits and dropped towels. Yet I still watch it. Something’s wrong with me.