I should have posted this before my weekend from hell began and I got too busy (Labor Day Weekend? I wish. Weekends are my busiest time around here). Once again, while I write about these episodes, new ones appear.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée 9, sorry, partie neuf, continues with the little tea party as the adults muse on the past and what separated Camille and Claude, as if we hadn’t figured it out. We see scenes of the kids having fun together, and then Camille begins to pull away, while Claude remains the boy he always was. She’s still a child at this point, so we can perhaps write off her standoffish behavior as a byproduct of her environment, but, taking into account that these are selected memories, it comes off as abrupt. Last week’s star, Alice, mostly stays out of sight after a humorous attempt at a Japanese tea ceremony with the ever-patient Yune. And at the end we get a cryptic conversation about why Camille wears corsets, i.e., why she allows herself to be constrained by her surroundings, what she gets in return, but while all fingers point to Claude, I’m having trouble making the connection.
Natsume Yuujinchou usually sums up each week’s episode at the end, as seen above, but I don’t know about the road it took. There’s a youkai that’s inhabiting a small rock, then various people, trying to get close to Natsume. When it does, it asks “What’s your secret?” Himoe (after kicking the damn thing out a window—nothing like a direct approach) says the thing had probably spent hundreds of years in a riverbed and is curious about things, and that it’s pretty nasty. Since the episode occurs during the school cultural festival, I thought it would look around and actually SEE what it’s been missing, but it still goes after Natsume. His secret is, of course, his abilities, which he could probably just tell the thing … Never mind. The episode is full of joyous little moments showing just how much Natsume has changed, from spooky kid to a nice one who sometimes acts a little weird and falls over a lot, sometimes off bridges into rivers, and has loads of friends who don’t care if he’s a little weird. The show is in danger of overdoing these moments, but for the time being I smile when the people (or youkai) he’s trying to protect try to protect him back.
I suspected for a couple episodes that Kaede would play a bigger role in Tiger and Bunny; you don’t give someone super powers and don’t let them use them, but I’m disappointed that she was used as a deus ex machina. I had rather hoped that Kotetsu would fix the heroes’ memories by himself. On the other hand, Kotetsu is such a great (but entertaining) doofus that it makes sense that he’d need help. And my disappointment was further assuaged by how she got those particular powers in the first place, a seemingly inconsequential scene (but scary at the time, since we couldn’t know if Maverick knew the girl at first.) from last episode. After that the episode fumbled around, trying to arrange for Kotetsu and Barnaby to get alone for their big showdown, and I had plenty of time to consider all the flaws in Maverick’s evil plan, again. All the people he missed, not taking care of Kotetsu’s family, or his former manager … sigh.
Judging from the online places I look at, I think I am the only person watching SKET Dance. I wonder why that is. It’s not a bad show; it’s better than a lot of the stuff running now. Like too many comedies it can indulge in the maudlin and not easily climb out, but usually it’s fast and funny. It has quick dialogue, well-done by the voice actors, sly jokes about manga and anime, and likes to break the fourth wall (see above) if there’s a gag in it. Episode 21 was slightly different, more serious, as Switch and Reiko the occult girl go off to buy a laptop. They talk sense about their differences and appearances, and good-naturedly bicker. Reiko does get a makeover, but both agree that it’s not really “her.” There are just enough jokes (often supplied by the other team members, who are tailing them) to keep the episode from getting too normal.
No.6 continues to annoy. The episode itself was pretty interesting, what with Sion and Rat getting themselves captured to get into the correctional facility, Yoming ready to give a rebellion signal through the Internet, and Safu meeting Elyurias, but the setup’s flaws continue to distract. Yoning’s intended use of the Internet is just lazy thinking on the writers’ part, surely by that time the webs would have been superceded by something else, but then again, Yoming’s whole being is lazy, as is the idea that Karan can seemingly talk to anyone without worry of eavesdropping. Well, the whole city is a product of lazy thinking, too. How on Earth did it get that way? And is Elyurias going to be the Deux ex Machina? Hey! That’s it! I predict that Safu will prove to be one of the forest people, which is why she can meet Elyurias, and moreover, she’s Rat’s sister! Okay, maybe not, but it can’t be any worse than what the show has planned for its (I assume) final two episodes.
And finally, I can’t resist this romantic screenshot: