UN-GO 4, Tomodachi 5, iDOLM@STER 18, Tamayura 4

Who's talking to who?

UN-GO 4 had a satisfying end to the Kazamori story, and a typical reaction from me when I watch a mystery: I follow right along until there’s a moment I get distracted by something I forgot, and it’s downhill from there. People say things, point at each other, other characters show up and I don’t remember seeing them before … Until the show reaches the revelation whereupon I usually nod and note to myself that I’d be a lousy detective. Still, the end was satisfactory because of this. What we had seen so far had been so predictable it’s hardly fair to call it mystery, so see it behave like one at the end (and confuse me) was a good thing. Not that it matters. The world detective Shinjurou and Inga live in is a lot more interesting. To me the mysteries are only there to add depth to the world, okay, except for some of the dated, stereotypical uses of technology. In spite of this, monstrous legislation like their “Information Privacy and Protection Act” strike too close to home, even if its dangers are more easily combatted or circumvented here. And we’re just now learning about Inga, a being so oddly out of place in their world that the RAI who knows everything has no idea. I think the show’s beginning to gel. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

The forces of light and dark begin their epic battle.

Ever since we met Kobato, and saw Kodaka’s innocent neglect of her in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, I’ve been waiting for the inevitable scene where all those wistful looks she gives out between the “ku-ku-ku’s” and minions of darkness talk bubbles out into a tearful scene with accusations of neglect. This would be that episode, except the show, again, works above my expectation. Mostly. After all, most of it involves playing yet another computer game, this one with full sim goggles. It’s the usual Yozora betrays Sena, or vice versa, while the other characters look on. We saw it a couple episodes ago. But then Kobato makes her entrance. Oboy, I said, here come the tears. But Kobato is no shrinking violet, she doesn’t just start crying. She’s proactive. She sought out the club to see what was distracting Kodaka so much and gets to verbal and physical sparring with Maria for daring to call her onii-san onii-san. That’s the spirit! The other characters shrug; she fits right in. So now I think this splendid cast of outcasts and weirdos is complete and united. There might be better series out there, but this might be the one most look forward to each week.

iDOLM@STER 18 is predictable as it gets. Ryuuguu Komachi have a “secret concert,” which apparently means something I don’t know, since there’s nothing secret about it at all. One of them gets the mumps, so Ritsuko, former idol, now producer, steps in. So the tables are turned on the Demon Drill Sergeant, she sweats a lot and gets stage fright. You knew when, early on, someone mentions her old fanbase that they would show up for the concert right when the jitters were getting too much. Actually, that was a nice scene. Concert scenes in this show are usually pretty good. I could have done without the pep-talk from sick what’s-her-name, but that is the sort of thing you expect from this show. More satisfactory is Miki turning down the opportunity to fill in with the group she nearly quit 765 over, because Ritusuko was a better fit. Still, not much to this one.

I fell two episodes behind with Tamayura – Hitotose, but didn’t realize it, which should tell me something right there. In spite of that I don’t really want to drop this harmless show … as long as fuu doesn’t harp on her father and Maon doesn’t whistle. Well, episode 4 is dedicated to her, but she doesn’t whistle TOO much. Instead the girls visit the inn where she grew up, there’s an important question about whether she’ll take over the inn when she grows up (I can’t see Maon as Madame Manager), or pursue her other dreams, but since she’s in middle school and her parents are actually kind and perceptive, the question is important only to Maon and her friends. From our perspective, of course, she has all the time in the world to decide. This isn’t a pressure-type show. Another reason to keep watching.

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