Penguindrum 19, Last Exile Fam 6, Ben-to 6, Kimi to Boku 7

Mawaru Pengundrum 19 … I am about to give up trying to figure out this show.

This, at least, I could figure out.

After the crazy events of last week the show settles down to gather what what we’ve gone through–and twist it around again, just to annoy us, I think. Kanba being in touch with their father was expected after his hemming and hawing last week. To actually SEE them was a bit of a surprise, but we don’t have long to dwell on that. Soon it’s time to celebrate with Himari, Shouma and Ringo as Himari has returned from the hospital, happy yet full of doubts. At first it seems only that she is seeing the people who care for her beginning to move on with their lives, while her life at the moment has always revolved around them. She wants it to stay that way forever, but this is naive and unreasonable. Sanetoshi tells her that only she knows where she belongs, but her lack of answer feels a little strange. As it should, as we find out. For Sanetoshi gets a little more spooky when Masako, sitting in the same chair Himari did, asks Sanetoshi some questions of her own. As usual for Sanetoshi, and for this show, his answers are cryptic. He wants to put the world back on track, children must do what their parents failed to, and after Masako storms out, unsure about the diary, he admits that he can’t do anything while it still exists. Does its ability to “transfer fate” interfere with his own plans? You know, this show would make a lot more sense if we knew where the key players stood. But it wouldn’t be as much fun.

One thing that has been rock-solid throughout are the three’s devotion to each other, to make a family where they belong. Once again, I should have seen it coming. Masako comes to their house, and of people, goes after Himari, the one in the group who has done the least to her. While I sit back in my chair and think “it’s curveball time.” Ball is the right word to use, too, as after Masako demands Himari give Kanba back, because she’s not her real sister, despite all evidence to the contrary–photos, etc), she whips out a blue ping-pong ball of truth, and then the front yard is full of giant concrete balls and we got a chase on our hands. And then, to really smack us with images, the giant fans are back, old, disused, and we’re back in the child-roaster and learn something about the truth. What it means … you’re asking me? All I can do is remember that Kanba was in Masako’s flashbacks, and no explanation was ever given. So now we have to wait for next week. How soon is that?

Not much violence or heartbreak in Last Exile Fam 6. No action scenes, either, alas. Instead it’s all pluck and guile and obtaining little things you need.

And some pretty scenes.

Mainly, it’s about settling in, meeting your captors, and, for Fam, making good on that rather ludicrious promise to obtain for Titania fifteen ships. That’s the kind of wild promise and over-optimism that you want to see in Last Exile franchise heroes, but even for them it’s kind of steep. Good thing the Sylvius pirates see capable fellow-pirates when they see them, or rather, the entire ship kind of falls over backward to help them prepare for their first heist. Olaf, the maintenance boss, likes them immediately, and rest of the crew is honored to have princess Millia aboard. And their success is absolutely absurd, though it comes at the hands of that guy they conned in the first episode. Why Ades hasn’t sent him to the firing squad yet, I don’t know.

Turan, the first indoor country.

Millia has problems of her own. She can’t do pirate stuff, and her country is pretty much gone, except for her. And Ades is annexing it in a couple days. So she basically has no country, nor any real status aboard the Sylvius. Reminded that SHE is now Turan, and inspired by Fam, and at first defeated in attempts to wile the Sylvius crew, she decides to do some annexing of her own, waiting for a battle stations order to barricade herself in the kitchen. It’s little steps. Not everything comes from big battles, and not every Last Exile episode has a battle scene, but this is good enough for now.

Kimi to Boku 6 finally puts one of the twins in a position where they’re not being dicks. Yuuta gets a confession from a shy, nervous girl named Takahashi, and, to everyone’s surprise (once they find out), he agrees to go out with her. Half of the episode has the other boys, who discovered this romance by accident, tailing the poor couple and speculating on the normal things you’d talk about, but also, why the hell didn’t he tell them? But the other half shows us the relationship from the people actually in it. It’s fascinating to see Yuuta (though it could just as easily be Yuuki) deal with the situation. We can’t read him at all. We don’t even know if he likes her. His manner is like it always is. But this time the lines coming from him aren’t meant to annoy or confuse, but to settle down this painfully shy girl, and his indifference becomes a quiet, benign, no-pressure interest in Takahashi. And later, when she is inadvertently hurt by her friends’ gossip, he does the same thing, listening, accepting what she says. It’s a sweet episode that works better than the usual ones because the sincere and snarky are balanced well.

Maybe I’ll finally catch up on all the shows one day … So it’s been long enough that I still hadn’t watched the scintillating fight which polishes off Ben-To 6, where Sen, Satou and Shaga do a three-on-one to bring down the evil Monarch. If that sounds unfair, consider that they had to fight off Endou’s goons before getting to him, and Endou had sent other goons to soften Sen up before she had even gotten to the store. Other than the satisfaction of watching Endou go down, and a weird planning meeting to begin the show, there wasn’t much else to the episode. In the end, I couldn’t figure out what Endou’s real goal was. To defeat the Ice Witch? Something about Macchan? To get that title that didn’t make any sense even after it was explained to me (probably not the show’s fault)? No matter, it was another great fight scene, and the wolf pride’s pride is saved. Or something.

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