Eights: Another, Lagrange, Ano Natsu …

When Another began getting plot and exposition heavy in the past few episodes, some of the sense of dread enhanced by the background music suffered for it. This episode is light on exposition, only Matsunaga’s bit near the end really mattered. Just about everything else was mood, and the sounds returned.

Even Another can't resist a beach episode.

And by “mood,” I don’t mean just one. Through much of the episode the episode is light. The kids are off to meet a man who might have saved his class (if he can only remember how) and to visit a shrine that might also have something to do with it, but it’s all on the ocean, at a seaside resort! It’s time to do all the silly beach things we’ve seen in every other anime series. For a while, the music almost gets happy. Kind of a sickly-happy, but happy nonetheless. It feels like a relief. And the kids are so relaxed now that they can divide into teams, the “Countermeasures” vs “Forgotten.” They can be that way because they’ve left town–apparently the deaths only happen there.

The good news is that the boat misses the beach ball. The BAD news is ...

Which reminds me of another great moment of sound in the episode, one where no music is played at all. As they drive out town a huge tanker truck passes by them, very slowly. They say nothing. We only hear the engine noises as it passes. Everyone (including me) is holding their breath, waiting for the disaster, which does not happen. When they pass the town limits, everyone exhales. As for the story, as I said, it’s pretty light until the end, after the wind picks up (you can tell when something bad is going to happen when it suddenly gets windy) that things get dangerous again, the first time since the opening scenes which were more eerie than threatening. And then it’s back to deadly business, and by the way, so much for that notion that leaving town makes you safe. I feel kind of sad. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give the kids one episode off from worry.

Not much action in Rinne no Lagrange 8. Bigshot loli Asteria something-or-other flies in and leads an investigation about the little kerfluffle the vox pilots had while in mortal combat. She decides to ban Madoka from flying the Aura vox. The rest is stuff we sort already knew, like the scary legend of the vox losing control, Moid wanting to see the Rin-Ne blossom and Asteria and the, er, let’s see … “Novumundus High Council” that she represents decidedly NOT wanting that to happen. It was nice to be reminded, I guess. Oh, and Earth was nearly destroyed 20,000 years ago (we assume by the vox) and now descendents from other planets are coming back. And the girls bond some more. That’s about it. That Asteria visits the bad guys at the end wasn’t terribly interesting since she’s clearly not one of them. Lan and Muginomi going on strike was cute, though a little out of character. No, not much this episode except that Madoka can’t fly her ship right now.

Ano Natsu de Matteru 8 … FINALLY we get past the love circles, that hemming and hawing over things they need to say (but always get interrupted the moment they try), and back to what REALLY matters: Aliens! Okay, this is not really an alien show, it’s a romantic comedy, but it doesn’t hurt to remind us what Ichika’s main barrier is: she’s an alien. The turn of events comes late in the episode and is a little shocking. All episode Rinon had been worrying his head/body about something, and all of a sudden, it’s here: Alien rescue pod! But now she doesn’t want to go, at least quite yet. “There are things I need to do,” she says, but doesn’t specify the trees and water (I forget) or Kaito. So now Kaito at least knows she’s an alien, and we can finally move on with the next step. Should she stay or should she go? I have to say, that pod was certainly assertive about wanting her to come along. And on the love front, Remon’s diagram shows Tetsuro interested in Kanna, though I’ve seen no actual evidence of that. Moving on …

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