Nisemonogatari 10, Symphogear 10, Inu x Boku SS 9, Kill Me Baby 10

Nisemonogatari 10 … Well, Araragi-kun did keep saying that his sisters were fake …

We don’t know if they both are. In fact, I don’t see any evidence that Karen might also be a supernatural being. First, all her actions, her leaps and handstands and balancing, suggest someone attuned to the physical. Spirits may invade her, but she is a fully human being. As for Tsuhiki, we just haven’t seen very much of her, though, typically for this show, Araragi sees rather too much. She finally participates in a patented ____monogatari conversation three episodes into a story arc named after her. I thought this was just another quirk of the show, but maybe they wanted to keep her under wraps until it became necessary to reveal what she truly is. We get a hint early on when Araragi can’t find any scars on her (which begs a few more questions the show doesn’t seem interested in answering). But the show is full of moments like these, and I almost forgot about it.

Damn. I thought he had left town.

Her conversation with Araragi makes more sense in hindsight. She talks about drifting apart from her sister Karen, how she doesn’t have the same sense of justice Karen has. Indeed, “justice” for her is nothing more than an abstract thought. But since we’ve seen very little of her, we don’t take this as something wrong, just the thoughts of an adolescent girl. Indeed, it’s all forgotten until the end. We move on to the Mr. Donut scene, where Shinobu soliloquizes gluttenously and Araragi presses her on the girls we met last episode. Oh, yeah, I’d forgotten about them. Sigh, Kaiki is there, too, and for a large fee he fills in the gaps. Yodzuru is a “specialist” like Oshino, and the posed Yotsugi is her familiar.

The scene at the back of the house is shocking, not so much for the revelation, but for the violence done to poor Tsuhiki, who might be a immortal creature who has infiltrated their household but seems perfectly nice otherwise, at least for a ____monogatori character. Also for the danger they pose to the Araragi household. Tsuhiki’s upper half grows back, but our new enemies threaten to come back tomorrow and finish the job. After ten episodes this is the biggest crisis the show has given us. I’m concerned, but not very. For one thing, how do you kill a phoenix? Second, I can’t believe that Araragi and Shinobu are going to let the girls do what they want without a counterstrategy. It’s the first time all season where the compelling thing isn’t the conversations or the visuals, but the story.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear 10 has a few moments which ought to be compelling, but aren’t. In the first, Kazanari gives another “You aren’t alone” speech to Chris, but it’s overshadowed by the fact that he’s done it before, and because he’s doing it in the ruins of Fine’s headquarters, where Ryoko had recently been ambushed by some gunmen. In other words, Ryoko’s the long-hinted-at spy. It’s no surprise, but for the revelation to come so quickly that it made me gasp. Anyway, Chris winds up sobbing in Kazanari’s arms–but doesn’t join them. That comes later, after we learn about the concept of kan … kannid … hell, I didn’t write it down. Anyway, it’s an ancient word for big, powerful tower. “Aha!” I said “I bet the next scene will be at Tokyo Tower!” And so I won a prize. The next supposedly compelling moment is when Chris joins Hibiki and Tsubasa in order to defeat some airbourne noise. There’s a let’s-all-be-friends scene, initiated by Hibiki of course, in the middle of the battle for fuck’s sake. But since Chris has come through for them before it’s again not so compelling. The only reasonably compelling scene comes at the very end when Miku calls to say the school, Hibiki’s “Home,” is under attack. Even that one isn’t so compelling; earlier in the episode they had a scene talking about the school being home, so naturally it would become a target. Too obvious, and not enough emotional build to succeed.

Games before coffee.

Inu x Boku SS 9 starts with Ririchihiyo’s nervous planning for her eight o’clock coffee date with Soushi. This filled me with dismay. Scene after scene of Ririchihiyo worrying isn’t the way I want to spend a half hour. And there are indeed scenes like this, livened up a little by Karuta’s tendency to stick tasty food in her mouth, her way of saying, “Don’t worry, life is good.” But the best part of the episode is they never get to the coffee at all. Ririchihiyo get’s dragged into studying, then playing a silly partner game with the other weirdos, allowing each of them to shine for a few moments. Then there are the odd notes on the doors throughout the episode having the characters speak in a confrontation manner or not speak at all. Then after THAT, Kagerou shows up, and the episode is over. It’s as if the show suddenly realized what its true strength is. The trouble is, we’ll have to get to the coffee sometime.

And there was Kill Me Baby 10 …

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