I’ve said before that so far Amagami SS Plus hasn’t lived up to the original series. But the return of Haruka as the main girl has brought back a lot of the fun. She was the first girl in the original and has had to wait the longest for her return bout, but she’s making the most of it.
I’d forgotten some things about Haruka. I know she was into playing little games, but not that she would take it to such extremes. Take that impulsiveness, the fact that her grandfather had proposed to her grandmother on her graduation day, in a big-ass British cathedral, and her cousin Jessica Sexy Morishima had the same thing happen, and the gears inside this impulsive senior are spinning like crazy. Soon she’s got Junichi enacting a wedding, visiting the doctor about her “pregnancy” (skipping the wedding night, to Junichi’s chagrin), and a family dinner, dragging poor Hibiki along to be their straight man. The whole thing is playful, much the way the original was and the current series isn’t, though it tries. Then Sexy shows up in Japan.
Think of a girl just as playful as Haruka but less inhibited. What’s more, she’s keen on getting our lovebirds on the same romance/marriage schedule as the rest of her family. So is Haruka, actually, but she’s afraid to beg. Meanwhile, Junichi’s begun to worry what will happen when Haruka graduates and leaves him for college. You see where this is heading. No crisis this time, just a slow realization that they better act fast. So it’s a little odd that the big cliffhanger is Junichi inviting Haruka to her house, even if no one else will be there. It doesn’t matter. This was the most fun I’ve had watching the Plus series. We even get Miya doing an American style laugh: “Ni shi-shi, shi-shi!” I just hope the finale will live up to it.
Moretsu Pirates 11 gets by with nothing getting in the way of its single-minded mission of getting to the golden ghost ship so that Gruier can do whatever it is she had planned to do. Oh, and they need to avoid getting ripped apart from earthquakes and space jumps or getting blown up by the other Serenity ships out there. And they make it. All very straightforward apart from whatever palace intrigues Gruier isn’t telling the Bentenmaru’s crew about, which causes her to gasp and frown every now and then, especially when she discovers her kid sister (and political rival?), Grunhilde is on the Serenity battleship. Whatever. Marika shrewdly takes it in but says nothing much about it. It’d be easy to say she’s now fully in command of the Bendenmaru except that Kane has no problem issuing commands if need be. Or maybe that’s just deferring to the expert. I’ve never been a captain. Anyway, lots of rumbles and bangs and pretty light shows this episode.
On one level, Senki Zesshou Symphogear 11 is compelling. Hibiki’s beloved school is pretty much destroyed, while Ryoko reveals herself as Fine and infiltrates the underground base to find the sword of Durandal. We get Genjuro putting up a manly fight against Fine until something happens that I didn’t quite get and gets skewered (but still alive). The girls fighting near the end made up with story what it lacked in pure action, though the action wasn’t bad. Good, exciting, we-near-the-show-finale stuff. On the other hand, the whole backdrop of sword fragments and reawakened magical figures fighting through history gives the entire thing such a ludicrous bend that the whole thing is in danger of collapsing on itself. The shaft leading to the base turns out to be a tower in reverse. Fine makes it go up instead of down. Apparently (in one of those speeches where everyone stops fighting to listen to her) God destroyed the first tower of babel and so Fine’s built another one. It’s really an ion cannon. To destroy the moon. Yes, to destroy the moon! That will break the curse, she says. I assume she means the curse of multiple languages and the cure for that is song, but they don’t get to that. Yes, this whole plot was in order to destroy the moon. But Chris sacrifices herself (well, sings her swan song, but Tsubasa survived hers, so there’s hope) so that the cannon only blows off a chunk (the moon is apparently a mile or so over the earth). In terms of the characters it’s a moving episode. In terms of the overall story and concept, it’s hard to keep from giggling.
Oh yeah, and Kill Me Baby.