Eureka Ao 3, Kore wa Zombie 4, Natsuiro 4

Eureka Seven Ao 3 is mostly bickering between the Okinawans and other governments and organizations that want the IFO, which, Ao learns, was actually called a Nirvash. Meanwhile, Ao gets abducted and rescued and so conveniently gets to hear different sides of story. Not that it matters to him. The core of the episode is his status as an outsider. The people on the island who wish for independence and who he’s grown up with are the people who now consider him the cause of all their problems. Gazelle is the one who expresses this most eloquently–as they abduct Ao from the people who abducted him in the first place. To all of this Ao has decided “fuck it.” So when he changes his mind and gets in his Nirvash to fight the giant Secret that’s appeared, we don’t hear martial music or a dance beat, but slow, thoughtful violin lines. I love that moment. And it sets this show apart from other action shows involving big robots.

I'm beginning to find Sera almost comforting.

Four episodes in and Kore wa Zombie desu ka – of the Dead is no closer to finding a story arc than it was in the beginning. This episode they even cut out those hints at the end of the episode. Instead Ayumu gets dragged to an abusive maid café where, not surprisingly, most of the girls in the show work. Well, it’s not surprising to us … To get a special deal Ayumu and his nearly-useless partner Orito try to get selected abusive waitresses to fall for them, including girls we hadn’t met yet and one whom I’ve completely forgotten about. It’s worth it if you like to hear girls heap abuse at Ayumu, and in Sera’s case, that’s one of her most endearing qualities.

This is Yuka.

Natsuiro Kiseki 4 manages to take a dreadful premise and make it watchable, and at one point, even moving. Yuka has a crush on her cousin Takashi, but he has a crush on Saki. Yuka wishes she could be Yuka–while sitting on the rock. You’d think the girls would have learned by now. By the way, Saki is now in Yuka’s body. And indeed the show does indulge in moments where the two must behave like the other would in front of family, etc. I hate scenes like that. But they don’t go too far with them, instead concentrating on the date between Takashi and Yuka in Saki’s body–and the episode becomes worthwhile. Yuka can’t help but be a doofus, but this seems to delight Takashi. And the moment at the end, when they’re about to kiss (so would this count as Saki’s first kiss, or Yuka’s? The show doesn’t explore this very important question, but probably because there was no time in the episode) Yuka knows that the kiss is meant for Saki, not her, but it’s the only kiss from him she’ll ever get. Thus the episode transcends the crappy premise. Oh, Natsumi and Rinko also switch, but nothing is made of it except for some quick gags. I’d have liked to see multiple switches and lots of gags, but it’s fine the way it is. Surprisingly.

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