Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi is the 100 poems we learned so much about in Chihayafuru brought to animated life, with the good and the bad that that brings with it. It looks like we’ll get one or two of the hundred poems each week, so I figured 50 episodes, but the narrator and supposed author of the poems (which would explain the blond hair and blue eye …) wants to concentrate on the love poems, 43 of them, roughly a full season’s worth. Odd how that works out. The stories in episode one concern two brothers, a womanizer who falls for the emperor’s future bride and his brother with his loving, beautiful and dutiful wife, set up the tone for us. Elegant art surrounding two lovers who aren’t always as elegant as the backdrop, especially when they drop into cartoonish mode (Fujiwara’s son almost made me burst out laughing). The first story is more interesting because the characters are. The second is dull because the couple are married and devoted to each other. It looks like a serviceable production but nothing in this episode strikes me.
AKB0048, figuring you can’t have a thrilling idol show and battle every episode, does some development this time. We learn of a Center position girl who didn’t vanish and who promises to fight Tsubasa if she tries to bring the position and, we got Kuuko pushing Tsubasa to bring exactly that. Chieri is still worried about her kirara glowing when Nagisa’s around, but not when she’s alone. “Then why does the kirara hang out with her, then?” is the question I want someone to ask. None of this is very interesting in the short term, so it all takes place during a gravure photoshoot on a paradise island, and the highlight involves Makoto’s boobs and a jellyfish, and a camerawoman who seems to have a yuri fetish. Well, if you’re not going to have a firefight in the episode, why the hell not?
For more gratuity we turn to YuriYuri 2 1, that is, after I checked Wikipedia to remember who has the hots for whom. That’s easy for the core group but it gets convoluted when you add the side characters. Anyway, by way of reintroduction we get Akari’s dream where she’s beloved by all the other girls, allowing them to fawn over her (and introduce themselves) one by one. It’s a clever way to get us back in the loop, but it went on too long, especially when you know the punchline. After that the show wastes no time and we get a hot spring-half episode. Surprisingly the bathing scenes are a little tame, but I suppose you’re not going to get any jumping when they’re all together. The ping-pong scenes work the best, but the magical girl show was pretty good, too. I didn’t much care for this series the first time around but wound up watching it anyway. I predict the same this time around.