Taken Driland 1, Space Bros 15, Muv-Luv 2, Lagrange II 1

Fat chance.

I came into this season swearing to myself that each season I take on too many shows and that I should drop things earlier if I think they won’t pan out. This is, BTW, why I’m dropping that famiglia arcada thing now. But then I get a show like Taken Driland, a show I have no business watching. And I like it. I won’t say it’s a very good series. Four chibified hunters go off in search of treasure. Straightforward and rather clumsy storytelling. Nothing much in the way of art, animation or character design. But I found myself immediately rooting for Mikoto, the young princess cooped up in the castle when she wants to go off and have adventures, dazzled by her time training with hunter Bonny. Needless to say she gets some adventure. What I like is that she is intensely curious and mostly brave. And there was, dare I say it, something cute in the way she and her exasperated palace watch-guy Wallen, take on a giant armored thing. I’ll find some other show to drop.

Mutta is clear-headed when he needs to be.

Meanwhile, in Space Brothers 15, they’re still in those pods. I was asking for it when I said I wanted the series to show us more of the training and screening process. Now I can’t wait for them to get out of there. While I’m getting impatient, the would-be astronauts are getting a mite testy, as you would too if alarms keep going off in the middle of the night or you wake up to find your only clock broken. Some of the action occurs in Makabe’s group as some tool who’s jealous of Makabe’s abilities is starting to play mind games on him. Meanwhile on the A-Pod it’s Furuya who’s starting to get nasty, well, he always was. As for their all-white jigsaw puzzle problem, don’t you know you should do the outer edge first? At least Mutta gets to show some sign of clear-headedness amidst all the tension. Next week: they’re STILL in the fricking pods!

I got what I expected in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse 2, a big battle where most everybody dies. It was more effective than I predicted. The growing dread as the BETA overruns point after point was effective (about the only thing that was) last week, and here they pile it on. They add just enough turns in the battle to give us some hope; it’s the first time we’ve seen BETAs get killed, and the girls acquit themselves in battle nicely before they’re each shot down and eaten. The episode skimps on the gory stuff. We see two of the girls end up as BETA snacks in detail I wish they hadn’t gone into, but I guess the show had a point to make. It’s all effective enough that I’ll keep watching for now. The show jumps ahead another three years, so now we’re going to have to meet a whole new cast of characters. Yui is the only one left. Let’s see how they handle it.

Such is the nature of this show that it works–and Madoka hurts her hand.

I needed some cheering up after that. Perfect time for Rinne no Lagrange II 1 (or 13, or whatever), a happy mecha show! And when the episode starts things are pretty good in beautiful Kamogawa. The only one with problems is Madoka. Not only are Lan and Muginami gone but she has to make some career decisions, too. And she can’t pilot Midori, or Aura, whatever they’re calling it now. But in space DeMetrio and LeGarote are still duking it out, Lan is undergoing tests which might drive her insane, making you wonder what Dizelmine is thinking. Meanwhile, Youko is in Madagascar looking at vox flower fossils, but you know everyone’s planning a trip to Kamogawa soon, especially since Pharos is arriving for an intergalactic conference. It’s all a little disjointed up until Lan gets the plot moving by showing up before Madoka with dire messages which she doesn’t have time to voice before Muginami also shows up–to kill Madoka. My head’s spinning from that one, but now Madoka, a bystander up to now (drowning swimmer rescue notwithstanding), gets serious; the show hits its stride and I remember how much I like this series. I miss the old OP, but the new ED works just fine. Welcome back!

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