Mankind has Declined 3, Tari Tari 3, LagrangeII 2

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita 3’s new story is as unexpected as the last one, but more predictable.

Meet, er, Y.

We meet a character named Y (the names in this series are happily easy to remember), a government slacker, er, worker who is supposed to be gathering data for the Human Monument, which seems to be exactly what it sounds like. It also sounds like something that people build in the memory of something gone. And someone once said that a government or culture is in decline when they start erecting monuments to themselves. However, the irony is lost on Watashi, or she doesn’t care, and Y is quickly distracted by some digital yaoi manga found in a mansion–and a printing press.

What we get next is the revival of manga culture, well, yaoi culture anyway, and a parody of the whole movement as other begin to produce their own work, up until we get a post-industrial, post-everything Comiket. It’s, sadly, predictable, though I thought the truck drivers refusing to deliver new volumes because there was no room for essential items was a nice touch, and Watashi’s droll commentary kept it interesting. I kept waiting for the curveball, or rather, I was waiting for the curveball in the teaser to appear. When it happens the episode is over. It’s probably the fairies; we didn’t see a real one all episode. Meanwhile, I’m disappointed. The last story arc they were talking about the issue of humanity’s addiction to processed goods. This week it’s manga. I still like this show very much but it ought to set its sights higher.

It’s not like I’m not getting a grip on Tari Tari after three episodes. I just can’t figure out where it’s going, and I wonder if I should even worry. Even though the plot seems to be improvised moment by moment, just as Miyamoto is improvising her choir and sometimes badminton club, the little moments are all done so well that the big picture doesn’t really matter. Every time something gets too serious something humorous undercuts it. When the three-against-two match goes against Taichi and it looks like he might have to forgo a life dream, Miyamoto gloats too much, until we see the agreement. The audition at the beach house isn’t going well until some other musicians join in out of nowhere. And there are moments of weirdness, like the Italian guy who wants to talk to Wakana very much. “I don’t money!” For this episode, at least, the problems underneath don’t appear. It’s just one moment of happy oddness after another. I think we’ll see the angst next week, not to mention the Italian guy.

Rinne no Lagrange II 2 is mostly exposition and bickering, but at least we get the gratifying moment of Madoka breaking up Lan and Muginami’s battle by smashing into them, then losing control and splashing into the sea. You can always count on Madoka.

She actually meant to stop but it’s been awhile since she’s flown that thing.

Since I have the memory of a sieve and the laziness not to search for a synopsis after five minutes, I tried to recall through this episode who was with whom and what they wanted. Which was probably a waste of time. Like in so many stories the big picture (two planets are getting dangerously close and so they’re fighting over who gets to survive, and they’re trying to drag Madoka into it) isn’t as important as the little one (Madoka getting her dear friends to stop fighting, team up, and stop all the fighting). We get a lot of the big picture in this episode, in fact, if these two princes are so dead set on destroying each other, why even have this little conference in sunny Kodakawa, anyway?

The more important little picture manages to get resolved. I’m sure Lan and Muginami both have unresolved issues toward their governments and their brothers, and that we’ll see them, but for now they have to reconcile. It helps that while the girls and their sides have plans for Madoka, she can and will call bullshit on both of them. After that it’s not hard to remind them what is most important. Forced kissing helps, too. And giggling. At least they didn’t tickle each other. I mock, but it was actually a nice little scene. So now the aliens have requested asylum and they can proceed with their plan, except I don’t think they have one. Just as well. It’d be less fun if they did.

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