Kokoro 4, Tari Tari 5, Electricity has declined 5, Joshiraku 3

Inaba reveals a dark secret … heh.

Kokoro Connect 4 manages to salvage a dreary episode with something unexpected. After Inaba has told Taichi that she can’t trust anyone, she was born that way, etc., he gets her to say this to the rest of the gang, and gets humorous variations on the theme that basically say “What’s the big deal?” Aoki’s was my favorite, delighted is he that it’s not only him that she distrusts. Yui’s wasn’t bad either, and I’d be thinking the same thing if I had to switch with Aoki. Otherwise the episode wasn’t very well handled. The dialogue in this show is usually smart and the VAs do a great job (I thought Inaba’s was especially good this week), but when you’re just sitting there telling someone about your life it’s hard to do much with it. It’s also getting annoying. We’ve had all three girls have heart-to-hearts with Taichi now, and mostly “cured.” That angle is dried up. Try something new.

Compare that with Tari Tari 5. Here they give Wakana some exposure and we learn something about what’s bothering her, but it’s not anything that can be cured by a nice talk with a friend, or even put into words at all. To put it simply, Wakana’s mother died just at the time when Wakana was old enough to start being a grumpy adolescent and stressing about about high school entrance exams, and they had kept the illness a secret from her until it was too late. So she has heaps of guilt to deal with. What I find fascinating about this is her reaction. In spite of her mother’s love of music and the fact that they used to sing together (before she got older and grumpier), she had cut music out of her life altogether until Miyamoto blundered into her life. What’s more, she’s still doing so to the point where she has the piano removed from her room with hardly a look of doubt or remorse, unless that’s coming next week. What sort of self-loathing must she feel to cut herself off from all the good memories of her mother? Or does she blame her for dying and wants to punish her? And what does it say about me that I’m just as worried about the cat?

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita 5 works better than the previous story arc because it chooses a bigger target, if only I could figure out what the target is.

Watashi considers her chances of survival without fairies.

There’s going to be a major step forward in the Human Monument Project (and I’ll say again that monuments are built for the dead), that being a summer electric festival where everyone gets to see stuff lit up and stuff. But the fairies can’t handle the EM waves they’ll be tapping by satellite so they all vamoose, leaving Watashi alone and more than a little worried, especially when she reads the fairy density book they left her. It’s a good sign of how far mankind has declined when their likelihood of survival drops when there are fewer fairies around. Oh, and a little monolith fell out of the sky, but no one thinks too much about that. Oh, and we meet an obvious android named Pion at the electric festival. Electricity is obviously a key theme this week.

There’s also more outskirts to explore (wouldn’t they have explored them all already by now? Humanity has become lazy in its decline), and soon Watashi and Assistant are lost in some great metal thing, encountering slimeballs, another monolith, a deadly robotic dog, one fairy, and Pion. None of it adds up right now, they’re random clues to the story (or metaphoric target of satire). And it’s fun trying to sort it out and what it might mean. We do learn that the city was built to repel EM waves and that the inhabitants grew so dependent on it that they never came out. So, maybe they turned into the slimeblobs? Oh, don’t forget Oyaj, who Pion is looking for, which might be Voyager, which reminds me of that first Star Trek movie, which I didn’t want to do. Speaking of which, you don’t see any other kinds of electricity sources on this world, no solar panels, no wind turbines … Well, I’m digressing.

Marii displays her femininity.

Joshiraku 3 starts with valentine chocolates and immediately to jumps to Marii being a boy. I thought stripping her naked in episode one would have convinced them, but no, she has to act feminine, but what IS feminine? This theme is explored with some violence as Marii tries to stand pigeon-toed. After that they visit Kaminari gate, ponder arches in general, and bitch about subway stop names. Good fortune is the next theme, in that Tetura has it and no one else does. It doesn’t work as well as you know that they’ll show misfortune striking everyone but Tetura, but some of the instances are good, like the wall, and the rakugo breakdance. And, yes, the girls are still cute.

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