Lots of shows, most of them silly, or at least surreal

Hatsuyuki Rendezvous 5 livens things up with some surrealism.

I had dreaded this moment when Shimao used Ryuusuke’s body; it was almost as troublesome as I had feared. Shimao gets a pass for fumbling around in this new body of his by the fact that he had been drinking, but you wonder what was going through Rokka’s mind as this guy she hired who likes her starts weeping, asking for her to make a bouquet, etc., especially since she has some feelings for Ryuusuke. When things settle down it gets better. Maybe Shimao getting classes and cutting his hair isn’t a bad look for Ryuusuke (which is all I really care about. I still consider Shimao to be an interloper), and Rokka, reminded of meals with her husband, enjoys the one she has with Ryuusuke/Shimao, not knowing the possible reason.

Meanwhile, Ryuusuke wakes up in never-neverland, which we eventually learn is a page of an unfinished Shimao sketchbook and meets a small, young, perhaps idealized pixie-Rokka. They go off in search of a missing prince (Shimao), and from this we can perhaps assume that Shimao in his life wanted to become Rokka’s prince, but in his own mind was too immature to do so. In MY mind, too, but let that pass. To be fair, we all have these childish fantasies of what we could become. Ryuusuke scores points for being taken aback but not freaking out. I think he realizes that through the fairy-tale images and speech he’s seeing Rokka and Shimao’s relationship from a fresh angle, so he’s interested. Even though he’s unaware that Shimao had taken him over. All in all it’s a refreshing change to this series that had been spinning its wheels before, but will it actually help it get out of the mud? When Shimao leaves Ryuusuke’s body will they fall back in?

Okay, Horizon time. Let me look at my notes. Let me add that I take more notes for this show than any other, and I still don’t know what’s going on.

This makes about as much sense as anything else in the series.

We start with a feast to celebrate the contract with England. Not surprisingly, it involves lots of meat. The wolf-girl takes care of the vegetables during the opening bit. Tenjo and Cloak Girl, who have began to get along awfully well, are greeted by Milton, a crow, who is then spotted and shot down (symbolically) for something tainted, about the meat, I believe. Talk then turns to the meaning of a symbol found in London where people have vanished and become “lost ones.” A line through a circle, i.e., the London Underground. “Avalon” is also mentioned, but I don’t remember that stop on the line. Tenjo and Cloak Girl are told to test the new bath and upon leaving are accused of being suspicious. And then Asazumi is told to instruct the other girls at the party about what this thing called sex is all about.

This scene also includes an anteater.

The next part actually makes sense. Horizon doesn’t want her emotions recovered if it will cost lives. Sensible, especially since her emotions are WMDs. Toori wants Horizon to have them back and suggests a date at the festival to change her mind. Then the one emotion she DOES have, the Lype Katarrippi, goes missing. Sigh. Tenjo and Cloak-girl have an intimate bath and later talk about Double-Bloody Mary’s execution again, and the start of the Armada war. Then, because one bath scene is not enough for this show, the girls all jump in. Masazumi needs a new spell protection, or something, and a mouse is suggested, but she gets a baby anteater instead. Finally, it’s festival time. Shakespeare (Thomas, not William) sits next to Glasses-guy in the comiket hall and signals the start of something ominous … The sky turns red, and I guess we’ll get more battling next week. You know, I think I’m beginning to understand little bits of this show.

Tortoise’s delivery is too slow for ghost stories.

Polar Bear’s Cafe 18 isn’t much, but is it ever? The ghost stories section felt like a missed opportunity to let us know what all these animals are actually afraid of, but apart from Llama’s ghost zebra, none of them held up too well. I would have liked to hear Mandrill’s story, but he’s forced to stop … Part two isn’t much better as it’s just more whining from Panda about having to work all the time. Though I suppose it’s amusing that he considers lazing around as normal behavior but lazing around at the zoo as work.

For Binbougami Ga! 5 Ichiko gets turned into a little girl. This should be all sorts of fun, but unfortunately when she tries to hide from Momiji it means staying with Keito’s family, so a lot more poor happy people scenes. At least this time Ichiko keeps her mouth shut, and since she’s in little girl form the family cuts her more slack. Even worse is her reaction to this family–irritation, well, at least with Keito. I wonder how many episode it’s gonna take before she says “Can this be love … No way!” The only decent moment was the comparison between Momiji and tiny Ichiko’s bust size, and the “Over 9000!” bit they do with it. And, sigh, it’s a two-parter. So expect more of the same next week.

Free food is involved.

This week, on Moyashimon Returns 5, we learned all about pulque, which I first learned about watching Anthony Bourdain puke it out in his old Food Network show. It’s seen as no less disgusting here. I don’t know why the line outside the fermenting cellar crew booth is so long. Maybe because it’s about the only food at the festival which doesn’t have soy in it. Some of the other stalls looked pretty interesting anyway. Anyway, the lectures by men and microbes push aside the other story arc–Hasegawa is still gone. I was a bit let down that we didn’t get any farther with that. The highlight was the battle: the football and lacrosse clubs try to keep order against an army of housewives set on free produce. They didn’t stand a chance. There wasn’t any reason to devote so much time this part, but this show tends to wander. It’s one of its charms.

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