After I learned about the ugly business involving the Kokoro Connect staff and a powerless voice actor I wondered how that would affect my viewing of the show from here on out. Turns out, not much, though the irony of it happening with a series about people being humiliated by a powerful force for shits and giggles doesn’t escape me.
I have to wonder about what Heartseed was up to when he invaded Lori and gave that message to Inaba. Oh, sure, it was frightening for us since that looming cliff was given, rather obviously, as potential for disaster earlier (Kudos to Lori’s VA for a spot-on Heartseed imitation, by the way). But she’d have found out the truth soon enough. Maybe it was to prompt her crying jag, but after that talk with Lori she’d already be unstable enough to overreact. I guess I’ll chalk it up as Heartseed being his usual hateful self.
In this show many if not all of the crises are resolved by the civilized technique of talking it out. We get another one here, and while it left me disappointed at least it leads to future fun, as the way is clear for an honest battle for a boy. The conversation was more Lori shouting things at Inaba while the latter gave weak defenses and cried a lot. I can understand Inaba’s excuses, that she doesn’t want to make a play for Taichi because he and Lori make a good couple, and it would cause friction in the club, may cause her to lose friends, and she needs all the friends she can get, she has an ugly personality, etc. But we’ve been through much of this before when she earlier told the club she doesn’t trust anybody. For Lori to say she’d be Inaba’s friend anyway is nothing new. But it gets better when they decide to be open, honest rivals for Taichi (I don’t know if I envy or pity him). At least something is accomplished there. So now we watch for news on that front and wait for whatever Dung Beetle, er Heartseed has in store for them next. It can’t be any worse.
Sword Art Online 10 … Dawwww! It only took some treachery and near-death to bring the two lovebirds together.
I’m not crazy about how they handled Kuradeel. When Kirito joined Knights of Blood (through a convincing loss. It’s good to see the boy is capable of losing a fair fight) and is forced to team with him for training, the scene was full of possibilities. Kuradeel could be in love with Asuna and wildly jealous, that sort of thing. They could have made him complicated. Instead they make him an insane killer, in other words, deadly-dull unless his plans are in action. Well, we get plenty of that, and an uncomfortable amount of time watching him smirk and gloat before killing Godfree and almost killing Kirito. It was hard to watch, not only for the cruelty but because we know Kirito would get out of it somehow.
Kirito talked earlier about the limits of being a loner, and at the time we figured he was saying it to make Asuna feel better about joining her guild. But we then witness the advantages of having at least one person fighting with you. Yeah, it was a little ridiculous to have Asuna show up like the cavalry but I can live with it, because it leads to a fun moment where she makes some slices in this scumbag, and leads to her and Kirito breathlessly declaring their devotion to each other, and the show changes, maybe permanently. Kirito is no longer alone. Everything he’ll do from now on he’ll do with Asuna. And it was well-done; from the moment he met her early in the series, the events leading to this felt completely natural. Of course, everything AFTER that in the episode is nervous reaching out as they get accustomed to the new arrangement, so it was silly, but sweet nonetheless. I suppose they’ll have a frivolous episode or two coming up, but why not? They deserve it.
Moyashimon Returns 10 has both Hasegawa and Marie coming to terms with fathers and would-be fiancees. Both stories work pretty well, though Hasegawa’s is more dramatic, with Ryuuka threatening her at one point and collapsing from the norovirus the next, but the keep the drama raised with both by switching from one scene to the next. I frankly don’t quite understand why Marie’s father is so upset that she’s discovered he can’t drink alcohol. I know there’s some pride at stake, but surely if you can’t consume the wine you’re making you should get some help if you’re going to keep making it. Though stomping off from Marie was, as I said a good tense moment. So was her realization that the brewery was too cold (well, the microbes helped by spelling out a message on the car windshield, and Sawaki helped the microbes by pouring wine there in the first place), and what her subsequent actions made her father think. As for Hasegawa, it looked like a good talk with Ryuuka was all they really needed. It’s hard to believe that he might be considered a friendly character now. But the unsung hero of the episode is Sawaki, who not only splashed the wind on the windshield so the microbes could write a message, and recognizing the norovirus before Hasegawa could get infected by it.