SAO 11, Space Bros 24, Tari Tari 12

Sword Art Online has a cute little story arc going.

I thought this would be a silly honeymoon episode, but when we see the happy couple they’ve already been relaxing for a few days. A nice new house in the woods, some domesticity, getting used to living together, but apparently not sleeping together. Other than that they’re a perfect young married couple. I think there’s someone keeping an eye on them in this game, because they get delivered the logical next step. The two take her home whereupon she decides to call them mama and papa. Oh, boy.

Mama Bear

Yui brings a whole lot of questions not only to Kirito and Asuna but to us as well. What’s she doing here? Where did she come from? And who would put a child in a battle game? Also, what are they going to do with her? They can’t take her along; the front is no place for a child. At the same time, she’s brought out Asuna and Kirito’s parental instincts. They just can’t abandon her. This is far more more interesting than the ridiculous thugs they find at the first level threatening a woman and three kids, except for the kids part (and the fact that Kirito has no problems with letting Asuna handle the fight, even telling Yui to see how strong she is. Loved that). I assume they’re players, too, but their natural forms make them unfit for battling and easy prey for monsters. What does the game society do with them? All sorts of questions. And apart from a bizarre fit Yui has at the end and her talk of hearts, we don’t get any answers.

Space Brothers 24 feels like the beginning of a sequel sequel series, and a filler episode as well. Gone are all the others for now. Now it’s Hibito, Jennifer, and new people. Idiots like Lowry and especially dangerous people like Azuma, who got passed over when the lunar mission was announced and still holds a grudge, so we’re told. We don’t get much of Azuma this episode. He has one scene where he glowers, and otherwise it’s people talking about him, which means our perception of him is going to be fundamentally wrong in some way. And now Mutta has to have a final interview with him. This could be interesting, and I have an idea we won’t get to it next week. We’re probably going to get a lot of scenes showing Azuma’s point of view, as well as the Mutta prep scenes the preview showed us. Then they’ll bring them together. As for this episode, it was a lot of lawn mowing, lunar dust-pitching, and heavy thinking, really a respite for the fun ahead.

Tari Tari 12 is little more than buildup for the big performance. Most of it is solving small crises, such as the confiscated props, getting a pianist, and new challenges, like letting the town know there’s going to be something going on even if the festival’s been shot down. I enjoyed the fact that some of the other students are sympathetic to the choir club’s goals and wind up helping, since, hell, they have nothing better to do now anyway, but its not a universal “let’s put on a show! madness that other series might make out of it. We do get some insight into the adults. Takakura and Wakana share a moment at the gravesite, and I suspect Takakura’s role in the series isn’t done yet. Same with the hapless principal, who can’t even make the rules at his own school anymore, though at least he tries, using the same words he overheard from Miyamoto earlier. But the biggest obstacle are the owners and the construction people. The students might wind up suspended or worse if this goes on. Expect a lot of big confrontations at the finale, expect Takakura and the principal to intervene, and then we can call it a wrap.

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