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Space Bros 30, Jojo 4, Shinki 3

One reason to watch Space Brothers.

Like many episodes there’s not much plot progression in Space Brothers 30, and with one of the most important events of the series happening, and the show taking its sweet time over everything anyway, you’d be disappointed if they rushed the actual launch. Not to worry, we get plenty of it. We see the astronauts suiting up and greeting the crew, strapping in, each trying to keep calm in their own way, and we have the people on the ground such as Hibito’s family, the JAXA folks and other spectators. Plus we get some tension about the weather; will it clear up in time? Meanwhile, NASA is counting down, and by the time it gets to ten seconds it’s impossible not to get nervous. It’s beautifully done, the crowd noise swelling along with the music and closeups of teary faces and engagement rings on fingers, until lift-off, when the music stops and we get the roar of the engines along with the crowds …

Another reason to watch Space Brothers.

And we switch to candies being spit into a trash can. That was a rather cruel transition for me to bear, but since we know the next scene had to happen at the abaondoned blockhouse that Deneil had taken Mutta, with its great view, it could have been worse. This show always undercuts the big moments with comedy. While all the excitement of the launch was unfolding, Mutta was searching for the hotdog-happy Apo (a source of comedy every time he’s on screen) and getting driven to an undisclosed location by this geezer. Of course, the show wouldn’t be unkind enough to keep Mutta from watching his brother’s launch, so we can relax and treat any drama occurring with him as comic. He’ll get his moment of awe, too. But we’re reminded again that these heroic astronauts are just plain human beings who can act as goofy as the rest of us.

In Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure 4 we learn that Dio is not dead, we learn about a fun new discipline, and there’s all the usual shouting.

Zeppeli SPLITS THE ROCK WITHOUT HURTING THE FROG!

In the aftermath of last week’s big fight the mask has gone missing, but it’s sunny outside and Erina is helping Jojo recover, until this guy shows up. He’s been spying on the couple and now directly confronts Jojo, punching him in the stomach WITH HIS PINKY! Okay, I thought, here’s the new arc’s bad guy until Dio shows up again. But instead of beating Jojo up further, Jojo discovers that finger-punch HEALED HIS BROKEN ARM! So rather than a fight we get a lecture from this fellow, Zeppeli, who turns out to be an ally there to train Jojo on the powers of the “ripple effect.”

So we get a lot of training scenes and more crazy lecturing, so loony that you can’t help but be amused even if it’s all an infodump. Still, it’s a relief when they get a clue and go to Dio’s lair in the mountain to do some fighting. But first they must take care of Jack, a mad superpowered killer zombie controlled by the mask, It looks to be a rough fight, since Jack can fling carriages into wllls making them collapse, but Zeppeli, lecturing the entire time, fights him off, and then it’s Jojo’s turn, that is, to go down a dark tunnel and not become mincemeat by Jack (who is now apparently a vampire too), with express orders by Zeppeli to NOT SPILL THE WINE! Oh, Zeppeli adds: “Boreas fathered the vikings,” good to know, but I’m with Speedwagon at this point. This whole plan is ABSOLUTELY INSANE! Hell, this whole show is insane.

Busou Shinki continues to amuse me, somewhat, in spite of it’s lack of anything much worthwhile. It starts with a fight between Ines an Lene and from there becomes a wacky races episode with the things you usually find with those, you know, crashes, treachery switching cars with carts, that sort of thing. Through it we get the show’s usual bits: scenes not cutting until a second or two after they should, strange music choices–when they remember to turn up the soundtack at all, characters not involved showing up for no reason … But now and then they toss something unexpected or interesting at us, like that fountain going out of control in the background, or whatshername running to the finish line while Shinki battle it out in the sky above her. All that shouldn’t be enough to keep me watching, but I do anyway.

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