Attack on Titan 6 starts with some misdirection, featuring Armin trying to get himself together (and mostly failing) after watching Eren get eaten. We follow him as he thinks about how cruel the world is, the strong preying on the weak, etc, but then we get a complete change and follow Mikasa as she goes flashbacking to the terrible event that made her the efficient cold-blooded killing machine (and the most fun character to watch) she is today. It’s more strong-preying-upon-the-weak, and not terribly interesting, apart from the fact that she’s part “oriental” as they put it. One good contrast, if an unrealistic one: they show the helpless Mikasa watch as Eren as a child (showing as much maturity as he does as an adult) kill two of her captors and urge her to fight back against the third. Earlier we saw Armin being kicked around by bullies only to be saved by Mikasa and Eren. Armin never figured out how to fight back, Mikasa did. Though with her it’s as if super killing powers got zapped into her by some exterior force. But everything about Mikasa suggests otherworldly abilities, anyway.
If Red Data Girl has any more episodes like #6, well, I dunno. There were two interesting scenes in it, one where a drunken Izumiko out-of-bodies herself to chat with Masumi’s ghost, and he suggests hitting on her, odd behavior for a ghost. Izumiko is drunk enough not to freak out, but simply ponder the implications. The other scene was a verbal confrontation between Mayura and Akinokawa over power at the school, and the only thing that makes it interesting was that it was a confrontation, because we have almost no clue what they’re talking about. Afterwards the show deigns to tell us what the judges, executive committee stuff and the SMF actually mean, but through a series of conversations so lifeless that I don’t really care. Since this show is made by PA Works, for whom slice-of-life is a speciality, maybe I should expect most of the supernatural stuff to come out in the form of discussion, but their previous shows did a much better job of it.
Episode 7 is a little better, but like the previous one, businesslike and often dull, tossing out scenes of this and that like a bored dealer, and giving us little clarification. First Mayura decides to test Miyuki’s abilities, leading to utter failure by Miyuki and more soul-searching by Izumiko about how his plight is all her fault, after all. Though, if this was a different show, the victors would be smirking and mocking the boy. Here they (the ones not brainwashed into attacking) just nod and say “Okay, now we know,” while Miyuki goes “I TOLD you!” One thing about PA Works shows is that their characters know when to go against type.
I mostly understood that part, but things got confusing again when Manatsu runs off to tend to Tabi the horse, leaving Masumi to cover. There’s potential for annoying humor here, but the show ignores it for the most part, the biggest problem being when Masumi is temporarily driven away by a ritual dance the executive committee does. Then, when Izumiko and Miyuka decide to check up on Manatsu, they find the horse has died and Manatsu is talking about not remaining with Mayura, only to have her overhear. She says she rushed to the brother who was the saddest. He says he no longer has Tabi to protect him (huh?), meanwhile a horse materializes out of nowhere and he rides off on it. A true WTF moment. Izumiko, Miyuki, and Mayura are shocked; I am completely befuddled. And only now do I realize that this was the siblings’ story arc. I only wish I understood it better.