Nagi no Asukara 2 has a more cheerful mood than the first episode, well, up to a point. It looks like the only really abusive surface people are schoolchildren, and the only sea-kid who has a grudge is Hikari. The show is taking pains to show with his scrunched-up faces that he’s just young and immature, and jealous to boot, but unfortunately he still comes off as an asshole, and that makes me root for the Manaka-Tsumugu pairing, though THAT boy is a cold fish (Get it? Bwahahaha!). But the other kids are reasonable enough, and Tsumugu is genuinely interested in the undersea world, absurd as it is. No, the ugliness now turns to the sea city’s penchant for kicking people out for having relationships with surface people, and Akari, the sister, is in trouble for it. So Hikari is seeing first-hand that the bigotry extends to both sides, and since he disapproves of that relationship, it’s her sister. How he’s going to handle that? Not to mention Manaka. That boy’s got some troubles ahead.
And the moment I finish writing the above I get a NEW episode thrown at me. Episode 3 does a lot of explaining, the most important thing being that kids from sea and surface couples are essentially surface creatures. That sort of but not completely explains why the sea people banish people from that relationship from their village. To be a family you have to live on the surface. But to be completely banished like that, I mean, are they not even allowed to visit? While I ponder that the show does other things, mainly weaving plot strands around, mainly Hikari’s decision to grow up a little (hardly a decision, since his anger goes away when confronted with common sense–he’s been maturing without realizing it), and establishing Akari as the series’ saddest character, sacrificing what she wants when circumstances force her to. First, college, now, this guy (and we have a plot twist with HIM later). Basically everyone decides to be reasonable for a change and thus become friends. It’s becoming a bit like Hanasaku Iroha in that most of the story comes in little doses to certain characters, then others, and it builds up to something far greater. But is that appropriate for a fantasy story like this?
In Kill la Kill 3 we learn that Matoi has been wearing her suit all wrong. We know it’s powered by blood, but apparently her reluctance to give it the blood it needs makes its yearning stronger, thus making the suit weaker, or run out of power quicker. Something like that. So the big message in this episode, apparently, is to get naked, that is be unashamed. Thus it was amusing when Kiryuuin put on her own “Godrobe” (I typoed that as “bodrobe”), completely unashamed in her own nakedness, because she is above all that. Ironically, her suit is nicknamed “purity.” So basically we get scenes of Matoi getting knocked around before she somehow figures out how the suit goes on (and how does she learn? Mako’s weekly bizarre, cute, gesturing speech is pretty vague, and the suit doesn’t tell her), and after a lot of shots that would be sexy if they weren’t so cartoonish, we get a standoff, and now Matoi has to beat up everyone in the school. That should take a few episodes.
Kyoukai no Kanata 3 ends in a nice WTF way, after a sequence of scenes that were so good at raising tension that I didn’t notice it was happening. But the fact that we don’t know who that girl is (or I couldn’t remember) and why she went after Kuriyama cut the rug from under the tension. Never mind. Much of the rest of the episode had to do with the upcoming arrival of Hollow Shadow and that everyone should just stay away from it. Kuriyama won’t, and we get the backstory about the murder, if that’s what you call it, and speculation on our part about why she’s basically committing suicide by doing so. Is it revenge? To make up for her past “failure” in killing the nice girl? Or does she want to kill herself by facing the monster that started the problem a second time? And along with all that we see more of the other characters. Anaki is less an asshole and more of a clown this episode, until the monster shows up, that is, and it leads to an amusing little scene between him, Akihito, and Mitsuki. It’s a good sign for a series when the quiet scenes are as fun to watch as the action is.