Chuuibyou Ren and Zvezda 4, Dandy and Fool 5

"Have I ever told you about the Great Pumpkin?"
“Have I ever told you about the Great Pumpkin?”

In Chuuibyou Ren 4, Shinka runs for the student council. In terms of high school election episodes it’s not bad, no evil rivals undermining her campaign, no heartwarming scenes of everyone working together, because none of the other characters really care. But it was more painful than some because you sort of knew she was in for an embarrassing hit before it was over, especially when she gets Sanae to help her win over the first years. But it was more of a study of both these girls than a big-story episode. What’s most interesting to me is what happened when Sanae finally realizes that Shinka is the real Mori Summer. It got so that I was almost begging her to fall out of that belief, or at least settle down; that faithful puppy dog routine got on my nerves fast. One other thing: I hadn’t thought about it much, but I was surprised to discover the Mori Summer mythos was so new-age-sparkly-rainbowlike. I thought Sanae was more on the Dark Raison Tyrant’s Eye Dark Flamey side of delusional fantasies.

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Sekai Seifuku – Bouryaku no Zvezda (How I hate typing that last word!), we turn to Natasha while she, Jimon and Kate travel underground to the ancient civilization of Udo, where the mother plant resides, in order to save it. Apparently all their energy and ability to transform comes from it. The journey down isn’t terribly dangerous as far as underground tunnels and caverns go in fiction, but it gives us time to hear about her sad and bewildering past. A robotics nut from an early age, ostracized because of it, taken underground by her parents to see fairies … it’s vague after that, and it says little about her, though earlier and later events suggest she has a fear of abandonment and a basic need for companionship (hence crawling into Jimon’s futon early in the episode). Once more, the sheer oddness of the situation helps the backstory and the rather basic story go down smoothly. Too much weirdness can get tiring, but this show is doing a good job of feeding us small and steady doses and keeping the characters somewhat realistic, apart from Kate.

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Space Dandy 5 has doesn’t save anime either, but it’s probably the best episode of the series so far. This in spite of it again being completely predictable. The alien he’s hunting turns out to be a homeless alien girl, and they go on a odyssey in order to find her home, except, this being a 24-minute show, the cut the odyssey down to flashes of activity. They bicker and they bond, bad guys are tailing them, etc etc. But, apart from the penguin and the train business near the end, it’s done well enough that I got a tug on the heartstrings when it wrapped up. But I’m not sure the episode saved anything. When is it going to save something like everyone said?

Jeanne poses dramatically on the battlefield.
Jeanne poses dramatically on the battlefield.

Nobunaga the Fool 5 sped through a lot of stuff, well, after more of the between crisis plot-piece pushing and moments of consultation and internal monologues. Jeanneis still pissed about the nuptials (Never mind that, Jeanne, take a card), Himiko pissed because her husband is too busy being who he is, I figured there’d be a play on Nobunaga’s life eventually, but I didn’t suspect anything so soon, oh, and well-played, Mitsuhide! We also knew that Caesar would make a play for conquest (and, we learn, for Ichihime), and we may have figured that Nobukatsu would have an unfortunate time on the battlefield, but I hadn’t expected these things to happen all at once. Hell, I hadn’t expected such a momentous battle in the first place. The show does a good enough job with it that when certain characters show up in the nick of time I had quite forgotten about them. In a show wallowing in history, such as it is, and intrigue, it doesn’t keep still for long, and that’s fine with me.

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