I don’t really know what to think about Kill la Kill 19.
I didn’t expect a huge episode full of fights and revelations after that craziness last week, and I didn’t get one. Not to say it was sedate. Instead, the episode concentrated on getting us caught up with what happened to everyone AFTER last week, since they jumped ahead five months, with moments of characteristic action bubbling to the surface. But it felt off, like there was now a distance between me and the characters and events. Maybe it was that the circumstances had changed so much. Revocs has pretty much won. Nudist Beach, with the Four Devas helping, can do little more than rescue some people and fiddle with new weapons. Satsuki is hanging from her arms in a cage. Ryuuko won’t wake up. Or maybe it was the “all is lost” feeling about the whole thing.
About the only things that I managed to get excited over was the Mako / Gamagoori Ship Watch, which took another couple steps forward after Mako gets sucked into a Cover and is later rescued by him, and some of the signs of life the others show near the end, such as Satsuki’s toenail, and Ryuuko waking up. Of course, the Ryuuko we have now is bitter and nihilistic about her own existence now, a “life fiber monster,” as she describes herself. But, hell, she’s awake, and more capable of doing damage than anyone else on the good guys’ side. But what were those harp things supposed to be? That’s where the show took a further step away from me. And why is Ragyo going on now about rage, and is Ryuuko’s rage what she’s talking about? Okay, plenty of stuff to enjoy and think about this week, but it didn’t have the impact it should.
Meanwhile, Nagi no Asukara is still making it hard to care about anything at all. Plot-wise, Manaka is still unconscious, and they take the whole episode trying to figure out ways to wake her up, and when she does at the end, saying the most profound thing I can remember her saying (“Ue?”), it’s not clear whether any of the things they tried worked or not. Let’s see, she woke up when Miuna and Hikari were arguing about whether to wake her up with a kiss … maybe there’s a connection there, maybe not. Well, it’s better than kissing her and having her wake up. The show’s not stupid like that, just slow and pointless at times. Elsewhere we spend time with Miuna, who’s afraid that she actually doesn’t want Manaka to wake up because of something she blurted out earlier in the episode. This is silly, but she’s in middle school and can be forgiven beliefs like that. And there’s the question of why Miuna now has ena and Manaka doesn’t–is it a passing of the torch between the two? Are they suggesting that Miuna is the one Hikari should wind up with? But considering that I don’t really like both Manaka and Hikari, I can’t find the energy to care. Sad to say that this has become the dull, downer show I watch after Kill la Kill …
I guess Chuunibyou Ren is somewhere in between. Here, the little romance takes a step forward after nearly falling apart, thanks to Satone crashing Yuuta and Rikka’s school-trip date. What’s surprising here is how Rikka behaves. She is rightly upset that Yuuta tries to help out Satone, watching the two of them perform some nearly flawless magic on a monkey, and running off afterwards, but once she settles down she also shows more sense than I expected. It wasn’t their fault the monkey chased them and made them fall off that ledge, hell, just helping Satone out was the decent thing to do. And later, when Satone calls her out, they have a sensible chat. In spite of their degrees of delusions, they know enough now to drop the childishness when it’s important. But the biggest shock comes at the end, with the “I love you.” There was no beating about the bush, no lapse into Tyant’s Eye speech, no steam coming out of Rikka’s collar, no hesitation at all. If anything, she sounded playful, maybe enjoying the surprise on her boy’s face. A lovely moment. If this second season is simply going to be about the two of them getting closer, this episode was a good way to do it.