Nisekoi 10 has the aftermath of the bath scene, with Chitoge possibly pissed off because Raku didn’t see her “perfect body,” though he actually did and is doing the decent thing by lying about it. Meanwhile, Raku had gotten a glimpse of Onodera’s pretty damn good body as well, and now can’t look her in the eye. The possible misunderstandings between them are cleared up by another white lie and an honest attempt to reassure. And then it’s time for a test of courage, where Chitoge winds up stuck in the woods without a flashlight. Remember, she’s afraid of the dark. The choices Raku has to make here are obvious and not very interesting apart from moving the hateful couple a little closer together. What makes this episode as fun to watch as the others is, as usual, the mind-blowing effects Shaft uses to show Raku’s elation and then terror at being paired with Onodera, especially the riff on #12, and those star-things that signified a heart-swelling moment, and the ones used to show Chitoge’s fear at being alone in the woods, including more of those heart-swelling star things when Raku finds her.
Space Dandy 11 is the third good one in a row. Two weeks ago they did a nice job of creating a strange, trippy world to look at; last week they threw two old tropes together and had fun with them. This week it comes down to the cool idea.
I suppose someone has thought and written a story about an intelligent book, but I haven’t come across it. What puts it over the top is what they do with the idea. Dandy and his pals come across the book, er, somehow, no one can remember. They find a slip of paper inside that they see as a free ticket to Lagada, a planet which is entirely a library. My librarian-sense went “Hooray!” I’m a sucker for good library stories. Meanwhile that bad guy is on the way to Lagada to challenge a returned item dispute by destroying it, but that’s really a sideshow.
They get to play with metaphors for a bit. The book is of a parasitic species which uses others’ brains to do the boring thinking, solving the mundane bits, by feeding them hints and letting the exterior intelligences work the problems out. It uses humans like humans use computers. I’m reminded of the “Language is a virus” phrase (especially with the drifting alien letters that float and flow around things), that language is a code that can affect behavior, such as the slip of paper rearranging its words to get Dandy to go to the planet in search of free food. Finally, there was the irony of the book’s reason for leaving Lagado in the first place. Fun stuff. And while I thought they could have presented it better, I’ll forgive them just for the fun of the idea, and for the excellent look (grey, black, white, like pencil scratches on paper) of Lagado.
You know, there was something I wanted to add to the paragraph above, but I can’t remember what it is now. Seriously.
Meanwhile, in Bouryaku no Zvezda 10, the shit’s hit the fan. Two of our beloved conquerors are down, maybe three. Jimon and Renge are the lam. So are Kate and Plamya. None of them have a home now, and if they’re found they’ll be shot. Most of the episode is pretty depressing, with Zvezda losing their home and source of energy, constantly running from an enemy so much worse than White Light that Renge turned against them. Unfortunately, the more capable Kaori didn’t, and she’s following the orders of the new boss, which is to kill his son, Jimon. No wonder the kid ran away. It’s sad to see them fall one by one, and the rest is bewildering. Most of all, Kate. She keeps saying these odd things, like “I didn’t want to be a little girl,” or lines about 12,000 years to Renge, and how the earth is shining like a diamond. She jumps from childlike behavior to meglomania so fast that Jimon wonders if there’s something wrong with her, I mean, more than usual. If we actually get an explanation, it will be a letdown, but we need something from the show. Three episodes left if you believe ANN, and I’m not sure I do. This felt like a penultimate episode.
Nobunaga the Fool 10 feels more ridiculous than usual. They go to Takamagahara, the only place where ships from the West Star can land, and pretty much tear it up in order to steal a war armor. Nobunaga is leading the infiltration/assault, which I cheer him for, but surely he could have left it to the subordinates. Never mind, it’s not his episode, really. It actually belongs to Hideyoshi. We figured it would when he mentions off-handedly early on that his sister died at the hands of the Oda clan (indirectly, it turns out), and later says out loud “Gee, I sure wish I had a giant robot of my own to pilot.” We also learn that his sister died of starvation because the war took all the food, and after he got over the hate he decided to stand beside Nobunaga to conquer everything so there won’t be war anymore. Also, because Nobunaga’s got intregrity. Well, Hidiyoshi’s never been the brightest of characters. Anyway, guess who winds up with the armor they steal? Oh, and if Nobunaga shows weakness, Hidoyoshi will strike him down. This is said many times this episode, by both men, usually with grins on their faces.