Asukara 23, Zvezda 11, Dandy 12, Fool 12, Nisekoi 11

(I’m dumping what I got here because I’m off sightseeing for a couple days. Kyoto!)

Nagi no Asukara 23 has the all the usual characters limping around emotionally, in love with people who don’t appear to be in love with them, but who knows?

Oh, she probably does.
Oh, she probably does.

Nobody seems to know what’s going on. Manaka has an excuse; the asshole sea god took her ability to love away. This episode it actually seems to bother her. We get in especially in once scene where that little tyke writes her a love letter and something seems to hit her. Also, the sea gets really loud when she’s thinking in this episode. Other times she comments how she doesn’t know what love is in that “never been in love” way, to which you should be smug and say “you will,” but around her no one is sure she will, so instead we get tragic looks that she doesn’t understand.

Finally!  Someone says it!
Finally! Someone says it!

Besides this week’s spoonful of plot, about doing another boatdrift festival, using that stone Manaka has (will she give it up?), and talk about detritus being the memories of living things, we get one interesting scene. Kaname’s been wandering around with that always-a-bridesmaid attitude he gets, and Sayu, who knows he’s in love with Chisaki, who’s in love with etc., gets sick of it, or maybe’s she’s sick of everyone in the show wandering around wondering if they’re in love, SHOULD they love somebody (Chisaki is especially annoying about that this week), or CAN they? So right then and there, at the train tracks, she confesses to Kaname. Since nothing every goes right for Sayu this is especially brave of her. And kudos for Kaname for actually thinking “Hey, she likes me. Maybe I ought to see what she’s like. It’s not like I have anything else going on…” Other characters in this show have confessed, of course, but they always make it as complicated as possible, or their would-be partner does. So I had to cheer or these two side-characters who are going to work it out. Also, nice speech, Sayu.

Not Kate's best idea.
Not Kate’s best idea.

With Bouryaku no Zvezda 11 the worrisome thing is not that the bad guys (Zvezda) are about to lose, it’s that the real bad guys are going to win. The darkness that began to overrun this show last episode got even worse this time (I got an unpleasant chill when Jimon’s father announced the annexation of West Udogawa, thinking of the Crimea situation happening now), even while there are signs of life in Zvezda, starting with Natasha and her tears (what the hell was that about?), and Jimon’s announcement to Renge that he was going away. And Goro, lying there in the morgue, well, I don’t count him out yet. Jimon’s departure (after a sweet little scene with Renge) I take the least seriously, because he’s the most powerless. What’s he going to do? Confront his father? The man’s not even human anymore. As for Kate, judging from her reactions to her stuffed doll, I can only assume she showed up at the ceremony in order to die, maybe to be reborn somewhere else and try again. I don’t know. Every main character is acting so weirdly. Well, they always have.


After three good episodes, Space Dandy falls back into predictability in episode 12. The boys try to catch a Chameleonian, a creature who can look like anything it wants. Naturally, they bring one onboard without knowing it, naturally it imitates each of them until the boys, naturally, are beside themselves. Naturally they have to play a game to guess who the real Dandy is. An offshoot of the “evil twin” story that I first saw in Green Acres; who knows where it started. I will say that though the writing is hackneyed, the direction isn’t. The show managed to keep moving even as I was cringing from the predictable scenes. And they add a nice touch at the end, where Dandy begins to question his identity and the chameleonian forgets his. And I liked the digression they added with QT becoming a fishing nut. Too bad it came early on and they didn’t bother with it afterwards.

Now that you've said that: no.
Now that you’ve said that: no.

Damn, I wish Nonunaga the Fool would be done with Caesar, already. Smug villains bore me. As for the episode itself it wasn’t bad in terms of the story, that is to say, there’s a battle, though we know that since we see Nobunaga announcing his strategy to Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi, that it would fail in some way. Well, be fair, it didn’t. It was working to perfection when Caesar called upon a god or a dragon or something and leveled up, and now it looks like he might have won this battle. Ho hum. I suppose it was too early to get rid of him, since he lusts after Ichihime but hasn’t actually met her yet. Also, the card of the week is Death, so, in spite of DaVinci’s commentary on how that could mean the death of their robot armor if they overheat (basically a way to feed us information on the upcoming battle), we know someone’s gotta die. Turns out it was mainly peasants and small soldiers. I feel let down. The only thing it does to the main characters is give Jeanne a big guilt complex.


In the first half of Nisekoi 11 we had to watch Raku go through all the usual agonizings he usually does when he finds himself on a non-date with Onodera. The coffee shop scene was especially irritating (apart from the laughing waitress), and it looked like more of the same when Onodere, more proactive than usual, takes him to her secret place, which isn’t THAT hidden, really. We watch Raku torture himself (and us) while trying to ask a simple question about her birthday, while we knew it was a pointless question to begin with and it won’t get us anywhere. But in a flash of comic plot, he blurts out the real question: was she the friend from years ago? FINALLY, the story takes a step forward! Of course, no way could they get any further than that, like, you know, try out the key and locket. Not a chance. The gods of comedy wouldn’t allow it, and they’re too busy dithering over the implications to think about it. The second half, until the final line, is more wheel-spinning. Well, the gang learn that Chitoge’s family are mobsters, but they’re fine with that. Rather sweet moment when they find out, actually. Raku gives Chitoge the most ridiculous bday gift ever, and it made me laugh. What the hell was he thinking? And what store gives out Chitoge gorilla dolls?

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