Wixoss 4, Captain Earth 3-4, Sidonia 3, Nisekoi 16

Some series like to give you a big infodump in episode one, while others try to inject their backstories into the action, which then stumbles. Selector Infected WIXOSS is letting its story unfold just right.

We don't know, either.
We don’t know, either.

We have a lot of mysteries going on here. Besides the game itself and who’s behind all this wishing stuff, I also wonder that that grandma knows. More than she’s letting on, I bet. There’s also the fact that Tama is basically a child in a girl’s body–how come? The other avatars treat her as a special case but don’t tell us anything more, stupid avatars. The others have become surrogate friends and advisors to their masters; Tama isn’t happy unless she’s batting. And at one point even Ruuko says Tama looks scary. As for Akira, tell me there’s nothing sinister about how she manipulated all those schoolgirls into finding Ruuko so they could have a match.

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Which leads us to one of the nicer Lrig/master relationships. Midoriko, Hitoe’s card-girl, watches as her boss makes two friends (a big deal for her, involving formal declarations, which takes the more practical Yuzuki by surprise) and points out that Hitoe has already gotten her wish even without the competition. I’m still wondering what will happen when she finally loses her third match. Will she lose them? So Midoriko is like an older sister, Hanayo is like a stout comrade, back to Tama: what the hell is she? And what is she doing to Ruuko? Ruuko has gone from liking the game to loving it to wanting to battle people no matter what. She says Tama is scary, but frankly Ruuko’s getting a little scary as well. Good thing that, unlike Akira, she has some friends to support her. All these things are presented in little dollops along the way and feels completely natural. Just as Ruuko’s getting sucked into the game, I’m getting sucked into this series.

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Catching up with Captain Earth, watching 3-4, at first being reminded why I gave the series a chance, and then reminded of why I might drop it. Ep3 starts out fun enough, with the formal introduction of Akari, who proceeds to riff on the Evangelion abandonment issues things in a way we all wish Shinji could have, while Nishikubo, the father, who’s barely in control at that base, can do nothing. After everyone settles in, Amarok attacks, and since he’s flying the same machine that killed Daichi’s dad, Daichi feels obliged to go out and fight him, even though his own mecha hasn’t been rearmed yet. Then things get really silly, Hana sings a song, suddenly Teppei’s up there in his own mecha.

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Everything up to then had made some sort of logical sense, even the wacky villains, but this cosmic song thing I can’t handle. Speaking of wacky villains, they decided to invade the base while driving a crepe truck. This is the sense of style I want out of this series. Too bad they had to get serious and actually DO something when they get there, like shoot people and try to abduct Teppei because he’s actually one of them, it seems. This time it’s Daichi with the rescue, but my interest was nearly gone at this point. This show is better when it’s got it’s Star Driver sensibility on. When it doesn’t it feels like just another show.

It's still early yet.
It’s still early yet.

Knights of Sidonia 3 an unpleasant one where real fun happens last and the rest is just setting it up. The four devas continue to make nice with Nagate and defeat Kunato in the competition, so we’re supposed to like these guys and be devestated when the beastie wipes them all out at the end, but we all figured it was coming. Everything from the resevoir (umi!) scene to the battle had pineapple salad written all over it. And it was their own damn fault, too. Akai gets caught, and it’s expected that one of them would, and then his girlfriend loses all her discipline and goes off solo, and then they’re all pretty much doomed. They were supposed to be good as a team? Gimmie a break. Well, they were all boring, anyway. I much prefer the sister, Yuhata, though I’m afraid she’s just going to wind up in the harem. Elsewhere, Kunato goes from pompous jerk to all-around asshole, and next week we get a lot of chaos. Things get cheerier in this series week by week!

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Nisekoi 16 could have been agonizing. I don’t much care for these situations where the boy and the girl are stuck together for a while and are too nervous to take any steps forward, possibly because I’m waiting for something to happen. Some things keep this from getting that far, however. First, both Raku and Onodera, though nervous, are completely sensible people who can read the room well and don’t screw things up. Second, Onodera’s mom is great fun, and she helped kill some of the time for us. Third, this is a Shaft show. Whenever they do hit one of those dismal nervous moments the creators come up with yet another bit of strange but fitting imagery. I think my favorite was when Raku was imagining Onodera changing in the room, whereupon the background turns to planets and the soundtrack to Zarathusta. Just for a second. Then he’s slamming his head on the floor for thinking such things. So, all-in-all the two would-be lovebirds have a nice time together and not much else. Maybe next week they can get back to the story. Do you remember the story? I think I’ve forgotten.

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