Wixoss 7, Mekaku 5, Captain Earth 6

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Celebrity Infected WIXOSS 7 does little in the way of telling us what’s behind the mysteries, though it looked to head that way early on when Ruuko was running around looking for Akira and muttering about how she had to “end this,” which I assume means this cruel, weird game. But instead she meets Iona and is goaded into battling, whereupon she forgets everything else in the joy of it … as does Iona. Here we get the only clue about the game we get this week: Iona recognizes Ruuko as “the one.” … the one what? The one person she knows who’s driven to battle as much as she is? Or the special player? It can’t be about Ruuko’s motives, because Iona has the same: the love of battling.

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As for the battle, it was like the show itself, a way to get a look the characters’ psyches using a generic lightshow battle format. We could see both Ruuko and Iona getting seriously into it, which ironically made them harder to read. When Iona or Ruuko grinned, was it because they had a devastating attack prepared or because they were just having fun playing out their thirst for battle? Did they want it to go on “forever,” like Tama did? Hard to say, but we got the idea: both these girls are in it for the fighting, not necessarily for the winning. Trouble is, we already knew this about Ruuko. This episode didn’t really take any of the characters any further in their development. The story itself only edges forward, and that’s thanks to Akari’s grotesque and kind of cool-looking new appearance at the end.

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Mekaku City Actors 4 ended with that boy Hibiya throwing himself in front of a truck to save Hiyoi, so naturally episode 5 ignores that completely, for the most part, and instead turns to Shintarou waking up in a girl’s room and subsequently getting abused and teased by this group of people he’s joined against his will. It doesn’t matter if we don’t know what happened to the kids, because they’ll tell us eventually, right? Well … yes, except when we DO catch up with the youngsters they’re being kidnapped for some reason, and that tall, weird, guy, Konoha, is rescuing them. Then they ALL get hit by a truck. Well, maybe not, because there’s a lot of snake imagery that gets in the way and makes me feel like we’re watching Monogatari SS again, but, hell, a lot of things in this show make me think that. Maybe this series is a dumping ground for all the backgrounds and other art they couldn’t cram into Monogatari. And Shintarou is the repository of all the abuse they didn’t unleash on Araragi.

Name that Shaft show. ... WRONG!
Name that Shaft show. … WRONG!

But while the show sets up another head-scratcher with those kids, it develops an earlier one when we find that the group’s founder was the girl that Shintarou sees in his dreams often. Apparently he’s trying to remember her, to make an old connection, and maybe that ties in with the monster story at the end. Meanwhile, at the grave, Ene, now a member of the group, recognizes the girl from a photograph. How come she knows her? We don’t know that much about Ene, really, something that Shintarou muses about while walking away from the group as fast as he can, only run into Konoha and the kidnapping. Yep, a fine, jumbled mess, with the usual, stunning artwork and downright weird digressions.

One of the better villain lines I've come across.
One of the better villain lines I’ve come across.

I think I am getting what’s going on in Captain Earth, but it took that assistant wearing glasses to flat-out state it before I caught on to, er, that little bit of it. We got the Kivotos plan that wants to remove selected persons from the Earth before the Kiltgang destroy it, and the Interception Faction who want to duke it out with the Kiltgang even if that looks hopeless. Okay, I can understand that, but how do the kids figure into it? Kube tells Reito to get the girl, and he tries in the least competent way possible, in a scene that feels like a throwaway, like the creators realized he wasn’t that great of a character and wanted him out of the series. They do toss in a bit with Daichi’s uncle witnessing it all, so I guess there’s a little development to salvage things. So now Reito’s out of the picture. As for the other kids: Teppei doesn’t do much in this episode except get philosophical on Akira, and Hana tries to tell Daichi things but we don’t understand it, and neither does Daichi. Most interesting are those two villains on the other side, who are possibly going to screw around with Kube’s well-laid plans. This bit was the most fun to watch for me, because I have no idea where their sympathies lay.

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