Twos: Aldnoah, Hanayamata, Glasslip

Now that I’ve gone through all the shows I might watch, I must decide which ones to watch next. Since so many episode twos have come out while I was dealing with episode ones I have a good supply. So I’ll pick the shows I really want to watch first. That means Aldnoah Zero.

The invasion begins symmetrically.
The invasion begins symmetrically.

And it gets right down to business. Earth forces confidently deploy to counter the invading Vers–and get beaten up. There’s a lot of this, but unlike Tokyo ESP, which I watched earlier today, it didn’t become tedious, even when the Vers dukes rattled off a smug line before effortlessly destroying another plane, or mecha. That’s because there was plenty of other stuff going on. We watched this battle from many angles. Maybe too many. While the show is doing a good job at juggling all these characters without making it confusing, I think they have too many in the air at once. It’s another good episode but busy as hell.

aldnoah2-2

And some of these characters are more interesting than others. Asseylum not being not-dead wasn’t a big surprise (c’mon!), but apart from being a plot chess-piece what else is there to her? Nao would be a little more interesting if we could get a handle on him. He calmly does this and that, maybe getting some gumption at the end after his friend is killed, but usually doing what he’s told. Marito I like because he knows how suicidal this all is but goes in anyway, hands shaking. The Vers counts are effective villains but too smug. Slaine has the biggest moral issues on his mind, and in terms of character choices his inability to kill humans was the strongest, though you know Krillram or Cruthea are going to wail on him for that. Raylet is going to have some loyalty issues of her own soon. Yeah, they DID pack a lot in this episode!

Next: Hanayamata, to see if the spell it cast on me last week would hold. Yeah, pretty much, though the focus shifted a bit.

hanayamata2-1

Like Aldnoah, the show wastes no time setting up the episode. Naru is spending time with Hana now, and Yaya feels a little jealous. Unlike Aldnoah, we pretty much know what’s going to happen: Naru and Yaya will have a fight and then make up. Not much there, really, and it does feel like they stretched it out a bit long, but that might just be me. There’s a nice little scene where Hana visits Naru’s house (driving poor Yaya nuts) and we learn a little about this strange Jersey Girl. She was into freerunning (which I had to look up, and wonder what the difference between it and parkour), but wanted something to do with a group because she felt lonely. Thus the two girls find something in common.

Hana and Yaya watch Naru try to dance.
Hana and Yaya watch Naru try to dance.

Then the fight comes, not much of a fight, really, but a demonstration of how selfish and petty Yaya can be. Naru’s depended on her since middle school. This strange blonde isn’t going to take her away! But Yaya is perceptive enough to realize this on her own, and with Hana’s unsubtle prodding, she later makes up with Naru. Again, not a very dramatic scene, but sweet nevertheless. Throughout, Yaya’s betrayed feelings came out naturally, as did Naru’s confused reactions. As for Hana, she exuberantly drives the action forward again, even though she doesn’t quite understand it, and I think it’s great. There might come an episode where I want her to lighten up, but not yet. She’s having too much fun.

Guess what's happening.
Guess what’s happening.

Kudos to Yukinari in Glasslip for getting the heartbreak ball rolling. Prompted by Touka to say what’s on his mind, he straightens his sore backbone and confesses to her. The trouble is, Touka wanted him to confess to Yana, and so the fun begins. Since she was too flustered to shoot him down, after all, she’s on Yana’s side, we have plenty of chances for more miscommunication later as Yukinara wonders what her response will be. Poor sap. Yana, naturally, overhears the confession–you could see that coming a mile away as she was making her way down the road, and normally I would grind my teeth at such a coincidence, but she has a spine, too, and she keeps what she’s feeling hidden.

The supernatural stuff.
The supernatural stuff.

Meanwhile, there’s some supernatural stuff going on as Kakeru more or less proves he’s not the weirdo he seems to be, prompting Touka into a vision of the future, or a “fragment.” But right now it’s just voices and a repeated scene of train tracks (and a train… not good), and he doesn’t know what’s going on with it, either. But it’s something that’s bringing them together, though Kakeru hasn’t mentioned anything about romantic interest in her, which is interesting in itself. What if he just wants to meet a kindred soul and not a girlfriend? The episode as a whole wandered agreeably from here to there with no hurry, and I’m happy to report that there were no chickens, except in the OP.

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