Fives: Agame ga Kill, Aldnoah.Zero, Glasslip, Hanayamata

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Akame ga Kill 5 introduces a new character, a strange piece of work named Seryu, empire soldier, young and eager, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, who Tatsumi runs into when he gets lost in the capital. The contrast between her and the nasty people she works with is jarring, especially when she goes on about fighting evil, and her Imperial Arms robot dog is supposed to detect it. She doesn’t set off the dog, neither does Tatsumi, and I’m wondering who would if none of the Imperial Army has done it so far. Then you get the flip side, her remark to the dog that she’ll feed him death row inmates as a reward, just like we’d offer a scooby snack. So maybe she’s just nuts. Elsewhere, Sheele takes on Tatsumi’s training, leading to alternating sweet, gentle, klutzy scenes with murder and mayhem as flashbacks show what’s she’s good at.

While Aldnoah.Zero continues to be an exciting, interesting show, it’s begun to show some cracks recently.

Allee-oop!
Allee-oop!

First, it’s turning into a Kataphrakt of the week story. We had Killram a couple of episodes ago, Vlad got beat up last week, and this week he came back for more only to have Inaho kill him. Also, the Kataphrakt are proving surprisingly vulnerable. After Vlad sliced through some good guys Inaho uses some fundamental flaw (which only he knows and doesn’t bother to tell anyone else) to plunge him into the ocean, where steam from the glowing sword blew him up. I suppose Martians aren’t used to fighting in bodies of water, but still, you’d think they’d consider this sort of thing. Or maybe they’re just arrogant bastards.

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We see some more of the Vers Empire this week, most importantly, the Emperor ordering a cease-fire mainly because no one was telling him anything. Then Slaine sneaks him to tell him that his granddaughter is alive and he doesn’t react much, then Saazbaum tells him that the kid was lying, and he starts up the war again. I’m not sure what’s going on in that man’s head, but it’s interesting that the nobles can start a war without his consent, disobey orders when they want (Vlad), and be generally sneaky to each other as well. I’m looking forward to see how this empire without a head is going to manage.

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Glasslip 5 continues the story of two people who can see glimpses of the future, and their almost complete lack of interest in this supernatural phenomenon. Instead, our romantic candidates go about, doing the things such people do. Hiro is embarrassed to be seen reading Camus at Sacchi’s place. Yanagi goes with Yukinari to a track meet, but Yukinari’s not 100% yet and doesn’t do well. Later, she confesses to him and walks off. Meanwhile our two visionaries hear all this secondhand or lend their ears to whatever the more active lovebirds are doing, while their ability is mentioned only a couple times. It’s almost like a gag between them now. There’s only one vision this week, where we see Kakeru smile, and it’s quickly forgotten. Though we get an affirmation about Sachi and the hospital, but it’s only for tests and she’s not even there yet. While I liked the look of this episode, like I do the series as a whole, I wish the characters would maybe get up and do something dramatic besides confess to someone you know’s going to shoot you down. Or WILL he?

The reaction to Naru's tenth heartfelt speech of the episode.
The reaction to Naru’s tenth heartfelt speech of the episode.

Hanayamata 5 loses its way early on and doesn’t really recover. At the start, after a scene where we see Tami and Yaya have joined the club (the latter in name only, a running gag for the episode), we get a voice-over where Yaya introduces herself, and we figure the episode’s going to be about her. Which would be fine, however she had an episode before, so there’s no point. Apparently the show thought the same thing because it soon shifts to the girls and their new advisor Sally going to a local yosakoi festival, and that’s it for the plot this week. Oh, we have Tami and Yaya bond a little, with a very interesting, understated reaction by Yaya when Tami said Naru’s the reason she’s there, a throwback to the second episode and her jealousy, but otherwise the episode becomes inspiring speeches by one character or another, usually Naru and Hana. We don’t even get to see much yosakoi, just glimpses of this group and that. That was a letdown.

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