Aldnoah 16-17, Lie in April 16, Durarara2 5

Aldnoah Zero 16 concentrates on two people. Slaine, of course, because he’s arguably the main character now. And, of all people, Marito.

Slaine gets serious.
Slaine gets serious.

Both stories are straightforward. Slaine, the new count of whatever Saazbaum was count of, and a mongrel and mangy cur to his fellow counts, is fully aware of the enemies he has now, so he decides he needs to change some minds by doing a brilliant solo mission and destroying an Earth base. That turns the heads of everyone in Vers; now, no one can say he’s a traitor, or an ineffective soldier. That the battle was boring is not the point. It’s gotten so that Earth can’t win anything at all unless Inaho is there.

Marita gets serious.
Marita gets serious.

Inaho, meanwhile, was doing his hero bit again at the expense of yet another Vers count who saunters in with his own superweapon which looks unbeatable until … Actually, I figured out its weak point before Inaho muttered the answer to us; I’m rather smug about that. But this fight was actually a prop to get Marita and his PTSD back in the show. While he doesn’t take out the Count himself, he draws it away to a safe place so that Inaho and that satellite (what’s he doing up there?) can take it out, and in order to do that he has to not only face those flashbacks but fight through them, which he does. So, yeah, good battle scene, nice ending, but it’s really one man’s battle with his memories that is the setpiece.

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Inaho gets Mazuurek to get serious.

 

As for 17, the “Dawn of Intrigue,” the intrigue is interesting on Inaho’s end, sending Mazuurek back to Vers to do some spying without telling anyone higher up, insubordination or treason, surely, tells us that he is working for no one else but that princess in a cage, Asseylum, and his heroics up to this point are secondary to that. Choosing the conflicted Rayet to help was a splendid choice; it will conflict her even farther and plot-wise, who else could he turn to. That he was spotted will also help confuse things.

Marylcian gets serious at Slaine.
Marylcian gets serious at Slaine.

Slaine is, for once, the victim of intrigue. Marylcian challenges him to a duel. Actually, at that point I began to lose interest. No way Slaine will lose. He’s got too much on the ball. Besides, he’s a main character. There’s a possibility that Marylcian has something more on his mind, like exposing the false Asseylum, but frankly, no one in the Vers empire apart from Slaine has shown much in the way of guile. Well, convincing Lemrina to let him visit WAS a pretty smooth move, pushing her buttons just the right way. I suppose the show could have Slaine lose, or somehow get disgraced, and have to work his abilities in another way, which might be interesting, but I don’t see it happening.

The comic part.
The comic part.

Your Lie in April 16 jumps about from Kaori’s possible impending tragedy and Kousei’s odd bonding with Nagi. The former is full of strange disconnects because she still refuses to tell him the extent of her illness, and Kousei is unwilling to face the extent of it. So when they’re together it’s mostly the happy bright girl with little hints, like the dropped bottle or the crying on his back during the ride to the hospital.

The not comic part.
The not comic part.

Save for one striking moment, when in the middle of a comic scene where everyone is accusing Kousei of getting too close to Nagi, Kaori suddenly lashes out. That, apparently, he can’t ignore, and later he visits her in the hospital she releases a bit of the melancholy (I can’t remember: has Kousei read that book?) that she usually only displays when alone. Most of the episode’s comedy comes with Nagi and her desire to destroy Kousei, though I can’t see her trying to go through with it now. Bonding and all that. Also, she’s a very silly person and I don’t think she’s capable of meanness. Jealousy, drive, passion, yes, both she and her brother. Hate and revenge? Nah.

Durarara x2 5 starts a new arc in its own fashion.

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It’s the usual hopping around, and you can’t be sure whether the people you just saw in the scene, or in the chat room, are going to be important or not for the story. You figured that little girl had to be because she stole focus being cute, framed in the window like that, but what about the quick takes in the chat room? Will they be important this time, or are they just there to chat? How about the people who didn’t show up this week, like Kasuka and Ruri? Is Masaomi really back in the game, or will he continue his vacation now that he made his phone call?

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The plot building up isn’t very pretty. The weakest part of the first season, to me, was the gang fighting, and it looks like that’s going to happen next week. All I can hope for is that something weirds it up. This being Durarara, happily, that’s a given, and that cute little murderous girl has got us a good start with the weird, as does that blonde they haven’t introduced yet decapitating Celty … Uh, does she know Celty’s secret which isn’t that secret anymore? The whole thing is narrated by Namie, who keeps saying that none of these people are on the level of Seiji, so I’m wondering why the show even bothered.

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