Maria the Virgin Witch 9 works on the expected path, and then gets absolutely batty.
Good thing too. The first half of the episode was full of the bad stuff that I was hoping the show would avoid. Galfa drugs Maria with that smoke, then apparently rapes her, though the show is awfully vague on that for a while. If that wasn’t bad enough, her nice little cottage is burned down and she’s dragged off to be charged as a heretic. But during most of this the show raises little flags to suggest things aren’t quite that simple. Artemus and Priapus don’t vanish, as Joseph points out (and the two familiars really should have figured out already). I don’t know what the Catholic stance on rape or purity is, and Galfa confuses the issue further by claiming that he did not rape Maria, just stopped her from using her magic, but, in that case, how?
Meanwhile, the good guys try to regroup. Maria shows she still has some cunning (and humanity) by letting the reluctant old lady hit her with a rock. That was a good sign, one that she was not only thinking, but attempting to spare the village from more church hassle. Artemus gets Viv, who starts duking it out with Michel. It’s suggested it’s not going well for her, but we see her in the previews so it can’t be that bad. Priapus sneaks into the dungeon, and Ezekiel does something or other. But the real action is taking place in Maria’s cell, where Bernard asks why she signaled the old lady to stone her.
A brief verbal sparring, Maria saying that a god that is only words is as good as nothing … and Bernard has a breakdown. Spouting christian philosophers, most of whom I’ve never heard of, something goes loose in his brain and he babbles on and on about God’s existence, our existence, and he does it for quite some time. It’s like badly-written code caught in a loop, or someone trying to discuss theology after too many bong hits. Bernard, trying to find a solution through what the church has taught him, winds up kissing Maria’s feet. I never expected such mindfuckery out of Bernard, and I appreciate it, but it sets Bernard in a whole new light. He’s no longer a cunning church official trying to seize power from the locals, he’s a christianity geek on a tear. I think the show would have done better than to keep the old Bernard, but let’s see what this new, slightly crazy one can do.
Yuri Kuma Arashi 9 leaves me wondering what there is left to be done.
After Kureha shoots Ginko (so that DID happen), Ginko falls into the Abyss, which is a place in the lily garden behind the secret door, where she meets, of all people, Mitsuko. What kind of place the Abyss is and why Mitsuko is there and not any of the other girls who’ve been offed since the show started, is a mystery to me. It’s not a hell of any sort, though the battlefield covered in snow makes it appear unpleasant. Maybe you have to be a bear and actually guilty of something. As it turns out, both Mitsuko and Ginko share blame for Sumika’s death, so maybe there’s something to that. Anyway, Mitsuko is absorbed into Ginko (in a highly erotic scene–this episode is full of girls making out) and becomes desire, a step down from love, perhaps, but that’s what you get as an accomplice to bear-crimes.
Meanwhile, Kureha has rightly deduced that Ginko’s involvement in Sumika’s death is more complicated than she knows, begins to worry, and is tricked into a rendezvous with Yurika (kuma-shock!). There’s something ironic in how she is rescued, and it leads to a romantic scene between Yurika and Kureha or Reia, didn’t quite catch that, and the statement that fate now belongs to Kureha, and Ginko, I suppose. And we learn where the rest of the picture book is. So again, what’s there left to do? Reconcile Ginko and Kureha? Not sure that’ll happen (the picture book suggests ill tidings but it’s the episode’s cliffhanger, so we’ll have to wait). Is Ginko worthy of Kureha’s love? And what about Sumika? And do I really care? With the show’s main antagonist gone I don’t know if we’ll get a traditional crisis/climax.
A couple of complaints about Koufuku Graffiti 9. For the most part it’s the same happy-happy as usual, with Ryou and Kirin sharing a meal together, which is a good thing. On the other hand, I’m getting a little tired of it. Not the characters, but their eating together, exulting about the meal, and saying that food is more delicious when you share it, which actually stated outright this episode, Ryou to Karin. Yeah, we get that. They need to bring the side characters in more often. Shiina gets a cameo this week but goes off to celebrate New Years with her family, with overtones of weirdness and danger surrounding them. Akira shows up but only near the end, when it’s too late, and she doesn’t actually eat with them. If they don’t include these or other characters more often the show will get stale. My other complaint is that they’re doing a New Years episode in March. I don’t demand seasonal anime episodes to follow the season, but the happy winter scenes in the episode can’t make up for the snowy hangover of March that much of the world is having. Here, we’re having a snowstorm. Bad timing.