DanMachi 8 feels like a story arc ending, but we weren’t really in one, were we? But then I realized that all that getting beaten up by Aiz and moaning about how he isn’t getting stronger was a personal arc for bell, preparing him for his big success against that minotaur. It works fairly well I hadn’t expected that level-upped minotaur to appear for another episode or two, and during the fight we got to see Bell going through stages. First, run away, second let Lili escape, third, survive … When Aiz’s gang showed up the same thought went through my head as Bell;s: Oh, shit, is he going to get rescued again? Bete became sort of a barometer: when he put Bell down you knew the story or maybe the battle wasn’t over, but when he shut his trap you knew Bell was going to win. As for Bell, the stages kept coming, from survival mode to a sort of black rage, almost frightening to watch. Well, it shut up Bete. But I have a question: was his victory because of his great desire to get stronger, or because he rather unfairly levels up higher than most people do?
Last week’s Show by Rock! gave us Shingan Crimsonz acquitting themselves well against a dark monster, and possibly the opinions of those who’d rather the show focus more on Plasmagica. Well, this week they spent even more time with SC and it went nowhere. It was hinted that the dark monsters grow in the darkness in performers’ hearts, and that Aion (the one with the hand in his face all the time) was a potential victim. He quits the band and the others go and look for him. Meanwhile, we’re all waiting for him to transform into something completely evil, you know, what the story was promising, but instead he gets a few punches from Rom and an apology from Crow and rejoins the band … and that’s it. No dark monster, no nothing. As for Plasmagica, they challenged Critacrista simply to do a live concert so they can get into a bigger contest, but didn’t that first band battle count? Anyway, now we’re waiting for whatever Rosia’s evil about to move the story, unless the series craps out again.
Hibike! Euphonium 8 is a sweet, dreamlike episode about a love triangle, and it looks straightforward until we get to the later part.
Let’s see, Katou digs Shuuichi, who may or may not like Kumiko, who doesn’t appear to be interested in anybody, so it’s not really a triangle, more like a string. The opening scenes are full of Sapphire trying to get Katou to admit her crush and then act on it, while Kumiko tries to stay out of the way, even after Suuichi asks HER out (all to the Agata festival, BTW), so she snags Reina’s hand and says she’s going with her. At the festival, Katou confesses (Bravo!), gets gently shot down, and so declares that she’ll help him get Kumiko from the sidelines. Not sure he’s up for that or not. They haven’t given us any of Kumiko and Suuichi’s history, but we can guess it isn’t entirely pleasant.
Typical high school love stuff, nicely handled, but what takes farther is Reina dragging Kumiko (and her euph) up a mountain to play a duet. This is almost a romantic scene, I expect shippers will like it. During the climb and at the top Reina talks about Kumiko’s “terrible personality,” and how she likes it, how she wants to be special and to do things that other people wouldn’t (like climbing a mountain to play a duet). Kumiko mainly listens and adds commonsense lines. And in the end they play a duet, maybe reaffirming their friendship from before, as the credits roll. Like I said: sweet and almost romantic. So maybe Kumiko’s place in the love string is toward Reina, who seems to accept it in some way.
Teekyuu! 44 features only Kanae as she visits her grandmother. Maybe because she didn’t have the other girls’ speedy mouths to support her, the episode has a wretched SPG of 5.29. Very disappointing, especially when Nasuno has no trouble keeping the gags in her spinoff show racing along. Tsk.