Another week, another body for Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru 3. The only difference is this time there is no foul play. Otherwise we have Sakurako and Boy out on a trek that I don’t believe was ever explained. Sakurako wouldn’t have gone out there for the watermelons or the caves. Maybe she figured if she went out there a body would show up, and sure enough … Bring on the dense investigator, the surreal and inappropriate “Let’s solve the mystery!” sequence, and a brief lecture. Turns out the corpse was Kougami’s grandmother and the episode turns to her reaction for a while. If they stress anything else new it’s the idea that bones belonged to a living person, probably someone who was loved, possibly emphasized by Sakurako scolding Shoutarou for not seeing the glorious circle of life in the corpse when he’s the one who wants to call the police to find out who it was. Well, Sakurako makes up for it by helping Kougami realize what really happened. The only sort of comfort an obsessed nerd can give sometimes.
Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai 3 has a moment where lab coat girl seems to step away from the story (not that she’s ever really in it) and points out that newcomer Mari is a tsundere, which is not new even for the platoon, since they got Ohtori, but she’s flat-chested as well, which IS new for the platoon. And in doing so reminds us that we’re watching a series full of things we’ve seen before. I wish she hadn’t done that because I’m rather enjoying this show. The things she said (and other things we’ve seen before, like Takeru catching both Mari and Ohtori naked, the silly bickering the girls do, etc) aren’t yet tiresome enough for me to drop it. I’m interested in how Mari’s going to get forgiven when the truth comes out, even if it wasn’t her fault. I also wonder why no one in the platoon realizes that they’re not there to protect others from Mari, but the other way around. If word got out that she’s a witch, it’d be more than Valhalla gunning for her. Also, there’s that anti-magic thing around her neck. How much you want to bet that in the crisis she’ll risk everything by either removing it or using magic anyway? Okay, there’s another thing we’ve probably seen before.
Coincidentally, Subete ga F ni Naru 3 has a stepping-away moment too, when Moe starts thinking aloud about the murder, saying they do it all the time in mysteries. Souhei comments about his dislike for expository dialogue. Yet they keep on doing it. I guess there’s no way to avoid talking when working on a murder case. The alternative would be an interior monologue, often (in shows like Hyouka or that Rampa show that just finished up) with some fantasy/hallucination bit, and indeed Souhei indulges in that this episode too, though there’s no pulling back to observe the process. Anyway, I hadn’t expected Magata to be the victim. I thought she was just pulling a prank. So the episode is mostly spent with appropriate shocked faces and the presentation of the mystery. No one had gone in or out of that room, connections to the mainland are cut off, Souhei and Moe do heavy speculating, etc, and after that, another victim. A shame, because I had him pegged as the murderer, and this one has no connection to dolls that I can see.
There’s one rousing thought in Heavy Object 3, spoken by Qwenthur: any manmade object can be unmade by man. And indeed, it was fun to watch our three heroes hack the base and sabotage the parts to be loaded into water strider so that they’d set off the self-destruct mechanism. It was a triumph for ingenuity, and a reminder in our NSA-surveillance age that the most sophisticated systems we can build can be undone by people determined to do it.
On the other hand, it was ludicrous. If you had blown up the enemy ship but not secured or killed all the soldiers, including the princess, surely you’d put the base on high alert. Hell, you’d probably do that even before the battle. I can buy the security being a bit lax, but to have the warehouse with the turbines so completely unguarded that two enemy soldiers can sneak in while loudly arguing strategy and morality was too much for me to take. Likewise the sudden heroic return of Frolaytia and the stragglers–they sure got there fast, didn’t they? Qwenthur’s miraculous shelter during the blast was pretty nutty, too. Well, that aside, I still had fun watching.
I had fun watching #4 as well, even though it gets even more ridiculous than before, and let’s not talk about the massage that begins the episode … Basically our two grunts are set to stop an even bigger object before it can deliver oil to TERRORISTS. They are given no backup, no intel, just a quick briefing and then they’re running for their lives, running from explosions, diving into the sea in full armor, somehow getting onboard the object, setting bombs that do next to nothing to it, all the while talking about how it all sucks. And that’s about it. Unlike the earlier episodes the overall tone is comical, and any big moral questions they brought up before are completely forgotten. It’s become a battle show, and I guess that’s okay, even if it’s impossible to take seriously (not many war shows can be), because I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll actually take out that monster. I’m guessing the net with all the bombs might come into play next week.