Tens: Owarimonogatari, OPM (and 9), Cavalry, Asterisk

It's always Araragi's fault.
It’s always Araragi’s fault.

It’s not that I’m tired of all the talking. If I didn’t like talking in anime I would have dropped the franchise long ago. But Owarimonogatari 10 is the second week in a row where a lot of talk can be wearying. I suspect it’s because Gaen is doing all the talking and she has an answer for every question and is a little smug about it. One of the reasons Ougi also gets on my nerves. In this episode, through much of it, anyway, she explains why the “first one” managed to revive himself at that shrine, and it’s somehow all Araragi’s fault. The fault seems to lie in the fact that he happened to be there, or at least did something quite innocently; nonetheless it’s his fault, Gaen says, so naturally Araragi accepts it and goes off to buy a BL book for Kanbaru and donuts for Shinobu, whereupon, to my relief. the episode gets cheerfully silly again. The First One showing up in the guise of a young boy was another welcome, quirky moment, welcome after all the one-sided talk.


In One Punch Man 9, like Genos, I’m not sure what Saitama was thinking when he turned to the crowd and joked about the other heroes softening up the sea guy so he could he could polish him off and take all the credit. He was being sarcastic, maybe, bitter about the bad rep he’s acquired, or he’s being diplomatic, or he just doesn’t care. Probably all of them in measure. He’s already made it clear that he isn’t in this business for glory or fame, though he wouldn’t mind a nice fan letter or two. His reaction to the hate mail was telling: someone with a lot of free time. The crowd response isn’t important to him, at least not superficially. I also admire the honest way he deals with the other heroes: if they’re shits like the Tank-Top guys he responds. Otherwise he sees them as other folks in the same field, and likes the ones who try hard, like Mumen Rider. We need more superheroes like Saitama.


And in #10 they have to bring up a new villain. Fortunately Saitama invited himself to the briefing so, unlike last time, he’ll be around right away to help stop the carnage, if the rest of the S-class heroes will stop bickering, that is. Well, that’s unfair. The other heroes are all strange people, as you would expect, but they’re not all pampered superstars, and I frankly can’t think of a time when any of them backed down from a fight. They’re individuals, with their own personalities and occasional petty jealousies. They’re also doing a pretty good job with the current threat. So, like Saitama, we’re all hoping the boss will show up next week and get this threat over with.

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry 10 features the Shizuku/Touka fight. It goes along predictable lines, but has some nice moments.

Shizuku cleans off the blood.
Shizuku cleans off the blood.

In all such magical battles, the show invents strange magical physics and we’re expected to go along with it. Touka’s great power comes from lightning, and Shizuku’s water, so Touka should have the advantage, except Shizuku can conjure “ultrapure” water. which apparently does not conduct electricity. Okayyy … except the battle becomes such a whorl of water and lighting and ice that it’s never mentioned again. When the match begins, neither contestant moves. We’re told they’re waiting for the other one to move first, whereupon Shizuku moves. I don’t know why Ikki even tries to explain some things …

She's over there.
She’s over there.
No!  She's ---
The very next frame.

But it’s a good battle anyway. We’re told, for perhaps too long, that Shizuku needs to follow Ikki, and so she desperately needs to win this battle against the girl who single-handedly kicked all those monsters’ asses last week. That brings up another point: Touka is not an evil opponent, but an ally. It’s one of those battles where you really don’t want either to lose. The battle itself looks great. Like last week, the show uses another simple trick, having Touka in the distance and in the next frame be right in front of Shizuku, swinging her sword. Simple and well-timed. In the couple times the show did it, we don’t expect it. Neither, sadly, does Shizuku, who finally goes down after her last-ditch flurry fall short. Still, well done! Ikki says she’s become strong, but to me she was as strong before the battle as after it.

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk has a lot of battling, too, but they’re content to show us earlier matches and let some comedy in.

Yay you.  Now put on some clothes.
Yay you. Now put on some clothes.

But first they introduce Irene by having her beat up some thugs and get intimidating with Julis and Ayato … and then bring down her threat level considerably by introducing her more proper sister, Priscilla, who wears the pants in the family, it seems. I wonder what Priscilla thinks of Irene being incarcerated, or was she incarcerated too? Anyway, we move on to Saya and Kirin’s match and the nakedness following, and yet another magic battle academy series uses the “If I rub them they’ll grow bigger” trope, two in a row. There’s also head-patting later. Ayato/Julis’s next round is also a laugher.

MacPhail does better than expected, but ...
MacPhail does better than expected, but …

They save the crazy stuff for the Irene/Priscilla match against MacPhail/Fat Kid. It ends the way you expect, MacPhail being a cannon-fodder character in this series, but he does land some good shots and forces Irene to recharge by going vampire on her sister. So we learn she can be roughed up and perhaps taking care of the sister first would be a good idea. Well, Lester tried that … I liked the idea that her magic weapon made augmentations to her body so that she tap into her sister, so she’s technically a vampire, but not, you know, undead or anything. Anyway, they do look a lot more formidable than they did in the first scene.

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