I understand the story, or stories, in Gate were going to get more complex, but episode 2 at least is fairly straightforward. Earthshakes have a way of unifying story elements for a while. And even after that it stays on one track as we get the satisfaction of Youji and his crew rescuing a Japanese hostage (with the twisted excuse by that obedient slave girl about how her fate would have been a lot worse without Zorzal), and Shino beating the crap out of Zorzal to boot. But it can’t all be self-righteous beatdowns. We have to wonder what the emperor is thinking, and there’s an interesting discussion between to the two princes, not to mention Noriko’s sad story, the JP gov’s manipulation of the situation. Oh, and Tuka, though she’s been out of the story for so long I have trouble caring too much about her now. Maybe that will change next episode.
And in episode 3 it’s still all pretty clear. We have the empire’s internal manipulations going on, but like last time, big events tend to unify the characters, and Zorzal’s eventual rise to emperor supersedes whatever other empire business was going on. Diablo is upset and so is Pina, and it’s hinted that they might both have to confront Zorzal for various reasons. That sex-slave Tyuule is indeed a spy, and she’s got some manipulations of her own, including bewildering plans for Pina to invoke JSDF wrath, though how she plans to get Pina to kill that girl is anyone’s guess.
On the good guys’ front it’s all about Tuka going insane. The oddest part is the motive of the dark elf Yua for telling her her father’s dead. It seems to all boil down to getting attention, and a childish desire for revenge, and it doesn’t work. Youji sensibly won’t risk his people’s lives to kill that dragon. Then the old man tells him his heart already knows what to do, we don’t, and when we find out, we’re nonplussed. TWO of them against that dragon? Okay, naturally the other girls force their way into the mission, Rory using the most amusing tactics as usual. Meanwhile, recalling what happened to his parents, we get to see Youji’s paternal side a lot, not only pretending to be Tuka’s father, but as Youji himself, trying to guide Tuka back to mental health and making sacrifices on her behalf. Rather sweet really.
When I let two weeks slip between viewings, my memory gets hazy, so I had a hard time figuring out the details in Bubuki Buranki 2. So, another bubuki fell from that floating place? And what does that signify about his mother? And if the mother is such an awful person, why won’t someone notice that she’s keeping things from falling? So I try to figure all this out while being dazzled by the visuals and the direction, amused by Oubu forming, getting clobbered, reforming and then whatever happened to it, and grinning along with Reoko when she’s about to do something nasty. Love the pigtails flying up. But if the story doesn’t get coherent soon I might lose interest, pretty as it all is. Oh, why, look! Here’s episode 3 right here!
Okay, I got some of the answers I wanted. Not sure I like all of it. So the Kazuki and Banryuu clans have been duking it out and manipulating historical events for centuries, then Reoko came out in the open and Migiwa beat her up, then went up to Treasure Island where she keeps Bubuki from falling, except, thanks to Azuma, a few did. Now we got Reoko and her team hunting down bubuki users (How? Were they infected? Do they like being users?) and, as we know, our team is on the run. We learn this from Horino in a sequence of infodumps. When not doing that, the episode gives us the inevitable fight between Hiiragi and Azuma while I wonder who appointed Hiiragi the leader anyway. Also talk about the heart and limbs of Oubu working together. So we have a goal–to get back to treasure island, with the obstacle of the Reoko, whenever she wakes up, and the fact that the good guys are a dysfunctional team who must learn to cooperate, well, Hiiragi does anyway. Oh, and a bath scene, and Kogane going a little berserk at the end.
Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R 2 managed to throw enough curveballs that I kept watching. It’s time to introduce other magical girls and form a team for Komugi. This week it’s the perfect, sweet, and with supposedly a nice navel, Kokona-chan, who becomes sort of a magic maid with a SM streak with her as the S. Also, her mascot doesn’t get along with Komugi’s mascot, and she’s rather mean to Komugi, hitting her with a sticky beam like that. Luckily for her she seems to forget her magical girl side, and Komugi is too dense to figure out Kokona is Nurse-Kokona, even though they look exactly alike. That’s all part of the fun. What’s not so fun is the idol song. I’ll soon find out if they intend to use one every episode.
Silly to think otherwise, really. Well, this week we get Tsukasa, the boyish girl who all the girls at school love, and who’s in love with Yuto, another actor on that show. Then, to make the series slightly sadder, but funnier, it has Yuto fall for Tsukasa’s much girlier magical form, and he must never find out who she really is, alas alack. Tsukasa desperately wants to be a girly-girl rather than a, er, boyly-girl, so she loves the whole magic thing and is wiping out villains so efficiently that you wonder if the other two are needed at all. All in all this episode didn’t match the silly-level of the first two, but character intro episodes are always hit and miss.