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Sousei no Onmyouji and Bungou Stray Dogs 2-3

Sousei no Onmyouji 2 keeps up the mix of pretty-looking battles with silly middle school kids doing silly things.

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After Rokuro polishes off the kegare, Benio is pissed off both because he appears to be better than her, and because he hates the whole exorcism scene. Double the annoyance for her because it means he won’t fight her. I’m on Rokuro’s side, here. All he’s trying to do is exercise a little free will, choose his own destiny. But this being an anime show, you know he won’t win. Some comic scenes follow as Benio inevitably winds up in the same dorm as him, Rokuro spotting her wearing only a towel, the usual.

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Then an asshole named Arima shows up. He’s amusing at first, the leader of the exorcist with some more worldly tastes, but after he calls a meeting of magic folks and announces that the Miko will show up, who will defeat the kegare once and for all, and tries to get Rokuro and Benio to fight, he turns into a jerk. I know, he said those things about Rokuro’s deceased family in order to goad him, but I was still rooting for Rokuro to beat him up. Instead, he has to fight Benio, because she still wants to beat HIM up. More tragic pasts amid the battling–call it a draw. Now they have to get married; turns out the Miko will be their kid. Once again, I’m all for characters refusing their “destiny” if they want to, and here’s hoping Rokuro AND Benio will do just that.

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Episode 3 is routine for the first part. Benio transfers into Rokuro’s class, of course. And the show does a little work on a love triangle, though the only love any of the three recognizes is Mayura’s for Rokuro, though he considers her just a friend. Mayura will be the sad girl out, I’m afraid. The second half is better. Benio skips out to help with a nasty kegare while Rokuro refuses, only to find the two worlds collide when a gap opens and endangers two kids on a roller coaster. So Benio plays the hero in the mystical world while at the same time Rokuro plays one in ours. Interesting contrast I wonder if the show will play with the angle further.

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Bungou Stray Dogs 2 brings up a question I had when I watched episode 1: What the hell is Atsushi going to do for the Armed Detective Agency? Okay, he can turn into a tiger, but he can’t control it. It just happens. I have to assume that the agency is confident he can gain some control over it, either that or he will be the office coffee delivery boy. Scratch that, there are a several office ladies in the office too. The episode revolves around a crisis situation and finishes in a ridiculous way. I’m not sure I would hire such a suicidal maniac for a detective agency. Even if the president doesn’t mind those types, they already have Dazai. Anyway, at the end, he’s working for the agency and we have no idea why except for that tiger thing.

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After the slow unveiling of the main characters, episode 3 shows us just how dark the show is willing to get. After the tail-end bit in ep2 and all the going-on about him early on this ep, we figure we’re going to meet Akutagawa very soon. What I didn’t expect was that he would (possibly) kill two characters we expected to be regulars. Well, Junichirou is somehow alive near the end, but I don’t see how he or Naomi could take that many machine gun bullets. On the other hand, they sort of resurrected Atsushi’s leg by a contrivance, but by that point, with bodies lying around and Atkutagawa’s demonstrated cruelty, the scene was still effective and a little frightening; I had no idea how far the episode would go.

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I have some quibbles with the scene, with Junichiro and Atsushi somehow combining their abilities to hold off Akutagawa, especially with Junichiro near death. Though the tiger’s appearance was well-done. And there are two more thoughts about Atsushi. He seems to bring misfortune to everyone around him–that’s how it seems to him, anyway. Also, he’s apparently very valuable, and you get the idea that having him join the agency was a ruse in order to have him where they can keep an eye on him, though nothing else in the show has hinted at this.

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