Most seasons I watch everything I can in the first week, then start culling shows when the second week comes by saying “Do I REALLY want to see another episode of that?” Now, three episodes into almost everything, I can’t find an answer to that question when it comes to Sansha Sanyou. In episode 2 we got more demonstrations of Hayama’s black heart, but it’s completely ruined when she asks her jealous rival Nishiyama to adopt a cat. The fact that Nishiyama actually did a 180 on the unpleasant scenes between them before. Should have figured that they would make Hayama a nasty person only to the people who are nasty to her …. Hayama’s sister, Kou, is then introduced, white to Hayama’s black, but she has her own strange issues.
Which brings us to another oddball character, Shino, Yoko-sama’s former maid, who becomes her employer, has a weird voice and way of moving sometimes, and when we first see her is floating in a typhoon with her umbrella, Poppins-style. So now we have an ensemble of five weirdos, not counting Yamaji because I don’t like him, who do their own little things, like Futaba going to a restaurant and earning 50 bucks a crack in their eating challenge, and if this slice-of-life show is going to succeed it needs to start mixing them up in interesting ways. That’s why I can’t decide on this show yet. It hasn’t shown us its cards yet.
… Meanwhile, episodes 3 and sometimes 4 have crept up on me. Back to Gakusen Toshi Asterisk season 2 episode 4 or 16, whatever, where Ayato and Julis are getting their butts kicked by the Chinese girls, but Ayato’s had a breakthrough. Hard to say if it’s because of the technique he remembered from the flashback or what, so he begs some time from Julis, she shows a few offensive moves and then proceeds to get her butt kicked some more, in between the speeches and trashtalk (another show where even the nastiest villains pause and let the good guys chat during a battle). So now he can ingest the prana rather than it leaking out, or something, and HE proceeds to kick butt, ending with a Touma-style punch to the face. Fun enough battle, I suppose.
I expected a little downtime before Saya and Kirin get their time in the ring, which includes some perhaps foreshadowing from an opponent I don’t remember about Kirin’s weaponry being unstable, or the organic part is made unstable. Whatever it was, we actually see part of their battle against the girl and robot, and the girls are holding their own by the episode end, and we get a curveball, Flora the maid being somehow abducted. So which will they start with next, or this week? The girls or the abduction?
As it turns out, a little of both. We get just enough of a view of Flora to see she’s not in any immediate danger, then turn to the match, where our girls seem to be getting the upper hand, meaning of course that the battle will turn against them eventually. I don’t really mind. I expected it, they put up a good fight, and while Ayato and Julis’s opponents were cruel, trash-talking slime, I can’t make myself dislike this odd combo of robots who bicker while they fight. Then it’s on to Flora. The terms for her release is for Ayato to seal his Ars Vesta or whatever, which would make him useless in the next battle and for the rest of his life, so it’s rescue time … next week. We also have to get to know Flora’s abductor, seen only in shadows and glimpses.
Macross Delta 4 quickly and amusingly runs through some routine scenes, a welcome party for Frayja and Hayate, first show jitters for the former (Mikumo’s teasing “Screw up and you’re fired” comments seemed a bit extreme), breathless anticipation for the latter. But the show knows where it’s at, and before long we get to the concert, Freyja’s cute rookie fuckups, everyone’s happy, so you know the bad guys are going to show up. Some good aerial fighting with the supporting forces going Vars and turning on the good guys. Freyja and Mikumo on the ground, and Hayate and Arad in the air manage to save the day. Too bad it’s a feint. The big question once again is whether Freyja can do her singing without Hayate around, or is it the other way around with Hayate’s stunts?
Episode 5: so it’s war! But no fighting. We spend some time with the Windermere guys, who haven’t been turned to good yet, as they try get some crystals resonating right, keep the princess, er, prince in good health, and hope everything gets done before their ruler dies. Also, they look at Freyja and try to figure out if she’s a traitor. Meanwhile, on Ragna, everyone thinks she’s a spy. Freyja can’t buy a break. Time for us to learn that Mirage’s grandparents were that cute couple from SDF Macross. The show’s doing a nice job at giving the new series resonance by reminding us of previous series. However, most of the episode is a waste, because, no matter what Freyja’s conflicted feelings are, we know she’s not leaving Valkure, and do you really think Hayate would leave, even if he has to put up with Hermann? So we patiently waited for them to say the inevitable and look forward to a battle next week. Hopefully.