A pleasant two or three-parter in Bakuon!! 8. The first part is all about getting Hijiri her license, when she’s never even been on a bicycle before. So she falls down a lot and gets enraged. However, I’d say this episode was more of an homage to her practice ride, the Honda Super Cub, which I learned is the workhorse of much of Asia, and the best-selling motorbike in the world. Thus, Bakuon!! is the most educational show of the season. After that there’s a cute christmas episode where Hane does something nice for Rin, and New Years, which isn’t much but has a nice sunset and bad luck for Hane. Not as bad as the Super Cub’s after Hijiri was done with it. Tough little guy.
Sousei no Onmyouji 8 gives us Rokuro’s Shocking Secret! Actually, there are a number of revelations given this week thanks to a visit by a new asshole, Seigen. The big revelation is that two years ago Rokuro sort of self-kegared and did the killing at that dorm. The other big reveal was that Benio’s twin brother was one of the victims. We can expect a lot of repercussions from that, of course. On the other hand, that can’t be the entire story; there’s more to it than the show is revealing, so it’s hard for me to be all that concerned about it. This followed a much more innocent story where Mayura, who has some secrets of her own, not least that she’s Seigen’s daughter, is nearly killed by a kegare and Rokuro has to go rescue her. Should have gotten suspicious when Rokuro was duking it out with the monster and there was still half the episode to go.
Bungou Stray Dogs gets busy this week. There’s a mad bomber working for the Port Mafia who’s put bombs on both ends of a speeding subway car, a convenient way to introduce two new characters in one episode.
I’ll start with Yosano, a regular face at the office, who goes up to the front car and confronts the mad bomber, who goes on and on about ultimate science, life, and death in a typical smug madman type of way, while Yosano gets injured by bombs a lot. Man, smirking villain speeches are the worst, especially when they seem to be winning the fight, and Yosano indeed seems to be near death. Heh. It only occurred to me late in the episode that of all the characters, she’s about the only one left whose power hasn’t been typed onto the screen, meaning we haven’t seen it yet. And while I hate smug villain speeches, it’s especially gratifying when the hero shuts them up, the more violently the better.
Meanwhile, in the back, Atsushi comes close to dying too, thanks to Kyouka, a quiet little thing in traditional dress, receiving orders by cell phone and conjuring up her power, something about snow but actually a supernatural fighting thing, who slices Atsushi up a few times, leading him back to his personal crisis of causing trouble for everyone who’s around him. Not sure about his personal rally, something about saving lives so he deserves to live, and then his tiger comes out. The difference between his situation and Yosano’s is that he has already pegged Kyouka as a fellow victim, not a smug villain, and when she tries to kill herself and he stops her it’s not just the defeat of a villain but an affirmation of his better side. Yosano’s a lot of fun as a character, but Kyouka is more interesting, and it looks like she’ll have plenty to do in future episodes.
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge 8, where Ohta is hurt and can’t perform the duties he normally does for Tanaka, is a bit weaker than the others, at least for me. I think part of it has to do with the show’s one annoying point: Tanaka is unable to take care of himself and depends on others, i.e., Ohta. When Tanaka is listlessly expounding on his own listlessness, often in a self-mocking fashion, inspiring admiration or at least disbelief from others, it works much better, and we can put up with his being carried around all the time. But to learn that he can’t even make it out of the building in time during a fire drill inspires little but annoyance from me. Also, not enough Miyano, though Echizen gets some good quality time.