Delta 14-15, Rewrite, Orange, New Game, and Amaama 2

Power's back up.
Power’s back up.

Now that the new shows are no longer new I can afford the time to catch up with Macross Delta. What we got in episode 14 is that island spaceship that evacuated along with the big mecha, and the former is running out of food, water, air, and patience. And CHAOS, it turns out, is a civilian entity, so there’s no reinforcements racing to help, as far as I understand. I would expected that part of the government’s colonies being invaded would prompt such a thing, but there you go. Worse, the power is failing, and they keep losing air into space because of … something or other. Basically, this unpleasant situation devolves in the second half to downright crisis. Hayate and Mirage must turn a stubborn valve in zero gravity, for which they take most of their clothes off .. didn’t get that part either, but with some turning and Walkure’s singing things work out okay. Of course, the bad guys rule much of the galaxy now, and they’re handing out the apples and water, so I don’t know what the good guys are going to do …

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Episode 15 is one of those episodes where the bad guys are triumphant and making big speeches all the time while the good guys get their asses kicked a lot. Not a lot of fun to watch, so we start looking for little clues that things aren’t exactly perfectly awful. You find them here and there. One is in the shock we see when Roid announces that they’re no longer just out to “liberate” their part of the galaxy; they want the whole thing. This doesn’t go down well with Cassim, for one, but he’s a minor bad guy so it’s hard to say how that will pan out. Same with the Heinz/Keith business, unless Keith is going to go full Windy, for want of a better term, and go against orders or something. There’s also Mikumo’s “I’ve seen that before” line. She’s been a little weird ever since they were on that one planet and she found those ruins. Other than that, I can’t think of anything. I hope there’s a half-decent counteroffensive soon. I’m getting tired looking at all that drab pomp they use in that backwards little planet.

Several, actually.
Several, actually.

Meanwhile Rewrite 2, at half the length, is just as messy and nutty as episode 1. In it, we get Kotarou and all the girls joining the Occult Research Club, not that any of the girls have any reason to. Kotarou just wants to get Ribbongirl to stop haunting his dreams and gumming him at night, which Akane might have helped with, or maybe he did himself. This is the type of show where he can get an enemy girl to turn by groping her. As for the other girls, well, the show needs a harem and he might as well take it to the club. Meanwhile, none of the weirdness from episode one is resolved, apart from maybe Ribbongirl. In fact, no one believes him when he talks about dimensions, sprites, and monsters in a storage shed. As for the challenge from Akane to prove that the paranormal exists, which is a contradiction right there, who cares? The show merrily follows whatever weird plotline is in front of it and gets distracted a lot which is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Orange 2 is about as pure shoujo as you can get, with Naho making Kakeru a bento and then being too wimpy to give it to him, then doing it after school. Actually, scenes like this drive me up the wall. It gave me an unpleasant flashback to Kimi ni Todoke’s Valentines Day. And I can’t frankly see any fun in watching the soccer team practice, but these are shoujo girls after all … On the good side, the show raises an important question, voiced by Naho: Can the letter force her to change her personality? Should it? And by changing the past so that they don’t lose Kakeru, is she actually going to change herself? Who is the letter actually trying to help? I also liked, after the rather extreme story of Kakeru’s mother, how they play out the earlier comment “You’re just like a mom,” by having Naho sort of assume that role for Kakeru. Good stuff.

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New Game! 2, after some early scenes where the characters and jobs get more formally introduced (Aoba’s working on characters and 3D), we learn about Hifumi’s pet hedgehog and then it’s time for Aoba’s first drinking party! Actually, Aoba isn’t 20 yet so she can’t drink anything, but she does order for shy Hifumi and later orders an orange blossom thinking it was a juice. This is, she considers, something that you must do in order to become an adult. I’m rather pleased by how Aoba is handling herself. She has to do the scrub jobs, being the newbie, but she is eager to learn, getting so wrapped up in her work that she almost forgets about her own party.

Cheer up, Kotori.  They're coming back.
Cheer up, Kotori. They’re coming back.

My only serious complaint about Amaama to Inazuma is that it pushes the cute sentimentality more than I’d like. Whenever Tsumugi gets overly happy Kouhei gets a weepy look that I’m growing to dislike. I understand that he’s overwhelmed by Tsumugi’s feelings, and memories of his late wife are probably welling up, but it feels manipulative. It doesn’t help that Tsumugi seems designed to be nothing more than a bundle of cuteness. On the other hand, Kotori is really growing on me, I think partly because I don’t quite understand where her deep-rooted feelings are coming from. Maybe it’s the fear of losing the restaurant she grew up in, or that her mother is constantly away (though, happy to say, still attentive). Having Kouhei come for dinner helps satisfy some of her needs. Whatever the reasons, these obvious needs, mixed with her nervousness over her sensei is absolutely charming to me.

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