KonoSuba2 3 has Kazuma’s gang getting first dibs on an unexplored bit of dungeon, so off they go. Unfortunately it’s not the best episode because Darkness is still in that lord’s lair, and since Megumin’s explosion magic isn’t practical underground they leave her at the entrance, making dramatic gestures to her cat. That leaves Kazuma and Aqua, and while it’s amusing it’s not what it would be with the whole team. It’s also uncharacteristically soft. Aqua shows a kind, merciful side when she purifies the undead spirits there (and the punchline that comes later isn’t that effective–they likely would have encountered undead down there even if they weren’t attracted to her life-force), and there’s a sweet bit with an “evil” magician who turns out to be quite nice. I was waiting for a punchline for THAT, but it never came. Not a bad episode, but let’s get the team together again, shall we?
On to Youjo Senki 4, another little letdown. Basically Tanya is enjoying a comfortable life at the military academy, hitting the library and keeping her gun clean. We know the pattern, well, we knew it the first time she announced she was happy. To impress a general, she lays out a depressing and possibly true scenario for the war, and to show off her abilities to strategize, offers a solution, the rapid-response battalion of infantry and mages that we heard about in episode one. The general is interested. Meanwhile, we all know who’s going to be put in charge of this thing. And we wonder, for someone as shrewd as Tanya, why didn’t she see it coming? Maybe it was the talk about sending children into a battlefield, though the army has had no compunction about doing it in the past. So it was basically an episode-long version of the sort of event that we’ve already seen. All we can hope is that they’ve established the backstory and we will move on to new things.
Seiren 4 finishes off the Tsuneki arc with the franchise’s usual quirks, but it feels flat overall, like the show was just going through the motions when they had all these character oddities to play with. The moment Yukie turned to face Tsuneki with a carrot in her mouth was pure Amagami and was probably the highlight of the episode, unless you liked the beach scene, which brought back the wet clothing theme. Tsuneki becoming adept at cooking venison was a funny bit. But overall the first arc missed chances to really come to life. Tsuneki was a good love interest–unpredictable and a little wild, but Shouichi is still an underwhelming male lead–that might have something to do with it. I can’t really believe Tsuneki would be interested in him at all. Also surprised that they don’t really get together right away, also a little pleased. They’re both young. Let them mature a little.
I expected at the beginning of Demi-chan wa Kataritai 4 that we’d learn more about the appropriately-named Yuki Kusakabe’s unique features as a demi, but by the episode’s end we haven’t learned a damn thing apart that she can make frozen tears. Instead we get a brief look at the profiling that demis can undergo via high school gossip, and later we get a speech by Takahashi about how people need to look at demis not just as humans but as unique person, i.e, you can’t ignore one, as when Machi’s classmates got uncomfortable talking to her when she talked about her head on a crowded bus. This comes out in a dull speech to Hikari’s suspicious sister and ends in a silly punchline, I suppose, to lighten the mood. There’s also an unrealistic scene where Hikari confronts a couple of gossipers made bearable because of Hikari’s honest nature–and jumping on her sister when she got home was a nice touch. Oh, and Takahashi gets hugged a lot. Maybe next week we’ll learn more about Yuki.
I didn’t expect Little Witch Academia 4 to live up to ep3’s craziness, and it didn’t try to. Instead we get Lotte wanting to get away for a big release event: Nightfall volume 365, but they’re grounded because Akko stole a tart. You think the sneaking out will be the story, but that’s done easily. The big story is Lotte winning a trivia challenge and becoming Nightfall’s 13th author, against her wishes. We get a big speech from Lotte about how she feels about that. Sounds rather dull, but happily the show has a lot of fun at the expense of popular fantasy literature (like Twilight), though it smartly goes lightly on the fans, who shouldn’t be mocked for liking what they like. Anyway, the episode is sprinkled with trivia and thoughts (“the loan shark who has only one line in volume 37,” or “the scene where Belle catches a nuke with her bare hands”) from this series, and this carries the humor for the episode, apart from Akko and Sucy’s straight-man lines.