Eights: Seiren, Demi-chan, Little Witch Academia
Seiren 8 finishes off the Miyamae arc by pretty much ignoring gaming altogether and switching to cosplay. Maybe this is supposed to represent a change in Miyamae’s priorities, but I think rather that they wanted to get her in a sexy deer outfit with a zipper she can’t locate but Shouichi can. I could also suggest that the return to the interest in Deermas as opposed to GunGal suggests a more domestic outlook, where you raise deer rather than blast mecha. What it means that Shouichi’s sister dresses in a skimpy GunGal outfit is beyond me.
And from Amagami we get a return of the kiss in an unexpected place, but this time the girl is doing the kissing, and it’s Miyamae’s adam’s apple. This fits nowhere with gaming, let alone deer, but it was a sweet moment, at least, after she explained why she kissed him there. In fact, the whole park scene was sweet, even if Miyamae’s reason for storming off felt trite, just a reason for them to kiss and make up and become boy/girlfriend. And at least this time there’s no platonic future for them; ten years later they’re raising a deer, I mean child. So, a decent ending to the arc. I do with the art and animation were a bit better, I suppose it’s passable.
Demi-chan 8 starts with Hikari’s appalling mid-term score and then takes great care to show us that a book has fallen out of Yuki’s bag, so much that we figure the book is very important. Turns out it’s a manga volume that Satou discovers right away, and leads to a too-long scene where she and Yuki talk manga and bullying, livened up only by the revelation that Yuki has a bit of a dirty mind, and an entertaining flashback to Satou’s middle school days. After that there’s plenty of studying (this is appropriately timed because now is the big test season for Japanese schoolkids) with the usual bits (Hey Yuki, I don’t understand this part) but there’s also a good scene where Hikari announces whose arm she’d like to chew on. Thematically it doesn’t add up to much, but it’s an entertaining enough episode.
Meanwhile, I think Trigger blew their entire budget on Little Witch Academia 8.
Sucy tries a late-night experiment to unlock her potential powers and falls victim to Sleeping Witch Sickness, which, in her case, also means a lot of mushrooms growing everywhere. Lotte sends Akko inside Sucy to wake her up. Akko meets a lot of different Sucys there, parts of her personality. You’ve probably all seen episodes in various series like this, but the events happen so fast, there are so many Sucys and so many sight gags that it’s impossible to take them all in. But the fun is just getting started.
Akko busts up a mass-execution of Sucy’s more trivial desires (important to the plot, what I can make out of it), and, because she’s an idiot, she stops to watch a drive-in movie of Sucy’s memories, the show pointing out that things are going to get self-referential. It looks like a 1930s cartoon, with a hilarious take on both Diana and Akko, the latter depicted as an idiot, and then things get even crazier with a race to find the “original” Sucy before something or other not only devours Sucy’s world, but the real one of the school, don’t ask me why, I don’t know, or care.
The whole thing is insane, and brilliantly executed. First, was that Michiyo Murase doing ALL the Sucys? If so, Murase deserves a medal. There are dozens of them, each with their own variation of Sucy’s voice, some flying past so quickly that you hardly notice them. Second, the episode has a funny, fast-paced script that was fully aware that it wasn’t terribly original and so jumped on quick gags and at least one unexpected turn to make it effective. Third, the direction, art, and animation are astounding.
Once the action ramps up, every moment had something great or funny to look at, little things like Akko’s spinning pupils as she looks for the right room, to my personal favorite, the enormous transition from drive in to real disaster (with sudden ramped-up ominous music), suddenly leaping into a chase scene. I’m looking forward to watching this episode again, because there’s so much I bet I missed. I know this is only February, but this is a strong candidate for “episode of the year” honors, if you do that sort of thing.