Last week in Planet With they had a big colossal battle to save the earth from the dragon. Fine and dandy, but it looks like there are plenty of loose ends to tie up. There are characters not accounted for, like Shiraishi, and factions still at odds. To set up episode 7 we get a dream-backstory where the Siriusians (Souya’s race) are about to capture the Rielian princess (Ginko, still dressed as a maid), when the Dragon attacks Sirius. Whoever’s in the cat-mecha goes off to rescue both and succeeds in doing neither, apart from Ginko and Souya. Anyway, you figure Souya’s part is over with. Brother avenged, Dragon gone, etc, but now Shiraishi shows up as a schoolgirl to hypnotize him, then his brother appears and claims he’s actually another race to give him a warning, and finally Benika and Yousuke show up and announce they’re with the Sealing (dog) faction now … oh, and Souya has begun to exhibit dangerous psychic powers
I rather like his answer for now, basically “You two groups fight it out. I’m through with this,” but it’s not the best answer in the long run. Benika considers humanity just as dangerous as Siriusians and needs them sealed, and Souya fought against that, though that wasn’t his only motive. Also, Souya’s battle is over but humanity’s is just beginning. He is going to have to make a decision to fight for humanity, to show compassion for others, in order to grow. Nozomi, the representative for Planet Earth in this show, nervously watching from the sidelines, is the key for that. I just hope we don’t get episode after episode of Souya grumping around while everyone tries to mess with him, as entertaining as the messing around in this show can be.
Episode 8 spends a lot of time with Benika, member of the Sealing Faction and a self-admitted “traitor to the Earth.” We get her sad backstory, her life as a cop who sees a detective gunned down by a boy and decides that power will corrupt and destroy people. Ironically, she is now using her own, awakened powers (they Grand Paladin folks are discovering that they don’t need to vials) to try to seal humanity, which is about as big an abuse of power as I can think of. This forces Torai, a former ally and all-around good guy, to fight her. Why not Souya? Well, he’s still bitter about everything and even has a catharsis moment about his lost planet. He’s not human, after all. Let humanity decide for themselves, and he’s right. It’s an excellent little scene, with Nozomi defending him and the maid and cat loyally standing by. Ironically, it’s the ENEMY that wants him to fight the most. But since his refusal forces the other side to fight amongst themselves, it’s a good call. Too bad we learn that the Dragon is still alive, so he has some fighting left to do in a later episode. It IS a shame, however that Souya still hasn’t found a reason to fight for the Earth, not just for revenge …
Not a lot to say about Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu 8. The character development and additional bonding for the story arc happened last week. This time it’s Diablo vs first the Elves’ ultimate weapon, which Diablo is first at a loss to defeat until Shera gives him a tip. Then things actually get ugly as Keera, spared his life by Diablo after Shera pleads, is beheaded by Galford instead. I say “good riddance,” but Shera is upset and Diablo pissed, so Diablo fights Galford, and after another difficult fight, wins. And is exhausted, but not enough to drunkenly molest Sylvie in his sleep, because the episode hadn’t had any sexiness up to then. Well, it was interesting to see Diablo facing two difficult opponents. It seems as the series continues, his enemies are going to get more powerful, which is fine. Give Diablo a real challenge once in a while.
This time in Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight the light shines on Kaoruko and Futaba. We already know their dynamic. Kaoruko is lazy and conceited and depends on Futaba to get anything done, and up to now Futaba is happy to carry that load. But now Futaba has worked harder (not with Kaoruko) and gets a solid prelim audition slot (a regular audition, not a weird one–that comes later) while Futaba is shut out, and told that she doesn’t have what it takes. The two have a fight, she gets hissy and decides to leave school in girlish spite, fully expecting Futaba to chase after her. But Futaba almost doesn’t, and it’s giraffe time. The fight, like many, is more of a pep talk than a battle, where the two reaffirm their relationship, basically that Futaba will be the first to see Kaoruko truly shine. What gets me is, several episodes ago Kaoruko and Mahiru were sharing a bath and Kaoruko teasingly told her that they both are witnessing the people they need most drift away from them. She seemed more or less fine about it then … And if there are regular auditions as well as giraffe auditions, which take precedent. Who knows? Anyway, next time it’s Banana’s turn. She’s long overdue.
Well we got our Banana episode, though I’m not certain I got all of it. Banana is more of a behind the scenes type of girl, who found the spot for top star “too blinding,” even though Maya criticizes her for it. Nothing wrong with that–it’s good that the show acknowledges the performers and crews that don’t want stardom. But the show hints that because of this Banana is slacking. Not that she’s not without issues–the 99th performance gave her so much joy and warmth that she can’t let go of it, and because those memories and countless photos are safe ones, she doesn’t want to move on. Her experience in the giraffe stage is replay of the old “Starlight,” over and over again, until the present catches up and Hikari, not involved last year, becomes a random factor that helps her realize the new Starlight won’t be like the old one. But through it all, the replays, the conversations past and present, Banana remains her mostly serene self. She says she welcomes Hikari into the mix, but she’s so, as I said, serene that it’s hard to see if she’s changed at all. And so the episode ends and makes me wonder if this is actually going to be a two-parter, or if we’ll revisit Banana later in the game …
Island, or is it “Never Island” 9 takes us straight out of the tropical paradise we’ve been used to and plunks us down into the future, a grim religious dystopia where it’s cold all the time and everyone lives on ever-shrinking rations. We slowly pick up the story as Setsuna, once again without memories but prone to visions of old times, meaning our times lives us with a Rinne who is building one of those pods based on old family blueprints. Meanwhile, little ragamuffins led by future Karen steal food and get shot, and Sara is the kindhearted daughter of the minister or something. Through misadventures it turns out that there is no life, no Avalon beyond their island, and everyone’s doomed from starvation or violent death by soldiers. Setsuna declares that he will save everybody, meaning probably getting back in that pod and, what, go into the future? That’s not going to work. I just hope he goes somewhere; the show just took one of its strengths, the tropical surroundings, the beach, the laid-back atmosphere, and replaced it with a grey-brown dirty city. That was a bad decision unless Setsuna leaves quick.