It’s summer camp time for Yagate Kimi ni Naru, and it’s partly a drag. Instead of some cool cabin in the mountains or something they have the camp at the school.
As usual the episode has two parts. The first one involves Yuu, Touko, and Sayaka bathing together and sharing the same room. Since Sayaka is in love with Touko, and Touko’s in love with Yuu (who isn’t sure of anything), the bathing scene is full of heavily repressed sexual tensions, so nothing happens. The sleeping scene is the same–Each saying to themselves “I could reach over and touch so-and-so, but it would really screw things up, so I’ll just lie here and suffer on my own.” This being the slow-paced show that it is, it means no one gets to have what they want, but they’re not hurting anyone that way. This is one of the more bittersweet summer camp episodes I’ve seen.
Part 2 is more interesting in that their sensei brings in a guy named Tomoyuki to coach them. Turns out he was on the student council at the same time Touko’s sister was, and so Touko, curious to know more about the person she’s been trying to emulate for five years, asks what she was like … and doesn’t get the answer she expected. Not that there was anything really wrong with her, only that she wasn’t the perfect student council president she let on to be, but the rest of the SC liked her anyway, maybe because she wasn’t perfect. In other words, Touko has outstripped her idol. Interesting idea and you would think she might be happy about that, but instead it puts her in a blue funk that both Sayaka and Yuu pick up on. The episode doesn’t take it further, but it makes you wonder just what Touko’s been trying to emulate all this time, a model of perfection, or her late sister. Also an interesting comment by Koyomi about her script having the amnesiac heroine choose her lover’s version as her personality, as it comes from something she chose, not family obligations, but Koyomi isn’t really happy with that answer …
To Aru Majutsu no Index III, having destroyed enough of France, now turns to England. The inevitable infodump is lightened by the behavior of the Queen and the three princesses, all of whom are kind of weird. The queen is holding a sword Curtana the Second and we’re told the first one, which gives you, theoretically, the power of archangel Michael, is lost to history, so we basically know what’s going to happen in this story arc. But there’s also the Eurotunnel explosion and subsequent friction with France to investigate, AND there’s someone working from within, namely in Scotland. Oh, also some terrorists have finished excavating something, so they have to get to the bottom of that. Go to it, guys!
Typically, the evil terrorists, four cute girls, natch, are quite capable of screwing up their nefarious plots. It doesn’t help that the retrieved artifacts, er, skidbladnirs, look like any average suitcase with Art Deco stylings, and soon little Lessar is fleeing from Touma and Oriana (remember her? I didn’t. She works for the Crown now). Since it’s not a situation for a righteous punch, Touma is subject to the laws of comedy and they have a hard time getting her. Two of the others aren’t much trouble, thanks to Itsuwa and the Asukasa branch of Necessarium, even though one of them can conjure up the weapons Thor used. Oh, great, now we got Norse mythology mixed in! But the evil plan is still put in effect, and we discover who the traitor is. I really hope the queen is pissed off enough to enter the battle. I like that old broad.
One thing Akanesasu Shoujo was not good at was animation in the little scenes. Characters just stood there, not moving, mouths often open, staring off at something not in the scene. My guess is they were saving up their energy for episode 12, the finale.
We get one surreal visual after another as Asuka walks with Super-Asuka, having agreed to go with her. Backgrounds turned black and white, fractured into, well, fragments, reformed when a verbal note had been taken. It’s unlike anything else in the series, even the Twilight world. It also gave the long scene an emotional power that the other episodes could never match. Well, that’s partly because this was not a silly alternate world full of forced marriages or western gunfights. Asuka, showing more canniness than I thought her capable of, quietly(!) and slowly wears Super-Asuka down, and allows her to feel the pain of losing Kyo that she had refused up to now. Turns out they each had ways to avoid the pain.
It’s a lovely scene, even if what happens afterwards doesn’t make much sense. Asuka returns to her world, Super-Asuka to wherever, and the Twilight attack just isn’t there any more. But Super-Asuka hadn’t been responsible for it, she had joined the dark side, so what happened to it? Not only that, there’s a ridiculous episode-filler scene where they find a new recruit for their club, even though we didn’t really care.
Oh, well. The series wasn’t all that great overall, to be honest. It had great moments, like the sheer absurdity of the alternate worlds, and I remember discovering that this show was going to be somewhat weird and absurd with a smile. And it did have some striking visual moments. The battles were almost always good to look at, if a little bright at times. The first half of episode 12 looked superb. Some of the background art, and the visual direction, was good, though again the clumsy character animation was a distraction. Good and bad. Not the best show I’ve seen, the weakest of the four I watched. On the other hand, I watched it to the end, and I can’t say that for some others.