Twos, and a three and four: Hanako-kun, Rikekoi, Railgun T, Kyoukou Suiri, Magia Record

Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun is one of the shows on my “maybe” list, but two episodes in, it’s passing, even though the first half is inconsequential. Apparently there’s an evil spirit that steals little things from students, and if you happen to see it, it will kill you. Naturally, Nene sees it and Hanako saves her. However, I like the concept that apparitions live in the guise of their rumors, so all Nene has to do is improve their reputation. The second half has more weight, as we meet Kou, from a long line of exorcists who tries to do away with Hanako. He’s a bit of an idiot, but he means well, and we know that the three will be friends soon enough, especially since he’s in the OP along with the other two. Most importantly we get more background on Hanako. He murdered someone and is now working off his punishment. Why he killed isn’t explained, could be self-defense, but it brings up a dark side to balance the cute and colorful atmosphere the show usually has.

I like Ibarada already.

Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei Shitemita 2 is a POV from Kanade, the often exasperated underclassman. She kindly breaks the fourth wall and tells us a little about the lab, in particular the goth-loli senpai Ibarada. Ibarada seems to do little but lay around and play games, but upon learning of Yukimura and Himuro’s experiments, throws a monkey wrench into them by pointing out they don’t have a control. So basically Shinya has to repeat the same experiment with Kanade and Ibarada. Since it’s just head-petting, no problem, especially for Ibarada, who gives some of her own romantic impulses away. The results demonstrate how much rigor is needed in setting up experiments, even if Himuro doesn’t like the results. The second half, about love through cooking, is less successful, because, as they point out, they can’t quantify it.

The three-legged race is underway!

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T, a show that is silly more often than it is exciting and knows it, wisely tilts toward the silly side in episode 2. The Daihasei games start with a disastrous opening ceremony followed by a great event viewed worldwide–the 3-legged race. Okay, it’s more interesting because the contestants are permitted to use their special abilities (except Misaka can’t shock anyone). I would watch that, and I did, as each couple tried their best to screw over their opponents. This being part of the Index franchise, that means that at one point flying hamsters chew off the bra and panties of one pair. Meanwhile, MEMBER members, apparently the bad guys in this series, walk around plotting nefarious things that haven’t come to fruition yet. Since it’s no secret that they’re eyeing the Sisters, and a Misaka clone got roped into competing, the plan will probably begin to unfold next week. Meanwhile the show just shows off the usual characters like they did in episode 1.

Kyokou Suiri 2 has me worried. In spite of all the action from last week, and the suggestions of it in the OP, it is mostly a dull and talky affair where Kotoko goes off to talk with a guardian serpent who is bugged because someone tossed a corpse into her river. It’s all talk, and not very interesting, Kotoko’s pat voice working with the serpent’s old lady voice while Kurou lurks in the background. The murder mystery is not very interesting, and worse, the story is to be continued sometime later. I’d say “next week” but the preview is all about a murderous ghost of an idol girl and promises the action we didn’t get this week, so frankly I say let’s move to that story and forget this one.

Magia Record 3 mostly “reconciles” Kaede and Rena after their spat last week. In a good scene, they try to lure the chain witch to them by writing their names on the staircase and then apologizing, but it takes Rena’s lame effort to do that and her subsequent outburst of resentment and guilt to actually make the enemy appear. While everyone fights Kaede and Rena sort of make it up–Rena being far too tsundere to actually say the right words. All this talk distracted me from the actual fight, which looked great but did not feel compelling, maybe because the show was trying to do two things at once. Maybe because the witch (which probably wasn’t one, hmmm …) battle had been reduced to a metaphor for the girls’ issues. The most interesting things work outside this story, with Iroha remembering two hospital friends Ui had, and the appearance of … Well, you’ve probably seen the episode now.

We don’t see Tsuruno for the rest of the episode …

Episode 4 might be back on the main story, Iroha reuniting with her missing sister Ui, but I’m not so sure. What happens is that Mitama has Iroha go to a Chinese restaurant where she meets Tsuruno, a magical girl on the friendly, genkii side. Tsuruno contacts the definitely not friendly Yachiyo, and they go around shrines trying to find the one which will reunite you with someone–for a price. There’s a distraction of a witch fight in a supermarket (Yachiyo should have been suspicious that the store was empty on a 100x point day AND a time sale) but they wind up right where they started, where Iroha sees Yui, and Tsuruno and Yachiyo see their old friend Mifuyu. But I suspect that both missing girls are apparitions, not the real things. I guess we’ll find out next week, but we could have found out this week if the show had picked up the pacing and cut a few shrine scenes …

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