Tower of God 3 matches up another trick test with more introductions of the other groups, the most interesting one being Shibisu, Anaak, and Hatz, though the last two I can’t place the name with the person. Well, whoever the girl is, she is damn formidable and we get the idea (through Rak’s sense of smell and Bam’s vibrating weapon), that she’s got some special stuff up her sleeve. But it’s left as another clue to be figured out later. The trick test that comes before is a simple “choose the door or get killed” deal, with confusion over the time limit. Though the test is more of a mind-game, it does give us some backstory for Khun, who was betrayed by his lover and half-sister, his family being ostracized as a result, the memories flooding back so he can’t focus. Never thought Rak would figure it out, or if he really did. And at the very end we get a girl skulking around like a street urchin, who might or might not be Rachel, meaning Bam’s reason for climbing the tower might be over before it’s really gotten started.
So let’s find out. To start episode 4, Bam tries to take a look and announces that it’s NOT Rachel, though we can all assume it is. There are other hooded women in that room too, and one of them apparently is going to kill all the contestants. She also says something to Anaak (got the name!) about being fake. Anaak is infuriated, as she is also when she discovers Bam’s weapon is Black March, which only princesses can wield (Anaak’s is Green April, which makes me wonder what they do when they run out of months, since there are 13 of the things). So is Anaak a fake princess, or is the backdrop of this kingdom all about princesses vying for power with expelled ones fighting their way back up? Meanwhile, this side-test for a crown is fun to watch even as it collapses into a free-for-all at the end. The show does a good job at humanizing the threatening characters by giving them silly moments, even Khun.
Hamefura 3 is in two parts. In the first Catarina befriends yet another troubled person, Sophia, who people claim is cursed because of her white hair and red eyes, though of course she’s actually adorable, AND she’s a fan of romance novels, which Catarina has used to feed her inner nerdness due to the lack of manga and games in this time period. That finished, the show decides it’s time to jump seven years in the future to Catarina’s fifteenth birthday, where at the party, everyone old enough for their hormones to kick in, Geordo starts acting like a romance novel rogue and gives her a hickey while they dance and Keith warns her to stay away from him, which will be difficult since they’re engaged. He’s “black-hearted” and all. The show does a nice thing and makes Catarina extremely dense about all this, or maybe she’s focused on the trials of magic school ahead. Well, good. They spent just enough time in childhood before moving on. Another episode and it would have gotten tiresome.
Now, in episode 4, at the school, Catarina has already broken so many of the doom flags for herself that she shouldn’t be so worried, but this time around anything that happens that is similar to the game puts her in an uncharacteristic panic. You’d think she’d notice that the events aren’t happening quite as planned. Keith picks up Maria’s handkerchief but doesn’t hit on her, and Alan not feeling competitive with Maria over grades, for instance. It takes a big turnaround, a bullying scene where Catarina isn’t the bullier but the defender, for her to realize. Now there’s just the thing with Geordo, who shouldn’t get interested in Maria–he probably will, anyway. That’s the only thing she should be worried about. However, please explain to me the logic of planting a garden at the school. It didn’t improve her magic abilities before, and while it’s good to see a noblewoman doing honest labor, and it makes a nice topic of conversation and humanizes her a bit to others, there’s not much in it for her, unless she just likes vegetables.
In Houkago Teibou Nisshi 3 it’s time to catch flatheads, and also to get Hina more used to fishing, both being important parts of the show. The flathead fishing part is more of an instructional video, the kind of teaching many anime shows excel in, and so I learned that just baiting the reel to catch flatfish is a huge pain in the ass and I don’t want to do it. Then we had the question of whether anyone would catch one at all, with a few too many “reeling up garbage” moments. But naturally Hina gets lucky, nearly falls into the sea (nice catch Ohno), and we go to the second part, where she actually has to kill the fish herself. Too many squirmy moments here, and even the other characters begin to lose patience. But she does it. But we’ll have to wait for her to learn how to clean the fish next time, a shame, because I’ve always been curious about that. Still, all the educational stuff, along with relaxing at the pier with peaceful music, is exactly what I come to expect from the show.
Appare-Ranman! 3 jumps from that confrontation, where we Dylan, then Hototo backstory (family killed, etc), then introduces the next main race competitor, an heir of BNW, rich and a little arrogant Al, and his assistant Sofia, who have rented out the storerooms where Appare, Kosame and now Hototo live. He’s set up to be a rich kid who gets anything he wants but the show immediately softens his image by presenting his own backstory and his interest in Appare’s interest in his car. He’s a gearhead too, he just dresses better. Anyway there’s a duel for use of the storerooms with the expected and not very convincing extra tricks Appare tosses out to finish the episode. So another rival and ally gained. I wonder how many more to go? And do I still care enough to watch? I suppose it doesn’t matter at the moment, since COVID-19 has delayed the series.