6, 7, and 8’s – Decadence, Maou Gakuin, Uzaki-chan, Houkago Teibou Nisshi, Oisha-san

Deca-dence either is being coy with the clues it’s giving us, or I’m just not paying attention. The interplay between the robot world and the “human” one seems to have a connection in Minato, who is human but fully aware of the game aspect and has the power to drive it, though he can’t change everything. He and the resurrected Kaburagi have a brief chat after a gadoll incursion into deca-dence which makes you wonder just how much of a bug Kaguragi and Minato himself are. In spite of this the episode is mostly about the incursion and fixing the giant wall breach. It becomes a more traditional gear-fantasy (would we call it steampunk?) where Natsume runs around trying to get helpers to fix the hole. At first they refuse but they eventually come around in typical mainstream-storytelling style. Still, it’s a story full of humans and has an inspirational feel to it. Better is Kaburagi meeting the initially suspicious Natsume (he has a new body, you see), where we hear again that Natsume feels weak but getting better, and then bursting into tears at the emotional toll it’s taking on her, to be strong but not having “boss” around, not knowing that the boss is right there listening to her. Nice bit, but after that Kaburagi decides he’s going to destroy the gadoll factory in the robot world, and I get confused again because I don’t really know how the factory matters, well, I can to the human world, but not the robot one, where it must serve some purpose …

This is the same world as the picture above, the same guy, in fact.

Well, episode 8 makes it a little clearer. By hearing about Kaburagi’s plans we learn more about the structure of the society, but it still isn’t enough. The bots learn that the gadoll poop they’re been shoveling gets turned into the oxoyne (or whatever) they consume to live, a disgusting situation that sort of sums up the society they’re all in. Once they learned all that the poop-shovelers are all in on the shit factory destruction that Kaburagi has suggested, save for two traitors, Sark and er, that other one, basically to spice up the plot and state the opinion that this is the only system they can exist in, lousy as it might seem. Okay, so, Kaburagi meets Natsume to recruit her for a mission, though he doesn’t give her the details. Would she even understand the detail? Probably not–she’s a bug with no actual robot in the “real world,” if that’s the one. Also a nice scene where Minato tries to talk Kaburagi out of it, not because it’s wrong, but because Kaburagi is a good friend whom he doesn’t want to see scrapped. So in this absurd story, it’s still the “human” emotions running things.

Lay’s mom is a sword.

Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha 8 is confusing too, but it’s a more straightforward type; there’s tons of spells being cast and cultbabble about sources and swords, but those are just the trappings around the simpler act of defeating Lay and saving both him and his mom, which we fully expected him to do. I have no clue about the rumors Anoth spread or how his speech about his sword changed things, but it doesn’t much matter. What mattered was that Lay inherently trusted Anoth and let him stab him, and also the bond Lay has with his mom, who, it turns out, is actually a sword, or her source is, which gave him the strength to break out of Melheis’s magic prison. I also liked that Anoth didn’t have a guaranteed win on his hands–he needed Lay to fight back if either of them were to survive. That it was all surrounded by weird spells and ancient lore doesn’t change the human feelings. Finally, Melheis was yet another villain who was actually forced to play that role, and despite all he did under duress, Anoth was fine with him at the end. Apart from his backed-up arrogance, Anoth proves again to be a nice guy. Oh, and we get a nice bit with Sasha in tsundere mode.

The last thing Shinichi wants Uzaki to know.

Uzaki-chan wa Aso bitai! 6 is the obligatory beach episode, another attempt by Itsuhito to get the couple together, and for Ami for disapprove, and for Uzaki to wear a revealing bikini. There was a lot of potential in this situation, I mean, think of all the beach episodes you’ve seen and how our non-couple could fit into them. But the truth is it fell a little flat. Certain beach episode tropes were done (complimenting the swimsuit, the watermelon) but others, like random guys hitting on Uzaki, were only hinted at. The boob/watermelon gag was more embarrassing than funny. The cookout bit just passed by with no gags. The test of courage that followed was more of an excuse for Ami and Itsuhito to talk about the couple while Shinichi chased Uzaki around the woods to get his phone back, and the result of said test was a flop, as it turns out Shinichi just can’t handle anything scary. Okay, the body-pillow bit at the end was kind of sweet, but the best lines were early on, before the excursion, when Uzaki starts to work at the cafe.

Poor Saten …

To aru Kagaku no Railgun T 20 is a typical one-on-one duel between two highly skilled individuals, and the fact that the combatants are both bad guys is something I’d expect from this franchise. Not very interesting at the start when both Frenda and Saten are on the run, though there are good bits where Frenda attacks the wrong person (sorry, golf-guy, who got beat up and humiliated for no reason), and Yumiya, the seemingly invincible hunter, is distracted by the appearance of two girls she wants to be friends with at school. Indeed, this need for companionship, so different from her killer persona, is the most interesting thing about her. But otherwise it’s run-run-run and blam-blam-blam until we get to another humane point where Frenda finds she just can’t abandon poor Saten, but CAN use her for a counterattack. After that we get lots of kicks to the head and body, not to mention explosions and plenty of turns in battle, and the episode finally becomes fun. The question is, have we seen the last of Yumiya, at least in this arc? She’s not much use now, but the OP uses her a lot, it makes me wonder. Also I get a kick out of hearing that mechanical voice she now has.

This week: Scorpionfish!

Only one half of Houkago Teibou Nisshi 7 is about fishing. They go after scorpion fish, which hang out in the rocks along the pier. They kept teasing the idea of Hina falling into the sea, and then when Ohno lent her her own life jacket, I thought Ohno was going to take the plunge, so to speak, but in the end neither do, only Ohno’s cautionary tale of falling in as a child. Alas, they don’t spend any time telling us how to clean and prepare the fish, so the show lags in educational value this week. Instead, we get the usual Hina freakouts about handling the caught fish, and almost but not falling in. The second act takes a break and gives us Hina and Natsumi bonding over a midterm study session. Though naturally fish work their way in anyway. It was cute to see Natsumi getting embarrassed about her nice mom, though.

Monster Musume no Oisha-san stays at the harpy village so they can deal with the troublesome Illy, who wants to fly away, away, but doesn’t know where to, and she can’t fly anyway, which is why Dr. Glenn is there. It’s made clear in the first half that all she wants is to escape the village any way she can, even though it’s not a bad place, just a little dull. What the show doesn’t do well is show why she decides not to run away any more. Glenn finally figures out her molting is because her adult feathers are coming in, but surely the other harpies would recognize this and work with her. That’s maybe the most aggravation thing about this show, that Glenn diagnoses ailments that others of the monster’s kind must surely be familiar with. Instead, he’s treated as a master healer for knowing what others should already know. There’s also the fact that she is an orphan and discovers she has phoenix blood in her, perhaps satisfying somewhat her heritage, but still not a reason to make a 180 degree turnaround and be happy and not run away. This is an enjoyable show but the character motivations aren’t always thought out. Meanwhile I’m waiting on the tease they threw in about Sapphee perhaps being sick.

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