Time to look at the shows I haven’t dropped yet, starting with Assault Lily Bouquet, where it’s the first day of school, but classes don’t start until the next day, so Riri and her new friends go from place to place getting infodumps about the school, their weapons, “magie,” and schutzengels. Oh, and girls coming on to other girls. First, Riri’s new roommate Shizu, then Araya and Kaede, all directed at Riri. After awhile that stuff is abandoned as Riri goes back to wondering what the hell happened to Yuyu in the last three years. Rather a dramatic scene involving Yuyu and Kaede, the latter proving she’s not just lustful rich-girl comic relief. In the end Yuyu agrees to schutzengel with Riri (kind of a “petite soeur” from that other series), but really doesn’t want to. I know some dark stuff is going to happen, but I can’t help thinking the show is going to toss us a Madoka surprise. At any rate, there was no monster fighting this week, just some righteous face-slapping, so maybe next week something of consequence will happen.
As I figured, Majo no Tabitabi is going to have Elaina travel from one place to another, run into a situation and learn something. This time she visits the Land of Witches (lots of broom traffic) where she is clobbered by would-be witch Saya, and loses her brooch, which means she can’t prove her status and must stay in a cheap little hotel-where Saya works. She winds up training Saya for her apprentice witch lessons, and then the secret about what happened to the brooch comes out. It wasn’t hard to guess, really. Stuff doesn’t add up for me. Saya was lonely and needed a friend and mentor, but why Saya? And was she really that bad at magic that she couldn’t pass the exam on her own? So, holes in the plot. Also, I thought it odd that the show would immediately change Elaina from student to teacher, though watching it feeding her vanity was fun. I do like how they manage to give Elaina some human weaknesses that she must recognize and overcome. Still, I hope next episode is a little more solid.
Also as I figured, 100-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatte Iru would be a story about Yuusuke learning how to man up and protect things he loves, and things he might not love as well, and he takes a couple steps this episode while running away from an ogre who has just ravaged the village and eaten Kusue (that’s two down). We get an all-so-convenient glowing thing that gives us some background on the situation, most important being Kusue’s being sick in real life and being determined not to be a burden on anyone–then getting eaten. It’s a bit much to say that Yuusuke immediately learns the error of his ways and finds a way to fight the ogre, besides, there’s the situation that if “dies,” he really dies, as well as the girls, so it’s not heroism as much as self-preservation. In other words we don’t really know his motives. This is adding a cynical edge to his character. Anyway, he gets the girls back and things turn out all right, apart from a flash-forward where Tokyo is getting destroyed Godzilla-style. More fun to the situation: if they manage all the quests in the fantasy world they have to do it in real life. I wonder if they’ll get to do magic there? Anyway, apart from Yuusuke’s realizations coming too quickly for my tastes, this is turning out to be a pretty good show.
Tonikaku Kawaii 2 is about what I expected. The couple spend their first night together. And it has way too much of Nasa’s thinking about how embarrassing this all this is, which I also expected. But we do get some hints that this is also embarrassing for Tsukasa, though here the messages are mixed. That night she changes into pajamas in the other room and then wonders why Nasa is doing the same. In the morning she’s about to change in front of him when he runs into the other room, all of these moments full of Nasa’s overthinking. As for the bed situation, and other sleeping arrangements, you can figure out what happens. What rescues these moments is Tsukasa’s cute sleeping habits, pillow hugging and stealing Nasa’s futon. Tsukasa, besides the occasional moments of doubt, seems to have more on the ball than Nasa, so it was fun to see her be sleepy-cute. And I’m glad that we’re going to meet more people next week. This show is starting to need side characters to interact with.
From a solid first episode of Senyoku no Sigridrifa, we have a lackluster second. Things improve when the Pillar is spotted and the action begins, but before that we get another round of introductions, from the same people. What were they doing at the welcome party last night besides getting drunk. So Claudia is all about to give the formal introduction to the base she surely has already done, when thank god the Pillar shows up. Also, there was way too much of Miko. She goes around shouting for the first third of the episode at least. She says the pep-talk things she said last time, and then we have to get the reaction from the hung-over but friendly base crew, “That’s our Miyako!” and the like. In short, apart from a flashback between Claudia and her father about visiting Japan, we just get a repeat of events from episode one. As for the battle, I can’t believe no one else thought about going through the tunnel to catch the pillar’s water wall from the inside. It was the first thing that entered my mind when they said “artificial island.” Too many holes in this episode. Though I wonder what Odin, with his cynical monologue at the end, means about “twilight?”
Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko 2 didn’t impress me much either. All we see is Ryoma wowing his noble guests with his slime-taming skills. The important thing of course is that he meets the little girl, Eliaria, and gives her tips on how to tame a cleaning slime. After that he agrees to travel with them. Most of the episode is either “Ryoma, you’re amazing!” and “And so, I went out to discover a whole new world!” lines. I know this is more or less a slice-of-life show, but it keeps teasing danger at us, like the mention of thieves in the area, though none show up. Next week Ryoma will probably end up showing the people at the new town a few tricks and getting more praise, which even Ryoma is getting sick of. I wish they’d introduce the catgirls they keep teasing us with already.
Maoujyou de Oyasumi, a show with less potential than the last two, actually has an amusing second episode. The routine is set: something will disturb the princess’s sleep and she’ll go out to take care of the problem, never mind the guards who are simply too astonished to do much. This time it’s mosquito netting, but the shroud demons provide the material, and the guards are surprised that she wasn’t going after the rare phoenix eggs. Then it’s a sleeping potion, and the funniest moment, as she simply walks in to an important meeting, makes a few polite, cute gestures, and takes it. And then there’s an administrator who actually tries to put his foot, er, paw down, but doesn’t last long. He’s too fluffy. Adding to the fun are the occasional scenes of Dawner and his comrades, risking life and limb to rescue the princess while she blithely goes around doing what she wants with no worries. I still don’t know how they’ll stretch out this series, but it’s two for two now.
The inevitable happens in Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear. Yuna answers a questionnaire and gets her bear suit, then winds up trapped in the game. As usual, there is an initial freakout which turns into “time to explore this new world!” in far less time than a normal person would do it, even those with little interest in the real world. But this is normal for isekai shows and I don’t think anyone cares anymore. Anyway, Yuna rescues a cute little thing named Fina who can “dismantle” the beasts that Yuna dispatches, something Yuna can’t do. So a partnership is formed. We also learn some game mechanics and learn that Yuna is completely powerless without her bear suit, an excuse for her to walk around looking cute. It’s a nice contrast that Yuna is slightly embarrassed by her outfit and people look at her funny, or don’t take her seriously. This would be a dull story about an overpowered person were it not for Yuna’s matter-of-factness about the situation, and if she does lose her composure she does it cutely in a bear suit. In terms of cuteness, this show is neck and neck with the rabbit coffee girls this season.
Kimisen (no way am I going to remember the whole title) very quickly answers the question of why arch-enemies should be attending the same opera. It’s because Ein is a neutral city. Also, conflicts there are forbidden. This means the show has a convenient way for our lovebirds to be cute together without the pressure of being enemies. So they do meet–at a restaurant, and later an art gallery, both places showing them perfectly in sync, even down to their favorite foods. Aww … Every now and then we get a reminder of their duties. Apparently Nebulis’s founder is beginning to wake up, suggesting danger, and Iska won’t get his full status back until he captures Ice Calamity. And there’s Alice’s maid Rin with her constant reminders. But it’s all talk. No battling this week apart from a flashback. What’s more, Alice has been taken out of combat duty for the time being, so it may be a while before they do face off in a non-romantic fashion.
When Akudama Drive is just the annoying, posturing walking cliches talking, especially Cutthroat and Hoodlum, not to mention that infodump with puppets, I decide I’ve had enough with the series. All the dead bodies and blood doesn’t help, either. But when the fighting actually starts I change my mind. Those scenes are fluid and exciting. This week it works to the show’s disadvantage, because the group has to learn about their mission and decide if they want to take it, and also we have to learn more about why that Shinkansen is so hard to break into and why they’re trying in the first place, so a lot of talking and posturing. The action is good fun but it doesn’t cover much of the episode, well, I can’t expect wall-to-wall mayhem in any series, but it would help if the characters weren’t so annoying when they aren’t fighting. Even “Swindler,” our heroine, gets dull with her “I, I can’t handle all this!” routine. Well, the Shinkansen assault might be worth it all, so I’ll watch that …