Still catching up: Kimisen, Kuma, Usagi

Iska in captivity.

Let’s see, way way back when I last watched KimiSen, Alice and Rin had accidentally poisoned Iska’s drink and now have him in custody. Since Alice didn’t really plan for this to happen she takes him to Alcotroz, and with a name like that you know already what kind of district it is. However, Alice’s family has a nice place there and so they go there, Alice still being unsure, torn between the fact that this boy is both his rival and the boy she has the hots for. So we get some shenanigans with those three, Rin only trying to kill Iska once, and Iska asking the question that was also on my mind–how to go pee when he’s changed to Alice, and vice versa? Nice touch; I often wonder that about these situations. While they muddle through something resembling captivity, Iska’s comrades sneak into Alcotroz to rescue him, though they’re being misled and it’s all that Risya can meet up with the captive, “transcendent” Salinger, maybe to win him over for the empire or because SHE has the hots for HIM, languidly sprawled on a sofa too nice for the hardcore prison section. As for me, I’m worried about the Mismis and the others, who are apparently on a wild-goose chase and don’t know it.

In episode 8 they’re shown to be all right, though it takes some guile and unexpected bravery from Mismis to get them out of the prison (with all the commotion they just walk out the gate). So let’s forget about them and turn to the two important bits. The first is Iska’s captivity. Alice and Rin go off to get Salinger leaving him alone, still handcuffed. Now, I won’t say Iska is a bonehead for not realizing that Alice had left him the key, wrapped up in the handkerchief she returns, but only because I didn’t realize it either. She also left his phone. So soon he’s free and on the same page as the others. This is a great moment of trust shown in Iska, and while it seems obvious for her to ask for help (though leaving him handcuffed … though with the key), they are still enemies, after all. Even better is his realization of her trust.

The other big thing is of course Salinger. Things will get complicated for both sides when people realize it was the Empire who freed him, but that can wait because we get to see some boss battles first. Rin shows up first. She’s no match for him, of course, but she tries hard. To give it a further twist, Iska shows up and saves her from Salinger’s death blow. Remember, she tried to kill Iska last episode. Alas, the episode ends there, so we’ll have to wait to see the Salinger/Iska match, or maybe the Salinger/Iska/Alice match. Or maybe the Salinger/Iska then Salinger/Alice matches. How about another Iska/Alice match? Doubt that’s going to happen. More and more it looks like they’re going to fight for each other rather than what their countries want them to do.

And episode 9 reveals it’s the first choice. Iska goes against Salinger with no one else, well, there’s a little more help from Rin. What’s weird is that Alice does show up, after her encounter with Nameless. The encounter wasn’t anything and I wondered why they put it in, but it turns out it was Risya in a Nameless suit, but I still don’t know what the scene was doing there, unless it was simple reconnaissance, in which case why even reveal yourself? Anyway, it looked like a double-battle Risya/Nameless just runs off, leaving Alice to go to the Iska/Salinger fight just in time to save Rin … and watch Iska fight. She doesn’t join in even though Salinger was going on about combining astral powers–I thought for sure he’d be beaten by Iska and Alice combining theirs. Instead it’s mostly Iska on the attack and Salinger going “NANI?!” a lot before running away, or rather, falling. While it’s satisfying to see smirking bad guys get theirs the battle wasn’t all that interesting. So the story arc ends and I suppose Iska is going to have a hard time telling his superiors that he fought the person the Empire was trying to recruit. I suppose he doesn’t have to say anything …

She’s a bear!

Back to Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear and the trip to the capital for the royal birthday or something, does it matter? Along the way Yuna polishes off more enemies, rescues Noa’s grandfather and Misa, a cousin I think. Then it’s on to the capital where they meet Noa’s mother and strong-willed big sister, who forces Yuna to spar with her and of course is defeated multiple times. There’s also a market, delicious food, and countless people saying “What’s a bear doing here?” Pretty much the usual except for the idea that Yuna could open a restaurant if she wanted to. But that would interfere with her fun bear activities. Oh, and some monsters are going to attack the city, so we’ll have some action next week. Good thing, too. I’m getting tired of people reacting to Yuna’s puddings.

She’s just a hero for fun.

… And right off the bat we get a beheading, only it seems Gulzam, the bad guy, was exiled instead because he shows up with 10,000 monsters to threaten the capital. But after the beheading it goes back to being cute, with Noa forming a Bear Fan Club (Shh! Yuna mustn’t know) and becoming excellent friends with Fina and Misa. Yuna gets a tour of the palace from Ellelora and little princess Flora, and I began to wonder if they were going to put off the battle until next week. But no, Noa worries about Cliff getting to the castle so Yuna goes off to find them, and wipes out the bad guys in under a minute, minus the clairvoyant reports to the king from someone whose name I didn’t catch. Not much of a battle but I expected that. Also, it would contrast Gulzam’s declarations of doom to Yuna making a face and saying something snarky. Yuna’s snark is one of the strongest things in the show, along with her discomfort when someone makes a fuss over her. Oh, this time Yuna made pizza.

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka Bloom 7 brings us the cuteness and weirdness at full power. It helps when the show has something to riff on, in this case Halloween. The whole town throws a party. Chiya, for, I believe, the first time in two seasons, presents some weirdly-named food, Halloween style. I hope she keeps it up; I wondered why she had stopped doing it. But mostly, the first half of the show is little more than all the girls going around trying to act scary and looking cute instead, growl!

… With the show’s usual weirdness popping up …

In the second half Cocoa, distraught because her magic tricks are dissed by a small boy, meets a mysterious figure who is obviously the ghost of Chino’s mother. It makes the end sweet to watch, though it would have seemed maudlin if it hadn’t been built upon the happy nuttiness of what came before.

Episode 8 doesn’t match episode 7 but naturally it’s cute anyway. Rize has a fight with her father after he laughs when she says she wants to become an elementary school teacher. Considering Rize’s love for guns and special-ops stuff I’m a little surprised by that decision myself. She runs off and stays at Rabbit House for a few days where she practices being a teacher, and so the show goes off on “teacher” stuff for a while, using Magu, Maya, and Chino as students. Later Cocoa(?) tries teaching, and Chiya joins in as well as Syaro, since she’s also tutoring Maya, or is it Megu? Anyway, there are trips to the pool, lots of stamps on foreheads, hands, wherever. After a while it sort of becomes a Rize episode, but all in all it doesn’t hang together, even with the nice little scene at the end with Rize and her dad.

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