Back to Peach Boy Riverside, a show that apparently likes to hop around. As I recall there was a fighting contest going on, but episode 4 gives us a flashback of young Princess Saltherine, bored with her stuffy life, meeting Mikoto and marveling that he could wipe out a whole squad of ogres (not too hard as they basically stand around gaping) and then walk away with a smile, inspiring Sally to go on a journey herself. Okay, fine, background episode, but then in episode 5 we still don’t get back to that contest, but find our foursome reaching a town with a vampire in it. We see a lot of Meki (now mysteriously named “Carrot”–certainly Frau’s doing) and her growing rage at how the town treats Frau the demihuman, while Sally defends Frau but kills ogres. Which leads us to the moral dilemma when Meki finds the vampire Kyuketsuki, actually an ogre (his fangs are his horns–nice trick), the others show up … and Frau gets chopped in half.
It was shocking, but when you consider how important a character she is you can’t take the death seriously, no matter how graphic and bloody. She cuts a deal with an angel friend Atla and comes back with some nasty powers, and Kyuketsuki is killed, but not before a touching backstory from him about falling in love with a human. A nice, sad little story, but not sure why the show included it except to show that ogres have feelings too, which we already knew, look at Meki, who decides to go against her ogre past and turn on Kyuketsuki for the sake of her companions. Well, he’s gone now–maybe, I mean look at Frau, who we learn has been killed twice this year and cheerfully sent back. I like how they’re treating her story. No flashback stories (yet), just dollops of info, like Kyukesuki’s comment that she is not really “hare-folk.” Looking forward to more revelations about her.
Hamefura 4 concludes Cat’s abduction story arc in an unexpected way. Cat, with her direct guilelessness, charms Rufus the evil butler, and they spend most of the episode getting close to intimacy. Actually, in the first, er, confrontation, I think Cat would have allowed herself to get kissed for the first time in the series. We get a dull flashback of Rufus’s (or is it Sora) early life in the slums which was dull and predictable, but when we get back to the couple we see that Cat might have actually found someone she could fall in love with, if only she could get it through her thick skull. “I think a bug bit me when Rufus threw me on the bed,” that sort of thing. Anyway, whatever action there is to get Cat rescued is completely offstage. At the end, everyone just charges in. I would have liked to see some of that detective work, but this new possible romance, and the effect it has on Catarina, known to her or not, more than makes up for it.
And episode 5 is a rest and character development episode between arcs, where we learn a lot about Jeffrey, who’s assistant, David Mason, was responsible for the abduction. Naturally I thought Jeffrey had some dark motives in mind, like seizing the throne, but when he opens the drapes and reveals his almost sick adoration of his little brothers, all doubt left my mind. So we get a bunch of flashbacks with Geordo, Alan and Ian about how Jeffrey did his best to keep the sibling connections friendly, until Cat came along and innocently cured them of their inner demons. In short, Jeffrey seems delighted with his younger brothers and their fiancees, and fully devoted to going after the dark-magic people who stole Cat, along with his fiancee, Larna/Susanna, seemingly indifferent to him but with her own interest in Cat. But I’m sure they could work some intrigue around this somehow, using Susanna. Well, right now I haven’t a clue as to where the new arc will go, only that Cat’s friends are even more protective of her and Geordo is making his feelings more obvious. Kissing will do that.
Tantei wa Mou Shindeiru 4 and 5 wraps up the Yui incident in fairly predictable fashion. No, I won’t say that. I wasn’t expecting Yui to be in cahoots with SPES, however unwittingly, though I did figure on the three of them becoming pals. Still, Nagisa is no match for Siesta, so it’s with some relief that we flash back to her in episode 5, that is, after a quick into of another assistant, Char, just to keep us not wondering who she is when Cerebus mimics her form. I wonder if they really needed to introduce her; it would have been cool to have her show up in the hotel room and having Kimi recognize her and us going “Who the hell is that?” Anyway, the story arc in episode 5 where a girl codenamed Hel, supposedly the leader of SPES though she let’s the word “father” slip out, tries to convince Kimi to partner with her. According to her and her holy screed he’s not a trouble magnet, but a trouble inspirer, perfect for an evil organization! Anyway, things get downright weird after that, with the revelation of the giant noxious monster, and Siesta’s sudden appearance in a mecha. Through it all, I’m getting to like Kimi’s Kyon-like ability to quip no matter what. It’s becoming the thing that grounds the increasingly absurd stories.
Then the last new one I intend to watch came down the tubes, Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!. I’ve read bit of this online and knew pretty much what to expect, and I was right. #2 demon lord loses her powers and winds up working in a izakaya, able to transform to her sexy demon lord form for short periods, but most of the time appearing as an angry little girl. She does her job and is doted on by the kind proprietress and is shaken down for rent by the sister. All the while she schemes to gather more of the shattered magic crystal fragments to wreak havoc upon the world, or something … Right now she is trying to survive and pay the rent.
Yeah, just what I figured. What might keep me watching is that there are side characters who look fun, including the magical girl who caused her downfall in the first place. But I think in the end this will be a happy semi-domestic comedy with cute characters, many of them magical, going through daily life. The pacing felt a little off, bits going on a second too long, but it’s a first episode. Oozara Naomi, as Jahy, has good moments of declaring doom on people with a frantic little-girl voice. If they can tighten the show up a little she will be even more effective. Other than that, nothing to get excited about.