Riverside, Hamefura, Tantei, and Kobayashi-san 8-9

When it looked like we’d go off to meet a mysterious witch in Peach Boy Riverside 6, instead we hop, er, forward, to Sally’s big decision, Mikoto or Sumeragi, from episode god-knows-what. I was hoping she’d go “fuck both of you, I’ll go my own way,” but instead she chooses Mikoto, the obsessive ogre-killer over the reconciliation guy who’s up to something. After some pointless talk about killing them all or not, Todoroki and his gang show up to cause some trouble. There’s some fun as the ogres aren’t sure who the peach is, or that it should be plural. That gets the enormously powered Todoroki convinced that Hawthorn is a peach and tries to kill him. Meanwhile, Carrot confronts an ogre whose name I forget, and Frau goes up against a giant eagle, and Sally is probably going to get beaten up by Sumeragi, who, we learn is NOT an ogre. No worries, since Mikoto’s around, right, except he’s put to sleep by a sleeping ogre. A nice chance to see the weaker ones fight bad odds on their own. They all go back and forth, but it looks bad for all involved until … hey, we DO meet a witch this episode! Still, it was confusing because it took me a second to figure out how Hawthorn knows her. The time-jumps can carry this show, but often they just make it more messy. How much you want to bet that the next episode will go back to where we were before?

So, episode 9, where is it going to jump to now? Ah, a flashback episode, another jump but not uncommon in these type of shows. Here we get Mikoto’s backstory, narrated by Dog, involving the original Mikoto, who does the normal peach boy things, killing ogres, etc., until one day he rescues a boy who’s the son of an ogre and human the former eating the latter and begging Mikoto to kill him, which he does. However, he adopts the boy and becomes a father figure to him. The boy, our Mikoto, then named Hiko, has a lot of rage going on. First it’s his father killing his mother, then the hatred from other humans, and the fact that he himself is an ogre. Should he hate other ogres, humans, Mikoto, or himself? He makes his decision at the end, after inheriting the elder Mikoto’s powers. Okay, good stuff, and it explains much of Mikoto’s rage, but can we get back to whatever point of the story we were at, please? Maybe him being carried by Millia the nun at the end is a clue …

Really, she’d make a great wife for Nicol.

Hamefura 8 is another standalone, and slower-paced than usual, but it’s quite good. We focus on Nicol and the pressure he feels to get married and carry on the family name, even though his father wants him to relax and find someone he loves. That’s the trouble, he loves Catarina. One of the many girl-applicants is Frey, who tells him she doesn’t want to get married but work in the magic academy like Cat. In an interesting twist, Frey’s honesty and intuition seems to win Nicol over, and maybe he just found a girl he could happily marry instead. We don’t know what Frey thinks, but I get the impression that if it wasn’t for this ridiculous nobility situation they’re both stuck in, she might turn to Nicol. Interesting thoughts for the future. Or not–Frey’s talk is about going after the one he truly loves and right now that’s Cat, and there’s all this talk about stealing fiancee’s away. We also meet Frey’s rather cool but cute friend Ginger, but where that’s going we don’t know. Maybe it has to do with the scary-looking girl with all the candles and that rune at the end, grinning evilly. I think we’re in for a longer story arc to end the season.

Nothing to do with the story, but I like the dramatic pose.

And the story unfolds a little in episode 9. Keith seems a little down in the dumps recently, and then vanishes leaving a “Don’t follow me” note. Naturally Cat and some others, including Larna and a suspicious teddy bear, set off in seach of him. The preparations and “Cat is so dense” scenes pad out the episode to the point where we only get an inkling at the end of what happened. Apparently he was abducted by people he knows–was that his mother? Also Thomas, his abusive half-brother and his evil-giggling sister. Why we don’t know, because of the aforementioned padding out. Well, it will get sorted out, but meanwhile Geordo is getting more aggressive in his attentions to Cat, while the others are amused by her bewilderment. In terms of the REAL story, nothing changes yet again.

A leap to kill …

We all figured out before Tantei wa Mou, Shindeiru 8 began what the deal with Alicia was, if not the specifics. When the episode began it came to when they’d make the revelation. Then there was the clumsy foreshadowing with the missing knife that showed up at the almost-murder scene … However, I didn’t expect the ring to be a tracking device, while I wondered at Alicia’s stupidity at not realizing it; perhaps she wanted to be discovered. I can forgive Kimi not recognizing the knife, as he was preoccupied. So was Hel’s heart put into Alicia? That would set an interesting pattern, with Siesta’s heart being inside Nagisa’s, but I’m not sure I want to explore “the heart of one influencing the behavior of another” metaphor here. It does make me wonder, however, who put Siesta’s heart in Nagisa in the first place. Maybe we’ll figure it out in what is surely going to be the final arc, and probably Siesta’s death.

… and a leap to rescue. Siesta’s last moment.

And the death comes a little quicker than expected. I had expected it to come in the last couple episodes. And it was a trifle mundane, and bloodier than I expected. I also didn’t like that Hel snatched her heart and stuck it inside herself–was Siesta already dead at that point? She was quite resourceful; I can’t imagine her pushing Kimi from the monster’s attack and then just dying. She claimed she had stopped her heart to play dead earlier, a false flag that fooled no one. But we (and Kimi) see Hel taking her heart, so it indeed look like she’s dead, or living in Hel’s body. Earlier we had learned a lot about Hel, how she wasn’t one of the alien plants we learned about in the exposition scene between Charlotte and Chameleon or whoever that was (and how did Charlotte survive that fight? And what happened to the spiked tendrils coming out of the ground and attacking–well I suppose when Hel was thrown into confusion the plants lost guidance). Hel was a modified human who was looking for a father-figure and some attention, she was jealous of Alicia, and then it gets confusing. Now it will be interesting to see how Siesta’s heart gets to Nagisa’s body, and what that means for Hel. Not to mention Alicia, and Charlotte. Well, they have three episodes to clean everything up, but I’m sorry to see Alicia gone so quickly. I’ll have to live with Kimi’s snarky banter, but he’ll be too depressed and confused, I think.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S 8 and 9 are little vignettes, as usual. At least episode 8 had a running theme: people try to help other people (or make them happy) without knowing exactly how. Shouta makes a talisman for father’s day. Ilulu tries to return a doll abandoned at the sweets shop, Tohru tries to nurse a sick Kobayashi. The success varies–Kobayashi turning into a catgirl was kind of cute, though. Episode 9 was all-Elma, trying to organize the workers, taking the kids on a day-trip, and a more serious one where she dukes it out with Tohru. Why? She’s still angry that Tohru left one day. In both episodes the most moving story is saved for the last. I especially enjoyed Ilulu’s reason for trying so hard to find the doll’s owner, and the owner’s reaction, showing Ilulu that her instincts were right.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon S 8 and 9 are little vignettes, as usual. At least episode 8 had a running theme: people try to help other people (or make them happy) without knowing exactly how. Shouta makes a talisman for father’s day. Ilulu tries to return a doll abandoned at the sweets shop, Tohru tries to nurse a sick Kobayashi. The success varies–Kobayashi turning into a catgirl was kind of cute, though. Episode 9 was all-Elma, trying to organize the workers, taking the kids on a day-trip, and a more serious one where she dukes it out with Tohru. Why? She’s still angry that Tohru left one day. In both episodes the most moving story is saved for the last. I especially enjoyed Ilulu’s reason for trying so hard to find the doll’s owner, and the owner’s reaction, showing Ilulu that her instincts were right.

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