10s: Mieruko-chan, Laika, Takt, Nakama, Sakugan … 7: Komi-san

Something bad on either side. Don’t look, Miko!

Mieruko-chan 10 settles in for an actual story arc. Zen’s presence has led to an increase in ghouls all over the school. It’s also verified that he’s a cat-killer. Whether that attracted the ghouls or the other way around I’m not sure, but I’m betting on the former. Just as interesting is that Hana is getting hungrier and hungrier. It looks like her aura is getting drained, by the ghouls or by Zen, or both. What’s annoying is that Yulia is the one to spot this. She can see Hana’s aura but Miko cannot, but the show ruins another chance for the two girls to share notes. A little miscommunication between characters is okay, but to extend it for too long, when things look to be getting very serious, just gets on my nerves. And when I say “serious,” I mean that Miko was attacked by a ghoul, who, posing as a boy, got Miko to look at him. The shrine spirits save her, but (It’s finally explained) she’s only got one rescue left. Two episodes to go, let’s see … the big threat should come next week, and in Miko’s defense (because alone she’s powerless) we’ve got the shrine spirits, Hana’s aura, and maybe the old lady or the scary cat-lover will show up, the latter since Zen seems to be the core of the problem.

Will she or won’t she … bite him on the neck?

Tsuki no Laika to Nosferatu 10 … what to say? It’s now two people having two different stories, connected only once by Lev and Irina’s date to start the episode. They settle on a picnic by the lake, where we get the concept of a romantic kiss being a loving bite to the neck. Kind of a sweet way for both sides to show affection, one giving his blood (“sweet pain”) and the other taking it, showing the closeness that they’ve developed. But the connection is lost due to other people, sort of the story of their relationship. After that they’re separated and the two stories begin. Lev’s is the only one that has any movement to it. He and Mikhail are filmed going about their “daily lives” around Sangrad, a lie for the public (also because their training city is top secret), and it’s clear that those two are the only candidates being considered. Roza is seen but does not speak a word. Irina and Anya spot Lev there but are pushed away. They are not part of the story. In the end you can probably guess who is chosen …

Lyudmila always looks like she’s up to something.

As for the other story, it’s basically static. Irina undergoes tests (that design bureau story was a lie, too), thinks about Lev, wanders around with Anya, and waits not only to learn who is chosen, but will happen to her. A sad and frustrating position to be in. It’s basically at the point where you expect each Irina moment to be the last, with goons knocking down the door. The only hope is Madame Secretary Lyudmila, who talks more than once about a hero that “will lead us to a new world.” She might be talking about space, or Lev, but the attention she’s paying to Irina’s situation suggests she has something else in mind. She mentions possible futures to the Premier, jokingly. Whatever she is thinking she’s got two episodes to make it work. Acknowledgment of vampires as a propaganda ploy is my guess.

As expected, Takt op. Destiny 10 has a big fight and Lenny’s death. It was all so obvious that I expected a pineapple reference somewhere. Anyway, Lenny/Titan and Takt/Destiny meet up to reveal secrets. Then Sagan shows up to spoil the fun. It’s clear before long that Sagan has been the one using Hell’s tuning-fork to draw D2s. Why, I have no idea, and he doesn’t explain. Um, that’s rather important … There’s also Lenny’s big secret, which is so unimportant to the situation that it’s hardly worth keeping–he had been there at Takt’s father’s death, and Lenny had been a pupil. Now he’s “atoning” for it, though all I can figure by that is that he is atoning for not keeping his master safe. We get a lot of flashbacks, of Lenny agreeing to be a conductor, meeting Titan and agreeing to keep smiling, and then we get to the battle.

So it’s the good duo of duos vs. a trio–Sagan, Hell, and Heaven. Naturally it goes badly for the good guys so they can ramp up the tension. Takt and Destiny lose their powers and collapse, so it one last glorious stand for Lenny and his supercharged musicart, who wipes that smirk off of Hell’s face and nearly wins the battle singlehandedly, even while Lenny is mortally wounded by Sagan and his pedestrian gun. It’s great to watch, partly because it’s about time Heaven and Hell took some licks and retreated. Finally, the death scene including one where Lenny plays Cello to Takt’s piano. Kenji Asahina appears to praise the performance and lead Lenny off the stage. Lovely bit. It’s sad that Lenny died, but he went out well, with people who loved and respected him watching. Now, the big questions: can Takt get back in one piece, will Titan join him and Destiny and form a trio, and what the hell is Sagan up to anyway, and why?

Shin no Nakama 10 is all about Ruti’s arrival, and decision to stay because Red intends to. Red seems a little tempted to go back to battle to destroy the demon lord, and maybe he’ll have to, but for now he’s staying put. But that puts Ruti, the Hero, in a bind. She feels a responsibility to her blessing, even while we have a bit between Albert and Yarandrala about free will. She talks with Rit in the bath, with Tisse observing and giving us internal monologues about the scene. Ruti envies Rit not only her relationship with her beloved oniisan but because Ruti the Hero is no longer as able to feel things, the hot bath, the taste of the milk and honey, whatever. Rit has all the things Ruti doesn’t. There’s a good reason for her wanting to change her blessing. Yarandrala should have given that lecture to Ruti as well … How it will work out I’m not sure. Ruti will have a crisis with the drug–I’m surprised they didn’t get to it this episode, Red will have to make a decision … Meanwhile, there’s that demon lord thing. Things are so normal around that village and we haven’t even seen the demon lord yet, I think. That whole story line seems like a far-off thing they will or won’t do. They could all stay in the village and maybe nothing will happen at all.

Sorry, copied the wrong pic by mistake. I don’t even know who this is …

Sakugan 10 repeats the father-daughter themes we’ve heard before, with a little more clarification. Having been taken aboard Merooro’s big ship, he lays out is ideas, that the underground world is fragile and needs a protecting presence to keep it alive, a family theme. Gagumber doesn’t get it, but he knows he’s jealous that Memempu adores Merooro so much. Later the Shibito attack and try to nab Memempu (a rainbow child, though the show still refuses to explain what that is). Gagumber, stupid as he is, races off to rescue her, and does, so does Merooro and nearly dies for it. So, fine, we’ve got plenty of fatherly feelings and protective family around, but really we knew all this. It was just another excuse for men to protect a young girl, and, in Memempu’s telling Merooro that her beloved Tony doll was a gift from her dad, an example that the love goes both ways but she can’t really admit it. Again, we knew that. What I want to know is the big story. Are they going to get around to explaining what the rainbow children are, and why the Shibito are after them, not to mention Uroop (remember her?), and Memempu’s dream? In two more episodes? I guess they’re angling for a season two.

Just one goofy moment out of dozens in this episode.

The only reason Komi-san wa Comyushou desu 8 isn’t the best episode so far is that they failed to tick off the emotional rush of Komi managing to break through her communication issues, like the lovely blackboard scene in ep1. For everything else it hit the mark, especially the well-timed gags that comes out of nowhere and worked as beat breaks. The episode is full of those, like the family grave reacting to Komi’s mom’s comment, Najimi’s second cry of despair after breaking the candy, or Makeru showing up to compete in the festival shooting game, against the oblivious Komi. In fact, the festival scene was full of people we haven’t seen in a while–I thought maybe this was the joyous finale to a short series. Happily, I’m wrong. Almost as good was the first section, with the Komi family getting together with relatives. We see aunts and uncles and a stern grandmother interacting, and Komi bonding with her shy cousin Akira through tickling. I’ve never seen her that forward before, but this IS family. Finally we get a “get the homework finished before school resumes tomorrow” scene. A little more low-key, more of a summation of the summer holidays and what they all did, but it still worked. A solid all-around episode where the show showed off almost everything it does well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s