Fours and fives

Onto some fours and fives. Yes, I know some series are up to six. Leave me alone … First off, Healer Girl 4 has the girls, now certified, requested to do some calming singing during surgery, which means blood. The surgical training videos and splatter films they watch can only go do far to deal with the reality. We also get a note that not all doctors are convinced of the healing properties of singing, like the grumpy doctor they’re helping, and when we learn that it’s his first time to lead an operation we know something is going to go wrong. And sure, Kana gets a little faint when the first incision is made, but that’s only the beginning of the fun. Things go swimmingly until the doctors realize that the lesion has spread farther than expected and weakened a blood vessel, which naturally bursts. Time for some big climactic singing! It really is a nice sequence. I’m not a big fan of ballads like this, but when used correctly in the action, which they do here, the effect can be very powerful. The imagery they use along with the three seiyuus’ excellent voices put it over the top. Nice job girls! You calmed the doctors and the patient in what was your longest and most gut-wrenching situation yet. Next week it looks like a beach episode or something, so they’ll replace frightening operating rooms with sun and swimsuits, which they deserve.

Yep, episode 5 has no life and death struggles. Instead everyone heads out to Hibiki’s family farm for “training,” though they don’t do any that we can see. Instead, it’s trips to the river with the boys and girls, the eldest boy having a crush on Reimi, so that’s her bit for the episode. Kana has a bit, too, when she discovers that the woman who sang to her during an asthma attack on a plane was Karasama, thus removing one of her goals for becoming a healer–meeting the woman who saved her. She’ll get over it. Hibiki’s bit was the entire episode, since it’s her childhood home with her family and others–her reuniting with the music teacher who inspired her was strangely cut off. Of course they have to sing a little, on the way up a split peak to look at stars and fireflies. In short, everyone has a nice, relaxing time.

After a girls’ night out with two of the three people unsuited for such things, Rikekoi2 4 splits into two mildly amusing storylines. First we have Ibarada helping with an experiment using concert penlights to convey information to the singer about how excited the audience is getting (explained in detail, but unimportant), and naturally Kosuke is one of the test subjects–he was already there at the anison concert anyway. Meanwhile Yukimura is tutoring a silly high school girl in physics and pulls out a surprising adept teaching turn by using bubble tea, the girl’s favorite drink, to make his points. Thus he wins her over somewhat. It’s more fun because he never loses his determined, harsh demeanor while he does it. As for the other story, we hear Ibarada talking about Kosuke and vice-versa, and thus more seeds are planted. Also with Kanade, who is asked out by the nice boy from the Okinawa conference. So it looks like we might have three couples by the end of the series if they can all just get their act together.

Kanade should have known better than to ask Yukimura for relationship advice.

For our main couple Yukimura and Himuro, episode 5 seems to take a step backward, well, not backward, but they wind up exactly as they were in the first episode of the first season, with Himuro’s confession, Yukimura dropping his energy bar and everything. This is after receiving and analyzing additional data that manga-ka Yamamoto sent, reader replies to the manga she wrote starring Yukimura and Himuro, in other words, their world is getting recursive. The only thing that moves forward is Kanade deciding what to do with the confession that boy made last week. Kanade is the sensible one of the cast, so while we can understand that she has conflicting thoughts, it’s strange to see her asking Yukimura for advice. Surely she should know better. Well, he does help make her a decision, a sensible one about starting as friends and seeing how it goes from there …

Yuusha, Yamemasu 4 brings the dreaded meeting between Leo and Echidna, and the first part dragged so slowly I nearly skipped ahead. Echidna shares a feast with Leo, who only wants to escape with his secret identity intact, and so he tries to get her drunk, lies to her questions, and is as miserable as we are watching it. Things improve later, however, as talk turns to the Philosopher’s Stone and Echidna’s reasons for wanting it. Leo discovers that she just wanted to purify the demon land, a terrible place, and if she could get the stone without warfare she would gladly have done it. As things turn serious and Leo gains a new respect for Echidna, the episode gets a little better. Echidna seems torn between fighting humanity and wanting to save everyone. I wonder why, if this stone isn’t as miraculous as Leo, who’s used it, says, why didn’t he just tell her. He could have done it without dropping his disguise. Anyway, the whole thing gets derailed by the next plot point, the defection of two of the generals.

A friendly chat with someone who doesn’t like to talk.

In spite of the worries of Mernes and Edvard running off and/or killing themselves, ep5 doesn’t turn out to be much. Edvard has a hard time killing himself, being nearly indestructible and all. As Shutina says, it’s a good thing he didn’t try poison. He didn’t either because it’s not as dramatic as disembowelment, or he wasn’t serious about killing himself anyway. Which leaves Mernes, whose problem is simply stress over a duty he has to perform soon, interviewing new recruits when he’s lacking in communication skills. So Leo puts him in a dress and be a waiter for an evening. The scene goes on too long; Leo gives lots of lectures about catchball conversations and feeling empathy, plus there’s an altercation with some wolf-guys. It’s a nearly impossible situation since Mernes has been trained since birth not to feel empathy, and he can’t pick that skill up in three days. Maybe he’ll pick some up next week when apparently Leo will open up with his motives for joining the demon army.

Paripi Koumei 4 is kind of a prep. It’s at a point where the challenges for Kongming and Eiko are too big to resolve in one episode. We meet Kondo, a big music festival producer, who provides a choice of venues. Eiko, thinking big, chooses “Summer Sonia,” though she will have to get 100,000 likes on her instagram or twitter or whatever she’s using. It seems impossible, and meanwhile Kongming is off schmoozing people and annoying Eiko by not being around and supportive. We don’t get much of his master plan, except that it involves getting a rapper. Still, while it’s prep, it’s still fun to see this reincarnated Chinese general fitting in nicely in modern-day Tokyo party settings. Since he’s dressed absurdly to begin with, he can get away with more cheap flamboyance than modern people could. Also, he’s unflappable.

Episode 5 changes gears a little. We follow Kabetaijin, a rapper who’s quit the game because the anxiety of winning rap battles has given him a stomach ulcer. He has a sort of miserable life now, with other rappers calling him to get back in, especially “Sekitoba Kung Fu.” This goes on for half the episode, too long. I know he’s going to be an important character and they want to set up his situation right, but it goes to repeating flashbacks we’ve already seen. We’re just waiting for Kongming to show up, which he does, in a laundromat, the first time we’ve seen him in anything other than his robes. That tracksuit doesn’t really work for him. Naturally, Kongming tosses out a lot of cryptic sayings (What was that fishing metaphor all about?) and even busts a rhyme. And so, Kabe is slowly enticed back into performing. This story arc might take awhile.

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