More fours and fives

Mad scientists always say that just before they die.

Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute! 4 continues its bewildering story with an unpleasant episode that has Cid beaten to a pulp while getting a little bored of the NPCs’ cliches, and Alexia is chained up in a dungeon while a nutcase draws her blood while a strange beast watches. This all goes on for too long, until Cid is released. The Shadow Garden girls are put into action, the strange beast gets injected and goes berserk, explosions and severed body parts all around. Stuff about sibling rivalries on both Cid and Alexia’s parts, and more bloody stuff to look forward to next week. You know, I heard somewhere that this was supposed to be a comedy … Meanwhile I still feel dumped in the middle of something that makes no sense, and maybe that’s Cid’s feeling too, though he seems to be having more fun with it, if you ignore the beating.

She made it herself!

After that unpleasantness it’s a relief to get to something slow and good-natured like Do it Yourself! 4. In this episode, Jobko comes to Seruru’s house to have dinner and hang out, and Purin enviously watches until Seruru’s mom invites her in. After that it’s just happy bonding time. Jobko invites herself into Purin’s house, Purin’s high-tech addlement matching her own, and the next thing you know she’s living there and the three of them get busy decorating her corner of the house. Jobko’s in an interesting situation. She knows all about the technological world and can also DIY when she wants to, sort of a bridge between Purin and Serufu. Also, as Purin realizes and Serufu knew from the start, she’s lonely and wants friends. It’s a lovely episode; the things that usually bug me about this show, the slow pace especially, haven’t gone away, but they flowed better here. Next week they’ll start on a tree house, and we’ll finally get to know the cat-like bed-headed girl from the tech school.

“Say, Bocchi, why don’t you make your own instagram account?”

Bocchi the Rock! 4 has a story which gets pushed aside by another story and then goes back to the first in the first quiet, introspective scene we’ve seen. First, Bocchi is assigned to write lyrics for their first song (Why, with her guitar prowess, she doesn’t write the music isn’t addressed, well they the band hasn’t realized how good she is) leading to scenes you can imagine, but are funny anyway thanks to Bocchi’s overactive, downer imagination and the show’s excellent gag timing. Then the show jumps to the second story, the band going out to do promotional photos, and … I swear, every time I think the show can’t top itself with funny visual bits they do just that. My favorites were the sudden bursts of static in Bocchi’s POV when someone suggests she make an instagram account, leading to a Bocchi-seizure, and the B&W Bocchi attention-whore monster, done in a completely different style, like a Gojira manga, if such a thing exists. Anyway, they get a nice photo or two. Jump, or try to.

Back to the lyrics. Bocchi manages to write some and shows them to Ryo in a cafe. Ryo thinks they’re too forcibly-cheerful, and talks about the band she used to be in, but quit because they were writing stuff like that to gain a bigger audience. Ryo, proudly independent, would rather hear lyrics about how Bocchi really feels. It’s a calm scene, the first real bonding Bocchi does with an individual member of the group, with no gags until paying the check comes up. And it gives Bocchi the confidence to write material she actually wants to write, rather than what she thinks Kita would look good doing, or what other people want. Another great episode.

Not sure why he’s grimacing.

Now that Renai Flops has established the premise, I guess we’ll have episodes dedicated to each girl. In episode 3 it’s Amelia, the feisty little redhead, who is bad with Kanji, not surprising when she studies using erotic novels so that “milk” becomes “murky white fluid.” Basically it’s Asahi tutoring her, with the inevitable frustrated outburst followed by a reconciliation scene. Amelia hates to lose, but doesn’t want to work if there is no gain from it. Asahi says he appreciates her effort and, besides, hating to lose means you have high standards. So she has a flashback to another boy, maybe the younger Asahi, and settles down, and does fine with the test. So that’s her taken care of. Another girl next week, I suppose, though the previews suggest an ogre instead.

Aileen’s harem is growing.

It occurred to me that the sudden realizations on Aileen’s part in Akuyaku Reijou etc is because she played the games, which makes sense, but doesn’t do much for our enjoyment if we’re not in on it. Sometimes we get some exposition from her, but sometimes we have to figure it out for ourselves. Meanwhile, the show has become a mess of demons in disguise, revealed secrets such as “Ailey” being Aileen, which Walt sort of figures out. And everyone in the story being reps from secret groups. And the main plot, which at the moment is to keep James (hidden demon), Kyle (or is it Walt?), and Auguste from transforming and making a big bloody mess of the school festival. There’s also Selena, who hates the demons but cozies up to Claude when he comes to visit. She’s obviously the boss here. Oh, let’s not forget that gambling-addict professor, whose story is overlooked in the second half. I guess we look at what’s ahead, that demon incense. Busy episode and no idea where it’s going, well, Aileen does but she read the book, so to speak.

Spy x Family 17 returns to school, where the students must make a 3D construct of an animal to show off to some dignitaries. Naturally Anya wants both to make Bond the dog and get in good with Damian, who wants to make an elaborate griffin, on his family crest. Most of the time it’s Anya offering to help but botching everything while Damian gets more and more frustrated. Now, I get that Anya is cute and fun to watch, but I get tired of her dreaming up plans, with little success fantasies, only to have Damian reject everything she does. It’s so predictable by now. What’s a little more interesting is a bit where we see Damian call his home and hears encouraging lies from the butler. It’s a little sad, but it at least shows us the loneliness and frustration Damian feels, and his will to win over his father–let’s study harder. Also nice was Becky seeing Anya’s family photo and getting an instant crush on Loid. And in the end we get fillers before and after the credits, the former focusing on Handler, Sylvia Sherwood, and her constant job of fooling government goons tailing him, and maybe some worry about his growing devotion to Anya, mildly amusing. The second, a flashback to Yuri eating Yor’s deadly cooking, we saw last week. We didn’t need more of that …

Sarasa shows her true colors again.

Shinmai Renkinjutsushi etc … Er, I’ll probably drop it. Episode 5 has Sarasa and her team thinking up new things to sell, but since the village mainly barters, they decide to sell to outsiders, though no real plan for this has been fixed. Still, everyone is now busy making hats. There’s also freezing bats to hunt, their fangs useful for cooling things, like in those hats and refrigerators, oh, and spite worms, though I forget what those are for. And that’s about it, apart from Sarasa’s cheerful capitalistic attitude.

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