Yagate Kimi and IndexIII 11, Akanesasu finale

It’s summer camp time for Yagate Kimi ni Naru, and it’s partly a drag. Instead of some cool cabin in the mountains or something they have the camp at the school.

yagatekimi11-1As usual the episode has two parts. The first one involves Yuu, Touko, and Sayaka bathing together and sharing the same room. Since Sayaka is in love with Touko, and Touko’s in love with Yuu (who isn’t sure of anything), the bathing scene is full of heavily repressed sexual tensions, so nothing happens. The sleeping scene is the same–Each saying to themselves “I could reach over and touch so-and-so, but it would really screw things up, so I’ll just lie here and suffer on my own.” This being the slow-paced show that it is, it means no one gets to have what they want, but they’re not hurting anyone that way. This is one of the more bittersweet summer camp episodes I’ve seen.

Touko learns that her beloved sister was actually a bit of a flake.

Part 2 is more interesting in that their sensei brings in a guy named Tomoyuki to coach them. Turns out he was on the student council at the same time Touko’s sister was, and so Touko, curious to know more about the person she’s been trying to emulate for five years, asks what she was like … and doesn’t get the answer she expected. Not that there was anything really wrong with her, only that she wasn’t the perfect student council president she let on to be, but the rest of the SC liked her anyway, maybe because she wasn’t perfect. In other words, Touko has outstripped her idol. Interesting idea and you would think she might be happy about that, but instead it puts her in a blue funk that both Sayaka and Yuu pick up on. The episode doesn’t take it further, but it makes you wonder just what Touko’s been trying to emulate all this time, a model of perfection, or her late sister. Also an interesting comment by Koyomi about her script having the amnesiac heroine choose her lover’s version as her personality, as it comes from something she chose, not family obligations, but Koyomi isn’t really happy with that answer …

Her Royal Highness the Queen.

To Aru Majutsu no Index III, having destroyed enough of France, now turns to England. The inevitable infodump is lightened by the behavior of the Queen and the three princesses, all of whom are kind of weird. The queen is holding a sword Curtana the Second and we’re told the first one, which gives you, theoretically, the power of archangel Michael, is lost to history, so we basically know what’s going to happen in this story arc. But there’s also the Eurotunnel explosion and subsequent friction with France to investigate, AND there’s someone working from within, namely in Scotland. Oh, also some terrorists have finished excavating something, so they have to get to the bottom of that. Go to it, guys!

Touma meets another formidable enemy.

Typically, the evil terrorists, four cute girls, natch, are quite capable of screwing up their nefarious plots. It doesn’t help that the retrieved artifacts, er, skidbladnirs, look like any average suitcase with Art Deco stylings, and soon little Lessar is fleeing from Touma and Oriana (remember her? I didn’t. She works for the Crown now). Since it’s not a situation for a righteous punch, Touma is subject to the laws of comedy and they have a hard time getting her. Two of the others aren’t much trouble, thanks to Itsuwa and the Asukasa branch of Necessarium, even though one of them can conjure up the weapons Thor used. Oh, great, now we got Norse mythology mixed in! But the evil plan is still put in effect, and we discover who the traitor is. I really hope the queen is pissed off enough to enter the battle. I like that old broad.

akanesasu12-1One thing Akanesasu Shoujo was not good at was animation in the little scenes. Characters just stood there, not moving, mouths often open, staring off at something not in the scene. My guess is they were saving up their energy for episode 12, the finale.

akanesasu12-3We get one surreal visual after another as Asuka walks with Super-Asuka, having agreed to go with her. Backgrounds turned black and white, fractured into, well, fragments, reformed when a verbal note had been taken. It’s unlike anything else in the series, even the Twilight world. It also gave the long scene an emotional power that the other episodes could never match. Well, that’s partly because this was not a silly alternate world full of forced marriages or western gunfights. Asuka, showing more canniness than I thought her capable of, quietly(!) and slowly wears Super-Asuka down, and allows her to feel the pain of losing Kyo that she had refused up to now. Turns out they each had ways to avoid the pain.

akanesasu12-2It’s a lovely scene, even if what happens afterwards doesn’t make much sense. Asuka returns to her world, Super-Asuka to wherever, and the Twilight attack just isn’t there any more. But Super-Asuka hadn’t been responsible for it, she had joined the dark side, so what happened to it? Not only that, there’s a ridiculous episode-filler scene where they find a new recruit for their club, even though we didn’t really care.

akanesasu12-4Oh, well. The series wasn’t all that great overall, to be honest. It had great moments, like the sheer absurdity of the alternate worlds, and I remember discovering that this show was going to be somewhat weird and absurd with a smile. And it did have some striking visual moments. The battles were almost always good to look at, if a little bright at times. The first half of episode 12 looked superb. Some of the background art, and the visual direction, was good, though again the clumsy character animation was a distraction. Good and bad. Not the best show I’ve seen, the weakest of the four I watched. On the other hand, I watched it to the end, and I can’t say that for some others.

Akanesasu and Slime 11

Akanesasu Shoujo 11 is very much a penultimate episode of an anime series, with fundamental crises of motivation and confidence overcome, and a big heroic battle at the end–followed by a twist.

Super-Asuka’s sad face.

The twist wasn’t a big surprise, once I thought about it. The episode had been leading to it. Asuka realizes that this super-Asuka doesn’t just want Asuka to join the twilight because it’s going to win (and what IS super-Asuka’s motive for calling this Asuka, of all the Asukas in the dimensions, to join her?). By the face she makes when the girls reject her, you can tell how disappointed she is. Probably she’s just lonely in that place where nothing changes. Or she realizes she made a mistake, that she should have lived on and come to grips with the loss of Kyo-chan in her world. So Asuka’s abrupt turnaround, agreeing to join super-Asuka in the twilight is either because she feels sorry for her and wants to help, or maybe she can find a way to defeat the twilight from within, or both.

After the battle posing.

While the two Asukas are debating, Yuu is running around looking for her, and finally manages to transform when she tells Asuka that she loves her. There’s more talk after that, during the battle, about truths and lies. Seeing the two make up must not have made super-Asuka very happy, either … And then there are the other girls, captured and forced to listen to a “lesson” from that teacher, who basically tells them that while they all grew up a little, they will never truly become what they want because this is the way the world is. After some moping, the girls realize that everything he said was bullshit. That is apparently enough to inspire them to break free, then rush to save Asuka and Yuu in that twilight world, in the nick of time, of course. And a splendid action scene follows. In fact, a lot of the animation and artwork looked better this week, and not just in the CGI department. There was that striking shot of the city from above that started the episode, and then first Noizie battle, seen from a still camera in the distance, the girls still talking over their friendship while taking out snake heads. So now they have to wrap everything up next week. I wonder if Kyo is going to show up in some way? After all, in a way, he started all of this.

Gobta’s fired-up face.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 11 is no buildup to a big finale, just a story arc one. After we see the goblin village getting more and more sophisticated (they’re weaving silk already?!), and the incident with Shion’s cooking which even Rimuru considers a trope, we get the meeting with Gabiru the vain lizardman. To have Rimuru just humiliate him would be boring, so they get little Gobta to do it instead. So we get the expected result with a bit of character development–Gobta is becoming more formidable than Rimuru expected. A nice bit which almost makes up for the too many times everything stops so that Gabiru can pose. I’ll add that watching Shion get pissed off and squeeze Rimuru nearly to death got old pretty quickly too, but at least those bits are brief. After that everyone worries about the Orc army, and while we’re trying to figure out just how they’re going to beat up an army of 200,000 orcs, a cute dryad named Treyni appears and asks them to defeat the orc lord, thus simplifying the situation considerably. But that’s all the time they have this week, of course. I’m curious about next week’s title: “Things Spin Out of Control.” For whom?

Akanesasu and Slime 10

This wasn’t who I was expecting.

Akanesasu Shoujo 10 spends most of its time beating around the bush. We all figured that the next clutter attack would occur on our world, we’re just waiting for it to happen. Instead, the episode devotes time having the girls speculate about Asuka’s weird state of mind. As expected, after the tragic events last time, Asuka holes up for a week then reappears genkier than ever, with talk about going to defeat clutters and throwing a party for Takumi, whichever Takumi that was. He got shifted here with the girls, apparently. This leads to an argument between Asuka and Yuu over telling Takkun lies to make him feel better, and Yuu’s inability to say what she’s on her mind, and I was still waiting for the clutter to show up. Well, we also learned what happened to Kyohei (he vanished). When the presumed Kyohei does show up, after messing with a teacher for no apparent reason, we learn that the kid isn’t the King of Twilight, but his emissary, and it’s not actually Kyohei, but, er, I don’t understand it. So I figure the next couple of episodes will wrap things up by having the other girls fighting and Asuka going through some profound realizations about herself and her role in the world, though the whole Kyohei thing is still up in the air.

Gabiru the lizardman spices up the plot a bit.

There’s also dithering in Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken 10, but since the show likes to take its time showing Rimuru adjust to the new world and meeting new races, it’s to be expected. Apart from the both proud and ashamed orc leader Benimaru (named by Rimuru before he fell unconscious), agreeing to be a temporary subordinate until they expel the orcs, all 200,000 of them, there’s not much happening except orc infodumps. Well, they teased a new problem by having Rimuru collapse before he could name anybody, but nothing is made of it. Still, I wonder … And we have a counterplot with the lizardmen, also trying to beat the orcs, and their vain son of the king. He’ll meet Rimuru next week and get taken down a peg or two. I was hoping it would be this week, but in spite of all the information and background we get, the episode whizzes by. Once again, I wonder how they do it. Akanesasu seems to be twice as long in comparison. As for all the infodumps, there’s a majin going around naming lesser creatures, seemingly at random, not only orcs, but goblins, ogres, whoever. The question of why is just as interesting as any goblin/ogre/lizard/orc epic battle we’re going to see.

Akanesasu and Slime episode dump

One more for the list.

Akanesasu Shoujo 7 finishes up the Chloe arc, and it’s a boring mess. Chloe deserved better. I figured that they would give a moment where she realizes that it’s okay not to be alone sometimes, and so they did. And it made a nice comparison to the idea that the other girls, brainwashed into staring at their smartphones, were actually the ones who were alone. Chloe likes to be alone, but she’s being productive–she doesn’t always need the company of others, while the other girls, more social by nature were losing their communal selves. I’ve never bought into that argument, that social media isolates us, but I can sort of see their point, and in this arc it was handled well. BUT, the climax, where Mia, Nana, and tough Asuka battle the clutters, with constant looks at Chloe, pausing, having the same revelations over and over, though she KNOWS what she needs to do, irritated me no end. It’s a shame–there are some good ideas in this show, and the characters can be fun, but it’s often so ineptly done. I did like Chloe’s power suit, however. I didn’t expect a snarky stuffed bear attached to it.

akanesasu8-1Much of episode 8 is filler, what with the girls helping out at the cafe when the owner takes a spill, dressing up in costumes related to the fragments they have visited. They introduce some questions about the future and what they’ll all do. Yuu doesn’t seem like she really wants to go to medical school, while Asuka is just fine with taking over the family miso shop. Everyone else suggests she try something else, since she has the freedom to do so. It’s implied that she’s too immature, which bugs her. Indeed, when SeriouAsuka, or Siri, shows up, she gets more needling from the comparison. Meanwhile Seriousuka envies her less mature version’s freedom to choose, when no one in her fragment can really do so. So, in the end, Asuka uses her freedom–to follow SiriAsuka into peril. I guess there’s a point to be made here about choosing what is important over what we desire, but I don’t know if the show was going for that.

akanesasu9-1So in episode 9 they visit Seriouska’s world, where the twilight has partly absorbed the planet but has been stopped here and there by the big tree, called the twilight amber. We meet some street urchins, and Seriouska shows the girls around the base they set up. But now there is a small boy in a raincoat hanging around. Everybody watching knows who it is, even if no one there does. The question is, what side is he on? Turns out to be the EVIL side as he manages to destroy the tree and letting all the bad people in. The girls are flung back to our world leaving Seriouska to try to take out “The King of Twilight,” the small boy, herself. My big question is: did the presence of our Asuka and the other girls trigger the appearance of Kyo the boy? If so, aren’t they the ones responsible for the probable end of that world, or fragment? If so, it bothers me a lot that this personal loss to a family is made out to be a interdimension destruction machine, wiping out the lives of people who have nothing to do with this. What is so damn special about Kyo, or Asuka?

More of Chizu’s happy childhood.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 7 starts with more of Shizu’s unhappy memories, including befriending a girl and a puppy only to be forced to kill them, rather dark for this show. After that dream she announces to Rimuru and her adventurer buddies that she’s going on alone to find the person who summoned her (Leon, I assume). But before she does she has an attack and transforms into the fire demon Ifrit, who seems hell-bent on killing everybody in sight. WHY is never answered, or even asked. But after that it winds up the way we expect. Rimuru finds himself in a fire vortex, but it’s not hurting him, so he eats Ifrit, who finds himself confronting Veldora the dragon in what is presumably going to be a one-sided match. So next week are we going to watch a duel inside Rimuru? Or are we going back to the Shizu story? The village has been burned down, so they’ve got to rebuild, though that could just be done in one of Rimuru’s quick voice-overs. It’s obvious that we’ve got to take care of Shizu. My guess is that they’ll form a team, maybe with the adventurers, and Shizu’s goal will become theirs. It’s about time Rimuru got back on the road, anyway.

slime8-1By about halfway through episode 8, after learning even more about Shizue’s past, and wondering how many flashbacks we were going to get, it turned to be a deathbed speech. It happened so suddenly that I wasn’t sure what was going on. Suddenly she was asking Rimuru to eat her like he did Ifrit, and he agrees (doesn’t he worry about the two meeting up inside him, like Ifrit and Delgora?). Then her hair’s white, next thing you know various people walk in and find this strange girl standing there … Well, I was wondering when Rimuru would take on that human form we see in the OP, but I didn’t imagine that it would be taken from Shizue–I had assumed she would accompany Rimuru on their way to beat up Leon. Well, I guess in a way she is. I can only figure that it was Ifrit was keeping her alive and young all those decades, and now he’s gone … After that confusion we get a summation of the series so far that felt like a final episode event, and then a new plotline starts up. I enjoy watching this show, but I think at times they could structure it better.

The not-really-that-evil ogres.

Episode 9 gives us another local (goblin village) incident–I wonder if Rimuru will manage to get out of there before the series ends … Anyway, after playing around with his human form in predictable ways (he can be male or female, but his basic human form is sexless), he announces he will eat with the villagers today, and while the hunting party is out getting the food for it, they are attacked by ogres who, apart from one, don’t look like them. Riumru arrives and it’s clear that the attackers aren’t just being evil, turns out they are avenging an orc attack on their own people. Rimuru tries to settle things down, but naturally they refuse to talk until he beats them up a little, then everything’s fine and they head back to the goblin village to talk it out. Just like most of the episodes. Still, I don’t really mind it. This is one of those shows that just breezes cheerfully along. It was over before I realized it. How do they manage to do that I don’t know … I am watching another show like that …

Didn’t Touma once have a line like that?

Spyce 2 (and done), Conception 2, Akanesasu and Slime 3-6

How’s training going, Momo?

After two episodes I’m still not sold on Release the Spyce. The second has the inevitable training of Momo by Yuki, the taciturn one with the scar on her eye. It goes exactly as predicted. Momo can barely keep up with the regimen, the running and chatting up of people, but gets better and manages to pass the final test, a game of tag with Mei, where she suddenly demonstrates great leaping and acrobatic abilities that she couldn’t possibly have picked up in a couple months, and thanks to some prep work, manages to win by maneuvering Mei into a dead-end. Meanwhile, the bad guys drive around (all they do in this episode is drive around) and act evil, and apparently there’s a traitor among the Tsukikage. That’s intriguing I suppose, but I wonder if it’s not a double-agent kind of thing. Anyway, villains aside, I could sort of predict everything that’s going to happen this episode, and it dragged, too. Though the Tsukikage underground headquarters is kind of cool. Don’t feel like watching episode 3 at the moment …

So instead, for some reason, I watched Conception 2, where things did not quite go like I expected. First, it turns out that conceiving Star Children doesn’t involve actual sex …

conception2-1The main girl this week is Ruka (Aries), who isn’t very warlike at all; instead, she’s a stock tsundere. But she’s a tsundere who knows what’s going on, so when he comes on to her she’s fine with it, to save the world, you know. Meanwhile the show plays with the idea of teaching Itsuki techniques to woo women, and promptly forgets about it. So now we have two star children, neither of whom are really capable of fighting anything, as their visit to the labyrinth and Itsuki gets routed and the star children turned into pods … So maybe he’s going to get serious about this and really get the girls excited to produce really strong star children? I figure one girl per episode, so this puts them behind schedule. A more interesting plot point is Mahiru’s forgotten promise and her obvious, drunken jealousy. I wonder if the show will play that up too, or whether she’ll just get shoved aside when it’s convenient for Itsuki, like the show has already done to her.

akanesasu4-1So on to Akanesasu Shoujo, where the girls get a new frequency, not sure how, and find themselves in the wild west, er, with a few cars, cell phones, and broadcasts of gun-duels, which is the standard way of settling disputes here. And so we have our story. It’s an unjust system where the person who’s the better shot will win any legal dispute. Mia, the key tries to find justice in this world as a deputy sheriff, while Asuka is a bounty hunter and Chloe and Nana are the criminals. No subtlety this time–the girls repeatedly run into each other, and soon our Chloe and Mia are captured and the criminal ones are planning another robbery with our Asuka and Yuu, in order to make money for kids left bereft when their parents die from duels. And we have a good idea who the Clutter is, too, and by dealing with her, they can change this world for the better. So we’ll have Mio fight her, become stronger, and I’m sure the others will find themselves in the dueling arena before the end, for kicks.

akanesasu5-1Yep, a duel to conclude the arc, well the start of a duel, then a duel between clutters and two heroes of justice. It would have been quicker if Nana hadn’t had her walkman taken away when she, and everyone else except Mia got arrested. Since they laid out the moral dilemma last week there wasn’t much to do this time except let the plot work itself out. The only surprise was the sheriff being a second clutter. Well, there was also Sexy Yuu putting the moves on Asuka, and Asuka not minding too much. The only real character development came from Mia’s decision to be a hero rather than just stand back and be cute like everyone wants her to do, but that was the point of the arc and we saw that coming a mile away. So that’s Nana and Mia taken care of. Who’s next? They’re probably saving Akusa for last, since she’s the center of the currently-dormant big story arc. They might delay Yuu, too, because of that Sexy Yuu interfering with things. That leaves Chloe, so expect a Chloe arc starting next time.

akanenasu6-1Yep again, episode 6 is Chloe. It’s also a beach/swimsuit episode. Basically Sexy Yuu takes the girls to a fragment which is all little islands and beautiful beaches, with an AI service that delivers everything they want. The rest of the girls goof off a lot and play with cellphones while Chloe enjoys herself on a separate island. The key of the episode is that she likes to spend time alone, something the other girls reluctantly accept but worry about. So does Chloe, now that she’s living in a more communal place than Paris. Is it really okay to be alone much of the time? Meanwhile, there’s actual plot going on underneath. The girls are slowly being brainwashed by their phones, and maybe by the beautiful surroundings. Chloe, by herself, is the one to discover this. Meanwhile, I’m somewhat intrigued by Sexy Yuu. Earlier in the season she seemed like a threat, and she is of a sort, but she’s also driven by more childish impulses such as hedonism and lust, which makes her less dangerous but more fun. Whether she’s aware of the danger this fragment is threatening the girls with is anyone’s guess. She might have just wanted to ogle Asuka in a swimsuit.

It’s a good episode for Rimuru.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 4 brings Rimuru and some other guys to Dwargon, where dwarves and other types hang out. Naturally there is a complication at first as some goons wrongly take Rimuru and Gobta to be weak enough to beat up. That lands them in jail, where it just so happens that there is a need for healing potion, which Rimuru happily supplies. Then a blacksmith desperately needs to make twenty longswords made of magic ore, which Rimuru happily supplies in exchange for help for the goblins. That leads him to a elf-hostess club, and it’s all happy. Nothing seriously bad happens in this show, and Rimuru has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, also those superhuman abilities. Even so, it’s fun to watch. Rimuru is a likable slime who isn’t above some elf-lust.

You can guess that he probably shouldn’t have done that.

Episode 5 brings the trouble that episode 4 warned about, but it pretty much turned out all right. Minister Vesta comes to the elf-club, pours a drink on Rimuru, and Kaijin the blacksmith punches him. So it’s a trial, where things get a little complicated. It’s a sham trial (the second once this post!), but Gazel Dwargo, the big boss, asks Kaijin to work for him again, but Kaijin is committed to Rimuru now, so it gets changed to exile, which is what they all wanted anyway. It’s obvious that Gazel has great fondness for Kaijin but can no longer help him, or vice versa–there’s a backstory here that the show will obviously return to it, if the anime is renewed, that is. And Vesta, in a strangely emotional scene, is dismissed from service, another plot point that will be of use … someday. What will happen sooner is Gazel’s mistrust of Rimuru, that “monster, like Veldora.” Probably a running, backstage story arc. Oh, I think they forgot Gobta again. No great loss.

slime6-1Well, in episode 6 Gobta is shown to have some summoning power, so he might be of some use after all. Otherwise, it’s primarily an episode to introduce Shizu, the masked fire-expert, and the one who Rimuru is destined to be with, though she doesn’t know that yet. Behind her scary mask she’s actually quite sweet, and we spend some time learning her backstory–she was summoned to this world when she was about to get killed during an air raid, though the don’t explain why she gets taken away as a child and appears as a young woman. Next week we’ll learn more, I’m sure. Oh, and the three hapless adventurers show up again, but I can’t figure out if they’re going to participate in the plot or just pop in now and then for an infodump. And slowly, perhaps too slowly, a long story arc is forming.

One more new show, then a couple ep2-3s

Nice blue sky to begin Merc Storia, though I don’t really know why someone’s saying that. The show just started.

Merc Storia: Mukiryoku Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo stars Yuu, the son of a man who heals monsters (makes them less nasty) and is gone most of the time. One time when he returns he brings Yuu a jar of liquid, and one day a cute little fairy thing called Merc pops out of it. The rest is fairly straightforward–Yuu has to use his healing powers for the first time to protect a monster from attacking the village. And he and Merc set out on a journey, though for what reason I forget, accompanied by a fluffy friendly little monster thing that’s very fond of Yuu, though Yuu actually has a fear of monsters.

mercstoria1-1Another voyage of discovery for a young hero tale, maybe cuter than most. Not great, not bad. Yuu is an inoffensive lad who seems to take his healing powers seriously and doesn’t brag about it, like some young heroes. The animation is adequate, some nice light shows. Argh, I have nothing more to say about it. Sorry.

akanesasu2-1So I’ll move on and see how the episode two shows I want to watch are faring. For Akanesasu Shoujo, I was worried that the show was going to be all about Asuka and the other Asuka, stuck in our world, manage to hide the latter, bond, and make for a boring series. I was wrong. This time around, after a misleading opening bit with some other girls, Nana gets a new frequency number from a “fortune teller” (actually that possibly evil girl from last episode), the get whisked off to 696.9, which turns out to be one where all girls have to get married when they’re 17. Nana finds herself stuck with this world’s set of girls, freaks out, etc, while our set of girls learn what’s going on from the other Asuka, who just happens to be there. It also allows Nana to blow up in front of her otherworld parents about her second father, something she’d like to do in her own world.

akanesasu2-2But just to make the episode fun, Nana is to be married to a handsome celebrity heartthrob who actually seems to like her … maybe this world isn’t so bad after all! … So it looks like every girl in the batch is going to get a world to get confused by, and while I’m relieved that it won’t simply be Asuka/Seriouska’s story, I’m worried that the show will get too insipid with its now-obvious “reveal each girl’s problems and sort of fix them” structure. But the surprise later on leaves me optimistic.

akanesasu3-1I’m even more optimistic after episode 3, a great load of nutty fun. While the girls figure out what to do, Nana decides she doesn’t want to get married because her name will sound like “Choco-banana.” But the marriage enforcement department comes in, looking like special forces, and drag her off. There’s a nice scene between her and her second father, who tries to make amends by returning something she threw away, which leads to memories of her original father, and the concept of crystals separating darkness from brightness, or something, it’s ridiculous. So Nana’s head’s on straight. Meanwhile the other girls get another Asuseriouska infodump about bunnies (bad), clutters (worse), and “King of Twilight” (world-destroying bad), we learn that the wedding’s been pushed up, and Asuka meets another herself, who is shocked in an Asuka way.

The blushing bride.

Which leads us to a classic story bit, the rush to break up a wedding. It starts in the usual way, switching from the vows to the pandemonium outside, back and forth. Nana does the right thing, “I refuse to get married!” and all hell breaks loose. Aseriouska breaks in, and we discover an interesting fact about the groom. Now we got a superpower-battle in that yellow universe, and just when it looks like it can’t get any weirder, Nana finds the power to transform, more lightshows (the day-by-day events animation isn’t very good, but the battles are excellent), etc. What makes me so happy about this episode is that they dealt with the personal issues Nana’s experiencing, as expected, but the story went insane doing it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch this series, but if they keep up this balance then I’m on board.

slime2-1Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 2 is more development. He swaps names with Veldora and becomes Rimuru, he “eats” Veldora and wanders around the cave for way too long a time acquiring more powers until he finds a door, which conveniently opens when some adventurers we’ll probably get to know later come in. After s switch to some humans talking politics we switch back and Rimuru encounters a bunch of terrified goblins and finds himself helping them out against a pack of direwolves. Really, this all took way too long–we didn’t even get to the battle. Maybe next episode things will pick up.

At least he’s out of the cave and the goblin village.

Things pick up in episode 3, though it still dallies a bit, like in the name-giving section. And I’m getting an idea that this is going to be a long series.Rimuru hangs out with the goblins, defeats and makes peace with the wolves, and sets out to find the dwarves, which sounds like a busy episode but completely left out of this episode were the political angles they teased us with last time, and the adventurers. Mostly it’s because the show, while generous with the infodumps, still has Rimuru learn everything through experience, such as the business with running low on magicules. And then he has to respond and experiment with every new thing. While it’s kind of fun to see him gain all these new powers, I’d like to move forward with the plot a little more. Is he going to hang out with the goblins and wolves the whole time?

Fall 2018 1

Hello again, and welcome to my take on the very few new shows I’ll be watching this season. As usual, I’ll be following the Random Curiosity preview page and the shows I choose will come roughly in that order. Also as usual, I won’t watch shows that are sequels to shows I didn’t watch in the first place. And probably no sports anime, though I broke that rule last season. I won’t watch shows that are obviously bad, which means I’ll probably miss the sleeper hit of the season … Fanservice and stupidity are not deal-breakers. And finally, I’ll continue with my tradition of including a screenshot of the show’s very first moment, unless it’s totally black or something, and then I’ll wait a few seconds. So here we go!

A city at night to begin Double Decker

First on my list is Double Decker! Doug and Kirill, which already has TWO episodes out. Well, I’ll talk about the first. We got a young cop named Kirill who has possibly hopeless aspirations about getting promoted and being a heroic figure. He’s constantly in trouble with his boss because of this. Anyway, on a day off while searching for his landlady’s cat he stumbles on a hostage situation involving a thug who takes a body-morphing drug called “Anthem.” And Kirill’s best buddy on the force is there and wounded. Time to save the day, but how. Fortunately a special agent for Seven-O named Doug, who normally handles these things gives Kirill a chance to be hero, which involves taking off his clothes and being a time traveler. But it manages to work, and Kirill is transferred to Seven-O to start an exciting new career! Yay.

The guy in the back WOULD be the hero, but he’s stuck, you see.

Not bad. It has a Kekkai Sensen feel to it, though it’s not nearly as crazy. I also hear it’s related to Tiger and Bunny, a good thing, but apart from the artwork I didn’t see any connection. It is, however, funny in spots. I liked how Kirill is a fish out of water with the situation, but doesn’t back down when it’s time to be brave. He just need experience. I was relieved by that; I don’t want to watch a wimpy cop. As for the other characters, we’ll see–nothing wrong with any of them yet. Also, no over-arcing plotline yet–I hope it’s not a crime-of-week type of thing. So I’ll check episode two as soon as I get these other shows out of the way.

Not sure why Akanesasu Shoujo starts with a tower, unless it’s a radio tower.

Next it’s Akanesasu Shoujo, where a batch of average high school girls who sometimes cause a little trouble, go to a tree every day and, inspired by an urban legend, prays to be transported to another place at exactly 4:44, with a little radio tuned to that frequency. Nothing happens when they do. However, one of the girls deduces that their time is wrong, and when they try it again they’re suddenly in this gold sand world where cute yellow bunny-things gang up on them. They are rescued by a warrior girl who looks like and has the same as Asuka, our heroine. Things happen, and the warrior Asuka gets sent back to our world along with the girls, where some bonding occurs, and it becomes clearer that they are the same person, especially since they have a dead younger brother who I think will become important later. Oh, and there’s another warrior girl too, but all she does this episode is lurk in a tree and smirk.

akanesasu1-1On one hand there are some tantalizing mysteries going on. What’s with those crystals Chloe finds? Who’s that other girl? How are the two Asukas connected when they appear to be the same age? What’s with that other world, anyway? On the other hand, the episode feels all over the place, like they have so much to set up that we don’t know where the story will take us. Will it focus on the two Asukas’ friendship? What about the other girls–they get so much time that you know they’ll have things to do as well, but what? And there’s that alien world and the business with the radios and cassette players. I’m going to give it a chance, partly because it looks good. Warrior Asuka’s battle with the snake thing was excellent. The characters seem interesting and I’m curious so see how they will fit in. Hopefully the creators won’t fumble the ball and they don’t.

A weird glowing symbol forms on a street about to be bombed.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken, after a bewildering scene of WWII bombing and a boy being whipped up in a firenado, settles down in modern-day Tokyo and follows Satoru, an average salaryman who at age 37 is a virgin and has never had a girlfriend, yet he’s pretty content with his life. He meets a kouhai and his cute girlfriend and then out of nowhere gets stabbed by some guy. As he dies a computer voice starts talking about the powers it’s adding. After rather too much of that he awakens as a slime in a cave. As he gets his bearings the computer tells him things about his new form. Apparently he’s a very able slime. Also in the cave is Verudora, a sealed dragon who turns out to be a tsundere, and they strike up an odd friendship.

slime1-1The slime Satoru is amusing, a good voice (nice transition from his human form’s), and it was fun watching him figure out things he can and can’t do in his new body. I was worried that we’d have to watch him in his slime form for the whole season, but the ED shows him transforming into a human. Verudora’s turn from threatening dragon to a lonely, tsundere one was pretty good too. But the show twice falls into episode-one infodumps twice, first during his dying moments with the computer, and then Verudora giving him the rough story of the world and what’s there, plus long speeches about “summons” and “summoners,” how it’s rare for reincarnated people to wind up here, and other things we really don’t need to know right now. These scenes, however, did not drag down the show entirely. It’s all amusing, and it is, after all, a first episode. Let’s meet some more characters before deciding.

Here’s another pretty city at night scene to begin Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fruite Iru.

In Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fruite Iru, we watch as a young man effortlessly runs away from shouts of “thief!” but another guy catches up on a bicycle and asks him if he likes to run. Next thing you know, the lad, Kakeru, is being introduced to his new housemates in a disheveled dorm, a procedure which takes too long because there are nine of them, not counting the landlord. There follows a loud welcome party where we and the bewildered Kakeru watch the others show off their character traits, and then Haiji, the guy on the bike announces that actually they’re now in their university’s track and field team, and they’re going to run the Hakone Ekiden, to everyone’s surprise and consternation. A flashback to Haiji’s view of the earlier chase, and then a bit of Haiji’s motivation for running the race, and Kakeru’s past.

Kakeru’s the one in black, about ten o’clock.

The thing I find hard to believe is that some of these people are even capable of running. One chain smokes, others don’t have the build for it. Also, why would they run, apart from the cheap rent and free meals they get by living there? I’m with the law student who immediately threatens to sue. Kakeru’s past isn’t that interesting, what we know of it. He was a great high school runner, then stopped. Also, I didn’t much care for the introduction scenes–so many people to take in at once. The party scene wasn’t bad only I think the creators tried too hard to show these guys as being wacky, drunken college students. But that’s an issue with the script alone. There’s nothing really wrong with any of the characters; they feel real. And the show looks good. I might look at episode 2.