Chuunibyou 1, Horizon finale, Wooser 1

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! is off to a promising start. Not surprising with its pedigree.

Yuuta–the embarrassing years.

We got Yuuta, entering high school, wanting to put all of his 8th grade syndrome fantasies behind him, especially this dark flame master stuff he obsessed about. He’s boxing up all that old crap when a mysterious girl appears on his balcony! Okay, she’s clambering down a rope and isn’t wearing shoes, so it’s not as mysterious as all that, but it’s the first of a few instances where something foreboding or strange appears to happen only to have it prove to be mundane. The next day, after the usual beginning school business, trying to fit in, meeting-cute the class beauty Shinka and his new assigned pervy friend Makoto, Yuuta has more run-ins with the not-so-mysterious girl Rikka, who is caught in the foul throes of her own 8th grade syndrome, and winds up having to escort her home. Guess where she lives?

And so she’s moved to the apartment above his.

You forgive the ridiculous coincidences in a show like this, that the girl goes to the same distant school as the boy while living in the floor above him, because that’s standard issue for a high school romance. The trick is how things will play out. Too soon to tell, but Rikka scores big points for her combo of affected talk and exaggerated gestures coupled with a basic cute clumsiness. Jun Fukuyama provides an ideal voice for Yuuta, a boy who desperately wants to forget his old affectations but can’t because Rikka is there, constantly reminding him. The only problem I had was that Yuuta goes overboard with his denial, the acrobatic scene in the nurse’s office, for example, fun though it was to watch. But on the whole the tension between the boy and girl is just about right.

Rikka demonstrates a new demonic move while Yuuta watches in fascination or something.

And the show has a head start with the talent that Kyoto Animation can throw at it. It looks great of course, maybe not quite on the level of Hyouka, but that’s another show with different moods and therefore needs (apart from Chuunibyou’s opening scene, which was pure Hyouka). This is a more straightforward comedy. Like Tari Tari seemed to happen in the Hanasaku Iroha universe, Chuunibyou feels like it’s in K-ON‘s. That is, a silly story with a fun characters, and smart script and direction… and the aforementioned animation.

Next we have our exciting, touching, and utterly confusing conclusion to Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II. No, be fair, this wasn’t a confusing episode by Horizon standards. Instead, it’s the usual season-ending climactic final battle with ships flying everywhere, things blowing up, and lovers and friends celebrating (and accidentally throwing eroge games into the bonfire) episode you see in many other series. But since it’s Horizon we’re talking about, we see it through a fog of weird characters and even even weirder tech/cult-babble and weaponry.

Musashi backflip!

Our witches start it off by reuniting and blowing up some stuff in exciting fashion (the battle scenes in this series are always good to watch), then there’s some sneaky cloaking maneuvers, but that’s a prelude to the big problem, Tres Espana’s plan to, I think, sink their own flagship so that the battle will be nullified. I don’t understand the ramifications of that, but of the two outcomes both would be bad for the Musashi. So in order to get behind (or in front) of said flagship Adele orders the enormous Musashi to execute a backflip. Very impressive! Then Horizon whips out her WMD and fires it. Should be game over (I thought it was game over last week when Gin lost) but the Tres Espana guys manage to push the beam back with great heroism and characters appearing out of nowhere and saying brave things. I love scenes like this, but these are the bad guys! I almost started rooting for them.

But then Horizon whips out her SECOND WMD, the one Neshibara got from Shakespeare, which means breaking a seal and adding avarice to her emotions. We also learn that Toori (still naked) is an outlet that acts as a go-between for Musashi’s ether supply. What that means to us is words of hope and confirmation from our loving couple, along with the warning that Horizon will be more difficult to handle in the future, not that Toori minds. It’s made moot by a Tres Espana vessel blocking the beam (they just won’t give up), but Double Bloody Mary, who’s not supposed to be there I thought, with Tenzo’s help, whips out big glowing sword thing and then it’s finally over. Sorry, Muneshige.

The afterparty.

After that they tie up the loose ends. DBM joins the Musashi and shacks up with Tenzo (C’mon, Tenzo, be a man!), bonfires on both sides. That blond guy shows up alive and well to be with Gin. Curry is served. And the second season of the most confounding, bizarre, head-scratching series I can think of comes to a close. Two WMDs recovered, five to go! And in spite of all the things I’ve said here, I’ll probably watch the next one, because for all the bizarre characters and backstory, this mess of a story was always delivered with high spirits and a sense of adventure. You didn’t always know what was going on (hell, I rarely did), but you could tell that they were having a great time doing it.

Finally, a three-minute thing called Wooser no Sono Higurashi. I’ve seen many mini-shows like this fall on their faces. Chitose was annoying. Yurumates made me wonder why they bothered. I will say that Wooser has better lines than the either of those. The character Wooser’s cynical, hapless delivery works well with the cutesy voices of the girls.

Horizon 25, Polar Bear 26, SKET-Dance finale

Actually, he delivers a pretty good speech.

It’s frankly impossible to describe what happens in Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II 25. It’s almost nothing but battling and more battling. Perhaps the highlight was when the Musashi crew grows despondent and Chancellor Toori, still naked, offers to come over and console them. Be fair, Toori proceeds to give a good rallying speech, and after that the Musashi crew’s rally (in order to avoid Toori) pushes the Tres Espana forces back, but Tres Espana rally as well, and we got a free-for-all! Actually, a lot of the episode had people on both sides fighting bravely for their cause, even if I couldn’t figure out what their causes are all about.

Even Tenji and Nenji get involved in the action. I can’t remember for sure but this is maybe the first time they’ve done anything productive in either season. And the Indian guy. Just about everyone is involved in one battle or another. We spend a lot of time watching Bertoni duke it out with one of Tres Espana’s head guys. Money is thrown and batted away, spells are cast, and the Espana guy gets flung off the deck by his own men before Bertoni’s final blast of cash. There’s a mecha battle between Naomasa and, er, whoever. Look somewhere in the episode and a character is either fighting or about to.

The most compelling, though I don’t know why, is Tachibana (one of my favorite characters though I couldn’t tell you why) going up against Futayo, sort of a last stand for her, defending her beloved Muneshige’s honor (because Futayo doesn’t know what the word “sex” means), and losing, rather easily, I thought, considering how formidable she’s been in the past. There was something tragic in watching her armaments and weaponry stripped away one by one. On the other hand, it means that this whole war is now closer to completion, and that’s fine with me. This show is fucking exhausting sometimes.

The first half of Polar Bear’s Cafe 26 was a bit chilling. Poor Full-Time Panda’s doing side jobs because he has a third child. Maybe because of that the zoo brings in an enthusiastic Temp Panda and, in the spirit of modern-day corporate scare tactics (“It’s just a competition” they always say) have a contest to determine which of the three pandas is the cutest. The second half is far better when Wolf, Tiger and Lion have a reunion at Grizzly’s bar and talk about their families, jobs, and their ebbing youth. What happened to the good old days when they were wild predators? It’s already good stuff, but it gets even better when beloved long-lost rapper 469MA appears before them, the greatest of the white rappers. Ahem.

Bye guys. It was a good run.

Finally, we say goodbye to SKET-Dance after 77 episodes. I didn’t write about it that much but I looked at just about every episode. As usual for series that run as long as this one it had its ups and downs. The downs usually came when it tried to get too heartwarming, and for a show about a do-gooders club it did this quite a lot. There was also the inane, laughable past histories they had to deal with. Himeko’s wasn’t bad, but Switch’s story was so ridiculous that I thought nothing could top it. Then came Bossun’s backstory, the less said about it the better. But when not dripping with sentimentality the show was fun as hell. Bossun and Hime were a great combo, especially when they got to cut loose verbally on something weird, like Ramon’s manga or Tetsuji’s (or Switch’s) inventions, with Switch’s dry, robotic asides providing the topping. When on a roll, the strangeness we saw onscreen coupled with the SKET-Dan’s shouting incredulity came so fast it bowled you over. Alas, the final episode is nothing much. A heartwarming story. Saaya confesses to Bossun but they leave it at that, and every character shows up, but they didn’t get to show off their eccentricities. Not enough time, I guess. Well, it was a good run.

Four shows that haven’t ended yet but probably should have.

In Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II 24 the important things come through even if the details are as confusing as ever.

Tenzo, Double Bloody Mary, Elizabeth, and three Excaliburs, I think.

First we get Tenzo, I mean Clothutil’s attempt at rescuing Mary from an execution she actually wants, maybe. Tenzo demonstrates his skills by getting past that sword guy who nearly killed him before (with the help of that bird) and recognizing that Mary and Elizabeth had switched places by comparing their boob sizes. Well done, Tenzo! All that’s left is to pull that sword out of the stone, actually two smaller swords, suggesting that the Earth Pulse feels there’s room for the Musashi people in history, too. Love is declared on both sides, Tenzo lowers his mask and the world doesn’t end (but we don’t get to see his face because he’s kissing Mary) I think. Elizabeth tearfully bids goodbye to Mary, who swears to have a child who will usurp Elizabeth’s throne. She’s actually being comforting, you see, because after that Elizabeth’s job will be done and they can all play in fairyland. A touching but bizarre scene. Oh, Azuma(?) and Kimi beat that emaciated guy and the gravity-doll, but I’ve forgotten what they were fighting about.

Robots defend the Musashi.

That done, it’s back to the Armada battle. Here I kind of lost track of things. Muneshige doesn’t get to die with his forces because Juana rescues him and they start making out on the burning vessel until Tachibana breaks it up. Tres Espana’s flagship, the San Martin, is firing huge slow broadsides from angles too fast for them to move without detection. Turns out there are two San Martins! No, there are three! But one of them gets rammed by Grace O’Malley’s ship. I do not remember who Grace O’Malley is, but apparently she owed the Musashi a favor. But now Espana forces have boarded the ship with baseball bats and explosive balls and are running all over the Musashi. So it looks like more individual duels for the next episode.

In Polar Bear’s Cafe 25 the first part is Penguin’s art exhibit, and then we get to see how Polar and Grizzly met as kids. The latter gets a little too sweet, though I liked how Polar was the only animal around who wasn’t terrified of Grizzly. In fact, it should be the other way around, but Polar had no desire to scare anybody. He could also cook an excellent salmon stew. The first half is better, but like last week I thought it missed a lot of potential laughs. But the combo of Penguin’s highly derivitive or simply blue paintings, followed by Polar’s follow up and Panda’s non-sequitors, had some fun in it.

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! 11 is called “The Sister Trap,” and may not come as a surprise in this lazy series that there is no trap sprung anywhere in it. In fact, nothing much happens at all. The day after the party Miyabi doesn’t come to school, and she later forces Shougo to take her out on a date. It’s the dullest date sequence with music interlude I’ve seen, and it’s completely pointless. Shougo also gets warnings from Ikusu to be careful because those plotting to get at him are close by, which is so obvious by now that I figured it the scene was there because Isusu didn’t have anything else to do this episode apart from looking at someone who might be Yuruzina in some movie footage. Meanwhile Yuzurina, whom we KNOW is evil, stirs the pot by denying that she was the girl speaking to him at the funeral, so either she’s come up with a cunning plan along with the current one (which involves feeding Shougo breakfast and dinner) or she doesn’t know everything, either. Meanwhile, front-running harem girl Konoe isn’t given anything to do for the second straight episode. And, again, no trap. Stupid series …

In most series that have a main character change personalities the big challenge is to return them to the good side. In Binbougami Ga! 12 it’s to get Momiji to change to her bad self. I’m rooting for it too. The nice Momiji bit worked for a while because of the effect it had on everyone else. The class was suddenly in love with her. Ichiko, naturally suspicious, drives herself into a frenzy wondering what she’s up to and when the trap will snap, but there’s no trap. Momiji hasn’t abandoned her mission, either, but now she tries to talk Ichiko out of her spare fortune, using bland speeches that, while true, are deadly dull to listen to. Does anyone want Momiji like this? No! Bring back the bad Momiji! Bring back the sneak attacks and mad violence and screaming that made this show bearable to watch! And that’s the theme of the final arc, to make a character bad, cunning, and smelly again. Oh, there’s a nice Death Note scene too.

Lagrange 22, Yuru Yuri II 11, Horizon II 23

Rinne no Lagrange 22 brings all its strengths together and produces a huge episode. Not its greatest, but damn close.

If there’s a flaw to the series it’s that the events sometimes get so cosmic that we lose our connection to it. That’s because the show is centered around and grounded by Madoka, a Kamagawa girl who can can certainly fight with her Vox but is more effective when she’s dealing with people. In this episode she has two key moments. The “of COURSE I’m coming with you” bit near the start, complete with face-pinching (just about all the humor we get in the episode), and her taking down of Dizel when he attacks Lan, which, though it ranks up there on her greatest moments list, proves only to be a temporary respite. Otherwise she’s a bystander. The rest of the episode stars Dizel and Villa, with Kirius, Izo and Array (I knew they’d be back) helping out, and Lan and Muginami watching in shock at what their brothers are doing.

And while the battles are exciting, the light shows are fun to watch and the danger feels real, it’s not as compelling as it should be. I was curious but not surprised when Dizel turns out to have the “tainted heart” and goes stark raving mad, maybe killing Villa for an old offense forgotten by everyone but him. What shocked me was how he went after Lan, and that was because we know Lan and like her (and made Madoka’s enzuigiri all the more satisfying), but at the same time I was thinking “Well, this proves he’s gone nuts. No way he’d try to hurt Lan if he was right in the head.” Going nuts means we’re not dealing with that character anymore; we’re dealing with, well, a nutcase.

What I like about this scene is that Madoka’s mecha has its arms crossed.

It feels like I’m dropping negativity all over the place, which is unfair. There’s a lot to like in this episode. The space battles were good, so was Villa’s desire to reach out to Dizel in spite of the situation–the highlight of the episode. The girls have to break their vow not to use the Voxes for violence, but, thinking about it, only Madoka dealt any. The misdirection was well-done; I thought this would be Asteria’s arc. For much the episode we didn’t know Dizel had lost his mind, so I had fun trying to figure out why he was attacking everyone. And the score is magnificent. Lagrange has one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard for a awhile, and it cuts loose here and makes every scene memorable. As for Madoka, she’ll surely have more to do next episode. Maybe she’ll headbutt with Yurikano again. Looking forward to it.

Yuru Yuri II 11 is a change. It’s a full story, not a sequence of sketches, and it’s actually sweet. I’m going to ignore the fact that it was Kyoko’s own story they were telling. They find a time machine in the tea club’s storage closet (naturally), and then it’s only a question of who’s going to fall into it first. Akari loses and winds up a year in the past, where she gets Nishigaki to get it fixed while she tries to prevent all the terrible things that happened to her that year (all about her self-esteem) to not happen. It drags a bit after that because we know she’s doomed to fail but it’s fun to see her try. Akari is the dullest character of the lot but the other characters get a lot of screen time (with a bonus Chinatsu ball-eating hair moment). And it actually gets touching as her sister holds off her impulses and gives her some decent advice. Again, a sweet episode even with the Kyoko story ruining it.

Something I rarely do.

Even if I don’t know what’s going on, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II is the busiest anime show I can think of, and that means it can pull off an entertaining episode through sheer volume. Here in episode 23 we lurch from battle to battle and even manage to forget that Tenzo was off to rescue Double Bloody Mary until we get back to him at the end. We start with him and Margot, the latter buying him some time before nearly getting crushed by “Miss Iron Balls” and “Miss Balloon” until Kimi rescues him. Meanwhile Muneshige is continuing to rewrite history by not having the armada move on and refuel and so that the Brits can firebomb them by firebombing the Musashi instead. A slight rewrite of history. In fact, more than one battle this episode is won by editing, namely Neshinbara’s rewriting of King Lear (Nesh can do it because he’s in the play) so that MacBeth shows up and skewers him. That’ll show old Thomas Shakespeare, who, by the way, was BOTH the girls in Nesh’s past. Now they’re friends again and Nesh even as a sacred armament to boot!

They’re not supposed to be doing that.

But that comes later. Right now things look hopeless for the Musashi, pounded by enemy craft that shouldn’t be there and with its robot dolls out of commission, until the still-naked Toori shows up and tells her to rewrite too, so she cries for help and everyone not already fighting shows up to counterattack. Why they weren’t doing so already I don’t know. We also get ends to individual battles between Honda and that death guy, Honda winning when her anteater, aided by those little black blobs, materializes full of offensive spells, and Mitotsudaira by using her chains, and Joan of Arc is brought up, but mercifully, doesn’t actually appear. And that’s all my notes, ladies and gentlemen. Next week we get back to Tenzo dueling that guy. I don’t think it will have the manic pace as this one, but it’s certain to be weird.

Horizon II 22 or something, Yuru Yuri II 10, Polar Bear I 23

As usual with Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II, I spend more time trying to figure out who the hell everyone is and what their relationship is with everyone else than I do following the story. This time we pay a lot of attention to Chancellor Segundo, who is leading the Armada against Musashi in what is basically a suicide attack using lots of little ships. It’s great to look at (and for all my complaining about this series, the battles usually do), but left me scratching my head. We’re told the little ship attack leaves Musashi no chance to counterattack … until they do. So Segundo moves on to the next spot on the circle-the-island battle tour. Speaking of head scratching, that’s what the Musashi crew are doing as well. Why is Segundo doing this crazy stunt when all they need to do is tilt swords with Musashi and leave? That, like everything else in this series, is a long story and I’m not going to go into it here because I wasn’t paying much attention anyway.

How many episodes in a row has Toori been naked, anyway?

When we’re not watching that battle start we watch some of the Musashi crew start new battles like those duels we had awhile back, so that Tenzo can rescue Mary from her execution, which she actually wants to undergo. But this would break Tenzo’s heart, so he’s going to rescue her anyway. You could see a parallel to this in the way Juana gets upset about Segundo’s suicidal actions. And Gacchan is rebuked (rather, smacked the hell out of) for her selfish desire to die protecting Margo, if need be. This all makes Horizon make her decision and live, by the way. Next week will have plenty of action and less talk, not that it makes it any easier to understand …

Chinatsu has pictures of Yui.

Typical of Yuru Yuri that in episode 10 the seniors take a school trip and we see next to none of it. All the scenes are of the others waiting for them at home, especially Chinatsu, who tortures Akari nearly to death with kindness. Maybe the best bit was the phone call Sakurako’s sister gets while a shocked Himawari listens in. Otherwise each scene worked with pairs, one regular (relatively) girl with one blithering idiot. It gets tiresome to see when it’s scene after scene of this with nary a truly lunatic moment to be found, through Chinatsu’s lovely drawings make a comeback.

All-you-can-eat is serious business.

Not a great episode of Polar Bear’s Cafe, but it’s not bad. Handa asks Polar Bear on advice for winning the affections of the fair Sasako. Others chip in with useless advice, and meanwhile everyone Sasako serves at the cafe is some handsome dude or another. And we learn that she likes tall, comforting guys, which puts Handa at a disadvantage on the height issue, anyway, though he seems like he could be the comforting type if he didn’t stress out over Sasako all the time. The second story could have been a bore, but the Red Squirrels and King Penguin give Panda Mama (or is it Mama Panda?) good tips on all-you-can-stuff groceries and all-you-can-eat cake deals.

Horizon II 22, Joshiraku7, Penguin, er, Polar Bear 22

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II 21 nearly buried me alive with talk. I swear, it’s all action or all talk with this show. No in-betweens.

High-level diplomatic crises are rarely this silly.

First we have Innocentius and Tachibana barging in on the high-level negotiations and asking why they’re fine with killing Double Bloody Mary when they fought to save Horizon. I could answer that: Horizon isn’t a part of the history, but before I can open my mouth another guy bursts in, Maeda Toshiie, allied with the P.A., ODA’s P.A.O.M. (just call them Wallenstein, I guess), apparently mercenaries hired by Elizabeth who now thinks it’s high time to blow Musashi out of the sky, how about it Elizabeth? There’s also stuff about the Thirty Years War he’s fighting, but that’s an aside. He conjures up some nasty ghost armies, the Kaga Million Geists, for support. This is when Toori rolls into the hall, mostly naked of course. ____ shoots him. She brought a weapon! And Horizon’s WMD falls out of the alternate plane she has at her backside. Oh, oh.

Knowing that sort of spoils the atmosphere.

I don’t quite get how they got out of that predicament but Horizon then answers Innocentius’s question from earlier. DBM is prepared to die, and it’s a part of the reenactment. Just what I said, more or less! The next thing you know, Honda is suggesting Elizabeth cut ties with Wallenstein and in return Musashi will break this now-troublesome trade agreement and become their mercenaries in their place. And finally the scene ends and we move to other scenes that are less intense but just as talky. Elizabeth takes Honda to see Avalon (after hitting her on the head a couple of times for kicks), which was made by Henry VIII by the way. I’ll just skip the dimension-folding talk and get to the big black hole there, the representation of the apocalypse the world will get if they don’t do the reenactments. It’s actually nice to finally see a tangible reason for all this ridiculous fighting. Oh, and Tenzo prepares for a date, or an infiltration, or both, with Master Scarred, er, DBM (killer of 300 Anglicans, single-handed), or Elizabeth’ changeling, or vice versa, or whoever else they decide to make her next week.

In Joshiraku 7 … Pentathalons, Triathalons, Biatholons, but that was just a warmup before they spot the hina dolls left out, meaning they’re all going to be spinsters, then they get covered in green tea powder they mistake for mold (the cultural references are whizzing over my head in bunches this episode), and so decide to become delinquents because they get married early. From there the digressions become pointless. After that they visit Tsukiji Fish Market where shouting, movements, cars, elecrocars, looking cool, buildings, moving the market, and new kanji for the girls and fish are discussed. Finally, the girls try to cut down on their energy usage by tracking down all sources of electricity. They discover far worse, but since none of it is “noteworthy,” i.e., energy-consuming, they ignore it. Oh, Kigu is a robot.

Penguin-san’s greatest nightmare.

Polar Bear’s Cafe 22 is all Penguin, so it’s all good. I didn’t know there were so many types of penguin. Besides the Emperor and King, we have the Adelie, Gentoo, Chinstrap (who’ve we already met), the Royal, White, Humbolt, Magellanic, Snares, Fiordland, Cape, Galapagos, Rockhopper, Erect-Crested, Yellow-Eyed, and the Little Penguin! In the second half Penguin (Emperor) is forced into a date with the seven lady penguins and tries to come up with a way to tell them apart. Both stories are good, but a little sad. Penguin types don’t get enough respect, and Penguin-san should treat his ladies with more respect.

SOA, er, SAO 8, last week’s Horizon, and Kokoro 8

There are two main stories in Sword Art Online, and they’ve been neglecting both–up to now.

Virtual-Domestic

The main story is, of course, getting to the top of the game, if you can still call it that, and getting back to the real world. We learn, unfortunately largely through exposition, that the number of players still trying to do this has been shrinking. You still find front-line players who push the boundary up, but not as many, while many others have settled for hanging back and offering a support structure for them. After all, it’s been two years. Most people want some peace and quiet, or at least a comfortable home to go to, when they get sick of fighting monsters. Mills, as capable a fighter as anyone, runs a shop now. Asuna’s home is luxurious. Kirito says a day can go by without him thinking of the real world. And you wonder, if there is an end to this world and everyone has to go back, how many will regret it? How many of them could still fit into the real world, if they ever could? Will “winning” the game ruin it for the people who want to stay? Will some people try to stop people from winning? I dropped Accel World early so I might be wrong, but I recall that a number of the players there formed an alliance and pointedly didn’t try to make the last level.

Then we have Kirito and Asuna, the other story. They’ve been interested in each other since they first met, and the series has made it clear that they’re meant to be a couple, but we haven’t seen as much of Asuna as we should. Last week she just popped in and out to break poor Liz’s heart. But this episode they get together, first to enjoy a rare food item together, a nice domestic scene that shows why some people in that world grow comfortable enough to want to stay, then to enjoy a bit of exploring. It’s fun to watch them together, practically a married couple already. When they work together to kill a monster it’s almost as though they’re showing off for each other, proving that they’re worthy of the other’s respect. And for Asuna, restricted by her guild and with a tool of a guard stalking her to “protect” her, so he says, it’s no doubt a relief to get away with a guy she likes for a while. It’s a pleasure to watch them, especially when they fight so well together, and the fun isn’t over as we close with them facing a nasty boss. How much you want to bet those transporter cubes aren’t going to work?

I missed last week’s sub of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II and was thinking about waiting for this week’s to show up and take care of them in one post, but the thought of TWO Horizon episodes back-to-back unnerves me, besides …

So here’s plot-heavy episode 20. Any hope that I would be able to figure things out died in the first scene when Tenzo learns that the “Fairy Queen birthed by Anne Boleyn had a twin sister,” and so we got Mary Tudor and Mary Stewart in one body, and fairy Queen Elizabeth, and already my head’s hurting. The upshot is that Double Bloody Mary is going to be executed, but for real, no reenactment, as they hope to strengthen Excalibur Caliburn and England’s heart pulse, anyway, solidify the nation. DBM is fine with this, Tenzo is not, but not much he can do about it. Meanwhile the Musashi folks plan on leaving, but since they’ve proven they’re as strong as England, they won’t let them. So we check to see how Mitotsudaira’s doing. She’s naked, of course, and capable of laying out Toori with a side table when he barges in. Also, Horizon has created another plane of existence around her backside, where she can hide all sorts of stuff.

You know it’s important when the Queen starts glowing.

On to the True Festival of Oxford, another of those long talky scenes where reps duel with words. This time it’s Honda vs. Elizabeth over the immediate future of Musashi. Honda begins by giving us a strikingly clear and concise account of Musashi’s goals. I wanted to applaud. However, the word dueling then begins and things get less clear. Honda says they’ll just leave and negotiate with another country, and more or less declares war on everybody. Elizabeth says she’ll send Holland’s fleet in to intercept, and then there’s the question of who’s going to engage Musashi, apparently a point of honor. Both sides state what they already have and Elizabeth gets pissed off, but they are interrupted by the arrival of Tres Espana reps. They’ll save that for next week, er, this week.

Kokoro Connect has another shocking moment in its first scene, but is lackluster after that.

After all, you can’t top a main character slamming the head of the girl she loves against a locker for shock, even if he hadn’t quite meant for it to happen (hitting her with his schoolbag was bad enough, however), it was because his desires were unleashed, and Lori totally forgave him for it in her “Do whatever shit you want to me, it’s fine!” mode. And this moment of violence (so brutally well-timed that I flinched watching it) came as the topper to a cruel argument the boys were having about what to do with Yui. They hadn’t been “unleashed” at that time, it was simple anger. Moping at home later, Taichi begins to wonder what the difference is, anyway. Unsaid things were said: Taichi was being a selfish hero again and Aoki was jealous because he hadn’t been able to help at all. Ironically, it was Lori who summed it up that way.

Fujishima’s a lot of fun in an episode that dearly needs it.

So Yui’s not coming to school at all. Inaba is, but she refuses all contact. Now Taichi’s doing the same. Who knows what’s up with Aoki. Lori is the only one who wants to keep contact with the rest, but she’s coming to an empty clubroom now. Time for some outside interference. First there’s Fujishima’s scene-stealing, nutty organization of a class trip (I went “Oh Oh!” when I read that on the board) to encourage love. That bit was all right because it might actually make things crazier to get certain people in the same group. Less interesting was Gotou in regular human mode trying to give Taichi a pep talk, encouraging him to talk to his friends, which is exactly what cause the problem last time. Then Fujishima returns in her dictator of love mode and gives him more or less the same advice. And we learn that Lori is going to do the same. For the team to talk it out might be the right thing to do or it might be a disaster, but it either way it’s superficial advice that didn’t do much but waste time and set up a possible conflict during the field trip. Well, I suppose they’ll talk a lot next week; based on the previews there’s going to be a lot of shouting, but I expect that anyway.