Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace is the first show of the season to finish, and it does so in no better or worse fashion than the ridiculous final story arc permits.
Namikoshi’s nefarious plan to create an explosion of twenty faces for society to deal with is near fruition with his own death. Meanwhile Kobayashi is there too, ready to jump off the tower with him. This was my first disappointment. Kobayashi is a smart, resourceful kid, and I was hoping he would plan some countermove, even if it meant simple debate. Instead, he agrees with everything Namikoshi says and, in that cheerful fashion of his, prepares to kill himself too. Meanwhile the social network of god that Namikoshi made is turning everyone who could hinder Akechi and Hashiba from getting to the site, but nice interference by bag-head guy.
Meanwhile, Namikoshi prattles on with how the victims will rise up and strike back against their aggressors, as if this was a good vs. bad situation (well, the show indeed has always made it out to be–another disappointment), and I began to get bored, in spite of the dazzling visuals. I was also trying to figure out why the hell Namikoshi wanted Akechi to shoulder blame for rescuing either him and not Kobayashi or vice versa. So Akechi shows up, there’s more of the usual talk, and Akechi makes his decision. Namikoshi and Kobayashi are both happy with it–untl Hashiba ruins everything by being heroic. The wonderful, godlike, social virus program has been outdone by a completely expected act by a side character.
Too many things like that prevent this series from fulfilling its potential. I loved the look of it, the evocative imagery, especially the mannequins they would use to suggest outsiders that introverts like Akechi and Kobayashi can’t afford to recognize unless they get in their face. Could have done without the death-butterflies, though they looked pretty. But the show had problems with equating revenge and justice, and the fact that hate makes more hate no matter who’s side is right. Oh, the show tried to show it was wrong, but in saying at the end that the program’s aftereffects have led to a calmer city, the show tells us what side it’s on. Also, I would have liked to know more about Kobayashi, or at least watch him talk about horrific things with that happy voice of his, or maybe I want to figure out if he’s actually a boy. I couldn’t read him as one. Sadly, that is what I’ll take from this show.
Classroom Crisis 12 does a nice job of aligning all the pieces for the big finale next week.
Nagisa’s crisis is not finished, but extended; the stab in the back was just a prelude to more unpleasantness, and it looks to be great fun because Yuuji hasn’t just had a breakdown, he’s transitioned into full Crazy Mad Scientist mode. Not only does he gloat and drool and spout revenge things, but he’s going to stick Nagisa in an improvised rocket/suv and shoot him INTO SPACE! And the rocket will land on top of A-TEC’s last ditch demo! Excellent mad scientist work. And still, Nagisa infuriates him further every time he opens his mouth. I think Nagisa might be enjoying this a little, stab wound, kicks to the side and punches to the head notwithstanding.
Meanwhile the good guys work for a while on locating him until Kaito tells them to go back to their rocket, because of something Nagisa was working on. Seems odd to me, too. That leaves Angelina to track him down. A visit to Coldwood construction firm, where she allies herself with Ibra, their boss, and there’s a nice fight scene after, nice because we get to see Hattori, er, Angelina fighting in a rage for what’s been done to Nagisa. The character has developed a nice combination of kindness, bitchiness, and badassery through the episodes. Too bad they can’t stop the rocket in time. Well, not too bad, because now next week A-TEC will launch their rocket and rescue Nagisa, hopefully with Iris on board. All she got to do this week is fail flight simulations (stupid rocks) and mope a lot.
Being mostly a silly comedy, Sore ga Seiyuu 11’s big crisis is Ichigo’s twisted ankle, and that comes at the very end. The theme this week, so they say, is Taking Care of Yourself, and it’s mainly over halfway through, thanks to celeb cameo Ryoko Shiraishi and her cough drops. A more fitting theme would be Going at your Own Pace, which is what Futaba is trying to do and tries to remember when she sees Ichigo and Rin racing ahead of her. Shiraishi helps there thanks to a unpleasant vocal cord anecdote (the manga had another vocal cord story going, but I don’t know if the the show wants to go there). It also shows while Earphones try to sell tickets to their first concert. I wonder if the theme will continue next wee, with Ichigo’s bum ankle and all …
No crises in Non Non Biyori: Repeat 11 at all, which is how it should be. Instead, we get a mixed bag of little sketches. Komari wants to send a cell phone message and makes me wonder exactly when this story is supposed to take place. She barely understands what dot.com means … Then we watch Renge making New Year cards while Kazuho tries to peek, and then we get a closer look at Hotaru’s maturity. As usual, Renge steals the episode, but I sort of liked Hotaru at home, too, acting like the fifth grader she actually is.
Finally, Teekyuu! 59, while feeling a little off–I think it was because Marimo’s mother was in it–but had a ration of just under 3.00, which is excellent.