Finales: Zvezda, Nobunagun, Dandy

The final episode of Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda made absolutely no sense, and I couldn’t care less.

And don't forget weirdness!
And don’t forget weirdness!

The good guys who weren’t there while Kate was beginning her obviously suicidal confrontation with Kyoshiro showed up one by one, and just in the nick of time to rescue someone. And while they did we had a giant robot, flying vending machines which are eaten by stuffed dolls, the dead come to life (twice), thrilling motorcycle driving by Kate, oh, and a high bar routine, deadly cigar smoke, and tons of other stuff that was all completely ridiculous and fun as hell to watch. Also, enemies are reunited and betrayers forgiven, though I’d be a lot slower to forgive Yasu then they did. To get to this nutty battle the series had to go through a couple of dark episodes, but they more than made up for it.

Just a stuffed animal devouring a vending machine.
Just a stuffed animal devouring a vending machine.

One thing they didn’t do that well, and I suspect that it’s because they didn’t care, is add any depth to the Jimon family relationship. They didn’t even try to reconcile father and son, or even get them talking beyond the level of insults. That’s because the father was an evil alien jerk. No wonder Asuta ran away. The whole Goro screwup situation takes an odd turn, but is otherwise done with quickly. More interesting was the talk between Kyoshiro and Kate, with an interesting take on the latter’s plans for world conquest. She will meet everyone in the world before she conquers them, because how can you conquer them otherwise? In other words (I think), trying to inflict change on a society from a place where you can’t even see the people betrays any idealistic beliefs you have. I think. Who knows with this show?

Kate's that little dot on the far left.
Kate’s that little dot on the far left.

If you went into the episode looking for more background on just what the hell Kate is, you’ll be disappointed. All I know is that she had more stars around her head than before. I didn’t mind. I like it when a show doesn’t try to explain all the mysteries, and it gives little girl Kate an aura of authority and hidden power, the contrast which remained funny until the end. In fact, I found every one of these misfits funny. I thought the show was funny. It was also nuts, and beneath it all, kind and humane. The sequel they hint at, where they’d battle American stereotypes, doesn’t look as good, but maybe they’ll conquer America quickly and move on to other people. If there’s a sequel. That’s it: Zvezda’s next conquest should be season two!

Season one --  Conquered!
Season one — Conquered!

I doubt that there will be a second season of Nobunagun, and I’m a little disappointed. Whenever those critters begin their next invasion, it will be a letdown. And the show wasn’t that great to begin with. On the other hand, it was fun, silly, and they blew things up.

Jack and Florence.
Jack and Florence.

The final weird thing was the revelation that Florence Nightingale and Jack the Ripper were actually the same person, and that she had gone around slicing those prostitutes up in order to remove highly contagious organs before they caused a pandemic. What kind of strange mind thinks these concepts up, anyway?

An appropriate facial expression when you're about to blow up the bad boss.
An appropriate facial expression when you’re about to blow up the bad boss.

Like many anime shows before it, Nobunagun took a bizarre concept and ladled just enough humanity on top to make it palatable, like the BFF to protect, possible romance, and the main character discovering her potential. Oh, and fanservice. Nothing wrong with that. What set it above many such series, for me anyway, was that I found Sio appealing from the start. She was a military nerd, thus an outsider at school, but she was fine with that, or at least resigned. Then her E-gene kicked in, she got that grin on her face, and I liked her even more. In fact, I liked how every character in the show enjoyed the damage they could do, whether it be shooting, slicing, stomping, barrier-making … well, some of the talents got a little strange. The fun they had made the weaker parts of the show more palatable. So I hope there is a second season, even if Sio’s channeling of Oda becomes too familiar and not the surprise and delight it was at first. I had too much fun watching Sio grin and shoot to worry about that.

One more of Nobunaga.
One more of Nobunaga.

If the structure of Space Dandy was to give creative talent a template of characters in a situation for them to create standalone works showcasing their abilities and eccentricities, then it’s only fitting that the final episode of season 1 was just that, another episode, without even a hit of finality. That’s fine. The episode falls in the middle of the pack for me. I think QT is put-upon and kind of cute (with that voice), so I liked how the episode gave him an opportunity to fall in love, even if everyone watching knew it would have a tragic or bittersweet end. There was nothing new in the story.

spacedandy13-1

The ideas weren’t exactly fresh, either. Robots that gain sentience is about as old as SF, though they did a nice job combining that with the love story. Having the abandoned ones rebel as they did struck me as too easy. They’re machines. Surely they would have other ways to rebel. On the other hand, I loved the giant mecha they made, completely unexpected, and it looked great. So, a mixed bag, like most of the episodes. That’s what you’re going to get when you have a series full of standalones. They had three episodes in a row that were terrific, most of the rest weren’t bad but not great, and a couple were forgettable. Still, their batting average was high enough that I don’t mind they’re doing another season.

One more of Meow.
One more of Meow.
Advertisements

Asukara 23, Zvezda 11, Dandy 12, Fool 12, Nisekoi 11

(I’m dumping what I got here because I’m off sightseeing for a couple days. Kyoto!)

Nagi no Asukara 23 has the all the usual characters limping around emotionally, in love with people who don’t appear to be in love with them, but who knows?

Oh, she probably does.
Oh, she probably does.

Nobody seems to know what’s going on. Manaka has an excuse; the asshole sea god took her ability to love away. This episode it actually seems to bother her. We get in especially in once scene where that little tyke writes her a love letter and something seems to hit her. Also, the sea gets really loud when she’s thinking in this episode. Other times she comments how she doesn’t know what love is in that “never been in love” way, to which you should be smug and say “you will,” but around her no one is sure she will, so instead we get tragic looks that she doesn’t understand.

Finally!  Someone says it!
Finally! Someone says it!

Besides this week’s spoonful of plot, about doing another boatdrift festival, using that stone Manaka has (will she give it up?), and talk about detritus being the memories of living things, we get one interesting scene. Kaname’s been wandering around with that always-a-bridesmaid attitude he gets, and Sayu, who knows he’s in love with Chisaki, who’s in love with etc., gets sick of it, or maybe’s she’s sick of everyone in the show wandering around wondering if they’re in love, SHOULD they love somebody (Chisaki is especially annoying about that this week), or CAN they? So right then and there, at the train tracks, she confesses to Kaname. Since nothing every goes right for Sayu this is especially brave of her. And kudos for Kaname for actually thinking “Hey, she likes me. Maybe I ought to see what she’s like. It’s not like I have anything else going on…” Other characters in this show have confessed, of course, but they always make it as complicated as possible, or their would-be partner does. So I had to cheer or these two side-characters who are going to work it out. Also, nice speech, Sayu.

Not Kate's best idea.
Not Kate’s best idea.

With Bouryaku no Zvezda 11 the worrisome thing is not that the bad guys (Zvezda) are about to lose, it’s that the real bad guys are going to win. The darkness that began to overrun this show last episode got even worse this time (I got an unpleasant chill when Jimon’s father announced the annexation of West Udogawa, thinking of the Crimea situation happening now), even while there are signs of life in Zvezda, starting with Natasha and her tears (what the hell was that about?), and Jimon’s announcement to Renge that he was going away. And Goro, lying there in the morgue, well, I don’t count him out yet. Jimon’s departure (after a sweet little scene with Renge) I take the least seriously, because he’s the most powerless. What’s he going to do? Confront his father? The man’s not even human anymore. As for Kate, judging from her reactions to her stuffed doll, I can only assume she showed up at the ceremony in order to die, maybe to be reborn somewhere else and try again. I don’t know. Every main character is acting so weirdly. Well, they always have.

spacedandy12-1

After three good episodes, Space Dandy falls back into predictability in episode 12. The boys try to catch a Chameleonian, a creature who can look like anything it wants. Naturally, they bring one onboard without knowing it, naturally it imitates each of them until the boys, naturally, are beside themselves. Naturally they have to play a game to guess who the real Dandy is. An offshoot of the “evil twin” story that I first saw in Green Acres; who knows where it started. I will say that though the writing is hackneyed, the direction isn’t. The show managed to keep moving even as I was cringing from the predictable scenes. And they add a nice touch at the end, where Dandy begins to question his identity and the chameleonian forgets his. And I liked the digression they added with QT becoming a fishing nut. Too bad it came early on and they didn’t bother with it afterwards.

Now that you've said that: no.
Now that you’ve said that: no.

Damn, I wish Nonunaga the Fool would be done with Caesar, already. Smug villains bore me. As for the episode itself it wasn’t bad in terms of the story, that is to say, there’s a battle, though we know that since we see Nobunaga announcing his strategy to Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi, that it would fail in some way. Well, be fair, it didn’t. It was working to perfection when Caesar called upon a god or a dragon or something and leveled up, and now it looks like he might have won this battle. Ho hum. I suppose it was too early to get rid of him, since he lusts after Ichihime but hasn’t actually met her yet. Also, the card of the week is Death, so, in spite of DaVinci’s commentary on how that could mean the death of their robot armor if they overheat (basically a way to feed us information on the upcoming battle), we know someone’s gotta die. Turns out it was mainly peasants and small soldiers. I feel let down. The only thing it does to the main characters is give Jeanne a big guilt complex.

nisekoi11-1

In the first half of Nisekoi 11 we had to watch Raku go through all the usual agonizings he usually does when he finds himself on a non-date with Onodera. The coffee shop scene was especially irritating (apart from the laughing waitress), and it looked like more of the same when Onodere, more proactive than usual, takes him to her secret place, which isn’t THAT hidden, really. We watch Raku torture himself (and us) while trying to ask a simple question about her birthday, while we knew it was a pointless question to begin with and it won’t get us anywhere. But in a flash of comic plot, he blurts out the real question: was she the friend from years ago? FINALLY, the story takes a step forward! Of course, no way could they get any further than that, like, you know, try out the key and locket. Not a chance. The gods of comedy wouldn’t allow it, and they’re too busy dithering over the implications to think about it. The second half, until the final line, is more wheel-spinning. Well, the gang learn that Chitoge’s family are mobsters, but they’re fine with that. Rather sweet moment when they find out, actually. Raku gives Chitoge the most ridiculous bday gift ever, and it made me laugh. What the hell was he thinking? And what store gives out Chitoge gorilla dolls?

Nisekoi 10, Dandy 11, Zvezda and Fool 10

nisekoi10-1

Nisekoi 10 has the aftermath of the bath scene, with Chitoge possibly pissed off because Raku didn’t see her “perfect body,” though he actually did and is doing the decent thing by lying about it. Meanwhile, Raku had gotten a glimpse of Onodera’s pretty damn good body as well, and now can’t look her in the eye. The possible misunderstandings between them are cleared up by another white lie and an honest attempt to reassure. And then it’s time for a test of courage, where Chitoge winds up stuck in the woods without a flashlight. Remember, she’s afraid of the dark. The choices Raku has to make here are obvious and not very interesting apart from moving the hateful couple a little closer together. What makes this episode as fun to watch as the others is, as usual, the mind-blowing effects Shaft uses to show Raku’s elation and then terror at being paired with Onodera, especially the riff on #12, and those star-things that signified a heart-swelling moment, and the ones used to show Chitoge’s fear at being alone in the woods, including more of those heart-swelling star things when Raku finds her.

Space Dandy 11 is the third good one in a row. Two weeks ago they did a nice job of creating a strange, trippy world to look at; last week they threw two old tropes together and had fun with them. This week it comes down to the cool idea.

spacedandy11-1

I suppose someone has thought and written a story about an intelligent book, but I haven’t come across it. What puts it over the top is what they do with the idea. Dandy and his pals come across the book, er, somehow, no one can remember. They find a slip of paper inside that they see as a free ticket to Lagada, a planet which is entirely a library. My librarian-sense went “Hooray!” I’m a sucker for good library stories. Meanwhile that bad guy is on the way to Lagada to challenge a returned item dispute by destroying it, but that’s really a sideshow.

spacedandy11-2

They get to play with metaphors for a bit. The book is of a parasitic species which uses others’ brains to do the boring thinking, solving the mundane bits, by feeding them hints and letting the exterior intelligences work the problems out. It uses humans like humans use computers. I’m reminded of the “Language is a virus” phrase (especially with the drifting alien letters that float and flow around things), that language is a code that can affect behavior, such as the slip of paper rearranging its words to get Dandy to go to the planet in search of free food. Finally, there was the irony of the book’s reason for leaving Lagado in the first place. Fun stuff. And while I thought they could have presented it better, I’ll forgive them just for the fun of the idea, and for the excellent look (grey, black, white, like pencil scratches on paper) of Lagado.

You know, there was something I wanted to add to the paragraph above, but I can’t remember what it is now. Seriously.

Cornered.
Cornered.

Meanwhile, in Bouryaku no Zvezda 10, the shit’s hit the fan. Two of our beloved conquerors are down, maybe three. Jimon and Renge are the lam. So are Kate and Plamya. None of them have a home now, and if they’re found they’ll be shot. Most of the episode is pretty depressing, with Zvezda losing their home and source of energy, constantly running from an enemy so much worse than White Light that Renge turned against them. Unfortunately, the more capable Kaori didn’t, and she’s following the orders of the new boss, which is to kill his son, Jimon. No wonder the kid ran away. It’s sad to see them fall one by one, and the rest is bewildering. Most of all, Kate. She keeps saying these odd things, like “I didn’t want to be a little girl,” or lines about 12,000 years to Renge, and how the earth is shining like a diamond. She jumps from childlike behavior to meglomania so fast that Jimon wonders if there’s something wrong with her, I mean, more than usual. If we actually get an explanation, it will be a letdown, but we need something from the show. Three episodes left if you believe ANN, and I’m not sure I do. This felt like a penultimate episode.

Hideyoshi strikes a pose.
Hideyoshi strikes a pose.

Nobunaga the Fool 10 feels more ridiculous than usual. They go to Takamagahara, the only place where ships from the West Star can land, and pretty much tear it up in order to steal a war armor. Nobunaga is leading the infiltration/assault, which I cheer him for, but surely he could have left it to the subordinates. Never mind, it’s not his episode, really. It actually belongs to Hideyoshi. We figured it would when he mentions off-handedly early on that his sister died at the hands of the Oda clan (indirectly, it turns out), and later says out loud “Gee, I sure wish I had a giant robot of my own to pilot.” We also learn that his sister died of starvation because the war took all the food, and after he got over the hate he decided to stand beside Nobunaga to conquer everything so there won’t be war anymore. Also, because Nobunaga’s got intregrity. Well, Hidiyoshi’s never been the brightest of characters. Anyway, guess who winds up with the armor they steal? Oh, and if Nobunaga shows weakness, Hidoyoshi will strike him down. This is said many times this episode, by both men, usually with grins on their faces.

Zvezda 9, Dandy 10, Nisekoi 9

Enemies pass, unnoticed.  Heh.
Enemies pass, unnoticed. Heh.

If there’s one thing in Bouryaku no Zvezda that I laugh at more than anything else, it’s the way they play with coincidences. Earlier we found that a legend made up in a few seconds for convenience was actually real. This week, both Zvezda and White Light decide to take business retreats at the same time, to the same hot spring, which requires masks, and that the elderly proprietors are representatives of the two warring factions–but are unaware of it. Imagine keeping THAT kind of secret from your spouse for decades! It’s all absolutely ridiculous, as is White Robin being unaware of who both White Egret and Dvo are, and it demonstrates the overall playfulness of this series which helps the underlying sadness go down easier. But we’re getting closer now to the end and I’m afraid the sadness might come up and tip the scales. We see Jimon and Renge travel back home, and the landscape is now all ruins. When did that happen? And something bad happens right at the end. They haven’t yet told us the details about why Jimon ran away, either. Meanwhile, Miki has spotted her superior fraternizing with the enemy, which can’t be good for Renge. And Kate hasn’t gotten much closer to conquering the world, either. Though she conquers milk this episode. A lot of stuff to get to, mostly dark. I hope they can sustain the playfulness as we slog through it.

Space Dandy 10 takes an old standard of fiction and a horrible SF trope and mixes them to good results.

Meow catches up with home.
Meow catches up with home.

Dandy’s ship springs a leak or something and so they go to the nearest planet to get it repaired, which happens to be Betelgeuse, Meow’s home. So I’m settling in for an episode where we learn about Meow’s background, and indeed we proceed with that for a while. A few things I didn’t expect. I thought we’d get scenes where the father shows resentment toward his son for going off into space, but instead he’s shown as a decent, quiet man who goes off and earns his paycheck every day. Otherwise, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, until day two arrives and it looks strangely like day one. Yep, it’s an Endless Eight.

Finally, a show gets it.
Finally, a show gets it.

But kudos to the show: the narrator immediately steps in and explains what’s going on (the reason for the loop aren’t worth mentioning), and I love how he offers apologies for it. The show knows as well as we do what a pain the groundhog day story can be, and, though we have to wait a bit, the characters catch on soon enough. But until they do we can consider the idea they’re giving us. This is a dead-end planet where everyone mostly DOES the same thing every day, time loop or not. Its repetition begins to suck the life out of Dandy and Meow, and you can see how this can happen to anyone. If we’re going to do an endless eight, this is a terrific way to use it. The episode was also clever at feeding us clues, to the point where I realized it was the wall calendar’s fault only seconds before the characters did. And that lead to the rest of the story. That’s two good episodes in a row for Space Dandy.

You can't really tell from this image, but he's not actually happy.
You can’t really tell from this image, but he’s not actually happy.

You know, I wouldn’t mind that Nisekoi has a hot springs episode in it, where Raku is caught in the women’s bath. High school romcom series are full of scenes like that. And Shaft never hesitates when it comes to fanservice, after all. But if you’re going to put Raku in that position, at least do something for the story, like have him overhear one of the girls talk about him, or feed him more information about those keys (okay, Chitoge was going on about them earlier, but she drops it completely to get ready for the trip). And since Raku apparently has perfect hearing even underwater, there’s plenty he could learn. But what happens? Nothing. He spends half the episode trying to sneak out with Chitoge’s help while everyone on the surface passes the ball of their crushes to someone else. You could argue that it’s a plot point that he doesn’t hear anything new, like Onodera’s first love, but I’m not buying it. This show will go to amazing lengths to avoid moving the story forward.

Zvezda and Nisekoi 8, Dandy 9

zvezda8-1

Sekai Seifuku: Bouraku no Zvezda 8 dumps a lot of backstory on us, so it’s not the best episode of the lot, but it’s salvaged by the fact that it’s given to us in little bits, as Kate leads Jimon and Roboko to a live robo-butler show which is, of course, part of an elaborate scheme to infiltrate Zvezda headquarters. But the majority of the backstory comes via Goro visiting an event starring master patiessier “Pierre,” which itself part of the same elaborate scheme. Pierre’s initial coldness to Goro didn’t make much sense considering the loyalty-swings he exhibits later, but we get a pretty good idea of what the two men shared in the past through muttered lines about Tsubaki and a few brief flashbacks. Then the two main stories come together, stuff gets blown up, and we get some of new antagonist White Falcon’s own backstory with Zvezda. I suppose you could call this Goro’s episode except he only got half of it. A more confusing episode than usual, but done with the show’s usual charming and bizarre sensibility.

nisekoi8-1

The usual bizarre art and the solid comic direction rescues Nisekoi 8 from the fact that there was almost no story for the most of it. We spent almost all the time watching Tsumugi attack or threaten just about anyone who gets close to Chitoge, especially Raku. Then we watch her heart go thumpity-thump whenever he’s around, but doesn’t know why, so we get a bunch of scenes of her asking people. Then she goes into extreme tsundere mode for a while. But surprisingly, it was only during the asking around business that I felt the show was dragging. It was so much fun watching the little bits they tossed in, like Onodera and Ruri rising in the air when Tsumugi slams a desk, and later, banging her head through the fourth wall. Tsumugi is a lot of fun when doing the tsundere. There’s also her situation: she’s devoted to Chitoge but falling in love with her boyfriend. I’d be confused, too. The plot-stuff at the end was almost as good, though it featured Chitoge and not Tsumugi, for all the same reasons. As for that plot, now we have two girls with keys and one boy with a locket. I wonder how many more keys there are?

Speaking of bizarre art, Space Dandy 9 gives us some of the trippiest visuals I’ve seen in anime since Kaiba.

spacedandy9-1

If we’re to look at this series as a bunch of stand-alone episodes, each one exhibiting different creative talents, this one is really the only successful episode so far. Its view of the world called Planta doesn’t look like any of the others; it’s unique, and while the look isn’t completely original (I’ve mentioned Kaiba, there was also the game Botanicula and that head-trip episode of Occult Academy), they use this imaginative, colorful world to tell us a relaxed, spacy story that doesn’t feel a need to rush.

All my screencaps looked great, so I chose this one pretty much at random.
All my screencaps looked great, so I chose this one pretty much at random.

Basically, Dandy and Meow transport, rather roughly, onto Planta in search of Code D, an unregistered alien. Meow winds up in the south, and it’s clear early on what’s going on with him, so we spend more time with Dandy as he’s captured and released by Dr H, an intelligent plant (it’s all plant life there), and they, along with the spore-like daughter, travel to find this mysterious alien. There are small adventures along the way, but more than once the show decides it’s more fun to just watch the amazing variety of plants, seeds, roots, leaves, and spores which float or amble by and happy, silly music plays. And they’re right. Later in the episode I think the show got a little TOO laid-back, but for most of the time the episode is a visual and aural treat. A shame they’ll have to switch to something else next week, but you can’t stay on Planta forever. You’d get nothing done.

Zvezda 7, Dandy 8, Nisekoi 7

Sekai Seifuku – Bouryaku no Zvezda 7, in all its glorious weirdness, actually gets back to an overarching plot line, two, actually.

zvezda7-1

This show is always cheerfully weird, the fact that the society bent on conquering the world is distracted by a high school treasure hunt should remind us of that from the start. But when the fake legend of the udo stones turns out to be true, or rather, more than a story made up as a part of a trap, well, actually, I kind of expected that. But to then go on a hallucinatory bent where Kate is turned into a fifty-foot tall demon who chases after the terrified and incredulous Jimon in order to “conquer” him, smashing everything in her path, then we know we’re in a special place indeed, at least for this show, even while the rest of the characters are engaged in more mundane things, like shooting each other.

Run!
Run!

As for the mind-trip sequence, it makes some sort of sense if you take to heart Natasha’s prophecy recital about a “chosen one,” though I didn’t expect kate to grow so tall. Then there are complications, like the words Jimon overhears before hand where Kate says she is not ready and it’s too soon. Or the words she says while chasing Jimon down. “If you won’t let me conquer you then you should conquer me!” which has all sorts of implications to it, some of which, Kate being a small girl, I would rather not contemplate. And then at the climax, she reverts, and that’s it. A taste of things to come, hopefully. It was fun as hell to watch, though the second plotline they’ve rediscovered, the revelation of Jimon’s parents at the end, signals a return to a more mundane story that I’d rather not contemplate for a different reason: it’s dull. Well, the show has managed to inject the weird into the mundane before; let’s hope it does so again.

Run!
Run!

Space Dandy 8 pulled a nice surprise on us. It wasn’t a heartwarming story about a stray dog (well, a little), or even a parody of a heartwarming story about a stray dog (ditto). The poor pooch dies (gently and probably happily) with half the episode to go and me scratching my head. Until I realized that what those two brothers really were. After that it turns into a silly chase for a while, and after that a decent, good-looking black hole sequence, neither really living up to the potential of hi-tech humanoid fleas on an adventure of their own. But I’ll give them credit for the concept and for the misdirection that the dog gave us.

Seriously, what's up with that sky?
Seriously, what’s up with that sky?

Nisekoi 7 is more routine stuff made nearly surreal by Shaft. For the routine stuff we meet Tsumugi hit man who obviously has a thing for Chitoge and therefore a grudge against Raku. Part of the fun here is that normally Raku would say “Help yourself,” but he’s got a role to play, and there’s the matter of Tsumugi wanting to kill him no matter what. Then we get the reveal at the end, which I’m ashamed to say I didn’t see coming. Also fun was Chitoge’s reaction when Tsumugi challenges Raku to a duel. There’s no way Raku can win this thing, at least physically, but she offers him no help whatsoever. The whole thing goes down smoothly thanks to Shaft’s expert handling of the comic bits … on the other hand, the hallucinatory touches sometimes get a tad distracting.

Run!
Run!

Zvezda 6, Dandy, Nobunagun and Yakuindomo 7

I suppose it had to happen.
I suppose it had to happen.

Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda 6 has Kate, Roboko, Natasha, and Itsuka entering Jimon’s school as transfer students. This is relatively late in the series for them to do this. Normally the weirdos transfer in during episode 1 or 2. But they might not stay long; they’re only there to look for the “Udo Bride,” an artifact the learned about from a school flier made by the Treasure Club, a mysterious and frightening unofficial organization which is itself a front for something else. This episode is mostly a highly amusing setup for the hunt/trap our evil heroes will encounter next week. They keep the transfer school clichés to a minimum and devote most of the time to investigating the Treasure Club, the highlight being the initiation film talking directly back to the audience, not to mention Jimon’s subsequent humiliating performance. Well done, Jimon. It’s another example of this series’ ability to juxtapose serious matters like world conquest (well, that’s a little silly, too), with things a small girl might find interesting, or high schoolkids, and winding up somewhere you didn’t expect.

But by this point I was past caring.
But by this point I was past caring.

Almost nothing to say about Space Dandy 7. Dandy decides to enter a race because he’s pissed off at this guy named Prince because the girls like him. We get a bunch of Wacky Races in Spaaace bits, except none of the competitors are entertaining in any way, and then Dandy goes so fast he reaches Nirvana or something. End of episode. At this point I wonder if the show is trying to make a point about the ham-fisted, cliché-ridden stories it’s been giving us, taking them apart and putting them back together wrong, maybe, in order to make fun of the clichés themselves. But they take too much episode time with the stories themselves for me to believe that (not with good results–I mean, what the hell was that little Micky Mouse character doing, threatening to sue, then sabotaging ships? It was like they had an idea but ran out of time to work it out), then so what are they actually doing with 25 minutes of our time a week, apart from throwing a lot of good production money (the show looks great) toward nothing more than a pose?

Like she was going to stop.
Like she was going to stop.

Nobunagun 7 is a straightforward standalone where the nasty EIOs resurrect the WWII ship Musashi and head toward the Panama Canal to destroy it. Why? Actually, there IS a reason, which Sio learns when she encounters the memories of the dead sailors, which she does when the EIO core-thing has wrapped her up in tentacles. It all feels like a bit of a misstep. Sio is naturally very moved by the fact that the Musashi is back on the surface, but rather than delving into that (or the dead memories) further, she does her job and helps to blow things up. It’s fun when things blow up, and it’s fun watching Sio have fun doing it. And I rather liked her thought process. This grand piece of history is afloat and being used against humanity–Sio wants to be the one to sink it again. I guess that’s a gesture of respect when you’ve got a healthy blood-lust.

yakuindomo27-1

Seitokai Yakuindomo phew 7 is all about the hot weather. Let’s see … First, they sell a bike, then Suzu walks her dog and meets a few interesting people, we get the weekly Student Council Pronouncement, then they doodle with roman characters. Suzu does some shopping with a friend. The Student Council get some morning glories, and fresh veggies. Suzu wears an old gown, and they talk about clubs. Shino joins a couple of them, just to see what they’re like. After that they dig out a telescope and talk about constellations. Then it’s testing the school pool before opening it, and acting as lifeguards after it opens. Finally, Yokoshima teaches us some English. I learned something about constellations in this episode, by the way, but I don’t think education is what this series is going for–not THAT sort of education.