Sukitte and Busters 9, Space Bros 35, and a Teekyuu screenshot

They came close ...
They came close …

Sukitte Ii na yo 9 brings one story arc in for a soft landing and immediately revs the engines for the next one. Since the big crises mostly happened last episode there’s not much to the first half. We start right off with Yamato telling Megumi he’s giving up modeling. I could argue that maybe he should just give up modeling with Megumi, since that’s what’s causing the problems, but I suppose you can’t choose who you model with. Well, it’s a nice gesture leading to a loss of income but he’s happy with his decision. Megumi isn’t and we get some moments of her looking at him from a distance and wondering what went wrong. But that’s the extent of it. I don’t think Megumi has it in her to be conniving and evil. And as the episode goes on we see her train of admirers go down to just one, a nondescript girl I’m sure we’ll learn more of later. As for our lovebirds it’s all nice thoughts and near shenanigans at her place. It’s good to be reminded that this is a high school comedy where sex is a definite possibility.

sukitte9-2

Since everyone’s more or less content midway through it’s time to push the next arc forward with Kai the haircut guy. An interesting situation. He’s the guy who was bullied who Yamato couldn’t help. Now he’s bulked up and ready to take revenge on the bullies. Mei takes a more sensible view toward it but this is the sort of stuff you can’t get rid of with just words. Besides, the guy’s been training a year. It takes an encounter with a former bullier who doesn’t remember him to get him to think about how useless this was. I’m not so sure. It’s not just revenge but justice here. A person who hurt other people should not get away with it. It’s a good topic for discussion but this anime isn’t the place to have it. Kai is so impressed with Mei’s words that out of the blue he decides he LIKES her, and tells Yamato so.This feels terribly contrived but Kai might have an interesting motivation. Is this in a way another attempt at revenge for the past, an attempt to hurt a guy who didn’t bully him but couldn’t help him, either? Maybe unconsciously? I doubt much will come of it. Yamato’s got to really fuck up if he’s going to turn Mei against him. I don’t see that happening.

spacebros35-1

Space Brothers is the cruelest anime running. I KNEW they would dally before Mutta gets his phone call saying if he’s in or not. Using Kenji’s personal story to do it was to be expected. So we get scenes where he meets his wife, his secure but dull day job, and in case you missed it, TWO scenes of him getting up and getting ready for work (one before applying, one after), which are exactly the same except he now gets up earlier. And it’s sandwiched between him picking up the phone and actually getting the result, followed by an excruciating minute of silence after he puts down the phone. After the announcement the episode is over, and they never did get to Mutta! Maybe if Kenji wasn’t nice but boring I wouldn’t mind so much. And it looks like next week they’ll do the same thing with Serika! Will they do the same for all the applicants, Mutta last? Is this Space Brothers’ Endless Eight?

The rich girl laugh quartet.
The rich girl laugh quartet.

In Little Busters 9 they save the cafeteria. Prior to the crisis Rin finds another note delivered via catmail telling them to do just that. So when all the lunch ladies fall ill on the same day the Busters run in to cook dinner and save the day, while Riki has a lot of internal lines saying “how did they know?” What came to me immediately was, you know, contagion, a virus loose in the kitchens, call in the health department, you know, things like that. This doesn’t occur to Riki or any of the others, in fact, apart from one lunch lady there before it all happened, we don’t see an adult for the entire episode. Well, no one died eating their dishes, so I guess it’s just sloppy thinking on the creators’ part. Most of the episode was so dull Riki had another narcolepsy attack near the end. But early on we get four girls doing the “rich girl” laugh in unison, which has to be a record.

Oh yeah, I also watched this.
Oh yeah, I also watched this.
Advertisements

Sukitte 8, Spacebros 34, Lagrange12.5

One of the things I like about Sukitte Ii na yo 8 is that the romance is messier than the usual anime. It doesn’t have the lovers overcome some obstacle like a boss in a game that leaves them happy ever after (though shows like that can be fun too). Things linger in this show; people find it hard to forget.

Yamato founces off for something she said relating to things he did.

We still have the moments like in other series where the characters are being unrealistically dense and you want to slap them around. Yamato, you should have told Mei flat out about going to Megumi’s apartment the first time you did it. You especially shouldn’t have gone again and again without telling her. And you, Mai, you should have told him how upset you are sooner. Because you didn’t and bottled it and just said “it’s okay” all the time he doesn’t know what to do around you anymore!

Anime characters never listen to me when I lecture them.

It leads to a downer of an episode interrupted by that guy with the hair, whom we learn (because he says it out loud for no reason in particular) that he’s moved to town and will be attending Mei’s school. He seemed sort of threatening at first (the hair?) but anyone who can express such love for a theme park can’t be all bad.

The girl who didn’t get the guy gives love advice to the guy she didn’t get.

Well, they got it cleared up, sort of. We’re not sure what residual damage has been done, and that’s what I meant when I used the word “messy.” Sure, Yamato apologized (after Aiko verbally slapped him around) and they’re picking up the stones from the broken bracelet (rather a cheesy bit of symbolism, I thought), but I don’t think Mei has completely forgiven him. And Yamato still doesn’t really know how to handle her, if that’s the word, or maybe it’s handle himself, and she isn’t giving him much help. Is Aiko going to have to slap them around every time there’s another misunderstanding? Surely she has better things to do, like planning a healthy diet for herself (and not those donuts). One more thing, can we please lose the “overheard classmates” shtick? Every time the show wants to stick it to Mei they have two girls pass by talking about what a great couple Yamato and Megumi would be. It’s three episodes in a row, I think.

Space Brothers 34 starts with Hibito on the moon, skipping around like an idiot (every time I see him in that suit I think of Tintin in “Explorers of the Moon”) and seeing a little flash of light. It will be nice to see if they explained this one. They never did explain the UFO the kids saw, and I realize these oddities in space are as much driven by poetry as by plot, but part of me wants to know what that was flash he saw was. Other than that we had to put up with the highly trained astronauts talking out loud about chores they would never bother to discuss in real life for the benefit of we, the viewer. But Hibito manages to settle most of these problems by stepping in and being Hibito.

I thought it would be appropriate if the episode stayed on the moon, but instead we switch back to Mutta, his parents, and Apo. Some of it is inspiring. I liked him seeing others in his building putting up telescopes on their balconies. I liked how every item in the store is branded with the moon, or Hibito. For personal nostalgia’s sake I had hoped for space food sticks. What these scenes also did was distract us from worrying about the astronaut applications. We’re not reminded of it until Mutta starts obsessing about his luck levels in his typical, Mutta way. It’s only at the episode’s end that the atmosphere gets tense and phone calls start coming in. And guess what? We have to wait until next week. Did you expect anything else from this show?

The entire galaxy tunes in to a girls high school athletic festival.

A Rinne no Lagrange OVA has popped up called “Kamogawa Days,” which is pretty much what it is, a few weeks in the town’s off-season between the show’s two seasons. They try to stick some foreshadowing in but who cares since we know what’ll happen already. We get to spend time with everyone, but the three girls aren’t together, alas. However, Lan and Muginami do meet up at the most amusing concept of the episode, an almost complete replica of Kamogawa, Earth’s most important city. The show still won’t explain how Villa got to be king, but there he is being one and setting fashion styles for the Polyhedron. Meanwhile Madoka goes about being Madoka, even forgetting her birthday, though of course no one else does … It’s what you’d expect from a Lagrange filler episode, only a little longer.

Shin Sekai Yori 8, Sukitte and Shinki 7

Shin Sekai Yori 7 suggested that the kids were going to be in BIG trouble when they got back home after their crazy adventures, and maybe it’s true. But if so, the adults sure take their time about it. We jump ahead two years, the hormones have kicked in, and everybody’s gay.

I mean EVERYONE, except for Mamaru, and he can’t get a partner. I couldn’t spot a single heterosexual couple in all the parings the show threw at me. What are the odds of this? They throw in another reference to the bonobos way of thinking, but that doesn’t explain the predominance of same-sex pairings here. Well, no one seems to mind. What’s more interesting is that Shun and Satoru are a couple, as are Saki and Maria. The latter I could envision but I’m not buying the former. Especially when Saki and Shun have started making quick glances at each other. Not surprising, Saki’s been interested in Shun for years.

And while we’re watching all this, basically getting reacquainted with the kids after two years, we start to wonder when the plot’s going to heat up again. It’s there, slowly creeping around in the background, with Shun trying to, er, hatch an egg, I guess. Everyone else is practicing what could be described as parlor tricks but Shun’s school project is far different. What’s he doing with that egg? Stimulate the unborn chick’s growth? Make a chick? Whatever he’s doing the school approves, that is, until a bigwig named Kaburagi comes in and sees what he’s doing. Next thing you know he’s going to get taken away and isolated for some kind of therapy and he’s warning Saki about those cats. Oh, he already broke up with Satoru. It’s as though he knew something was about to come down on him, but then, Shun always seems to know more than what he lets on. Maybe next week the show will let us in on a few of these secrets.

Playing house.

Sukitte Ii na yo is a good series, but I’m often amazed how little out of the ordinary the events are. Apart from having a beautiful model enter your school (and the school’s hottest boy dating the wallflower, I suppose) there’s nothing in this story you wouldn’t find in an ordinary high school. That the show manages to succeed without a lot of gimmicks is refreshing; in fact, the great novelty of the show is that it has little novelty at all. Take a look at episode 7. Yamato gets invited to more photoshoots and Mei reluctantly gives her consent. Then Megumi asks him to come over after a shoot and we all go “Aha!” But all she does his feed him leftover curry. If she’s gunning for him she’s certainly taking it slowly. In the meantime we see that aspirations toward Yamato or not, Megumi’s actually lonely and wants to do more than go home to an empty apartment.

Meanwhile Mei is getting more worried, and then hears that Yamato’s been seen leaving Megumi’s house. We get a very good scene between her, Aiko and Asami. First they have to get the clamlike Mei to tell them why she’s crying. Asami pleads and Aiko slaps; I guess friends show concern in different ways. After that we get the tail end of an serious conversation about worrying, jealousy, and self-esteem, which leads to Mei asserting her feelings in a rather more positive way than before, heh. And it was a conversation that I assume could happen in any high school now, with no shoujo gimmicks, well, as long as the students are intelligent enough. Which in an average high school they probably are not… hmm, forget I said anything. Anyway, next week we get some guy from Yamato’s past, a gimmick if I ever saw one.

Nothing to do with the main story, but I like the image.

Busou Shinki 7 is predictable. After some ghost stories Ines finds herself alone with a mystery Shinki who might or might not be dead and/or wanting to kill her. It’s interesting only in that they don’t fully resolve the mystery at the end. Or you can call that a cop out; I don’t mind. The other interesting thing, apart from the usual kinky shinki bits is that for a moment Ines sounds exactly like Miyako. Well, it was interesting to me …

Sukitte and Busters 6, Spacebros 32, and a Wooser screenshot

Memgumi makes a straightforward play for Yamato.

Sukitte Ii na yo 6 is interesting from a high school romance anime story because it invents an improbable and contrived conflict yet doesn’t fall into any of the usual traps. We meet Megumi, a popular model who just happens to transfer to Mei and Yamato’s school, funny how that happens. She sees Yamato and makes a play for him. That’s par for the course. Yamato turns her down. Okay. Yet Mei, desperately trying to make edible cookies for him, grows worried and her self-esteem drops. That’s to be expected, too. I guess in her mind Megumi’s glamorous and she is, well, she’s not; instead she’s doing wife-material girlfriend things. It doesn’t seem fair.

Part of a more subtle plan.

It’s not really fair to describe the situation that way, either. In episodes like these you’d expect Megumi to be either standoffish to her classmates or falsely friendly while secretly scheming. But Megumi doesn’t show a bit of standoffishness; she’s kind even to the star-struck wimpy boys that surround her now. She’s also nice to the girls. If she is faking it the episode gives no indication. She seems genuinely delighted when some of them visit her at a photoshoot. I’m not saying she doesn’t have designs on Yamato and sees Mei as an obstacle to overcome, in fact, she doesn’t respond much to Mei, though Mei isn’t exactly going out of her way to interact with her, either. In fact, asking him to model with her at a shoot should make her plans obvious. But if she’s going to take Yamato away it looks like she intends to do it fairly, all aboveboard. Knowing Yamato it probably won’t work, but she’s won the first round by making Mei feel miserable watching her and Yamato, a “perfect couple,” pose together. And her willingness to go along with the photoshoot thing to show what a good sport she is might have sent the wrong signals to Yamato, who seems to want maybe not jealousy, but more of a sense that she needs him. She could start by calling him by his given name …

Scarier than space.

Meanwhile, in Space Brothers 32, Mutta’s story is again rightfully sidelined while we dwell on Hibito for another episode, and probably at least the next as well. This time we are introduced to his crewmates in space, well, the male ones. We haven’t seen the last of them. The show manages to keep the sense of wonder afloat but it’s nothing compared to last week’s launch. Next week they walk on the moon so that should bring it back. On Earth, meanwhile, they take care of plot points. Mutta again courts disaster by sitting with Azuma’s family and asking the question: did he defer in favor of Hibito? After he says that we spend some time in Azuma’s head, and we learn the answer is complicated. We see that he hated the limelight and hated even more that it also shone on his wife and son. Brian Jay brings up the idea that it keeps him from fully enjoying his work. As for Mutta, it’s another score as he meets the man’s much friendlier family and makes a small crack in the older man’s facade.

Little Busters 6 manages a genuinely emotional moment at the end of the Komari arc, so it wasn’t a total waste. We learn that Komari wasn’t just blocking out a single sad moment in her life, but any time death comes near her she goes through the same thing. Thus she goes from a girl with some emotional issues who’s in denial, to someone who might me mentally ill, not that it matter to the show. She goes through much of the episode dull-eyed and calling Riki “Onii-chan,” a bit of a relief to me because she’s quieter than before. But Riki has to “cure” her and does so in predictable fashion, continuing the story Komari’s dead brother wrote for her (Her brother had a strange sense of humor, reading her stories involving death and making that weird chicken-egg tale) so it included friends, and bingo! She’s all better after so many years! I hate that sort of thing, but they had built up enough emotion that I admit it had an effect on me. And now her arc is over and next we get a pink-hair girl who appears to be more interesting.

As for Wooser, I have no idea what they were doing through much of episode 6.

Not a clue.

Shin Seiai Yori 6, Jojo and Sukitte 5

With Shin Sekai Yori 5 we get another example of how to expand on a world while telling a compelling story. Well, there was that one weird bit that had me scratching my head …

The oddest scene of the episode.

Saki and Satoru are trapped underground. No way out. All they have is each other. I thought they might actually indulge in that pleasant stress-relief technique this time, but it’s not brought up. Instead, Saki has a weird vision of those … whatever-they-ares that gave us the infodump two episodes ago. There’s a naked Shun there, too, coming out of the ground for some reason they (naturally) don’t tell us. Whether this is an attempt to communicate to Saki or just a light bulb going off in her head it’s impossible to say, but then after a close look at the monk’s fire (and whooshing sound effects–this show sounds as good as it looks) we get a flashback to the kids once showing each other their mantras, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours I guess, and she managed to remember it, be fair, steal it. So do these unique mantras work the same as, say, your true name does in Earthsea? … Anyway, in a confusing moment, because we go from the vision to a memory of the flames to the flashback, Saki uses the mantra to unlock Satoru’s cantus. Satoru appears to be sleeptalking, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. Once I did figure it out I marveled that Saki would be underhanded enough to steal Satoru’s mantra in the first place. A bit of a moral issue here, especially since she did save their lives. I wonder what the monks would say?

Satoru is having too much fun.

Satoru recovers and becomes superhuman by necessity, and he’s changed. More interesting questions arise: did getting his mantra unlocked also unlock any other barriers he had, because this new Satoru is more serious, and more bloodthirsty. Now he’s killing ground spiders left and right and enjoying it, until Saki points it out to him. He may have just been lashing out; the kid’s been under all sorts of stress. Maybe he just can’t resist a little fun at his tormentors’ expense. Or is there really any difference? These thoughts hover in the background, however, while the main story goes on, and that’s all about staying alive. It works. After a while I was scanning the trees as closely as the kids were to see where the next ambush was coming from. At the end, they’re still not out of danger, having run across the ground spiders’ main force and Satoru too exhausted from playing hero (another adolescent weakness) to do much. Another good episode.

I’m having more trouble writing about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure than I used to. The novelty has worn off, and though it’s still fun to watch I can’t think of anything to do except marvel at the shouting, grunting, rock splitting (lots of rocks split in this show) and speeches, both heroic and evil, something this show always delivers. But the highlight this week, well, one of them, was the three foes Jojo, Speedwagon, and their enemy Dio clash hands, keep them together, and deliver long speeches before they separate. Yeah, if your hand is freezing, pull it away! Well, these are real men, after all. The other notable thing was the curious infodump about the two soldiers-turned-zombies, Tarkus and Bruford (Tarkus? Bruford? And Roundabout as the ED? Do the creators have a prog rock thing? The next characters will probably be named Squire or Lake) (and let’s not forget Speedwagon*), suggesting that though they’re zombies right now that they will be redeemed by Jojo and join his side, or cleansed and sent to their graves. Anyway, right now the battle is going on UNDERWATER, and Speedwagon hasn’t yet thawed Zeppeli’s arm (hmm, Zeppelin). I wonder if that kid will show up again.

* Indeed, a quick Wikipedia lookup suggests we are not done with the rock names, which probably everyone watching knew but me.

After the heavy high school social issues we’ve had before it’s a surprise to see a comparatively tame and superficial episode of Sukitte Ii na yo. Episode 5 is nothing more than Mei visiting Yamato’s home (well, actually that’s pretty heavy) and meeting his sister Nagi, who’s phoned him before. Naturally she has issues her own, discovering that her friends liked her only because she lived in a nice big house and she made good cookies, getting into a funk of her own (Mei has no funks this week, but the tradition lives on!), until she and Mei have a nice talk. It’s superficial, as I said, but still effective. She’s obviously jealous of Mei, but Mei senses it and cuts through it through simple kindness and an honest admiration for Nagi’s creative skills. Nagi’s old friends acted like this too, at leaast to her face, so I have a hard time seeing her open up to Mei like that. It was also charming to see Yamato act that way to a stray kitten, but what happened to the other ones? … I’m not so sure what the flying bird metaphor was going, though.

Sukitte 4, Chu2koi 5, and some Joshiraku and a Wooser screenshot for the hell of it

I’d hate to think that this is going to be the routine for Sukitte Ii na yo: Mei encounters something unpleasant about Yamato or his world, and gets all grumpy until they make up at the end.

So he’s going to make the worst impression he possibly can.

Okay, that’s not really fair. There were differences between Mei’s past blue funks and the righteous anger she experienced this time. And I must say that Yamato does have some interesting, if unpleasant friends. It’s clear early on that Hayakawa is a tool, even before he meets Mei; it also comes as no surprise that he has friends like this. None of the people he hangs out with so far have been people I’d like to meet on a regular basis, no, scratch that comment; it’s as superficial as Hayakawa’s mindset. It’s interesting to watch Yamato here, clearly reluctant to have Hayakawa meet Mei, as I would, but leaving it up to Mei. Maybe it’ll turn out all right, he’s thinking. Then at the lunch he talks about Mei almost like she’s a pet he’s training. And after Mei gets pissed off (Wonderful bit. No shouting, just deleting his phone number, saying a few disdainful words, slapping money down, and leaving, exactly what she should do) and leaves (not mopey, not sad, but rightfully angry) he at least shows some more anger and concern on her behalf, not faked, and he has the injured hand to prove it. I’m more convinced that he’s sincere about Mei now, but I’m worried that he’s treating her like a project rather than a girlfriend. But at least his more superficial friends are getting the message that this relationship is for real.

But maybe to prove that Yamato doesn’t surround himself with just losers, we get more screentime with Aiko. She spends time chatting with Hayakawa about Mei, and one of them says something about there only being three left. I assume they’re talking about the superficial lovers club, but that wouldn’t be fair to Aoki. Aoki and Hayakawa have a fight. She calls him superficial, so he mocks her weight issues, thus conceding to debate. Mei steps in to defend her, and now we got a scene that steps out of the shoujo romance routine. Mei speaks some simple truths that Hayakawa can’t handle, then does the same to Aoki. I loved Aoki’s response. She switches to her disdainful (defensive) stance. She tried for Yamato and failed, she can’t believe that this little thing standing before her has gotten him instead. She’s jealous and angry, but she’s also resigned to the fact that she’s already lost, and isn’t crazy about seeing Mei and Yamato together, in other words, unpleasant but understandably human. It’s a good scene that cuts through the stereotypes that Aoki could have represented and makes her a strong character in this series. I’m hoping we’ll see more her and less of Hayakawa, who’s just a little too villainous for my taste. Besides, he has poor table manners.

Rikka calls up all her dark powers for the upcoming math battle, er, test.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! 5 is a “must pass exam or (insert terrible fate here)” episode. It goes the way you’d expect. Rikka tries every trick in the book to avoid studying until she realizes it’s hopeless and then knuckles down and studies. Normally these sort of episodes bug me. I keep wanting to give Rikka a hard shake and shout “study damn it!” Quite like I did with K-ON (“rehearse, damn it!”). But this episode is saved by things that happen along the way, including the usual antics from the other club members. They only got in the way, but the distractions are amusing enough that it made me relax. I liked the pool business especially. And we got a few looks at the humans behind the affectations, like Rikka as she grew more and more desperate, and the realization Yuuta makes about her: she has so few people she can depend on, a fact subtexted into a phone number exchange. Toori gets a couple of revealing moments talking with Yuuta, a brief moment where she can express concern for her sister and gratitude toward Yuuta without saying so, not to mention playing divorce with Yumeha. And the show works a little more on the concept that all that dark flame master stuff might be embarrassing nonsense, but was fun at the time, and maybe fun now if done sparingly. It’s a routine plot made nearly great by the characters and direction, as usual. I just wish Yuuta had more to do than play straight man.

Two more episodes of Joshiraku appear after a silence. Not much to say. Vacationing in the dressing room, school swimsuits, a trip to Musashi-Sakai, which looks pretty dull, actually. Also a giant Christmas tree and jungle battles amongst the branches. On to episode 12 where Kukuru can’t sleep so hasn’t had her New Years dream yet, leading to what the lucky items in those dreams are after Mr. Fuji, eggplants, etc. Our trip is to Roppongi Hills, which seems to have some interesting modern art, and Marii is rather violently thrown back to the bubble age in a scene more poignant than most. Finally, it’s too hot so they try to keep cool.

Then there was this:

Shin Sekai Lori 5, SAO 17, Busters and Teekyu 4

Shin Sekai Yori turned up its intensity last episode and in episode 5 it doesn’t relent.

Actually, falling down that hole is a good thing.

Episode 4 started with a lot of exposition, but very powerful exposition, before the monk showed up and the attack by the queerats or wererats, depending on your translation. I wasn’t ready for the episode to end, and this one was the same, except no infodump. A lot of queerats and the monk get blown up (revealing bones that look like weapons and smell “like gunpowder”) and the kids get separated when more queerats show up. I’d love to know what happened with Shun and Maria, and I’m sure we’ll find out, but Saki’s our heroine, so we get her and Satorou as they get captured, find a bizarre way to escape, encounter friendly queerats who consider them young gods, and … I’m not sure WHAT was going on at the end, but it looks pretty dire, and I was thinking “It’s over already? When’s next week?”

CAUGHT by the queerats!

There’s a lot going on that makes it effective, not least (if you can get past the simplistic character design clashing with the lush surroundings, which came close to over-distraction) the direction and animation, feet sliding through bizarre forest backdrops, multicolored fires and explosions, quick flashes to hands grabbing at arms or Saki’s face looking up in bewilderment, to closeups of ugly queerat faces (and let’s not bring up their queen). It can be terribly confusing but that brings up the next point: Saki and Satorou are new to this too. They’re learning about the queerat lives and conflicts just as we are. And they’re learning more about the humans’ place in the world. They’re also learning about themselves and each other. Satorou shows some resourcefulness and guile, proving he’s not just the loud kid of the group. And there’s a scene where the two adolescents nearly choose sex as a release from their stress, but stop themselves. And the scenes are given a final oomph because above all it’s about their immediate lives. And we, the viewer, have no idea what will happen next and, sigh, have to wait for next week.

As we get used to the new world of Sword Art Online, it strikes me that the show, or its potential anyway, has changed since we’re now emotionally invested in our two main characters. What’s more, we have enemies now. On that first world there were nasty people who just happened to inhabit that place with you, and I suppose you could call Kayaba a villain if you wish, but there wasn’t any real malice in him. Now we’re in this nice fairy world where people can come back after they die, and they can log out. And you can fly! The episode spends a lot of time showing how much fun that can be. But we really can’t enjoy any of this when we know why Kirito’s there. And once we go and see Asuna we just want Kirito to get to that tree as fast as possible.

And there are more problems when you stop laughing at their ears and see the people behind the avatars. Sugou is still an impossibly evil villain. How he treats Asuna is bad enough, but possibly just as bad is that Asuna needs rescuing in the first place. This is not the confident, skillful tsundere we’ve come to love. It’s pathetic to watch her now. Well, I’m hoping she’ll get some satisfying revenge when the time comes. Then we have Lyfa, who just HAPPENS to be Suguha in real life, and is unaware that this brave Kirito fellow who just saved her life and is determined to get to the big tree is actually … you know. It’s made more absurd because he looks more of less the same (to us) online and off, but she still can’t see it.

Of course you are. It’s that kind of show.

I’m continuing to watch Little Busters, but episode 4 has so much Komari that I could barely tolerate it. I’m not the type to look down my nose at cheerful, clumsy, genki anime characters, in fact, I like them, but that voice! It’s driving me up the fucking wall! And now we’re in the story arc featuring her and her mysterious missing brother. Even without the annoyances I’m beginning to see why people wanted Kyoani to produce this show. They would have added a layer of quality to the visuals so that its crude story elements would go down more smoothly. They probably would have come up with a better script as well. As it stands now the show has one or two decent moments per episode (Riki and the old man was my favorite scene, in that it showed that Riki may be a small weak narcoleptic, but he doesn’t take lip from anyone) and the rest of the time everyone just acts goofy or saccharine.

Two gags going at once, for maximum efficiency.

And I watched Teekyuu. I think episode 4 set a record for number of gags in two minutes, counting the OP.