The preview for next week’s Yagate Kimi ni Naru has Touko, after a terse comment from her unsmiling father about forcing herself to do this student council play, followed by a memory dream, announce that she’s going to become her late sister. Of course, this is a core issue in Touko’s character, one that she would not really deny to Yuu before, but it was set up in this episode like it was a startling revelation. While I appreciate this character asset, I’m not sure we needed to be reminded of it at this moment, unless they’re setting up a breakdown during summer camp rehearsals. That could be the case, especially when Konomi’s script prods at Touko’s identity issues (Touko plays a woman witn amnesia who has to decide which version of herself the people around her have of her), and, delightfully, casts Sayaka as her lover! I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Elsewhere, we get a nice scene with Yuu and Natsuki, where the latter says she held off inviting Yuu to join the high school club, because she’d have wound up doing it. In other words, having no passion of her own, Yuu gets roped into the passions of others, which is still the case. And yet her indifference is a thing that makes her appealing not only to Touko, but to Natsuki. Not that Natsuki’s going to make a love triangle out of this, but I wonder at how Yuu’s indifference attracts people.
To Aru Majutsu no Index III, after some goofing around with Misaka, has Touma and Index flying to England aboard a passenger jet where, naturally, there are terrorists. Apparently England/France relations are strained because the “Eurotunnel” got blown up, and the terrorists are French and want some revenge. The terrorists and the crew are equally inept. Well, Touma accidentally damaging a circuit that might get the plane blown up (something that is forgotten moments later) caused the terrorists some trouble. As for how the terrorists were defeated, Touma punches one of them, but the one skulking in the cargo hold with a grenade is harder to explain. Something about hot tea in the duct, which caused a thermal something, distracted the bad guy, but as for Stiyl showing up in stealth jet with magical, fiery cards, I really don’t have a clue. Neither did I really get the point of casting an illusion on the plane’s gauges so it looks like they have a fuel leak … But that’s Index for you. This week was sort of a prelude, a little adventure while magical forces on the ground do little plot things. We don’t have a clear picture of the conflict yet, and with this show, we may never get one. But who cares?
After two episodes I’m still not sold on Release the Spyce. The second has the inevitable training of Momo by Yuki, the taciturn one with the scar on her eye. It goes exactly as predicted. Momo can barely keep up with the regimen, the running and chatting up of people, but gets better and manages to pass the final test, a game of tag with Mei, where she suddenly demonstrates great leaping and acrobatic abilities that she couldn’t possibly have picked up in a couple months, and thanks to some prep work, manages to win by maneuvering Mei into a dead-end. Meanwhile, the bad guys drive around (all they do in this episode is drive around) and act evil, and apparently there’s a traitor among the Tsukikage. That’s intriguing I suppose, but I wonder if it’s not a double-agent kind of thing. Anyway, villains aside, I could sort of predict everything that’s going to happen this episode, and it dragged, too. Though the Tsukikage underground headquarters is kind of cool. Don’t feel like watching episode 3 at the moment …
So instead, for some reason, I watched Conception 2, where things did not quite go like I expected. First, it turns out that conceiving Star Children doesn’t involve actual sex …
The main girl this week is Ruka (Aries), who isn’t very warlike at all; instead, she’s a stock tsundere. But she’s a tsundere who knows what’s going on, so when he comes on to her she’s fine with it, to save the world, you know. Meanwhile the show plays with the idea of teaching Itsuki techniques to woo women, and promptly forgets about it. So now we have two star children, neither of whom are really capable of fighting anything, as their visit to the labyrinth and Itsuki gets routed and the star children turned into pods … So maybe he’s going to get serious about this and really get the girls excited to produce really strong star children? I figure one girl per episode, so this puts them behind schedule. A more interesting plot point is Mahiru’s forgotten promise and her obvious, drunken jealousy. I wonder if the show will play that up too, or whether she’ll just get shoved aside when it’s convenient for Itsuki, like the show has already done to her.
So on to Akanesasu Shoujo, where the girls get a new frequency, not sure how, and find themselves in the wild west, er, with a few cars, cell phones, and broadcasts of gun-duels, which is the standard way of settling disputes here. And so we have our story. It’s an unjust system where the person who’s the better shot will win any legal dispute. Mia, the key tries to find justice in this world as a deputy sheriff, while Asuka is a bounty hunter and Chloe and Nana are the criminals. No subtlety this time–the girls repeatedly run into each other, and soon our Chloe and Mia are captured and the criminal ones are planning another robbery with our Asuka and Yuu, in order to make money for kids left bereft when their parents die from duels. And we have a good idea who the Clutter is, too, and by dealing with her, they can change this world for the better. So we’ll have Mio fight her, become stronger, and I’m sure the others will find themselves in the dueling arena before the end, for kicks.
Yep, a duel to conclude the arc, well the start of a duel, then a duel between clutters and two heroes of justice. It would have been quicker if Nana hadn’t had her walkman taken away when she, and everyone else except Mia got arrested. Since they laid out the moral dilemma last week there wasn’t much to do this time except let the plot work itself out. The only surprise was the sheriff being a second clutter. Well, there was also Sexy Yuu putting the moves on Asuka, and Asuka not minding too much. The only real character development came from Mia’s decision to be a hero rather than just stand back and be cute like everyone wants her to do, but that was the point of the arc and we saw that coming a mile away. So that’s Nana and Mia taken care of. Who’s next? They’re probably saving Akusa for last, since she’s the center of the currently-dormant big story arc. They might delay Yuu, too, because of that Sexy Yuu interfering with things. That leaves Chloe, so expect a Chloe arc starting next time.
Yep again, episode 6 is Chloe. It’s also a beach/swimsuit episode. Basically Sexy Yuu takes the girls to a fragment which is all little islands and beautiful beaches, with an AI service that delivers everything they want. The rest of the girls goof off a lot and play with cellphones while Chloe enjoys herself on a separate island. The key of the episode is that she likes to spend time alone, something the other girls reluctantly accept but worry about. So does Chloe, now that she’s living in a more communal place than Paris. Is it really okay to be alone much of the time? Meanwhile, there’s actual plot going on underneath. The girls are slowly being brainwashed by their phones, and maybe by the beautiful surroundings. Chloe, by herself, is the one to discover this. Meanwhile, I’m somewhat intrigued by Sexy Yuu. Earlier in the season she seemed like a threat, and she is of a sort, but she’s also driven by more childish impulses such as hedonism and lust, which makes her less dangerous but more fun. Whether she’s aware of the danger this fragment is threatening the girls with is anyone’s guess. She might have just wanted to ogle Asuka in a swimsuit.
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 4 brings Rimuru and some other guys to Dwargon, where dwarves and other types hang out. Naturally there is a complication at first as some goons wrongly take Rimuru and Gobta to be weak enough to beat up. That lands them in jail, where it just so happens that there is a need for healing potion, which Rimuru happily supplies. Then a blacksmith desperately needs to make twenty longswords made of magic ore, which Rimuru happily supplies in exchange for help for the goblins. That leads him to a elf-hostess club, and it’s all happy. Nothing seriously bad happens in this show, and Rimuru has a knack of being in the right place at the right time, also those superhuman abilities. Even so, it’s fun to watch. Rimuru is a likable slime who isn’t above some elf-lust.
Episode 5 brings the trouble that episode 4 warned about, but it pretty much turned out all right. Minister Vesta comes to the elf-club, pours a drink on Rimuru, and Kaijin the blacksmith punches him. So it’s a trial, where things get a little complicated. It’s a sham trial (the second once this post!), but Gazel Dwargo, the big boss, asks Kaijin to work for him again, but Kaijin is committed to Rimuru now, so it gets changed to exile, which is what they all wanted anyway. It’s obvious that Gazel has great fondness for Kaijin but can no longer help him, or vice versa–there’s a backstory here that the show will obviously return to it, if the anime is renewed, that is. And Vesta, in a strangely emotional scene, is dismissed from service, another plot point that will be of use … someday. What will happen sooner is Gazel’s mistrust of Rimuru, that “monster, like Veldora.” Probably a running, backstage story arc. Oh, I think they forgot Gobta again. No great loss.
Well, in episode 6 Gobta is shown to have some summoning power, so he might be of some use after all. Otherwise, it’s primarily an episode to introduce Shizu, the masked fire-expert, and the one who Rimuru is destined to be with, though she doesn’t know that yet. Behind her scary mask she’s actually quite sweet, and we spend some time learning her backstory–she was summoned to this world when she was about to get killed during an air raid, though the don’t explain why she gets taken away as a child and appears as a young woman. Next week we’ll learn more, I’m sure. Oh, and the three hapless adventurers show up again, but I can’t figure out if they’re going to participate in the plot or just pop in now and then for an infodump. And slowly, perhaps too slowly, a long story arc is forming.
Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume no Minai 2 makes me wonder where the story is going to go. Obviously it’s about puberty syndrome and they could do a lot in that direction, with our not-so-happy couple, Kaede, or Shoko the vanished girl (I wonder if Shoko suffered the same fate that Mai is suffering now?). In other words, Sakuta could go around trying to help everyone who’s got the syndrome. That’s what I thought it would be about when Mai announced that she was returning to show business and people could see her again, so her story would be a mini-arc to begin the series, like Araragi helping out Hitagi in that other series. But now people are forgetting Mai as well. Will the entire series be about her issues? I wonder if that will be enough to sustain the entire show, asides from the lab girl talking about the cat and other side bits. Also, partly, and to the credit of the series, I seriously want Mai to escape from the syndrome (which I think has something to do with how people observe adolescents and how that makes them observe each other), in spite of her often unfriendly behavior. They’ve done a nice job of making us feel for her situation. But again, is it enough?
Guess we’ll find out in episode 3.
So it looks like this show will indeed meander around looking at adolescence syndrome on others, though probably through the eyes of Sakuta. This episode is really in two parts–the first concerning Rio the Lab Girl’s hypothesis that people are forgetting about Mai partly through sleep–it helps to stabilize the mind or something, so it’s a long and impossible twelve minutes where Sakuta tries to keep awake AND take midterms. In a sweet and sad scene, Mai helps him study, slips a drug into his coffee, and says goodbye. But Sakuta and possibly Mai have left behind clues, one is Sakuta’s written account and the other, various kanji about responsibility and protecting, which Mai teaches him and indeed comes up in the exam. So we have a rush of memory, and Sakuta’s embarrassing attempt at “fighting the atmosphere” at school–embarrassing but it works. Too bad about his exam scores. So Mai is back. I’m glad about that. Now I wonder if Mai will actively help Sakuta as he helps to unravel the next adolescence syndrome difficulty, or if she will, to refer to Bakemonogatari, act like Hitagi, hanging around but staying on the sidelines saying snarky things as Sakuta does the work.
In Toaru Majutsu no Index 3 2 … er, right, so Stiyl is interrogating two people and learn that the Document of C can make Roman Catholics believe whatever the pope tells them, hence their anger at Academy City. Meanwhile, Touma falls to earth and meets Itsuwa, from the English Puritan Church, who tells him that the document is actually in Avignon, and the pope is using geoducts to communicate with it. So they go around avoiding mobs of Catholics and looking for the Geoducts. But also there’s the Right Seat of God, who have diluted original sin so much that they almost have the power of angels. Touma and Itsuwa run into one as the episode ends. I’m not sure how they’re connected with the Document of C … Did I leave anything out? Undoubtedly, even with all the notes I took. Oh, surely Itsuwa’s clothing must have dried out by now. She doesn’t have to keep wearing that revealing top. *Sigh* Index, Index, Index …
In episode 3 we get more infodumps, as convoluted as the last episode’s. Let’s see, the Right Hand of God people want to refine their abilities to become greater than God. HsPS-15s power suits can be disrupted somehow, not that that’s important. There’s something about “Light’s Execution,” which may or may not be put into use by the church now that they’ve killed Terra for victimizing innocent people while refining it. Nice to see some Church folk have a conscience, even if they’ve formed an alliance with the Russian church and are thinking of invading Japan. But the majority of the episode was spent with Touma squaring off against Terra and doing the things that make him fun to watch. He gets roughed up, spots Terra’s weakness, gives a righteous speech, and punches him in the Jaw. That’s Index’s standard arc-climax, and I haven’t gotten tired of it. One disappointment–Accelerator shows up but doesn’t do anything except interrupt Terra’s important speech about Imagine Breaker. Well, he does direct the Academy City bombers(!) to focus on the cathedral and not the entire town, to spare lives. Looks like both sides have humane people in them.
Yagate Kimi ni Naru 2, in slow and delicate Yuri fashion, sets up the girls in a basic relationship and works at least one side character, Saeki, in as well. She is hurt because Touko chose Yuu to be her campaign manager instead of her. Touko’s explanation, that Yuu, being a first year, will hopefully get more first years interested in the election, isn’t a great explanation, but it will have to do. Fortunately, because this is the kind of show this is, Saeki does not get irrationally jealous of Yuu, and instead lends her her full support–for now. As for our main couple, there’s one kiss out of the blue, with speeding trains and wind in the background. And, surprisingly, Yuu clasps Touko’s hand when they get jostled together posing for a photo, which surprised Touko. But despite that Yuu returns to her original line. She can’t fall in love, or doesn’t feel love. Touko says that’s fine–she’ll just love Yuu with no hope of return. You wonder if she means that, or she plans to win Yuu over. I think it’s the former. In spite of her appearance of having everything together, Yuu can be as awkward about things like this as any high school kid.
More slow and delicate in episode 3, but it’s complicated slightly by the elections and the speeches. Funny that normally such scenes, with the potential of a character screwing up, makes me a little anxious, but I had no worries about Yuu. Sure, she was nervous, but she sucked it up and even appended the speech to affirm that she would join the student council, too, for Touko’s sake. Yuu is showing more strength that I had thought. The scene right before it, when Touko revealed her own, more vulnerable side, so that Yuu had to comfort her, is another example. So it looks like their roles might be switched. Elsewhere, Yuu hangs out with some pals and sees through Akari’s lie concerning her own romantic woes. And the show plays around with the word “special” for a while. Yuu has no one special for her, Touko says that she wasn’t special at all as a child, but Yuu finds Touko’s admission of weakness as special. More little lights for the home planetarium Touko bought her.
I know, the new season has started, but lemmie finish the old one first, dammit!
In Hatarku Saibou the title of final episode, Hemorrhagic Shock #2, tells you all you need to know. Turns out our new Senpai and Kouhai were not sucked out of the body, but most of their red cell buddies were, and with not many cells left, they’re stuck delivering O2 to cells as fast as they can, possibly knowing that it won’t be enough. We learn that with this shock, blood pressure increases, not good for the cells stuck transporting on the side of a cliff with no room to go but down (or out). Also, body temperature goes down, so our girls are carrying their boxes through a snowstorm, where we get the “It’s useless” speech from the kouhai, and the “fight-on” speech from our favorite. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the tranfusion, which, when it comes, is amusing enough. The new cells are confused, as are the locals, but the day is saved for whatever body this is, not to mention the trillions of cells doing their job every day. There’s a happy segment where we meet everyone again, and that’s how the show ends–happily.
It was all predictable, because this was a predictable show. Most episodes start happily, there’s a threat, and the threat is disposed of. Along the way the creators roll out predictable side stories, like the Sensei/Kouhai bit in this last story, the cells training to be white cells, or Killer-T’s and nearly failing to make the grade, all the stories with roots that go way back in storytelling and weren’t told very cleverly here. One exception was the allergy episode with the mast cell and the antibody coming to blows was the exception, and that was the funniest episode. The show had to lean on its novelty of humanizing the cells (which was often amusing) and putting their daily routine using symbols we can understand. I think the red cells being the dependable delivery folk we see in Japan every day summed it up the best. And I learned some things about how our body worked, though it meant stopping the action for monologues. Still, even if I expected to be bored by the story every week, I still enjoyed watching. It was cute, happy, and occasionally clever.
Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight finishes with imagery and symbolism I can only begin to figure out. What I got, however, is that Hikari, believing that grasping for a star, big, little, or both, is a sin, and by shutting herself off in that pink desert she is atoning for the sins of all the others who have tried. Part of that means losing her memory, making herself Claire in the story. Karen manages to break Hikari out of her Sisyphean routine of building a hill out of pink stars and having a big star swing down and destroy it (little idea what that’s supposed to mean with the stars), but once she gets her memory back it means another battle, and Hikari wins again. All of this is cut off from time to time by passionate declarations by the giraffe and cuts to the other girls making nabe at their dorm and setting places for the two missing girls …
All of this is entertaining enough, but then the show turns the weirdness up further, and we get a spectacular rebirth of Karen, the pillars shining an image of Tokyo Tower, only to be smashed up by the big Tokyo Tower, which forms a bridge for Karen. The giraffe expounds excitedly about this being a continuation of the ending, i.e, a break from the cycle of grasping only to be cast down. Wakarimasu! However, for me, wakarimasen. While I love stories where such cycles are broken, I saw nothing from Karen that would allow such a rebirth–it came from nowhere. I get that Hikari realizes that Karen herself is the star she was trying to grasp, but I didn’t catch anything before that would lead to that.
Well, nevermind. The girls return and eat nabe and take up the two lead roles in a production that now has a happy ending. It didn’t entirely sink under the weight of its symbolism though it came close, and I like puzzling shows. I guess that’s why Revue Starlight and Planet With were my two favorite shows this season. Apart from the weirdness, the show did a fine job of fleshing out all of the characters, to the point where one of them was maybe more compelling than the stars. Also, it was great to look at. The camera was always taking an interesting angle to view things and the battle scenes were fluid and exciting. I understand that this show is part of a franchise and no one apart from the creators expected much from it, so for the anime to turn out this well is a testament to the people who made it. Well done. Now, on to the new season!
Hataraku Saibou begins their final story arc, a two-parter, and it doesn’t look very cheerful. It STARTS cheerful, with our Red cell getting another Red cell as a Kouhai. The new sempai is barely able to find her way around by herself, so much of the comedy is having her try to act like a senpai while screwing up, while the kouhai, obviously much more capable, politely defers and gives advice. On their way we meet the usual lot. The kouhai is appalled by the White cell, “distributing violence instead of justice,” delivering real-world judgment in a cellular world. Where is she from, anyway? But since the episode is entitled “Hemorrhagic Shock,” you know things are going to get bleak. We don’t know what happens, but it’s a disaster like the body hasn’t seen since …, well, last week with the heatstroke. While it’s nice to see senpai get a hold on herself before the kouhai does, we’re just waiting for the worst to happen, but we don’t really know. Just the tattered hat and gloves found by White, and nothing else. They weren’t going where the other cells were, so it seems more of a mystery than a real cliffhanger, especially when you hear Kana Hanazana in the preview bit for next week.
In Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight 12 we follow Karen in the weeks and months after Hikari’s betrayal, if that’s what it is. Karen makes countless efforts to reach her, and as the 100th performance comes up, she finds she has lost her mojo, her “shine,” if you will. It’s dragging the other performers down, and so while they’re sympathetic to her, there’s nothing more they can do and there’s talk of removing her from the show (Maya and Claudine have snagged the top spots, by the way). She tries to read the original book but the English is too difficult, so she spends all her time translating it word by word. Oddly, the other girls are very supportive of this, like they know something Karen doesn’t, that or it’s better than her moping. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the “Aha!”
It comes when she gets to the end and discovers that one of the girls in the book was imprisoned for reaching for that star, meaning they’ve been performing a show with a different meaning. Karen figures that Hikari was imprisoned somehow, maybe not to steal Karen’s shine. Karen breaks the elevator door (revealing stairs), and in a return to the show’s heavy symbolism walks down while the other girls each individually show up, spouts a strange line about being a stage girl and says they’ll see her on stage. Then there’s what looks like a futuristic memorial plaque, and inside it, presumably, is Hikari in a desert. Sorry about the straight plot synopsis; I usually try to avoid that, but I was trying to get my head around this episode, partly because you could argue that it’s actually Karen who is imprisoned, by her need for Hikari and her refusal to let go, though the latter is Banana’s job. Or maybe it’s both of them. But I believe the show intends us to know that Hikari deliberately chose that path, getting the wish and refusing to use it, so that Karen can shine on her own, but Karen can’t, not right now. So one more episode to go to reconcile the girls, then there’s that show to do, though it doesn’t seem very important now.
Planet With 12 ignores the appeal from the Paradise Person that last week’s episode ended with and goes straight into the battle, mainly, the Nebula Forces (nyan) and those other guys (wan) along with various aliens who are to supply the psychic power to hinder whatever the dragon does. With great effort (the scene aided by more heroic fanfares) they manage to get the dragon near the dimensional hole. The dragon, Azrabarakura, gets Souya to dream about his homeworld being destroyed and tries to get Souya to hate, want revenge, and be the dragon’s heir, but in a bit of anticlimax, Souya says “Nope, sorry,” and so the dragon is pushed into the hole–along with all the folks we know, who all get out except for the dragon and–you guessed it.
Now the forgiveness bit the last show hinted at so heavily returns. Ginko tearfully thanks the dragon (who now looks like some ancient tree-thing) for saving her home planet, Souya thanks it for that dream, etc. But it looks like they’ll be trapped in the hole as well, which would have made a logical, but unsatisfactory end–self-sacrifice is heroic and all, but Souya has people to live for now, like Nozomi, and you don’t want to break her heart. So in one more closure scene, the PP shows them the way out–the surface of Souya’s destroyed planet. Having spotted a flower and made peace there, the dogship appears to take them home. Really this is sort of an ending you see in anime, the two adversaries meeting and talking, the apparent doom of all the heroes to save the universe, and rescue appearing, to everyone’s surprise.
In other words, this often was like a standard anime battle show. The only differences were in the trappings, the aliens looking like company mascot figures, except for one maid-girl and a couple others, and the convoluted opening episodes when you didn’t know what side you should be rooting for. I guess you could say that these differences amounted to little more than a smokescreen for a traditional show, except that they gave the show a weird angle that made it more fun. The writing made it wittier than others as well. But in the end it all comes down to a boy pilot who doesn’t really want to fight unless he’s given a reason, and then who finds one. I normally don’t really care for such stories, but Planet With’s silliness sweetened the medicine for me.
After last week’s craziness, Planet With 11 starts off sedately enough, five years in the future, sort of a “Where are they now?” feeling to it even though the story isn’t over yet. Everyone except the ojiisan is still around, and we learn that they have psychic powers because of the armor that the dragon gave them … wait, why does Nozomi have powers then? She was the show’s standard normal, unpowered character. Well, nevermind. Souya is taller and more mature. No longer interested in revenge, he, with the encouragement of Ginko and all the aliens who have assembled near Earth to assist, want to forgive the dragon. It goes on in this nice way most of the episode until the dragon wakes up, and we find it’s the Paradise guy’s brother. Paradise guy looks like Souya’s lost brother, but little is made of the connection, or the fact that Souya first fought partly to avenge his own brother. And so, the metaphors are locking into place, and we’ll have the big battle, if there is one–probably a lot of forgiving violence, next week.
Harukana Receive ends, and for my money the wrong girls won. There’s just no way a relative beginner should advance against Eclair, no matter how good her teammate Kanata is. At least they didn’t delay the final point too much. There was an annoying Haruka memories bit before the last rally, and more ridiculous comments from courtside from Ai, or is it Mai, which they had to repeat twice. Still, it was over with over half the episode to go. After that it was tidying up. Harukana felt down for winning, Claire, of course, puts on her happy face and tells them to be happy. Eclair have to have a moment by themselves, of course, and then a beach barbecue party, and that’s about it.
So now the girls will go to nationals, and unless there’s a season two, we won’t get to see it. We still have emotional blobs about Kanata and Harumi to work out, so the creators have the material. But will I watch it? Well, season one wasn’t all that great, not bad, mind you, but nothing I would recommend to anyone unless they were into girls bouncing around in bikinis. Haruka, the main character, had the least dimension to her. Kanata was all right, but apart from her growth she couldn’t give that much, especially when the show didn’t cover the situation with Harumi, one of Kanata’s biggest character points. Claire and Emily were always fun to watch. Akari hardly had anything to do after she joined. The matches, as I said last week, weren’t all that exciting to watch. Too many slow-motion shots and the like. If there is a second season, well, I don’t know …
Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu finishes too, with the big battle between KlemSkulm and Diablo, which concludes in predictable fashion. Klem has Diablo running around for a while, he whips out some big magic which weakens Klem, but it takes the revived Rem to appeal to Klem before the battle can stop. After that there’s the decision of what to do with Klem. Sylvie doesn’t want her in the city, so Klem agrees to become Diablo’s slave. After that there’s the matter of Alicia. In perhaps a too-long scene, where everyone has to give speeches, all is forgiven and she leaves town. After that it’s more sexy time, of course.
Not a great show unless you like fanservice. The best moments came from Diablo, a human loner nerd who has to struggle with people in his life for the first time, lapsing into his demon lord persona because he had no other way to interact, yet also trying to be decent to these strange new people who need his help or not give into temptation when they pull off their clothes and hop into bed with him. Alas, none of the other characters had much going for them apart from their stock fantasy-world personas. I didn’t mind the fact that Diablo was overpowered and capable of winning every battle, I think because in its core this was a silly fantasy comedy and not a straight-up adventure series. As for a second season, I’d probably watch it. They have things they can work with, the Fallen and the Elves for example, and they can always invent a new race or two.
I’m not sure about how Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight is pacing itself. In terms of the giraffe auditions, everything is accomplished, we have a winner. Now, there’s going to be fallout from how it turned out, but it shouldn’t take two episodes to wrap up. Anyway, we have final audition day, and the girls are doing their usual off-say routines, rehearsing, cleaning, hanging out. Karen and Hikari revisit the aquariums, including the one that was closed, and reaffirm their goals, including an odd but lovely bit where Hikari speaks to the child Karen, then vice-versa, while the two as children watch from their theatre seats, beaming … except Hikari does a strange thank-you at the end of all this, a clear sign she’s thinking of something else. Back to the stage, it’s going to be a two-on-two battle, Karen and Hikari vs Maya and Claudine (who had been reaffirming their own goals to each other). Aha! So two girls CAN get to the star! Or so we think. Meanwhile I love how the girls who were left out get to watch from the balcony and eat bentos prepared for them.
As expected, Maya/Claudine go on the offensive. They’ve been dancing together for a long time now and know each other very well. But during a brief pause and silent nodding of heads, our heroines come roaring back. Frankly, while it’s not bad, it’s not one of the more amazing battles to watch. It feels more static than some. In the end, some nifty teamwork and sheer determination on Karen’s part gets the gold button from Maya. Here the show switches to two contrasting situations. Claudine is distraught that Maya could lose, but Maya tells her that it’s just one situation and she couldn’t have gotten this far without Claudine, so Merci. So those two girls are now closer than ever. As for the victors, they are surprised to learn that there’s one final battle, one-on-one. Hikari repeats her thank you speech from before, and well, while Maya and Claudine are closer, Hikari cuts the cord, so to speak, on Karen. The twist makes sense in terms of Hikari’s character, but I was still surprised by her cruel efficiency at it. … So again, it it going to take two episodes for then to become friends again? What else will happen. As I often say about this show: I have no clue.
Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu 11 is a pretty ugly episode all around. Basically, Rem and Klem get accosted in town by Saddler and Alicia, the latter actually being (and this is the only bright spot in the entire episode) completely EVIL, well, she worships demon lords who want to exterminate mortal beings, so close enough. A nice heel turn, though the rest of the episode is so dire I can’t get to excited. Anyway, they’re taken to a church where Saddler starts to torture Rem (not threaten to, but actually torture), while the distraught Klem is told by Rem not to interfere, even though she could use her powers not to hurt anyone but simply help them escape. Meanwhile, Diablo is running around without a clue until the light-show at the church when Klem REALLY wakes up. Okay, two bright spots in the episode, as Saddler is vaporized. Well, the series wouldn’t be complete unless we had a real demon lord vs. demon lord battle, but they didn’t have to get there by indulging in torture porn.
For a while now I’ve thought about things the body does that I want Hataraku Saibou to cover, and one of them was running a marathon. Well, episode 11 touches on that a little with a heatstroke episode. Man, this body can’t buy a break. It’s a shame that, apart from the educational aspect, it’s not that great an episode. Most of it is spent either with blood cells going around saying how hot it is, or White going after a bacillus cereus, who has the upper hand for too long and laughs way too much. And even the education voice-overs by the nice lady go on a bit, and all action stops while she’s talking. So we wait for the turnaround, which turns out to be a transfusion and general cooling down. I did like how the cells had no idea how the transfusion fluid was getting in. They have no idea what’s going on outside of the body, as I guess they shouldn’t. Finally, I would like to thank the creators for airing this episode in September, and not in July or August when it was miserably hot outside.
Island crosses the finish line in convoluted fashion, no surprise because time travel shows usually do. In the future, Rinne, distraught over sending Setsuna back to our time, and pregnant with Rinne, er, the young Rinne, apparently made another time machine which got her washed up on that beach, where she was taken in by that guy, became a maid, and when the family’s matriarch died, took on the role of Rinne’s (not Rinne, Rinne) mother, which she was anyway, and was renamed Kuon. Then Setsuna showed up. So Setsuna, close to proposing to young Rinne, would have been marrying his own daughter. So we get some confrontation bits, and young Rinne, in a moment of clarity and generosity that exhibits her growth (the best part of the episode) gives Setsuna and her mother her blessings. They get married for real and everybody’s happy.
But wait, what about the fact that the time machine wasn’t a time machine but a time-freezing device, so you can’t go back into the past. Or that nonsense about about history going through a cycle. If so, shouldn’t they try to break out of it? I would–I hate stories where the characters are stuck into a pattern they have to repeat, or at least have no control over. Yeah, so anyway the mechanics that make the story has a lot of problems, but time travel stories often do. Besides, it was only a device to tell a story, and this one wasn’t terrible. Setsuna and just about all the other cast members were fun to watch. I particularly liked Sara and her crazy hair. I enjoyed the tropical island setting and worried when they seemed to abandon it. A pleasant series to kill a half-hour this summer.