With the holidays rapidly approaching, I have been trying to finish things off as far as the usual stuff. Buying gifts for people (which I can do well), then wrapping them (which I can’t do so well) is a surprisingly normal thing to do. Now as far as the shows that have been airing, it’s been pretty much the same. Conclusions are approaching, so the final twists and turns are being written. And there was plenty of that this week.
Currently Airing Top 5
So Koko’s plan is revealed to everyone in this episode. Technology designed to completely control the skies and in her mind end all war. I think the grand plot is pretty stupid and would be parody material for the genre, but that’s not what really makes this twist actually work. While it appears that Jonah has the classic decision of weighing a number of lives against world peace, it isn’t that simple.
Jonah ends up paired with Lutz in the kidnapping mission in Cuba. Lutz’s objection to the mission was really the first time that anyone on Koko’s team had actually questioned if what they were doing was the right thing. Which I believe was Jonah’s role in Koko’s mind. If he validated what she was doing from the standpoint of a (relatively) innocent child, then she must be doing something morally correct. So Jonah’s obvious objection to her plan, and the reaction from those affected by the cult of personality she has built around her will prove interesting next week.
This is pretty much the depiction of the best day of Mutta’s life to that point here. But first, we get one reject call from JAXA as Mizoguchi gets the bad news. It’s clear that the reason he was rejected had a lot to do with the fact that he lived alone and had never dealt with dissenting opinion as he made his way through life. So back to Mutta. He was all nervous about the fact that he had not been called yet and when he was, he was called out to the park. And there he was greeted by a man who had been a part of his life for longer than he could remember. The very person who told him that he himself just didn’t have the luck to become an astronaut when he was a child was now giving him the news. Was there a deep message in this even though he was probably the most influential person in getting Mutta this far within JAXA? No, he was simply there to give Mutta the news he wished he had been given himself. A teary-eyed Mutta struggled to hold his composure in the shape of the good news. It was hard not to feel the same as he did myself. Now Mutta must compose himself for the all important press conference ahead.
Sukitte Ii na yo
In this week’s episode, Mei and Yamato make a trip to Land, while Megumi is confronted by her own personal demons. The relationship between Mei and Yamato moves slowly as they visit Land with a trip to a hotel overnight at the end of it, however Nagi appears with the sole purpose of cockblocking her older brother. The real dramatic story, however, has to do with Megumi. Frustrated that she can’t get Yamato to like her, she forces herself to try to be liked by everyone else, but her younger days as a tall awkward child loom large in her mind. That inferiority complex drives people away from her, and reading comments on the internet disparaging her sent her over the edge. She clearly has a few people who care for her, but does she even want to acknowledge it?
Zetsuen no Tempest
The improvement in this show has been remarkable even as the recent episodes have taken place in three static locations. On the actual battlefield, Evangeline is saved in the most silly way possible as Junichiro steps in and praises her for how her body moved on the battlefield. He then goes about completely owning Natsumura without having to use magic. On the rocks, Yoshino manages to come up with the plan that would bring Hakaze back from the island. Because magic in this show can pretty much do anything at this point. While on the island, the fact that the logic of the world dictates that Hakaze wins means that she has to look for a sacrifice there. And finally, the sheer amount of coincidences seem to lead to someone more powerful than Hakaze being behind everything that has happened so far. I have a pretty good idea who that is.
To Love-Ru Darkness
Yami’s past continues to pay her a visit in this episode that is more back story. It’s about how she had a loving relationship with Tearju before being turned into a weapon. Having thought to have been abandoned by Tearju, there’s surprisingly mixed feelings about her from Yami. Then, Mikado managed to bring Tearju in as Rito’s new homeroom teacher and she comes across as a real person who felt terrible about the circumstances for having to leave someone she loved behind. On the downside for this episode, unfortunately is the Mikan/Momo scene on the stairs and the latter’s delusions about Yami and Rito. Plus the completely contrived way Tearju believes her relationship with Rito had changed after Lala’s invention teleports them to Yami with only minimal clothing on.
The Rest of the Week
Hayate no Gotoku Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Now this was much better this week from Hayate. The complete change in Hayate’s character is properly explained as the watch containing the soul of the person who was last stabbed by the sword inside which in this case happened to be Nagi’s father. It leads to a touching conversation between him and Nagi over Yukariko. Even the silliness of this series seemed to return in the form of Yukiji trying to get her money back. I’m now looking forward to how this story about dealing with loss concludes.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
This show seems to be a roller coaster every single week. Last week Sorata had decided that Mashiro should go back to England to work on the art and the mood was pretty much depressing. This week was one of those recovery episodes as the real trauma of this arc was Rita’s inability to act on her own desires. So it appears everything works out in the end for everyone in Sakurasou as the cultural festival approaches. It just feels like the momentum of this show will take it back into the emotional depths again.
The gang goes on one of those tests of courage throughout the school after Kyousuke had set a series of traps. Much hilarity ensues until they discover something in the building that shouldn’t actually be there. It ends up being an eagle that Kyousuke kept as a pet when he was a kid, which had coincidentally been forgotten by the rest of the crew that was around at that time. Kengo and Masato happen to discover real ghosts but that’s quickly forgotten. I couldn’t really find it in me to really hate anything about this episode, but it is about as bland an episode of a Key adaptation as a I can remember.
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb
It was a pretty standard Yoshinoya episode followed by a pretty standard Natsume episode this week. So in a nutshell that is everyone joking about how unreliable Yoshinoya is. Then and episode in which Natsume blushes a lot as Sae talks to her or is even mentioned in conversation. The highlights of those parts is Yoshinoya’s alarm clock message which encourages her irresponsibility. That is followed in the second half by a gift exchange in which Natsume gets a long cat pillow and Nazuna ends up giving a handkerchief and an expensive watch to Nori, because she won the watch for buying the handkerchief. It’s pretty much a perfectly average episode which Hidamari seems able to put up every week.
The monopole falling from the sky was a fun bit simply because it had Kai and Subaru in an absurd situation talking about their predicament in a way normal people probably would. However, this episode was really about Aki having to learn about why her sister’s robot design didn’t work. Subaru then gives her a proper design for a robot they can build with JAXA’s involvement, and Kai inspires the idea to use Augmented Reality to make it look like the Gunvarrel. It’s a triumph of pragmatism over idealism, and I’m sure the original robot will just be forgotten though.
This show doesn’t seem to take place too far in the distant future, but it seems rather shocking just how much the people in this series have forgotten about the past. This week’s episode was a classic take on The Most Dangerous Game as Kougami and one of Akane’s friends try to survive being hunted down by Senguuji and his robotic hunting dogs. Fortunately, Makishima has given him all the tools he needs to survive and lead to a contrived victory here and in future episodes a confrontation between the two. It was really amazing how little drama there was in this episode.
Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne
In this week’s Oniai high concept episode, Nasuhara elects not to wear panties. Thus an entire plot is built around her trying not to have this fact discovered by anyone else as the group tries to search through the woods for something. The girls also all happen to be afraid of ghosts which combined with the opportunity to be with Akito means they search together. Much “hilarity” ensues. Then, there’s a little back story involving Nasuhara and Akiko’s relationship from when they first met in elementary school. Followed by terrible delusions of Akito having children with all of the girls as dreamt by the editor who has been sick for at least the last four episodes. This probably wasn’t the worst Oniai episode (the swimsuit one clearly), but this was painfully rubbish.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
I think it’s fair to call this a depressing episode, but it is ridiculously over the top in doing so. It’s worth remembering that the characters in this show are in the same age range as those in Sakurasou, but that show has the emotional complexity that this show wishes it has. So this week Yuuta pretty much went around stealing the childhood from Rikka and Dekomori and making them cry. There is no resilience in these characters at all, and it makes the melodramatic turn feel forced.
Updated Fall Seasonal Average Ranking
|Season Rank||Year Rank||Change||Anime|
|1||2||–||Sukitte Ii na yo|
|4||16||↑2||Zetsuen no Tempest|
|5||18||↓2||Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo|
|8||29||↓1||Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You|
|9||30||↓1||Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai|
|10||33||↓1||Seitokai no Ichizon Lv. 2|
|11||34||↓1||Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb|
|13||37||↑2||To Love-Ru Darkness|
|14||40||–||Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!!|
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu ~Finale~
The finale can’t come soon enough here. So Haruka finally makes amends with her friends from middle school who made fun of her for having otaku hobbies. Plus, Haruka and Yuuto confess their feelings for each other following a fun time at the summer Comiket. However, Haruka’s mother steps in an unilaterally decides that her daughter must marry someone else. Yeah, that totally came out of left field. Why couldn’t it end at the halfway point of this episode again?
The Worst of Terribad Part 2
This week’s selection from the second half of the year included a lot of anger. Much of it at the stupidity of characters and just what was happening on the screen. Action got underway with the 15th episode of the 2nd season of Phi Brain. This is better known as the “Puzzle Dog” episode. It’s got the usual silliness that comes with that show. Dogs that solve puzzles, and ridiculous hair. I think the worst offense was that it just wasn’t as camp as a normal Phi Brain episode.
The came the 3rd episode of Nakaimo which was really offensive for a number of reasons, mainly the attempt to cure the perceived gay in the main character. Also I wished I hadn’t watched the Bluray version for a variety of reasons. That was followed by Accel World episode 20, which was full of rage and Haru stuffing his face at every opportunity. The 8th episode of Oniai was already covered here. And the grand finale…
SAO 24 officially counts as an enhanced interrogation technique—
Emperor J (@emperorj) December 16, 2012