Inou -Battle: Act 3

I already told you, I don’t have any money! 

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So, Andou has a sister. I adore her because she kicks him. We need more of that in this series to offset the awfully cliche harem.

We’re getting some insights into Hatoko’s relationship with Andou this episode. They’ve been close for a very long time, arguably best friends, though we have had no inclination of this prior to this episode. Yeah, that’s what I’ve come to expect from you, Inou-Battle, just raise a plot point you never bothered to work on, and expect us to give a damn.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Tomoyo stuff is actually MORE interesting because at least that stuff has something resembling a dramatic backstory. Tomoyo’s constant bitching about Andou’s fantasy-oriented head and the reveal she was an aspiring author, that’s what we call development, such as it is.

But the Hatoko stuff? It’s weighing this episode down like an anchor.

And THEN she goes crazy, because wimminz, Amirite?

No, I’m gonna count. Three minutes. That’s 180 seconds. Of Hatoko screaming her crazy pet peeves about how Andou doesn’t appreciate her company.

We then follow it up by showing us the foreshadowing to this meltdown….after the meltdown.

Tomoyo? You’re fucking doomed if you’re being taught to write by the people who wrote this shit.

And more cliche harem drama. You know how it is.  Andou thinks for a moment that he was a bother to one of his harem hens, and the other harem hens slap him out of it, because no, NO harem hen could be unhappy with Andou’s penis!

The one saving grace of this episode is the return of Vampire-senpai.

This is, quite literally, the worst episode we’ve had. At least we’re more than halfway through this crap.

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Episode 8 begins! Oh look at the show, it thinks it has a plot! Isn’t that just adorable.

While Vampire-senpai kidnapped Hatoko (or at least that’s what it looked like last time) we open on a different battle entirely. But that’s exactly what we’ve come to expect from Trigger plotting. I’m not saying this element doesn’t have its place, but for once, show, FOR ONCE I give a damn about what’s happening on screen, and you detour.  I don’t have enough faith in you that I ask “Oh, I wonder where this is going. I trust this series to give me an interesting ride” rather than “Oh, they have no idea what they’re doing, do they?”

Admittedly, it characterizes Vampire-senpai quite well. We’ve seen him as a big brother, twice (to varying degrees), so it’s nice to get the contrast of how he treats his enemies. In one of the few clever things this series has done, it leaves us questioning how our heroes will now be treated, little siblings or dead meat. Don’t worry, this will be undone before it even matters, because this show likes trying REALLY hard to beat competence to death.

We get our fittingly Trigger explanation of the premise. Faeries are using their powers to give Humans powers. It’s for sport. Kind of “Gladiator” meets reality-TV meets Harry Potter.  Or maybe more accurately, Deadman Wonderland as everyone has a single power.

There’s also a “rogue” faction (whatever the hell that means) called F that’s producing super powered users.

What motivates Vampire-senpai’s group is that the Final 8, those who survive long enough, will get their wishes granted.  Enough that it means shifting alliances won’t immediately dissolve because Highlander politics, but small enough for people to act on their own best interests. Clever.

And…is the fairy in a lesbian relationship with Hitomi? Fuck it, I’ll take it at this point.

In a clever bit, that whole conversation from Episode 3 is given context. We follow this group around but getting to the point, they wanted to kidnap Sayumi, but ended up with the wrong one. Those wacky kids.

Speaking of Sayumi has summoned Hatoko back to them at night. They’re with Chifuyu, in the club room, because this show isn’t made of money, come on!

And, in a fitting metaphor for this series, as Andou tries to open up to Hatoko, the girls lean in like something important is happening, when he bursts into dramatics and they all look incredibly bored.

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Episode 9 had a good line. “Dumber than Andou is a derogatory phrase”.

And more absolute harem antics. They’re also god awful boring. Not even Machine Doll was this boring.

Again, like KILL la KILL, just because you’re self aware of your foibles doesn’t mean they AREN’T foibles.

The only thing worth noting is some fairy-thing trying to contract with Sayumi to win Andou’s heart. It’s harem drama, but at least its harem drama that has a shot at being interesting.

Inou-Battle is trying to string ALL kinds of cliche drama from its harem plot this episode. Be that Sayumi’s deal with Mephistopholes here, or Tomoyo-Hatoko talking out their mutal love of Andou’s dick, because hey, that’s what women talk about right? Or Chifuyu’s blossoming love as the self-superior girl realizing she has feelings for the inferior Andou.

It’s basically all cliche harem climaxes in one.  It might actually be funny if they weren’t so…beige in its execution.  It’s not that it’s executed badly…that has never been Trigger’s problem with this series (or its last one). It’s just that same theme: there is nothing NEW that makes the dynamic anything more than tired, predictable trite 20 years behind its time.

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