Death Parade: Episode 7

Yeah I had a boss like that, too, Nona.

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We open on Master Roshi-sama practicing his billiards game.  He lays out the three rules of arbitration.

-First, Arbiters cannot cease giving judgments, that is their very purpose. Their dharma, if you will.

-Second, Arbiters must not experience death, because the experience would make them too Human. Arguably too sympathetic? Lose their impartiality? Or would such an experience give them bias of a different kind?

-Third, Arbiters cannot experience emotion, because they are dolls.

Kurokami stumbles into the book among the many books about alcohol that populate Decim’s shelf. Yes, that book. That one she has dreamt of and her mother read to her as a child, so the flashbacks would imply.

But Decim has no idea where the book came from. He guesses it to be the property of Quindecim’s previous arbiter. Sparking flashbacks!

We meet Quin, who is leaving the job. Decim will be taking over for her.  Ginti and Decim are having a sort of orientation, similar to Kurokami’s in Episode 2, only they will be participating, having the buzzers which can cause mayhem with the game. We don’t see much about this particular arbitration, but they are playing billiards, a nice shout out to the original form of this series.

Decim makes up the drinks, and this convinces Quin that’s he’s perfect for the job! Oh Quin, I love you. Of course it’s very clear she’s overeager to be done with this job.

But Nona has a question. Why did Decim fail to use his device?  Decim apologizes, he was too distracted watching the pair’s behavior and what they were thinking.  Ginti laughs this off as Humans are idiots and even if you could discern their thoughts, it wouldn’t matter, it wouldn’t change anything.  But Decim thinks otherwise, and says he feels respect for anyone who has lived a full life.

Nona admires this, but as Decim was unable to discern their thoughts, she advises him to use their artificial means to create conflict in the future. It’s obvious she wants him to develop this skill, but she is the boss still, and needs a job to get done properly.

Quin offers one last piece of advice. Find something you treasure, no matter how small. Continue reading

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Yuri Kuma Arashi: Episode 7

Black helicopters!

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This week begins with Kureha’s mother telling her the final bit of that story, about how the girls live happily ever after, and we get confirmation that it was supposed to be Kureha and Ginko.

Back from credits, and Kaoru is sleeping with the teacher…I MEAN, THAT MYSTERIOUS BEAR THAT WILL TOTALLY KUMA SHOCK US ONCE SHE’S REVEALED! Speaking of, she eats Kaoru.

Kureha is keeping vigil over Ginko.  Like a human keeping vigil over a shrine guardian or something.  The pair are now officially accepted as a part of Kureha’s home, she trusts their good intentions.

In a reversal of previous episodes, it is now Kureha that has random fantasies about sex with Ginko.

But this seems involuntary.  Could these be visions produced by Kumalia?  We could write off Ginko’s that, maybe, she was too into Kureha, too prone to daydreaming.  But this is much more “against type”, and Kureha, while accepting Ginko and Lulu’s good intentions, still doesn’t harbor ROMANTIC feelings for either.  So the fact she has this elaborate dream sequence which tries to tell her enlightenment can be found in Ginko’s vag is a curious conspiracy theory.

Adding to this conspiracy theory of Kumalia’s influence, we see Kureha CONVENIENTLY start to piece together her past, that she once had a “special friend” before Sumika and that she might have been the girl in the story. Continue reading

Madan no Ou to Vanadis: Act 3

AT&T sucks.

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Our blurb has nothing to do with anime today. Just expressing the past week of dealing with the internet.

Our cliffhanger was so many lies. The new priestess Battle Maiden almost instantly retreats.  Her “badass exchange” with Roland isn’t anything to really preen about either. (“Is this wall of light magic?” No shit, Roland.)

But it’s okay, honestly, as this plays into her archetype, as she was just buying time before vanishing like a ninja. Two things of story signifiance then happen (right?), we flashback that Roland is oh-so-obviously being misled about his King’s intentions. Seems the old guy’s been sick for a while, so his evil viziers are basically running the show. Coming on the heels of this is that a new minor lord has joined the fight on Tigre’s side, outflanking Roland and forcing him to pull back.

Seems our new lord, Mashas, met Sophia, the preistess Maiden, when she saved him from assassins.  They came here as a unit to tell us “the king’s off his rocker”.  Tigre is not recovering well from his wound. Follow this up with some harem nonsense.

Roland is having second thoughts. He’s clearly a cautious man, demonstrated by his tactics.  Studying the political landscape more thoroughly, he is told Tigre has no real affiliation to Zchted beyond their recent alliance. This raises his eyebrow, as does the information that Thernadier is moving troops against Tigre’s lands in his absence dealing with Roland. We all see where this going, but at least to mix it up, Roland is consistent with his position as a landless general in that he is more concerned of the presence of a foreign army in his kingdom than he gives a shit about the nobles’ game of thrones nonsense.

Tigre, meanwhile, has arisen from his bed, compelled by his weapon to find this…misty temple thing. The resident goddess possesses Titties, because sure. Even goddesses want Tigre’s dick.

Actually she’s presenting him with a test. Shoot Titties, gain unfathomable power.

Well rather than just NOT shoot her, Tigre has to kaio-ken his arrow to explode JUST as it reaches Titties, blowing away all of her clothes. Of course, of COURSE that’s what would happen. For whatever reason, Tigre passes her test.

Why? What did THAT show that just NOT shooting her would?  Unless she was specifically testing if he HAD that ability to control his power so delicately. But if it’s, as she says, just showing his resolve, how is shooting an arrow KNOWING it won’t kill Titties any different morally from just not shooting Titties? Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Double Feature: Gokukoku no Brynhildr 7+8

…No, just insert your own joke. They’re all good.

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Yeah, more double features for this show. Can you blame me? It’s so boring.

One of the elements that made Elfen Lied work for me (and the twisted people like me) was Lucy’s nature as an antihero.   Not even antihero, she was an outright villain protagonist.  This helped drag the plot along because, while the situations themselves were quite average, it was basically a sequence of new opponents trying to kill her/capture her, the fact was that Lucy was a loose cannon and her reactions to these intruders was never what you’d expect.  Add in the Nyuu personality to the mix, and her behavior was downright unpredictable through the course of a fight or even a normal day in the life.

Lucy wasn’t the only one like this (though certainly the best example), many of the other characters had dimensions to them that spoke against the archetypes they filled.  They were still recognizable (Kouta as the kind-hearted harem lead, for instance) but there were always details threw wrenches into the tired storyline (Kouta, not one of the love interests, being the traumatized damsel in distress).

Kuroha, as Lucy’s counterpart in this series, does not have those shades to her.  She is quite average as the superpowered teenage girl, and quite average as the kind hearted protagonist.  There is no dynamic element to her character that could elevate the cliche plot beyond what it is. Because the story is not wowing us.  We desperately need an angle, any angle! to save it from the dustbin and it just is not happening.

So Ryota…you know I had to look up his name? That’s how average he is. Anyway, Keanu is talking to his gay his scientist friend. He needs to manufacture pills.  Sadly the process of doing so will take about six months.  The girls only have enough for one.  So he makes his top priority to check if the pill is a crystalline compound, in which case it will be much simpler to determine its components, maybe even in time for the girls.

So about seven minutes he later he calls Ryota to say that it is NOT crystalline, we just waved that in front of you so it would seem natural for Kuroha to hang out with students for no reason.  Don’t look so glum, though, Ryota, now Lore can’t use the pills to destroy the Earth, so that’s good news! Continue reading

Akuma no Riddle: Episode 7

Yaaaawn.

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Last week was a stellar outing.  Naturally, this week we return to the status quo.

…Damnit.

We’re not even trying anymore, are we? Just some cryptic words out of Shutou’s mouth for our teaser.  Even the show is like “Fuck, you’ve seen her face, you know who’s getting offed this week. Credits!”

So, after watching a particularly convincing death scene at the play…Sensei is still not the least bit suspicious.  This asshole HAS to know more than is being let on.

…Maybe the underworld types backing this Black Class outsourced to the Gokukoku no Brynhildr universe for labor.  If he was from that show, I’d buy it.

Even Haru isn’t that naive.

Shutou’s position in the credits, immediately following Kouko, seems to have been more than coincidence, as she has a rather elaborate scheme.  She’s reserved the…I’d call it pool, but it’s a damn waterpark.  As the girls are going through lockers for swimsuits, Haru stumbles into her letter, and BAM! Shutou has a collar-bomb around her neck. She’s given Tokaku a riddle to solve to learn the code.

Interesting note, Nio picks a full-body diving suit.

Really, the interesting bit is between Nio and Isuke.  We get a glimpse as to why Isuke may have been holding back all this time, as she speaks with Nio about the Organizer’s true intentions.  After all, at the start of this thing, she couldn’t wait to get the hell out of dodge.  But hearing about Haru’s “curse” and fighting Tokaku, Isuke has been oddly content to just bide time and watch.  Here she probes into Nio’s defenses a bit, supposing that something is being tested, but she can’t put her finger on what.  Nio, evading at first, finally tells her to shut her mouth and stay in her place.

Savor it, dear viewers.  The rest is going to follow the normal formula.   Continue reading

Double Feature: Knights of Sidonia 6+7

After this I’m never trusting Japan with the giant robots who can save the Earth.

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After a recap of pee the last few minutes of the rescue plot, we see a news report being watched by Kunato.  He seems to be moving past his knee-jerk reaction to Tanikaze.  Wow, that is just swell of him for such a complete douchebag until now!

Well Tanikaze is walking down the halls and everyone’s his super best friend now that he’s a hero.  Wow, you people sure aren’t shallow at all.

Kobayashi is having a council meeting with the immortal wiggling computer jackasses.  She rather openly mocks them.

So, a few things I’m still unclear of about this council.  They SEEM to be in charge, as they believe that they can just order Kobayashi to execute Tanikaze at their whim when he becomes inconvenient.  But at the same time we see she ignored their decisions for the route the Sidonia is currently traveling, and she openly mocks them for only caring about their own immortality.

…Admittedly hard to live forever when you’re walking through the Gauna’s backyard, Kobayashi.

Still, the fact that it’s implied Kobayashi knew this was a possibility suggests something to her motives, but what those are isn’t entirely clear yet.  And we see some of those in a discussion with her secretary, saying she may need to take drastic measures to deal with the anti-war movement.  The Gauna certainly exist, no one can argue that anymore like before, but the cost with the manufactured earthquake and shit is causing lots of people to reconsider their leadership’s stance.

…I’m going to be very disappointed if Kobayashi only wants a totalitarian society she can effectively control so she can masturbate over how everyone jumps when she tells them to.

…Actually that’d be kind of hot. I’m torn. Continue reading

Black Bullet: Episode 7

Until I can tame the frothing beast within…

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Well, TLDR, take everything I said last week about where Black Bullet was slipping, and magnify it.  If your gut reaction was “Wait, how did it get worse?” Worry, not, dear reader! We have you covered.

First, let’s recap the five problems I had.

1) Too much focus on Rentaro.

2) Absence of Enju.

3) Laughable villains

4) Awful pacing (admittedly, this existed in early Black Bullet)

5) Loss of the apocalyptic atmosphere.

Well right from the starting line, we’ve just about reached zen with issue 2.  Enju has been beaten into a coma by Tina.  Yep, Rentaro’s going to wear the big boy pants and save the world ALL BY HIMSELF! Aren’t you excited for his special day?

For the record, it is at this point that I am done. Lack of Enju was bad enough when she was in the background cracking sex jokes and then ignored.  Now we’ve just cut out the pretense.  I’ll get into this at the end.

After the credits, which are still queer, Rentaro and Kisara are watching over Enju in the hospital. Rentaro collapses from exhaustion.  Well, Black Bullet, you win this much: you’re equal opportunity by giving Rentaro a totally pointless shower scene.  He’s complaining about how Tina’s rank is far higher than his own, and how without Enju he’s doomed.

See how easy that was to say? Well it escaped the writers on Black Bullet, because this scene drags on for almost 2 mins.

Oh, the jerkass bodyguard arrives and says that now that Rentaro lost Enju, he doesn’t need to be Seitenshi’s bodyguard.  So while you might THINK the scene has changed, it’s really an extension of the last one.

We all know why this is happening, to set up low expectations so we cheer when Rentaro beats the bad guy.  There is no tension anymore.  Kagetane held our interest because Black Bullet could go in ANY direction! It was keeping its options open by not following any single formula.  Yeah that’s not the case here.  Continue reading

Sakura Trick: Episode 7

I know last time I made a joke about how Kotone was a sadistic dominatrix…but…even I am shocked I’m this good.

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Kotone wins. She just wins. Sorry, Haruka, you had a good run and all, but Kotone has such a lead in favorites points, that there is no way for the Pope to catch her now. There is no denying this fact.

We opened with the girls being “late” to something.   But the important part here is that Haruka and Yuu steal a kiss…all while Shizuku and Kotone are in full view.  They’re getting casual about this, and it’s starting to get them almost caught.  This isn’t exactly important this episode, and it’s never referenced again, but there is a recurring theme a bit of the girls getting a little comfortable with their relationships.

But as to where they will be late to, turns out it is Kotone’s pool. Yes, Kotone has a pool.

Despite her living with Shizuku and sharing a bedroom, Kotone is from a fabulously wealthy family. And it doesn’t take long for the titular wardrobe malfunction.  Poor Mitsuki…

Just a nice after-party for the festival.  And it turns out that Haruka, Mitsuki, nor Shizuku can swim. Interesting, as this pool party was Shizuku’s idea, and she is evasive as to why she picked it.

And, as you can see above, Kotone isn’t going to have that.  The look on her face as she drops the inflatable for the whip is priceless, and the music playing along is just the best.  It wins not only best gag award, but my love as well!

We’re pretty deep into the episode, about eight minutes already, and there have been quite a few good gags, and the fanservice, while THERE, isn’t as obnoxious as it could be.  The worst of it comes when Mitsuki arrives, but the fact that it is the living embodiment of a troll-face Kaede that’s attacking her, elevates it -slightly- to the point where I don’t feel the need to facepalm, at least. I think because it’s being honest that she’s doing it to get a rise out of Mitsuki, and the show isn’t insulting our intelligence by making it “innocent” breast grabs. We know why it’s there, they know why it’s there, and even Yuzu knows why it’s there.  No need to stand on ceremony.  So while I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoyed the fanservice, I also was much more willing to suspend my disbelief because…that’s just Sakura Trick.

But, in a most surprising twist, Sakura Trick decides that the beach episode is the time to hit us in the feels.

…And fucking how. Damn, guys, you made full body contact on this one. Continue reading

Noragami: Episode 7

*Twitch, twitch*

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There’s nothing wrong with averting expectations. I want to make that very clear before I explain a little grudge I have against the finale of this episode.  But in so doing, you need to do -something-, because otherwise you feel like you’re treading water.  And really that’s the feeling I have right now: that Noragami is stalling for time.  Or, even worse, is more aimless than it originally let on.  Which was pretty aimless to begin with.

However an important part of this week comes at the very begining, that of greying the sides in this conflict between Yato and Bishamonten.  We meet the latter at her bath with her regalia, Kazuma.  Kazuma is relieved that his master is set on getting rid of the phantoms she feels responsible for. He raises his voice at her, but she is already planning to take care of them first before going back after Yato.

After the credits roll Hiyori is bringing snacks to Yukine.  It doesn’t exactly bug me, it certainly helps with the masquerade and all, but this is really just all part of one big point to mess with your expectations.  Nay, to turn your expectations into desires.  I’ll explain this when we get to the REAL crime this episode.

Anyway, Yato is waiting for her instead.  Yukine ran away, and Yato doesn’t really care, so long as he’s around when the monsters show up.

Surmising it’s most logical that Yukine be at Tenjin’s, Hiyori goes there. Yukine WAS there, but Tenjin turned down making him a regalia.  The reason would be he would become a Nora.  It seems to be a title, not a specific name (though perhaps one inspired the other).  Now, Tenjin’s regalia blush as if he’s talking about something dirty, thus reinforcing my opinion of Tenjin as a dirty old man.  This explains why Nora had SO MANY marks on her arms and legs. Nora aren’t trusted because they have divided loyalties.

Oh is that a fact Noragami?  Oh-ho-ho-ho-hoooo…we’ll be getting to THAT soon as well. Continue reading