Star Driver 3

Star Driver 3 continues the pattern of the previous episodes – some school slice-of-life, followed by ominous Glittering Crux meetings (featuring many of the same people from school with alter-egos), followed by another challenge to Takuto, the Galactic Pretty Boy. He wins again thanks to an ace-in-the-hole, but the battles he fights to protect Wako are getting successively tougher. The scenes on the high school trophy wife’s massive yacht were pretty weird, but they formed a nice parallel to the later cybody battle and also helped flesh out both her and her two servants, who became more significant than I’d predicted.

I really enjoy the sudden transition from real life to zero space in which the cybodies duel. Wako for instance is just sitting in her bedroom, in the middle of a text when everything goes monochrome, and she’s just like; “Oh great, here we go again.” The return to the real world is just as abrupt, and it’s a nice touch when she revises her text after witnessing another victory by Takuto. Could she be coming around? Rating: 3.5

Bakuman 3

Moritaka and Akito are granted access to Moritaka’s late uncle’s studio, the base from which their goal of having an anime by age 18 commences. There were many moments of unease for Moritaka as he looked through the untouched studio, as it seems to hit him in these moments exactly how hard he’ll have to work in order to fulfill his dreams.

He also realizes that it was precisely that work that killed his uncle; he didn’t commit suicide. A call to his father (the first time he’s ever called him) is surprisingly poigniant and reassuring. Despite his father’s distance, he still remembers reading manga to his son, and fully supports his choice to become a mangaka.

It struck me how open and unconcerned Miho’s hottie mother was when two high school guys show up and tell her they read all her letters. She even wishes Moritaka good luck with her daughter. Things are going according to plan so far, but there still a manga to be written and drawn. Presumably called….Bakuman? Rating: 3.5

Arakawa Under the Bridge x 2 2

This episode deals with two outsiders: an amazon woman and her three tengu assistants, and a representative of Earth defense forces. Neither are serious threats to Recuit’s crew, but rather turn out to be just as nutty. The entire episode is nutty, in fact.

Recriminations are made, ice cream novelties are eaten, and various sea life is shoved into the mouth. Billy, the romantic with the pigeon head, had some of the funniest lines; I am constantly amused by the weirdo and his lover. The ending sequence was all live-action with Hoshi and Kappa, which was quite surreal and a little unnerving. Rating: 3