Hyakka Ryouran 5

Another samurai girl is introduced – Naoe, voiced by Aki Toyosaki – an old friend of Sanada’s who was hired by Princess Sen’s brother to spy on the dojo. She’s not very good at subterfuge, however, and everyone is immediately suspicious of her. Also, she isn’t a threat, because Sanada can now transform into a master samurai at will.

Not just Sanada, either. When eavesdropping on Sen and Jubei, Naoe misunderstands the situation and believes Muneakira is running a harem. Naoe is a woman of spotless moral fiber, and invokes the name of Ragaraja when challenges Muneakira to a duel. Guilty over the burden he’s placed on Sanada, he simply lets Naoe whale on him until Sen intervenes, eventually kissing Muneakira and transforming into a master just as Sanada did.

Naoe retreats, but she’ll definintely be back. So it’s official, Muneakira is a master samurai maker. As usual, the character design and art direction remains above reproach, and even the dialogue has been tightened up a bit as the chemistry between characters has begun to gel. We’ll see if the improvement is cumulative. Rating: 3

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Psychic Detective Yakumo 5

There were quite a few issues left to resolve last week, and thankfully most of them were in this episode. Haruka is abducted by the doctor (who turns out to be bad) and is dropped into a river where the guy’s daughter died. His hope is that his daughter’s spirit will possess Haruka and she’ll be resurrected. Which begs the question: won’t Haruka, the vessel, just drown in the water?

Anyway, Yakumo and Gotou arrive just in time and save Haruka, which leaves the possessed news reporter. The guy possessing her was the one who kidnapped girls for the doctor (he made numerous attempts to resurrect his daughter in this way) and he killed him so he wouldn’t blab to the cops. Anyway, this dead guy releases his hold on the reporter when he sees the doctor is in custody. After all, possessing somebody can’t bring you back from the dead.

That leaves…the sunglasses couple. The man is apparently Yakumo’s father, and even helped the doctor capture Haruka. The question is, why is he doing this to Yakumo, why is he involving Haurka, and what is Yakumo going to do about it? Inquiring minds want to know. Rating: 3

Arakawa Under the Bridge x 2 4

Homemade films and haunted houses are the order of the week under the bridge. Specifically, P-Ko recruits…Recruit to direct a film using a script she’s written, and hilarity ensues. Unfortunately, Billy the pigeon-headed hitman declines to participate, which is a shame, because I love that guy.

The haunted house segment pits Ric against the best efforts of his underbridgemates to frighten him, with mixed results. His scariest encounter turns out to be an accident, when Nino puts glasses on him from behind and he ends up in a mirror, and thinks he sees his father.

At the end of the day though, this episode kinda seemed to be in cruise control. I just wasn’t feeling it. It was funny enough, but not nearly as engrossing as last week, when Ric upset Nino. This seemed more…static. It didn’t innovate the way I know it can. Rating: 2.5