Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru 6

In the first half, a party is thrown at the cafe for Tatsuko two days prior to her birthday, only for everyone to find out that its actually Kon’s birthday. Hotori gives Kon an old box with a Japanese love charm inside, while Tatsuko gets an African mask, which she promptly tries to sell to the very store Hotori got it from.

In the second  everyone has to make a website for class. Not owning a computer herself, Hotori invites herself over to his place with Tatsuko in tow. He doesn’t have a scanner, so they leave, but not before accidentally discovering his print porn stash. Sanada had furiously cleaned his room and deleted all of his computer porn before the girls arrived, but all for naught.

Hotori and Tatsuko visit a very ill Kon, and they learn she owns thousands of CDs, plays the bass, and is a pussycat when sleeping. After tending to her, Tatsuko also gets sick, then Sanada, and even the Cafe’s proprietor; everyone except Hotori. This, after she said idiots don’t catch colds. As usual, Hotori’s intellect remains hopelessly scatological, while Soredemo remains an eminently watchable, enjoyable slice-of-life comedy. Rating: 3.5

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Panty & Stocking 7

P&S was on top of its game this week, first delivering a hilarious parody of Transformers, likening their sibling bickering to the ages-long battle between Autobots and Decepticons. They eat their respecive allsparks and become robots themselves, and fight a proxy war until Optimus and Megatron make up and merge into a intergalactic ghost that P&S quickly exterminate, (netting them a Ducktalesesque sea of extremely de-valued foreign Heavens) then return to fighting like nothing happened.

Part two was even better: Panty & Stocking’s frivilous purchases of sweets and aphrodesiacs have put the church $3 million in debt, and the Heavens they make by slaying ghosts are worthless on Earth. So they embark on a number of jobs in which either their stunning looks or general idiocy gets them fired from every single one without making a cent. Desperate, they hit the Casino and quickly make more than $8 million before the proprietors – the Demon Sisters – find out they’re there and rig the games, relieving P&S of all their bounty. It then turns to strip poker, and a lucky sneeze from Panty makes the ball land on 7, thereby hitting the jackpot, releasing a puny ghost that’s quickly squashed, and sending the Demons running once more.

The animation was taken up a notch in this episode, with more realistically-, exquisitely-rendered shots of P&S than ever. The juxtaposition of realistic, Samurai Jack, and live action explosiong styles adds a richness no other series this season can quite match, combined with a pulsing soundtrack that makes you want to move, even though you’re trying to watch a tv show. Rating: 4

Kuragehime 4

Tsukimi had a lot of firsts in this episode: first time wearing a kimono; first time making eye contact with Kuranosuke; first time hugging a man (Shuu); and first time essentially going on a date with two guys (although one of them is dressed as a woman for half the time). By the end of the episode, all of the tolerance she built up becomes too much and she cracks. Shuu accidentally seeing her half-dressed is the kicker.

But most importantly, we learn two vital facts about Tsukimi and Kuranosuke. Tsukimi has been writing to her mother all this time, but she’s dead. Kuranosuke is estranged from his mother and doesn’t know how to reach her, due to the scandal it would cause his father. Kuranosuke is also jealous of the apparent chemistry between Shuu (a 30 year-old virgin) and Tsukimi (a 20 year-old virgin). He can’t believe this, especially since he can have absolutely any woman he wants with a single text.

Kuragehime has been a joy to watch, as all of its characters are full of life and energy, virtually bursting out of the screen. The more new experiences Tsukimi has, the more interesting her character becomes. She and Kuranosuke are extremely fun to watch. I also find opening song is also ridiculously catchy. Rating: 4

Shinryaku! Ika Musume 6

Ika Musume keeps chugging along at full steam with fresh and original comedic situations. For instance, everyone at a hero show would be perfectly willing to consider the Squid the antagonist, but obviously not Ika. She gets the crowd behind the Squid and against the human superhero. Then Chizuru intervenes. Chizuru is a strange one: she obviously has almost-superhuman fighting skills herself, and is more than a match for Ika. Is that just a part of her character, or is there a specific reason for it that hasn’t been revealed yet? We’ll have to see.

In part two, we discover that Ika is a total math prodigy, and tries to use it as leverage against Eiko…who isn’t. It all goes well until Ika finds out that math isn’t all that useful in everyday life (though she’d probably make a fine engineer!). In part three, Gorou saves Nagisa from a big wave. Believing everyone to be brainwashed by Ika, she resolves to protect Gorou from the ‘squid person’ with everything she’s got, just barely concealing how terrified she is beneath the surface. The episode ends with a handy organization of relationships: [Sanae] likes Ika likes Nagisa likes Gorou likes Chizuru. Poor Eiko is left out. Rating: 3.5