Kuragehime 6

Developer Lady gets into full body-as-weapon mode, slipping a mickey into Shuu’s drink, getting him in bed with her, and snapping pics. Meanwhile, Kuronosuke finishes making everyone over to the extent they’re able to go to a night cafe without looking out of place. This was good practice for the sisterhood, as they’ll have to not only look the part but act the part when initiating battle with the developers to save their nunnery.

Throughout the evening, Made-over Tsukini continually catches Kuronosuke’s eye. He’s clearly got it bad for her, which he believes to be incredibly “uncool”, considering its typically the girls that fall for him, not vice versa. The triangle of Tsukini, Shuu, and Kuronosuke is an interesting one; I hope the last six episodes explore it more. Rating: 3.5

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The World God Only Knows 8

I was very weary of this episode initially. It starts with Keima’s (admittedly hot) mom taking a shower and a bath(?) when she’s attacked by a green dragon-like monster. My first reaction was, like, WTF. Then it gets worse: Elcie wants to bake a cake for Keima so he’ll appreciate her. The monster hatched from one of the infernal eggs she used (Where the heck did she get these ingredients?).

An extended cake-baking segment can be a death sentence for an episode. Unfortunately, significant time is spent on this “story”, and I feared this would be a filler episode in a 13-episode series. However, once the Elcie segment came to a close, the episode reset and replayed the day from Keima’s perspective. This segment reiterated Keima’s contempt for the real world, but it’s a “friendly” rejection; he doesn’t feel like he deserves its scorn: despite perfect scores in his class, he is still scolded for playing games. He sees no logic in this.

The fragmented events of the day are pieced together by episodes end, in which Elice bakes the cake, the monster(s) hatch; the cake is lost in the confusion; Keima finds the cake and covertly eats in the kitchen, around the same time the monster arrives at his house and encounters Keima’s mom in the bath. So, since no new conquest girl was introduced, this…kinda was filler, but at least it was cleverly packaged filler. Rating: 2.5

Arakawa Under the Bridge x 2 8

The Amazoness returns with a new personality: that of a saccharine-voiced, speed-texting, high school flirt. Kou is the target of her fancy, and her tengu minions facilitate her conquest by hypnotizing him. This has the effect of him becoming totally infatuated and devoted to protecting a woman twice his size.

This is a concept that invites hilarity on its own, but when Nino finds out the Amazoness is trying to steal her lover, she gets pissed and decides to duel her. Not with weapons, but with stick drawings in the ground visualizing the extent of their love for him. Nino wins out because she’s healthier (and has less mass to move around), just in time for Kou to snap out of his hypnosis and realize his folly.

Another interesting tidbit: before Kou helped himself, Star considered helping him, even though it meant his chance of snagging Nino on the rebound would all but dissipate. This is a classy move, since Star is above all interested in Nino being happy, which seems to be when she’s with Kou, as detestable as that is to Star. Finally, Nino’s “marriage” pun is also pretty funny.

In all, a very solid episode that stuck with one story for its full length and strengthened the bonds of Nino and Kou, and embellished the Amazoness, definitely one of the more mysterious, bizarre characters living along the river. Rating: 3.5

Winter 2011 Season Preview

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for – among other things – fewer series to watch. Fall has been fun, but keeping track of so many shows (and not able to let any go) has been taxing. For Winter 2011, only eight shows have piqued my interest so far, but even that may whittle down if a couple aren’t up to snuff. So without further ado, here’s what’s on tap during the snowy time:

Kimi no Todoke Season 2 – Production I.G. – January
Freezing – ACGT – January
Infinite Stratos – 8-Bit – January
Fractale – A-1 – January
Yumekui Merry – J.C. Staff – January
Rio – Rainbow Gate! – Xebec – January
Level E – David / Pierrot – January
Puella Magi Madoka Magica – SHAFT – January