Kuragehime 9

Just when Kuronosuke is about to properly distract Tsukini from her troubles with a jellyfish apparel powwow, Shoko shows her “proof positive” that she slept with Shu. Am I wrong, or is that just a picture of her in bed with him, and not necessarily having sex at all? Regardless, everyone assumes it’s true, except Shu’s little half-brother, who knows better. Shoko is a lying landshark who has Shu wrapped around her little finger.

Tsukini, meanwhile, can’t get the imagery out of her head, and tries to drown her sorrows in sweet sake. Having never drunk before, she exhibits her status as a hopeless lightweight and passes out instantly, and who should carry her to her bed but Kuronosuke, who cross-dressed less and less enthusiastically throughout the episode. Now that Tsukini believes Shu to be even more of an impossibility than ever, has Kuronosuke found his opening? Even if he has, does he want to take it, or is the shame of having the hots for her too much to bear? Rating: 3.5

Nurarihyon no Mago 24

In this, the penultimate episode, the Nura clan proves its superior strength and defeats much of Tamazuki’s night parade, but he expected this, and starts finishing off the rest of his comrades, all to add power to the Demon’s Mallet / Devil’s Hammer. He speaks of fear, but really all he has is this sword, and without it, he’d be pretty powerless. Unfortunately, he has it. Rikuo, and his gramps, meanwhile, are not just feared, but admired by their followers. You cannot lead the yokai if you draw power from their slaughter.

If this series had more time I’m sure it could spend an episode (or a Bleach-like 10-12 episodes) on each duel between Nura and Shikoku elites. But because at the end of the day none of them are all that interesting, I’m glad all of these battles are over now, and we can focus on Rikuo and Tamazuki. Yura springs into action again, but her summons are defeated so quickly its almost comical. Which is a shame, because I thought she’d grow somewhat as the series progressed into a serious threat against tough yokai, which didn’t happen.

Kana decides it’s a good idea to follow Yura, and its simply standing around when Inugami grabs. I’m a bit baffled by her stupidity, since at least Yura has some powers. But Inugami just as inexplicably tosses her aside and is killed by Tamazuki to be the piece that will complete his hammer. In all, I feel like the exposition could have been better handled than it was, but I’m still looking forward to actually finishing a series by Studio Deen for once. Rating: 3

Shinryaku! Ika Musume 11

This week’s trio of tentacled tales involved a creepy doll Ika believes is possessed, the American team researching whether Chizuru is an alien, and Ika’s first hiking trip. I’m with Ika on dolls being pretty damn scary in general. Mannequins too, for that matter.

It makes sense that the researchers would move on to Chizuru, as she’s demonstrated superhuman speed and strength on numerous occasions without explanation. We still don’t get one, which is fine; it’s more fun that it’s a mystery why she’s that way, and why she only opens her eyes on the rarest occasions. This series doesn’t dwell too deeply on anything, as it has other things to get to. I like that.

Finally, Ika is quite dubious of a hiking trip having any value whatsoever besides wasting her precious time and energy, but when she sees the view of the ocean from the summit, it all becomes clear, to the point that she chastises users of the cable car as cheaters. Since she’s a squid – a wild animal – any activity done “just for the heck of it” is bound to be hard to grasp initially. Rating: 3