Kuragehime 11 and Wrap-up

Last week’s episode closed with Amamizu-kan covered with tarps and scaffolding. Game Over? Well, obviously, no. If Yakumo managed to end so happily, what chance did Kuragehime have to end in tragedy and defeat? None. The sight of Kuronosuke in essentially the very Jellyfish dress of her dreams flips a switch in Tsukini, and she’s all gung-ho about making more. Priorities change when she sees the tarps: panic sets in; cash is needed to buy the place, fast.

Tsukimi and the sisterhood go with what worked before: Jellyfish dolls. I like how Kuronosuke actually has to actively correct their course by informing them that clothes can cost more than $5.00, thanks to hype, fashion, and branding. It also makes sense that the sisterhood is surprised by the fact that clothes can sell for much more than dolls. With his tentacles all over the fashion industry, Kuronosuke arranged for Tsukimi’s work to be shown at a competition.

The combination of his looks and Tsukimi’s designs result in a sweep. Their designs are a hit; they’re in business. Of course, when they return home and Chieko’s mother shows up, all their frantic efforts were unnecessary; she’s decided not to sell. Of course, it isn’t all for naught; Tsukimi has found a way to make a living, and she and Kuronosuke have grown a little closer.

Don’t get me wrong: Kuragehime was a pleasant diversion, and Kana Hanazawa was on top of her game voicing the nervous and timid yet hopeful Tsukimi. But with only eleven episodes to work with, Tsukimi, Kuronosuke and Shu’s storylines weren’t explored to their full potential. The conflict was too easily resolved, and the villaness is too easily neutralized. Then again, 11 more episodes of those static otaku side characters wouldn’t have improved matters. Never mind: what happened in Kuragehime happened, and couldn’t have happened any other way. And I enjoyed it just fine. Rating: 3.5

Series Mean Ranking: 3.545 (Ranked 4th out of 15 Fall 2010 Series)

Psychic Detective Yakumo 13 and Wrap-up

After a fairly unnecessary cliffhanger and a bizarrely-directed standoff, Yakumo levels out and turns in a decent happy ending for all (well, except for the bad guys, but that’s expected). The one Nanase shoots is Gotou, in hopes that killing him will be the final straw for Yakumo, despair-and-hatewise.

His father means to possess his physical body so that he can wreck havoc by himself. But when he tries, Yakumo fights him and keeps him out. Dejected that the plan has failed, Nanase books it, and Yakumo’s dad goes off somewhere, to keep egging weak people on to commit crimes.

Yakumo has despair and hatred, but those things don’t automatically make someone evil; it all depends on what you do with it. He hates the doctor who made Isshin brain dead, but rather let the doctor’s innocent daughter die for spite, and consents to have his uncle’s organs harvested. He breaks the chain of hatred and shows his father that while they share blood, evil isn’t for him.

Gotou recovers quickly. and after sending off Isshin, life goes back to normal for Yakumo, Haruka, his family (Gotou and his wife adopt Nao), and everyone else. A surprisingly feel-good ending. Rating: 3.5

Series Mean Ranking: 3.308 (Ranked 11th out of 15 Fall 2010 Series)