Star Driver 19

Most of this episode is fairly quiet slice-of-life; specifically Wako’s birthday. She is clearly at her happiest when she’s with Sugata and Takuto, and this day is no exception. They also each give her priceless personal possessions as gifts (Takuto’s idea), which she thankfully denounces as a little lame. In fact, her comfort and contentness with these two leads me to conclude she’s not all that interested in making a decision about who to court. She doesn’t like change, and deciding would cause lots of it. So she doesn’t chose.

Of course, creeping around the fringes of this episode are Kou and Madoka, who possess Sugata and Takuto’s bodies while Wako steps out briefly. When she returns, Kou/Sugata immediately gives herself away by cursing, while Madoka/Takuto tries to kiss Wako, leading her to pull Sugata’s gift (his dagger) on him. She knows they’re first phasing, and she isn’t going to take their shit. Madoka relents, and they return the bodies.

The next we see Kou, she’s in her Galactic Pretty Boy, which can turn into a jet! But wait…Tauburn can do anything as long as Takuto has the will and heart for it, so he can turn into a jet too. Kou’s cybody is thus destroyed without her being harmed. Despite being defeated three straight weeks, Kou and Madoka remain troopers, who seem to just want to have fun more than accomplish anything. Rating: 3

Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season 5

Oh man, things are moving quickly now. Kent has decided to go ahead and try to scoop up Sadako after filling her head with confusion and doubt, then taking hold of her at her most vulnerable moment. The hapless Kazehaya can only arrive too late and gaze upon this scene in horror. This is one triangle I find myself not minding at all, and I have no reason to believe the best isn’t yet to come.

The fact of the matter is, Kazehaya is just as much at a loss as Sadako about how to take the next step with one another. A brief advice session with Ryuu and Pin finally shakes him out of inaction with the realization that he needn’t know absolutely everything about her to approach her; he can only learn about who she is if he actually talks to and spends time with her. Seems like a no-brainer, but these are high schoolers.

So yeah, Kent’s plan seems to have gone off without a hitch. He even goes so far as to mislead her into believing Kazehaya likes another girl. This is his most malevolent move thus far, but he’s looking out for himself, so it’s not unexpected. Finally, all this solid drama was preceded by a very sweet act with Ryuu and Chizu going to his bro Tooru’s wedding, including Yano having to make her over and a really nice scene where we’re to believe – for a moment, at least – that Chizu leaned over and kissed Ryuu. Cheeky bastards! Rating: 4

Level E 6

No matter what random situations Level E puts its characters in, it has thus far always ended up both entertaining and hilarious. This week the grade schoolers are seemingly free of the Prince’s mischief and their Color Ranger bracelets. However, once gathered in class they are warped to a distant planet, and to the next phase of the Prince’s mission to harass and annoy.

This isn’t just any planet; it’s an weird RPG planet, and I’m actually surprised how much I enjoyed watching the rangers go through the world and level up their powers. Reluctant and apathetic at first, they quickly get used to their costumes and start to have fun, rather than constantly mouthing off to one another. It’s great to see characters we’ve only known for two episodes to develop so much so rapidly and yet so naturally.

This arc looks to have one more episode left, in which the rangers face the game’s boss in a goofy-looking rainbow castle on a hill. Meanwhile, their alien teacher Tachibana worries about them, perhaps hinting she’ll have a more active role to play next week. For now, I’m just enjoying this bawdy, clever comedy. Rating: 3.5