Star Driver 20

Glittering Crux is not one big happy secret society. Everyone has their own ambitions and motives, and designs for how they’ll achieve their goals. And Crux is frought with alliances and butting heads; not surprising, since there’s no official leader. That’s because to become leader, one must destroy Tauburn. And goshdarnit, Tauburn just won’t die.

This week, Tauburn is challenged by Camel Star, who wants to hurry up and break Wako’s seal, against Head (and others’) wishes. Doing to would kill anyone on the island who doesn’t have a cybody. If someone’s cybody was wasted by Takuto, they’re SOL until they regenerate, which could cost them their life anyway. But the main story isn’t about Crux’s political problems, or Tauburn’s fight-of-the-week. It’s about Takuto showing signs of jealosy towards Wako and Sugata, and also about Head’s past.

Head used to be called Tokio Tsunashi (same last name as Takuto, hmm?). He met Ryousuke and his betrothed, Sora, and they formed a triangle not unlike Takuto/Wako/Sugata’s. Tokio painted Sora, who fell in love with Tokio, and he got her pregnant; but when he sought a mark to pilot a cybody, he abandoned her entirely, the bastard. She left the island, and Takuto returned, with the same watch with a picture of Sora in it that Ryousuke had given her years ago. Verrry interessting. Now we know Takuto’s parents, and the guy he came to the island to punch in the face. Rating: 3.5

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Bakuman 20

With Ashirogi Muto whole once more, Mashiro and Takagi are pleasantly humming away at their new detective manga. Miyoshi is legitimately helping out by going through the six boxes of detective anime and films sent by Hattori to help Takagi find his groove. When they go to Hattori with eight names, he admits he’s been had, but is excited they reunited on their own.

He also agrees to submit their manga, “Shady Detective TRAP”, for serialization if it’s accepted into the Golden Future Cup. They also have to bang out chapters at the same pace they would if they were already serialized; a rehersal, if you will. This is a lot of work Hattori is asking of a couple high school kids, but if they can’t do it, they can’t be high school mangakas, period.

This makes me wonder: if they are in high school, how in the hell are they ever awake for class, let alone ever have time for studying and homework? I know, that stuff’s boring to show, so they don’t, but considering how ramped up the level of manga work is getting, It’s almost as if their high school duties are an afterthought. I know Takagi is an academic ace, but Mashiro isn’t. In any case, when the random classmate approached Takagi and Mashiro asking about Miyoshi, both their cool responses and her frightened reaction were priceless. Rating: 4

Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season 6

Kazehaya sees Kent’s hands on a tearful Sadako and does what anyone in that position would do: push Kent aside and ask him what’s going on. The three all get on the same page, some classmates show up in this “warzone”, and it’s not long before the whole school knows what went on (or think they do). That includes Ume.

For once, Kazehaya says something clearly – that he likes Sadako – but as usual, he muddies up the intent of those words by phrasing things so Sadako thinks he turned her down. Facepalm. This guy is seriously the worst at expressing himself. Fortunately for him, Yano and Chizu know the real score, and try to make Sadako understand that she’s mistaken and that she shouldn’t think of herself as a burden to all her friends.

This is tricky, since she’s so conditioned to believe she’s different and an outcast worthy of pity and concern at best, not genuine love. I really need to lay into her parents a bit at this point, who did nothing to stop this conditioning from making her into such a neurotic mess. But I love how all the characters are really coming alive in the last few episodes, including Chizuru’s and Pin’s emergence from caricature status. Rating: 4