Mawaru Penguindrum – 19

Tabuki flees, leaving Yuri to bring back Momoka on her own. Himari is relased from the hospital and enjoys sukiyaki with Kanba, Shoma, and Ringo, but fears Sanetoshi only let her go because she’s going to die anyway. Masako enters the Takakura household with a bone to pick with Himari. She tries to fire a blue recollection ball at her, and Shoma and Kanba stop her. But an exhaust fan trigger’s Himari’s memories of the Child Broiler anyway.

In this topsy-turvy, twisty-turny, noodle-churning, downside-up series, what is the one constant throughout? That Kanba, Shoma, and Himari are siblings, right? That’s what we…wait, what? Even that’s not true now? But…but she knit them sweaters! And she’s in all those photos! And what is the thing Masako is always talking about crushing soon? Perhaps he wants to crush the lie…the lie of Himari being their sister? Does that mean Masako’s his real sister??

Oh, Hi, Takakura parents! Just hangin’ out at a ramen shop in Ogikubo, huh? They certainly don’t look like mass murderers…but now we know it’s them passing packets of cash to Kanba. In envelopes marked “Kiga”, just like an apple Shoma offered Himari a lifetime ago – the fruit of fate. So it seems we’ve got Sanetoshi, the Takakura parents, and the late Momoka all playing with fate like a chemistry set in their own ways. We remain utterly enraptured.


Rating: 4

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Persona 4: The Animation – 07

The more the gang learns about Tatsumi Kanji, the more they realize he isn’t the tough delinquent he appears to be. In the TV, Teddie’s nose leads them to a bathhouse where Kanji is holed up, but it’s a very threatening and uncomfortable place for Yu and Kosuke. Even with four personas, the shadow’s a tough cookie, protected by masochistic bodyguards who absorb physical and magical attack. Yu has to use the power of the velvet room to merge two personas, while Kanji himself brings down his own shadow. Kanji then joins the gang.

We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we actually missed Teddie and the TV world. We’re also glad they switched things up a bit. The gang has numbers and plenty of brute force, but Kanji’s shadow is a horse of a different color. He was like one of those RPG bosses who’s a tough nut to crack, because your usual tactics prove ineffective or even beneficial to the enemy. He takes everybody out of their comfort zone, even managing to get under the skin of the prim-and-proper Yukiko by insulting her outfit of all things (Yukiko was particularly fun to watch this week). Heck, even Yu flinches once or twice, which is a lot for him.

Another nice plot device (for lack of a better term) was the cute phone strap Kanji made by hand for a little kid. It’s a symbol of his love of “cutesy shit”, and his intense need to be accepted – even if it’s as a tough – brings him inner turmoil that boiled over this week. Seeing that strap made him step back from the shadow’s taunting and accept him as a part of his personality. He admits to being a pansy for lying to himself and creating the delinquent persona as a shell to hide behind. Finally, this episode still had plenty of comedy, but managed to balance it with the drama more than last week.


Rating: 3.5

Guilty Crown – 06

A surprise attack from GHQ’s Leucocyte jeopardizes the mission, killing Kyo and all of Undertaker’s reinforcements and supplies, but Gai is determined to continue the mission, using Kenji and Shu to knock out the satellite cores. Shu initially refuses to participate, but Inori arranges for him to eavesdrop on a vulnerable Gai who thinks he’s talking to her. Knowing the weight he carries, he agrees to help. Daryl Yan’s interference interrupts the delicate shutdown procedure, and the satellite beings hurtling toward Tokyo. Gai volunteers to destroy it at the cost of his life, but Inori lends her strength to Shu once more, giving him a void weapon that eliminates the threat.

Ah, it’s good that Gai got a chance to show us somebody other than the fearless leader – and good for Shu to see, too. He’s afraid of getting blood on his hands, and thinks it’s stupid for people to keep laying down their lives just because they love Gai. But he’s got it backwards. Gai loves them, and would die for them. He also happens to know that Shu has the pen Segai gave him. That Shu’s one trump card turns out to be something that would’ve killed him along with whoever was around him when he pressed the buttons is a nice piece of treachery on Segai’s part.

Inori proves quite the perceptive ‘lil minx in sensing Shu’s main objections stemmed from his misinterpretation of Gai’s personality – and the use of computer signage to fool Gai was clever. Shu may never be the cool, collected killing machines Inori or Gai are (Gai taking out Yan’s endlave on foot? Pretty awesome), but killing anyone at all is still tough proposition for him, which isn’t good considering in the business he’s in, reading people wrong and hesitating will get you dead. At the end of the day, though, he’s still standing,  this was another rousing, action-packed feast for the eyes, and we look forward to more.


Rating: 3.5

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – 07

Frustrated by not knowing who’s going to show up for club when during the summer, Kodaka suggests they set up a system for that purpose. However, Sena and Yozora refuse to use the internet, and they can’t join an SNS without an invitation, so they determine cell phones to be the best tool for the job. Sena doesn’t have one though, and ends up buying one just like Kodaka’s the next day.

I understand that people without friends can quickly fall behind on technology, and the moment where Yozora and Kodaka rejoice upon successfully exchanging addresses was worth a chuckle, but otherwise this episode just kind of lagged, dragging the cell phone troubleshooting bit along for way too long.

Kobato’s stupid “ku-ku-ku” is long past played-out, as is the pattern of Yozora directing barbs at Sena followed by Sena running out in tears. Yozora and Sena’s petty, silent rivalry over a clueless Kodaka certainly has a precident in real high school life, but it’s starting to get boring here. And the solution for an engaging, entertaining comedy isn’t more fanservice.


Rating: 2