Yasuna attempts to get a rise out of Sonya and by dabbling in a variety of different disciplines, from spoon-bending to voodoo curses to card pyramids, fortune-telling, palm-reading, playing in the rain, and sumo. She also lends Sonya her favorite stuffed animal Pyonsuke, but she manhandles it. All the while a mysterious vermillion-haired character attempts to make her presence known to them, but is constanly missing them.
At it’s heart, this is series is a double act. Yasuna is the silly, bubbly, erratic comic, while Sonya is the stoic, serious straight man (girl). Humor is derived by throwing them into all manner of situations in which their personalities clash. The twist is, Sonya doesn’t just stand around and take abuse; she isn’t above smacking, slapping, kicking, scratching, biting, and choking Yasuna for her insolence, but while she possesses superior strength and agility, Yasuna gets small victories every now and then, which keeps things balanced.
We’re talking comedy that goes back to the nineteenth century, with the British music halls and American vaudeville scene. It’s tried and true. All you need is a good duo to perform it, and I have to say I like this pair. They’ve got good voices, and it’s fun to listen to their back-and-forth about whatever the subjects of the episode are. Occasionally Agiri pops her head in, but this is mostly the Yasuna and Sonya Show. Which is why it’s funny that the red-haired kid can’t catch a break and insert herself in said show. It’s almost as if the series is acknowledging another character isn’t even that necessary.
After the “Second Lost Christmas” that killed Gai, the city center district known as Loop 7 is quarantined by GHQ, now led by former Major, now Chief Segai. Ayase and Tsugami join Shu and Inori as classmates. After two weeks separated from the rest of the city, nerves are starting to fray, so the school council led by Kuhouin decide to organize a cultural festival. It is crashed by rioters who were supplied with military equipment by Segai in disguise, but before they can hurt anyone, Shu uses his new power – drawing out a void so its owner can use it – on Ayase. Her void is a set of prosthetic legs which, combined with his Inori sword, take care of the baddies. But when the TV feed is restored, the other shoe drops: the GHQ is closing off Loop 7 for ten years, in hopes of eradicating the alleged apocalypse breakout there.
We were a bit weary when we heard the words “cultural festival”, but this turned out to be a very good aftermath episode, with lots of good Ayase characterization. There isn’t any way around it, practically speaking: Ayase needs technology in order to prove to herself and others that she’s useful. She blames herself for Gai’s death, and is lost without him or her endlave. Fortunately for her, she’s got a friend who can draw out her very convenient – but still poetic – void that enables her to move as she would within an endlave, only with her own body. Which, any way you look at it, must be an absolute thrill. The final action piece with her and Shu kicking ass and taking names was awesome.
Of course, this was just the eye of the storm. Shu, all his friends, and perhaps tens of thousands of people are now trapped within the confines of a few city blocks. Things were already starting to get chippy, what with bands of the strong starting to prey on the weak. That shit’s only going to get worse from here, unless Shu & Co. can either stop it or break down the walls that surround them. There’s also this interesting dynamic with Segai treating Loop 7 like some kind of zoo or lab; no doubt he isn’t just going to leave Shu and his powers alone. Things may have gone from bad to okay to bad again in a jiffy, but the good guys aren’t without means…or guts.