Chihayafuru – 19

Kanade takes the lead in her match versus Tsutomu thanks to the latter’s faults. Ultimately he couldn’t make up the deficit and Kanade is victorious; both advance to Class C. Meanwhile, the match Chihaya had been ignoring is down to one card each, which is a luck of the draw. Taichi tries to increase his odds by going on the offensive, but a long chain of dead cards and Nishida’s defensive play end in Nishida winning and advancing to Class A. Taichi is devastated, but Nishida thanks him for being president. Having seen how much stronger the team is, Chihaya proposes they return to group play.

With Chihaya duly humbled, this week was all about the remaining four members of the team better by playing one another. The last minutes of the two matches are about as tense as matches have ever gotten, particularly the Taichi/Nishida match. We have to admit we were feeling a little fatigued by so much pure, uninterrupted karuta playing, starting with last week and continuing throughout most of this episode. But the matches ended, and then came the fallout.

Taichi is without a doubt angry and disappointed in himself, and spends a little time angsting to himself. It’s moments like this when he should be sharing his feelings with Chihaya, but no, he keeps it all bottled in, along with his perfection complex. We liked Chihaya moving his sleeping head from the van window to her shoulder, and the fact that she’s now checking herself before calling her teammates Porky and Desktomu after, Nishida called her an airhead…out of affection.


Rating: 3.5


Car Cameo:
Kanade’s mom shuttles the team home in
Oe Traditional Clothing’s spacious Nissan Vanette.

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Aquarion Evol – 07

When Andy suggests the class change its seating chart, Amata ends up seated between Mikono and Zessica but closer to the latter. Andy is seated between Mix and a strange doll he claims belonged to a former student. After class Amata and Zessica end up locked out of the dorms, but they run into the doll, which is moving on its own, and freak out; Mikono sees them together and is displeased. It’s abductor Jin’s turn to attack Neo-Kowloon, and after her wavering heart negatively affects the union, Zessica is switched out for the doll, which it turns out has been held all along by an element named Yunoha, who is alive, but invisible. Her power shields Aquarion in invisibility, and Jin is defeated, though he was only controlling his mecha remotely.

We don’t really mind love triangles, with so much else in common with Macross Frontier, it was inevitable we’d run into a couple with this series; it’s just part of the territory. At least this week, a misunderstanding occurred and was cleared up. But Zessica is clearly starting to like Amata, so the tension between those two and Mikono will likely continue apace. Meanwhile, Mikono can’t stop thinking about Kagura. Whether that’s love or a crush or a brainwashing, we’ll have to see. Neither of these triangles really bothered us. But there was stuff this week that did, and it was enough to break this series’ perfect “4” streak at six episodes.

For one thing, while we like her invisibility power, the Yunoha character is a little moe. We already have a childlike character in the chairman: with Yunoha the series doubles down, and Yunoha’s voice is wayyyy more irritating, quite like Sae’s from Amagami SS. We also thought it was kind of silly to evacuate a city block, but let Aquarion use the buildings as cover. Aren’t those people’s homes and businesses? And all those roads will have to be re-paved…repaving ain’t cheap son. Unlike Rinne no Lagrange, this series has little or no regard for collateral damage, which is just a bit silly, considering Amata has the power of flight and could have drawn Jin’s fire away from the city. Ah well, perhaps they want to redevelop that particular district…


Rating: 3.5

Car Cameo: Cayenne and Shrade are rollin’ in a Ferrari California. Must be Shrade’s, ’cause I doubt Cayenne has that kind of coin. I mean, look at his clothes!

Mirai Nikki – 18

The episode flashes back to when Yuno first falls for Yukiteru. Her emotional problems stem from being caged and starved by her parents, and in turn she cages and starves them to death. She then tries to sabotage a “date” between Yukiteru and the class rep Moe, but Moe turns him down anyway. Back in the present, Nishijima needs to know who the third body in Yuno’s house was. Yukiteru’s dad shows up at home, knowing he’s about to be caught by the police and wanting to spend his last day of freedom with him. However, agents from Eleventh kill him while they’re at a shrine. Yukiteru kills a couple agents in turn, then turns the knife on Yuno, learning from Murmur he can bring back his parents if he becomes a god. Yuno doesn’t resist, and Yuki spares her for now.

Oh man, poor Yukiteru. These last couple days have been pure Deadman Wonderland, and now he learns that the current god is literally crumbling away in his realm, now unable to further manipulate the “causality continuum.” Only the new god can bring back Yuki’s mother and now father – and I doubt any of the other diary holders other than him consider that a priority. Yuki may be a weenie but he is one of the saner characters, and I’m sure stabbing someone to death and using another as a human shield was tough to do and will haunt him. Unfortunately if he wants his parents back he’ll have to spill a lot more blood and shed more of his humanity; Eleventh is a tricky and obviously well-protected bastard.

We knew this score though. What we didn’t know was the slightest thing about Yuno’s past, specifically why her house had corpses in it and how she became the gorgeously unhinged lunatic she is today. Well, not surprisingly, the answer to both is abuse. Yuno’s parents were as cracked as she was, trying to mold her into an elite student through the use of incarceration (mirroring Yuno locking Yuki up earlier, in desperation), starvation, and general contempt for her very existence. Her parents were awful people, so Yuno paid them back in kind, but then she was alone. All it took was a token promise from Yukiteru to make her his ‘little bride’ for her to latch onto him, and presumably that’s when the stalker diary became active. Regular guys never interested her. It’s also clear she harbors no plans to become a god. If she has to die so Yukiteru can become one, so be it. By his hand, so much the better.


Rating: 3.5