Another – 08

Sakakibara, Izumi, and a group of classmates go on a trip to Teshi, a seaside village where Matsunaga lives. Reiko drives them. They hope to get some info about how he prevented the calamity 15 years ago. He’s unavailable when they arrive, so they have fun on the beach while they wait. Sakakibara finds Misaki playing by herself on the same beach. Matsunaga arrives, and he starts to remember something about what he used being at the school, but a stiff gust sends their beach ball into the sea. Nakao swims out to get it, and is killed by the propeller of a passing boat.

Oho, Another…you’re good. Very good. 9/10ths of the episode was inconsequential car ride and beach fun. Everyone assumes because they’re not in Yomiyama, the curse has no power and they’ll all be safe. Well, they aren’t. There’s an initial and obvious moment dread – a passing tanker truck on the road, but that threat passes and we let our guard down. Coast clear. Could this be another bloodless episode? No. One of the lesser-known students, Nakao, gets killed after something convinced him it was a good idea to swim out to where there are boats. Heck, we even thought someone might taste that poisonous pufferfish.

The car ride was a nice way for Sakakibara to learn more about Akazawa, while his scenes with Misaki on the beach are also fun bonding experiences. All of this also served to lull us into a false sense that this would just be yet another beach episode; something that arrests the momentum of the horror. But the horror came, and better late than never. And it almost happened in slow motion, with everyone watching – almost knowing what was coming – but helpless to prevent it. Theory about being safe outside Yomiyama? Disproved. The importance of Matsunaga remembering more about the past? Crucial.


Rating: 4

Car Cameos: Aunt Reiko drives a Toyota Starlet 5-door (with plenty of road rage). Akazawa’s dad drives a Toyota Crown. One of the several cars Reiko passes is a Suzuki Wagon R+.

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Aquarion Evol – 09

Izumo cancels all sorties until Jin’s safety is confirmed, but Mikage manipulates the minds of three pilots and sends them to Vega. Andy is confounded by all his holes getting filled, and isn’t surprised when it turns out to be Mix’s doing. Her element power is the exact opposite of his, but despite being able to fill holes, she can’t fill the hole in her heart, caused by a father who ran off with another woman. Fudo sends the two out into battle with Mikono. Thanks to her powers of connection and Andy’s selfless acts, Mix agrees to union with them. Before they can complete it, the abductors attack, and Andy takes a hit for Mix. He is switched out for Amata, and re-unions with Mix and Mikono. She uses her power to jam the enemies’ weapons, causing their machines to explode.

Chairman Fudo is quite fond of donuts, and waxes philosophically about holes. Everyone else joins in the absurdity with traditional sayings modified to include holes, with perhaps the silliest being Crea’s “Bros Before Holes” line. But all the talk of holes – and the rings around the holes of said donuts – was consistent with the key conflict of the week: whether Mix and Andy can ever union, let alone get along. They’re diametrically opposed: oil and water, digging holes and filling them. And Mix is an insufferable prude, believing all men to be evil and tainted.

That position was going to hold her back from exploring her full potential, however, so Fudo had to get them working together. It’s helpful that Andy isn’t a dick, but rather an otherwise charming, honorable guy who just happens to have a compulsion to dig holes. It’s in his blood. We’re definitely enjoying how elements’ character traits shine through in their abilities, but even those can’t be fully expressed unless all the members of a union trust one another. Mikono is the glue that helps those unions stick – making her a very hot commodity for both Neo-Deava and the lady-less Abductors.


Rating: 4

Mirai Nikki – 20

Yukiteru disregards all this talk of imposters – “Yuno is Yuno” as far as he’s concerned. Ninth wants to defeat Eleventh, but she barely escapes from his guards while spying on him and Eighth, whose Server diary he connects to a supercomputer to make all the citizens of Sakurami into apprentice diary holders. Deus tells Ninth that Eleventh designed the diaries for use in the survival game, and his allows him to spy on other diary holders, while his secretary lets him avoid misinformation. Nishijima is killed and Ninth is cornered, but she’s saved by Yukiteru and Yuno, who arrive with civilian hostages, the mayor’s weakness.

And so Nishijima follows his late superior to the grave, protecting the person he loves, as his late superior did. He tries his best to get Minene to agree to marry him in order for his help, but it doesn’t come off as desperate or creepy, and even Minene can’t help but be flattered. Just when she thinks she’s found a way around Eleventh’s spying by using Kousaka, Hinata, and Mao, he sets a bomb off that takes off her hand, and Nishijima gets a bullet to the heart, followed by more when he makes himself her shield.

This episode primarily followed Minene around. She’s certainly a much deeper character than the touched-in-the-head school terrorist from her first appearence, but all this talk of getting married and having kids bemuses her teribly. It seems absurd to her: she’s always lived alone, for herself. Still, she appeared to find the possibility at least somewhat intriguing, and when Nishijima was killed, eliminating that possibility, she seemed genuinely hurt. As for Yukkii and Yuno, they’re still cheerfully wreaking havoc, running along that path to godhood. Eleventh is a tough cookie, but if anyone can crumble it, it’s that pair.


Rating: 4

Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 17

Boreas is in allied hands, Dio and Alvis have arrived, and things seem calm, until Admiral Sadri’s first fleet arrives. He takes advantage of the patchwork nature of his opponent by sending orders to Orang’s third fleet to initiate a pincer attack, something Orang has no intention of doing. Even so, the Glacies pilots take the bait, and it takes Fam intercepting them to end the infighting. The Silvius reappears to help win the day, but the first fleet is back that evening with a sneak attack. Sara sends Millia to Vasant and Fam to Sadri with her decree that all hostilities cease. Dian goes after Fam and Gisey, but they evade her and deliver the decree to Sadri, who agrees to abide by Sara’s wishes.

Fam makes herself surprisingly useful this week, preventing a continuation of friendly fire that would have torn the allied fleet apart, and even successfully delivers a call for a ceasefire that is accepted. As the oldest of the Adean admirals, Sadri knew Sara’s mother well, and knew her ideals. But perhaps more importantly, Fam herself reminds him of a girl named Raha with the same color hair and eyes. Who is this Laha, and is she indeed related to Fam? A mother? A sister? Intriguing. Finally, how could he say no to a couple of cute girls who risked their lives in the name of peace?

This week it was Millia’s turn to falter. She sent out a preemptive strike against a far more experienced opponent with a far more cohesive and disciplined fleet at his command. If it weren’t for Fam and the Silvius perhaps too magically appearing when all hope seemed lost, both Millia and Vasant would have been in real trouble. The alliance showed how shaky it is, though the key belligerents seem to be Dian and the Glacian sky goddesses, who have lost everything and won’t settle for this ceasefire. They want their enemies dead, period, and even Fam may not make them see reason.


Rating: 3.5

Bakuman 2 – 20

Tanto’s rank is steady, but low, and Takagi is nearing the limit of his jokes, pulling all-nighters days before his wedding to no avail. At his and Kaya’s wedding reception, Mashiro confronts Hattori to tell him straight up whether Tanto is good; he says it isn’t. The final straw is when Niizuma calls Ashirogi Muto his rivals on live TV. Both Takagi and Mashiro ask the chief editor if they can quit Tanto and work on something that will surpass Niizuma – if they can’t, their Jack days are over.

First Trap got cancelled. They liked it, but the rankings fell to far. Now with Tanto, the rankings aren’t falling enough to risk cancellation, and it’s important to Jack as a kids’ manga – but both Takagi and Mashiro feel it’s holding them back. While it may seem unwise to put so much faith in the opinions of a few peers – in this case, Niizuma and Hattori – the way they see it, they would rather try and fail to surpass Niizuma with everything they’ve got rather than continue to dabble in obscurity. If they truly have the talent and it’s a matter of proper utilization, then Tanto has to go.

It’s a big gamble, because, well, what if they truly can never surpass Niizuma, and burn themselves out in the attempt? They’re already known as “troublemakers” in the industry, and there’s apparently no better publication to be in than Jack, so they’re really limiting their options. But continuing to eke out Tanto would be limiting them even further. Would Mashiro really be okay marrying Miho after getting a late night anime deal like Hiramaru? I doubt it. He wants the primetime, and he wants to be the best. And so they roll the dice.


Rating: 3.5