By taking the place of an incoming transfer student, Jin infiltrates Neo-Deava Academy with orders to observe the Reaiglers (women) and gather information on those that seem most powerful. Under the alias of Akbarjin, he quickly gains a reputation for being creepy and awkward, as he is disturbed by the females’ behavior and doesn’t know how to interact. However, he finds an unlikely sympathizer in Yunoha, who sees a lot of her former antisocial self in him. Meanwhile, Shrade detects an abductor in the sounds of the school, and Cayenne follows Jin and catches him trying to climb into Yunoha’s dorm. Jin saves Yunoha from an errant stun gun blast with a protective barrier – an element power Jin didn’t know he had.
We’d question the logic of sending an undercover agent who has no idea how to interact with women into a situation full of them, but considering his homeworld has no women, it seems they had little choice but to send the last child born of a Reaigler in Jin. He observes high school girls burying men alive (Mix), ripping a man’s hand off (Suomi), stampeding over melon bread, and talking in apparent code; and only Yunoha keeps him from getting gang-beaten when he accidentally stumbles into the girls’ locker room. We really enjoyed his fish-out-of-water experience; the school is indeed overwhelming from his point of view. We can certainly see how Amata and Andy giving him a nickname that’s actually his real name would be unnerving.
Enter Yunoha: and leave it to this series to redeem a character we took an immediate dislike to mere episodes after she was introduced. She takes pity on him, as she herself knows what it’s like to feel totally unable to reach out to people. Hesitating and being ignored caused her invisibility power to awaken, and in the episode’s climax, Jin’s power suddenly awakens right when he needed it to. What’s clever about this episode is, some people suspect Jin’s up to no good (Shrade and Cayenne), and others don’t (Yunoha, Andy, and Amata), but with the birth of his powers and his first friendship with a girl, the truth about him may be somewhere in the middle. It was up in the air whether he’d go through with abducting Yunoha or merely wanted to talk to her. Now, will he retrieve the True Eve for them like a good little pawn, or will he choose a different path? It’s still up in the air.
P.S. This is the second anime episode in a row we’ve watched that focused on the “bad guy(s)” mingling with the “good guys” relatively peacefully. Also, the ending theme was remixed with new vocals and a more pronounced piano track. We loved it, and continue to love the ending’s visuals, which portray everyone as souped-up Final Fantasy characters.
Villagiulio orders Kirius, Izo, and Array to do nothing and stay put in a comfy seaside house. Watching a samurai film on TV inspires Izo to slip away in search of Madoka so he can challenge her to a duel. He takes the train, and eventually finds Madoka’s school, but Madoka’s classmates believe he’s her boyfriend. Kirius and Array follow him, and Kirius even unknowingly meets Madoka when she rescues a boy from drowning. Array has a meal at BWH but with no cash, he has to work off what he owes. When Izo learns about Madoka’s past, he loses interest and returns to the house, where the three encounter Villagiulio, who has plans to destroy the Voxes.
This week all the myriad organizations’ plans for the Voxes fell into the background, while the three Vox pilots help out with an arts festival and three Demetrio pilots stay out of trouble. It’s a slice-of-life affair; a good opportunity for them to learn about the girl they’re dealing with – and for us to learn about them. Izo tries his hardest to get into trouble, deciding that reenacting a samurai movie will be more entertaining than sitting around some house. His trip to Kamogawa involves enduring a generous and chatty old woman, beating up some random guys for information, and finally facing off against a growing group of interested high school girls.
But Izo is no evil mindless villain; when he hears about how Madoka grew up to be strong and helpful after her mother drowned, it just wasn’t in him to pursue her further. Array (still dressed as a maid for some reason) ends up at Madoka’s uncles (and gets spanked by an uncle) and hears the same story. Hell, Kirius even bumps into the Jersey Girl herself, even folding her sweats. But as they’d never met face-to-face, he didn’t know who he was talking to. This was a fun and entertaining calm before the storm, which also showed that the three Demetrio pilots could make good allies or friends under different circumstances.
Yasuna is a girl who’s so optimistic, she believes she’s “not retarded yet” because she’s lucky Sonya’s “not hitting anywhere damaging!” But as Sonya points out on numerous occasions, Yasuna’s fortunes may only be a product of her stubborn stupidity rather than luck – and in one instance, Sonya’s skill, as she saved Yasuna’s life from an assassin.
Yasuna actively seeks out ways to be injured, both by Sonya and by whatever she’s seeking out. But she’ll be damned if she’ll let anything get her down. She can be beaten with a fishing pole, have flower pots and knifes thrown at her head, and even get her hand bitten by a ninja toy, but these things can never hurt her spirit.
Fairy Tail has an interesting place in our anime-watching history. It was an anime we watched in Tokyo without subtitles on the television in our hotel room. We were entertained enough to check it out when we returned home, and actually kept up with it for the first 48-50 episodes. Since then it’s been officially on hold. It’s nothing we’d ever blog weekly, but it’s by no means horrible.
We’ve always liked its optimistic outlook, bold, colorful characters vaguely Celtic soundtrack. The production values are pretty awful though, as many characters are poorly or inconsistently rendered. Like many long-form animes, it also takes a while for anything to actually happen, so we were lucky to pick this random episode in which everything is wrapped up in a nice little package.
We got a little of everything: a climactic battle in which Natsu punches the bad guy in the face a decisive 496th time; other Fairy Tail members contribute a powerful attack of their own, after a stern scolding, the villain’s life is spared and he’s sent on his way (Fairy Tail aren’t executioners), and the guild heals, rests up, and celebrates a job well done. If only it took 5-10 episodes to get to these points, rather than 50.