Sankarea – 02

Furuya continues to experiment on the proper potion to revive Baabu, and Rea assists him. She narrates her controlling father and him abnormal relationship with her, which includes taking nude pictures of her every year. When she heeds her friend’s advice to tell him to stop, he makes that friend’s father transfer far away. Rea suggests they use Hydrangea, which doesn’t seem to work on Baabu, and they go home. Her father catches her, and promises she’ll never leave the house again. When Ranko opens Furuya’s box, a reanimated Baabu soars out into the night. Locked in her room, Rea drinks a portion of the potion she reserved for herself.

Between her Drunkard Ice Queen mom and her TOTAL CREEPER dad, it’s a wonder Sanka Rea is as well-adjusted as she is. Imagine every aspect of your life being under a microscope, and anyone you get close to disappearing if they don’t meet his approval. And then there’s the pictures. This father is no doctor and these are no clinical documents: he dresses her up in skimpy costumes. This is SO wrong, even the totally isolated and naive Rea knew deep down it was wrong, and her friend Nakadai only confirmed it. But now Nakadai is gone and Rea has no other friends, except for Furuya. And her father would never approve of him, anymore than he’s approve of her seeing a greaser.

First, he’s a guy; second, he’s poor; and third, well, he’s trying to re-animate his cat (though that’s frankly not nearly as bad as taking nude pics of your daughter; it’s not even in the same time zone). When she sneaks home from meeting with this boy – with a limp, no less – he brings down the hammer – no more leaving the house for her! Though we no doubt suspect she and Furuya will meet again. And then there’s that little matter of the potion working. If it brought Baabu back, what will it do to her?

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Natsuiro Kiseki – 02

On an ordinary hot morning during summer vacation, Yuka and Rinko inadvertently make a wish at the big rock results in Natsumi and Saki being physically fused together, unable to escape each others’ proximity, despite having never made up after their latest row. Suspecting their friends are to blame for this development, they head to the temple grounds to confront them, having to work in unison to move properly. Yuka and Rinko flee, and a long cross-town chase ensues. The duo turn out to be unstoppable after all, wearing down their quarry. When they see an exhausted Yuka running towards the water’s edge, they lunge at her to save her, but in that moment, the spell is broken, sending them both flying into the water. Having survived their ordeal and sustained proximity, Natsumi and Saki finally make up.

If there was any doubt remaining that there were supernatural forces at work, there’s definitely none now; if only two of the four friends wish the same thing at the same time near the rock, it comes true, one way or another. What works so well about this episode is how the magic is very subtle, and the predicament of being stuck to someone you’re in a fight with, while hardly a new concept, is the perfect way for them to overcome said fight when executed well, which it was. The episode was a good blend of lovely hot summer day slice-of-life and cat-and-mouse marathon.

The chase was very long, not particularly fast-paced, and at the end of the day, totally unnecessary, but who cares? It’s length, and the lengths Yuka and Rinko go to evade their pursuers, force Natsumi and Saki to talk to one another, cooperate, and remember why they’re friends in the first place. They’ve always bickered, but they’ve also always made up. We’ve grown to like these characters fast, and were happy to see them make up from what were hardly irreconcilable differences. The post-credits shot of Natsumi’s brother’s friend reading up on witches was nice foreshadowing; he saw them fly, and will probably keep his eye on them.

Rating: 8 (Great)