Natsuiro Kiseki – 03

Yuusuke insists he saw Daiki’s sister Natsumi flying, and proposes she and her friends may be witches, which angers Daiki because it isn’t like Yuusuke to lie. Yuusuke follows Saki, who learns of his falling out with Daiki, and devises a way for them to make up: she arranges for them to watch them fly again, under the guise that she’s the only witch. The rock doesn’t cooperate, but they make up anyway.

Every week both we and the girls learn one or two new things about the wish-granting big rock. This week, we learned that an identical wish can be wished upon other people (i.e. Yuka and Rin getting stuck together), but the same wish apparently won’t work twice on the same people (i.e. everyone flying.) Which, if that’s true, kinda sucks, since it means no more flying. But regardless of the rock’s ‘rules’, it’s existence and their ability to wish upon it must remain closely-guarded secrets.

If too many people find out, it may ruin it’s power altogether…or even worse, attract the attention of Men In Black who may abduct and experiment on the girls (and it’s just not that kind of anime!) Still, even without the rock working, Saki managed to help Yuusuke and Natsumi’s brother make up. One way or another, the rock brings people together.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Car Cameo:
A somewhat crude but still identifiable white Honda Integra DC5 (AKA Acura RSX) zooms down the street as Yuusuke stalks Saki.

Sankarea – 03

The potion she drinks doesn’t kill her, so Rea remains a prisoner in her home, and overhears her father instructing his butler to castrate Furuya; she sneaks out again to warn him. He’s chasing the newly resurrected Baabu around town. The zombie cat leads him to the place where the hydrangeas were picked, where Furuya also finds Rea on the cliff she climbed before. Her father tracks her down and there’s a confrontation culminating in Rea falling and being fatally impaled on a sharp rock. Then the potion kicks in, she rises, and embraces Furuya…

The cryptic parting shot of the first episode – Rea walking, nay, lurching towards Furuya, entrails hanging out and blood dripping – that was merely a portent to what transpired in this episode. It’s an episode of Rea feeling trapped and unable to keep going on. Her mother and father are both horrible people, but her father is far worse because he tries to justify his monstrous behavior as his paternal duty, which is bullshit. Despite his abuse, fear of Furuya getting hurt motivates her to defy him once again, damning consequences. She’s a brave, strong young woman.

Only…by episode’s end, she’s no longer a living woman. Despite the rather obvious ramifications of her having a tussle with her dad up on a narrow cliff, her gorey death was still a visceral shock (though the network censors blurred the strong viscera). and a spellbinding, heartbreaking few moments. Furuya is shocked too when he discovers she must have taken the same potion that brought his Baabu back, because there she is, walking and talking, albeit with terrible posture and haunting red eyes. She’s back…but can she possibly be the same Rea?

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Car Cameos:
Cars that pass in the night while Furuya takes Rea home on his bike include a Mazda A-Z Wagon and a Toyota Crown Majesta.

Medaka Box – 03

First half: Kanoya, a Medaka dissenter and former candidate for class president, tries to recruit Zenkichi to his side as he plans a coup d’etat. However Kanoya underestimates the depth of his recruitee’s devotion to Medaka, and Zenkichi personally quells the rebellion. Second Half: Judo team captain Nabeshima Nekomi requests the council help her choose a successor, but it’s really a gambit to get Zenkichi on the team. Zenkichi, who was avoiding the club altogether because of rival Akune Kouki, must now fight him, and if he loses, Akune will replace him at Medaka’s side.

I’m loath to bring up Game of Thrones in an anime review, but the relationship between Medaka and Zenkichi reminds me of that between Stannis and Davos. Davos needs no god or gods but his king, while Zenkichi needs only his princess. In both cases their loyalty is absolute; beyond question. So we didn’t have any doubt that when that loyalty is tested by the downright putrid Kanoya, Zenkichi would not only decline his offer, but put the two-percenter in his place. He’s simply not capable of turning on Medaka. As for a school allowing 30-year-old students to hoard pipes and maces in a classroom, well…that’s just a really progressive school. Like Waldorf!

The Kanoya incident was very similar to the Kendo club – a bunch of punks who needed to be quashed. The Judo club is another story, with two new motivations working in tandem. Crafty, cat-faced captain Nabeshima wants Zenkichi on the team; he’s good, and like Kanoya, she believes his talents are better used elsewhere. Her underling Akune, who’s known Zenkichi and Medaka since middle school, wants Zenkichi’s job. So Akune and Zenkichi will fight for the right to Medaka’s curvaceous side. We’re kinda doubtful Zenkichi will lose, and the pseudo-love triangle this episode wrought isn’t encouraging, but we’ll stay cautiously optimistic.

Rating: 5 

P.S. There was a nice brief scene between Isahaya and Ariake that showed the staying power of Medaka’s inspiration, and her hope that those she reforms “pay it forward.”