Tasogare Otome x Amnesia – 04

Over summer vacation, Kirie spearheads a training camp for the club, which involves swimming in the pool, sleeping in the abandoned night duty room, and investigating school legends, like the ghost of said room. Yuuko is upset that Teiichi ignored her, and pulls several pranks to punish him, but at the same time shows him the “other side” of the school.

After four weeks, this series’ dilly-dallying is growing tiresome. For yet another episode, we’re teased by suggestions of darker elements, only to have them utterly deflated by Yuuko’s silly antics. She’s basically just messing with Teiichi the whole time, and as a result, we feel like the series is messing with us. It doesn’t know what it wants to be, which is why it’s trying to be everything…and not succeeding. Yuuko has potential as a character, but that has yet to be realized and there was no urgency to correct that this week. She seems content in her amnesia, as long as she has Teiichi to play with.

As for the rest of the cast, the whole reason everyone was together at all was Kirie’s desire to have a training camp. There wasn’t a strong reason why Kirie joined the club at all, and there’s no reason at all why she would organize such a camp. The only reason there was a pool scene is so the girls could be in swimsuits, which has nothing to do with anything. As for Okonagi Momoe, she’s officially the most annoying character of the season (yes, more than that blue-haired girl in Medaka Box). If we don’t see some improvement next week, it will be hard to not drop this.

Rating: 4 (Fair)

Aquarion Evol – 18

With the situation on Altair deteriorating rapidly and Kagura nowhere to be found and proven unreliable, Izumo mans the Ahura Gnis and travels to Vega himself to find a Rare Igura who could be the True Eve. Zessica, who is feeling weak and unsure of what to do next, resigns herself to only being with Amata when in union, but Izumo proved powerful, breaking past the defenses and demanding Chairman Crea hand over an Igura. Zessica volunteers, but while trying to stop her Mix gets in the way and her Vector is captured and taken back to Altair.

We have to say, we don’t really mind this Izumo guy. He’s got a lot on his plate: the imminent collapse of his world and nothing to save it with. He’s done depending on others; needs a True Eve pronto. He’s a pragmatic guy; so rather than pounding his chest and attacking, he begins with peaceful negotiations. One girl in exchange for no war; which is not a bad deal. Only, there’s no telling what he and Altair will be up to in if their power is restored. For all we know, maybe Altair needs to be weak if Vega is to thrive. Izumo refers to Vega as a former battlefield; it would seem from the look of the two worlds that his side lost. It also means he’s a seasoned veteran and a pro; not some greenhorn teenager, and pilots his mecha accordingly. The Aquarion Gang is good, but aren’t any match for Izumo.

He probably could have destroyed the Aquarion and escort Vectors without breaking a sweat, killing half the cast in one blow, but like we said, he’s not evil. And he’s almost as intrigued by Amata as Mikage. But as to that cast: Mix regrets how her actions caused Andy grief, which may or may not have motivated her to step in and prevent Zessica from getting abducted. It could have just as well been comraderie, something Zessica wasn’t interested in this week. It was all about poor old Me Myself and I. Scorned by Amata, she wants to hit something hard, and prove to herself she’s still a warrior. Well, she failed, and Mix may end up paying the price for her selfishness.

Rating: 4

Hyouka – 02

One month after the Classics Club was assembled, Chitanda is frustrated by the lack of club activities. She leads him to the library, where Satoshi and another friend, Ibara Mayaka, present them with a small mystery involving a large book that’s been checked out for one day five weeks in a row by five different girls. When Chitanda notices it smells of paint thinner, he deduces it’s being used a painting subject in the art room, impressing both Chitanda and Ibara. Chitanda calls him that Sunday, and they meet at a cafe, where she nervously tells him she has a confession to make…

Instead of robberies and murders, what if Sherlock Holmes only dealt in small but tasty mysteries at his school? More to the point, what if Sherlock just couldn’t be bothered to exert any energy solving anything without firm prodding by Watson? What if Watson was a pretty girl with amethysts for eyes? That’s Oreki for you. He’d rather not do anything at all with his free time, but Watson Chitanda just won’t leave him alone, and he just can’t refuse those eyes. Near the end when everyone – even Ibara, whose opinion of him has never been high – is congratulating him for his discovery, he even wonders who this person is, exerting all his energy.

Like last week, the dialogue crackles and pops, the characters brim with energy, and the series excels both at natural, realistic animation and fantastical glimpses into Oreki’s mind’s eye, including a very striking scene where he’s seated at a grand dining table being bullied by Chitanda, or something momentary, like Chitanda with a tail. We’ve only seen two episodes of Hyouka, but we can say without hesitation that we’re positively hyouked. And we can probably expect that Chitanda’s impending “confession” probably won’t be what we’re expecting.

Rating: 8

Car Cameo: There’s a spankin’-new blue Toyota Ractis parked outside Oreki’s crib.

P.S. What’s with the ending sequence? Chitanda and Ibara in skimpy see-through nighties sprawled out on a big…wait, never mind, we get it.