Aquarion Evol – 21

Forced to return without Mix, everyone awaits Mikono and Fudo’s return. Fudo tells Mikono the legend of Genesis, in which the angel Apollonius shed his wings and joined the humans after falling in love with Celiane. The time has come for the legend to repeat. A disturbing dream leads Amata to sortie without authorization. Both he and Kagura are drawn to the city where Amata first met Mikono, now a deserted ruin, decaying and overrun with vines. Zessica and Cayenne are sent to retrieve Amata, but a powerful mecha attacks them. Zessica is trapped under stones, and kisses Amata so he’ll fly away to safety. Shrade and Sazanka union with Cayenne to battle the mecha, but Kagura and Amata meet and learn they are – and always have been – the same person.

We should have known; the reason Amata is so kind and shy and the reason why Kagura is so forward and aggressive: they’re two sides of the same coin. Amata is Kagura and vice versa. It seems they’re meant to coalesce into a single entity, “Amagura.” This also rather neatly explains why Mikono feels such a close attachment to both of them: she’s the Big Connector, and she’s to be the Celiane to their Apollonius in what is the latest version of the Legend of Genesis, which created the world. Amagura and Mikono will create a new world, which probably means bye-bye old world.

Speaking of farewells, it’s not clear at all whether Mixy will ever be able to become Mix again, Shrade is probably not going to last much longer considering he can’t help but union yet again, and Zessica says goodbye to Amata in a pretty contrived and random sequence of unfortunate events. Her element power allows her to break up rocks, but for some reason she can’t break the ones on top of her. We liked how she made Amata leave her behind by kissing him, thus involuntarily activating his flying powers. But we don’t believe she’s dead. Not yet, anyway. Mikage had plans for her, after all.

Rating: 3.5

Hyouka – 05

After a brief phone call from his sister, Oreki begins to doubt his theory, and so tracks down the woman who wrote the preface to “Hyouka”, who turns out to be Itoigawa, the librarian. She shares with the club an account of what happened. The student protest of shortening the festival led to boycotts and bonfires, and one of the latter accidentally burned and damaged the martial arts center. Sekitani Jun, chosen as a figurehead for the movement, was expelled, and nobody spoke up for him, including Yuuko. Now that he knows, Oreki divines the meaning of the title “Hyouka” that Jun chose: in English it means “ice cream”, which sounds like “I scream”; the revalation triggers Chitanda to remember her uncle explaining the title to her, and the need for her to stay strong so she’ll always be able to scream.

The mystery of Sekitani Jun comes to a satisfying, elegant, and moving conclusion, much sooner than we expected. It’s hardly unheard of for a former student of a school to return to work there. It happens all the time, and in this case, Oreki is right when he said he required a lot of luck to solve the case. It was lucky the author of the preface remains at the school as the current librarian, and he was lucky his initial theory – itself an amalgam of the others’ theories – hewed so close to the historical truth as Itoigawa recalls. But some are simply born luckier than others – what matters is, Oreki made good use of his luck, and once he began dedicating near-Chitanda levels of energy to the mystery, he learned the rewards are often worth the exertion.

With the theory in place, Itoigawa was able to fill the holes: Chitanda’s uncle didn’t make a conscious sacrifice, he drew the short straw and was thrown under a bus. He had back luck, but he left the school with calmness and grace, not vowing revenge on his fellow students who let him be sacrificed. We found it particularly awesome watching Oreki unravel the meaning of Hyouka once he learned the truth; with his leg shaking nervously and energetically, he realized it was a pun. We also like how his sister didn’t give him all the answers, but only planted the seed that there was more to discover. As for his motivations for spending so much energy, beyond utilizing the luck he was given, there’s definitely a little desire within him to help Chitanda overcome her past trauma. He suspects his sister knew exactly what she was doing: getting Oreki into the Classics Club was to shake up his gray high school life and put him on the path of a rose-colored one. So far so good.

Rating: 9 (Superior)