Sket Dance – 67

In the first half, Agata sends Tsubaki to Bossun for advice on T-shirt design, but Bossun is distressed to find Tsubaki’s creative process is extremely rigid and limited and he is brittle to criticism. In the second half, Bossun and Switch get into a heated trivia battle over the robot anime “Code A” that ends in a draw. Switch suggests they attend a fan meet-up to determine the ultimate winner. Switch gets a cold, leaving Bossun on his own among hardcore otaku. He pulls out a miracle win by reciting unrelated information and impressing the others, thus winning a rare collectible.

While its scientific merit is debatable, the term “left-brained” has become a figure of speech denoting someone having a bias towards logic, math, detail orientation and systematic thinking (see: Tsubaki), whereas a “right-brained” means a bias towards feelings, images, spacial perception, and artistic creativity (see: Bossun). When it comes to origami, drawing, design, and other such pursuits, Bossun shines, but Tsubaki is totally and unequivocally inept. His futile attempts – including a bafflingly awful final shirt design that’s almost so bad it’s good – are good for some laughs.

The second half is a merciless jab at extreme otakuism, and how easy it is to get trapped in a dark room. Of course, Bossun enters this stinky world because he wants to beat Switch first and foremost, and ends up frightening his sister. The climactic meet-up is a smorgasbord of otaku stereotypes that likely exist – people clinically into very specific things. But they’re also an affable bunch, and somewhat amusingly, Bossun wins them over by accident: reciting info he memorized from a book about the proper code of conduct for Japanese youths; a recitation that is specific enough to castigate his audience but ambiguous enough to relate to the anime.

Rating: 6 (Good)

Accel World – 15

While dueling, Nomi uses his avatar Dusk Taker’s special move, Demonic Command, to steal Haru’s wings, then his points, leaving Haru and Chiyu devastated in the real world. With Hime gone and Haru unable to tell Taku anything, he considers erasing the game from his brain. Entering the “Bitter/Rough Valley” to duel someone, who ends up being Ash. When he can’t defeat him, he asks Ash to finish him, but instead Ash takes him to see his guardian Sky Laker, the closest avatar to flying prior to Haru.

Nomi Seiji’s reign of terror commences this week, and his words and actions leave Haru and Chiyu sobbing into each others’ shoulders in the dirt. He’s a trickster who steals other avatars’ abilities, and when he so quickly and easily takes Silver Crow’s wings away, it’s a pretty big shock. Just when you thought Haru was starting to get over his confidence issues, Nomi destroys all the progress he made and got him into a hopeless state of mind, to the point he considers simply ending it all by erasing brain burst from his nuero link.

This reiterates that being a burst linker isn’t something that is forced on anyone; it’s a choice. Linkers like Hime, Niko, and perhaps Nomi, the Accel World has become more important to them than the real world, but that’s not yet the case for Haru. He can walk away and still have a good life. He has friends who care about him. Of course, we wouldn’t have much of a show if he erased it, so instead he bumps into the ever-optimistic, chipper Ash, who helpfully gets Haru access to his guardian, who may be able to get Haru out of his funk and teach him some new tricks. We hope. We also hope Hime gets back soon, before everything is destroyed!

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Eureka Seven AO – 14

After communicating with the Coralians, who are partially occupying her body, Naru emerges back on Iwato Island. After helping Eureka return to where she belongs through use of the pillar of light, Ao visits Iwato Island where he learns his real father didn’t abandon Eureka, but was fighting for him. Before leaving, Eureka insisted she was pregnant with a girl, not a boy. Ao visits Naru at the hospital, but they’re both arrested by Nakamura and the JAF, who have invaded Iwato. Naru escapes with the help of a real coral and unearths the Mk. I. Eureka travelled in, and when Ao hesitates joining her, she flies off with Truth.

This week we get a new OP, a new ED, and a whole lotta new, big developments. Ao and Generation Bleu are faced with two possible truths: either it’s as Naru says and the Coralians are only interested in communication and coexistence, or it’s as Nakamura says; the Scub coral are an invading force, and secrets are the earth’s defense mechanism. Nakamura retrieves a secret fragment and parades it over the airwaves like it’s King Kong, and the international community okays his invasion of Iwato. He wants Naru under quarantine and for Ao to pay for his crime of attacking the JAF and killing Colonel Endo. The usually neutral Gen Bleu can’t do much.

Who are we to believe? Well, we’re more inclined to believe Naru about the Coralians, but she’s so cold towards Ao, we have to wonder about her motives, especially since she’s not 100% Naru anymore. Her transformation into something nearly as enigmatic and powerful as Truth was something we weren’t expecting. As for Eureka having a girl…what does that mean; Ao has a sister out there somewhere? And why was Elena hellbent on killing Eureka? For every mystery this episode shed light on, many more remain. But we’re definitely enjoying the ride.

Rating: 8 (Great)