Hyouka – 15

After briefly celebrating their Wildfire win, Fukobe, Chitanda and Ibara bring the Juumoji mystery to Oreki’s attention. Chitanda uses her catch phrase, and Oreki grudgingly agrees to participate. They determine that the pattern of crimes indicates the use of the ten first characters in the hiragana alphabet, and that the final theft could occur in the Classics Club. Chitanda reports this to the Newspaper Club, who are already on top of it, while Fukobe tries to catch the thief in the act, wanting to solve the crime without further help from Oreki.

So we were a little off: this episode didn’t comprise the third day of the festival in which the mystery is solved. Instead, the second day continues with the start of the investigations. It’s a day that concludes with a pretty solid theory in place for what’s going on, and whoever the thief is, he’s pretty clever. Chitanda takes Irisu’s advice amusingly literally, but beause the Classics Club could be the last target, the mystery nets them more free publicity anyway, which is good, because there’s a lot of anthologies still on that table.

In the meantime, Fukube starts to show signs he may be sick of playing second fiddle to Oreki. He stops himself when about to suggest something involving the case, then goes off on his own to catch the thief in the act, which he believes is the only way he or she will be caught. Mayaka’s Manga Society troubles continue, being teased by her clubmates and retreating to mope beside Oreki and at an isolated bridge where her prez tries to console her. But the overarching question is, who will catch the thief? If it isn’t Oreki, will he care? We think he will.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

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Rinne no Lagrange – 16

Dizelmine and Villagiulio arrive at Kamogawa, and Asteria wastes no time luring them into an elevator rigged with cameras that gets stuck between floors. Asteria, Todokoro, the Vox pilots and the two Kings’ delegations watch as they talk things through. In the middle of their chat, an Ovid makes an unauthorized launch and nearly crashes into BWH. The pilot aboard is Yurikano, who escaped her handlers. Dizelmine rescued her from the Militia Zodia calamity, and she’s reverted to a childlike state, and has no memory of who she is of her big brother Villagiulio. She returns to the La Garite mothership with Dizelmine; Lan, Muginami and Madoka tag along.

Former buddies Dizelmine and Villagiulio have a nice, cordial little discussion (not that they have a choice, falling victim to another Asteria scheme), but it doesn’t solve anything this week; war is coming as long as Dizelmine is convinced the only way to save his planet is to destroy De Metrio. The sudden appearance of Yurikano is almost the cherry on top that enrages Villagiulio to action. His sister may not recognize him, but that doesn’t change who she is, and he probably doesn’t appreciate Dizelmine being the sole source of her recovery.

Now that the secret of Yurikano being alive is out, another secret remains: why she talked to Madoka at the end of last season, and appeared in her cockpit in the previous episode. Madoka doesn’t get any answers, and neither do we; Asteria remains tight-lipped. The solution is to go aboard Dizelmine’s ship (in hilariously half-assed disguises) and try to find out more. Rinne’s second season’s first five episodes are reminding us of Eureka Seven Ao’s first five – all very competent, entertaining, fun outings, but nothing that’s categorically wowed us. But we’re confident that wow episode is coming. That’s right…we just used wow as a verb and and adjective!


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 05

Yuuya begins training in his new Type 94 Shiranui Type 2, and is just as frustrated with it as we was with the Type 97. Lt. Takamura tells him ‘a man and horse must be one’, and Vincent reiterates that fighting the natural tendencies of the TSF won’t get him anywhere. After a belated welcoming party, Argos Flight goes on another training mission, which is interrupted by Takamura herself. She quickly takes out everyone and spars with Yuuya, who adjusts his piloting style and manages to knock her sword away. On her way back to HQ Yui encounters Inia, who greets her and then runs away.

The battle of wills between Yuuya and Yui continues next week, and was just on the verge of becoming stale when Yui decided to go out and teach Yuuya a firsthand lesson in how to handle one’s TSF. As Vincent astutely points out, they’re actually pretty alike; in that neither back down when they should, and neither are totally honest with themselves. Deep down they probably both see themselves in one another, which pisses them off even more. Yui may go on about how useless he is, but as her shower scene makes clear, she’s irked by his fast progress and potential for greatness.

This isn’t surprising, since Yui probably blames herself for not being able to save any of her friends years ago. Ever since then she’s built up a thicker and tougher armor around herself, but that trauma still festers. Still, her job is to polish the rough ore of Argos into a shimmering gem of BETA-killing, and so her surprise crashing of their training mission also made sense. Her goal was to either beat the hell out of him, or get him to trust his TSF enough to defend himself…and it worked. Now, if only we knew what the heck Inia is up to, and why she keeps showing up and calling people nice…


Rating: 6 (Good)