Mawaru Penguindrum – 14 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 14 Oct 2011 – Now that he knows his parents killed Momoka, Shoma can no longer bear to see or hear Ringo, and warns her to stay away from him. Kanba continues to struggle to find the cash to save Himari, and Masako confronts him directly. Ringo goes to a bathhouse with Yuri, who not only knew Momoka, but believes she was her soulmate. She drugs Ringo and proceeds to have her way with her…

Poor Ringo! First she receives the full brunt of Shoma’s angst, only to be spirited away by Yuri in her Jaaag for reasons heretofore unknown. Ringo acts surprisingly normal here; it’s Yuri who completely goes nuts. And of course it all comes back to Momoka. Yuri was the one who stole half the diary. Not an episode of this series takes place anymore that doesn’t contain some twist or turn that changes everything. It’s why it’s stayed so good and so fresh.

While Ringo is on her wild ride, Himari and Shoma are both very moody. Shoma’s angst comes from knowing what his family’s responsible for, but it’s still unfortunate he pushes Ringo away. As for Himari, her illness, whatever it is, has prevented her from reaching her dream, and she feels worthless compared with her celebrity idol friends. Here’s hoping everyone cheers up a little next week. Look on the bright side, guys: your subway system rules!

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Shiki – 15 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 15 Nov 2010 – Seishin walks in on Toshio just having staked his dead wife through the heart. But however Toshio justifies it, Seishin is against all killing, be it human or risen. Considering he hasn’t been targeted yet, its as pragmatic a position as it is moral. Toshio then stops by the health office, only to find no one there during the day.

Everyone works at night, now that they’re risen. Chizuru Kirishiki happens to be lounging around in that very office when he visits. While that particular fact doesn’t make much sense, it is made quite clear to Toshio that he’s on their list. It’s only a matter of time before they come knockin’ on his door.

No one else who’s still alive is interested in what Toshio has to say. They either don’t or won’t believe him (or in Seishin’s case, cannot help him). Things look pretty bleak, until BAM, Yuuki’s back! Despite being risen, he still has his regular purple eyes, but his get-up is much more Vampire Chic (I’m going to assume he’s risen unless they say otherwise). He isn’t there to kill Toshio. He’s there to tell him he’s not the only one who believes Megumi is still walking around. Tasty…now what’s gonna happen next?

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

AnoHana – 02 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 24 Apr 2011 – Jintan actually made much quicker progress than we’d predicted this week, as he re-connects not only with the ebullient Poppo, but Anaru as well. It was a rough go at first, but when Tsuruko basically called her identity into question, it would seem she laid off Jintan a little, even inviting him and Poppo to her home to play, ahem…”Mokemon”. In the end, it would seem she hasn’t changed from who she was.

Tsuruko is harsh, but while she comes off like a bitch, we don’t think she meant to be intentonally malevolent. This seems more like disappointment that Anaru hasn’t moved on from being “easily led along”, stemming from her jealosy of Menma’s closeness to Jintan. It was clear that she still likes Jintan from last week, but its not easy for her to express it, especially now that she’s become one of the “it” girls. The transformation in her interactions with Jintan from start to finish is truly fun to watch.

We’re thinking more and more that everyone feels a certain amount of nostalgia regarding Menma, who apparently drowned (shoe in water). Yukiatsu even seems to have her dress (not sure how that happened, a very odd twist for Mr. Perfect). Since Jintan is the only one who can see and hear her, it’s all been his doing. Anaru’s hope that he’ll come to school indicates that Jintan is on his way to forgiving himself and living his life, while reuniting his old gang. But the two preppies should prove tough eggs to crack.

Rating: 9 (Superior)