K – 03

Blue King Munakata Reishi takes Red King Suoh Mikoto into custody, worried that his power could cause a calamity that would threaten Japan. Suoh goes quietly, but his friend Kusanagi Izumo knows he has a plan. Munakata also orders the city put under martial law for two weeks while he investigates the murder of Tatara Totsuka, who was a member of HOMRA and the reason they’re hungry for revenge. Kuroh has a long meal with Shiro and Neko, after which he vows to kill Shiro, but Shiro convinces him to let him prove his innocence.

Suoh, let’s get straight to the point. Your Weismann level is pushing the limit. If the Sword of Damocles should fall, we’ll have a repeat of the Kagutsu crater. If you insist on drawing more power from the Dresden Slates, I will have to kill you.

Now that right there is some dense proper-noun-laden dialogue right there. It’s what shows that take place in the future where people have supernatural powers are wont to say. But this anime pokes fun at it by having Suoh tell Reishi he has no idea what he’s talking about. It was a necessary bit of exposition, delivered directly but cleverly. While this episode lacked the super-shiny CGI cars and skateboard video fights (though the skateboard kid Yata did get some licks in) it made up for in laying out what’s going on in this crazy mixed-up world, something the first two episodes just didn’t have time to do.

We liked simply being thrown into to the fray blind, but this episode was useful; we learned a lot. The Seven Kings with their elemental powers and rivalries; their tacit understanding that no king can rise above the others without upsetting the balance of the world. It’s all very big, important stuff. On the smaller scale, both the Red and Blue clans are looking for a murderer, while the Black King is after the White King. Only Shiro has no memory. But he does have a cat-girl; one of the things not explained this week. We dig the setting: a prosperous, advanced and powerful Japan with the kings pulling the strings in the background.

Rating: 8 (Great)

P.S. We liked how the episode kept cutting to Shiro’s place, shot from the same angle each time, underlining the tension around and comic quality to a meal that may be Shiro’s last if he doesn’t play his cards right. He does.

Zetsuen no Tempest – 03

Mahiro manages to retreat from Natsumura into a parking garage, where Yoshino meets up with him. Mahiro leaves the tiki walkie talkie with him so Hakaze can quickly school him about magic. Yoshino learns that Kusaribe magic is defensive, but can be used in many ways, including as a weapon. The military sends helicopters to quarantine the city by bombing all bridges and tunnels in and out. Mahiro saves Yoshino from Natsumura by timing one such bombing just right. Hakaze confirms that Aika’s killer was a member of her clan.

We have no doubt Aika loved her brother just as she loveed Mahiro, and would want them to look after each other if anything ever happened to her. Yoshino thought the same thing, and knew he couldn’t just turn his back on Mahiro. So this week he makes the choice not to run, but to stand by Mahiro’s side. It turns out, once he gets a crash course in Kusaribe magic, he proves quite useful and in fact vital to saving Mahiro’s reckless ass.

Mahiro’s quick wits impress Hakaze, whose expectations were quite low after spending time with Yoshino. When he asks her if her magic can resurrect the dead, she wonders if part of him wants to do just that with Aika, but she tells him no; her clan protects the world’s logic; they don’t perform miracles. (They don’t shoot fire or ice or summon monsters, either). We like the magic system involving the offering of the “fruits of civilization” to invoke the powers of the Tree of Genesis, and the importance of preventing Samon and his followers from reviving the Tree of Exodus. It’s great stuff. And the soundtrack is amazing.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

P.S. We don’t know what kind of magic Hakaze was using, but the song she and the kids were singing was hauntingly beautiful.

Car Cameos: This series didn’t skimp on models, though they’re not as pretty as K’s. There’s a whole slew in the parking garage, among others, a Toyota Aristo, Nissan Primera, Nissan Cima, Mitsubishi Montero, and Honda NSX. Evangeline’s one scene has her driving a tomato red VW New Beetle. In the tunnel where Natsu-san gets defeated, there’s a Mitsubishi Outlander and Lancer, Toyota Camry, and more.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – 03

A month of school passes, and the time comes to select clubs. Rikka decides to form the “Far East Magic Society”, giving Yuuta the presidency. He declines, but she doesn’t take no for an answer. She recruits Kumin (adding “Nap” to the club name), her middle school “servant” Dekomori Sanae, and her cat, but it still isn’t enough for club approval. After cleaning a classroom for her, a teacher approves them as a circle. The next day, Shinka tells Yuuta she wants to join the circle (adding “of Summer” to the name), giving them the “Far East Magic Nap Society of Summer” five human members.

By this episode’s end, our friend Yuuta has stumbled somewhat unintentionally into a full-fledged harem, made up of the crazy girl, the crazy girl’s twin-tail friend, the sleepy girl, and the girl voted cutest in the class by the guys, who just happened to be lurking in the bushes late at night just when Yuuta, Kumin and Sanae were leaving. This is a lucky bastard. Shinka – whom he keeps dreaming about in squeaky-clean fantasies – actually seems like she’s interested in all the Chuunibyou crap. So he’s made in the shade, right?

You’d think so. I mean, she’s the cutest girl in his class; the guys have spoken. If she’s into him and his weirdo circle, then why should he care what the rest of his class thinks? He has a harem, even if it is a harem of dorks. But the male leads in the middle of these things always seem to find a fly in the ointment. This development has likely only confused, not clarified, matters for him. It all depends on what he deems more important: having an all-female group of spirited friends who like him for who he was and is (which he has), or achieving the ideal of normality, shedding all vestiges of his Chuunibyou (which he hasn’t).

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

P.S. Another quick but fun duel, this time between Rikka and Sanae. In their imaginations, they’re extremely cool looking, but in reality they’re just rolling on the floor with pushbrooms. It’s moments like that that make us see why Yuuta is so hesitant to return to that kind of lifestyle!