Kamisama Hajimemashita – 05

The thunder deity Narukami pays Nanami a visit at school, offering to take the shrine and Tomoe off her hands. Nanami declines, so she takes her deity mark and turns Tomoe into a child with the hammer Daikokuten. She runs into Kurama, who lets her crash at his place. Tomoe’s body is too small to handle his demonic power, and he is disgusted by his uselessness helplessness, so he goes back to the shrine and hides there. Nanami bets that if she finds him, Narukami will return him to normal. She finds him in Mikage’s mirror, and Narukami withdraws. Nanami returns Tomoe to normal and he kisses her, resuing their contract.

The florid narrator says it all this week: severe storms lie ahead for Nanami. Narukami swoops in, and in less than eight minutes Nanami is out of house and home, has no familiar, and is no longer an earth deity. We had no idea it was so easy to strip her of her godhood, but the thunder deity is as powerful as she is impatient. It’s rather amusing that she just found out Mikage’s been gone for twenty years, and wastes no time taking over the shrine. Only once she has it, she’s miserable, because the place is a run-down mess without Tomoe, who has no intention of being her familiar.

If it wasn’t for suddenly bumping into Kurama (convenient, that), Nanami would’ve likely had to spend the night out on the street. Kurama for his part almost seems to relish hosting her and lil’ Tomoe, despite his veneer of annoyance and put-outness. It’s his chance to show Nanami – deity or not – that he’s not merely a villain. But most importantly, the ordeal switches Nanami and Tomoe’s roles for a week: she proves to him she can protect and care for him in his moment of vulnerability. There were moments when he was about to lose hope, but she pulled him out of that mirror and resolved the situation. He wastes no time re-contracting (kissing) her to show his gratitude.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

End-of-Month Rundown – October 2012

October has been a fairly active month for RABUJOI, in that it’s seen the addition of the new RTI rating, anime Trope Charts, and colorful Character Organizational Charts. On top of that, we’ve been following ten Fall series plus two Summer carryovers. It’s been a great Fall so far, with plenty of engaging action, powerful drama, touching romances…and TANKS.

12. Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 17/24 (5.570), (.72 RTI) – Another lull in the Beta action has meant more time for girls to fall for Yuuya…yippee.

11. Girls und Panzer – 4/12 (6.000), (.40 RTI) – We’re surprisingly into this. It’s got girls who live on giant city-ships careering around in frikkin’ tanks. What more could you possibly ask for?

10. Btooom! – 4/12 (7.000), (.44 RTI) – Like many of Madhouse’s darker works, this is building a great, tense atmosphere with diverse characters helpless against a higher power that seeks to use them as game pieces.

9. Jormungand: Perfect Order – 16/24 (7.000), (.28 RTI) – Another arc, another badass chick. Next arc: Tojo gets something to do.

8. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – 3/12 (7.667), (.44 RTI) – Very fun and quirky series that looks great, especially when portraying the over-the-top fights in its characters’ imaginations.

7. Sword Art Online – 17/25 (7.750), (.64 RTI) – Transitioned nicely from the first game to the real world and now a new game, but we’re disappointed Asuna is currently nothing but a plot device, replaced by an imouto (really a cousin) who has fallen for Kirito. New villain’s a bit dull, too.

6. Kamisama Hajimemashita – 4/13 (7.750), (.48 RTI) – We like the growing bond between earth deity-in-training Nanami and her fox familiar, Tomoe, as well as the diversity of their exploits thus far.

5. From the New World (Shin Sekai yori) – 5/25 (8.000), (.36 RTI) – After lots of exposition this series probably has the richest (and most effed up) setting, with kids in genuine danger having stumbled upon secrets they weren’t supposed to hear. It’s on the rise.

4. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 4/13 (8.200), (.40 RTI) – Haru can be a spastic sonofabitch, but Shizuku is gradually taming him, and the two have great chemistry.

3. K – 4/13 (8.250), (.60 RTI) – There’s a crapload of factions and players and agendas – like Durarara!! – all living in a gorgeously-rendered Tokyo that really feels alive and accompanied by a sweet slick soundtrack.

2. Sukitte Ii na yo. – 4/13 (9.000), (.36 RTI) – Lots of similarities to Tonari, but this is the better shoujo romance series so far, as the male lead is less abusive/more nuanced. Both Shizuku and Mei are tough cookies, though.

1. Zetsuen no Tempest – 4/- (9.000), (.56 RTI) – Our favorite Fall series by a hair – two high schoolers getting embroiled in the middle of a magical clan war seeking revenge (or not) for the girl they both loved – one because she was his sister, one because she was his lover. Bones at its best. We wouldn’t mind a second cour.

Jormungand – 16

Kasper, Chequita, and his team are in Jakarta, attempting to meet Colonel Nualkhair, but they’re stood up. They go to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant where he laments that a “phantom company” is trying to edge them out of southeast Asia. He orders an assault on Nualkhair’s son’s compound, which is made to look like an accident but will be seen by the phantoms as a declaration of war. The company based in Japan, which is where Koko and her team are headed. During the flight, Jonah reminisces about his previous life. They meet up with Kasper’s team at Narita, and Kasper takes Jonah to see his three orphaned friends at an international school. Kasper asks to speak to Tojo, who once worked for the Defense Intelligence HQ or SR Squad, whom he believes to be the “phantoms”.

With R and Hex dead and Bookman currently hand-less, HCLI moves on to other things, as they’re threatened to be pushed out of SE Asia by a mysterious company that’s messing with their would-be clients. Kasper, who is essentially a beefed-up, more ruthless version of Koko, isn’t going to take it sitting down, and seeks the wisdom of another one from Koko’s team, Tojo. Both teams are so eclectic in their composition, it’s not surprising that they all may have past connections that may prove useful. Tojo is more brains than brawn in ops, so we may be in for a more cerebral arc than the one with R and Hex – though the tidy raid on Nualkhair’s pad was a powerful statement that Kasper doesn’t play around.

This episode was a little weighed down by frequent flashbacks that amount to clips from the first cour’s fifth episode, chronicling how Jonah ended up with HCLI and Koko. This smacked of recapping, which we never like to see in regular episodes. The clips didn’t really reveal anything new, but only served as a large, padded segue to Jonah asking Kasper about the kids he promised would be cared for in Japan. He sees them, and their clean clothes smiling faces are a striking contrast to the abject misery of that wretched base. But Jonah just sees them; he doesn’t meet them. He’s almost confirming that he deems his existence incompatible with normal life and other kids in particular. He couldn’t bear it if the sight of him changed the look on their faces from contentment to fear.

Rating: 6 (Good)