K – 10

Suoh and HOMRA invades the Ashinaka High School Island and locks the place down while they search for Totsuka Tatara’s killer. Kukuri, who may know the identity of the boy in the video, keeps her head down. SCEPTRE-4 arrives on the island and prepare for battle with HOMRA. Munakata gives Suoh an ultimatum: he’ll execute the killer any way he wants if he takes his men and leaves. Suoh declines. Shiro, Kuroh, and Neko return to Shiro’s flat to find it a wreck. They decide to put Shiro’s identity search on hold to rescue Kukuri and the other student hostages.

Assuming Isana Yashiro is indeed the new Colorless King, picking up where Ichigen Miwa left off, he is indeed the ultimate wild card. It’s apparently the nature of colorless kings to be tricksters, and set all the other kings into disarray. Even as an amnesiac, he’s exhibited trickster-ish attributes, and indeed, we wouldn’t put it past a trickster to allow himself to have his memory erased so that he’d never fully remember past deeds. It’s dastardly, but also fits the colorless archetype. And now a reflective Red King about to blow his top any second, and a Blue King trying to prevent excess collateral damage, and their two kingdoms about to go to war – all over who gets to kill Shiro.

There’s some nice, subtle character moments in this episode, like the quiet scene with Suoh and Anna and later Kusanagi, and the little smoke break between Suoh and Munakata. We had to chuckle at Suoh knocking over a massive stone clock tower on the school island, followed by Kusanagi cheerfully assuring the school by megaphone that “we’re not here to hassle you.” Like hell, dude, you knocked over their clock tower. If things go sour, the whole school could end up a crater. Shiro and Kuro, with help from their super-magical cat companion, will aim to prevent that.

Rating: 6 (Good)


Kamisama Hajimemashita – 10

The first half is the story of how Mikage met a listless Tomoe, shortly after Yukiji died. Mikage brings him to his shrine, nurses him back to health, and makes him his familiar, with emphasis on “taming” him and making him more friendly to humans. In the second half, Nanami is dragged to a karaoke mixer, but Mizuki, Tomoe, and Kurama are keeping an eye on things in the next booth. When one of the guys makes a move on Nanami, Tomoe takes him out and tells her they’re going home. Nanami thinks he’s irritated because she was with another guy; he doesn’t deny it.

Ah, a two-story episode…and a good one at that, with both halves more than pulling their weight. In fact, while the events vary greatly from one to the other, the first informs the second very nicely. Mikage comes across a wild, hopeless, defeated Tomoe, overcome by grief from Yukiji’s death. Mikage saved him and drove him to become stronger. Tomoe professes that he’s come to detest humans because they’re so weak. But threatening to devour nice young ladies only trying to thank him…is weak. Mikage teaches him this, then  suddenly disappears, and Nanami takes his place 20 years later. You can’t help but wonder what the old earth god’s intentions were.

Tomoe thought he’d put both romantic entanglement with (Yukiji) and outright contempt for humans behind him, but whether he’s starting to feel something for Nanami (who very obviously adores him) or he’s just afraid of another master abandoning him, Tomoe is never far from her side, even at a karaoke mixer. Rather than scold him for stalking her, she’s actually flattered that he’s so irritated by her hanging out with other guys (at least that’s what she thinks is the case). We’d be loath not to mention the best segue to the ending yet, with an unexpected karaoke-style rendition of the ED courtesy of Kurama. Seriously, that kicked ass.

Rating: 8 (Great)

Zetsuen no Tempest – 10

Yoshino offers his theory: that Samon is trying to fool them by trying to make it seem impossible to save her, while keeping Hakaze in despair. This turns out to be true, which irks Samon. He rebuts Yoshino by pointing out that Hakaze is still just bones in the present, but Yoshino counters that the time prison is also an illusion, caused by the psychology of distance and by keeping Hakaze asleep for two years before sending her to the island  Samon disproves that theory by having Hakaze carved word Yoshino says to her on the barrel. Mahiro remains on the fence, but Yoshino’s efforts were successful in buoying Hakaze’s spirit and deeply troubling Samon, turning the tides in her favor.

We must confess that we were a little disappointed in the lack of progress in this episode. Almost the entire running time is nothing but three people standing around throwing out theories and counterarguments. Considering a huge battle is raging and the Tree of Exodus is about to be awakened, this is a bit of a momentum-killer and the constant diversions into Samon’s inner thoughts reminded us a bit too much of a dragged out shounen battle. But Samon’s thoughts are important, since it’s how we witness his change of mood. For all of Yoshino’s insistence he has Samon figured out, he’s only bluffing, stalling for time, and helping Hakaze get out of her funk – and if Mahiro believes him, so much the better.

Well, Mahiro can’t quite believe him, and Samon does prove that there is a time shift and it isn’t just an elaborate illusion. Hakaze’s in the past, and needs to find a way to cross time in order to deal with Samon. She’s finally in the right state of mind, and Samon is seriously flustered. But the fact remains, last week we ended with Yoshino, Mahiro and Samon in a clearing, wondering how to proceed. This week we ended with Yoshino, Mahiro and Samon in a clearing, wondering how to proceed. We enjoyed the verbal sparring and shifting of the winds, but this episode didn’t take us as far as we thought it would.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)