Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

Ikari Shinji

14 years after third impact, Ikari Shinji awakens to a world he does not remember. He hasn’t aged. Much of Earth is laid in ruins, Nerv has been dismantled, and people who he once protected have turned against him. Befriending the enigmatic Nagisa Kaworu, Shinji continues the fight against the angels and realizes the fighting is far from over, even when it could be against his former allies. The characters’ struggles continue amidst the battles against the angels and each other, spiraling down to what could inevitably be the end of the world. (Source: ANN)

We find ourselves in a conundrum: having primarily written reviews on individual episodes lasting an average of twenty or so minutes each for nearly three years, whenever a film comes around, it’s a struggle to write a review about it. Fully aware that having just finished watching the film without even starting to absorb everything we saw and heard, we won’t be able to do our ultimate thoughts justice in this hastily written review. So instead we’re going to try to keep things as brief and simple as possible, starting with our verdict on the third Evangelion film: It was good. Very good. Everything we were hoping for, and far more than we could have expected.

Ayanami Rei

It occurs to us that back in June 2010 (about three months before we started up RABUJOI), after returning from a trip to Tokyo and having been bombarded with promotional material for the second film, we did just that: keep it simple. That review was just 465 words, back before we had written many reviews. We didn’t re-watch the first two films, but we did re-read our review of the second in preparation for the third. In hindsight, we needn’t have bothered. The third film is all-new, continuing the trend of showing us an Eva we have never seen before, drawing from a dense mythos that has endured and thrived for 16 years now.

Like the Children, the Eva franchise is a teenager, and a moody, fiery one at that. It lashes out and grabs you from the thrilling opening minutes, and as usual, even when we found ourselves as lost and confused in all the sci-fi, crypto-theological techno-babble, elaborate mechanical feats, and apotheothetic explosions as Shinji, we still loved every minute of it. But strip away all the fancy eye candy, and intentionally or not, Anno Hideaki tells a very simple story in this film. It’s about Shinji waking up after an amount of time equal to his entire life, finding that everything is different and nothing makes sense, and being totally unable to deal with that.

Asuka Langley Soryu

With his new friend Nagisa Kaworu (AKA Seele’s Child), Shinji calms down and is able to find a purpose in this new world, only that purpose not only makes him an enemy of his friends, but also threatens to destroy the world rather than save it. Still, even when Kaworu warns him not to, Shinji follows through, makes a bigger mess, and has to be bailed out by Kaworu, who becomes the thirteenth angel. He saves Shinji, and by stopping the fourth impact, saves the world as it stands and everyone in it.

Dejected by the loss of Kaworu, with whom he had bonded so deeply, and aware that his actions have somehow been the cause of everything thus far, Shinji cowers in the darkness of his ejected and soft-landed cockpit plug. He’s afraid to move, to do anything else that will hurt others. But then Asuka finds him, pulls him out, grabs him by the hand and makes him move forward with her. Rei has also landed nearby, and what do you know, the three kids are reunited for the grand finale. After dealing with a world where everything had changed and everyone rejected him, and the only person who didn’t died, Shinji now has a little bit of stability back.

His dad is a distant ass and he never knew his mom, so these two girls, whatever else they might be, are his family.

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • Misato and Ritsuko looked so different and were so cold to Shinji, at first we thought he’d ended up in an alternative universe.
  • Their organization Wille seems to be a counterbalance to NERV.
  • Wille’s flagship, the Wunder, is suitably awesome. It’s the Avenger’s flying aircraft carrier on steroids, and its bridge is just nuts.
  • Mari Makinami Illustrious remains a very mysterious and somewhat one-note character. She’s just kinda around to back Asuka up and fire off quips. We get it; nothin’ fazes you!
  • Rei’s little hut is just as depressing as her old apartment, with many of the same trappings. 
  • It’s a little detail, but we like how Anno stuck with the same design for title cards as the original series, including the series of flashes at the end of the “A-part”.
  • The film was prety light on fanservice, but at this point Asuka’s entire character design is pure fanservice.
  • Turns out Rei is a cloned copy of Shinji’s mother Yui. Like we said…family!
  • Asuka has ceased calling Shinji “idiot”. She’s moved on to “brat.”
  • Gendou is willing to sacrifice everything in order to complete the Human Instrumentality Project and “kill God”. Shit’s heavy, man.
  • Man, there’s nothing quite like hearing that classic preview music at the end. That is how you do a fucking preview.
  • After our initial post-watching excitement, we’ve reduced the rating to 9. The original tv series would probably score a 10 were we to rate it, and at the end of the day none of the new films quite stand on the same level as the original.

Aku no Hana – 05

Nakamura Sawa, Kasuga Takao

Kasuga has his date with Saeki while wearing her gym uniform under his clothes. At the bookstore he buys her a copy of The Flowers of Evil. Nakamura orders him to kiss Saeki before the date ends, but instead he confesses to her and asks if she’ll enter a totally platonic relationship with him; she agrees and is very happy. Nakamura splashes water on Kasuga, but he runs away before Saeki can see the uniform. Nakamura tells him he’ll let him have his relationship while she “cheers on the sidelines.”

Kasuga’s first date with Saeki had its share of bumps, but he tried his best to be himself, showing Saeki his favorite bookstore and describing his favorite surrealist authors and generally geeking out over books. He and Saeki spend a lot of time either in silence or small-talking. Yet, despite him vanishing briefly to talk to Nakamura and running off after she soaks him, it’s really not that bad of a date, because Saeki is clearly into Kasuga, and simply enjoys spending time with him, even if they’re not doing much.

We like this decision not to make Saeki Kasuga’s unrequited, unobtainable love. She’s his angel, but she’s very much obtainable…almost too obtainable. We’re not sure she would have appreciated being suddenly kissed, but we do think she might consider it if he asked nicely. He even moves her to tears with his confession, and not in a negative way.

Saeki Nanako, Kasuga Takao

Still, Kasuga doesn’t want to open any kind of floodgates, and more importantly, doesn’t want to give in to Nakamura’s goading, so he proposes a platonic relationship, and to his shock and elation, Saeki is all for it. If only Saeki knew what she was getting into.

We loved the cautious pace and very precise direction of this episode. The nondescript town they walk around is so still and quiet, one wonders how Saeki doesn’t notice Nakamura stalking them. Kasuga squirms a lot in this episode, too, especially when Nakamura is so close to him it looks like she’s on the verge of kissing him herself. She feels his heart racing and it excites her. But is this a girl liking a boy, or a girl liking the power she has over him; so much so that she’s willing to cut him some slack, let him court Saeki, and bide her time until she tears down those walls.

But Nakamura isn’t the only villain here. What Kasuga does (stealing the uniform) and continues to do (not giving it back or fessing up) directly got him into this situation. Nakamura wouldn’t have any ammo if he weren’t guilty of those deeds. He may show his idealized version of himself to Saeki on his date – the Kasuga he shows the world and wants to be, but there’s a kernal of truth to Nakamura’s ravings about his deviancy. Kasuga fears Nakamura, but he fears the deviant within even more, and nothing he can say to himself can comfort him as long as the Telltale Uniform looms like a shadow.

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • At the moment Saeki is being portrayed as so pure and innocent compared to the manic, depraved Nakamura. We’re almost positive she’d be absolutely crushed by the news he stole her uni.
  • On that note, Kasuga’s “hallucination” of her as an angel – complete with creepy cherubs – was pretty neat.
  • By giving her his favorite book, perhaps Kasuga’s hoping Saeki will understand him a little better. 
  • “You’re a strange one,” Saeki says of him. Perhaps, but there’s something strange about her too: she’s so…perfect.
  • “I’ll make sure it works out,” Nakamura assures Kasuga. If we were him, we consider those foreboding words.

Suisei no Gargantia – 05

Gargantia

Red, tired of being on standby, seeks out work, but there are no jobs available. An alarm sounds and Gargantia’s engines stop, signaling a “calm day”, when everyone but the repair teams relaxes. Red, Amy, and Bevel join Pinion, Melty and Saya for a grill party. Pinion sends Red on a mission to a seedy section of town, while Amy, Melty and Saya have a race to the top of the tower, where Red is chased and has to be rescued by Amy. Red completes his mission, and when he returns the party has grown much larger, and Pinion using a sun-baked Chamber as a grill.

As the last two episodes has shown, Suisei no Gargantia is not always going to be about a big battle, or even have any significant conflict that must be resolved. It’s executed its battles well, but its just as adept at slice-of-life, as this week is akin to a lazy sunday; at time to kick back and enjoy the beautiful day. Bevel asked Red what humanity where he’s from would do if the Hideauze were defeated, and Red isn’t sure, but this week his eyes are opened to any number of possibilities. That would be a time for celebration, joy and relaxation, and this episode has all three in spades. Everyone is having a lot of fun, enjoying good food and good company.

There’s a little bit of everything: girls stripping down to skimpy bikinis (even Ridgett partakes); said girls stripping Red down (and admiring with his physique); Red being chased up the tallest tower in the fleet by more admirers; a surf-kite race; a sketchy transaction that turns out to be a purchase of sauce. And perhaps most amusing is Pinion subtly tricking Chamber into serving as a grill, making Chamber the hero of the party, since without him there would be no food. And what was originally supposed to be a small, secret get-together became a huge shindig. It wouldn’t be the most exciting series in the world if every episode was this leisurely, but every once in a while is fine.

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Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Teaching Red how to swim was cute.
  • Chamber doesn’t get girls.
  • We like the idea that Pinion is relaxing even though he has work to do and has simply delegated it to his team. 
  • We want a surf kite. It would shorten our commute considerably.
  • The series doesn’t show Red getting sexually assaulted, only the aftermath, with his borrowed hawaiian shirt torn and covered in red lip marks. Kinda corny!

Chihayafuru 2 – 17

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The match with Fujisaki begins, and Fujisaki jumps out to a huge lead, dominating the Mizusawa players with their superior speed, strength, and precision, a legacy that has been built in Coach Sakurazawa’s 12-year reign. Chihaya remembers what Kana calling Yamashiro’s reading “multicolor”, and is able to swipe her first card from Rion by “hearing” its color. She takes another by borrowing a move from Megumu, but jams her right index finger. Not letting the pain get to her, she swipes another card with queen-like speed, prompting Shinobu, watching in the crowd, to recall her match with Chihaya.

Fujisaki is the most focused, disciplined, and talented team Mizusawa has yet faced. Even Desktomu’s scouting notes can only go so far, and no amount of preparation is adequate for the match that begins to unfold this week. In this beginning, Fujisaki simply takes care of business. It doesn’t particularly matter to them who they’re playing; they’re the best, period. That’s not to say there aren’t chinks in the armor; the first one to rear its head is Rion’s very specific way of playing. She’s a brilliant prodigy to be sure, and quite possibly autistic, but the ability to hear colors and otherworldly game sense may not be enough against Chihaya, who has been constantly diversifying her game to overcome every weakness.

We breathe a sigh of relief when she finally snaps out of her funk, remembers Kana’s sage words, and snatches her first card with authority. When she sneaks under Rion’s hand for another score, the flusterer becomes the flustered and Chihaya builds momentum. She’s not the only one who won’t go quietly into the night; both Taichi and Porky have something to prove, and are going to give it everything they have. Never has Mizusawa’s back been more up against the wall, but there’s still a glimmer of hope that they can pull out a win…one card at a time.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Shinobu immediately deems the match she’s grudgingly attended to be a boring waste of time, but we imagine she’ll grow more and more interested if Chihaya can take Rion down and other Miszusawa players rise to the occasion.
  • She also doesn’t fathom just how much inspirational power and influence her position as queen carries. How can she, when she’s never bothered to use it?
  • Rion has never won a tournament, and this match is her first chance to be a winner.
  • Chihaya’s subtle, deft use of her injury to throw Rion off her rhythm was pretty awesome.

 

Oreimo 2 – 05

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Kyousuke pretends to be Kirino’s boyfriend to convince a modeling agency that she can’t go abroad. It seems to work, but when Kyousuke suggests they go out on a date the next day, they must follow through. After the date, Kirino insinuates she has a real boyfriend, worrying Kyousuke. Ruri tells him she wouldn’t mind if Kirino did. Kyousuke, Kirino and Saori and Ruri go to the Summer Comiket, and they sell out the Maschera doujinshi they made together. While watching a Meruru movie, Kirino is confronted by a young man.

Both Kyousuke and Kirino would prefer to keep everything about their relationship left unsaid between them, whenever possible. The truth is they both care for one another deeply, but neither wants the other to come right out and admit it. When Kirino has said nice things about her brother, it certainly wasn’t when he was present. So when they have to pretend to be a convincing couple (for a pretty flimsy reason, frankly) and they’re asked why they love one another, they’re actually open and honest about it, because they feel they have to be.

That was sweet, and the date is more fun than we thought it would be, but where this episode really shines is pretty much whenever Ruri is on the screen. From her reaction to seeing the “happy couple”, to her unexpected appearance in normal clothes (a Menma-like white dress), to the resumption of talking and having fun with Kyousuke, Ruri proves yet again why she’s our favorite character. That Kirino has a boyfriend neither surprises nor bothers us like it does Kyousuke, because that will just mean he can spend more time with the lovely “Shironeko”.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Both Kirino and Kyousuke clearly have way more fun on their date than either would ever admit.
  • It is nice to see Kyousuke and Ruri acting like a normal guy and gal. There are a couple moments when Kirino is watching them and we can’t help but see the same jealousy she mocked Kyousuke for having when she mentioned her boyfriend.
  • Those Summer Comiket lines look brutal, but we like the rule about closing the gaps!

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 04

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Misaka’s friends find her in unusually high spirits while hanging out with her, unaware that she’s satisfied all of the cloning business is behind her. Alas, three months prior, two scientists extract MISAKA SN# 9982 from her maturation tube and begin to train her for outside life. After occupying an otherwise boring day by hanging out with some kids, Misaka send them on their way and senses her own power. She runs to its source and finds MISAKA 9982 standing before her.

Misaka’s dull summer day is juxtaposed with flashbacks to the lab where her doppelganger is being honed, but there really it’s a pretty tension-free day until nearly nineteen minutes into the episode, when Misaka finally senses her clone is out and about. The only stresses she had to deal with prior to that was not letting on too much to her friends about clones or why she’s suddenly so chipper, or the difficulty in acquiring a frog badge she can’t even proudly wear because she fear’s Kuroko’s pity.

Speaking of pity, perhaps we’re misguided in feeling compassion for compassion-less biological machines that just happen to look like Misaka – we’d probably be less outraged by what we saw if they were robots made of metal and circuitry rather than flesh and blood. But the Sisters are flesh and blood, and we’re sorry, and this shit’s all kinds of fucked up. If the scientists we follow in the flashbacks feel any reservations about the project, they certainly don’t show it, and abdicate any moral ground they might’ve stood on when they order #9982 to clean up a room full of dead, bloody sisters.

If you’re going to play god, the least you can do is clean up your own goddamn messes.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Kuroko thinks her onee-sama has already been replaced, until a remark about her panties gets her fried, and she’s convinced it’s the same old Misaka.
  • Considering all the punks and rapists in Academy City, why are those little kids running around unsupervised?
  • The sudden change in tone leading up to an awesome Big Reveal of Misaka finding MISAKA is quite powerful, and just about makes up for all the prior dawdling.
  • That closing shot of an emotionless 9982 saying “Understood” while her two tending scientists smile calmly at the sight of the carnage before them…a real chilling knife-turner.
  • Where the hell were Misaka’s frigging parents when criminal mad scientists where coercing her into surrendering her DNA map, the equivalent of blueprints for a WMD? Why was there no one around to say “No” on her behalf?*

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru – 05

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Hachiman’s sister Komachi comes to him with a new mission for the service club: Kawasaki Saki’s little brother Taishi is worried about her staying out late all night. Her attitude has deteriorated to the point she’s labeled as a delinquent at school. Yukino, Saika and Yui’s attempts to try to get through to her fail. When they recieve a clue and find her at her late-night job tending bar, a job for which she faked her age.

Meeting up after her shift, Hachiman figures out that she’s doing it to pay for college prep courses and doesn’t want to be a burden to her family, but Taishi doesn’t want to be a burden to her either. Komachi recognizes Yui as the girl whose dog Hachiman saved. The next day Hachiman tells Yui to stop being nice to him if she’s doing it out of guilt, or just to be nice.

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While episodes thus far including this one have been episodic in nature, focusing on the club’s mission of the week, it nevertheless has never neglected the development of Hachiman, Yui, or Yukino’s characters. Their experiences reveal more about who they are and what they’re made of. So far, Hachiman is the only one whose mind we can read, so we also get his analysis as he learns about Yui and Yukino in tandem with us. We liked the Kawasaki Saki mission, and how she turned out to be less of a bad girl than everyone thought, but as that investigation unfolded, something unexpected happened.

Komachi, the go-between for the mission, gave Yui a funny look, and tells the previously unaware Hachiman that she’s the owner of the dog whose life he saved. We hear his thoughts tell us Yui is merely being nice out of guilt or obligation, but that’s just Hachiman’s view, informed by his experiences being hurt by girls. He’s not necessarily right, and in any case, he hurts Yui with the accusation. We’ll see if he doubles down on his rejection of what he sees as her “hollow niceness”, or if he can get past his prejudice and open his heart to someone. In any case, it’s a great development that lends momentum to the narrative.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Komachi was far more bearable this week.
  • Yukino’s a rich girl with many dresses and tries talking to cats when she thinks she’s alone. She also still won’t call Hachiman a friend, nor does she pay for his drink at the bar.
  • Con: they couldn’t resist putting Saika in a maid’s outfit, though mercifully it didn’t happen in real life, only in Yoshi’s mind.
  • Pro: Yukino and Yui do dress as maids in real life, though we’re not sure why.
  • Also Pro: Hachiman, Yukino, and Yui look pretty boss in their eveningwear.
  • Apparently minors in Japan can’t work past 22:00.
  • Wacnordo, eh?
  • Hachiman’s final line is great: Yukino is the harsh mistress (the truth) while Yui is the nice girl (a lie). At least that’s how he sees it…the jury’s still out whether he’s correct about either.

Hataraku Maou-sama! – 05

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Maou’s general Lucifer, aided by rogue High Priest Olba Meyer, intends to destroy both Emi and Maou, using the negative energy of the surrounding populace – and Chiho – to fuel his magic. He gravely injures Maou, but he has enough magic to teleport to a crowded area, where he too draws power from the people and stops a highway from collapsing. Emi summons her hero powers and clashes with Lucifer. Once he sets the rubble down, Maou joins the fight, beating Olba and Lucifer to a pulp. Emi’s allies Emeralda and Albert arrive, and they’re confused about Maou, but take Emi’s word for it and then depart. Maou and Emi explain everything to Chiho, who watched it all unfold. Maou fixes the damage to the city and wipes the public’s memories (except for Chiho’s).

Not only was this the most action-packed episode, it was also the funniest by far, and those two qualities actually complemented each other quite well, rather than clashing. Maou in particular calls out Olba (“cue-ball”) on his cliche’d villain bullshit, and while he, Emi, Ashiya and Chiho are put into considerable peril, they come back hard on their would-be usurpers and put them back in their place. When you go after the Hero and Demon Overlord, you best not miss. They did, and struck out.

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This was also one of the denser episodes not just of this series, but of the entire Spring, with an epic, cinematic feel and a lot of well-oiled moving parts humming along in perfect harmony and formidable speed. But in the midst of all the magic spectacle and comedy, the four core characters stay true to themselves throughout. Even while Maou’s keeping an overpass from falling on her, Emi is still reticent about working alongside him. Maou sticks to his guns about liking the world he’s in and working hard to protect it. Ashiya is a proud, loyal…dork. Best of all, Chiho remembers everything that happened this week, and she seems to be cool with it, which is what we’d expect of an open-minded, wide-eyed youth such as herself.

Maou and Emi look upon one another incredulously in the aftermath of all this action, after returning to their ordinary human forms. The question is raised: if the two of them could have summoned this power all along, why did neither of them try to off the other? Both are coy and elusive in their answer, but we can hazard a guess; while Maou still talks about restoring his empire and Emi muses about killing Maou, the fact is, it’s all just talk, and in the meantime, they seem to be enjoying their ordinary human lives…so why rock the boat?


Rating: 9 (Superior)

 

 

 

Kakumeiki Valvrave – 04

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L-elf wants Haruto to team up with him and aid in “bringing revolution to Dorssia.” Haruto refuses, but L-elf predicts they’ll contract, and tells him he’ll flash a peace sign when its time. While with Akira, Shouko overhears Senator Figaro planning to abandon the students and run, then manages to convince the student council without telling them about Akira. The students distract Figaro and the guards while Shouko, Izunuka, and Otamaya rescue Haruto, who boards Valvrave, preventing Figaro from escaping. L-elf flashes a sign, but Shouko gets Haruto’s attention first, and comes up with a bold plan to ensure Sakimori Academy’s survival.

Last week was mostly set-up, outlining L-elf’s seemingly precognitive abilities and introducing an ARUS force that looked on its surface to be the school’s savior. But once the Dorssian fleet regroups and takes it to the far smaller ARUS force, and Figaro’s back is against the wall, he decides to turn tail and run, leaving the students behind to suffer subjugation and internment by ruthless Dorssia. This week he shows his true colors, and shows that the students of Sakimori cannot rely on anyone but themselves, including their classmate Haruto, his childhood friend Shouko, and his awesome robot Valvrave, which, by the way, kills anyone who isn’t Haruto who tries to pilot her.

At the beginning of the episode, Haruto sees his new power a curse, and by the end probably still does, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to use it. It’s just a matter of to what ends. L-elf is the first to suggest the two of them take on Dorssia together, suggesting he may have been a malcontent even before the misunderstanding that got him labelled a deserter. But it’s Shouko who gets to Haruto first, and both he and the school take to her idea with enthusiasm. It’s a sudden, drastic, and unusual step – turning the academy into its own independent state, but with Valvrave on their side, anything’s possible.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We like Shoko’s nervous habit of clutching the hem of her skirt when she’s in a spot.
  • While it seems a bit ludicrous to literally break the entire Sakimori module off from the rest of JIOR, but as the rest of JIOR is already occupied, it’s not like they have a lot of choices.
  • Akira looks cool and collected enough while alone, but as soon as she’s in the presence of another human being she totally freaks out. Her cave fort is awesome, though.
  • Haruto seemingly says “fuck you” to everyone in this episode. Not Shoko though…that would be uncouth.
  • Wild card Yamada blocks Figaro’s truck – and gets shot in the arm for it. We doubt he’s okay with Haruto and Shoko saving him.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 05

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After some shaky supplemental training on Earth, Team Rabbits’ suits are repaired and they are paired up with Team Doberman for a new mission to destroy a Wulgaru base. Doberman’s leader Randy gives Izuru some tips about how to be a hero, and lends him what turns out to be a sex tape. When they arrive at the planetoid, a fleet of Wulgaru enemies swarms over the base. Dobermans distract them while Izuru, Kei and Suruga infiltrate the base and Asagi and Tamaki guard their exit. The bomb they brought is damaged, but Izuru gives Suruga the time he needs to repair it. It explodes, and Tamaki saves them from the blast wave.

After a string of morale-busting failures, the Majestic Princes are given another chance to prove themselves to their superiors, their peers, and the world, after being labeled fuck-ups and one-hit-wonders. The Dobermans’ leader Randy, while possibly a pervert and a cad, nevertheless inspires Izuru and provides sound advice: there’s more to being a hero than simply saving the day on your own. Izuru has to learn to trust his comrades, project and air of confidence, make quick decisions, and never give up. Randy also advises him to enjoy life, meet people, and make memories, as every mission could be his last.

This mission isn’t Izuru’s last, nor is it anyone elses’, as they score a decisive victory despite having to deal with a whole Wulgaru task force in addition to the base’s defenses. This was the best-looking and most exciting battle since the first one, and we’re relieved that the quality of these sequences has been maintained. The Dobermans, initially thought to be taking the lead on the mission, end up playing a supporting role; it’s Izuru and the Rabbits’ show, and they don’t disappoint, ending their losing streak and proving that when properly motivated, the Fail Five can succeed with style and authority.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • The Rabbits’ individual reactions to the sex tape were worth a chuckle, particularly the fact Izuru and Asagi didn’t stop watching until the end…
  • Tamaki’s always complaining about her weight, but it’s her Rose’s width that keeps her from entering the base.
  • Izuru sees a small group of ships escaping from the blown-up base. Who could they be…just Wulgaru, or …someone else?

RDG: Red Data Girl – 05

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With his late brother Masumi’s help, Souda Manatsu is able to cow Takayanagi and his homonculi to avenge Mayura’s injury. Takayanagi takes down the website and withdraws from the council president eleciton, which is won by Kisaragi Jean Honoka. When Yukimasa joins the school’s faculty to protect Izumiko, Miyuki is angered and separates himself from her. But when Izumiko falls in with the “shadow student council” led by former president Murakami Hodaka, Miyuki comes for her right before she performs a dance for them. The Himegami speaks through her, imploring Miyuki not to let her come to life, or it may spell humanity’s extinction.

Thanks to Yukimasa, Izumiko learns the truth about where she is and why: she, like the other students at Houjou Academy, are members of an “endangered species” of humans who can communicate with the gods. If such humans were to become extinct, some say the human race would die out with them. We kind of like this concept: it certainly amplifies the importance of both Izumiko and her classmates. All are one of, and the last of, their kind. They must never forget who they are or what they’re capable of. Unfortunately, Yukimasa’s mere presence threatens Miyuki and Izumiko’s bond, at least until Izumiko is in potential danger and Yukimasa isn’t there to save her.

RDG is putting forth some of the trappings of an unlikely romance between Miyuki and Izumiko. It certainly hasn’t progressed very far, but it has progressed, and in a very organic and elegant way. One reason Miyuki likely hates Yukimasa is that he reminds him how weak and inexperienced and full of doubt he himself is. He hates himself because he doesn’t know what he should do or if he can do it, and Yukimasa showing up is almost a confirmation that he can’t be trusted with Izumiko’s safety. Yet his fondness and personal duty to Izumiko proves stronger than both hate for Yukimasa and doubt in himself. Regardless of any other considerations, he’ll stand with Izumiko. And she wants him by her side. Sounds like the makings of love to us.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Souda Masumi threw us for a loop: he’s a he who was just happening to assume the form of a girl.
  • When she sees Miyuki speaking to Mayura, and Mayura’s hand on his shoulder, Izumiko seems to experience jealousy for the first time.
  • Himegami’s warning to Miyuki sounds like a call for him to possibly go against Yukimasa’s plan, if Yukimasa plans to revive Himegami, that is. We don’t know yet.
  • Her lips were really red.