Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou – 03

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Harumi meets Natsuno’s masochistic editor, Hiiragi Suzuna, and learns that despite all the writing she’s been doing, Harumi has been in a slump since he was murdered. Suzuna also mentions a slasher going around the neighborhood, and Natsuno decides to investigate. They determine that every victim has been in possession of a Akiyama Shinobu book. Natsuno and Harumi bump into rival author/idol Akizuki Maxi, who mocks Natsuno’s bust. When the pet store owner’s afro is cut, Natsuno spots the culprit and chases after him, while Harumi falls for a trap and ends up back in his apartment, the captive of his own little sister, Madoka.

Ugh…when we heard of a new Gonzo series that wasn’t a Last Exile spinoff coming, this isn’t exactly what we had in mind. After a promising introduction, this episode was a huge step down from the previous two. Compared to most of the other series this season, the clumsy, animation is starting to wear thin, as is the random S&M crap and boob envy weaved into the plot, none of which is remotely funny. We realize there’s a human in that dog body, we just aren’t fans of animal abuse, no matter how silly and ridiculous the circumstances, and are finding it hard to understand Natsuno’s intense hostility towards the person who saved her damn life.

As for her editor Suzuna and her rival Maxi…well, they both come off as patently stupid, banal characters with no substance or nuance whatsoever. Harumi’s sister Madoka is slightly better, but that’s not saying much. She apparently liked her brother very much before he died, but is now aware that he’s a dog and has kidnapped him for some reason, again begging the question of why everyone feels the need to tie him up. With thirteen other series to keep track of, we have little time for inconsistent, half-baked nonsense. We’ll give it one more episode to change our minds…otherwise, it’s Dropsville.

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Rating: 4
 (Fair)

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Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 02

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After being stabbed by Lune, Apollo escapes from Kanon and sends a warning to the other goddesses. Haqua determines that Kanon has about a week to live unless they can clear the ancient demon magic, which Diana says will require the remaining four sisters. Keima forms and operates under the theory that the goddesses are all within his former conquests. He narrows the list down to Kosaka Chihiro, Takahara Ayumi, Goidou Yui, Kujou Tsukiyo, and Shiomiya Shiori, approaching them one by one to gauge whether they remember him and confessing his love to them, with varying results. By the end of two days, he concludes that all five remain potential hosts for the four remaining goddesses.

This episode operates under the assumption its audience knows a formidable amount of backstory on all of Keima’s former conquests. Some even happened in OVAs we haven’t watched, but that’s okay; one is some astronomer, and the other is a rich girl who is now acting like a boy. As for Chihiro, Ayumi, and Shiori, we know them. It’s interesting to watch all the girls’ reactions to Keima as he undertakes his most challenging mission yet: re-conquering all five of them simultaneously in an effort to summon the remaining goddesses to aid Diana in saving Kanon’s life. This is a tall task even for someone used to multiple simultaneous conquests in the gaming world.

That’s because all the girls he means to re-conquer inhabit the same space, so he has to re-conquer them without any of them getting the idea that there’s a fourth-party beyond him and Kanon to deal with. While in most harems, the guy in the middle is an oblivious milquetoast, Keima is very much aware of the danger of creating love polygons, and his intricate strategy depends on him being able to keep the girls separate as he works on them. Keima is relying on Haqua to assist him in this and other things, and in their interactions Haqua’s opinion of him improves (despite his walking in on her preparing for a bath) as she sees just how resolved he is to save Kanon.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)