To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 20

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The robots that attacked Febli had no batteries, leaving Antiskill scratching their heads. Mikoto, Saten, UIhau and Shirai take Febri out to eat and to a bathhouse. While on their way home, they keep running into detour signs, corralling them into a dead end where they’re attacked by a giant robot deployed by Aritomi and his fellow researchers. Mikoto’s electricity has no effect on it, but Kongou swoops in to save them. Febri develops a fever and is hospitalized. Mikoto & Co. spend the night there, and in the morning Heaven Canceler tells Mikoto Febri is man-made.

“Those who rely on their powers are powerless,” says one of the researchers now targeting Mikoto. They’re bold words, infused with a degree of bitterness and jealousy, spoken by someone who is tired of the espers getting all the attention. But they also ring a bit hollow in light of what’s happened so far. It may be more accurate to say “those who rely on their powers will be bailed out by their friends’ powers.” Kongou is proving to be the X-factor of this arc, foiling the brainiacs’ plans at every turn in her usual arrogant-but-elegant style.

It’s also hard to take these guys seriously though, considering how slowly this episode went. There’s absolutely no hurry to reveal who they are or how they plan to defeat the espers. We hang out with the girls as they entertain Febri, and the battle is almost an afterthought, thanks to Kongou just happening to be in the right place at the right time. Still, Febri being present for both instances of machines working without internal power and the revelation she’s an android got us a little more invested. If she’s the source of the machines’ power, then Kongou’s attack harmed her too.


Rating: 6 (Good)

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Gatchaman Crowds – 08

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Berg-Katze kisses Rui and transforms into his doppelganger, depriving him of access to X. Hajime implements a PR campaign to out the Gatchamen, starting at a preschool where she and Sugane transform for both the kids and the press. While on camera she invites Rui join them. Berg-Katze-Rui tracks down Umeda, one of the recently exiled hundred, and invites him to join the “Neo-hundred”, while the real Rui comes across a child making a grave for her father, who collapsed while using GALAX.

There are many cases where bringing about something new means doing away with something old. With their new foe Berg-Katze, Hajime is convinced that the Gatchamen have to do things in a new way, out in the open, gaining the trust of the people. Shrewdly, she starts with innocent little kids; “if the Gatchamen are okay with them,” people will think to themselves, “they can’t be all bad!” And not only does it effectively promote the Gatchamen as the good guys, playing with the kids also cheers up Paiman, Sugane, Utsutsu and OD (Jou, still disgusted with himself, is a no-show).

Even though it’s Rui Hajime invites, it turns out to be a challenge to Berg-Katze to “come and play”, only he’s already busy continuing to torture Rui, who has lost his security blanket in X. His CROWDs are gone, his power is gone, and his control is gone; all he has is the last outfit he left his place in and his wits. Berg has stripped it all away, destroying everything Rui was, because Berg has fun doing it and screwing with the world. Rui will have to find a way to come back without those things he’s lost, because someone having that much fun won’t stop all on his own.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Tamayura: More Aggressive – 09

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As the town prepares bamboo lanterns for the annual Walk of Longing, a high school friend of Potte’s father, Natsume Nozomu, pays a long put-off visit. He doesn’t mince words while criticizing Potte’s work. When she and Kanae bump into Shihomi while snapping pictures, she tells them she’s also endured her share of criticism, and encourages her to keep cultivating her love for photography. Potte, Kanae and the others have okonomiyaki at Hoboro’s with Nozomu. Later he tells Potte a little about what her dad was like in high school, and is glad he visited, and lets her take a parting photo of him.

This week is an interesting new exercise in subjecting Potte to perhaps the prickliest person she’s had to deal with all season, someone immune to her charms and seems determined to pop her pleasant little bubble, and Kanae’s along with it. He says what some of us may have been thinking all along: all she does is impulsively point and shoot at things, keeping her subjects right in the center, just like her dad. As a guy who has no qualms about dispensing with pleasantries and picking on his dead mate’s daughter, having missed his wedding, her birth, and his funeral. He also stopped taking photos, even though he was the one who inspired her dad in the first place.

So this guy’s just a pompous dick, right? Well, fortunately, the more we see him interact with Takehara and Potte, the more he softens and becomes (slightly) more likable. His other mate Hinomaru knows the sourpuss is just a front. Kanae talks a lot about how Potte’s heart races when taking photos, which leads to the hearts of the people who see them also racing, as if catching a wave. Nozomu admits that while Potte’s dad’s (and her) photos aren’t the most technically adventurous, he admits that they’re all “overflowing with love.” Enough that they, along with a nostalgic taste of okonomiyaki and a wistful tour of the Walk of Longing, touch his heart.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

End-of-Month Rundown – August 2013

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This month flew by almost as fast as July, but being the middle month of the three-month Summer season, there was a slight shift downward in cumulative episode ratings. Unless all these series have horrible endings, September should be as strong or stronger than July, when they all began.

That’s not to say this was a subpar month; far from it. That downward shift was very slight (as in, something like a tenth of a point). Rather, this was a steady and consistent month. Fully familiarized with all the series and their casts and settings, we saw what those series ended up doing with them.

In Danganronpa’s case that meant killing a lot of them off. In Servant x Service, it meant bringing them closer together. In C3-bu it meant drawing them apart. In Uchoten Kazoku, it meant giving us more of an initially foggy picture of the past, and in Monogatari, it meant changing the past only to destory the present.

At any rate we’ve stuck with all fourteen series we began the month with, and with all fourteen we have little or no idea how they’ll end, and are looking forward to how those endings will unfold, what it will mean for their characters, and whether any of these series will continue into the Fall. On to our August rankings:

14. Danganronpa: The Animation 8/13 (6.500) – This show brings up the rear, but it’s not awful. While we’re pretty sure Naegi will end up winning, we’re sticking with it to learn how: will he end up killing someone to avoid being killed, or will he and Kirigiri lead a revolution against that awful bear, allowing other students to survive?

13. Love Lab 8/13 (6.500) – While obstensibly a comedy consisting of the comics loosing barrage after barrage of jokes at the straight men, we like how the characters are gradually getting more developed. Rika’s continues to perpetuate the lie about being a romantic expert, and even the antagonistic Sayori gets some depth

12. Servant x Service 9/13  (6.889) – With almost all sevens, SxS is nothing if not steady, but has yet to produce an episode that truly stands above the rest (not surprising for a steady slice-of-life series). The love story between Hasebe and Yamagami is progressing at a very deliberate pace

11. Kimi no Iru Machi 7/-  (7.000) – This is a romantic drama full of big, dramatic gestures and plot twists. Haruto started out having to fight his dying friend for his ex-girlfriend, but now that that friend is dead. Sometimes we feel like the show has no intention of bringing him and Eba back together…which might be the point

10. Majestic Prince 21/24  (7.000) – It’s been a steady month of sevens for Team Rabbits, as the final confrontation with the Wulgaru looms, Amane has risen almost as high as she can, Izuru must deal with the fact that he won’t be the hero, and Theoria will be fighting against her people and her family. It looks to be another awesome battle in a series full of them

9. Blood Lad 8/12  (7.125) – The series has been shifting between Staz’s quest to resurrect Fuyumi, his reconnecting with his siblings, and Bell’s developing feelings for him, creating a triangle. We’re looking forward to meeting the whole Hydra family in their strange Laputa-like world

8. The World God Only Knows III (Goddesses Arc) 8/13 (7.250) – With so many girls to conquer and so many different approaches and situatons required to do so, there’s never been a dull moment in this third season of TWGOK. One thing we’re hoping for is that it doesn’t end with another complete reset button, since at least one of the remaining girls has actual, genuine feelings for him despite not hosting a goddess

7. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S 19/24 (7.429) – There were just three episodes of Railgun this month, wrapping up things with the Sisters arc and starting things up with a new arc involving a tiny orphan girl and a shadowy group of student researchers targeting Level 5s. His role apparently complete, Touma utterly vanished this month; a shame considering the chemistry he has with Mikoto

6. Monogatari Series: Second Season 8/-  (7.429) – As is typical of -monogatari series, Neko (black) stepped up its game for the finale, as Hanekawa embraces herself and defeats the tiger oddity. The new Kabukimonogatari arc involves Koyomi and his sidekick Shinobu travelling back in time to save Mayoi, only to return to a ruined present. Can’t wait to see how they get out of this one

5. Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu 4/13  (8.250) – The Suzumiya-style metaphysical can of worms was quickly closed after episode four, but replaced with a story about Yura continuing to improve and become more serious about airsoft, until she’s poised to leave the titular club altogether. This isn’t what we thought we were getting, and it’s a bit slow at times, but it’s not bad

4. Free! 8/12  (7.750) – Free! has definitely been a breath of fresh air this season, fully committing to a predominantly male cast with the girls on the margins, exploring the guys’ relationships with emphasis on how the pool brought them together – and in the case of Haruka and Rin – could still help them reconcile

3. Tamayura: More Aggressive 8/13  (7.750) – As consistent as Servant x Service, only a cut above in quality. From road trips to fireworks festivals to the opportunity to exhibit work in a real gallery, the adventures of Potte and her friends continue to provide some of the most touching and beautiful storytelling this season

2. Gatchaman Crowds 7/12  (8.286) – Now the Big Bad, Berg-Katze is known to all and his mission is clear (destroy the world), and the Gatchamen have met the GALAX founder Rui. Rather than exchange insults, the plucky Hajime has a calm Q&A with the villain, trying to find a solution without letting him hurt anyone else

1. Uchouten Kazoku 8/13  (8.500) – With every episode, another thread explaining how the Shimogamo family ended up how it did is woven into an increasingly rich and satisfying tapestry. Soichirou’s last night in the world is pieced together from multiple sources, showing that no one person was to blame for his death, and regardless of how much or little power the family retains, he’ll be happy as long as they simply stick together

Love Lab – 09

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When they learn that Nana inadvertently got Sayori in trouble and that she’ll be forced to leave the student council, Maki, Riko, Suzu, Eno, Nana and Momo formulate a “rescue operation.” They collaborate to clear Sayo of wrongdoing by telling the teachers it wasn’t a boy she was meeting with, but Maki, dressed as “Makio Evolved”. By having the trustworthy Maki at point and peppering their lies with kernels of truth, they’re able to pull it off. Maki’s stock falls, but Sayori’s rises and she’s able to stay on the council.

Riko may not care for Sayori’s tendency to go after peoples’ weak spots (in Riko’s case, the lie about her being a love expert), but she, Maki and Suzu had grown accustomed to her in the student council, and obviously she and Eno are attached at the hip as they’ve always been. So when she gets into a spot of trouble and says she won’t bother fighting it, they do what any real friends would do and step up and fight for her. Even if their efforts cost them their own reputations, losing Sayori would be a bigger blow to them.

Similarly, we’re so used to Maki acting nutty – and she’s so used to acting nutty in the council office – we initially forget that the newspaper association is sitting right there, and they’re seeing her like that for the first time (Momo’s impressed, but Nana’s a little scared). Their plan is far-fetched, but they make sure to get all the details right – like the fake mole on Maki’s face; mix the truth in with the lies, and rely on Maki’s substantial political capital with the teachers to rescue Sayori from exile, and they succeed! It was nice to see everyone putting the past behind them and getting along in order to save her.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 21

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As the global powers muster their fleets, Simon orders Izuru to resign, but he refuses. While he’s allowed to board the Godinion, he’ll remain on standby on the bridge as a last-resort asset during Operation Heaven’s Gate. The GDF’s C-in-C puts Simon in charge of the operation, and Simon pilots the evacuated Star Rose, whose core is the Wulgaru ship Theoria arrived in. The Rose will bear the fleet to the location of the Wulgaru gate.

With the forces of earth united and mobilized and the Wulgaru force similarly united and preparing for the final hunt, the endgame draws near. This episode was the calm before what should be one hell of a storm; an episode of physical and mental preparation, and also an episode of new roles. Ange is back on the Rabbits, Asagi assumes the role of their leader, and Theoria will jump in a cockpit and fight beside them, but everyone is doing everything possible to keep Izuru – who is not well – on the sidelines, as another sortie could kill him. Before the two massive armadas clash, this episode does a great job focusing on all the little stories of people stepping into their new roles.

There was also an emphasis on family and humans’ tendency to protect others and not just themselves, something the Wulgaru find unnatural. Asagi is taken aback by the sudden brotherly responsibility he now feels toward Izuru. Imbued with this new sense of family, he also lets his “little sister” Anna stay with her dad and granddad rather than flee to earth alone. The family theme is drilled home when Papa Simon invites the fleet to pile into the car (Star Rose) for a road trip that will determine the survival of mankind against a race of aliens who have underestimated them at every turn. And they’re not stopping to go to the bathroom.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 09

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Sonora is discharged early, and congratulates Yura, but when they rejoin the club, she fesses up to zombieing in the final, and calls the organizers,  who contact Meisei, but Rin insists Stella didn’t violate any rules. The C3 club is relieved, but Yura isn’t satisfied. Mutsu and Yachiyo accuse her of sucking the fun out of the tournament, and Yura leaves in a snit.

Yura visits Meisei and talks with Rin, who praises her for her fast improvement. Yura sits out the C3 club’s noodle balloon shoot. Later she meets with Sonora demanding to know more about Rin. Sonora and Rin’s master was killed in action  Rin blamed it on weakness, and vowed to purge all of hers. After thanking Sonora for changing her, Yura tells her she’s leaving the C3 club.

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Yura wanted nothing else but a rematch with Rin, not just to avenge Sonora, but to prove to Rin – and herself – that she’s not weak anymore. Then she makes a rookie mistake, and while the best thing to do is to simply move on, she just can’t. Zombieing was an act of weakness, and the fun-loving C3 club are all to happy to forgive it and continue playing around. Yura isn’t playing around anymore. Like Rin, she airsofts to become stronger, not to have fun.

Yura’s turning to the Dark Side was a long time coming; her philosophical differences with the rest of the team were on full display during the tournament, and this week in the aftermath, when they’re sore at her for trying too hard. As soon as that confrontation was over, Yura knew she could improve no further in the C3 Club. Rin’s team might be a better fit for her, now, but who’s to say she won’t grow restless and unfulfilled there as well, or even start to miss the conviviality of her old club? Perhaps Yura can’t remain happy anywhere long…

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Rin’s not just good at airsoft, she’s also a master manipulator, and Yura is putty in her hands. But Rin doesn’t have any ill will towards her; it’s more likely she wants a new apprentice to mold.
  • On that note, we’re looking forward to seeing how the newer, darker Yura interacts with her Meisei teammates (if that’s where she ends up).
  • Yura sees Rin on the news, being named as the person who helped catch the sniper who shot at Sonora.
  • Rin gives Sonora a beautiful bonsai in the hospital, which is normally bad luck, but Sonora gets out super-fast, so the quesiton is, did Rin know the bonsai would have the opposite effect on her old friend?
  • Having completed the pivot from thinking there’d be more metaphysical stuff in this series, we’re really enjoying Yura’s character arc from wallflower to soldier.

Servant x Service – 09

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Chihaya looks back to two years ago when she first started working at the office, which led to her meeting and falling for Ichimiya. She then takes Yamagami out to buy a skirt, telling her not to look down on herself. Kaoru stops by and invites Yamagami and Miyoshi out to dinner, where she discusses what she knows about Jyogi and his rivalry with Yutaka. The next day Hasebe gets the wrong impression, believing Yamagami is getting married. It turns out to be Kaoru. but the shock leads to him telling Yamagami she’s the only girl he needs.

In her increasingly frequent dealings with Yamagami, Chihaya isn’t just reminded of how plainly she herself used to dress when she first started her job, she also sees the same tentativeness and tendency to look down on oneself that also plagues her boyfriend. Yamgami and Ichimiya both put others’ wants and needs before their own because they’re always devaluing themselves. Chihaya points out to Yamagami that such an act gets old when it’s becoming more clear that Hasebe’s pursuit of her isn’t a joke. It’s trickier with Ichimiya, as Chihaya is resigned to getting annoyed no matter what he says.

Meanwhile, as he looks forward to his date with Yamagami, Hasebe is compelled to impress upon her just how much he values her, once he’s spooked by the false news she got engaged behind his back. Hasebe is at his least smug and most vulnerable this week. Yamagami’s commitment to take the date seriously is still more a matter of duty than romantic interest to her, but Hasebe is phone-breakingly, contact list-deletingly serious about dating her. His challenge isn’t just to win her over, but to get her into the state of mind where she can even start to consider being won over.

He would have had an easier time with any other girl, just like Chihaya could have had an easier time with virtually any guy other than Ichimiya. But we can’t choose who we love.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Baby Chihaya (well, Two-Years-Younger Chihaya) is so cute!
  • Also cute? Her kissing of Ichimiya, followed by a slap; her reaction to his not-scolding her about cosplaying.
  • Yamagami’s total inability to even try on an even modest skirt vexes us mightily.
  • After talking with Kaoru, Miyoshi comes away liking Ryoji more, but only infinitesimally so.
  • Kaoru’s gettin’ married! Does this put more pressure on Hasebe to hook Yamagami?

Mirai Nikki Redial – OVA

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Ridley Scott intended for his cyberpunk/future noir film Blade Runner to have an ambiguous, non cut-and-dry ending, but the original American theatrical release in 1982, the studio insisted on a cheesy voiceover by Harrison Ford at the end, essentially pulling a “perfect happy ending” out of nowhere. The 2007 Final Cut, which we were lucky enough to experience on the big screen, ditched that voiceover and restored the open ending.

Why are we bringing up Blade Runner’s alternate endings? Because for us, this Future Diary OVA was that voiceover ending: tacked-on, cheesy, and unnecessary. We didn’t have a powerful need for a happy ending; the original one was fine. We were fine with Yuno and all of the others involved in the game returning to their normal lives, and the ambiguity of Yuno kinda sorta remembering someone. We were fine with Yukiteru brooding in the void for millennia with only Murmur and his brain for company.

Okay, so maybe we’re being a bit harsh. It’s been over two years since Mirai Nikki wrapped, and for many it was probably a thrill to see all the characters alive and well simply enjoying regular life. There were probably quite a few who relished Yuno picking at the scab in her brain until she finally ended up in the position to get her memories fully restored, enabling her to find Yukkii and reunite with him. And that’s fine. We’re just saying it wasn’t really our thing.

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Rating: 4
 (Fair)

Stray Observation: The strange realm in which Yuno races to the Murmur holding her memories looks a bit like Orphan’s Cradle, the final dungeon in FFXIII…only less pretty.

Motto Marutto Railgun III

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This was a thoroughly weird and surreal eight minutes of Railgun. It had nothing to do with the story, but consisted entirely of the voice actors simply having fun during “outtakes” from some of the more serious past scenes in the show’s run.

It was pretty funny throughout, and we wouldn’t mind more shorts like this. Here’s what went down, in chronological order:

  • Saten’s Super Nose deciding what’s good to eat
  • Nunotaba Shinobu giving Mikoto a “Real Usable English Lesson”
  • Kuroko dry-humping Mikoto’s bear
  • Mikoto reminicing on the joy of race car erasers and canned slime.
  • Kuroko dry-humping Mikoto’s bear
  • Mikoto answering her clone out of reflex
  • Kuroko dry-humping Mikoto’s bear
  • Shinobu showing Mikoto a pixelated next-gen console
  • MISAKA musing on the impracticalities of said console during the pretty rooftop sunset scene, which lead to retrogaming.
  • SHinobu reporting to Mikoto what MISAKA said to her, and Mikoto warning that she’ll get “game brain”.
  • Kuroko dry-humping Mikoto’s bear
  • MISAKA and Accelerator talking about their voice roles thus far, with Accelerator mentioning how the “A Certain” series has been his big break (all while Accelerator’s stirring theme is playing)
  • Kuroko dry-humping Mikoto’s bear while mentioning she’s a free agent and looking for work
  • Mikoto muses on the efficacy of sticking little dolls on one’s bag, and asks Accelerator (at railgunpoint) what he thinks about girls who are into girly things (he’s fine with it, unless it’s her)
  • Kuroko dry-humping Mikoto’s bear
  • Mikoto treats everyone to parfaits as an apology for being away “studying koans”. Uiharu’s flowers are getting repaired, so no one notices she’s sitting right there with them, repeatedly pleading “I’m here!” while Haruue scarfs down an enormous bowl of rice hiding her face.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Free! – 08

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Dejected by his defeat and unsure why, Haruka hides in the showers, but the others drag him out in time to watch Makoto, Nagisa, and Rin. No one advances to the finals, but Gou suprises them by announcing she’s entered them in tomorrow’s medley relay. The team goes to Haru’s house, doubtful he’ll agree to swim. When he comes home, everyone has left but Makoto. Haruka hears the voicemail they left him and agrees to swim. The next day Rin catches wind that Iwatobi is swimming again, and gets to watch them swim, recognizing their strokes from years ago.

Wallowing in what is obviously a rare loss, Haruka protests not becoming “free” after racing Rin. He wasn’t supposed to care about winning; he didn’t think he cared about winning. But he clearly does care. When Makoto, Nagisa and Rin bump into Rin in the hall, Makoto sees the attitude Rin has adopted and takes him down a peg by reminding him it was he who taught Haru that there was far more to swimming than winning. Rin snubs it off, but he knows Makoto’s right, and thus can’t even go the rest of the day feeling good about his win.

Rin was just as happy about winning as he was showing up Haruka, but the next day when Haruka is right back out there, ready to swim, it shocks Rin as much as losing shocked Haru. Worse still, watching Makoto and Nagisa dregs up memories of swimming with all of them, and he’s reminded how well he knows them all. He’s also disgusted by Rei’s “excuse” for a butterfly, and even a little jealous that Rei’s swimming in his place. We don’t see Haru swim, nor do we learn the result of their medley, but there’s a possibility Rin’s vow to never again swim with Haru may have been premature.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • In the individual events, Haruka and Makoto are close, but no one ends up advancing. Realism!
  • It was incredibly sweet for Haruka’s concerned friends to break into his house and hang out there awaiting his return. Those are some friends right there!
  • We love being reminded that yes, there remain some people just don’t give a shit about cell phones. Good for them; it’s an extraneous device (though one would have been quite useful to the protag in White Album).
  • Haru’s moonlight swim, like most of the swimming scenes, made us want to go swimming really bad! Unfortunately the public pool is closed for the season, so the creek it is!

Kimi no Iru Machi – 07

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While Haruto and Eba are visiting Kyousuke, his childhood friend Asakura Kiyomi rushes in and begs him to undergo surgery, which has a small chance of success but will kill him if it fails. Haruto and Eba think its his decision to make. Ultimately he chooses to get the surgery, but it fails and he dies, leaving everyone adrift.

Kiyomi is quickly introduced and is immediately unpleasant and volatile (giving Eba one of the most drawn-out bitch slaps in recent memory), but once Haruto is alone with her, she immediately becomes a more sympathetic character, who knows full well she’s being selfish, as she doesn’t want to lose Kyousuke, whom she loves. Like Haruto, her love is with someone else. They both take some solace in knowing their situation isn’t unique; in fact, it’s all too common.

This week Kyousuke dies in a bold but not unexpected move. The subtle transition to the reveal of his death hit hard (this show’s proving to be very good at that); we knew when Asuka let go of the umbrella that he was gone. After the sober funeral, Eba meets with Haruto to give him Kyousuke’s helmet, but she wonders if they’ll ever meet again, not encouraging for Haruto. All the emotions left in his late rival’s wake will be his true impediment to a future with Eba, along with his own grief.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen – 08

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Haqua is attending a briefing at the New Hell Bureau of the Peace, when she asks the chief about the rumors that Vintage has infiltrated the Loose Souls Team. When she tries to return to earth, she’s arrested and thrown in jail. Back on earth, Diana has Keima assemble the released goddesses and show them Apollo/Kanon. They combine their powers to call to her, and Keima is drawn into a world created by Apollo, where she is praying to shift the fortunes of his town.

Keima has three days to find the last goddess. Based on past events he determines Chihiro to be the most likely host, and so chooses to conquer her first. He accepts when she asks him to be her date for the Festival Eve bonfire. He also asks Ayumi that it’s her last chance to get mad at him, and she doesn’t. That night Keima and Chihiro slink away from the fire to find a more private spot. Back in New Hell, Haqua is charged with treason as the Vintage infiltrator  Lune gloats.

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Both Chihiro and Ayumi like Keima, but only one of them likes him because the goddess she’s hosting restored her memories of his conquest of her. The other likes him because she really likes him, which means (to us at least) that whichever girl has those real feelings should still have them after the Goddess dilemma has been resolved. If Chihiro is the final host, then Ayumi is the one who really loves him. So…is Chihiro the final host? Keima is certainly operating under that assumption on the first of three remaining days before crunch time.

But we wouldn’t put it past this show to pull a twist on us and make Ayumi the host. There are certainly enough episodes left for another twist or two, so we’ll see. In any case, if the arc ends with neither of the girls liking him, that wouldn’t make sense to us…unless his choosing of the goddess girl makes the non-goddess girl fall out of love with him. It’s not like he’d be able to explain to her what he’s been through all season, after all.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Once the goddesses are all awake, they start fighting over Keima for their hosts’ sakes. Seriously gals, there’re other guys that exist in the world!
  • Diana/Tenri definitely sprouted wings in episode 4 after Keima apologized to her, yet here she is, still wingless. We guess they were just temporary wings…
  • Why did Haqua blurt out her suspicions when for all she knew, the Vintage infiltrator was there (and, indeed, Lune was right there)? We’re not that invested in all these silly New Hell politics, but are curious to learn who’ll rescue her.