Blood Lad – 09

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Berros escorts Braz to the Demon King Wolf-Daddy’s palace, where the king gives him three days to return the remnants of his agent Pantomime (Akim) to him. Braz escapes from Berros, but is chased by her superior, Chief Goyle. In Hydra, Bell and Staz meet up with Nell and Fuyumi. Fuyumi meets Bell and Nell’s mother Neyn, who tells her she was Fuyumi’s mom’s demon doppelganger. When they met, the two women were fused into one, making Fuyumi and Bell sisters.

At first Yanagi Fuyumi’s presence in the demon world seemed like a random occurrence, but considering it was Hydra family “technology” that got her there, and all the revelations we learned this week, it’s starting to look more and more like her coming was no accident at all. The concept of demons having human counterparts – be it Fuyumi’s mom and Neyn Hydra or Fuyumi’s dad and the Hydras’ butler – suddenly makes Bell and Fuyumi family, and gets Staz thinking that there’s probably more to his intrinsic interest in Fuyumi than just her human blood.

Speaking of family, Braz reveals that he isn’t just into creating super-monsters for his own enjoyment. He literally watched the current king kill his father, the previous king, and he’s never been cool with that. Everything he’s done has been to dethrone Wolf-Daddy and replace him with a new, “worthy” king. Thing is, it sounds like next week is the last episode, so we can’t see any way of Braz completing this task, on top of the Hydra family and Staz/Fuyumi and Staz/Bell situations shaking out. We’re assuming there’ll be a second season of this at some point; something we don’t have a problem with.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

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Uchouten Kazoku – 09

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At the tanuki gathering at a shrine for the two Nise-emon candidates to confer with the “Center Stone”, the Ebisugawas block the Shimogamo’s way, but eventually let them through. The scheduled Kurama tengu witness is unavailable, so Yasaburou is conscripted to convince Professor Akadama, and barely manages to do so. Later, on the near-eve of the election, Yasaburou encounters Kaisei at the bathhouse. She doesn’t think Yaichiro will win, and warns caution, while also offering a cryptic apology.

This episode moved the Nise-emon election plotline forward, but more importantly, holy crap, we finally see KEISEI! The reveal is tantalizingly slow and deliberate, starting with obscured shots that don’t show her face, and then there she is, in the bath of all places, where we can finally put a face to the voice of the girl stuck between two feuding families (though Yasaburou still can’t see her) She acknowledges her brothers are jackasses, but also makes an effort to defend them from insults. She also looks down on Yaichirou as Shimogamo’s nominee for Nise-emon.

We were thinking this isn’t just politically prudent for an Ebisugawa to not like him, but because she might actually think Yasaburo would be the better choice. We know when Kaisei says he “doesn’t have what it takes,” we know it, because Yaichirou only inherited one part of Soichirou, and is missing the others. But then, so is Yasaburou, and as lovely as a match as Kaisei and Yasaburou were, there would be no guarantee their marriage would have repaired the rift between the families, any more than So’s brother Soun’s marriage did. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea.

9_superiorRating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • We enjoyed scene with the swarm of tanukis keeping their distance in half-sincere deference and fear from a stubborn Akadama, Yasaburou’s deft handling of him was also impressive.
  • In that scene, Yasaburou learns his father couldn’t transform around Benten.
  • We want a Yuzu bath…
  • Kaisei’s character design is suitably elegant and cute, and the whole tit-for-tat over-the-wall conversation with Yasaburou was lovely to behold.
  • A Yashirou-lit Christmas tree and fried chicken with the family…nothing better than that.

Kabukimonogatari – 03

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Koyomi and Shinobu return to the present to find it in ruins, and the last newspaper reads June 15th. They’re unable to use the shrine to travel through time, and are surrounded by zombies. They retreat into the sky and wait for the dawn, then return to Koyomi’s home. Shinobu deduces that saving Mayoi meant Koyomi never met her.

As a result, Black Hanekawa killed him, and he never retrieved Shinobu after she ran away. Released from his servitude, Shinobu’s full power was unleashed and she turned the entire world into vampires before committing suicide, turning them into zombies. After lighting fireworks in hopes of luring survivors, they are again surrounded by zombies.

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Upon first laying eyes on the bleak, lifeless, eerily beautiful new world Koyomi and Shinobu created by saving Mayoi, our first thought was that we’d want to leave as quickly as possible. Besides being straight up creepy and full of friggin’ vampire zombies, we’d also feel a crushing depression from the knowledge that this just wasn’t right and it was our fault, which would negate any possible appeal of having the world – and Costco! – all to ourselves.

Then Koyomi and Shinobu do try to leave almost immediately, back to the past where they can possibly fix this, and…they can’t. Another crushing sensation; they’re stuck there, indefinitely. But we won’t be too pessimistic. The night’s always darkest before the dawn; a gorgeous dawn we see when Shinobu launches into the sky with Koyomi, which along with the fireworks show brings some life back into this ruined world they simply must restore.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)