Coppelion – 04

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Ibara, Taeko, Aoi, and Shiba chase the stealth bomber(!) in a rundown jeep(!). It attacks them with missiles and machine gun fire(!), but Ibara finds a soft spot in its radar(?) and brings the plane down with an RPG. It lands in a lake where the girls discover the Yellowcake Corp. is dumping foreign nations’ nuclear waste. Shiba, who they left behind due to the radiation, wanders to a shrine and takes off his mask(!), but Ibara finds him, shoots him with aether(?) and is able to get him to the helicopter in ten minutes to get another dose in him to stop him from dying(??). He gives the girls of all the survivors still in the city.

Sorry for the snarky punctuation above, but  wow, that was a lot of crazy, ridiculous stuff going down in one episode! And yet it still lagged. Let’s start with the frigging stealth bomber chase, shall we? The 1997 flyaway cost of a B-2 Spirit was $737 million, and it’s cruising speed is 560mph. Yet this episode would have you believe that while it’s flying in the sky, someone in a rickety old jeep (top speed on a road not littered with debris? ~80-90mph) could take it out with a properly-placed missile. It also wants you to believe that it would have difficulty taking out said jeep, even if it was armed with missiles had machine guns, which B-2s aren’t…because they’re bombers, not fighters.

But let’s put aside the fact that nothing about the stealth bomber made no sense, aside from its mission as a stealth dumper of nuclear waste in an already-contaminated area (they’d be able to haul more than 100 barrels of the stuff in a B-2). The girls leave Shiba behind because they’re entering a heavily contaminated zone. Then he inexplicably wanders off and removes his helmet, defeating the purpose of leaving him behind? Didn’t he say before he was willing to face the music for what he’d done? The last nail in the coffin was the ticking-clock sequence, which featured and actual on-screen clock…for some reason. And Ibara’s frequent mood swings just come off as poorly-defined characterization. We can’t connect with her or the other two girls, because there’s so little there.

We won’t deny this series looks pretty good (if a bit washed-out, like K was). But when a series frustrates you this much, and you don’t look forward to next week’s episode, it’s probably time to stop watching.

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Rating: 4
 (Fair) (Series Dropped)

Kyoukai no Kanata – 04

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Mirai and Akihito remain trapped within a mental labyrinth of the Hollow Shadow’s making as Sakura continues to chase them. Among the illusions is a massive effigy of Yui, but with Akihito’s imploring Mirai destroys it, revealing the shadow’s main body, which she also destroys. They return to the real world, and Sakura withdraws.

The final form of the shadow possesses Akihito. Mirai is forced to stab him, drawing out the shadow, which she finally destroys, but the damage done to Akihito’s body awakens the extremely powerful youmu side, which Hiromi, Ayaka and Shizuku struggle to neutralize. Mirai jumps on Akihito, and he returns to human form.

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This was a properly epic episode, which had a little bit of everything: a chase through a weird, surreal dreamworld that exploits insecurities; a murderous vendetta; a big, multi-layered boss battle; a surprise setback; and most importantly, Mirai’s realization that yes, Akihito knows exactly what the fuck she’s going through. If anything, he has it worse! Like Monogatari’s Koyomi, Akihito is far easier to take seriously once we’ve seen exactly what he is and what he’s capable of, besides healing quickly.

By showing some of the more powerful characters in the series barely hold him at bay is telling of the danger he poses when his human body is in peril. Now Mirai gets it: Akihito, like her, bears a terrible curse that constantly reminds him he can never rest easy in his life…but that doesn’t mean he won’t live it. In the crucible of fire and blood, Mirai and Akihito’s friendship deepens. In a way, these two are a perfect match. All they need to do is control their powers so everyone else isn’t forced to eliminate them!

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • Two characters who leave just as soon as they’re introduced: Sakura and that Fujima dude.
  • Mitsuki, Hiromi and such may not have wanted Akihito anywhere near Mirai, but you have to admit, things would not have gone so well had they not been together.
  • Mitsuki and Hiromi’s sister Izumi is scary powerful, at least with defensive barriers.
  • Izumi is also a damned thief, stealing the crystal the hollow shadow dropped!