White Album 2 – 07

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The day of the school fair concert arrives. Haruki, Setsuna and Touma perform “White Album” perfectly and Haruki gets through the “Sound of Destiny” guitar solo without embarrassing himself. After the third song, Haruki finds Touma in the practice room and watches her play piano until he falls asleep. When he wakes up past six in the morning, Setsuna is there instead. She confesses her love and makes the first move, kissing him.

Everything’s literally been building up to this, from the first episode’s cold open. We have to admit, it’s a fairly exciting episode. After all the informal practices, the light music club is finally on the big stage, with fancy lights and come-hither outfits, and a huge crowd of their peers watching. Not surprisingly, they do quite well for themselves. Formally speaking, we liked how the episode simply gave the first two songs room to breathe, though interestingly, their performance of the third and most significant song is totally skipped. Now the dream is over, as is the truce between Setsuna and Touma in the battle for Haruki.

Setsuna knows Touma likes him, but Touma is unable to say or do anything about it, while Setsuna, ultimately, is. Things aren’t helped by Haruki referring to Touma as the “person” he always wanted to be “friends” with, while Setsuna is the “girl” who came down to “be with” him. All Touma can do is retreat when he falls asleep from exhaustion, allowing Setsuna to swoop in and make the move she’d clearly been waiting to make; she couldn’t wait anymore. Touma is “bothered” by Haruki’s presence and doesn’t want to talk about her future, but Setsuna is already planning hers out, and at no point does it not include Haruki.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

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Strike the Blood – 07

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Yukina breaks up Kojou and Sayaka’s fight and takes Asagi to the nurse’s office. Christoph Gardos infiltrates the school and kidnaps Asagi, Yukina, and Nagisa. He wants Asagi to analyze the control commands for Nalakuvera which has already been activated. Yaze tracks them, but is taken out by Vatler, who is involved to stave off boredom. Kojou waves off Vatler, vowing to take on Nalakuvera himself.

In yet another watchable but ultimately uninspiring episode, everything is set up for the climactic battle between Kojou and the ancient war machine Nalakuvera. But this show’s problem right now is needless complication: there are too many hastily introduced parties with too many different motivations. We can understand Lion King bringing in extra help to stop demonic terrorists from ruining Itogami Island, but it’s unwise to squeeze in the conflict between Gardos and Vatler at the same time, along with whatever Natsuki and Yaze are up to.

Without any time to develop any of these various factions individually, it’s hard to care about any of them, beyond the fact that they all oppose Kojou in some way and should be defeated. We’d also mention how pathetically easily Yukina lets herself, Asagi, and Nagisa get captured. We didn’t see much point in Nagisa being present in the episode at all, much less bring up her fear of demons, which was kind of a non sequitur. Sayaka is kind of a train wreck of a character, which might be okay if she was good at her job. Honestly, we’re still not able to articulate why we’re still watching this or why we don’t just stop. It’s very strange.


Rating: 5 (Average)

Valvrave the Liberator – 18

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L-elf receives intel from the Royalists about an old-fashioned multi-stage rocket in a museum in the old capital of Dorssiana, and a list of JIORans who were deported to that town, including Haruto’s dad Soichi. When L-elf figures out Lieselotte is the member of the royal family helping him, he runs off. Haruto’s dad turns out to be the head scientist in charge of the VVV Project, and engineered Haruto and the others to create a new, superior lifeform. Disgusted, Haruto promises his dad he’ll destroy the Valvraves. L-elf infiltrates the castle where Lieselotte is being held captive, and offers to take her away.

Back when he and Lieselotte were last together, L-elf didn’t have a plan, but now he does. He has a friendly country in New JIOR she can escape to, and powerful weapons to protect her in Haruto and the Valvraves. If indeed everything L-elf has done since participating in the invasion of JIOR and defecting from Dorssia has been so he could one day rescue his princess, well, we must applaud his long game and diligent planning. So…what will be her excuse for not coming with him this time? The wrath of Cain, perhaps…

Anyway, everyone’s got something to do this week, with Saki still possessing a boy and chillin’ with A-drei, Otamaya and his team preparing to commandeer an old rocket in a museum for transportation (?!?), and L-elf off doin’ his thang, Haruto finally gets to meet his dad, something he was very excited about until, oh, about a minute after reuniting with him. His dad turns out to be a deluded, comically awful human being. But hey, you didn’t think this show was going to cut Haruto any slack, did you?

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Rating:7 (Very Good)