Nagi no Asukara – 22

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When Hikari held Manaka and confessed to her, she was confused and frightened: it was too much to take in at the time; she didn’t understand. Once she returned, I thought she was remaining quiet and evasive on the subject because by her reckoning it only happened a few days ago, and she’d gotten no closer to processing it. But when Uroko is finally found loitering around the surface, he tells Hikari the truth: Manaka lost far more than her ena; she lost the ability to love anyone.

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This is clearly the worst case scenario for Hikari, arguably worse than if she’d never woken up. Manaka had, during the Ofunehiki, either by accident or destiny, become the latest sacrifice to the sea god. Not only was the ritual real, but it worked: calm returned to the seas and the destruction of the surface world under a carpet of saltflake snow was arrested. But a part of Manaka didn’t want to be the Ojoshi-sama. Like the woman in the legend, she could never forget what she left on the surface.

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That caused her ena to crackle and create a current: a current Miuna found when she heard the crackling. With me so far? Good. When Hikari and the others pulled her out of the Ojoshi graveyard, she lost the rest of her ena, along with whatever part of one’s heart falls in love. Hikari himself thought she was acting the way she was because she loved Tsumugu, but in truth she simply doesn’t remember anything about loving Tsumugu, nor anything related to Hikari loving her.

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So…Score one for Team Miuna, right? Well…while this techincally puts her in a stronger position, Manaka’s condition could well spread to Hikari—his heart closing in response to the closing of hers. Meanwhile, Tsumugu stays behind, not for the research, but for Chisaki. The fish curse on his arm could just as well been a punishment for trying to run away. I like how honest he is with Kaname, and tossing him a “Zero Sweetness, Bitter and Black” can of coffee to wash down the bitter pill is a nice touch. Tsumugu and Kaname both want a straight answer from Chisaki, even if it isn’t yes.

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The many connections the show has made betweeen Manaka and Miuna are not lost on us, and for anyone still not sure about them, the newly-amended OP not only features Manaka catching the umbrella Miuna loses to a gust of wind, but the two of them in the ocean, dressed like priestesses and carrying eternal flames. Hard as he may try, Hikari probably won’t be able to fix Manaka any more than he can fix the deteriorating global climate. But these two girls may be the key to fixing both. I smell more sacrifice ahead…It’s a womanly scent.

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One Week Friends – 06

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On the one hand, I wouldn’t have minded a study group episode with just Kaori and Yuuki being awkward, but because she invited Saki and Shogo too, it was much more productive. It also showed that everyone makes friends and treats friendships differently. Shogo may seem cold and scary at first, but the fact he’s hanging out is proof that they’re already friends, without any forced small talk being needed.

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The sight of Kaori with a group of friends also delights her mother, and formally meeting Hase, the friend Kaori is always talking about, compels her to arrange a later meeting with him alone. Yuuki is nervous at first, but Shogo lays out the possibilities: she either wants to talk about Kaori’s memory, or tell him to stay away.

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We never thought the latter was going to be a possibility, but Kaori’s mom does express surprise Hase is still her friend after so long. If Shogo puts little work into making and having friends, Kaori’s “situation” demands that her potential friends work extremely hard for her friendship. We learn from her mom that while the car accident gave her a concussion, there was no brain damage that would have caused such specific memory loss.

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Yuuki may be bad at math (like me!) but he’s no fool: he knew this was a possibility. But the fact that he now knows her issue with remembering friends is at least partially psychological doesn’t change anything. If what he’s gone through is what it takes to be her friend; if he has to re-introduce himself to her again and again and again, so be it.

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By agreeing to those terms without complaint or wavering, he stands to gain more and more of Kaori’s trust. And as she starts to remember how happy having friends was and is, who knows; her “friendnesia” may start to recede, or disappear entirely. Until then, Yuuki will continue to be her friend on whatever terms she deems necessary. He’s a loyal dude.

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Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 06

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Lucky for Ryouta, Neko, and Kotori, the “state power” perusing them sent one of the less effective AA+ witches after them. Kikako moves and acts almost comically slow, giving them any number of opportunities to get the upper hand. And I’ll admit I’d forgotten about Kotori’s teleportation ability, and the fact enough time had passed that she’d no longer be hung up.

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Ryouta has a plan, but it depended entirely on two factors he couldn’t control: that Kikako would take her sweet old time firing her mouth cannon at Neko once she had her pinned to the ground (seriously, that was way too long!), and he just happened to flag down Kotori. I did like how Kotori’s determination to smile rather than cry gave the impression she was Neko’s killer in Kana’s vision.

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I initially thought the whole episode would be dealing with Mikako, but like I said, once Ryouta realized he could use Kotori’s power, things were pretty well in hand. And oh, hey, it wouldn’t be an episode of Brynhildr if scenes of girls bleeding from their eyes and having their hands and feet sloughed off weren’t followed by a random scenes of goofy fanservice! Because as we all know, when it gets hot, girls take their tops off. There’s a wealth of rap music confirming this very phenomenon.

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Having survived Mikako (who’ll be “severely punished” for failing), Ryouta all of a sudden remembers a relative of his is an accomplished scientist at a po-dunk university (probably so he can get away with more shit). I initially thought he was that evil scientist dude we already know in disguise, and the close-up of his rather crazed eye at the end suggests he isn’t anyone to be trusted, regardless. But with the pill supply running out, Ryouta and the girls’ options are few.

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Stray Observations:

  • Mikako is far more dangerous from long range, as evidenced from Shino’s demise.
  • Shouldn’t Ryouta have brought up his scientist uncle way back when the pill thing became an issue?
  • I can’t help but be constantly distracted by the over-convenient fact that Ryouta has an entire observatory at his disposal, no questions asked, where not another soul ever comes by, with access to a barbecue and hot spring. From those perks alone, there should be a lot more astronomy club members.
  • Where the heck did Neko get that blender? Where’d she plug it in? How is she dealing with Kana’s bed sores? The show doesn’t care about these details, so I guess I shouldn’t, either…