Ao Haru Ride – 05

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Futaba’s team may not have been the most organized or cohesive on the orienteering trip, and they ended up dead last after getting lost, but they did end up sharing happy memories they’ll look back on with fondness, which was precisely what Futaba had hoped for, and which Kou expounded on in the meeting last week.

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Sometimes it’s better if things don’t go so smoothly. Had the Aya not ignored Futaba’s insistence they consult the map, they wouldn’t have gotten lost and had adventures, which included Kou carrying her after she hurt her foot. Futaba also learns a bit more about the new Kou: hates celery, likes cats, superficially teases, is a nice guy deep down.

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While she liked the old Kou, the new one is definitely starting to grow on her, now that she has him a little more figured out…and vice versa. Of course, Kou is also nice to Yuuri, calming her down so she can cross the river, and there’s a cost to that, at least where Futaba is concerned: Yuuri, unaware of Futaba’s feelings for Kou, thinks she’s fallen for him. Dun dun duuuuunnnnn!

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Futaba and Yuuri formed a fast friendship, but no one said that friendship would be easy to maintain. After all, Yuuri is shunned by other girls at school because she’s so cute and girly, attracting the guys. She and Futaba promised never to leave the other alone, both knowing what it feels like. Yuuri and Futaba both liking Kou will put their promise to the test.

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Weekly OP: Sword Art Online II

There’s nothing like Aoi Eir belting out an opening theme. She distinguished herself in our books with the first SAO’s second cour OP, then knocked one out of the park with Kill la Kill’s first cour OP theme, “Sirius.”

While watching the more heated parts of this OP, it makes me wonder if some of the lightsaber fights in the Star Wars prequels might have been drastically improved if they’d been accompanied by stirring Aoi Eir ballads.

Love Stage!! – 03

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Izumi discovers he broke Ryouma’s ‘special lucky marble’ and freaks out but can’t find a replacement. Ryouma, who doesn’t care, uses this as an excuse to ‘confront’ Izumi and get over his gender confused lust. Confrontation turns into date rape and wuwWWWHUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTT????!?!?!??!

This week’s Love Stage!! presented more of what we’ve come to expect: cute characters, charm and a little embarrassment humor over that little gender confusion from so long ago. Then Ryouma sexually assaults Izumi when they are along at Izumi’s house and is only stopped because Shouga was secretly watching them.

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The whole assault scene is treated with the same whimsical style Love Stage!! treats everything, which certainly made it more jarring/surprising/uncomfortable. Think old school ‘sailor moon’ transformation sequence, except with 2 guys and 1 of them is begging the other to stop and the other is in a passionate gonna rape your orally mode.

Yeah…I don’t know how to respond to this.

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What makes this week’s episode so difficult to comprehend is how indifferent Shouga and Rei are about the attack. It’s all so ‘oh, that explains things’ in a way that I think more people would be repulsed by if Izumi was actually a woman. The show doesn’t even address it as an assault. Just that Ryouma has serious issues ‘yuk-yuk’ because the woman he fell in love with is a guy.

For goodness sake Love Stage!!—if Izumi was really a woman, would the rest of your show tell the happy, charming tale of how she falls in love with her first RAPIST?? Boy, that would be worth some cute chuckles wouldn’t it??

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