Ai Tenchi Muyo! – 10


Beni wakes up, and after trading barbs with Hachiko, the two follow Tenchi’s advice to work together to escape the warehouse. When Beni runs ahead and smashes boxes, she rouses Gooriki, the malfunctioning school even support robot. When Hachiko moves to fight it, it snatches away her wooden sword.


Somewhat surprisingly, we don’t jump to a totally different time and situation, but remain in the warehouse with Tenchi, Hachiko, and Beni (the other two science club members, who knows). And on the list of absurd new challenges the trio will face, I have to say I wasn’t expecting a school robot gone haywire! Nice WTF factor in play.


I was even more surprised how ineffectual the supposed muscle of the school is when faced with a real threat: Beni gets tossed like an animal-print ragdoll, while Hachiko loses the will to fight and simply collapses and sobs away when her bokken is taken, suggesting it has power similar to a security blanket. Looks like it will be up to Tenchi to get them out of this mess!


Ai Tenchi Muyo! – 09


Hachiko leads Tenchi through the massive, labyrinthine supply warehouse for the needed materials. Without a “Book of Guidance”, Yuki, Aoi and Beni get lost and a huge rolling boulder comes after them. The same boulder threatens Hachiko and Tenchi, and while narrowly escaping the boulder, loses the book.


ATM is a show that doesn’t waste time and fully embraces its own irrationality. It’s full of stuff that makes no sense: why does the school have such a huge, End-of-Indiana Jones-like warehouse? And as Tenchi protests, what the heck kind of sporting event necessitates an Indiana Jones-like runaway boulder?


Those seeking answers to the “what” and “why” will find none during these few minutes per episodelet; the “what” is merely “it” or “that”, and the “why” is simply…because. Or in the case of why Hachiko recites an incantation, because its more dramatic. And in a show that’s over almost as soon as it begins, it’s okay not to overthink things.


Weekly OP #2: Shingeki no Bahamut

What would happen if you mixed the hard riffs of thrash metal like Slayer with the reggae-inspired licks of Sublime? You’d get something like “EXiSTENCE” by SiM, which nicely complements the polished, stylish, striking visuals of the OP of Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis. Like any good OP, it gets you pumped up to watch, without giving too much away.

Amagi Brilliant Park – 03


Seiya takes heat from Moffle for closing the park on his first day. It hasn’t been done in years and Moffle is worried that it will ruin the park’s relationship with customers, so Seiya sends him to the front gate to entertain anyone who shows up but would otherwise be turned away.

On our way to the staff meeting, we get to see all the wacky cast members going about their business. At least they look like they are fixing things. Lets hope they do a good (safe) job!

ABP has a HUGE cast — these are just the named senior staffers!

On the Left: A Sri Lankan statue named Codain (Escet Land cast leader), a bored-looking woman named Chief of General Affairs (Chief of General Affairs), an Indiana Jones-looking man named Jack Randy (Wild Valley Cast Leader), a globe named  Future-kun (Astro City Cast Leader), a grouchy chef with a head made of meat named Meatt (Food Service Chief), Moffle (Sorcerers’ Hill cast leader).

In the middle: Seiya and Isuzu

On the Right: a dolphin wearing samurai gear named Genjuurou-Kun (Splash Ocean cast leader), an oddly reddish skinned blonde woman in a suit named Ashe (Chief of Accounting), a triceratops who has glasses and a green tie named Toriken (Chief of Sales), a wrench with eyes named Wrench-kun (Chief of Engineering), a red cash register named Mer-chan (Chief of Merchandising) and a big man in a Lucha mask named Okuro (Chief of Security)

Don’t worry, I’m not going to remember all those names either.


While there is resistance at the senior staff meeting, Seiya’s three rules are grudgingly agreed to. First, they will take no days off until after July 31st; second, they will extend their closing time from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (until they can install lighting that will allow them to run until 9:00 pm)

Third and finally, they will only charge 30 yen for admittance and each ride. This is a compromise to Seiya’s ‘everything for free’ idea, and a good one since they can disguise their desperation as celebrating for the park’s 30th anniversary.


Out front, Moffle’s day takes a turn for the worse when a punk kid treats him badly, only to have the kid’s mom act worse, and his yakuza/thug looking father start a fight. The fist fight isn’t really the problem — Moffle destroys the thug — it’s the potential PR crisis that could be bad for business.

Fortunately, Isuzu shoots everyone with memory erasing bullets.


Fortunately for everyone, the fight plays into Seiya’s bigger plans and he uses a video of the beatdown to side-step clicks to another video he shot announcing the park’s reduced prices. Neither of these things makes Moffle very happy but he’s most upset that Latifah was used in the announcement video (in a bikini, no less!).

However, he backs down when faced with Seiya’s dominating presence and effective planning.


Our episode comes to an end with 223 guests trickling in. It’s not much — it’s not even enough — but it is a start.

Amagi Brilliant Park continues its confident stride. It looks good, sounds good, shows us fun characters who do silly things and it has heart. I really get the sense that everyone in the cast cares about what they are doing. That’s a big deal to me because that sense is not all that so easy for an animation to sell.

Good job ABP. No…Great Job!


Akatsuki no Yona – 03

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This week’s episode of “I don’t know why half of you love this show so much” Akatsuki no Yona consists of two flashbacks that establish Huk’s earlier interactions with Yona and Soo-Won, and one current event scene where a broken Huk repeatedly saves Yona from attacking wildlife.

Until proven otherwise, I’m just going to keep noting that Yona is pretty much terrible. Well, not terrible, per se. It’s just remarkably average and this episode’s constant clash of silly kiddy moments was totally dissonant.

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I get it! The happy childhood these characters shared was so happy and carefree that Soo-won’s mega betrayal’s destruction of Yona’s will to live is understandable. But maybe that would have been more compelling if the flashbacks were shot from Yona’s perspective?

Because Huk’s memories of Yona still paint her as a spoiled, weak willed brat, even though he loves her!

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However, it’s more interesting to look at this episode as a dedication to each of these three children’s fathers, and less about them. In this case, Huk’s perspective is probably necessary, because Yona is too much of a dull-whit to notice all but the most obvious contexts for each man.

About all I can give a thumbs-up to here was each father’s visit to their sickened child. Huk’s adopted father (and general of the clan) is brash but ultimately there for chuckles and clearly loves his grandson; Soo-Won’s father is clearly an unstable psychopath, and he treats Soo-won more like a valued possession than a person, and the King doesn’t visit Yona until later that night — but he loves her so much he makes her a soup! (and he does a terrible job at it.)

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Ignoring all this happy context, which in many ways would have made a more interesting show than the one we are watching, Yona snaps back into the present. There the princess takes a bath but gets covered in leeches, and is saved by Huk. Then she wanders off into the woods looking for her hair pin and is…uh…ambushed by a pack of snakes…then she’s saved by Huk again, and I’m just confused…
…Why is NATURE attacking Yona now? Whatevs…

Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de – 03


InoBato isn’t just an above-average chuunibyou-infused random school club harem comedy, it’s an above-average chuunibyou-infused random school club harem that has found a way to weaponize its dialogue into a fearsome weapon of mass engrossment, education, and entertainment. It made me laugh, but it also made me think, and let me tell you, that’s a hard thing to get me to do on a Monday night!


This was an episode split into several diverse scenarios, but the theme running through them all was the exploration and analysis of the language being used. Words that can mean one thing can mean something else entirely depending on who said or read them and who’s reading or listening. I know full well the interpretation of words isn’t infinite, but sometimes it can seem that way.


Jurai starts by having to defend to his teacher the translating of English sentences on his test to Japanese using florid kanji just because “it’s cooler that way.” And the teacher can’t mark them incorrect, because they aren’t! Or take what happens when he and his anime-loving rival Sagami have a heated debate, and the teacher gets the total opposite idea of what they’re talking about!


Wordplay aside, I really liked the brief exchange Jurai and Sagami had after the teacher kicked them out of the lounge. Here are, truth be told, two ladies’ men, but of very different kinds. Sagami gets love letters, meets girls after school, and receives confessions; he’s a bit of a romantic nomad. Jurai, meanwhile, is a nester, with a clubroom full of girls he shares a very close bond with, now that they all have powers.


“Sounding cool” also applies to conversation as much as writing, as demonstrated as Jurai, in a serious tennis stance and a cool smirk, declares to Kohata “I’ll show you a terrifying nightmare! Just no overhand serves, okay? They’re too fast for me to return.” Back to writing: Sayumi tricked him into writing “Bloody Vivre” instead of “Bible” on his dark journal, which just happens to have been purchased at a Vivre store.


When Jurai forgets his “Vivre” and tells the girls to go ahead without him, they have a little conversation of their own that wouldn’t have been possible if he’d been there: they each earnestly describe what Jurai has done for each of them to help them now that they have powers. Whether it’s telling Sayumi never to even consider bringing back the dead, or warning Chifuyu not to try to create life, Jurai has helped set boundaries that will protect their lives and sanity – serious business when they themselves don’t know those boundaries.


On a smaller scale, years ago he changed Hatoko’s nickname from “Yakitori-chan” (since Kushikawa can translate to “skewer skin”) to something dorkier so other kids would be too embarrassed to tease her. The bottom line is, he’s done a lot for them, even if most of the time it looks like he’s just messing around.


When Jurai, AKA Guiltia Sin Jurai, returns to school for his vivre, he bumps into someone I initially thought was him from the future, or from another dimension. Turns out it’s an alumnus by he name of Kiryuu Hajime, AKA Kiryuu Heldkaiser Luci First, and its immediately clear after a few minutes with this more verbose version of Date from SKET Dance that Jurai is in the presence of a Chuuni Pro, were such a profession possible. Even Jurai himself starts to look at himself as a dabbler by comparison, while Kiryuu seems to be Living the Dream! and on a quest to attain some kind of nirvana where your speech becomes nigh indecipherable.


Oh, and he’s also Tomoyo’s runaway older half-brother, surprise! That aspect of who he is is revealed so masterfully; as he goes off on a very good rant about the essence of Chuunibyou as he sees it: the “unresolved paradox of self-denial and self-affirmation”, or Endless Paradox which as it turns out is a nickname he gave his sister Tomoyo. Before he splits, Kiryuu tells Tomoyo in as cool and forceful a manner as he can muster: “When you go home, tell our father this…’send living expenses for this month too.” Denial and affirmation indeed!


That Tomoyo’s brother is a Chuuni, and an even more advanced one than Jurai, speaks volumes about Tomoyo herself and her relationship to Jurai. Before he’s “more than a friend”, he’s her friend, period, and something of a surrogate brother. She’s comfortable talking about her family life and what happened with Kiryuu, even though he gives her an out. And as close a bond of kinship as Jurai felt, and as many words as he said to him, not one was about his sister and the others having real powers.

But still, as Jurai says, Kiryuu really is incredible…


…for casually leaving him with the entire bill.