Ai Tenchi Muyo! – 35

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35 episodes in, I’m wondering, is Takahashi, Okayama satisfied with their arrangement with this anime? Do they feel they’re getting their money’s worth? I mean, the wooded environs of Junai High seem like a nice enough place, but they don’t feel like a specific place; they feel pretty generic, to be honest. I guess it depends on how much money they contributed, of if the “sponsorship” was more of a ceremonial thing. In any case, I’m not quite sure how this show is promoting tourism.

That aside, we haven’t had an episode in which students try to have a sleepover at Tenchi’s house yet, and this episode rectifies that by having Momo, Touri, Hachiko, and Hana insist on spending the night in case the Science Club decides to kidnap him again.

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If ATM! excels at one thing (it actually excels at more than one thing, but bear with me), it’s consistency of its characters. Momo has the innocent good girl with a heart of gold; Hachiko is deeply loyal and up for any challenge; Touri is highly analytical, except where Samami is involved, with whom she’s almost disturbingly smitten. In fact, let’s leave out  the almost! And Hana, well, she’s a fujoshi, but also a masochist in her interactions with the older, stronger Ayeka. Everyone makes sense as a character, and watching the wildly clashing personalities is a lot of fun.

I also like the idea of Ryouko, Momo, and Hachiko getting all gung-ho about a cook-off, but spend so much time preparing, Tenchi, Ayeka, and Sasami make do with cup noodles instead. It’s a nice little bait-and-switch. Also, Touri seems to derive all the nourishment (and pleasure) she needs (and wants) by plunging her face in Sasami’s bathwater, which…GROSS.

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In other news, the Science Club’s secret contact urges them to continue their efforts to recover the treasure, even though the caverns have collapsed. The contact suggests they become active in the upcoming election to choose a new Student Council. We also learn that Kurihara-sensei is a member of the Galaxy Police, and both Momo and Beni are in her crosshairs as ‘time anomaly suspects’ or some-such. Between her continued investigations and the upcoming election, ATM! seems to be in for more upheaval in its home stretch.

Note: Again, I don’t count the “Looking Back” recaps in my episode numbering. But if I did, this would be episode 43, with at least one more recap in store. So we kinda are in the home stretch despite this being only the 35th ‘real’ episode. Here is a handy episode list to clarify what the heck I’m on about.

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End-of-Month Rundown – November 2014

Click to view full-size
Click to view full-size

It’s a bit late (sorry about that), but here’s our November chart. You’ll notice it’s far shorter than last month’s, and that’s because we left off the dropped shows (seventeen in all) for a cleaner and more manageable look.

You’ll also notice the chart is split into five fairly distinct clusters, with our four ‘kings’ (rated 9 or higher) sitting up top. Three of those four (Fate, Uso, and Bahamut) have spent time in first place, and it’s anyone’s guess which will win out in the end.

The kings are followed by four shows rated between 8.5 and 9. Below them is a set of seven shows between 7.5 and 8, a set of three between 7 and 7.5, and rounding out the bottom are the four shows rated below 7, led by the bizarre, enigmatic Cross Ange

The weighted average of all the shows you see above comes out to 7.66, making Preston’s Garo the most ‘average’ show we’re watching right now. Sounds about right.

Include every episode of every show we’ve watched this fall, including drops (a total of 214 episodes and counting), and the average drops to 7.31, not too far off the combined 7.27 MAL score of those shows.

Overall, it’s been a very good Fall, with a lot of quality at the top and something to like in each of the mid- and lower-ranked shows. That being said, we’re looking forward to a lighter load come Winter!