Amaama to Inazuma – 05

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The Gist: Kotori sees Tsumugi walking around with a strange blond man. She follows them to a park and watches them share snacks until it looks like the blond man is offering Tsumugi a cigarette. Fortunately, Kouhei arrives and sets things straight.

Yagi is a high school friend who watches Tsumugi during lunch. He’s gruff but knows how to have a good time and that’s important to Kouhei, since he considers himself and overly safe roll model. Kotori, who obviously has a hooooudge crush on her sensei, objects but it is what it is…

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“I’m super aggro now, you know.”

The rest of the episode is about making donuts.

No! There really isn’t much to say beyond that! If you’ve seen any AtI you know exactly how it would handle the recipe and character interactions.

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The Verdict: this was a cute one, with charm and some humor — and of course instructive cooking! That said, I don’t feel like we learned anything new about the characters, nor was there anything especially insightful about children in play.

It was what it was: enjoyable, pleasant to the core, and now I know how to make Japanese Donuts. Spoilers! It takes way longer than how we make them here.

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Macross Delta – 18

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I never thought it would happen, but Macross Delta actually made me care a little bit about one of the bad guys. A big part of why is because he’s unsure the direction his people are headed it. Cassim is on the wrong side of 25, and knows full well the king is now Lloyd’s puppet. Like Hayate and Freyja, whom he invites into a storehouse where he’s thinking things over, he’s not exactly sure what is the right thing to do.

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I especially liked when Freyja showed up first and they just shot the Windermerean breeze, so to speak. When Hayate shows up, he’s not hostile, but sees that these two like each other and worries for them, as he worries for the future in general, which for him, is far shorter than he’d like. He also worries for his son back home. Lloyd may be hell-bent on galactic domination, but Cassim just wants to die happy, assured his family will be safe and prosperous when he’s gone.

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It’s good to see Hayate and Freyja trying and largely succeeding in moving past the awkwardness of his father’s past, at least for now, and dedicating themselves to working to support one another, along with their respective teams, Delta and Walkure.

Freyja is back to her ebullient self when she joins her groupmates by the Protoculture structure for a tactical show kicked off by Mikumo, and the structure starts to react immediately. Interestingly, Lloyd lets them sing, which suggests…maybe they shouldn’t be doing something he’s okay with?

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Freyja’s fold waves mesh with Hayate and make him a better wind-rider, able to keep up with Keith in the skies. But the song and aerial battle get progressively more intense and chaotic, with both Freyja and Hayate seemingly going out of control—perhaps the very reason Lloyd let them play on.

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Even more troubling is that after Heinz sings his Song of the Wind, nearly causing Hayate to succumb to the Var, Freyja essentially shorts out after going into a trance. Then Mikumo goes into a trance of her own, recalling old, buried memories of being some kind of test subject (of course) before restarting a song so strong and assertive it even knocks out Heinz’s song—as well as his clothes— before she passes out.

The episode kinda leaves us hanging with her collapse, following it up with an ending sequence that looks for all the world like a Mikumo tribute. Is this it for Mikumo? What exactly did she and Walkure do that seemed to play right into Lloyd’s hands? Will Freyja, Hayate, and Cassim ever figure out what exactly is the right thing to do?

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Mob Psycho 100 – 04

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The Gist: Salt middle school’s delinquent (club?) gets in over its head and seeks out the Body Improvement Club to aide in their revenge. However, this does not fit with the non-violent self improvement mission of the BIC and the delinquents must resort into tricking Mob to get kidnapped and forcing the BIC to intervene.

Meanwhile, evil spirit Dimple-sama has returned and is living with Mob. His goal is to eventually take advantage of Mob and rule the world but, in the short term, he has to learn more about his target and win his confidence.

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toughs arguing semantics is always funny

Off to the side, we see more of Mob’s brother and come to understand his deep desire for psychic powers. Despite his great abilities, and Mob’s assurance that psychic powers aren’t a source of limitless advantage, the younger brother’s desire is strong. It borders on jealous. possibly psychotic.

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Finally, there’s a massive showdown between the rival delinquents, the BIC, and eventually Hanazawa Teruki, a villainous psychic and shadow leader of the school. It’s a fantastic battle which raises the stakes until only Mob and Teruki remain, and Mob’s indifference (while tied up) and awareness of Teruki’s psychic powers has the early edge.

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The Verdict: MP100’s continues to build on its strengths. This episode was funny both in comedic timing and in creative goofiness. My favorite gag was the poor spelling of the letters the delinquents were sending, but Dimple’s reactions were generally a chuckle all the way.

More important than making a fun romp, this episode gave Mob a true antagonist to work against. While I doubt Teruki is a match for our quiet Mob, let alone a full on explosion Mob, the fact that he treats his powers differently is a good showcase in contrast.

And then, Mob’s brother is probably being setup as a longer term, more tragic antagonist. Good things are coming!

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