Fune wo Amu – 09

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Kishibe is a lover of words – but also, apparently, of alcohol, and is a bit of a lightweight. Still, she powers through hangovers to work hard under Majime, and The Great Passage starts its final phases of construction. It’s about this time Kishibe tries, through Nishioka, to understand her chief a little better.

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Nishioka sets her on a little mini treasure hunt that leads her to Majime’s love letter to Kaguya, which Nishioka (somewhat creepily) photocopied and hid in a book in the stacks. Still, it gets the job done: Kishibe sees how carefully (if variably successfully) Majime chooses words from the many many words he knows, and is amused, heartened, and inspired by his efforts to woo his future wife.

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The overwhelmed feeling Kishibe had is replaced by stalwart optimism, which she successfully transfers to the paper guy, Miyamoto, even as Majime rejects paper after paper. But since the editors like Kishibe are working so hard, Miaymoto keeps at it, until he finally gets the right balance of strength and stickiness.

Unfortunately, with The Great Passage set to be launched (i.e. published), Kishibe spots a leak, and all of a sudden Majime wonders in horror what other words may be missing. Will the great ship sink on its maiden voyage, or is this just a problem all of those who dared to make great dictionaries were faced with in the final stages?

This was another *okay* episode, but ever since Majime finally made his feelings known to Kaguya, the show has frankly felt a bit sedate (well, more sedate than usual). The time jump of many years still seems like an awkward move, as the characters look pretty much the same.

As for characters continuing to wax philosophical about the power of dictionaries and words, well…everything’s pretty much been said already, so it’s getting rather repetitive.

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Yuri!!! on Ice – 10

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The Gist: Victor narrates the pre-grand prix festivities in Barcelonna. We see a few relationships develop or reconcile from his perspective — even some he could not have seen like Yurio and the Kazakstani skater.

We also learn that Yuri got black-out-drunk after losing the previous year and had asked Victor to become his coach, after winning a drunken dance-off with most of the other top skaters. The photo-stream of the event, which we see in full during the credits, it just great and really grounds Victor’s arrival at the hotspring.

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While Victor is the only one to notice, almost every skater at the top has become stronger and happier because of Yuri…

The Verdict: I love the use of cell phones in YOI, and this week’s intermixing of twitter and photo streams with recollections of the past, and reveals were fantastic. I love that the characters see where the other characters are in real time from these feeds, see what’s popular with fans too, and I love that some of the touching scenes aren’t recorded. It’s an interesting note that Yurio doesn’t remember the Kazak skater from training — that they don’t have photos of it or do not check — but share an awkward but interestingly human conversation talking about it.

But the show stealer goes to Yuri giving Victor a ring as a good luck token. All the elements around that, how Victor (and the show itself) toy with the BL expectations, yet keeps it sincere and un-BL enough for the rest of us not into that genre to keep watching.

The only reason I’m not giving it a ten this week is because the chibi/deformed narration and recapping the story so far that took up 5 minutes of the opening was a little clunky. It wasn’t unusual for YOI as a show, but it lacked the passion that followed. Otherwise, still the best show airing this season – go watch it!

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Flip Flappers – 10

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The Gist: The backstory rolls in this week and its not the only gut punch for our heroes. As the cult invades Dr Salt’s lair, an injured Yayaka has to stand off against the Twins, who are there to collect Cocona. (the target) Unfortunately, their relationship gets torpedoed as the Twins describe Yayaka’s mission to make herself Cocona’s friend.

Later, mid escape, Cocona throws a fit and demands Papika spill the beans, which she does via un-narrated flashbacks. At least a decade ago, Papika was one of many candidates to be Mimi’s partner. (Mimi being the only known person who can dive Pure Illusion) Salt is there — as a young boy — and the three of them have a bit of fun under the watchful (and sinister) eyes of Salt’s father.

What happened to Mimi is not clear, but Cocona is broken by the idea that she is only loved as a target or a replacement for another girl. Double unfortunately, Cocona’s grandmother turns out to be evil as well, and uses Cult soldier robots to pin her granddaughter down… only for the house to be destroyed by a resurgent Mimi, who refers to Cocona as her daughter!

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The Verdict: We finally get somewhere with the ongoing hints of Mimi on the boat, Papika calling Cocona Mimi, and a confirmation that Grandma has been an evil SOB from the beginning. All of these revelations are delivered beautifully and, thankfully, without too much exposition.

I really love the reveal that Papika is way older than she looks, as we can infer from Salt’s current age. (The lines on his face look late 30s at the youngest) It also gives greater context for Salts motivations and his cold persona.

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As always, Flip Flappers is a treat to look at and, Cocona’s angst aside, everyone has an interesting personality to investigate. But above all things, the fact that Flip Flappers retains many mysteries — what happened to Mimi? How did she transition to Cocona? What does the cult want? What does Mimi Want? — is smart and keeps my appetite drooling wet for more.

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