Yozakura Quartet ~ Hoshi no Umi ~ 03

We here at RABUJOI seem to have a knack for coming out with extraordinarily late OVA reviews. Case in point: this third and final part of the Hoshi no Umi trilogy aired back in November. Oh well, no anime blog is perfect…except The Perfect Anime Blog, of course.

This segment picks up right where part two left off: Kotoha’s utterly spent, but Zakuro’s just as powerful and evil as ever, and Rin is now in her clutches. The finale lacks the complete visual insanity that always accompanies the exhibition of Kotoha’s talents, but it still possessed a truly electric atmosphere; an irresistable energy that comes with everyone working together as a team, bouncing off of walls, and bounding across rooftops. The multi-vector attack and pursuit of Zakuro is stirring and expertly wrought, though her lines could be a little more inspiring (she mostly just yells ‘Shut up!’).

But while Demon Zakuro vows to kill every single human in the town (all 2,040 of them), she’s disappointed to find they’ve all been evacuated, so it’s pretty much a matter of chasing her until she gets tired and bringing her down. Neither is an easy feat, but the Quartet and their supporting crew are more than up to the challenge. That is, after Hime has a minute-long inner conflict (which Kyousuke even times). There’s also a very funny scene with everyone falling from an under-construction skyscraper and offering to cushion everyone else’s fall until they all fall on a giant cushion conjured by Kotoha on the ground, ending the debate.

So Rin is saved, the evil is drawn out of Zakuro, and everyone gets back to their happy lives. And it’s the little mayor’s job to keep ’em happy, along with the rest of the town. And now we move Yokazura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi into the “Completed” category.


Rating: 3.5

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Sket Dance – 44

Chiaki, the softball captain, comes to a Sket-dan whose clubroom is inundated with scientific supplies, to ask them to help her locate a lost candy drop tin. To her, the tin represents the friendship forged between her and Akina, in which they’d each eat a drop a day from the tin. Captain messes that up by giving a drop to a boy Akina liked, and Akina lashes out in anger, throwing the tin out a window. After getting caught in the raid, Chiaki’s out sick on what turns out to be Akina’s final day before her family moves out of town. However Bossun finds the tin, and Akina returns to say goodbye. Chiaki and Akina reconcile, and both draw white drops – representing lifelong friendship.

Oh Sket Dance, we do believe you may have attained new heights in sappiness this week. Who would have thought so much drama and strife could be created from one silly little box of candy! And yet Sket Dance is replete with seemingly mundane artifacts with considerable sentimental value to their owners – Himeko’s cyclone and Pelocan doll, Switch’s laptop, Bossun’s hat, and the Friske mints, just to name a few. Without realizing just how important the candy was to her friendship was Akina, Captain offered one out of politeness to a boy that turned out to be Akina’s crush. So really, Akina was upset about the boy, not the candy.

The candy tin has a little tiny photo of the two on it, and Captain feels it would be a nice gesture if she could find what had been discarded. But digging through perhaps a hundred bags of filthy garbage to find it? I suppose if it was sorted Japanese trash, it would be a less smelly, disgusting affair, but it still seems excessive. And Akina shows up with a new tin anyway, in which they both get the lifelong friend color. So all sket-dan really did this week was sift through a mountain of garbage and release a bunch of balloons that birds will try to eat and choke on when they come back down to earth. And there were so many potential jokes in that junk-filled clubroom…


Rating: 2.5

Yozakura Quartet ~ Hoshi no Umi ~ OVA 2

Ye gods, the first YQ OVA was pretty damn gorgeous in its own right, but this next one took the pretty visuals up to eleven. The character design is downright bangin’, the combat is as creative as it is lyrical, and the stakes for the town of Sakurashin have also been raised. Rin has become the puppet of the one who originally took her in, Zakuro. She’s under the control of Enjin, and has turned bad. She’s come to claim Rin back, but the YQ won’t let her have her without a fight.

And what a fight. Hime chasing her across rooftops was fancy enough, just as Yae’s awesome little battle in the first OVA. But the bulk of the fighting was done by everyone’s favorite half-youkai, Kotoha, who simply puts on a clinic of conjuring, sending, among other things, thousands of B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers, an Airbus A380 Superjumbo, and a bunker buster into Zakuro’s summoned earth golem. I can’t overstate how sweet animation for this fight was.

But it was all for naught, as Rin finally surrenders herself to Zakuro in order to forestall future killing. But despite being momentarily touched by the gesture, Zakuro isn’t her own boss, and Enjin soups her up into an even more powerful killing machine, who promises to wipe out every single life in the town. While I’m confident Hime and the rest of the YQ will be able to deal, we won’t find out how until OVA #3. Rating: 4