Rail Wars! – 06

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Um…what in the ever-loving name of nationalized railways was that? What a train wreck of an episode. There were better ways to deepen Naoto and Haruka’s relationship…like any other way imaginable! Instead, the show decides to turn everyone into crazy people. Ugh, where to begin? Better go into…RABUJOI LIST MODE…List Mode…List Mode…

1. Everyone in D4 is supposed to be under house arrest for the events of last week, but no one is actually home. What does that say about the level of discipline at JNR? I didn’t even think what they did last week was that bad. Was it punishment, or forced leave due to trauma?

2. Never mind, because no one is home anyway. Naoto receives a letter in the mail that he does not read or inspect completely, and decides to break the rules of the organization he claims to love so dear to meet up with Haruka and talk about this letter. Why didn’t he just meet at her house, or vice versa? At least then one of them would still be home.

3. Anyway, Aoi, who is also not home, just happens to spot Haruka, who is meeting up with Naoto. Alright, fine; coincidences happen. But then it happens again. And Aoi, for some reason, decides to take out her loaded and ready-to-fire sidearm and point it at Naoto and Haruka across the street. Aoi should be in jail.

4. Some giant mascot thingy that bumped into Naoto and Haruka also bumps into Aoi, causing her to discharge her firearm. Aoi should really be in jail! Naoto and Haruka think it’s a sniper, and bolt from place to place, hand-in-hand. Yet despite spending the entire episode together, Haruka is unable to fully express her feelings to Naoto. Not the most irritating shortcoming of this ep, but just putting it out there.

5. “What’s going on?! Why are there cats?!” Why Indeed, Naoto…Why Indeed.

6. As the cute couple runs around the city like lunatics for no reason, Haruka sheds clothing article after clothing article, until, by the climax of the episode, she’s completely naked. No bra or panties; apparently they were “torn off” by random guys in masks. Sorry, but that’s just dumb. And WTF is with the guys in masks?

7. Shou is barely in the episode, only appearing for a few moments on an LCD screen, having won a curry-eating contest. Again with the defying of JNR regs. I don’t watch the show because of Shou, but…after this episode, now I’m questioning why I’m watching this show at all.

8. Where does one go when being ruthlessly pursued by clowder of assassin cats? (Hits top of head with palm) the Transportation Museum…of course! What the hell, let’s add breaking and entering to the myriad crimes of D4 this week. They can’t be stopped.

9. The museum is the same place where Naoto “rescued” Haruka from a dark room full of boxes eight years ago, and he “rescues” her again this time, too, though Iida, Hitomi and Aoi handle those masked guys who exist for some reason, so he actually ends up relying on several people after pledging not to rely on people so much.

10. Turns out all the paranoid darting around town was for no reason, because had Naoto merely opened the seemingly threatening letter, he’d have seen it was just an overly provocative life insurance pamphlet. Also something that happened for no reason? This episode. Go Home, Rail Wars!…You’re Drunk.

4_brav

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Sukitte Ii na yo – 05

Yamato is enjoying taking care of his kitten Kuro, which Mei found and insisted he take care of. He suggests Mei come over to his house with her cat Marshmallow to meet him. She comes over and meets Nagi, who doesn’t like her. Mei trips and falls into Yamato’s lap, and they maintain the resulting embrace when Nagi enters with tea and apple pie, and flips out. Yamato sends her to her room. Yamato tells Mei about Nagi’s situation, and when he briefly leaves to help Nakanishi out, Mei goes to Nagi’s room with her stuffed rabbit, Yamato #2. She tells her about her similar past, but also not to give up on making friends altogether.

The streak of Yamato leaving Mei alone with someone continues, but the streak of the ensuing confrontation being unpleasant thankfully ends, as Mei is able to come away in the win column with the initially-irritating Kurosawa Nagi. We’re still not sure why Yamato keeps getting called away in these situations, but that’s neither here nor there. Mei also learns not to panic and calm down when in a friendly embrace with her boyfriend, but unfortunately she’s one of those characters who has trouble dropping honorifics. Say it with us, Mei: Ya-Ma-To. Not hard. You won’t get divine retribution for calling a guy by his  given name.

It’s pretty easy for Mei otherwise, though, as Yamato isn’t really forcing her to have sex with him despite inviting her into his room, and Nagi, while initially dismissive, would have been hostile to Yamato’s girlfriend no matter what, because she’s going through a phase similar to a younger Mei in which she believes friends will only ever betray you, so fuck ’em. To her credit, Nagi has stayed productive in her time as a hermit, exploring her innate talent for both cooking and crafts. Mei wins her over and forms a bond through mutual experience, but Mei is now firmly on the pro-making friends team, and tells Nagi to give her and others a chance.


Rating: 8 (Great)

P.S. Marshmallow and Kuro’s parallel arc of tentative belligerents growling to best pals curled up together paralleled Mei and Nagi’s nicely.