Koi to Uso – 11

With Yukari, Ririna, and Misaki making little progress in discerning who’s going to end up marrying whom, the three (plus Nisaka) end up at…a wedding. Subtle. Ririna and Misaki are also recruited by the ceremonial hall’s marketing rep to model wedding dresses. Also subtle.

The wedding itself is highly scripted and a bit stiff, with all the usual traditions and nothing in the way of really breaking the mold. The individuals actually getting married seem a bit lost in the procedure of the thing.

Still, a wedding is a wedding, and Misaki and Ririna have a blast, and are glad they were able to attend together. Misaki echos Arisa’s assertion that Ririna has become more open and easier to talk to, and Riri attributes this to her time with Misaki and Yukari.

Misaki also says she’d love to see Ririna’s wedding, all but surrendering Yukari to her. But Ririna can probably sense the lack of conviction in those words, especially when she peeks in on Yukari comforting a crying Misaki with a big long kiss.

I’m sorry, but at this stage, Yukari is being a big fat jerk here. I’m sure Yukari didn’t like seeing Misaki cry, but kissing her will only provide the briefest relief if he ends up marrying Ririna, which, that’s the case, he shouldn’t be kissing other girls. Get your fucking shit together, man!

Ririna seeing Yukari kiss Misaki casts a pall over the rest of the episode, as Ririna and Yukari’s families join forces to mudge their betrothed kids a little closer together at a splendid hot springs inn, even putting them in the same room together.

Their tour of the town demonstrates their easy chemistry with one another, and the fact they both genuinely enjoy each other’s company. They’re not exactly setting the world on fire with their romantic passion, but who cares? They’re a nice, cute couple!

So after witnessing Yukari and Misaki kiss, and Yukari telling her how he’s the person he is today because he followed Misaki and admired her from afar like a goddess…in the night, Ririna decides to tell Yukari she thinks he should choose Misaki over her.

If Ririna and Misaki weren’t such good people and good friends, they wouldn’t be falling over each other trying to sacrifice their happiness for that of the other’s, but Yukari’s persistent indecision—and his appalling indiscretion where Misaki is concerned—has also led us to this point.

The only satisfying way Yukari can respond to this by either accepting or rejecting Ririna’s concession. I’m fine with both, honestly. I may have sounded like a Ririna x Yukari shipper of late, but I’m fine with either girl “winning.” As long as someone wins, dammit!

Oh, and throughout all of this, why haven’t Misaki and Nisaka received their notices? Are Yukari and Ririna really that much older than them? The fact we have no idea who their assigned spouses are leaves me worried the show’s withholding that info for a last-episode cliffhanger—perhaps even a prelude to a second season I neither want nor need.

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Re:Creators – 16

Those hoping for Re:CREATORS to deliver an action-packed episode after a two-week wait will be disappointed, unless their idea of action is more than half of the episode being spent lounging around a hot springs inn.

The reason everyone is at the retreat is to recharge and celebrate all their hard work, and is itself cause for celebration: it means that the Elimination Chamber Festival is finally, finally going to get started.

While there’s not a lot to note in the inn scenes, there are some nice character interactions between creators and creations alike, with particular focus on how the more time creations have spent in the human world, the more they come to appreciate it, as well as mundane things like the smell of the hot springs.

Also, Kikuchihara is a stern drunk.

At last, Nissan Stadium is filled up, Meteora and her comrades are powered up, and the grand premiere party of ECF is kicked off by animated versiosn Selesia and Rui’s real-life seiyus, Komatsu Mika and Amamiya Sora; a nice meta moment.

The team prepares and baits the birdcage, and Selesia is finally reunited with her Vogelchevalier (which I’m sure she prefers to a government-owned Toyota 86, as nice as that car is), and we cut to Altair and her crew, clearly ready to dive in.

Of course even promising, exciting build-up is just that: build-up. The pieces are in place, but we’ll have to wait yet another week to see how it all shakes out. I would be very surprised—and even disappointed—if everything goes according to the good guys’ plan.

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda – 07

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In the most bizarre and surreal episode of WagaMoDo, the newly-restored duo of Kae and Shina suddenly declare they have to go on a pilgrimage to the resting place of Hyakki Sametora, the feudal lord upon which the Lord in their anime is based. The only truly enthusiastic guy is the history buff Mu, but the other three tag along nonetheless. Reasonably priced-but-not flashy hot spring innage ensues.

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The night they stay at the inn, Iga accidentally falls on Kae during a pillow battle, and her reactions indicate to Iga that she didn’t dislike that accident. When they end up on the same swan boat (to the possibly cursed island where the lord’s head is believed to reside), he takes her hand and tells her if she’s not used to being so close to a guy, to get used to it…and she does not protest.

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Unfortunately for Iga (but fortunately for us), when a sudden storm maroons the group on the island, Kae ends up rescued by Mu (while Iga has to give Nana mouth-to-mouth; an event Shina captures from many angles with her waterproof phone). When Kae collapses from fever, Mu has no choice but to get her to shelter, disrobe her, and use his body heat to get hers up. He does so with the utmost gentlemanliness, while Kae is too out of it to be embarrased.

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After that…things kinda go off the rails, as the show suddenly picks up a lot of supernatural elements. The ghost of the lord makes the others walk around in circles, then attacks Kae and Mu, who use the charms they bought at the gift shop to neutralize him. Eventually Kae “exorcises” Sametora when he realizes his legend is not a negative one (thanks in part to the anime that pretties him up and makes him either a top or bottom).

All the supernatural elements are (mostly) explained at the very end once the group gets to shore by a very unexpected and hilarious twist: the restaurant where they ate lunch accidentally used hallucinogenic mushrooms, so they were tripping balls the whole time, likely including during the storm and “lake whirlpool”. Overall a pretty fun episode.

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Momokuri – 25 + 26 (Fin)

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After Yuki presents Momo with a handmade cypress shoehorn (which is kinda the perfect weird Yuki gift for Momo), the episode ships our two lovebirds and their friends to a fancy hot spring, where Momo lets slip that he loves yuki (i.e. snow), but sounds just like he’s saying he lives Yuki the girl, which is fine with her but embarrassing to him.

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Yuki couldn’t be happier, but things get a little more awkward when Yuki comes into a room where Momo is surrounded by three girls, and she isn’t the slightest bit upset, even calling “too cute” that Yuzuki and Momo are so close, and reaching for her camera.

Momo storms off, miffed that Yuki wasn’t more jealous (or indeed jealous at all) by such an unfortunate sight. But he knows his attitude sucked back there, and when Yuki flags him down to talk, he decides he’ll do just that.

What follows is a lovely, poignant scene where he describes how he came to fall in love with Yuki, but expresses his worry it’s a different love from hers, and possibly in a greater amount.

What he learns is that Yuki’s love may be different (and a bit creepy at times), but she has just as much love for him as he does for her.

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And there you have it: now Momo knows Yuki’s “secret” obsession with him…and it’s perfectly okay. He’ll just be on his guard to stop her from collecting his garbage.

Momokuri was a cute, kind little show about a cute, kind, guy, short and easily flustered, and a slightly unusual girl who always sweats the details, start dating, learn more about each other, and fall deeper in love…in all its myriad forms. It was always a light, pleasant, feel-good watch.

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Shimoneta – 12 (Fin)

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Shimoneta ends with an adventure on the road, as SOX is summoned by Anna’s mom Sophia to a hot springs district, possibly for some kind of parley. Only when they arrive, there’s no Sophia to welcome them; only Anna and Goriki, who were also summoned. The gang decides to avail themselves of the spa facilities, but what is going on here?

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Turns out Anna is the first to break the strict non-coed rules regarding the baths, as she sends Goriki on an impossible errand (her favorite way of getting rid of third parties) and again has her way with Tanukichi, but she’s interrupted by the scream of her own mother, who everyone finds unconscious and in her underwear in the changing room. Now they know someone else brought them here.

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That someone is “Black Base”, who claims no connection whatsoever to White Peak despite being a fan of the opposite color of panties. He’s replaced everyone’s clothes with black underwear, and that’s all everyone wears for the rest of the episode, which is a bold but highly appropriate move for the cheekily lewd Shimoneta. 

I especially liked how bashful Ayame and Tanukichi were with one another in such garb, despite plenty of running around either naked or near-naked in their past SOX dealings. But as Ayame says, “this is different,” and she’s right: those were professional duties; this is a lot more intimate.

Also, while Peak and Base represent black and white among SOX’s adversaries, Anna and Ayame are black and white-themed girls in Tanukichi’s life.

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Anywho, Black Base finds the rusty metal wheel Tanukichi brought along (given to him by his imprisoned father, who told him to bring it should he ever visit the hot springs district), and will only give it back if they beat him in a strip rock-paper-scissors tournament. Ayame makes good use of Goriki’s nausea-inducing pink underwear to distract Black Base so she and Tanukichi can escape with the wheel and head to the “treasure trove” its supposedly the key for.

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While taking a rusty old cable car (which Fuwa gets working in a random cameo) up to the mountain trove, Anna manages to beat Black Base and races back to Tanukichi. Unable to breathe, Tanu accidentally grabs Anna’s butt, sending her into ecstacy, whereupon the whole floor of the cable car gives out, sending her to her into the forest canopy.

I’ll say one thing about Shimoneta, it’s always been incredibly creative about infusing absurd lewdness into its action sequences. Once they’re at the trove, a hidden pedal reveals a hexagonal shaft, upon which Tanu’s rusty wheel fits perfectly.

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It takes the full strength of SOX to turn it and open the trove’s doors, revealing a wealth of lewd figurines collected and preserved for posterity. Ayame vows that SOX will continue to preserve such enlightening treasures for future generations, and a fully nude (but thankfully backlit) Black Base, who turns out to have been a good friend and colleague of Tanukichi’s dad, looks on approvingly, knowing the trove is in good hands.

Was the episode, and Shimoneta in general, perfect? Far from it; it never returned Anna to sanity, leaving her a bit one-note at the end; the Ayame-Tanu pairing never materialized; and everyone barfing at Goriki’s underwear seemed a little hypocritical in such an otherwise permissive milieu. But it was still fun, innovative, hilarious, and a surprisingly apt critique of the continuing Japanese struggle to balance decency and lewdness, both crucial parts of the nation’s culture.

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GATE – 09

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GATE’s ninth episode starts out doing well by me, serving up more of what I want the show to focus on: Itami and his circle of comrades and friends in a slice-of-lifey manner. Sure, Pina’s constant mistaking the world for her own gets old pretty quick, but I chuckled at their sudden fascination with BL literature. It’s also fun watching Rory haughtily claiming not to need any other garb, then changing her mind as soon as she sees something she likes.

Then Itami is approached by none other than the Japanese Defense Minister in Akiba, who orders him to take the Special Regioners to the designated safe house: a hot spring inn. Thus begins one of the stranger and yet also somehow duller onsen episodes in recent memory.

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I say dull because there’s nothing that goes on that is particularly unique or interesting about their stay. They’re having a lot more fun than I am watching them, and other than learning a little more about Itami through his ex-wife (who apparently chose to marry him rather than starve) nothing much of consequence was revealed about anyone (save one person; more on that later). And fine, Drunk Kuribayashi was cool too.

I say strange because the whole time they’re relaxing and bathing and drinking, the inn is surrounded by Japanese special forces assigned to guard them, along with a bunch of American, (and Russian, and Chinese) agents, locked in a pretty uninspiring special forces forest battle.

International politics come to the fore when the U.S. President essentially blackmails the Japanese Prime Minister into taking the guards off of the Special Regioners, leaving them exposed to capture. The show also implies that had they not been ordered to stand down, the Japanese SFG would have eliminated all of the enemies easily. We get it, show; you reeeeally don’t like bureaucrats.

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But the whole idea of A.) those enemy forces getting so close to the inn in the first place and B.) everything about the president and prime minister mostly struck me as dumb. Dumb to the point of making me question continuing to watch this show, so tired am I of our diverging priorities. The high-level political stuff is already insufferable, and there’s every possibility there will only be more of it in the second cour.

There’s a little consolation in the fact Itami and Rory are the last two standing after a night of drinking (both of them would also be the two most aware of what’s going on outside), and Rory lamenting that once she rises to godhood she’ll lose both the pain and pleasures of the flesh, before coming onto Itami, who is, after all, unmarried, available, and conscious.

But the final scene isn’t fooling anyone. There will be no getting it on tonight for Itami and Rory, as their activities are sure to be rudely interrupted by an approaching group of American guerrillas. I hope they don’t get far with their kidnapping plans and/or Rory puts the righteous hurt on them for ruining one of the last moments in her semi-mortal life to get some.

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Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu – 09

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Even though it starts with an innocuous late night game of cards, it feels like a lot more happens in this episode than last week’s, thanks both to Ryouko’s vivid imagination and Tsuruya’s stargazing suggestion. It’s also a better episode...IF we forgive its deeply disconcerting final moments.

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At first Yuki loses, and as a penalty she has to get food and drinks for eveyrone. Naturally, Kyon comes along, for chivalrous purposes (it’s dark out and Yuki’s a klutz). Indeed. she trips and ends up in Kyon’s arms, and from Ryouko (and everyone else’s) POV they seem to even lean in to kiss.

But then, quite unexpectedly, it all turns out to have been a fantasy Ryouko made up in her head. In fact, the lovebirds never went out; she’s the one who ends up with the Old Maid.

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Thankfully, Yuki and Kyon do go out together when Ryouko and Haruhi conk out and Tsuruya suggests they go to a perfect spot for stargazing, which is quite a hike away. Kyon offers to hold Yuki’s hand, but she can’t quite do it, settling for his sleeve. They end up in a whimsical park full of huge dinosaur models.

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Turns out they’re being tailed by Ryouko and Haruhi here as well, and it’s here where Ryouko confesses to Haruhi she’s not worried about Yuki and Kyon alone together, she’s jealous, and lonely. But the ever-chipper Haruhi assures Ryouko her relationship with Yuki won’t change for fall by the wayside, whatever happens between Yuki and Kyon. They’re words Ryouko needed to hear and wants to believe.

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Everyone ends up reuniting at the stargazing spot, which is as awesome as advertised. When Yuki ends up off on her own, reaching out to starts that look close enough for her to touch, but can’t be, it’s Kyon who touches her hand, and takes it into his.

As their love theme—Debussy’s Clair de Lune—plays, Kyon leads Yuki back to the others, hand-in-hand. Yuki, who had been momentarily preoccupied by her insignificance in the vast universe above, is brought back down to earth, a place where she’s valued and loved not just by Kyon, but Ryouko as well.

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They get to sit next to each other on the train ride home, and just like that, the long, sprawling, eventful “training camp” is over, and Yuki is a little closer to reaching her goal. Cut to the rains that precede Summer, a time when Ryouko remarks Yuki will have to come up with excuses to see Kyon, and after they part ways, Yuki walks out into the street with the Walk sign, and it sure looks like she gets hit by a fucking car.

This…was upsetting. Not because I think it will be the death of Yuki—she appears alive and well in the preview—but because it’s so damned random. So far all of her nice romantic moments with Kyon have just kind of worked out, and now it’s as if the show wants Yuki to pay the piper or something for all of the good luck she’s had. It’s cruel.

Then again, the universe only needs one fraction of a second to everything away from you, and Yuki isn’t immune to that possibility. Also, disappearance is part of the title; I just sorely hope it isn’t her memory and love of Kyon that disappears. That would suck, frankly. I just want Yuki to be happy in her spin-off. Is that so much to ask?

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Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu – 08

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Nagato Yuki-chan took it easy this week. Like, really easy. Like, it just hung out in an onsen as the lit club simply relaxed. This was a very relaxed episode. Whether it was relaxing depends on your patience. I suppose it makes sense, though, as this rest marks the halfway point of the show’s rather unusual 16-episode run.

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One of the curiosities of this particular onsen is that its open-air bath is an omiai or matchmaking bath, with a small door that offers views between the men’s and women’s sides of the bath—that only the women can open (which is the way it should be!) This is different from the usual “guys try to sneak a look at the girls” angle.

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That being said, if you were itching to see Haruhi, Yuki, Asahina, Tsuruya and Mikuru in various states of tastefully covered-up nudity, you were in luck this week. From the tight closeups of the girls disrobing to Haruhi’s general (and very true-to-character) lack of modesty, the onsen fanservice was present and accounted for.

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Post-bath, pre-dinner activites? It had those too, from a table tennis tournament totally rigged by Haruhi, to a karaoke tournament she flakes out of when she suddenly gets bored, which happens the moment Kyon is about to sing. What’s mildly funny is that he’s so into it he doesn’t notice his friends have left him and he’s singing to some random woman cleaning the bath.

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Like previous episodes, this one was also not afraid to take long pauses of calm silence. Kyon successfully repels Haruhi and Koizumi and enjoys a good twenty seconds before deciding to go back to the baths, at the exact same time Yuki decides to do the same thing. Then Yuki opens the matchmaking window on a whim to find Kyon right there on the other side, perfectly framed in the heart-shaped hole in the frosted glass.

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She apologizes, he tells her she doesn’t have to, and invites her to open it again—it’s for conversation, not peeping, after all—but the sound of the others spooks her. Nevertheless, the two have a good relaxed laugh on their respective sides, and the requisite Yuki x Kyon Moment is achieved, though Yuki once again fails to confess her feelings.

If nothing else, this episode made me want to take a long, hot, possibly herb-infused bath, followed by a brief spell in the sauna, a cold fruit milk, and a multi-course Japanese meal. Sounds heavenly.

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Sora no Method – 06

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If last week ended with a peace summit, this week we see the fruits of the peace that was forged between Nonoka and Yuzuki, with the help of Koharu and Souta.

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I MUCH prefer the more mature, non-saucer obsessed Yuzuki

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It’s pretty clear this is going to be an onsen episode, but it sure takes its merry time getting there. Yuzuki wants Nonoka to come, but needs Koharu to invite her for her. Meanwhile, Souta is a bit of a tsundere this week, both wanting and not wanting to go; though as the only guy in the group, he’d be bathing and sleeping alone.

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Oh C’MON now!

Shione wins tickets to the same place by coincidence, and invites a very game Noel to come with her. This is kind of a big deal for Shione, who is in a “no new friends” mode since being burned by Nonoka, and as such has spent much of her time alone with her camera. Yet Yuzuki/Nonoka/Koharu and Shione/Noel never cross paths strains credulity, but I’m not sure what would have been accomplished had they crossed paths anyway.

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No, the whole purpose of the onsen trip, which was built up quite a bit, was so Yuzuki could have a venue in which to formally ask Nonoka to hit her back, as punishment for slapping Nonoka a couple weeks back.

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Like Nonoka, it’s really much ado about nothing. Nonoka refuses to slap Yuzuki, instead gently touching Yuzuki’s cheek as a token gesture that yes, indeed, she is forgiven and to stop worrying about little stuff like that. Also, apparently Nonoka punches above her weight class, so it’s best that she didn’t break out the guns.

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With Nonoka and Yuzuki having made up thanks to Koharu, the other one who helped has to work at Koharu’s shop to cover her shift. While he puts up a hard front in front of his sister, because he’s leaving soon, he wants to hang out with them at least a little, so this felt like a lost opportunity for him to do so.

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But like I said, the episode wasn’t interested in doing too much or having everyone get together at the bath just yet. In a way, Noel was kind of a dry run (albeit a warm, wet dry run) for Shione’s future interactions with other people. Even so, she rejects Noel’s claim that they’re really friends, but what with the fun they had and the saucer pillow Noel gives her, it’s hard to dispute Noel’s assertion

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Majimoji Rurumo – 10

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Placed in such a compliant environment as an inn with a mixed bath, Kouta can’t help but revert to his unrepentant, er, horndogging around. Smartly, the ladies prepared by having towels on under their towels, should he rip them off (which he does). Thus Kouta doesn’t accomplish everything he had hoped to, but just sharing a bath with the ladies is heaven enough for him.

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Table tennis is wonderful.

The second half of the episode puts him through hell, as Senpai makes him drink an innocuous-looking bottle of water as payment for letting him goof off instead of accompanying the Occult Club on their trip to the Ookami shrine. That water turns out to be “oomizu”, or water that transforms the drinker into a wolf. Thus Kouta becomes the exactly what he can sometimes be described: a dog. A real one.

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Requiem for a Wolf

Moreover, he believes it’s divine punishment for his perverted transgressions. Unable to talk, only growl and howl, getting through to anyone is impossible; putting him in one of his biggest predicaments yet. But he learns he has nothing to fear, because whether he’s in wolf or human form, he’s Rurumo’s contractor, and she’ll always be able to recognize him and be there for him.

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“I’ll be right…here (points to heart)…”

Rurumo’s rescue literally saves his life, which is a nice reciprocation of all of the ways Kouta has helped her. But this more than just a transactional give-and-take in which the two keep score of who’s saved whom how many times. Rurumo and Kouta just intrinsically want to help and protect each other. I’ve long given up on declarative statements of romantic affection, but their actions have spoken louder than words.

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 07

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The Roommates practice their roles for the play, with Tulip training Satomi especially hard in Knightly duties — including fighting. Satomi takes his lumps but learns quickly.

Apparently the villainous villain is “Clan,” Tulip’s sister and second crown princess to the empire. Tulip says Clan has a stealth ship, which is why they cant find her. Why she is explaining this to Satomi (who doesn’t care) during there a tea break is rather questionable.

Her reasons for training him to be a Knight are pretty dubious for that matter. He’s only supposed to walk around on stage in costume for goodness sakes…

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“it would be pointless to go looking for her” – Tulip says while Clan is hiding in the closet behind to her. Smooth!

Clan makes several attempts on Tulip’s life but is regularly thwarted by Satomi. In fact, Satomi is first to notice Clan, who’s terrible at stealth because she’s clearly evil and conspicuous amongst the theatre club. (regardless of wearing their school uniform)

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Meanwhile, Ruth has discovered Hercules-chan but hasn’t figured out that ‘the cute bug’ is a ‘beetle.’ So she hasn’t gotten made yet. Because aliens know everything about everything except that we call certain types of insects beetles. Gotcha!

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“I have come from untold time and distance” – Blue Knight

The Blue Knight’s introductory lines to the Gray Princess sound and awful lot like the premise to El Hazard. That the princess doesn’t recognize his crests either — and remember Tulip just submitted her nation’s legend word for word — make it look more and more like we’re going to have a time travel other world moment somewhere in the future.

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Apparently Boob-chan is the only one to notice this. Though, for added mystery, she’s heard the same line from… some guy that gave her a trading card or something. It’s unclear, honestly.

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The conflict climaxes on the eve of the festival, with Satomi saving the day on several levels and Clan being completely defeated. Satomi even gets a dragon ball style charge up moment to break through Clan’s defense field.

Then Tulip knights Satomi while he’s sleeping through the credits. (episode end)

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Seven weeks in and RnS is has cornered the market on watchability the way Bud Light has cornered the market on drinkability. It’s absolute minimum effort and quality necessary to keep a viewer’s eyes on the screen and their brain function just above absent.

A mystery has been eluded to but who can care? This was a wacky antics comedy for 3 episodes, remember? It’s not like there’s anything at steak hear — for goodness sake! The worst that can happen is 4/5 of the characters lose their claims on a 10×10 apartment that has, thus far, shown no significance other than they all ended up there!

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Still, drinkability is drinkability! The character interactions are more fluid now. Their relationships a little more believable and nuanced. Amidst all the nonsense, Satomi even asks Tulip to teach him how to dance and it’s half way cute, in a Tsundere sort of way.

But my goodness! I’m not invested in this show and it’s clearly going to ramble on in a predictable-yet-random direction for at least 6 more episodes, I think I’m going to leave it where it is. Satomi is knighted. He’s going to travel time and space somehow and several of the girls will probably get happy endings, one way or another.

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Final Note: The best moment since the premiere was Ruth, having realized the Beetle is a Beetle, chasing Cosplay-chan and Hercules saying ‘Shoo! Shoo!’ with an angry Japanese accent. If there was every a sound byte worthy of a ring tone or an alarm clock in my life, this would be it!

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 06

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Satomi challenges The Roommates to each create a script for the Theatre Club, with 5 points awarded for a finished script and 20 points of territory rewarded if the club chooses a Roommate’s script. The amount of turf is too hard for The Roommates to pass up and soon they are all happily competing. 

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Tulip wins by *cough* plagiarizing *cough* a common fable of her people entitled The Gray Princess and the Blue Knight. Her happiness is quickly dashed as actual casting her fellow high school students in the lead roles only plops Satomi and Sakuraba together, furthering their chemistry and chances of hook up.

Little do the Roommates know, another alien has landed via space time quake and is watching them prepare for the play. Clearly, she is up to no good!

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RnS loads the bases this week with an unexpected drive into left field. I wasn’t expecting a two part ‘school play’ episode immediately after a two part beech episode and I was expecting it to present an entirely new, mythical side story even less.

Could Satomi actually be the fabled Blue Knight of legend somehow? Could Sakuraba be his Gray Princess? Everyone appears to be seeing visions along those lines…

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Meanwhile, a giant Rhinoceros Beetle is living in their closet. Long story short: it’s Cosplay Girl’s fault and “Hercules-Chan” is there mostly as a throw away gag to tie into Ruth’s previous unrequited love plot from the beach arc.

That said, something’s going on with that beetle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it again as a more prominent plot device.

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When did this show get so pretty?

From Tulip’s hologram/bound book to Ghost Girl possessing Satomi to ‘Ghost Write’ her contribution for the script challenge, to the cheap box of curry behind Cosplay Girl, episode six is packed with nice details. In fact, this episode is the best looking the show has produced so far.

So much so that I had to pause and make sure I hadn’t downloaded an OAV by mistake!

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Oddness about a middle shelf show’s mid season looking better than it’s early season aside, what really confuses me about RnS is that it is no longer a comedy.

Sure, Cosplay Girl playing the horse’s ass in the play is funny, and sure, RnS goes through the motions with zany situations like having a Roommate bring home a gigantic beetle but it’s trying fewer than 10 jokes an episode — and that’s counting “we’re embarrassed” style humor.

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I don’t get it? These characters are totally over the top and they’ve been played over the top for 4 episodes. How am I supposed to suddenly shift gears and care about light-touch romantic drama when magic powers and space mecha are still floating around??

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As for the Mysterious New Alien Girl with glasses and cat teeth, who knows? I’m sure she’ll be defeated right away and get stuck in the room with everyone else.

Maybe she’ll be a two-off like the evil Ghost Girl from the beach resort episodes? She’s obviously going to give us exposition and develop Tulip’s back story, which I don’t care about in any way.

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Honestly, if RnS hadn’t upped the render quality (it now has a lighting and color treatment more like Angel Beats!) I may have dropped it this week. Even so, this is not an interestingly rendered show.

Oh RnS…what to make of you?

6_ogk

Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 05

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The roommates’ time at the beach turns sour as the Yakuza Bros turn out to be ghost hunters and steal Ghost Girl. With a little guidance from Sakuraba, Satomi leads the remaining roommates in a daring attack to get her back and defeats a giant ghoul-lady-ghost boss monster along the way. Happy endings and deeper friendship ensue.

This week’s RnS thankfully ignores the fact that it’s the second part of a beach & hot spring fanservice episode and jumps right into what really matters: introducing even more characters with inane, unexplained motivations!

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No seriously! I appreciate the vague explanation about who the Yakuza are and what they are up to but it wasn’t necessary to introduce another sexy-lady-ghost into the mix. Especially when she doesn’t seem to have survived her fight with Team Roommates.

Likewise, if we’re honest, we didn’t need to know anything about the Yakuza either, since they too are throwaway, nonsensical, and not very funny characters.

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And humor is ultimately RnS’ central problem. Specifically, when you get past the quirky ‘skins’ applied to the cast, their bones — their archetypes — are completely pedestrian, which puts all the weight on RnS’ visuals and Story. Sadly, RnS’ visuals are average at best and the narrative is soft-ball goofy for-goofy’s sake and not really funny either.

So here we are at episode 5 and we’re watching a comedy that isn’t especially funny, dotted with a little fanservice, which isn’t drawn especially well either. So why am I watching this?

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Technically, there are two mysteries behind the narrative that we haven’t uncovered yet (the shrine and what Satomi is knitting) but the suspicious lack of shrine since the premiere leads me to suspect it will either come out of nowhere to wrap the show up or never return again and the specifics of Satomi’s knitting is hardly enough to justify more episodes…
At best, we could be rooting for one of the girls to ‘happily ever after’ with the protagonist. I’m not sure I care, though.
Do you?

5_ogk