Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 08

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The 24-hour airsoft tournament commences, and the Stella girls excel, though Yura’s imperiousness irks Yachiyo and Karila. They fight throught the day and night until Stella and Meisei are the last teams standing. Yura meets with Rin before the last flag drop, and Rin half-confesses to shooting at Sonora. In the final showdown, Yura gets hit by a stray pellet, but doesn’t report getting hit, and shoots Rin.

We knew this tourney would go down one of two ways: either Stella would lose by the narrowest of margins but Yura would show rin her new-found fire, or Stella would win but Yura wouldn’t be happy with how they got it. During the truce before the final round, Yura, desperate to learn the truth, seeks out Rin. Through Sonora Yura has learned about how deep airsoft can get, and the lessons it can teach about living life. But Rin has none of it; airsoft is about one thing to her: the simulation of war. And in war, the winners live and the losers die; it’s as simple as that.

Those words don’t wound Yura so much as the ones that follow: because Rin sees this as a life-or-death struggle, she’s willing to do whatever is necessary for victory, including taking out Stella’s ace. She says Yura is no different; and it’s likely she can see it in Yura’s eyes; while Yura doesn’t consider this war, it’s absolutely imperative that she beat Rin to avenge Sonora. And win Yura does, but only by cheating. It would seem the cameras didn’t catch the pellet that hit her, so only Rin knows, and it’s something she’ll always know, making Yura’s victory taste as bitter as defeat.

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • In our books, being a zombie player for a split-second is nowhere near as bad as targeting your rival in the real world with a high-powered rifle, but on principle, she’s correct that Yura was willing to break the rules to win.
  • Yura may have been a single-minded tyrant and cheat in this episode, but they wouldn’t have gotten as far as they did without her intricate, highly successful strategy.
  • We loved the moment Yura pulled her gun on “Karila”, who was actually her twin brother in disguise. For a split-second, it seemed like she was going to shoot her for losing the flag!
  • Rin is voiced by Seto Asami, the voice of the bubbly Chihaya Ayase, but here she’s all serious business.
  • Rin is also the latest in a long line of raven-haired, dark-eyed female characters who play the villain, though she pretty much shares that role with Yura this week. Yura’s innocence = zero.
  • We have a feeling Sonora envisioned things potentially going this way for Yura after witnessing her obsessive behavior. Maybe she saw the Rin in Yura?

Mawaru Penguindrum – 17 (Retro Review)

Originally posted 4 Nov 2011 – Himari is getting better thanks to Sanetoshi’s medicine, but the Penguin hat possesses her once more to reiterate that if they neglect the penguin drum, her bros will lose “what they treasure most” – but hesitates when asked whether the diary is the drum. Meanwhile, Yuri and Tabuki’s grudge against the Takekuras for their loss of Momoka comes to a head when both prepare an assault against Himari. Masako intercepts Yuri, wanting the other half of the diary for Mario, and they duel with words and weapons. Tabuki isolates Himari and Ringo, and makes his intentions known.

Wait…what is this? There’s too many episodes left, there can’t be a showdown! And yet, that’s exactly what we get, on multiple fronts, too. All the players and motives and vendettas continue to intertwine like strings of yarn in a sweater or subway lines on a map. Everything’s, like, connectin’, maaan. This episode gives us the warm highs of a happy, reunited group of siblings, and all the while the wolves wait at their door, wanting blood as payment for their parents’ crimes. It give just about everyone a little bit of screen time too, evoking a real feeling of…penultimateness.

The Penguin hat wants the drum, for what reason we still don’t know. Masako wants the diary to save Mario at any cost. Yuri wants it to transfer fate; for revenge. But most (and least) surprising is Tabuki, who we’ve hardly seen at all recently. Even after playing the Devil’s Advocate with Yuri, he turns out to be no less dead set on punishing the Takekuras. And then there’s Sanetoshi, whose minions warn Himari better hightail it back to the hospital, or they’ll punish her. As for Kanba, it’s hinted that his heart – the thing he’s using as currency to keep Himari alive – is the penguin drum. Well, both have a beat. Hey, why not?


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Jormungand – 11

As the team prepares for a small-time job with the mafia, Valmer reaches a breaking point with her dreams and goes off on her own. Suspecting something like that might happen, Koko ordered Jonah to follow her. She is after Cheng Guo-Ming, Karen’s boss, who was the one who massacred her UN unit and took her eye in Africa. Meanwhile, a group of hitmen prepare to target Koko & Co., led by Dominique, who proposes they take out one of her men at a time, starting with Ugo. When the mafia deal goes sour, Koko shoots the boss and her men kill the rest. Afterwards Dominique, Gregoire and Liliane make their move at Koko’s hotel.

Just last episode we brought up the fact that Koko and her team have handily succeeded in pretty much every mission they’ve taken on, with no loss of men and minimal consequences. Well, scratch all that, because consequences come hard and fast in this episode, and a distracted Koko never sees it coming. Orchestra and Chinatsu weren’t very, uh, discreet in their attempted hit on Koko (they mostly just emptied clips in her general vicinity). Their brazenness was beated by the skill and discipline of Koko’s team. This time, the hitmen not only have their shit together, but are led by someone who isn’t going to make any rash mistakes. This time, people die. This time, Koko looks like she’s in some real trouble.

The first thing she says in this episode is that the 3-truck mafia thing is “no big deal”, but she’s fine with a small job since there’s a bigger missile deal on the horizon. We knew right then and there this wasn’t going to be the piece of cake she expected it to be. The loss of Valmer and Jonah meant a serious hit to her strength, while her decision to kill the mafia boss – who offered drugs instead of cash – led her men to momentarily question whether it was such a good idea. That, and the fact they exerted themselves that night, and their missing comrades made them ripe for an ambush, and that’s what Dominique gives them. Like we said, this is quite the pickle, and there will be lasting repercussions.


Rating: 9 (Superior)


Car Cameo:
There’s no clear shots of the whole car, but Team Kill Koko is definitely riding in a BMW 7-Series (F01), judjing by its headlamps and other styling cues.

Mawaru Penguindrum – 17

Himari is getting better thanks to Sanetoshi’s medicene, but the Penguin hat possesses her once more to reiterate that if they neglect the penguin drum, her bros will lose “what they treasure most” – but hesitates when asked whether the diary is the drum. Meanwhile, Yuri and Tabuki’s grudge against the Takekuras for their loss of Momoka comes to a head when both prepare an assault against Himari. Masako intercepts Yuri, wanting the other half of the diary for Mario, and they duel with words and weapons. Tabuki isolates Himari and Ringo, and makes his intentions known.

Wait…what is this? There’s too many episodes left, there can’t be a showdown! And yet, that’s exactly what we get, on multiple fronts, too. All the players and motives and vendettas continue to intertwine like strings of yarn in a sweater or subway lines on a map. Everythings, like, connectin’, man. This episode gives us the warm highs of a happy, reunited group of siblings, and all the while the wolves wait at their door, wanting blood as payment for their parents’ crimes. It give just about everyone a little bit of screen time too, evoking a real feeling of…penultimateness.

The Penguin hat wants the drum, for what reason we still don’t know. Misaka wants the diary to save Mario at any cost. Yuri wants it to transfer fate; for revenge. But most (and least) surprising is Tabuki, who we’ve hardly seen at all recently. Even after playing the Devil’s Advocate with Yuri, he turns out to be no less dead set on punishing the Takekuras. And then there’s Sanetoshi, whose minions warn Himari better hightail it back to the hospital, or they’ll punish her. As for Kanba, it’s hinted that his heart – the thing he’s using as currency to keep Himari alive – is the penguin drum. Well, both have a beat. Why not?


Rating: 4