Reviewed this week: Baccano! 4, Higurashi Kai 8, Koutetsu Sangokushi 12, Mononoke 5, Mushi-Uta 8, Oh! Edo Rocket 1, Romeo X Juliet 19, Sisters of Wellber 5-6
…and in manga: Spiral 49-50, Tsubasa 163-4
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil (1) – recap episode? Don’t make me wait!
- SaiMono II (2) – who will win Eigetsu’s heart?
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (3) – despair!
- Darker than Black (4) – not bad, could be better
- Baccano! (5) – I don’t know what’s going on, but I like it
- Mushi-Uta (7) – best episode yet
- Mononoke (6) – siscon
- Doujin Work (9) – this is becoming a guilty pleasure
- Oh! Edo Rocket (-) – bizarre yet fun <-new!
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (11) – pure HARD GAY
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (10) – “dull, dull, dull”
- Romeo X Juliet (12) – what’s the point anymore?
- Seirei no Moribito (13) – an exercise in monotony
- El Cazador de la Bruja (14) – useless Nadie
- Shounen Onmyouji (1)- a new episode after so long
- Tetsuko no Tabi (8)- demoted to slow
- Sisters of Wellber (3) – Rita gets a new job
- Love GetChu! (2)- light entertainment
Baccano! 4: I may still have only the faintest of ideas as to what is going on, but Baccano remains enjoyable despite its incomprehensible nature. Whilst this episode largely focuses on Ladd, a psychotic character who, as the title tells us, likes both talking and killing a lot, we continue to follow the threads of various other cast members, both on the Flying Pussyfoot and in events beforehand. Once again, Isaac and Miria remain the most memorable and likable pair, although really aside from the strange names it’s all good.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai 8: After a good pair of episodes, Higurashi has become dull again, with Satoko’s evil uncle returning once again to abuse her and lead to a series of events much like the one in a previous arc. I know I should care about Satoko’s plight, but it’s hard to do so by this stage, whilst reading detailed spoilers for this arc means that there are no surprises to liven things up a bit.
Koutetsu Sangokushi 12: Koutetsu seems to fluctuate between genres with each passing episode- just last time it all turned into sentai Pleasure Rangers, and before that it was Dynasty Warriors-based and shounen, but now it’s gone back to full on HARD GAY (more so than most parodies). In this episode, Lu Xun gets desperate when Zhuge Liang skips out on a night with him to enjoy some dangerous Pleasure with Zhou Yu, leading to various declarations of love and a scene in which a half-naked Zhuge lounges on a bed and encourages Zhou Yu to take a look at something nestled in his crotch.
Mononoke 5: The second arc concludes in this episode, in which the character of the arc admits the feelings of siscon that lie at the root of the current Ayakashi. Whilst it isn’t as good as episode four, this is at least a solid conclusion to the arc with a little twist post-credits; certainly this arc has been better than the first, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next one brings.
Mushi-Uta 8: Poor Asami; she was all cut out to be an inconsequential friend of the important female characters, but instead she finds herself a target of Psychotic Blonde and her team, leading to an exciting chase through the world inside a video camera. I’m actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this episode; from its confusing beginnings this has really picked up, and I’m looking forward to watching the rest.
*SLOW CATCH-UP* Oh! Edo Rocket 1: I didn’t have time to watch 2-10, but I’ve started on the previously ignored Oh! Edo Rocket, and whilst it isn’t top tier, it’s a lot better than certain other titles on the list. Although the core story is about an era where luxuries are banned in Edo and a fireworks maker who flouts this law, there’s also a lot more going on, from strange Men in Black to battles between giant blue and white monsters (extremely well animated battles at that). It’s entirely bizarre in a way that threatens to eclipse even Futakoi Alternative, but at the same time that’s the draw- you just have to keep watching to see what happens next.
Romeo X Juliet 19: After many episodes of nothing much happening, Juliet and the others put on a play that echoes the main story and sparks a revolution- one that could have happened thirteen episodes ago. Whilst Juliet becomes the Red Whirlwind once more, allies and their pegasi show up from nowhere to help storm both a hidden fortress and the walls of Neo Verona itself, whilst Montague’s well trained soldiers come under fire from such deadly projectiles as cut roses. I should be happy that events are least moving forward now, but I’ve been so dulled by the episodes of inaction that I cannot rouse myself to care anymore.
Wellber no Monogatari ~Sisters of Wellber~ 5-6: In an unprecedented turn of events, not one but two episodes of Wellber were on offer this week. First up, our heroines try to cross the border, but with Galahad on their tail and yet another troublemaker of the week seeking to turn them in, they will have to rely on some predictable tricks to make it past the checkpoint. Next, a blizzard separates Rita from the others, leaving her alone with Galahad and a bunch of poisonous spiders. There are no real surprises to be had here, but these two are certainly an improvement on the prostitute episode, moving the series from barely entertaining to mildly so (and on its worst day, it remains more watchable than a certain series about a bounty hunter and a witch).
A shame no one told this to the cast of Seirei no Moribito.
Spiral 49-50: Volume ten and the Kanone saga finally come to a close here, with everything going down to the wire as the last moves in Ayumu’s plan are played out, and Kanone meets his fate. As always, the series puts in even more twists than you were expecting, and whilst this confrontation has arguably gone on for a bit longer than necessary, it remains a strong conclusion to a generally enjoyable arc. I’m approaching the next part with both anticipation for new material and a certain degree of trepidation, given both Hinano’s warnings and the spoilers I’ve read.
Tsubasa Chronicle 163-4: There are times when I wonder if it’s even worth continuing with this series anymore, and this is one of those times. In these two chapters, Ashura confronts Fye (or should that be Yuui now that we know the truth) and starts hurting his friends in an attempt to get the magician to kill him, even bringing out Sakura’s soulless body to up the stakes. The trouble is, with so many twists adding unneeded baggage to what was once a simple and straightforward story, everything threatens to collapse under the weight of its own inconsistency and unanswered questions- and worse yet, the treacle pace has become so slow that it takes weeks for anything of note to properly occur. Nonetheless, I shall continue for now (didn’t I once say this about the now abandoned School Rumble?).