Weekly Round-Up: January 12th

Thanks to some discussion on ikimashou.net, I now feel relieved of any need to buy the expensive 1/6 Feena figure and thus can now stop going on about it and get on with my life.

I still haven’t picked anything to watch from the new season, but maybe something will present itself soon.

Reviewed this week: Asatte no Houkou 10, Iroha 10, Busou Renkin 12-14, Chevalier 12, Kanon 14, Red Garden 12, Uta DVD Specials 1-2

…and in manga: Higurashi Onikakushi 2

ANIME

Asatte no Houkou 10: Compared to the days of my outright love for Asatte no Houkou, I have to admit my feelings have become a bit more mixed now (perhaps due to my reading ending and manga spoilers); the scenes themselves are very good, but in order to get to where it needs to be, the series seems to rely on more contrivances and ‘coincidences’ than I’m happy to swallow. This episodes sees Tetsu and Kotomi just happen to end up staying at the inn where Karada is working, leading to yet more unwitting revelations even as Tetsu fails to realise who this ‘Satou’ person is.

Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto 10: Much as I hate to day it, I actually preferred Peacemaker’s portrayal of Okita; his appearance here only left me wondering when he was finally going to stop coughing up blood and just die so that Akidzuki could move on. Other than this slight annoyance, this was another quiet episode (in terms of the main characters rather than the historical situation) which concerned itself with setting everything up in preparation for the Nakaiya II arc.

Busou Renkin 12-14: By this point in the series, Busou Renkin has settled down into a pattern of both the terrifyingly tasteless and the unintentionally amusing, and this episode is no exception. When Butterfly uses some ugly generic monsters to attack the school, Kazuki and Tokiko rush to the defence of their friends, only for Papillon to show up and demonstrate the power that a Kakugane in the crotch can deliver. Alongside such terrifying images as Papillon and Butterfly fighting whilst both dressed in tight bodysuits, the episode also reveals that Moonface is many times less interesting than I had hoped- his special ability involves creating a version of himself for each phase of the moon and then standing around doing nothing.

Episode fourteen seems to a more budget saving affair, consisting of six minutes of OP and recap before the episode proper even begins, and squeezing in some flashbacks towards the end. Nonetheless, it keeps the series interesting by introducing Victor (Green Hair) and the black Kakugane, with a cliffhanger that ensures that episode fifteen will definitely be watched. I have to say that I am starting to feel sorry for Tokiko, however; why is it that the best character in any SJ anime must be pushed to the sidelines in favour of the irritating spiky-haired hero?

Le Chevalier d’Eon 12: Having extensively worked with the screencaps, I knew what was coming in this episode of Chevalier, but that did not make it any less enjoyable. Aside from a few places where my assumption from the raw screencaps contradicted the reality of a scene, this was a worthy end to the Russia story which leaves me desperate to understand the England arc better.

Kanon 14: Mai’s arc continues to drag on at an interminably slow pace in this episode, whilst Sayuri reveals that she once had a sickly little brother who died after a lifetime of strict treatment from his sister. Although scenes such as Mai’s outburst were technically rather well done, Kanon has long since stopped stirring much emotion in me beyond a morbid fear of Akiko’s jam. In fact, I felt more pity for Sayuri’s brother than any of the main characters; the poor kid seemed to spend most of his life on the verge of tears.

Red Garden 12: Having made a plot so ridiculous that they daren’t even touch it now, Red Garden’s writers are forced to resort to that old staple of angst for this episode. Whilst Claire and Rachel try to sort out their respective boyfriend issues and convince their partners that being a main character takes precedence over a more active love life, Kate seems to be predictably drawn to Hervé; oddly, despite stalking Kate at odd hours of the day, Lula and her male friend do not even realise that the man she is with is one of their enemies. Next episode is called “A Day Off”, which is somewhat worrying when the last few episodes have all felt like days off- nonetheless, I’m taking the series off red due to my odd tolerance for watching it.

Utawarerumono DVD Specials 2-3: Sometimes I wonder why I keep torturing myself with DVD specials, especially when ones like these come along. The poorly animated special two must be the most terrifying six minutes since Otome special four, consisting of such scenes as Aru getting all wet and sticky inside Mukkuru’s mouth, and all the girls enjoying a nude bathing scene. Number three is more of a hilariously bad effort, in which Hakuoro and Oboro accidentally break Touka’s treasured wooden doll. Despite rumours, nowhere did I see anyone claiming that the twins are girls, which is just as well, for they are most certainly HARD GAY men.

Ever since the original game, Hakuoro has been especially skilled at fighting wood.

MANGA

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Onikakushi 2: It feels strange to return to the first arc of Higurashi after all this time, but this manga chapter is good enough to make the revisit worthwhile. Covering the Watanagashi festival and Tomitake’s disappearance, the manga manages to go into more detail than anime, whilst making Keiichi even more dislikeable than ever.