This week in anime, action takes a backseat to sitting and talking, or in the more daring of cases, standing and talking. At least we have the combined excellence of SaiMono, Dennou Coil and Emma to wash away the pain, especially during the wait for non-HD Darker than Black (not that the new computer can’t play them, but the old instincts remain).
Reviewed this week: Cazador 10, Claymore 11, Dennou Coil 4, Koutetsu 8, Love GetChu 7, ROTK 45, RxJ 9, SaiMono II 10, Seirei 9, Polyphonica 2, Emma II 7
…and in manga: Gunslinger Girl 28-30, Tsubasa 156
El Cazador de la Bruja 10: Each week I say that El Cazador cannot possibly get any more boring, but somehow, each week it proves me wrong. This time around, our heroines stop off at an Amigo Tacos diner to help a generic man with a shady past that is about to catch up to him- really, it’s getting harder and harder to even pay attention, let alone begin to think about caring. Is there ever going to be any hint of a plot? Why am I even asking?
*HIATUS* Claymore 11: After barely paying attention to this episode, I have decided to put Claymore on hiatus until I come to parody it- it just isn’t engaging me enough to continue with. In this episode, Clare and the others realise that they were assigned to the team because they are the problem children of the ‘organisation’ (so shady and evil that it should be called an Organisation); cue twenty-five minutes of necessary exposition before the group splits up and goes their separate ways for the next arc; likewise, Claymore and I shall go our separate ways for a while.
Dennou Coil 4: I never thought it could happen, but Dennou Coil 4 is so good that it makes the first episode look merely average in comparison. Having introduced herself as a second Yuko, Yuko-Isako’s (Isako becomes her nickname) cold attitude in school soon earns her the ire of Daichi and his gang, who soon plan a series of pranks. What makes the episode so great is seeing Isako effortlessly foil their plots with her advanced techniques, offering yet more insights into the workings of these glasses, and raising yet more questions. Is the fact that Yasako and Isako have the same full names more than coincidence (possibly not, since the kanji are different)? Did the teacher notice or care about the pranks in class, or are her glasses just normal lenses? To what extent does a person’s self exist in the data world instead of the real one? When can I see episode 5?
Koutetsu Sangokushi 8: The HARD GAY continues in this episode, as Wu is forced to decide whether to ally with Wei or go to war with them (let’s just check the history books whilst we’re waiting shall we?) and Zhuge Liang promises to come up with an effective plan that will enable Wu to go on the offence without endangering its people. Nothing much happens in this episode, but it still proves fertile ground for parody with such lines as the transvestite Liu Bei telling Sun Quan he looks girlish.
Love GetChu! 7: I know I keep promising to watch the rest of the series raw, but in the time I haven’t been bothered to get around to it, this series from last Spring has finally had another episode subbed. It’s Yurika’s turn in the round of character development episodes we seem to be having, and with her childhood friend Atari having made his animation debut, she is more desperate than ever to become a voice actress- so much so that she ends up leaving Lambda Eight to join another company. Of course, it doesn’t take much brainpower to predict how it all pans out, but I wasn’t expecting Yurika to also be interested in the male lead, setting up a potential love triangle. Meanwhile, in the next episode we’ll finally get to Amane.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 45: Thanks to the lengthy delays, ROTK has lost what little appeal it once had, but now that we’re so close to the end, it hardly seems worth dropping it. In this episode, we finally reach the sequence where Pang Tong ‘joins’ Wei and convinces Cao Cao to chain all his ships together so that the Wu fire attack can spread more easily. It’s hard to believe that it’s taken us so long to get to this point, leaving only two episodes for the actual fire attack at Chi Bi to occur.
Romeo X Juliet 9: The Capulet resistance has properly come together, but Francisco speaks for Gonzo when he says that it is best not to move the plot too quickly- instead we must move slowly, with plenty of angst as Montague disapproves of Romeo and Juliet tries to be more useful than her low swordsmanship skills can allow. It’s not the best episode of the series so far, but it is at least solid enough, with parody potential still high.
Saiunkoku Monogatari II 10: After the excellence of episode nine, ten struggles to live up to it, as Shuurei deals with the responsibility of overseeing the doctors and coping with the fact that she is being blamed for the disease. Fortunately, she has Ensei by her side, a character who has really come into his own over the course of the series (even if it is at the expense of Seiran’s screen time). Other scenes of note include Doctor You “shaking his booty”, and a Kourin scene in which nothing more than her appearance and bearing indicates how resolute and mature she has become.
Touching back on last episode, does Yougetsu’s coming out shorten Eigetsu’s life simply because Eigetsu isn’t in control at that point, or does it actually deplete his life at a faster life (for example, if Eigetsu had had the original twenty years and Yougetsu came out for ten, would that be Eigetsu ten, Yougetsu ten, or something like Yougetsu ten, Eigetsu eight?). Also, when Yougetsu said he would only come out when Eigetsu drank alcohol, was that a conscious choice of trigger that he chose to obey, or did he become bound to obey it, even when it isn’t in Eigetsu’s best interests for him to come out?
Seirei no Moribito 9: Whilst Balsa sends Chagum out to play with some generic children so that she can sit and talk with Tanda, in the palace, Shuga spends his time sitting and talking with people, Prince Sagum included. Sadly, any hint of action has long since departed, with even the Eight Evil Men taking a short holiday in Ireland, leaving only bland dialogue as the plot gets stuck in a stagnant whirlpool. Did it all go wrong because I prematurely labelled the series a ‘hit’ on my Production IG review?
Here we see two entries in the beard competition- the long, thing version for stroking, and the overkill five-point Dumbledore deluxe.
Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica 2: As feared, Polyphonica is already starting to go downhill in this episode, in which the team investigates a house where a pervert spirit may be spying on the owner whenever she undresses. Although I am compelled to keep watching by virtue of the character designs, the series is already beginning to resemble Yoake in content, a clear indication that light entertainment is about to become dull fluff- especially as we already have a beach episode next time.
Victorian Romance Emma Second Act 7: Provoked by his unexpected yet brief reunion with Emma, William decides to break off the engagement with Eleanor, provoking rumours from all corners ever before the announcement is made official. More so than in the manga, I cannot help but feel sorry for poor Eleanor, hurt as much by William’s indecision and inconsistency as by the fact that her love for him will never truly be returned. Then again, that is what makes this series so good- the fact that it can make you care about the characters in this way.
Gunslinger Girl 28-30: The sixth volume of Gunslinger Girl gets off to a flying start in this chapter, which delves into the back story of Jean and Giuseppe before heading off on a new arc about the second generation of cyborg children. Unlike Henrietta and her peers, this group will have lighter conditioning and a complete change of appearance, and it is left to prospective handler Alessandro to pick the girl who will become the prototype for this new generation. As I said in my review of volumes 1-5, the manga continues to show no signs of slowing down, and I simply cannot get enough of it.
Tsubasa Chronicle 156: Thanks to the brevity of each chapter, I have only the vaguest idea of what Tsubasa is trying to convey in the latest chapters, in which we learn about the back story of the ‘cursed twins’ Fye and Yuuhi as they endure abandonment in a cruel empire that blames them for its adverse circumstances. Did young Fye try to kill his brother (or vice versa)? Is the Fye we know now really his brother? I have to admit that I’m more than a little confused on these points.