Shin Weekly Round Up: March 23rd

Reviewed this week: Ano Natsu de Matteru 11, Another 11, Aquarion EVOL 12, Black Rock Shooter 7-8m Hunter X Hunter 23, Last Exile, Mirai Nikki 22, Mouretsu Pirates 11, Nisemonogatari 11, P4A 23, Symphogear 11

Ano Natsu de Matteru 11: You know what it’s like when you crashland on another planet; you settle in at school, make friends, fall in love…and then your big sister comes along to take you home to Mum and Dad. Unfortunately for Ichika, it looks like her time on Earth might be over – even if she can reassure her family that she isn’t in danger, our planet is far too primitive for aliens to be allowed to contact the natives! It looks like a cruel separation might be imminent, unless a loophole can be found – and who better to find it than Lemon-senpai? I’m going to reserve judgement until we see how this pans out next week, but I think on the whole I can safely say I’ve enjoyed this series.

Another 11

It’s gory death aplenty as the survivors of Another enter the most dangerous episode of Masterchef yet, complete with knives, a burning kitchen and ultra-realistic Hangman. With the public announcement of the news that all they need to do is kill the dead person, everyone’s up for a bit of slaughtering – with hilariously bloody consequences. It’s times like this when I wonder why I didn’t parody Another, as I certainly could have had a lot of fun with this episode.

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Aquarion EVOL 12

It’s all go this week as Andy decides that Amata’s relationship with Mikono could use a shot in the arm – and what better way to help it along than to organise a school-wide screening of Skies of Aquaria. Meanwhile, Zessica is busy stalking around in jealousy, whilst Jin wants to take Yunoha back to Altair to be their Eve. It’s another week without much in the way of battle, but it’s still highly entertaining, and it looks like things will be picking up on the action front again from next episode.

*COMPLETE* Black Rock Shooter 7-8

So Yuu actually swapped with Strength some time ago as she couldn’t stand the pain of the real world, and now Mato is stuck as Black Rock Shooter too – how better to resolve this than with some combat? Well, at least the fight scenes are pretty, it’s just a shame that the whole delivery system surrounding them is so subpar. It’s just as well this series was mercifully short, since it was largely incoherent with big painful spikes of melodrama. Not to mention the fact that the moral of the story seemed to be that pain is a good thing that we should all indulge in more often – preferably with a spot of S&M so we can both hurt others and be hurt. Great.

Hunter X Hunter 23

Gon, Kurapika and Leorio are keen to get into the Zoldyck mansion and rescue Killua from his family’s clutches – but before they do that, there’s the small matter of pushing open those two tonne gates. It’s times like this that training was invented for, and indeed, our heroes spend much of the episode doing ye olde weighted everything training in an attempt to boost their strength. This part of the series was never a particular favourite of mine, so right now I’m just holding out for the better stuff that’s around the corner. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining though.

Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam 20

It’s a battle of Exile controllers as Luscinia’s Grand Exile goes up against various generics, named characters and Millia’s Exile; all buying time for Alvis to swoop in and save the day. There’s lots of action, but it’s hard to care at this point.

Mirai Nikki 22

If stabbingly awesome is not a phrase, then after this episode, it surely should be. Akise’s true role in the survival game is revealed, and he has important news for Yukiteru – not only has Yuno been playing a long game with him, but she knew full well that he won’t be able to bring back any of the people he has killed. Unfortunately, Yukiteru refuses to believe him, and proceeds to work his way through his remaining friends. The urge to look up spoilers gets stronger with each twist, but I must hold back; I’ve been expecting the series to go down the reset everything route ever since Ninth bombed the school way back when, but things seem more open now.

Mouretsu Pirates 11

Right at the beginning of this instalment, we learn that the golden ghost ship was a sleeper ship transporting the very first settlers to Serenity in the days before faster than light travel – and that, unfortunately, that’s the most interesting part of the episode. The rest of it involves Gruyere and the Bentenmaru racing to get to the ship before Gruyere’s sister does. Or something.

*COMPLETE* Nisemonogatari 11

Just like a cuckoo might, the phoenix laid its egg in the Araragi nest, and thus Tsukihi was born. But as far as Koyomi is concerned, she’s his little sister, and he and Shinobu will fight (or stand around posturing and talking) to keep her safe. It’s not a bad ending to the arc, and certainly a step above the final confrontation with Kaiki, but it might have had a bit more impact had this arc been invested with a little more time.

Post coming soon: Nisemonogatari and the limits of perversion

Persona 4 the Animation 23

When it seems as if Nanako hasn’t made it, everyone’s anger naturally turns towards Namatame – how could he hasve possibly thought he was saving people by throwing them into the TV? But as we know, after a lot of talking and choosing the right options, one can avoid the bad ending and work towards uncovering the truth. I have to admit that this episode felt somewhat lacking. It saddens me that there now isn’t time for the true ending – I don’t want people to go away just thinking it was [XXXX]!

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Symphogear 11

Ryoko finally reveals herself as TEH EVILZ, although it’s not her fault – way back when, the original Ryoko was possessed by the spirit of Fine, a priestess who has effectively reincarnated into different bodies throughout history. Now she’s sporting a revealing gold number that doesn’t offer nearly enough support to critical areas, and her plan is to build the world’s largest phallic symbol and use it to…destroy the Moon!? Yes, that’s right, for ever since she tried to reach God back in the old days, humanity was somehow cursed with ‘confusion’ and only destroying the Moon (which, as we know from FF8, is a monster-infested hellhole anyway), can set things right. Okay, so this isn’t the most inspired storytelling ever, but somehow the battle scenes make up for it all.