Monday, July 22, 2013

Spring Simulcast: Week 10

Arata, The Legend: Episode 7:

Arata returns to school in Hinohara's place and ends up in a confrontation with Kadowaki, whom he believesis Hinohara's friend. Meanwhile, Kotoha injures her ankle forcing the group to stop in an abandoned village so she can rest. Kannagi ambushes Hinohara when he's alone in an attempt to steal Tsukuyo so he can regain his own stolen hayagami, Homura. But he later ends up saving both Hinohara and Kotoha's lives. He tells the group about how he came to be Homura's sho, and why Akachi hates him. After hearing his story Hinohara asks Kannagi to join their group, because he sees parts of his own situation with Kadowaki in Kannagi's story.

I thought this episode was going to finally focus on Arata for a change. While I liked Kannagi's back story, I was still a bit disappointed that once again the show ignored the events going on in Japan. I'm beyond the small portion of the manga that I read, but I do remember that the other side of the story is essential for character development. I guess I just have to accept that the adaptation will continue to exclude the real world much to it's detriment. Episode rating: 7/10.

Arata, The Legend is currently available on crunchyroll.

Karneval, Episode 9:

Yogi goes berserk while he and Gareki are fighting the Varuga from last episode, and becomes a completely different person. Tsukomo is captured by the Varuga as they flee, and taken back to Kafka headquarters. She gets away briefly, but has difficulties completely escaping the premises. Back on the Circus airship Gareki demands an explanation for Yogi's change. Dr. Akachi explains that some Circus agents have a kind of allergic reaction to their powers that has to be suppressed, but Gareki believes the Doctor is still holding something back from them.

Well this episode wasn't boring. It seems that Karneval is heading back into tragic back story territory, which is where they've been strongest so far. My main problem with this show is that the world is never as fully fleshed out as it should be. There are a lot of interesting ideas, especially with an evil organization that takes part in illegal genetic experiments, but so far none of them have really gone anywhere. Maybe in the next few episodes we'll finally get to see how the upper structure of Kafka operates. Episode rating: 7/10.

Karneval is currently available on hulu.

Red Data Girl, Episode 10:

Izumiko is upset by Miyuki's conversation with the Hime-gami, and confesses some of her feelings to Mayura without revealing the whole truth. The school festival begins, keeping the whole Executive Committee busy with management duties. Miyuki and Izumiko are sent to investigate why several women have become ill in the haunted house, emphasis on the haunted. After Izumiko gets caught up in a procession of ghosts, it leads Miyuki and Yukimasa to having another fight about the proper way to protect the Hime-gami. Meanwhile, Mayura and Takayangi are headed towards a decisive confrontation when they are both appointed generals on opposite sides of a mock battle.

I don't have too much to say about this episode, which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it. Once again, Miyuki and Izumiko's relationship continues to develop and change nicely. Red Data Girl continues to be a wonderful source of character development. This episode had it's own interesting little mystery with the haunted house, but otherwise seemed to mostly be setup for a spectacular finale. Episode rating: 8.5/10.

Red Data Girl is currently available on hulu.

Devil Survivor 2, Episode 9:

Alcor stays in Hibiki's room, so he can observe the choices he makes. The next septentrion appears in the atmosphere above Sapporo. Airi and Hinako are sent to deal with it, and destroy it pretty effortlessly. However, their victory comes at a terrible price as the body of the septentrion falls back down to earth and destroys the entire city of Sapporo.

The scenes with Alcor were extremely amusing especially after Daichi and Io discover him hanging around in Hibiki's room. It was a nice little touch of humor in an otherwise grim show. Although I thought this episode's septentrion attack was a little anti-climatic, it was nice to see someone other than Hibiki get to be the hero for once. I also liked that there was a catch that Yamato failed to inform them of. Episode rating: 8.5/10.

Devil Survivor 2 is currently available on crunchyroll.

The Devil is a Part-Timer!, Episode 10:Sadao is loaned out to another McDonald's in a nearby amusement park to help them with the extra traffic accompanying the opening of a few new attractions. Chiho asks Emi to go with her so she can show off her new bikini to the ever oblivious devil. Suzuno decides to tag along after she over hears that Sadao might use the new haunted house as an opportunity to gain some magical energy. While this does prove to be the case, he quickly uses it up subduing some escaped alligators.

This was essentially the token beach episode that every anime is contractually obligated to undergo, since the girls spent the whole day walking around in swimsuits. A lot of the humor revolved around Chiho's impractically large breasts, which made me groan and roll my eyes for a good portion of the run time. There were a few other jokes that I enjoyed, including a monkey named Sadao and the girls going into the haunted house. It was also fun to see Sadao using his magic for the first time in a while. The ending included some interesting foreshadowing. Overall this was not a great episode by this show's standards, but I've seen way worse beach episode humor. Episode rating: 7/10.

The Devil is a Part-Timer! is currently available on hulu.
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