Shin Sekai Yori episode 19 (and a bit on 10-18 too)
The Show To This Point: I’d purposefully let myself fall way behind on this one so that I could then watch episode after episode to avoid cliffhangers, but for the sake of being able to write about it weekly, I caught up from episode 10 to episode 19 this past week. Some episodes felt a bit lacking, though never bad, but things really started to get real after the latest timeskip. From the very beginning of this show, I knew both Mamoru and Maria would be trouble, even before the future-Saki narrator mentioned the bit about Maria causing the deaths of so many people somewhere down the road. Mamoru had “I’m going to freak out and get everyone killed” written all over him from Day 1, and Maria’s mix of exceptional powers and mental unpreparedness for the role planned for the Group 1 members was clearly a villain in the making. Now, we’re seeing that seed grow and bear fruit.
The other major point I came away from my catch-up was how incredibly stupid the humans are. If they all get killed off now, they’ve got no one to blame but themselves. Saki is not innocent of this either. They seem to have no ability, as a group or individuals, to process intelligence and think strategically. I very much doubt that zero copies of ancient-to-Old-World military histories survived, given that we today have an amply supply of books from 1000+ years ago (Herodotus, Sun Tzu, Thucydides, &c), and that’s without the benefit of the False Minoshiros. Which the Ethics Committee has studied in the past. Yet no one seemed able to piece anything together about Squealer von Bismark/Yakomaru’s social and industrial advancement until it was staring them in the face. And Saki, for her part, seemingly didn’t inform anyone of the Robber Fly’s social or industrial advancement until TEN.YEARS.LATER. More understandably, she still hasn’t told anyone about Maria and Mamoru still being alive somewhere outside the Barrier. Rather than ignorance in this case, she did so out of mistaken loyalty/love. All together, the strategic/intelligence failures shown in the most recent few episodes are beyond facepalm-levels.
This Week’s Episode: Squealer von Bismark’s sneak attack was thwarted at high cost once the humans were under the direction of Esper Char, but the main thrust being blunted left plenty of other ambush groups out there, and Saki and Satoru head to a hospital with three others for one of the most suspenseful anime episodes I’ve seen since Shiki. Quick thinking disposed of the bakenezumi ambushers, but the real threat, and focus of the episode, was their secret weapon: a Fiend. There was no stopping it, and it took out everyone but Satoru and Saki, but for some reason it left a few people in the hospital alive but tied up. My guess is that the Fiend is a Mamoru that finally went bad. Or perhaps was induced to do so by Yakomaru? There’s a chance that it was Shun, somehow unleashed against the town. Though it’s abundantly clear by now that Maria leads the Robbery Fly’s esper force. The Fiend would be too imprecise for the type of esper intervention used to defeat Kiroumaru’s forces, so it would have to be her, or her and Mamoru if he indeed is not the Fiend. There is the outside chance that Maria and Mamoru aren’t behind giving the Robbery Fly their tactical/operational advantage, however I only present this idea as a matter of due diligence. Given that this is fiction and has a narrative in place, it would not make sense for them to not be the ones behind this.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha episode 06
My adoration of Knight continues unabated.
This Week’s Episode: Victory at Aurora Island! There’s now a military and morale improvement to go along with the agricultural one in the Demon King’s chosen country, the Winter Kingdom. With the retaking of Aurora Island, Winter Kingdom is now positioned as the most prominent country in the South, with aspirations to remove itself from its linkage to the Center. Gateway City has also been reduced to insignificance since the Crusade army within was marched off to Aurora. (The teleportation of WHOLE ARMIES being shown makes for a rather big change in how one thinks about warfare in this world, doesn’t it?) Where to go from here should prove interesting. It doesn’t seem like enough to make Winter Kingdom’s position any less precarious if the Central Nations take notice of its ambition. I can only imagine that the clock is now ticking before the Central Nations notice and start turning the screws, or igniting a proxy war between their southern allies and Winter Kingdom if they feel threatened.
Also, both adorable and badass moments for Knight this week. After watching this episode, I hereby declare her Mai Waifu of the Season, Winter 2013! Dem freckles! Dat composure! And not to mention the display of magic and swordsmanship! Hero is plainly an idiot, but what can you do? Pffff, canon couples, what the hell is that?
Tamako Market episode 05
Welcome to KyoAni, where even the boys are moe and the plot doesn’t matter!
This Week’s Episode: Mochizou is so desperate that he asks for advice from Dera, of all ‘people.’ And he might have had a chance to get somewhere if it weren’t for Midori. But that’s alright with me, since I ship Midori X Mochizou as of this episode! That’s right, you heard me. Mochizou’s just a bit misguided in his crush on Tamako. But after Midori blocked his confession, they enjoy a nice conversation together on the beach that evening. To me, this was about all that mattered this episode since there was a high amount of ‘cute girls doing cute things’ this week. Can’t you just see it? They communicate with and understand each other so well by the end of the episode. Hopefully they can both realize that Tamako isn’t the one for them, but each other!
Kotoura-san episode 05
This Week’s Episode: Full-on comedy this week, which was pretty fun. I’m with Manabe about Moritani being let into the group so easily. Yes, she’s trying to make up for what she did, but what she did was pretty messed up. That said, I’m glad that even Kotoura is getting a good laugh at her expense after Manabe gave her the Mori Mori Mori poster. Kotoura, for the most part, is just too nice, too forgiving, so it was both nice to see her laughing so hard at Moritani, and funny/cute in its own right. Also, Muroto continues to be my second favorite character here. He doesn’t have the spotlight much, but when he does, he shines.
Minami-ke: Tadaima episode 05
This Week’s Episode: Man, what’s gotten into Fujioka lately? I don’t remember him being so aggressive and obsessive about finding ways to spend time with Kana, heh. The repetition in the cold noodles skit was probably my favorite part, complete with the repeating/escalating responses from his classmates. Keiko, as usual, being the only one in the know about the whole thing. The summer vacation planning was also really good, and it makes me happy and relieved to see this new season continuing to live up to the standards of seasons 1 and 3.