Another show bites the dust this week. Can you guess which one? Maybe. Do you care? Probably not.
1. Angolmois – Genkou Kassenki (5)
God, it’s so hard to say anything about this show. Yep, the action scenes still sure look bad, and the rest is still fine. It’s not good enough to gush about, and it’s not bad enough to rant about, so I just watch it and move on.
2. Sirius the Jaeger (5)
Pretty solid action episode. Although the big showdown on the train was not as big as expected, since the boss vampire left before it got started. The Hyakko party gets wiped out, but honestly I never saw any reason to care about them. I thought they would eventually get more development, but I guess not. The most surprising thing, though, is that Ryoko actually did something. Yeah it’s kinda silly that a regular teenager, even one that has kendo training, would have the presence of mind to take a soldier’s sword and strike down a vampire in the blink of an eye, but it’s way better than having her be a huge liability like I was expecting.
I’m not sure what the plan with Frankenstein’s monster was, though. It was supposed to be taken into Tokyo, but the vampires didn’t seem to care about abandoning it when the attack started. Didn’t they go through a lot of effort gathering all the pieces? Maybe it’s just a prototype and now they can build more. But they also left the doctor himself behind in the train, so maybe not.
Well, I’m not particularly interested in seeing characters fight brainless monsters anyway, so I’m okay with this being the end of it.
3. Hanebad! (6)
Finally we get some drama that’s just about playing badminton again, and not about abusive parents or other bullshit. We’ve fast-forwarded to a tournament, and since Riko is a third-year student it’s going to be her last one. Or at least, her last summer tournament? Not sure, it wasn’t too clear.
Anyway, because it’s her last, she wants to give it her all. Unfortunately, her first round opponent is someone she knows is much better than her, and she immediately loses all hope. Will she manage to regain her confidence and put up a good fight? Well, kinda. After a resounding first round defeat, she finds a weak spot in her opponent’s playstyle, but her opponent shows her skill and compensates for it. In the end, Riko loses the second round by a slim margin.
I was kind of disappointed to see Riko still losing in the end. Sure it wasn’t unexpected, and sure it was handled fine, but the show could really use an uplifting moment after the last few weeks. We’re just watching crushing defeat after crushing defeat, while the few wins (like Nagisa’s during the training camp) happen basically off-screen.
But I guess there’s no time for fun, because we have Ayano’s mom showing up. Just great.
4. Planet With (5)
Well, that sure was another episode of Planet With.
Nezuya returns and shows us what happens when someone gets ‘sealed’: they become light novel protagonists. Sorry, I mean they lose all their personality. As Soya puts it, it looked like the fire had gone out in his eyes.
Another enemy shows up. The Paladins, now down to just two pilots, take out the main body, but it turns out the snake thing attached to it was a separate enemy. The snake flies towards the city and is too fast for either of them to stop. It’s a little strange because this is the first time we’ve seen the enemies do anything other than float there and make a half-hearted attempt at self-defense. But anyway, Soya shows up in time and destroys it easily.
The old man paladin then immediately attacks Soya. He knew he’d be the next target anyway, so he might as well strike first. Fair enough. He then asks Soya “Who is your enemy, and who is your ally?” and Soya responds with the stupidest non-answer I can think of: “I’m the friend of those I want to befriend, and the enemy of those I want to defeat”. My friends and my enemies? They’re whoever I want them to be. With motivations like these, how could I not be invested in these characters? Anyway the old guy is stronger than he let on and we’ll have to wait until next week to find out what happens.
Meanwhile, Takashi’s secretary reveals that she was on Nebula’s side all along. I mean, this was already shown back in episode 3, so it’s no surprised to the viewers. And given how obviously suspicious she was acting, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to the characters either. But more importantly, what was she trying to accomplish by helping them fight her own side? It’s not like she was secretly undermining them, she was actively helping them defeat the Nebula monsters. And why did she turn against them now?
Either way, just like Soya and Sensei, she can combine with the Nebula dog person, and gets ready to fight Takashi. To be continued.
5. Banana Fish (6)
Ugh, I’m done with this. I wanted to like Banana Fish, but it’s such a slog to get through. Did you think an episode taking place in Ash’s hometown in the middle of nowhere would mean an episode free of rape? Well think again, because we get to hear how Ash was repeatedly molested as a child, while no one did anything, by a guy who was also a murderer. Oh, that wasn’t enough for you? Well we’ll also have the nicest person introduced this episode get shot and killed. Then we can have a moving father-and-son moment while she’s bleeding out in the background.
Dark stories are fine, but Banana Fish has no sense of subtlety. Every episode it feels the desperate need to show how gritty and mature it is, and I’m sick of it. On top of that, I’m still not interested in the story so I don’t know what I’m even watching it for. Dropped.
Check out cute bird though.
6. ISLAND (6)
Rinne and Setsuna go on a sort-of date. It’s boring. She casually reveals her hidden telekinetic powers during a bowling match, but no one seems to have noticed. There’s also headpatting because nothing says ‘mature relationship’ like treating a girl like a child or a dog.
Later on, Setsuna is talking to Karen and her fiancee, and he finds out the real dark truth of the island’s legend. The version we heard was just a alternate ending or something? Anyway, in the Director’s Cut, Rinne is reincarnated after her death and happily married to another man when she discovers Setsuna is still alive. This makes her so sad she throws herself off a cliff.
For no clear reason, Setsuna panics after hearing this story, and worries that Rinne is going to kill herself just like in the legend. Not at some point in the future, but right now. Uhm, why? The story doesn’t even match the current situation. And even if it did, it’s not like she just found out about it like Setsuna did.
He finds Rinne on the beach, and of course she’s just fine. But this lets us segue into her telling Setsuna about the past, about the original Setsuna. She would come to meet him at a shack near the beach every night, but one time the tide prevented her from going home and she was forced to stay. When her father finds them, he grows angry at the boy, a struggle ensues and he falls off the cliff. There’s a lot of falling off cliffs in this show.
This happened right before dawn, and it turns out that her father also suffered from soot blight syndrome. After Setsuna’s fall, the sun suddenly rises, and Rinne’s father immediately collapses and dies. Yes, you read that correctly: the sun rises so quickly that a person can’t even react to it. That’s Island for you.