New Sirius came out early, so I can also update early.
1. Sirius the Jaeger (8)
Yuliy has traveled to Sakhalin in order to protect the Ark of Sirius from the vampires. He doesn’t know exactly where it is though, but Yevgraf does. In fact, he’s already there. You’d think that means Yuliy is a bit too late to accomplish anything, but he’s in luck. It turns out that when the boys’ father took the Ark to this place, he sacrificed his life to put a ward on it. Now only a Sirius can approach it.
Yevgraf apparently already knew, since it was the reason he turned Mikhail into a vampire in the first place. Unfortunately the ark doesn’t recognize him as a Sirius anymore either, and every step he takes brings excruciating pain. Mikhail, however, still wants to reach the Ark, and use it to kill Yevgraf. I don’t know how loyal Yevgraf thinks his pet dog is, but it looks like their blood pact gives him enough control over Mikhail to stop him in his tracks when he launches an attack. In any case, the Ark is still out of reach. They’ll need someone else to get to it, a true Sirius. If only there was one of those in the area…
Meanwhile, out of nowhere a man called Bishop approaches Yuliy claiming to be a Jaeger whose buddies were all killed by vampires. He wants to help him find the Ark and kill Yevgraf. Hmm, well, it’s strange that the professor never told Yuliy about any local allies, but it doesn’t sound far-fetched. Then Yuliy mentions that Bishop smells just like the vampires. Bishop claims that when you’ve been fighting vampires for long enough their stench sticks to you. Hmm. Double hmm. I’m sure this is nothing suspicious. After all, it’s not like Yevgraf would specifically want to lure Yuliy to the Ark’s location.
Even though we’ve moved from one Bad Guy Vampire to another, I do like that we’re finally seeing more about Mikhail’s relation to the other vampires, and the pacing has really picked up. It’s the one show this season I can count on being consistently entertaining, and not a coinflip on whether it’s going to be good or irritating.
Episode Score: 7.5
Season Average: 7.06
2. Angolmois (9)
I bet this show would’ve been a lot better if it was animated. The action never looked good, but now we have an entire episode full of it and it’s all pans over still shots with action lines on top. It’s still watchable, but it’s hard to get excited when it all looks so bad.
Week after week, I find Angolmois the hardest show to say anything about. Well, at least that’s not entirely a bad thing, since a lot of what I say about other shows is negative.
Episode Score: 7.0
Season Average: 6.83
3. Hanebad! (10)
What a curveball. You thought we were going to get an episode all about Ayano and her mother? Psych! It’s actually about the boys’ tournament.
The tournament was actually all right. Isehara and Hayama never got as much attention as the main cast, but maybe that’s fine because as a result they were also not burdened with layers upon layers of anxieties and childhood traumas. They just have down-to-earth issues that I can sympathize with. I sorta liked Yu’s goofy antics for the same reason.
But on the other hand, we have Ayano. She’s laying it on so thick now, it’s almost comical. She’s just outright talking shit about her teammates, and we can’t have anyone calling her out because we have to save all that delicious drama for the climax. Even the coach can’t be bothered to intervene. Apparently it was only a problem when Nagisa did it.
Uchika tries to be friendly to her daughter, but Ayano pretty much ignores her. We don’t get much else than that, but at this point I just assume sociopathy runs in the family.
And on the other hand, we have Nagisa. The coach is trying to discourage her from playing the finals. She’s already qualified for the nationals, so it’s not worth the risk to her knee. But ultimately he leaves the decision to her, and after Ayano’s taunts she’s determined to play the match. Ehh, really? Sure, maybe it wouldn’t have been as satisying if Nagisa had decided to choose her future career over her desire for revenge, but it would’ve been important character development and the season finale could’ve been about something else. Instead she’s going down a dangerous path and everyone just shrugs and goes “it’s her choice”. The match doesn’t even matter!
The worst part is, I can’t see any way for this to end well. If Nagisa loses or is forced to forfeit, that sucks. If she wins at the cost of permanent injury, that’s even worse. If she pushes herself to the limit and wins but her knee turns out to be just fine, that’s just a cheap copout. And the idea that she could hold back and still beat Ayano is just fantasy. So what is it going to be?
Episode Score: 7.0
Season Average: 6.65
4. Planet With (9)
Planet With is showing faint signs of life after last week’s snoozefest. I think this was the best episode so far, but that says more about how mediocre it’s been than anything else.
Soya is still sulking. I thought he would be ready to fight again after hearing that the dragon’s alive, but I guess you only need to take revenge once. It’s now Yousuke’s turn to fight for the Sealing Faction, and unlike Benika he’s willing to go all-out with his new powers. The last remnants of the Paladins are no match for him, and all seems lost. This is where you’d expect Soya to come in and save the day at the last moment, but that doesn’t happen. Hell, he doesn’t even know anything’s wrong until it’s already too late. Okay, it’s understandable for Soya to hole himself up in his room and not pay attention, but why are Ginko and Sensei okay with this? They know the earth is done for if Soya doesn’t keep fighting, but they haven’t even tried to convince him. It’s one thing to let him work things out on his own, but when the planet is in critical danger you should probably drag him out of there.
After winning the battle, Yousuke begins the sealing process. Apparently it takes like… a couple of minutes at most to seal the entire planet. Shit, couldn’t they have done this at any point if they’d just not attacked the one place on the planet that had actual defenders? But whatever, the sealing is finished, and earth is now entirely in grayscale and people are all frozen where they stand. Wasn’t it just supposed to make people docile? Like what happened to Nezuya? Maybe that happens when they wake up from their dreams, but it doesn’t get mentioned. I guess it makes things look more dramatic.
Well anyway, we’re all screwed because the sealing is complete and irreversible. Except not, because Soya is unaffected, thanks to the People of Plot Convenience. He tells Soya he can help get everyone back, if in return he helps defeat the dragon. Soya has flashbacks to all the time he spent with Sensei, Ginko and Nozomi, and realizes he actually does kinda care. Little late there. With the help of the other guy, he then speaks out to all people at once, telling them about himself, his own feelings, and asks them to break free of this dream and return to the real world. It’s all kind of sappy, but at least it made me feel something. I said it was the best episode, not that it was great.
After Soya’s speech, we see people raising their hands one by one. It’s implied that everyone does, but I bet there’s a lot people who’d much rather live inside the fantasy. I know if I was starving or terminally ill or living in a war zone I might opt for the comfortable dream world. But that doesn’t fit the mood, so Soya breaks the sealing and defeats Yousuke. He accomplishes this by getting inside the cat space ship and turning into an even bigger mech. Wait, they could do that all along? Wouldn’t that have made the Takashi dragon fight a lot easier?
Episode Score: 7.0
Season Average: 6.39
5. ISLAND (10)
Hey, so if Setsuna will eventually return to the past, then we’ll never see this future setting or any of its characters again. You know what that means? That’s right, we can kill all of them off for cheap drama!
This episode was about as stupid as it was boring. At least I got some good laughs out of the deaths. Some friend/servant of Sara that I don’t even remember gets shot pretty much at random. They then carry an injured Sara all the way off the island to some place Rinne knows, without at any point checking how bad her injuries were. So she just dies. Good job, idiots. Then it turns out Karen has soot blight syndrome, so Setsuna carries her the whole way back to the island, where she also promptly dies. He then… carried her dead body back again to bury her next to Sara?
How are we going to fix this mess? We’ll have to go back to the past. No, not that past, a way pastier one. But first Setsuna and future-Rinne have an improvised wedding ceremony. Keep in mind that from a story perspective we’ve only seen these two characters together for a small portion of the last two episodes. Yeah sure future Rinne is the exact same character as past Rinne, but they’re not the same person. Also this happens after Setsuna’s memory of the past came back, so he’s totally cheating on past Rinne. But don’t worry, no one will know, and no one saw them having sex. Certainly not the viewer, because it was so fucking dark I didn’t even realize anything was happening until I read a comment about it later.
Episode Score: 3.0
Season Average: 3.75