Anime roundup 3/6/2014: Raise Your Freak Flag

In this week’s viewing: Samurai Flamenco finally has some answers, Hozuki no Reitetsu has dancers, and more!

Hozuki-8 Hozuki no Reitetsu #8 – There is truly no spectacle in anime like an artistic team putting their full effort into making something deliberately bad. Get used to the sight of those dancing bonbons, because as surely as Tokyo Tower points skyward, the minute the DVD collection is released with a clean copy of this week’s ending animation, they’re going to be in AMVs everywhere.

Nekomata Publishing, the press putting out Hell’s gossip rag, is staffed by nekomata— cat demons with two tails. There was a past Japanese folk belief that a cat who lived to an advanced age would grow a second tail and run off to the mountains where it would become a minor demon with powers of necromancy, hence their presence in Hell.

The name Hokusai is probably a little familiar to most viewers. His most famous work in the West is this wave, but if you ever see an article about Japan illustrated with some kind of traditional-looking print, odds are good they’ve used a Hokusai artwork.

Samurai-Flamenco-18 Samurai Flamenco #18 – Having easily defeated his latest opponent with only minor damage to the Moon, Masayoshi gets a chance to sit down with the scriptwriter and offer his creative input. To make it a little more meta, that box pictured is really what the first DVD collection of the show looks like.

So Masayoshi did have a superpower all along– the power to distort reality according to his aspirations. That neatly explains everything, without having to fall back on it-was-just-a-dream. (New quick show description: “The Japanese superhero adaptation of The Lathe of Heaven.”)

Now Masayoshi’s wish is to be a hero without opponents. That sounds… really boring, acutally. But I expect to be surprised once again.

Kill-la-Kill-20 Kill la Kill #20 – Algebra problem: If, as previously shown,

Satsuki + improperly worn Junketsu + a good katana = Ryūko + full-power Senketsu + a Scissor Blade,

then

Satsuki + enthusiastic Senketsu + reforged dual-wielded katana pieces ? Ryūko + full-power Junketsu + Scissor Blade.

I give Satsuki the edge (so to speak) in that Senketsu, having been developed later, is probably an improvement on Junketsu, so even if Satsuki synchronizes just as poorly with him as she did with Junketsu, it’s still her gain and Ryūko’s loss since the last matchup. Plus, two weapons sound better than one.

Nobunagun-9 Nobunagun #9 – In many shows, someone like Asao would exist solely to be killed off about now to spur some cheap melodrama. Instead, she provides an injection of normality and gets a chance to prove that there might be a real reason why she’s the most popular girl in her class.

She still gets menaced in order to kick Shio’s abilities up another notch, so this episode isn’t completely off the trope hook. In a similar vein, one has to note that the first explanation of how the AU balls work, raising the theoretical possibility of someone operating without one, was basically a guarantee that Shio would ultimately manage that very feat.

The most interesting part of Shio’s level-up is that she is suddenly a much better sniper without an AU ball. Is it possible that they actually suppress E-Genes? What’s hiding in that rabbit suit?

Pilot-Song-9 The Pilot’s Love Song #9 – Now that the battle is over, it’s time to bury the dead and reflect on the fact that there really wasn’t much of a chance to develop an emotional attachment to most of them. And that it’s been how many episodes now that they’ve been hanging around the Holy Spring, and still no one has bothered to elaborate on what new information they’ve gleaned or what exactly they’re doing now to figure out how to reach The End of the Sky?

At least nearly everyone’s cards are on the table now. Perhaps once Ignacio finishes Karl’s session of what I believe the military calls wall-to-wall counseling, we’ll finally find out what the chip on his shoulder is. And then, please, make with the big revalations about how this world operates!

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