The Eccentric Family 2 #7 – Sōun Ebisugawa is the sort of man who believes in a just and orderly world and that he belongs on top of it. He is the sort of person who believes that respect and status will come to him if he purchases them with the proper gifts and follows the proper protocols. He disposed of his own brother because Sōichirō had all the power and respectability he craved. Not only is Sōun not much of the merry trickster tanuki are expected to be, he’s a poor choice to be taking the role of Hotei.
The Friday Club uses the names of the seven lucky gods. Jurōjin, for instance, is the god most associated with longevity, appropriate for a man seeing his 120th birthday. Hotei is the god of happiness, contentment, and magnanimity — the complete opposite of Sōun, really.
Who knows if any of the Friday Club really supported Sōun to begin with? Jurōjin and Benten almost seem to have planned to fake him out from the start. It’s understandable with Benten, who would play a trick like this just to keep herself amused, but what’s Jurōjin up to?
In the end, even Yasaburō feels that Sōun has been repaid more than enough for his fratricide. The only good Yasaburō can find in him dying alone and utterly humiliated is that Sōun will no longer be tortured by his endless futile quest for status.
Attack on Titan #33 – Just when Eren has almost overpowered Reiner, they get within reach of Bertolt again. When the Colossal Titan piles on and lets loose a colossal…blast of steam, it’s enough to shake Eren loose for a moment and drive the humans back so that the traitors can make good their escape. Because the author does not allow cheap shortcuts to get horses to the other side of the anti-Titan walls, the remaining Corps members are forced into an agonizing wait for reinforcements with lifts.
It falls to Hannes to try to keep morale up with some reminders about the good old days. At the start of the show, there had been a hundred years of peace, and the Wall Guards had nothing to do but sit around and get drunk. In a reversal of the usual trope, after the horrifying massacre at the first reappearance of Titans, Hannes sobered up and became a competent soldier. But, he now says, this is only temporary, and he totally intends to return to dedicated alcoholism once the Titans are defeated.
In his former drunken haze, Hannes was well-acquainted with Eren’s escapades. This lets him remind Mikasa and Armin that Eren is very much the typical shōnen hero — he’s not too great at fighting yet, but he’s also too stupid to realize that he’s lost.
Well, that might help our heroes, or it might make things considerably more difficult for them. Same for Reiner’s ongoing post-traumatic breakdown.
Alice & Zoroku #7 – One episode of gentle slice-of-life hijinks, and then Alice & Zoroku is back to its old tricks. Asahi and Yonaga are finally given a proper introduction and an explanation of why they’re so loyal to the lab. They may have been virtual prisoners participating in who knows what sort of unethical experiments, but it was less awful than the home they came from. Where they apparently killed their father in self-defense.
Now they’ve been placed with a family in Yokosuka and are going to a military-run English-language school. Translation: they’ve been handed over to someone assigned to the huge US naval base in Yokosuka. An odd choice for Japanese nationals who are mixed up in a high-security matter, but the story seems to need to maintain a connection to the US for some reason.
Sana has really lucked out in her placement, but she struggles. She doesn’t like word problems or social studies because she has no instinctive understanding of them, which interestingly suggests she does have an instinctive understanding of math. It’s perhaps a clue to what she was before she evolved into a little girl.
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul #7 – Just in case the outcome of Azazel’s plan wasn’t a foregone conclusion, the episode dispels any remaining doubt by showing Azazel at the mercy of the Onyx Guards. Then it’s time to jump back and go through the motions. Of course Nina wasn’t going to show up for the rendezvous, because he never bothered to explain what it was about. Of course hugging her wasn’t going to work, because it didn’t at the end of the last episode either.
I can understand an ageless immortal becoming arrogant enough to think the mortals don’t deserve to be privy to his plans. But you’d think that a being who has spent eternity corrupting the souls of the innocent could be a little smoother about trying to seduce someone, you know? Instead, he just flails until Nina punches him, about two hugs later than she should have.
Back at the carriage, when even the professional drunk thinks that something is a bad idea, it must be a spectacularly bad idea. But I wish Bacchus had a better explanation for lying to Sofiel than “it seemed like a bad idea” to turn Mugaro over. Underneath the terrific animation, it doesn’t feel like this show is really trying.
Kado: The Right Answer #6.5 – And now it’s Kado‘s turn for a filler episode. Whether or not there has generally been an unusually high rate of filler and late episode deliveries this year, there certainly has been for shows this column is paying attention to. It might be luck of the draw, or it might be a sign of an industry becoming overstretched. There’s been a feeling the last couple years that the ever-increasing amount of anime is unsustainable and a contraction is coming.