Week #10 – Winter Anime 2016

Week number ten is upon us with the Winter anime season. What’s in store this week?!

As always I’m live reacting (though typing it out to be posted later) to each episode I watch and going over what happens in each episode with the occasional quip and joke here and there. So for those trying to avoid spoilers, this entire article is full of them!

aokana

AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue {On Notice}

So after royally pissing me off last week, what does this show do this week? Start off with a kitten! Along with Saki and Arina who gives a very brief flashback of their first meeting. Meanwhile, it’s training for the girls, a ton of laps and WHOA! WHEN’D THIS BECOME A SWIMSUIT EPISODE?! Well, more like swimming for stamina training but whatever, Misaki in a bikini, I don’t care what else is going on! And apparently Asuka can defy gravity and human capacity and do a “Free Willy”. Aoi shows up and notes that Masaya’s pushing them pretty hard and that Misaki and Asuka reminds her a lot of herself with Masaya when he was still playing FC. At home, he notes there’s a lot more than training that needs to be done in order to deal with Saki and her Birdcage tactics. At early morning training, Asuka’s already there training, which already pisses Misaki off, being shown up again. They bring up what happens when the Balancers are disabled on Grav-Shoes, which means it’s more responsive to personal motion, meaning to the average person they’ll lose control. So of course, Saki knows how to properly fly with it unlocked. The next day of training, the Takufuji team shows up, Reiko and Rika specifically. Reiko thinks Asuka challenged her, but she just wanted them to practice together. Asuka has really become the best one, which again frustrates me as well as Misaki, who clearly wants to be the one on top and not be chasing Asuka. Later in the day, Asuka runs into Saki alone. She tries to thank her for the match and is about to tell her she’s training to have a better match with her when Saki cuts her off, saying it doesn’t matter, she’ll win every time. Misaki leaves the group early to go to Shindou’s, asking him to train her. That’s what I want to see from Misaki. Masaya notes he’s trying everything to help them solve Saki and has one idea left. I’m assuming it’s him flying again. Sure enough he shows up mid-training and is flying for the first time, looking like he hasn’t lost any bit of his skills. He’s a dominant FC player and contributes it to Aoi, so naturally she shows up to fly as well and train them. A more interesting episode to say the least. I still know how it’s going to end, and I don’t like it. But whatever, it’s only a couple more episodes.

Episode Score – 4/5 

BBK/BRNK

Zetsubi is somehow controlling Entei, making it think she’s Reoko. The battle rages on while the Russian dickhead beats the shit out of the two guys for no reason. He commands his sisters to steal the heart properly this time. Zetsubi learns the pain of controlling Entei, it slowly burning her. Oubu continues to beat Entei however, likely due to the wrong person controlling it. She the grabs though the sisters and threatens to kill them if he doesn’t give her the limbs she needs, which he actually obliges. And now the kids are fucked. Epizo tries to help out and fails spectacularly. He tells Azuma to break the heart and nearly gets crushed before his friends help him out. Together they do so and apparently that unlocks the full extent of Oubu’s power. It also opens the Buranki nest and Oubu begins to float up to it. Zetsubi tries to stop them, but Oubu slaps her down like a bitch! Apparently Epizo forgot to tell Azuma to get out of the Buranki’s brain when heading to Treasure Island and it begins to flood for some reason. Zetsubi notes afterwards that Entei should’ve stopped moving entirely after the heart was knocked out, but yet it was still breathing. On the island, the kids are shot out, but Azuma remains. Shizuru claims it’s trying to swallow him and then suddenly his mother shows up to save him. So she is alive after all. Three days later, he wakes up like nothing happened. Reunited with his mother finally, they explore the island. Migiwa notes that no one should be able to live on the island, so something must be keeping everything alive on it. Every time Hiiragi tries to bring something up with her however, she interrupts it. Along together, Kinoa notes Hiiragi’s changed a ton. He point blank asks her if she fucked Souma and she freaks out. Sigh, why does the guy I hate get to be with the girl I like the most on the show? Ah well, I guess I’ll deal with Shizuru…woe is me. While Azuma and Kogane have a moment, somehow the other two teams are on the island as well, as well as the villains. They plan to kill all the Buranki on the island while the teams search for a heart to steal. Interesting episode to say the least.

Episode Score – 4/5 

Dagashi Kashi

While waiting for Kokonotsu to return to the shop, Saya unfortunately is subjected to Hotaru instead, who has a mouth ulcer so she’s miserable. Of course she doesn’t believe the sheer amount of candy she eats could cause such a thing. So she eats pop rocks kind of candy which only brings her more pain. The uh…sad scene between two pieces of the candy bursting is a bit weird. And then Saya finds candy that comes out of an animal-shaped box…and the candy comes out the rear hole of the box. Yes, THAT rear hole. And cue the butt jokes. Second sketch starts with Kokonotsu returning, but Saya has left. Hotaru tells him that she’s originally from Osaka, so she’s been holding back the accent. I’m not convinced, as she uses the basic bits of the accent and nothing more. And of course she reveals after all that she’s not from Osaka, a shocking revelation from her. Thinking she’s left, she came back and does the accent again to annoy him. She looks down now all of a sudden, so you know it’s going to be something stupid. And she asks him straight up if he likes boobs. I’m not familiar enough with dagashi to know what she’s actually referring to. And on cue, she throws him Egg Ice Cream which is melted ice cream contained in a rubber packaging that makes it feel like you’re squeezing boobs. Except it’s traditionally called Bomb Ice Cream due to the shape of the packaging. So they fight over the name, Hotaru kind of has an unfair advantage though. Of course she tries to eat hers and it bursts and it looks like something else on her face and the shirt’s gone a bit see-through. Another meh episode, which I’ve really seen from this show since after the first quarter. Sad, I thought this would be so much better than what it’s turned out to be.

Episode Score – 3.5/5

Dimension W 

The fight begins with Mira and the giant robot. She uses the wreckage around her to keep the robot away from the car and the coma-ridden Kyouma. When she thinks she’s won, recognizing Kyouma as Grendel, the robot snaps but Mira stops it. However the momentum sends her flying into the void, or she would have had Kyouma not woken up just at that moment. He pats her on the head and she suddenly becomes addicted to that feeling, but Kyouma remains distant. He reveals something was put in his ear to cause the dream. He also reveals the initial circumstances from the incident, the base on the island was originally planning for outer space development, using Dimension W research. They wanted to make a transporter and the sphere we see was the gate. He deduces that since Haruka Seameyer was behind the project, the sphere likely means he’s still alive. Lwai suddenly shows up and is severely damages, revealing his android form. He reveals the two assassins coming for everyone. K.K. shows up first, followed by Yuri. Then Jason approaches Loser in another place, are there three assassins then? Jason reveals he knows Loser’s plan, needing five numbers coils to bring back Adastrea, the company who started this teleporter research. In the base, Kyouma and company are finding zombie-like humans walking around and locking down the entire facility. K.K. reveals they’re from the void, he knows too much so Kyouma knows something’s up. Yuri suddenly approaches and takes the fight to him instead. The floor suddenly retracts and Lwai saves everyone except Kyouma who fights Yuri or rather a coil zombie version of a former Grendel soldier, Doug. K.K. says anyone who falls into the void is devoid of their souls forever and also reveals he was among those who investigated the incident after it happened. Kyouma’s convinced Doug is still alive somehow and tries to break the coils on him. After being sucked away, the rest are staring at some shining light. But back with Kyouma, Doug is actually speaking words rather than grunts, though K.K. claims it’s just his last words and the coil was the only thing keeping him alive. He also reveals Kyouma never touched the void, so perhaps the only thing he loss was his memories of the event. He slowly pieces together the events a little more, the transporter was incapable of sending living things through and he was supposed to take an orb-like object called Genesis, but can’t remember anything further, including what happened to that object. Planning something, Lwai tries to stop them and takes another round of bullets from Yuri and inevitably kills himself in front of Kyouma to send him over the edge and boy does it work. Reminding him of his girlfriend, he straight up snaps. He’s about to kill K.K. when Mira stops him. Turns out Lwai has multiple robots of himself and has survived. Wow, that episode was awesome.

Episode Score – 5/5 

Erased

Okay, I’m ready once again Erased. We start with a brief set of memories from Satoru’s original past when the three died, clearly the teacher’s graduation speech rings deep in his memories, what likely helped him overcome all the pain and anguish. The three main kids visit Aya and it’s clear they don’t have anything in common with her, to the point Kenya’s losing his shit over her, which only makes me immediately think they’ll match up perfectly in the end. We see the kids’ hideout for the first time, an abandoned building. Aya actually shows up, and is a bit blushy about it, perhaps she has a childish side she’s not allowed to let out or is just embarrassed it still exists. It also looks like of all people, Kazu is the one really getting to her and not Kenya like I would’ve anticipated. Oh there’s moody girl again for a moment before we’re back to the hideout. Satoru reflects a ton here, noting while he’s keeping the three victims out of the killer’s hands, there’s still the task of figuring out who he is. He remembers when the reporter friend of his mother said she told him she knew the killer’s identity, which likely means it’s someone she knew back when he was a child. He also notes that while he’s done something to thwart the three deaths, it doesn’t necessarily mean the killer won’t kill, perhaps going after others instead, so he has to find the killer just in case. Hiromi notes the moody girl, who I forgot is the one who was blaming Kayo for the lost lunch money. It now switches things to perhaps this girl becoming one of the victims. So it seems we’ve already solved Aya and Hiromi so the attention has gone elsewhere. While tailing her, he runs into Yashiro again, which really doesn’t make me think it’s him still. I’ll share why at the end, so stay tuned. When he discovers she left, he sees Jun’s father’s truck pass by, way too coincidental and runs off. He half reveals what he’s been doing to Yashiro and he gets him to drive after the truck and…oh no…I was wrong. He tricked Satoru the entire time. He is the killer. Satoru notes how foolish he was, Yashiro was actually on the list of suspects he read back in the present, but ignored it as his mother was also on the list. We also see Yashiro actually saw Kayo was in the bus, but let it slide. He switched his entire modus operandi, solely focused on finding out who was putting a stop to his initial plans. Without a phone call back, Sachiko realizes something is terribly wrong. Yashiro plans to force the car into the river with Satoru in it and does so. Satoru looks to drown and his entire memories begin to break. Ho…ly…shit. Yeah, guess I can’t tell you why I don’t suspect Yashiro anymore. Well played, Erased. You did such a good job making me think the obvious wouldn’t be what happens, so I never suspected the one person who fit every criteria I was looking for. I suspected Yashiro the entire time, but just assumed it would be someone else because he was too easy. Damn. I don’t know if I should be upset that I was fooled like that, or because the anime actually was too obvious in its killer, because again, the only person I ever suspected was him.

Episode Score – 5/5

GATE – Season 2

The inevitable battle of the Rose Knights fighting their own men begins. Meanwhile one of the girls with Itami’s group discovers who the Pied Piper is and starts to tail her. Apparently as of the day we go to next, the girl was gone for four days during this reconnaissance and finally returns. Turns out the girl isn’t the Piper herself but another puppet. She gives her thoughts on what the plan is and Itami decides to let them all think it’s all going to plan and then they’ll catch the Piper with his pants down. Either way, it’s time for Lelei to take her Masters exam. While in line waiting, Itami watches from afar and sees the assassin, likely tricked by the Piper. But he’s sure it’s nowhere near over. Lelei is up now and things get tense. Itami notices another assassin but it’s the girl who was another puppet and not the Piper, letting the plan go for now, suddenly a ton of magic is fired, all the audience members also being made aware of the assassination plan. Then we see Shandy suddenly approach Lelei, also tricked and stabs Lelei in the chest, though we are to assume she’s wearing the armor she was told to, so I’m not worried just yet. We then see a brief moment where Pina is told she has to change into prisoner’s garbs and chains. The Jade Palace is a mess, though the Rose Knights are winning so far. The Knights plan to break through and head for Italica where a much larger force of their allies rest. They also are very worried about Pina who’s still at the castle. Speaking of which, she’s dragged to a prison cell and she’s pissed as all hell, especially when Tyuule comes down to gloat. Sure enough, Lelei’s alive and fine, wearing armor. Shandy reveals she was told by whoever tricked her than Zolzal’s after Lelei’s life so she tried to kill Lelei based on her loyalty to Pina and then also reveals Pina’s status. So the man with Itami’s group suggests they just go after the source, and attack the Empire head on, the goal is to kill Zolzal and end everything. Finally, the Japanese forces attack at the Jade Palace and the war is on. Itami likely realizes the importance of getting to the capital now before things go to hell. Good episode again from GATE, as per usual.

Episode Score – 4.5/5

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

So the Kobolds in the Cyrene Mine offer much more of a challenge and as per usual Ranta is being a pain in the ass during this initial journey. He doesn’t want anyone’s help, which you’d think after losing their healer he’d start to realize that help is hard enough to come by as it is. Mary expertise however proves to be useful, particularly in terms of information of what lies deeper in the mines. It’s interesting how even though they’re monsters, Haruhiro still treats them like other humans, such as not attacking them while they’re asleep. It’s quite peculiar the level of morality some of them have. After going down three floors, Haruhiro decides to go back, not wanting to get too comfortable just yet. Back in town, he notes how different Ranta was around Manato compared to him. So he asks Ranta about their party and they get into an exchange about how each of them see the turn of battle. Ranta’s a bit of a lone wolf, while Haruhiro wants everyone to function as a team. Eventually, Ranta says straight up he has zero intention to be anything more than a party member with them. The next day they’re back in the mines and again Ranta is causing problems, this time nearly killing Haruhiro when stabbing a Kobold while he was still on top of it. Past the third level, things are tougher now and it quickly gets bad for them, waking an elder kobold, which may be the one that killed Mary’s friends. And sure enough, it is. Mary’s freaking the fuck out and that’s where we finish. Nothing really going on this week, kinda disappointed.

♥ OFFICIAL YUME ASS SHOT COUNT! – 3 ♥ 

Episode Score – 2.5/5 

Konosuba -God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!-

Now at their new home Aqua’s still as selfish as ever, but everyone’s in pajamas so it’s half sexy time! Kazuma notes though that Aqua is the highest level of them all, but her stats have not moved at all, explaining her lack of intelligence. While walking through town we see two adventures Keith and Dust who Kazuma has gotten to know over time while in the world. They’re all at what looks to be a strip club of sorts, perhaps a succubus’ place, likely what’s going on. Sure enough it is and of course Kazuma wants every little detail about it. Oh yeah, it’s a brothel, thongs and g-strings a’plenty, more jiggling breasts than you can count. They offer “dreams” to help male adventurers feel relieved, but it costs some of their vitality. Of course he’s that into it so he’s all the way in. He falls asleep in the bath and is joined by Raratina and it’s very obvious that it’s not a dream. So of course with the masochist it looks like it’s a dream otherwise. This is so awkward, creepy and adorable at the same time, as she has to wash her back. Aqua interrupts and as he investigates, he discovers Aqua trapped the succubus. Yep, not a dream. Of course the next day he hides it from Raratina that he was being controlled and didn’t straight up tell her to wash his back while naked and everything else that came with it. As the episode ends, the mobile fortress, Destroyer is coming. Is the Devil King coming forth? We shall see next week! A fun fan-service episode for sure.

Episode Score – 4/5 

Luck_&_Logic

Luck & Logic

With Olga missing, they try to get a hold of him but cannot, Lucifer’s likely cut the cord to him from ALCA. Walking into a church of sorts, Lucifer shows Olga the following he has, it’s sickeningly massive. Olga however isn’t 100% on his side though, wanting to know specifically why he got his card. Lucifer goes over his history and how it’s relatable to Olga’s current situation, how he’s been treated unfairly and his existence has been pretty much not acknowledged. Yukari flies around to look for him and approaches that church, seeing he’s with Lucifer. ALCA discovers that Miki was behind the breakout and not Olga, so everyone still believes at this point Olga is innocent. All the gods corner Quetzie and force him to explain how he knew where to find Olga. Lucifer claims he just wanted to give his friends in archdemons a place to live, he wants the world to be a place where humans and gods can co-exist, but clearly he wants himself and his fellow gods and only his fellow gods to rule them. While he’s unsure what he wants to do, he’s convinced he can’t go back to ALCA now, so is sticking with this and will likely fall prey to the greed of the power he could have. The two Trance for the first time and begin to create their own doctrine, bashing ALCA to make the entire city go against them. Of course when Yoshichika approaches, he comes with men with guns, you’re not helping much, ALCA! Asuha sneaks into the church and finds everyone has paradox sickness and the goal is for everyone to be able to trance jack with him and be “reborn” better so to speak. Sounds like Lucifer’s trying to create a race where all human life accepts the will of him and his gods as slaves. After defeating Yoshichika, the cavalry shows up, including Veronica. Even all of them combined can’t even put up a fight against him. Olga believes it’s his power also that’s helping him in this battle, I highly doubt it. So after beating them all, he goes to ALCA and intends to release everyone. The director tries to stop him, but doesn’t exactly give him a nice option and Olga succeeds. All the foreigners now are back and destroying everything, enveloping the entire city into darkness. Shit’s about to get real now. But honestly, I don’t like this villain setup. Lucifer is playing the quiet, insane role, which to me has always been boring. I want him and Olga to speak more crazy similar to a Joker kind of character. Because this is just annoying more than anything else and it’s not the “I want you to lose” kind of annoying, it’s the “I want you to get off my TV screen” kind of annoying.

Episode Score – 3.5/5

Myriad Colors Phantom World

Clearly a Ruru episode where she wants to be human-sized, as she gets stepped on a lot this week. She’s greeted by another Phantom who claims she can grant wishes, which Ruru immediately gets uptight about, figuring there’s a massive catch attached to it. She tells her wish anyway and is told she wouldn’t be able to fly. Also, if someone discovers she’s a Phantom, she’ll revert back to her normal self. It’s like a Little Mermaid moment! Of course she starts off by joining school and entering Haruhiko’s class. She names herself Natsuno Ramune to hide her identity. She tries to fly to her seat and falls over, a klutz already. Shousuke nearly identifies her, but Haruhiko’s clueless, even with her exerting all the dumb traits of Ruru. Also a smaller detail…RURU’S MISSING AND THEY DON’T NOTICE?!!! Around everyone now, Koito looks like she knows, but even she doesn’t see it. THEY FINALLY SAY SOMETHING ABOUT RURU BEING MISSING! SHEESH! They start to miss her which of course makes Ruru-I mean Natsuno feel bad. While observing the fireworks setup, the witch finds a fireworks Phantom and grants it a wish, presumably the start of trouble for the rest of the episode. Back at the festival though, everyone’s having fun but they all break apart, Natsuno and Haruhiko alone together. A weird moment occurs where the two of them meet at each other’s eyes. I think it would actually be super interesting if a relationship did form between them, but I don’t know if this anime has the balls to go all-in on that. Sure enough, fireworks Phantom emerges and Haruhiko runs off without Natsuno, as she’s useless in this form. Realizing the only one that’s a danger to it, it captures Haruhiko before it can do anything. Natsuno finds the witch and knows what happened now, but then sees Haruhiko captured by it. Without options, Natsuno removes her pendant and reverts back to Ruru to save Haruhiko. So…she sacrifices herself when the firework could’ve just flown high on its own? Huh? Logic? I mean of course she’s fine, but that was still pointless. It was an okay episode, the ending was just kinda…meh.

Episode Score – 3.5/5 

Pandora in the Crimson Shell Ghost Urn

With the robot destroyed, you’ve caused a pissed off Clarion. Please touch her ears, I dare you. The enemy has camouflage and can even hide its thermal reading, Clarion’s in for a tough fight. Back with Nene, Clarion leaves a note behind for her saying “Don’t get involved”, which of course makes her look for her instead. Takumi manages to convince her that everything’s fine, but the note still keeps Nene a tad bit curious. Nene is way overthinking this, believing she somehow pissed off Clarion, which is ridiculous. Even with Amy and “Grandma” calling, Nene’s still out of it. Something Amy says over course sticks with Nene and once again she overthinks it to the point so falls over. Holy crap, girl! Calm the fuck down! With Robert he suddenly gets a confidential message from Uzal of all people, another requirement-set message. She entrusts information about the situation to him, like she did with Takumi. So he leaves alone to deal with it. Nene with Amy is beyond out of it, clearly unable to function without Clarion, which is honestly not even sad to me, it’s pathetic. She then tries to save a cat in a tree alone and again fails, Robert having to save the day. This is actually pissing me off, I must admit, Nene’s character has gone from adorable to absolutely fucking useless in five minutes flat. I’m not even remotely at all sympathetic to this issue. She explains to Robert that ever since the accident that caused her to be a full android, she’s required people to help her with everything she wants to accomplish. And Robert smacks her out of it, not literally of course with the powerful speech of one person can’t do anything alone! Oh my god, I’m crying, baaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! Yeah, whatever. Robert goes to North with the information he knows. Newsgirl is somehow in the base and lasts only a moment before being caught. Robert rounds up all the police officers on the island and requests them to help him out with getting to the base and they all accept. Nene’s back home, cleaning the room up for Clarion when she returns and dreams of the moment to the point it suddenly gets…sexual? Well I guess for some people, ears are a fetish. BUER pops out of his box and straight up lets it out Clarion’s at the old base. Back with the fight, Clarion is basically dodging to stay in it. Suddenly the threat level is so high, something’s released on Clarion, blade weapons and now the fight is more fair. She slices some of the armor off, revealing it’s an android and not a cyborg. When Bunny gets in the way, Clarion saves her to prevent a death as she promised Takumi, but takes a serious hit in response. Nene then leaves with BUER (after a climax joke) to save Clarion. Shit start, better finish.

Episode Score – 4/5

Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation

So with the discovery of Itsuki transforming to his in-game character outside of the game, one can assume Aika is actually a real person. Back in the game, but as his real self, he finds he can actually heal his real wounds with in-game items. But no, we discover Aika is actually an NPC for sure now. He’s told that PSO2 isn’t actually a game, it’s a real world called Oracle. Now this is what this show should’ve been from earlier on! He’s also told that the Darkers are responsible for all the events happening outside of the game. The power Itsuki now wields as well with his transformation will make him a target for the Darkers, hence why they started coming out of his gamepad. However it doesn’t seem to be the only reason the Darkers are coming out like this, as he’s told Mika didn’t have nearly the power he does. Their end goal is to revive their god essentially, the most powerful Darker in the universe. The next day, Itsuki’s clearly getting over his head with the power he has, wanting to do everything at once to the point it’s annoying Aika to no end. She notes to him it’s likely because of his overzealousness with his powers that the Darkers are increasing their attacks. Chasing after Aika as she leaves him behind, he runs into Rina practicing her speech at the afterparty and then goes into the world alone. Hearing about this, Aika’s now after him. In battle, Itsuki’s in over his head and gets hit shit pushed in by a boss Darker. He’s saved by Aika and two new players, Xeno and Echo. Another Darker shows up and Itsuki charges at it again, failing once more. He learns the Darkers are evolving and because of him throwing himself into danger, he’s told to no longer get involved. While he hides it in front of everyone else at school, the next day he’s clearly affected mentally by Aika’s words. He learns however Aika’s now disappeared and we’re aware she’s just fighting, but struggling all of a sudden. As he looks for Aika, he wonders if she is only close to him because she’s watching him. Could he be in love with an NPC? We then see Aika with her superior being told Itsuki has to be used now and she refuses. Meanwhile a massive Darker attacks Itsuki in the real world and because it’s similar to the one he lost to in the game, he freaks out and runs. Aika however after telling Itsuki to run takes a crippling blow and it makes him snap. With a little extra help from Aika, he finally takes out this Darker. And now they are officially working together, on a first name basis as well. Pretty good episode from them again, they’re finally hitting their stride here!

Episode Score – 4.5/5

Prince of Stride: Alternative

Back training, Riku still struggles to keep his speed. His starting dash is incredible, but he can’t hold his speed. He’s pretty much how I always was as a runner back in high school, I always had a fast start, but I’d tire myself out before the end. Takeru again gives him hell for his bad form, but this time Riku owns up to it. Nana tells him his speed and stamina isn’t the problem, he’s right up there with Takeru. She believes it’s all mental with him. So Takeru works with him in hopes of correcting his form. But his times are getting worse and it’s so close to injury for him, Heath goes to stop it when Takeru tells him straight up “He should be able to do it”, which seems to ring in Riku’s ears. Again, he laments over never being able to catch up to his brother. The next day, his times are getting even worse, Riku looks about ready to quit again. Takeru’s words begin to remind him too much of Tomoe’s and he runs off. Riku’s starting to skip practices and hang out with other classmates. Of all people, Asuma from Saisei’s team finds Riku by a river and talks with him. He brings up Tomoe, which again is a sticking point for Riku, but also brings up how hard it is to have a big brother who’s that good. It’s a dumb event that makes Riku think he can’t run like Tomoe. It’s because he saw Tomoe running in a storm when the practice was cancelled. That’s it, that’s what makes Riku think he can’t be like his brother. Sigh, why can’t you just say “He was always faster than me.”?! Asuma of course says the normal thing which is that he’s not Tomoe and should be running for himself and his team, not for some fantasy in his own mind. So of course that day a storm is coming at the practice, so you know we’re about to see a Riku run in the rain. And Takeru finds him along the way, so of course you know what’s about to happen. METAPHORICAL RACE!!! Again, Riku stops and so does Takeru. Except unlike Tomoe, Takeru stays with him and doesn’t leave him behind to sulk. THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!!! And Riku passes Takeru. Pretty good episode, minus all the cliches.

Episode Score – 4.5/5

Schwarzesmarken

The entire captured 666 return except for two. Irisdina who’s still captured and Thi-Rang who was killed. Theodor receives a beating from his superiors and called a traitor for not killing Lise in response. He tells everyone that he intends to kill her himself, a moment of clarity for him. So I learned at this point there was another girl named Circe in all this and I’ve somehow never known the difference between her and Gretel, I have no idea how this even happened. But she’s with someone on her team and is told of rebels fighting the Stasi from within the government. A choice needs to be made, accept the current situation and focus on the BETA or overthrow the Stasi and unify Germany. The 666 are a major part of this plan of theirs. Oh my god, I called a line in this one. The guy mentions to her that if things go wrong, he’ll wipe her ass for her, to which she says she can wipe her own ass. I thought this right away and five seconds later wouldn’t you know she walks away, the camera’s firmly planted on that beautiful butt of hers and the guy says “It’s a nice ass”. Perfect! The 666 lay out their plan, getting a little help from another battalion. However things are getting worse as the Stasi claim the rebellion have killed Irisdina which is clearly a lie, but she’s a major hero to East Germany, her death would certainly have the public favour the Stasi politically. With Circe on her way to meet them, it’s obvious the Stasi will intercept. So Theodor plans to set a trap for them, leak the location and attack the Stasi with their pants down. Circe is kidnapped before reaching the destination, but it turns out she’s being nabbed by a rebel who likely knows something also about the Stasi attack. Lise is among those at the trap place and she even notes something’s up when the trap activates. This is where things get super interesting, so I’m going to for the first time add another paragraph to this.

During the battle, we actually see several civilians being killed ACCIDENTALLY or INADVERTENTLY by things such as fallen debris or the damaged TSFs they’re hitting with rocket launchers collapsing into buildings. Those among the presumably dead include women and even possibly children. It comes off very quick and almost non-chalant which is shocking when you truly think about it. How often in shows, movies, games, etc. do we actually see the realities of war and battles in civilian zones? How often in superhero movies do we see actual civilians inside the buildings when an enemy is thrown into it or when the building completely collapses? Very little. The fact this show actually takes a moment to show innocent civilians dying from not even enemy fire, but purely being in the wrong place at the wrong time is a horrifying reality.

Back to the show, the 666 are certainly putting a dent in the Stasi force they’ve trapped, taking a few down. Lise sees the 666 TSF force approach and is happy to see Theodor, though he is clearly not happy to see her. Circe back safe notes the horror of choosing a city as the battleground, going back to what I just said. The forces split up to take care of the remaining Stasi, Theodor of course alone with Lise. Gretel is having trouble, Anett once again is getting a little ahead of herself. Crazy Lise is having her way with Theodor (for once not an incest moment) and disables his unit. She’s so far over the edge, she ignores her commander and leaves her for dead just to focus on Theodor, she’s essentially the only one left when she goes to kill him. He had set another trap for her, leaving her optics disable and with her being unable to see what’s coming, Theodor suddenly charges and hits her hard, but not quite killing her, as he’s got to get out to finish the job. Ripping open her cockpit to see her bleeding heavily, he steps up to see her once more, she’s still in crazy mode, claiming she was only trying to save him, that the East is only using him. But he’s having none of it and tells her simply that he can’t go with her and has a wish he has to grant. He hates that she saved him from the Stasi and yet still has to save her in the worst way possible, a bullet in the head. I cannot believe I’m saying this after watching Erased…but I loved this episode even more. Wow this was powerful.

Episode Score – 5/5 *SHOW OF THE WEEK*

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