Hello, and welcome to another installment of Annotated Anime, your duly elected Synopsis-in-Chief! We have all the points in the Recap-toral College, which is where it counts, though we also took 150% of the popular vote, which gives us the mandate. The mandate to watch Japan's latest cartoons and tell you about them.
With the chaos of a long, long campaign behind us and some staffers preparing to exact their revenge upon recent inclement weather events - best wishes and all support to Brad Rice, our current sad-girl-in-snow - our coverage slate is limited to Busou Shinki, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Blast of Tempest, Muv-Luv Total Eclipse, Little Busters!, Girls und Panzer, Robotics;Notes, Hidamari Sketch, Space Bros, Jormungand, K, Shin Sekai Yori, Bakuman, and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, but don't let that stop you from exercising your right to read up on the latest in anime goodness, or read Jeff's First Impressions of Seitokai no Ichizon!
After all, a great president once said "Ask not where your favorite Japanimation recap is this week, but what Japanimation recap this week is your favorite!"
Shin Sekai Yori Episode 6
Satoru and Saki find themselves stuck underground after the cave collapsed last episode. While trying to figure out how to get out, Saki starts trippin' and flashing back to moments of the past. She remembers exchanging Mantras with another student, which makes it possible for her to reactivate Satoru's PSY via some clever mind tricks.
The two blow their way out of the cave and appear on an empty field. Saki wants to escape, but Satoru decides to go on the attack, as PSY powers aren't effective defensively. Satoru unleashes some pretty powerful attacks, putting the hurt the Ground Spiders. Saki pushes to escape, but Satoru is hellbent on getting back at the buggers. The two bump into a troop of soldiers from the horsefly colony, who assist Satoru in getting closer to the Ground Spiders. They get ambushed during their trek, introducing another species of creeper that's out to kill them. Saki again pleads to escape, but Satoru once again insists that they would be followed if they tried to run. Third warning, this can't be good.
A while later, the group make into an open field and get ambushed yet again. By this point, Saturo is looking pretty tired. Later, they get boulders tossed at them and Satoru is too exhausted to return all the stones. Saki is able to find the spotter, but Satoru is too drained to be of use. Saki tries to talk some sense into everybody, but everybody is too stuck on killing the Ground Spiders to listen. The Horseflies scout ahead and find that the Ground Spiders have gathered their collective might in a field ahead. So the odds are several thousand nasty beasties to about a dozen measly scouts and two useless humans. This can't end well.
Blast of Tempest Episode 5
Yoshino and Mahiro follow the floating fruit to find the Kusaribe compound. There's a bit of exposition about why Hakaze's family trapped he on an island instead of outright killing her, which has a lot to do with controlling the Tree of Exodus after its been summoned. If things fall apart, Samon will have to grab Hakaze and, well, that's still a loss for him. This means that all Yoshino and Mahiro have to do is interrupt the ritual. Right, a couple of muggles with some magical assistance throw a wrench into the plans of a group of mages. Even with Hakaze's help, the odds of victory are still pretty low.
The guys arrive at a seaside aquarium, where Hakaze buried a talisman. Of course, they're followed by Samon's men. After a flashback from Yoshino involving Aika, the guys find the talisman. They are also accosted by Samon's men. Mahiro goes in for a quick attack and gets smacked down. Lucky for him, Yoshino uses his brain and knocks down a whale skeleton, forcing Samon's men to defend themselves. Yoshino and Mahiro scamper off with the baddies close behind. Yoshino takes note that the magical talisman he used resembled a gift almost given to him by Aika. A coincidence? Probably not. Since logic and faith play a big part in everything, that has got to connect later on.
Mahiro comes up with a plan that drenches Samon's men and puts them in a puddle of water while Mahiro stands with a live electric cable. The guys make it out and Hakaze sends them out to meet up with one of the only people she trusts, a guy named Junichio. We also get a quick glimpse at the immensity of Hakaze's strength in another flashback, where she destroys the entire side of a mountain with only a small piece of metal as a tribute. Yikes. Anyway, the guys make it over to Junichio's apartment and get the talisman. They also get a helluva bomb dropped on their heads when Junichio tells them Hakaze is dead, confirmed by him. Samon also mentions that she's still in a barrel. With the next episode titled "The Paradox of the Skull," I'm hoping we'll get some answers.
Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse Episode 18
Things start with a flashback where Yuuya is testing the Raptor in Neveda some time before the start of the show. Yuuya's is partially responsible for the death of the guy in charge of his crew while out on a test run. Despite the actual circumstances, this causes a rift between Yuuya and Leon. A military tribunal finds that Yuuya was not responsible for his captain's death, but that doesn't sooth the guilt or the anger. While out jogging, Yuuya runs into Inia and Cryska. He tells them about the accident and a bit about his past. It's a nice introspective moment from a guy that was so uptight at the start of the show. Cryska tells Yuuya to not feel guilty about his lieutenants death, as that's what they were all signed up to do in the first place. When they part ways, we see that the Soviets are spying on not only the Scarlet Twins, but Yuuya as well.
The Argos team goes out to party on Vincent's winnings from betting on Argos's first battle.. While they're out in the bar, Yui bumps into Cui on her way to meet up with everybody. Cui takes Yui to an abandoned building and they discuss their relationship with Yuuya, all while the scoundrel talks with a cute bartender. What a naughty one, that Yuuya! What he's actually doing is finding out that his friends in Argos team were all like him at one point and they only changed because of the kindness of others. A good lesson for the sour puss Yuuya. Speaking of sour pusses, Cui gives Yui a tongue lashing for her affections with Yuuya. It's a strange, stupid argument that makes Yui look even more stupid. Anyway, the episode ends with the Soviet commander making more cryptic comments about Yuuya being the right catalyst, probably with how to get the right reaction and/or skills out of Cryska and Inia.
Throughout the episode, we really see the chip that's been on Leon's shoulder for ages. He's clearly felt inferior to Yuuya since they met, as Yuuya was a huge jackass from the start. He got the attention of the woman, the military and ended up being involved with the death of the respected lieutenant. That's a recipe for a bitter a rival if I've ever seen one. My other concern involves Yui's degradation of character. To me, she's definitely become weaker as the series has gone on. Considering her strength in the first half, I'm a bit disappointed she's gotten softer as her feelings for Yuuya rise. You could say that she's having difficulty coping with romantic feelings for the first time in her life, but I don't think that's been done particularly well.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Episode 5
I think I'm warming up to the intro. That's pretty good timing considering this entire episode seems to be about warming up. I have a hunch this episode might make a few viewers drop the show, mostly because I remember it not being my favorite part of the manga either. Personally, I still really enjoyed this episode.
JoJo, Zeppli and Speedwagon make their way to where they believe Dio is. While Speedwagon recovers from Zeppli's failed attempt to bring Speedwagon up to speed(wagon) with the Ripple, his bag gets stolen by a little boy who shot himself via a catapult to perform the stealing. Hardcore.
Of course a flying little boy is no match for these Ripple users and they get their bag back without a hitch. The sun does set, however, and zombies get crazy up in here. Dio makes his appearance and is far more powerful than expected. Zeppli's arm gets frozen and then Dio, Zeppli and JoJo touch arms and spin around for a while, talking about their feelings. (Kind of. Anyone else feel this part was a little low budget?)
Remember how I said this episode was about warming up? Well, when Dio realizes he enjoys being a dick, he vampirizes two powerful knights from years past, Bruford and Tarkus. Realizing that he should be useful somehow, Speedwagon warms up Zeppli's cold and battered arm with his manly chest. Well done, Speedwagon! While this manly warming up is going on, JoJo is getting his own arm into trouble via Bruford's hair draining his blood. Here we take a quick break for a history lesson. Poor Bruford and Tarkus.
Back in the present, JoJo realizes he has a left hand, gets some Ripple action going and frees his other hand. Bruford decides he wants to tango and knocks JoJo into the lake. JoJo is now potentially screwed as no breathing means no Ripple. Except our titular hero is pretty darn smart and realizes that air might be trapped under a rock. Pulling a big honking rock up he finds some trapped air, takes a deep breath, gets ready to release his overdrive and cut! We'll see what happens next week.
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou Episode 5
Looks like Sakura Hall just got itself a new resident. Introducing Aoyama, Sorata’s classmate from the previous episodes. Little was really known about her, but this episode changes all that.
We get the normal set up for an introduction of a character. What she wants to do, parent troubles, money issue, hardheadedness, you know the standard stuff. So let’s break it down a bit further than that. Aoyama wants to be a voice actress. She is currently going to school for it and has had auditions here and there. Her parents do not approve of this choice in careers so they decided not to pay for her schooling. They did say it was alright for her to pay for it herself if this is really what she wants to do. This is fine by her but the job market isn’t really paying out like she wanted it to. She’s pushing herself hard just to keep up with everything. Sorata suggests that she move into Sakura Hall to save some money. Sounds like a good idea, right? Oh, by the way, there are a bunch of lunatics living there...and cats.
Moving into Sakura Hall she finds out how special our main girl Shiina is. She finds out how much Sorata does for her on a day in day out basis. Well she wasn’t about to have that! Aoyama start to pick up the choir of taking care of Shiina because a guy shouldn’t be doing such things. He is just folder her panties what’s the big deal? Speaking of panties, you will find out a little secret about Aoyama later on in the episode.
As for our main man Sorata, he is now finishing his first draft of a game design for a competition. Will it be up to standards? Not if Ryuunosuki has anything to say about it. His friend that never leave home goes over what he has done and tells him it’s crap in a professional way. Remember that he has worked with top companies about this sort of thing. Ryuunosuki does give him some pointers to help him out. We’ll see later on what will become of it I am sure.
At least this episode was a lot more comical than some of the others. It really put me back in the mood to watch this series. Not that I wouldn’t have watched it already, but now I feel more excited on the emotional rollercoaster that is to come.
[Doing it on your own at Crunchyroll]
K Episode 5
I see that we are playing that game again, K. You had the potential to turn everything around by turning the school into a massive warzone. But instead, you decide to resort to menial tropes to keep everything under control. While that's fine and dandy, the series needed to do something to make up for wasting people's time last week. Even the fight between Saruhiko and Yata felt underwhelming, since we had to put up with the trope that breaks up any fight. But on the interesting side, it turns out that Saruhiko can still use the powers given to him by the Red King -- Red and Blue make Purple.
With today's new reveal, there's a possibility that Shiro could be manipulating everyone without being aware of his powers as the new Colorless King. And despite the poor writing and execution going on, my foolish self is still hoping that the next episode will make things better. Then again, I might continue this loophole until I realize that K has made a huge mess that can't be cleaned with the greatest mop or towel in the universe. Heck, I don't think that the power of Oxiclean or Clorox Bleach will be able to handle its messy stain.
Perhaps the only thing that can save K is to have Kuro and Neko find out about Shiro's secret. If they manage to do it next week, then we can go back to the action packed mayhem of the Crips, Bloods, and Kuro competing to take down the potential threat to Japan's established order.
[You can mop up K's mess at Viz Anime]
Space Bros. Episode 31
A little more heel dragging going on, as this episode could have been summed up in just a few minutes. Hibito heads towards the moon, and Mutta finds out that the crazy guy who doesn't like finishing his sweets is the person who'll teach him to fly a fighter jet, if he gets that far. The rest wasn't so bad, but it was pretty much just wishy-washy sentimental stuff we've seen before.
It was certainly nice to hear the real-life astronaut, though. In fact, I was quite surprised at how clear the audio quality was! It is kind of a shame that they couldn't get him to say anything more interesting or exciting, but the fact that they even thought to use him is pretty good in itself.
Next episode, Mars crashes into Japan and only Godzilla can fight the giant monster within it. Please.
[Space pugs can be found on Crunchyroll!]
Bakuman. 3 Episode 5
I'm going to say it again, but I love the pace in this new season. We get to clear up all of that drama with Shiratori's family without having to prolong it! To be honest, I was never a fan of this particular arc, so to see it scooted along like that (with no cuts to quality) was pretty satisfying. I didn't realise that he had more dogs besides Peace, though. I bet they're really upset that they don't have their own manga. Jerk.
Time for Mashiro to go a bit emo, as Takagi is raking in the money and fame by dual-manga-ing. Shame that Rabuta and Peace is terrible, but it's for the future of Ashirogi! Or for his bank balance. Pick one. With a little drawing revelation at the end, Mashiro can finally find the time to write two stories of his own. It's going to be about Mars crashing into Japan, and only Godzilla can fight the giant monster within it.
Poor art-loving Ashirogi assistant. If only you were likeable, then perhaps the rubber-lipped sister may have taken your number before leaving. Great to see that Hiramaru hasn't lost his mojo either.
Little Busters! Episode 5
Here we go. We all knew that this anime was going to throw all the feels at us, and here they are. At least, here they start. Komari offers to go on a date with Riki (son of a gun!), and while they seem to have a very visual novel-y date, filled with a nice helping of klutz, it seems that it just wasn't meant to be. It seems that she is using Riki as a sort of subconscious replacement for her 'brother', who is more or less confirmed dead at this point.
Why didn't she know before? Looks like a big case of repressed memories, and she certainly can't cope with them coming back to her. She falls to her knees in the rain, crying her eyes out. There was something about that weird crying, though. She was making some strange noises, which were fitting considering her regular voice, but I think it only helped drive that scene home. It was awkward, but great.
Now what happens? We're going to have a depressed Komari to deal with, and the old man at the home will likely be enlisted to help out somewhat, but I can't say I can see a way out of it without a lame friendship speech. Prove me wrong, Key!
Jormungand: Perfect Order Episode 4
Whilst this was certainly a set-up for the next big bad guy, it was pretty neat to learn a little more about Kasper and the rest of his team. I mean, we didn't get to see a lot besides what kinds of food they like and that they obviously enjoyed Modern Warfare 2, but it was cool to see nonetheless. I can imagine those skulls would terrify most people in that situation.
Interesting to see a little bonding session between Kasper and Jonah, though I could have done without the recap about the child soldiers past. That Kasper would take his business time to show him that the three kid orphans were safe and sound just goes to show that he isn't an absolute devil, unless there's some ulterior motive. Judging by how Koko is, I don't think so.
Also, what's going on with the woman who has a colon-three face? Your death is about to get mega kawaii. Still loving the preview music, as even though it's silly and all over the place, it definitely gets me pumped up for the next episode.
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb Episode 4
It's the swimming episode! Wait, didn't we already do this? Regardless, this episode has more school swimsuits than even the most die-hard otaku has in his possession. There's all sorts of races and competitions going on, but no one really cares about that. What I want to know is how Yuno is allowed to run around taking snaps with a camera? I'm sure I wouldn't get the same special treatment!
Also strange that all of the Hidamari girls that participate manage to win their races. We already know that Yuno can't swim, but I'm going to guess that Hiro would have done badly because she's shit. I'm all in favour of her relationship with Sae (you tell me there isn't one), but damn if she isn't super annoying. Get a room! I mean, another room!
I assume that next episode will be on a beach. Or another bath episode. Perhaps they go out looking for new underwear? Fan service, ho!
Robotics;Notes episode 4
In last week's recap I worried that Robotics;Notes would be in so much of a hurry to jump off into weird sci-fi madness (I think I'll call it "crossing into semicolon country") that it would lose its charming "plucky little robot club" trappings. While the worry persists, it's been muted somewhat by this week's careful balance of plot twist and character interactions.
With characters, we see a number of compelling exchanges, particularly from Subaru, who plays a good foil, turning Kai's douchebag "beat me at Kill-Ballad and I'll help you" schtick against him. Aki and her clearly long-suffering parents are also given some good scenes as she tries to wrangle funding from - of all places - the Japan Space Agency. And of course, there's Frau Kojiro, nee Kona Furugori, one-girl game development studio and Moeka Kiryuu-alike in a complete lack of *ahem* "meatspace" social skills.
On the plot twist front, we finally get a reveal of the incident that caused Aki and Kai's "Elephant-Mouse Syndrome", and as has been hinted before, it's linked to crazy red auroras somehow. Well, it's either those or the act of being on a boat at night that caused the disease, but I'd reckon a betting man should put more money down on crazy red auroras. The episode also ends on a real stinger of crazy-time moment, exactly the sort of thing to get a viewer salivating for more.
As a last note, I'm mildly surprised by the fact that indeed, Robotics;Notes is keeping its vector on the hobby-robot fighting tournament angle instead of jumping straight into the whole "build the giant robot Aki wants" stream. I really didn't expect it to take that opportunity to stay well-grounded. Kudos to 5pb for that.
Busou Shinki episode 5
"Toy Story for the Figma-buying crowd" is a pretty apt descriptor for Busou Shinki, as it stands, but unlike in that legendary Pixar franchise, and unlike almost any other existing fiction based on the "toys are alive" conceit, human society at large seems at least nominally aware that Shinkis are as sentient as has been displayed. These toys have no secret life, they just have life. And, even in a culture as stereotypically robot-friendly as Japan's, that should be kind of terrifying.
Here's a scenario: You take a trip. Your Shinkis miss you, so they follow you to wherever you're going in the hopes of meeting you there.
That is the scenario of Busou Shinki, episode five. And the kicker here is, they followed their master to Okinawa. Four six-inch-tall action figures managed to make a cross-country journey of at least a thousand miles without using public transport (Shinkis can't board planes unaccompanied, apparently), risking life, screwhole and ball-joint in pursuit of a day at the beach.
You are now free to simultaneously adore and fear these palmtop plastic princesses. It is both a relief and a tragedy that they do not yet exist in real life.
[Take a road trip to the Anime Network and watch Busou Shinki]
Girls und Panzer episode 5
This is actually the first week Girls und Panzer hasn't upped the bar for absurdity by an absurd amount. Oh, don't get me wrong, the show is still plenty preposterous, and it got moreso again this week, it's just that the amping-up wasn't as dramatic as episode 1's zoom-out-to-city-sized-aircraft-carrier moment, or episode 2's instructor-inside-the-airdropped-tank moment, or episode 3's tank paintjobs, or the whole of episode 4.
No, here in episode 5, Girls und Panzer contents itself with two things: A tank-themed dessert cafe - a great blend of the "dessert cafes are for women" anime stereotype and tanks (can someone draw up a tank-themed conveyor sushi joint with Dragon Wagon sushi carriers please?) - and the tank-filled room of a young lady tank nerd. And the latter isn't even preposterous at all!
I could be wrong, of course. Right after the tank cafe and the tank room, there's a disguised infiltration of the Fake-American* carrier-borne school (schoolcraft carrier?), complete with first-person camera-view narration. And then there's a giant tank battle in a forest between the Oarai squad (now with less preposterous camouflage) and a horde of Shermans. But all in all, it feels like Girls und Panzer now seems more confident in employing "traditional" storytelling and sports/club anime, rather than leaning on its premise like a crutch.
Then again, perhaps they didn't need to be nervous at all. This is a show from the director who helmed Big Windup, which Brad liked as a legit sports anime. And in Girls und Panzer's world, tanking is definitely the sport.
[Get your SPORTS on at The Anime Network Online]