It's time for your weekly helping of Annotated Anime, the anime recap they got to put on the cereal box after that row over Micheal Phelps and the bong, making the watching of Japanese cartoons an essential requirement for daily nutrition. Especially shows like Nakaimo. Especially.
With the last week of regular summer season recaps giving way to the fall, the slate's as spare as chances to wear light clothing in a temperate climate. We've got the trailing episodes of Space Bros., Sword Art Online, Muv-Luv Total Eclipse, and of course (because your health demands it) Nakaimo.
If you feel the need for more of "the animes", look forward to our Fall 2012 Preview Guide, as well as checking out our staffers' Final Impressions of Summer's shows, including:
Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse Episode 13
Despite Yui's command, Yuuya tries to save the core module of the radiation cannon. Things get hairy when Stella spies a ton of BETA converging on their position. Yuuya's TSF loses an arm (and subsequently the core module) as he and Yui make their escape. While they hope for back up, we see that the Soviets intend to bury the whole failed affair by sending bombers out to clean up the mess. Knowing that they'll have to escape on their own, Stella and Yuuya prepare to launch off a nearby runway, but Yuuya's TSF is too damaged to take off. Yuuya stays behind to ensure that Stella escapes with Yui and proceeds to try and fight off the BETA. Things don't go well and the episode ends with Yuuya making a final stand. I'm guess he'll be be saved by Cryska and Inia or some of the other Soviet pilots, but we'll just have to wait and see next week.
NakaImo Episode 11
For an episode titled "My Sister's Trap" nothing much has sprung in this week's NakaImo. We already know Yuzurina is up to no good, and now we see she used to be in some kind of part-time role in Shougo's favorite sentai TV show. The other question up in the air is why Miyabi so upset--in fact, she's so upset that she made Shougo go on a date with her.
The character dynamic of the show reset once Yuzurina entered the picture, but this week we simply dragged on the same plot events we saw last week: a close encounter with Miyabi and Yuzurina is up to no good. Unfortunately the best character, Mr. X, didn't do all that much this arc--she's tired from all the late-night investigation she has been doing. But it seems, as we see in this week's Nakaimo, all that she was doing is browsing Youtube.
The red herring on Miyabi and Choux Creme aside, we see a pretty cute scene when Shougo and Konoe visit Miyabi as she is out sick. Konoe turns out to be a good sport and gives the couple some alone time. Where's the harem hijinks? I guess it goes to show that NakaImo is a show with some restraints, as contrary as it can seem.
[Watch NakaImo on Crunchyroll!]
Space Bros. Episode 25
For a moment there, I completely forgot that Hibito was actually meant to be doing something in space. It sounds silly, but I've been seeing most of the series as a journey for Mutta to become an astronaut. I mean, it's entirely my doing too, as they've mentioned plenty of times that it's about walking on the moon together (or Mars if Mutta is still seriously considering that). The countdown introduced in the episode kind of threw me off, but it's nice to see more of Hibito for a change.
I'm glad that the pace is also keeping up, as I think I'm more interested in how Mutta acts around the other people who've also made is this far (Serika especially) than any of this business with the other Japanese astronaut. Not to say that it's a bad thing, in fact it's pretty cool to see something of a sub-plot, but I just want to see Mutta start dating already. Stop chickening out, man up a bit, then go treat her to a nice, small meal. I fear that an all-you-can-eat buffet may ruin her.
Also, I won't be satisfied until Apo is in space. Space pugs for life.
[Space pugs can be found on Crunchyroll!]
Sword Art Online Episode 11 & 12
What a strange arc.
I had skipped this side story from the second novel, so this was all new material to me even if I knew what the outcome was. Now happily married, Asuna and Kirito move to a lower floor, living in a house they purchased on a monster-less field. Out for an afternoon stroll, they bump into a young girl named Yui in a white dress, unconscious in the forest. Both players are shocked that such a young child is playing SAO and decide to take care of her for the time being. With no memories to call her own, Yui begins to call them papa and mama, and our couple is more than happy to oblige. Realizing that these happy days can't last forever, Asuna and Kirito decide to take her to the starting city to look for clues as to where her family is. There, they meet a young woman named Sasha who's taking care of some orphaned children. Asuna saves her and the kids from a group of asshole Liberation Army soldiers, which in turn leads to their meeting Yulier, an officer in the Liberation Army.
As fate would have it, Thinker, a fellow soldier and friend, is trapped in an underground dungeon by himself. Yulier requests that Asuna and Kirito help her save her friend. Yui insists she tag along, and the four dive deep into the dungeon. Battles are had, frog legs are thrown about and our party reaches their destination only to find a deadly trap waiting for them. Kirito and Asuna face off against a giant Grim Reaper monster but have little success. With a monster as strong as something from floor 90 or above, there's little hope of leaving with their lives. It's here that Yui steps in, using a mysterious power to defeat the creature. Yui reveals herself to be an AI created to help regulate and monitor player emotions. When SAO launched two years previously, the main computer AI prevented Yui from interfering, effectively forcing her to watch as the players were overcome with despair and darkness. As a result, her AI evolved, and through monitoring Asuna and Kirito, Yui realized that there were players who were finding happiness despite the situation. Tears are shed and the little AI girl fades to nothing.
Kirito of course will have nothing of this, and manages to convert a part of Yui into a crystal. With her data now stored in his head gear in the real world, Kirito hopes that one day he and Asuna can meet her again.
This arc really was a strange beast. Creepy at some points and emotional during others, it was a reminder of just how screwed up the world of SAO really is. Kirito and Asuna, two young adults have been trapped in this strange, terrifying world for two years. Getting married and letting Yui essentially be their daughter was the closest they could get to some kind of normality. As fast as everything seemed to move, I can buy it if only because every player trapped in the digital world was forced to grow up at an alarming rate. Wanting to have a family, or at least people who love and support you, isn't so far fetched an idea. As always with Sword Art Online, the writing could stand to be much better.
Nevertheless, I'm still having a great time with this show and can't wait to see the next parts of the story animated.
[Catch Sword Art Online over at Crunchyroll]
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