Space Brothers #69 – I think every astronaut must be feeling like that inside when it comes time for the graduation photo. This is an episode I would like to remember forever with an especially warm and fuzzy feeling. Unfortunately that will be impossible, after staying to watch the adventures of Mr. Hibbit.
Seriously, A-1 Pictures? A gorilla? In this day and age? In a show which has up until now been doing so well at representing racial diversity? Don’t try and tell me that this all perfectly normal and accepted over there, I’ve seen plenty of anime shows with black characters and not one of them has ever felt a need to sink to the level of jungle stereotypes.
You’ve managed to build up a lot of goodwill over 69 episodes, so I will still tune in next week, as long as this show never, ever, ever, ever goes there again. Okay? Okay.
Cutting long hair short with a decisive swipe is a sign, at least in anime and manga, that one has just taken a personal vow to achieve something very serious and potentially fatal. The legendary lucky T-shirt is Hunter x Hunter‘s own special addition, though.
As for the Queen’s last child, well, gosh, people sure are talking about Kite a lot again. And the story chooses a coincidental moment to remind us that many of the Chimera Ants retain memories of life as humans. Hmm…
Gatchaman Crowds #5 – Ripped from the headlines! If the tunnel collapse and subsequent fire sound vaguely familiar, you probably remember hearing about a similar real-life accident in the Sasago Tunnel last December.
The plot seems to be dropping hints about turning into a disaster story. A couple weeks ago, we have the mention that Hajime’s collage group first started getting together to make things to send to the victims of some unnamed recent disaster. Then there’s Evil Glam Rock Guy taunting Rui with thoughts of a major earthquake in the Kantō region (which includes Tokyo; there was one in 1923 which killed 140,000 people).
Rui is well-established now as the avatar of techno-utopianism, by making it clear that if you’re going to be part of his club, you have to be satisfied with payment in whuffie. (References to “reputation” here are, I think meant in regard to the traditional notion of “face”.) Hajime is now positioned to deliver him the lecture about not using social networking to solve everything.
By the way, Tiger & Bunny fans, is it just me or does Umeda look eerily like Kotetsu Kaburagi?
Lake Biwa (or just Biwako, the –ko means “lake”) is way up in the mountains, the most rural part of Japan. It’s drained by the Yodo River, or Yodogawa– yes, same as the name of Kyoto’s most enthusiastic member of People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.
Early tengu lore makes them out to be mischievous spirits much like European elves, who enjoy tricking and tormenting humans. This included kidnapping people, especially children, addling their minds, and then turning them loose again to see what happens. But later they also became enforcers of Buddhist law who mostly acted against corrupt or prideful priests, and started to be depicted as Buddhist monks themselves.
As to the meat of this episode, so to speak, I can’t shake the feeling that Soichiro Shimogamo’s very last trick may have been swapping places with one of the Friday Fellows. There’s much more to be revealed about that evening, I’m sure.
The end-of-episode tutorial actually seems to be serving as a good guide for who’s going to play an important part in the next one. It was the Fool right before Priscilla was introduced, the Devil right before Cerebran’s first appearance, and Temperance and the Star just before the Ginka and Seira respectively had their focus episodes. Who might be the Empress? Since we already know that Ariel’s card is Judgement, I’m guessing Etia.