Anime roundup 3/20/2014: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

In this week’s viewing: Samurai Flamenco confronts insanity, Kill la Kill and Nobunagun say that’s fine because it’s awesome, and more!

Kill-la-Kill-22 Kill la Kill #22 – Kill la Kill‘s philosophy of life: surround yourself with crazy people who will defend you with their lives, and everything will be great! Usually that’s the villain’s philosophy of life…

But that was, on every level, a terrific episode. Satsuki and Ryūko side by side, dressed for battle, ready to work as a team. Everyone able to sit down together and power up with Mrs. Mankanshoku’s croquettes. Even seeing Junketsu finally brought to heel and forced to work for good. (If sharing their blood via their uniforms makes Satsuki and Ryūko proper sisters, does that mean Mako, with her blood circulating in Senketsu, is now Ryūko’s sister as well?) And don’t forget the return of Fight Club President Mako, and can that mean that Business Mako is far behind?

I’ve got a theory about that, actually. When Ragyō is deposed, someone’s going to have to take over the REVOCS empire. Now, Satsuki is her natural successor, but who’s going to replace Ragyō’s assistant, who makes sure the day-to-day operations are running smoothly? Ryūko hardly seems like the type. Mako in club president mode, on the other hand…

Nobunagun-11 Nobunagun #11 – It is often the case that a hero must face the final battle with a grim resolve, mulling over what they may be sacrificing in order to defeat the enemy. So it’s kind of neat to see that Shio is approaching this one from her happy place, even if her happy place consists of being surrounded by enough firepower to take out Cthulhu.

Unfortunately, something more interesting is hiding behind that boss, and it knows her name. That would be from the messenger EIOs that originated on the Musashi, and interestingly, it’s also able to see the spiritual presence of Nobunaga Oda, which definitely hints at some connection with the same technological milieu that produced the AU balls. Now it’s up close and far too personal with Shio (was it really necessary to include a shot of a tentacle going there? Really?), and it looks like another mind-meld is in the cards.

To complete the Shotarō Ishinomori reference from last week, that manga Shio is thinking of when she thinks that nine people trying to save the world sounds familiar would be Ishinomori’s earliest well-known work, Cyborg 009.

Samurai-Flamenco-20 Samurai Flamenco #20 – How’s that peaceful, quiet life working out, then? Deprived of an external opponent, Masayoshi is now succumbing to some hidden paranoiac part of himself. At least he’s been able to figure that much out.

So what’s the solution, when he can’t just obliterate himself? (Okay, technically, he can, but I don’t think that’s where this story is going.) Somehow he’s got to part that part of his mind that to give up wanting to have an enemy. Or, he could decide he wants new enemies to distract himself after all.

Pilot-Song-11 The Pilot’s Love Song #11 – Seeing the pilots and students of Isla repeatedly going into situations of almost certain death never motivated Claire to try to reconnect with her powers, but getting hung up on that cute classmate of her does. Teenagers, go figure!

Now it’s all about the guys trying their darndest on the battlefield and the weeping girls getting their hearts broken, and hang on, this got off to such an egalitarian start, when did it decide to screw that and go with hackneyed old gender stereotypes anyway? Never mind, it’s almost over, and with the reinforcements from Levamme arriving, now there’s nothing between our heroes and a full explanation of what this magic fountain is all about. Or is there?

Hozuki-10 Hozuki no Reitetsu #10 – So if you leave food offerings at your loved one’s grave, their passage through the underworld is expedited, but you’re also contributing to an obesity problem in Hell. Is there a spiritual dilemma here? If it means that the fiends of Hell must take time away from tormenting the deceased to go to the gym and try out fad diets, maybe not.

The notion that there are ten rulers passing judgement in Hell came into Japanese belief via Chinese Buddhism. In India, going back to the Vedas, there is only one king in Hell, Yama (Enma). The Chinese expanded the roster but still kept Yama in charge overall.

The namahage are ogre-like creatures said to live in the snowy mountains of northern Japan. Local New Year’s tradition has them coming down from the mountains and threatening to carry off children or new wives who don’t behave.

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