Anime roundup 8/14/2014: Hen Party

In this week’s viewing: Female antagonists are everywhere! Except for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which lives up to its name once again.

Terror-Resonance-5 Terror in Resonance #5 – It’s been implied that something happened to the rest of the kids that Nine and Twelve left behind when they escaped, but at least one other has survived. Five, the girl who almost made it to the fence with them, has grown up to be their Female Opposite, as well as an Evil Albino called in to help out the Government Conspiracy. Yes, it’s hitting the trope button hard this week.

The powers that be, whoever they are, decide that the best course of action is to let the latest bomb go off, leaving Nine and Twelve to scramble to disarm it themselves lest they wind up causing more than just terror. Their wish to not actually kill anyone actually lines up well with how highly successful terrorist groups operate: if you want to use terror to achieve a goal, the best strategy is to prove that you could cause terrible casualties, but an attack that actually causes them generally loses the group political support.

Lisa’s outlook on life seems to be improving now that she’s found an environment where no one is bullying or smothering her. Another trope here– in anime, one of the traditional ways that a girl demonstrates she has a crush on a guy is by making him lunch. The fact that Twelve talks about girlfriends shortly after that says that the topic has occurred to him, and he’s still in denial about it. But when Lisa eats a piece of the horrible burnt food, it’s the first thing she’s been able to keep down since the start of the series.

HxH-142 Hunter x Hunter #142 – Poor Gotoh. He was a faithful servant, but still only a tertiary character, and thus his fate was inevitable. That’s one less person standing between Killua and Illumi, not to mention Tsubone and Amane still on his tail. With Killua finally reaching such unearthly speeds that Tsubone falls slightly behind him, she has to resort to pulling out an actual power, which is to transform into a vehicle which feeds on the very lifeforce of its riders, including her own granddaughter. Tsubone is now on the select list of people that practically no one else in this world is going to want to mess with.

At least Canary still has his back in her own way, and the Hunters’ Association is just salivating at the chance to take down one of their own.

Speaking of taking down their own, a campaign video has been made! And it’s really ominous! Or at least I get the impression that it’s supposed to be. There’s a breakaway faction using Illumi’s villany as an excuse to advance their agenda, although so far that agenda seems to consist of making the association slightly kinder and gentler. In the world of Hunter x Hunter, that might be tantamount to trying to destroy it.

Aldnoah-6 Aldnoah Zero #6 – Other than Slaine defecting to the Earth side, it felt like we were running in place this week. There were reminders about mysteries, but no explanations yet. What is the significance of Slaine’s father to the faction provoking the war? What were the Martians doing at Tanegashima (which is, incidentally, a major rocket-testing and launch facility)? What did Lieutenant Marito do, why was he the only one who survived, and how was it connected to the destruction of the gate on the Moon? What exactly is Aldnoah?

In the meantime, the villain of the week is a female Martian for a change (come to think of it, the first woman we’ve seen in the Martian military). Since this show has been so firm about making the physics work, I have to take issue with the way the flying arm pods are destroyed by hitting a cliff. If they’re so well assembled or armored that military weapons made specifically for destroying hard-to-destroy stuff can’t scratch them, a mere pile of rocks should hardly accomplish anything either.

If you’re wondering about the title, Le Pas d’ Acier (variously translated “The Steel Step”, “The Leap of Steel”, or “The Steel Trot”) is a ballet by Sergei Prokofiev themed around industrialization.

JoJo-19 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #19 –  Kakyōin wakes up to find himself lying in his pajamas on a Ferris wheel, and it hardly seems out of the ordinary for this show. The Grim Reaper is an evil clown, and that almost makes some kind of sense. An 11-month-old baby genius as the villain? Okay, now you’re talking truly bizarre.

It’s pretty impressive that this show can feature some proper nightmare fuel, like the death of the dog and the scuttling eyeballs, and still manage to keep the humor going in between those scenes. While the baby is throwing horrific images at Kakyōin, he’s making fools of our macho heroes by confronting them with a dirty diaper. Jōtarō’s comments about ever getting into a plane with Joseph again have been revealed to be prophetic.

Everything now rests on whether Kakyōin can nerve himself to speak up about the mysterious words on his arm. Let this be a lesson to all of you: if strange and disturbing things are happening to you, even if they’re less weird than words in a foreign language being carved in your arm (seriously, why English??), speak up. Your friends would like to know.

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