Anime roundup 8/7/2014: Smoke and Mirrors

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Terror-Resonance-4 Terror in Resonance #4 – Shibazaki learns that he is the answer to this week’s riddle, which leads to two possibilities: either Nine and Twelve just wanted to mess with the police and didn’t know his name until they hacked in and took a look at the police files, or they were trying to get Shibazaki’s attention right from the start.

Perhaps they found out after their escape that there had been an investigation that uncovered something connected to the facility they came from, and that the lead investigator had left his family and been reassigned. Perhaps they chose the name Sphinx and the legend of Oedipus because they saw someone who metaphorically blinded himself after learning a horrible truth. Perhaps, like for Oedipus, that included something about his family. Perhaps there’s something to the offhand comment in the first episode that Lisa has a look about her that resembles the kids in the facility…

Meanwhile, there’s definitely something wrong with Lisa, which has escalated from nausea and vomiting to a fainting spell. On a Western TV show, this would inevitably mean pregnancy, but I think the inspiration here may be the story of Sadako Sasaki, one of the most famous victims of the Hiroshima bombing. Sadako survived the attack itself when she was two years old, but she later developed leukemia and died at the age of twelve. So maybe the reason Shibazaki is so upset about the plutonium theft isn’t just that he grew up in Hiroshima, but that radiation poisoning has affected his present family.

Now, what secret government program would mix child geniuses and high levels of radiation?

JoJo-18 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #18 – Avoiding the Iran-Iraq area due to instability (some things never change, do they?), our heroes sail to Abu Dhabi for lessons in tribal economics and camel-handling. There’s time for that because this week’s fight isn’t a fight at all.

Even with hardly any traditional action, this was one of the best episodes yet. Terrific direction, art, acting, everything comes together for an episode that stands on its own. This is the one to show your friends so they can see what this show is like when it’s firing on all cylinders.

Aldnoah-5 Aldnoah Zero #5 – The emperor of Mars isn’t a complete fool, but Saazbaum has taken care to pre-empt any attempts to explain what actually happened. I won’t be surprised if the emperor eventually wises up, nor if that gets him killed.

The really interesting thing we’ve learned from Slaine’s talk with the emperor is that Martian technology allows for telepresence through a solid projection. Just think of all the shenanigans that enables. Do you suppose someone we’ve already seen may turn out to be a projection?

Back on Earth, we see that Kataphrakts continue to handle water badly, which seems reasonable for a technology developed in an arid environment and primarily used in space. Also that the Wadatsumi has a horse theme going for its squadrons, as Aldaniti is a famous racehorse.

HxH-141 Hunter x Hunter #141 – It’s the Zoldyck family servants’ chance to shine as Illumi declares open civil war over Alluka. Canary got to show off her fighting chops a long way back, and now it turns out she’s one mean driver as well. (I’m guessing the Zoldycks also have a genius mechanic modifying their cars for stunts like driving up cliffsides.) Gotoh is able to hold his own in a Nen battle against Hisoka, who’s one of the more powerful Hunters out there. And Grandma Tsubone is able to keep up with Killua despite all his growing power.

Oh, yes, if you’ve skipped the Chimera Ant arc, then you missed Killua’s latest extension of his electrical abilities. He’s now able to generate an electrical field around his body that lets impulses travel directly between his brain and muscles without all that tedious mucking about with nerve pathways.

Back at Hunter HQ, Leorio is a social media star. Apparently a lot of Hunters felt Ging had that coming. And they’ve managed to get enough of a vote to start winnowing the field. Time for the real politicking to begin!

Sailor-Moon-3 Sailor Moon Crystal #3 – Sailor Mars is revealed! She’s a priestess, and of course her power is fire-themed.

Okay, I’ll explain that “of course”. In Japanese, the five planets visible without a telescope are named for the five elements of Chinese alchemy: water (Mercury), metal (Venus), fire (Mars), wood (Jupiter), and earth (Saturn). So obviously Sailor Mercury would have watery power and Sailor Mars would use fire.

Just to hammer the point home, Ami Mizuno and Rei Hino have the characters for water and fire respectively in their family names. And Usagi Tsukino has the character for “moon” in hers.

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