Anime roundup 9/11/2014: Things Are Seldom What They Seem

HxH-146 Hunter x Hunter #146 – 145 episodes ago, nearly two years in both story and real time, Gon set out from Whale Island to become a Hunter and find his father. Now, finally achieving his goal, he doesn’t have the joyous reunion he might have imagined. Instead, he finds himself confessing to Ging in front of the entire Hunters’ Association that he thinks he should be dead.

That’s Hunter x Hunter in a nutshell: never letting things turn out quite the way you expect. The same thing is waiting for Killua, who finally seals away the demonic being that possesses his sister, only to immediately have to unseal it again, because it turns out Alluka rather likes the eldritch thing she shares her body with.

While Gon has the climactic end to his quest this week, it’s Killua who seems to have come the longer way. When he ran away from home to quit being an assassin and become a Hunter, he was thinking of only himself. Killua now, taking on the responsibility of protecting Alluka/Nanika from his own family and anyone else who would use them, has matured immensely. Gon is still just Gon, and may always be.

And Pariston provides one last unexpected twist. He may be the Rat, but it seems he just likes being an ass.

Terror-Resonance-8 Terror in Resonance #8 – Things quiet down a bit while Shibazaki and Hamura do some old-school legwork and Sphinx has to move house. While most of the episode is people standing around talking, a lot of interesting bits and pieces come to light:

  • Athena. Yes, she’s the goddess of wisdom, but also a goddess of war. Another part of the overall theme about nuclear material?
  • Although, the way everyone’s been talking about the theft from the nuclear reprocessing plant in Aomori for the last few episodes, it sounds the police are just guessing that “the object” was plutonium. What else could it be? Some other byproduct of nuclear fission? Some super-secret new element?
  • The Athena Project involved nuclear scientists for some reason. The presence of medical personnel suggests they were looking for a way to boost intelligence. How does nuclear physics fit into this? Perhaps via whatever Sphinx stole from Aomori.
  • Even if it wasn’t plutonium, Shibazaki’s conversation with his relative (niece?) isn’t necessarily wasted. I think the point was to get us thinking about radiation exposure.
  • Five has a big fancy watch too, though a different style from Nine and Twelve. And Twelve says he’s running out of time. Radiation exposure from the Athena Project?
  • Five gets the ringing in her ears like Nine does, but appears to know that it’s caused by someone doing something specific.
  • What’s in that black nail polish?
  • The calendar on the wall when Shibazaki visits his relative says it’s July. That holiday in red is Marine Day (Umi no Hi), which commemorates the end of a sea voyage by the Emperor Meiji. Which just happens to have started in Aomori.

Sailor-Moon-5 Sailor Moon Crystal #5 – Introducing team member #4! By now, we’ve got the routine down, so the show can paraphrase a bit and not actually show us all the mechanics of Luna explaining how to transform, use the powers, etc. That time is put to good use letting us know more about the new girl.

Makoto is already a much more fully-realized character than any of the others. She lives alone, she switched schools because her heart was broken, she’s a terrific cook, and she’s maybe on the verge of developing a healthy romance with the part-time guy at the arcade, as opposed to Usagi mooning (no pun intended) over the mysterious masked figure who breaks into her bedroom at night. Plus, as Sailor Jupiter, she gets to work with both Chinese mythology (Jupiter is associated with the element of wood) and and Roman (thunderbolts, by Jove!).

With only one more Sailor Guardian to go, Usagi has unlocked the Team Leader achievement because, well, the author says she has to be appointed leader. I suppose you could say she has leadership potential because she finds something to like in everyone… if saying that isn’t trying too hard to work around how creepy her girl-crushes come across as sometimes.

JoJo-23 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #23 – As Polnareff says, no vehicle our heroes use survives for long. Inevitably, just as everyone gets comfy and reflects on the natural wonders of the Red Sea, the fancy new submarine starts getting holes punched in it by the latest enemy Stand. But wait, hold everything for this phone call from Mrs. Joestar!

Suzie is a returning character who shared some of Joseph’s adventures in the Battle Tendency story arc, so you would think she could handle being told that he’s actually under attack while trying to sneak into Egypt. I mean, at least it might cut down on the awkwardly timed phone calls.

Jōtarō is much more polite to Suzie than his own mother. None of the talking back that we saw in the first episode; he addresses her with appropriate familiarity as “Grandma Suzie” (Suzie-bā-chan). But maybe that’s just because he can behave when he knows it’s important to Joseph to keep her from worrying that anything might be wrong.

Aldnoah-10 Aldnoah Zero #10 – Back on form, Aldnoah Zero reverts to not providing quite enough exposition and having Inaho fix everything. He revives Asseylum so well that, Earth gravity and having just been dead for a bit notwithstanding, she’s able to stand right up again and argue with Rayet about who has the biggest collection of angst, and then he gives a noble speech about trust which should feel deep and touching but somehow doesn’t.

It’s been speculated that Inaho is an attempt to portray a character on the autism spectrum. Well, some autistic people may have flat affect, and many have unusual thought processes, but they still have personalities, and Inaho doesn’t. When he talks about what he believes, it’s just coming out of nowhere. You can’t see anything in his past actions that has arisen from what he says. He’s just a blank slate for whatever the writers need this week to push the plot along.

Back at the Tanegashima Incident, Orlande’s Deucalion was shown to be destroyed when a flaming chunk of the Moon landed on it. So how did Saazbaum and Marito both survive that? For that matter, how did enough of Deucalion survive to be rebuilt as a battleship?

Speaking of allegedly dead people, the fact that the Aldnoah drive in Cruhteo’s Kataphrakt has deactivated is presented as proof that he’s gone for good, right after it’s been demonstrated that that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Argh, this writing. I guess last week was a fluke.

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