Anime roundup 11/27/2014: It’s Full of Stars

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Celestial-Method-8 Celestial Method #8 – As Sōta says, these things can start with something that seems dumb in retrospect. But at the age of 7, your best friend moving away without warning and the sudden disappearance of one of your favorite adults can seem like a deep personal affront, and at 13, it’s still very hard to admit being wrong.

Nonoka and Shione finally making up is the most emotionally satisfying scene of the series so far. But the most intellectually satisfying one is shortly afterward, when it suddenly dawns on Shione what Noel’s been trying to say all this time. It’s a wonderful moment of understated exposition.

Noel, being in control of the saucer, can promise them a front-row seat for the meteor shower without fear of clouds blocking the view– in fact, probably without any pesky atmosphere in the way at all. This comes with the second statement in two episodes that “bad things” happen when Noel gets out of range of her ship. Like, oh, perhaps the event that created that impact crater? And maybe explains why there’s no crew giving the flying saucer instructions?

Why, though, does Shione’s realization lead to the belief that she and Nonoka will be parting ways? Is Shione planning to leave for space and figuring Nonoka wants to stay? Or vice versa? Or does Shione understandably distrust the mysterious alien that’s attached herself to Nonoka?

Kokkuri-san-8 Gugure! Kokkuri-san #8 – Yes, it’s the semi-obligatory hot springs episode! Sudden contrived reason for most of the cast to run off to the countryside and soak in hot tubs? Check! As many characters as naked as the producers think they can get away with? Check! Male character attempting to be a peeping tom? Check! Tons of innuendo from the ladies’ side of the fence? Check!

Though, as hot springs episodes go, that was a pretty good one. It managed to stay funny, not go overboard on the creeping, and remember to provide fanservice for viewers of all sorts.

As for the ending, man, you really can’t tell when Shigaraki is being genuinely nice and when he’s being a total cad in a complicated way. But one thing you can tell for sure is that Kohina’s ancestor was not a nice person. That was a truly evil sense of humor on display there. Makes you wonder what actually happened to her parents…

The panda bath– and the whole premise of the trip, really– is a shout-out to a 1990s classic, Ranma ½. At the beginning of the story, the title character and his father fall into cursed pools which cause them to transform into, respectively, a girl and a panda. The curse can be lifted temporarily with the application of hot water, but contact with cold water puts them back into their cursed forms.

Yona-8 Yona of the Dawn #8 – As prophesied by the opening and closing credits, Yoon is to join Yona and Hak on their journey, so it’s time to give him a proper backstory. Five years ago, there was a famine (and since nothing in this show so far has been a throwaway, I expect we’ll hear more about that in time) and the Fire Tribe was starving. Yoon attempted to rob Ik-soo, but wound up taking him in instead, and became his student after admitting a deep thirst for knowledge. Yoon’s function in Yona’s merry band of outlaws is clearly going to be the brains of the operation.

On an agricultural note, you may well question what potatoes are doing in ancient Korea, even if it’s actually just a fantasy setting which is closely based on Korea. Well, the word being translated as “potato” can apply to other tubers, particularly taro, which is native to southeast Asia.

Mushishi-16 Mushishi #16 – Rather than being tangled up with the lifecycle of a specific mushi, Ginko’s latest patient has been subsumed into the mushi world through too much contact with a vein of their energy. It’s a wonder that anyone in this setting with a sensitivity to mushi ever survives long enough to become a mushishi, what with all the trouble available for them get themselves into.

Izumi’s dramatic rescue isn’t the end of the story, though, just the middle of it. Mushishi has always been more about how people react to the strange things that happen to them than about the heroic solution. So the family still needs to sort out what to do afterwards, and Izumi’s father chooses to take the decision out of her hands entirely by stopping up the well. But, since he doesn’t believe all this claptrap about invisible biota but does believe that the well has a spirit that will need to breathe, temptation is presented to Izumi again, and she’s able to choose for herself to not be drawn too far in again. A much better ending than if she hadn’t had the chance.

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