Death Parade #5 – The afterlife is a mess. The big boss vanished some time ago. The arbiters are understaffed in every department, struggling to deal with an ever-increasing daily death toll. And there are cracks in the system itself. In addition to the questionable judgements in the previous episode, Decim fails a test when he doesn’t figure out what’s wrong with his latest guests.
And then there’s the Dark-Haired Woman, who turned up already aware that she was dead, and has some peculiar link to the judgement system itself. Here we get the confirmation that this is all really about judging her, with the souls passing through being a sideshow. Why is she dreaming the same book that Nona is reading? What’s with the image from the same book that Nona suddenly asked Decim to add to the bar? Perhaps Nona has some idea who the Dark-Haired Woman actually is…
Or maybe who she formerly was. Syncretic as this setting is, its strongest influence appears to be Buddhism, with souls being sent to either reincarnation or the void. And in Buddhist velief, even supernatural beings may die and be reincarnated as something else. Was the Dark-Haired Woman formerly someone who worked in the afterlife? And incidentally, if she couldn’t be judged, what happened to the soul that presumably arrived along with hers?
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #29 – It’s bad enough that the sword of Anubis is able to keep taking over new hosts. How could this possibly get worse? Oh yeah, it could take over someone who is both an expert swordsman and already a Stand wielder. Combined, Polnareff and Anubis are the worst thing Jōtarō has had to face yet, and the very first to come within (pardon the expression) striking distance of actually killing him.
Less dramatically noted is that Iggy has now had a hand (or paw) in the finishing move on every one of the Stand users defeated since he turned up.
As it counts down the henchmen left before the big confrontation with Dio, JoJo is ramping up the danger level nicely. And it’s building up well for the boss battle, by reminding us every couple fights that however badass the opponents are now, every one of them felt that had no hope of ever challenging Dio.
And just when Yona has been gaining some confidence in herself, she’s forced to confront the fact that there still isn’t much she can do. She can’t jump in and save a child from being killed by the local officials because she can’t fight all of them. And challenged to explain what useful skills she might bring to Captain Gigan’s crew, she’s the only one in her group that can’t come up with anything.
Once again she will need to rise to the challenge on the basic strength of her will. And she will manage it, won’t she? She’s tired of just being protected and wants to get seriously involved in making things happen, and she’ll find a way to.
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! #6 – You know how bartenders are inevitably shown wiping a glass clean? Anime has a similar tic where a hot bath inevitably has someone standing around chopping wood nearby. Gōra’s occupation is practicially invisible until someone deliberately points it out. But hey, as Yumoto says, at least he’s found something he loves to do.
Changing it up a bit, Yumoto is a bystander for this week’s fight, which establishes that not only does Io throw a mean punch when sufficiently motivated, but that he and Ryū do occasionally think something is more important than money and girls, respectively. Awww.
Meanwhile, the Journalism Club is still on the prowl, and they seem to be targeting the Battle Lovers exclusively, with no interest in the Caerula Adamas. But are they allies of the main villains, or just a different group interested in Earth for other reasons? We shall see…
Yatterman Night #5 – The plot largely takes a break for an episode, but a stop at a local tournament provides a fun series of shout-outs for them what likes manly fighting sports, and a showcase for more of the mecha from the original Yatterman. It’s also a chance for Galina to take his turn to shine… or not.
The original Gan-chan was a bit of an oaf and sometimes a reluctant hero, but once dragged into the middle of things by Ai-chan would always rise to the occasion. Galina, in contrast, is a work in progress. Not only is he willing to delegate decisions to a die or to anyone who gives him an order, he also can’t even beat the nerd in a test of outright strength.
He’s got potential, though, and although it’s unremarked on in the chaos at the end of the tournament, he’s a good enough student to go from zero to the semifinals. Let’s hope for this to be the first step on the road to awesomeness.