Death Parade #8 – Well, folks, the opening credits have been promising it all season, and this week Death Parade finally delivered. Yes, it’s time for the high-stakes, soul-baring game of air hockey! And it works. Whatever else happens, it has earned my respect for that alone.
The two souls who needed special handling turn out to be murderers with a curious symmetry between them. Both coming across as essentially good people suffering from Women In Refrigerators, both feeling that the justice system has failed them, both determined to take down the culprit themselves, and each looking for a target that probably resembles the other. Tatsumi was definitely looking for a delinquent of about Shimada’s age, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Shimada’s sister’s alleged stalker was an older man like Tatsumi.
Both of them are certain they know who was responsible even without any evidence to prove it. What if they both killed innocent people? If the judgement is based exclusively on their own memories, then they’ll never know one way or the other, unless each of them has some information they can contribute to the other. Or if they are each other’s victims. Perhaps Shimada is the person Tatsumi suspects, and Tatsumi was hanging around with an apparent interest in Shimada’s sister trying to get some evidence.
Yona of the Dawn #21 – The hour of butt-kicking has duly arrived. Pirates and dragons merrily bash their way through the slavers’ mercenary army, while Yona and Yoon rush to hold up their end of the plan. Yona finds herself hobbled and almost gives away the game when she first attracts Yan Kumji’s attention, whereas Yoon is the image of competence, freeing everyone, arranging the escape from the hold, darting the guards, and, of course, being the one trusted with the signal in the first place. In retrospect it’s not really clear what the special expertise needed for operating the firework was, but Yoon certainly needed to be along for everything else.
Yona is once again aware of her relative uselessness. Yona is seriously pissed off about it by now. And then she gets hold of a weapon she can actually use. At this point, it’s customary for the villains to laugh and taunt the heroine that a delicate little thing like her would never truly be able to kill someone. Nobody’s going to be doing that this time. Yona is truly coming into her own.
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! #9 – That supposed frontal attack didn’t do anything obvious to help the badguys, but Zundar seems very confident that it accomplished something. More on that next time, I guess.
The Press Club reenters the story and also puts a lot of effort into something that provides no immediate payoff. Dressing the guys up and photographing them in ridiculous yet aethetic settings was a nice diversion for the art-oriented viewer, though. (Knowing the anime merchandising machine, it’s only a matter of time until viewers can buy actual calendars featuring some of that very art.)
If there was one truly important-looking moment in the entire episode, it was Ryū taking the selfie at the Mt. Binan trailhead. It’s clearly not a popular tourist spot, so anyone who could put the Earth Defense Club’s visit there together with the appearance of the Battle Lovers shortly afterward has as good as solved the mystery of their identities. So who was really texting Ryū? Neither group of antagonists sounded excited enough to have put the pieces together yet…
Yatterman Night #8 – Another filler episode. When Leopard falls ill, the gang must stop near a local equivalent of Loch Ness complete with monster. Leopard has developed her first crush (awww), Alouette befriends Nessie Jr. (awww), Voltkatze and Elephantus meditate on the meaning of parenthood (awww… partially), and a hint is dropped that will eventually allow someone among the heroes to figure out that General Goro is Aloutte’s father. Then everyone runs off to save Kut-chan’s mom and forgets to stop and build a silly mech first, but Kussie saves the day through sheer brute force.
This had a lot of nice moments, but again, the material feels like it’s being stretched thin through these last couple episodes, and if things get rushed toward the end this is going to look like time wasted.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #32 – This show is really not at its best lately. Half of this episode was fairly good– Alessi’s character is established as a properly hissable villain when he explains that he prefers to pick on the weak, and Polnareff’s slow realization of what Alessi’s power has done to him was handled well. But after spending a lot of the last couple weeks with characters having extended freakouts about being mistaken for a serial harasser and then being mistaken for being gay, devoting a big chunk of yet another episode to wallowing in even more juvenile sexual humor (literally this time) is making this tiresome. These are the “yeah, you can skip through those and just get to the good part” episodes.
Please, let Jōtarō recover his wits next time and let’s get back to the actual fighting.