Anime roundup 6/11/2015: Raising the Stakes

Mikagura-10 Mikagura School Suite #10 – Just when you thought it was going to dither itself away into terminal unimportance, Mikagura School Suite will surprise you again. Suddenly you get the most emotional and high-stakes battle yet, and it doesn’t even involve Eruna. Not directly, anyway.

Otone has a deep affection for Eruna, maybe even is in romantic love with her, but it’s the sort of love that lets her accept that Eruna doesn’t love her back. Seisa has seemed to warm to Eruna over time, and is hardly ignorant of Eruna’s feelings for her, but has something holding her back. Probably it’s something to do with those mystical symbols revealed for a moment on her skin; probably something also to do with the mysterious device in the basement, and Bimii’s backstory, and that dark presence which has chosen this inopportune moment to take over the school. What does it all add up to? The way this show is going, I’m not even going to try guessing.

Otone also has some secret she’s hiding from Eruna. If she didn’t live overseas, why might she have been away from normal society for a while? Where does this hidden resolve come from?

This is a very uneven show, but when it’s good, it is good.

(FUNimation Viewster AnimeLab)

JoJo-46 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #46 – If Kakyōin’s declaration at the end of the last episode didn’t make it obvious that he was going to be the next one out, the sudden detour into his lonely childhood and how he finally found his friend group absolutely guarantees it. I wish we’d gotten that backstory sooner; it would have made him a more sympathetic character all along, and it will definitely color any rewatching of this show. But that’s one of the signs of a great work, that it has more depth on a second experience.

Speaking of omitted backstory: the Hamon power. The previous story arc of JoJo was about Joseph Joestar as a young man, learning this power so that he could battle beings even higher in the undead hierarchy than vampires. It conjures the essence of solar energy to which the undead are vulnerable. Dio would be pretty small fry compared to some of the opponents Joseph has gone up against if it weren’t for that Stand.

The World manipulates time, not space, after all, but it still amounts to a giant “eff you” to the laws of physics and still is only vulnerable to attacks that the user doesn’t see coming. But it might have one other problem. Dio proudly speaks of how the amount of subjective time he can spend with everything else frozen has been increasing. Perhaps it would be possible to give him too much of a good thing…


Arslan-10 The Heroic Legend of Arslan #10 – Yes! They’re finally out of the cave and heading, um, somewhere! Soon there is a whole detachment of cavalry in hot pursuit, but reinforcements from a friendly fortress save the day! And now, with little time to spare as that cavalry takes word back to the main army about Arslan’s whereabouts, our heroes must… have a fancy dinner?

It seems ungrateful to complain after Arslan has finally be let out of hiding, but for a show that loves to explain and re-explain as much as possible, it’s certainly developed a lot of holes all of a sudden. How did the cavalry figure out they were important enough to be chased? How did the garrison know to come out there to rescue them? How is everyone so confident that it doesn’t matter that the cavalry is sending word back to headquarters? How far are they from Ecbatana now, anyway? What was that stuff in the ceiling? Why doesn’t Arslan assert his authority to command the soldiers, especially once the commander is dead? Why doesn’t Arslan tell the slaves he’s the prince, rather than just a random stranger who happens to have killed their owner?

As for why the slaves don’t accept freedom… oh, Narsus did not just say that, did he? There is no time in human history when being chattel in lifelong bondage has been an easy life, unless your definition of “easy” is “better than taking your chances on being killed on sight, or being sold off again to a worse owner”.


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