Anime roundup 8/5/2016: The Eternal Triangle

Re-Zero-18 Re: ZERO – Starting Life In Another World #18

As Re: ZERO nears the end of its world record attempt for Most Ever “The Reason You Suck” Speeches Given To One Character, it’s Puck’s turn to explain to Subaru why he is a waste of oxygen and kick him back for another try. Along the way, Puck finally reveals what his bargain with Emilia specifies he will do in the event of her death. It seems a very odd thing for a bargain with a magic spirit to specify. Maybe he was planning to do that already, and the bargain was to put it off until after she died?

So Subaru finds himself back at the “appa” cellar with Rem. It felt like a cop-out at first to retroactively erase her and then un-erase her. I’m not complaining now. In the intense scene that takes the rest of the episode, she delivers the final blow to Subaru’s ego, lifts him back out of the abyss, and proves in the process that she is the best person in this entire story. She sacrifices her chance to have Subaru to herself, but seriously, she’s too good for him.

It’s not entirely clear due to the vagaries of translation, but Subaru’s closing line is basically the original Japanese title of this show. He’s finally ready to truly start over, become a new person, and face the challenges his new life is throwing at him. And he should be able to meet them, what with the last few episodes having been practically nothing but people explaining how he could have gotten their cooperation.


Orange-5 Orange #5

Naho remains completely unable to conceive of the possibility that not just one, but two cute and awesome guys could be in love with her. That future Naho is married to Suwa is a big hint to the viewer, but it’s been clear for at least a couple episodes now that Suwa has always been looking out for her.

But before the teen romance develops further, it’s time for the show to remind us that this is science fiction. In a quick look at the possible mechanics of time travel, this story chooses to align with the approach best known from Timescape, where a signal to the past causes an alternate timeline to branch off from the one where the signal was originally sent. Thus, the Naho who wrote the letter will continue to live on with her regrets in her timeline, but the Naho of this story is heading for a new future that she creates with the information in the letter.

In that case, none of the memories that the first Naho is concerned about preserving will be “erased”– they just won’t be formed in the first place. And at some point, she will have to start choosing between the things her other self cherishes and what she truly wants now. That will include the choice between Suwa and Kakeru.


Cute-High-4 Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE! #4

This week’s episode is a meditation on many kinds of brotherly love, as well as the Japanese stereotype that foreigners are really hairy. Alan is jealous of the creepy closeness that Akihiko and Haruhiko have, but the evil twins are themselves jealous that Yumoto is close to Gōra.

Why a pair of exchange students from who-knows-where should even know who Gōra is, let alone be fixated on him, will be a mystery to new viewers, so let me explain: At the close of the first season, it was revealed that Gōra is famous across the galaxy because he is a former defender of Earth. However, he was never well-known on Earth, which pretty much confirms that the Beppus are from some other planet entirely.

Viewers of all experience levels may also be confused by references to public baths by their Latin name. Cute High is doing a shout-out to a work that will be fairly well-known to its target audience: Thermae Romae. It’s a manga, later adapted into two live-action movies, about comparing and contrasting ancient Roman and modern Japanese bathing culture through a story about an architect who discovers he is able to travel between the two places and times.

(CrunchyrollFUNimationFunimationNowAnime on Demand)

Mob-Psycho-4 Mob Psycho 100 #4

Dimple, the cult leader from last week, was apparently too powerful to be fully exorcized. Instead, he’s turned into Slimer and is going to haunt Shigeo for the forseeable future. Meanwhile, the Bodybuilding Club is not just a quick joke but a major driver of the story for now, as it gets Shigeo entangled in a gang war between middle schools.

Now Shigeo is caught between two con men– Dimple trying to encourage his darker side, and Reigen… not exactly the angel on his shoulder, but certainly the one who has an interest in Shigeo remaining mentally healthy. Dimple has his work cut out for him if the confrontation with Teruki at the end of the episode is anything to go by.

Then again, Shigeo’s younger brother Ritsu is a little jealous of him and hoped for a long time to develop his own psychic powers. Now there’s someone Dimple could wind up using as a lever.


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