Anime roundup 9/8/2016: Playing Rough

Cute-HIgh-9 Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE! #9

After the Beppu brothers’ declaration of war, the Earth Defense Club has failed to respond for a month and a half, which can only mean: It’s time for a Valentine’s Day episode!

Valentine’s Day in Japan is when men receive chocolates from women. (Men reciprocate on White Day, March 14, which will be next in line for a kicking if Cute High continues this streak.) Naturally this means the Beppus and Ryū are getting a ton of chocolate, and at the other end of the social scale, this week’s monsters are the boys who are so lonely that they don’t get any chocolate at all.

This provides the perfect cover for the Beppus to send the club some poisoned treats, which with the evil power of capsaicin and a whole lot of handwaving, means this is basically now the “slipped him a love potion” plot. (Incidentally, pepper-infused chocolate is an actual thing that you can get from many different boutique suppliers, at least here in the US.) Since it’s Yumoto, it all backfires on the Beppus again.

I think what Cute High is working toward as its message for the season is that some things just aren’t worth getting into a big fight about.

(CrunchyrollFUNimationFunimationNowAnime on Demand)

Re-Zero-23 Re: ZERO – Starting Life In Another World – #23

Subaru continues to show that he’s learned from his screwups. First, he is able to swallow his urge to stop everything in order to end anti-elf racism immediately and remain focused on getting the noncombatants out of harm’s way. Then, he’s able to take out a copy of Betelgeuse on his own. And then, in the best moment of the episode, he is able to stand aside (albeit with some extra pressure from Felis and Juli) and let Emilia be her own awesome self.

The Witch’s Cult still has some nasty tricks up its sleeve. There’s the suicide bomber, and then Betelgeuse taking over Subaru. I’m going to guess that the latter was enabled by Subaru hanging on to the cult’s gospel.

Whatever the cause, just as everything finally seemed to be going well, Subaru suddenly has to beg to be killed. It looks like Felis and Juli did as he asked, so where and when does he respawn? I don’t think he’ll have to relive killing the White Whale, so maybe next will be the time of his speech to the villagers?


Mob-Psycho-9 Mob Psycho 100 #8

The people you should worry about are never the ones who are full of swagger; it’s the ones who become calm when things get serious. Like Mob, who under the pressure of time and totally focused on saving his brother, turns out to be capable of casually dispatching an elite esper.

Ritsu is doing pretty well at his end, using his brain and the limited abilities of his comrades to start working their way to escape. Ritsu is operating as a normal hero; when he puts all of his abilities together he can just about get everyone out of a scrape. With Mob, all the rules go out the window. He’s a bulldozer smashing his way through every conventional expectation of how the plot should go.

Soon he’s going to meet the mysterious leader of the local division of Claw, whose full-body covering and short stature are a big hint that they’re someone we’ve met before. I’ll put my money on Mezato, the girl from the Journalism Club.


Orange-10 Orange #10

In order to fulfill their quest to make Kakeru happy again, the group must lift the Athletic Pad of Blunt Analogy and run the Relay Race of Many Feels.

Naho finds herself conscripted for errands so often that even Kakeru is noticing it now. His approach is to try to make it better all by himself even though he’s already carrying more than he can handle. Suwa has to play the rescuer again, bringing in the rest of the group to literally share the load and send Kakeru off to get his injury looked at, which hopefully foreshadows Kakeru getting some medical help for his depression.

Then it’s finally time for the relay race, where a collective decision has been made to push Kakeru to get the win despite a sprained ankle. It makes for a great climax to the episode, but you wonder how badly it could have backfired if everyone set up this must-win condition and then Kakeru’s ankle gave out through no fault of his own.

But he pulls through, and then he and Naho function kind of like a normal couple for a few minutes, and everything is awesome. For now. They’ve got to be due for at least one serious reversal before the end of the season.


Special programming note: Your correspondent is going to be on the road next week, so next week’s installment will be a special look at the whole of planetarian. Normal service will resume the week after with a double dose of commentary.

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