Anime roundup 6/29/2017: All Good Things

The Eccentric Family 2 finale – Yasaburō brings things to a head by inviting the entire Friday Club into the middle of the Nidaime’s mansion, and this leads to the showdown every non-tengu has been fearing: Benten and the Nidaime in an all-out, full-powered battle. They’re so evenly-matched that it comes down to biting and scratching before Benten plummets from the skies once more.

With them out of the way, and Temmaya and Sōun off having ramen in Hell, the tanuki can get on with their lives. Yaichirō can finally become the Trick Magister and get married; Yasaburō and Kaisei can start to contemplate their eventual future together; Kinkaku and Ginkaku can be shown the error of their ways by their real big brother. (Yeah, okay, I don’t think they’re ever really going to shape up.) But the story of Professor Akadama and his two heirs feels like it’s only reached an intermission, not an end.

Because of that nagging feeling, I can’t quite call this as good as the first Eccentric Family, but that still leaves room for this to have been a great show. It was a joy to meet the Shimogamos and their friends and enemies again. The writing was still terrific, on the whole, and the art was even better this time. I will definitely recommend this to anyone who liked the first one, or has an interest in urban fantasy.


Alice & Zoroku finale – Sana and Hatori figure out how to get a message to Ayumu, who is able to open a door to Wonderland to let everyone out. This makes Sanae and Zōroku’s hike largely pointless, though Zōroku does get his moment by giving Wonderland’s avatar a few stern words and getting to press the big red button that stops whatever the heck was going on. Things have gotten far enough out of hand by then, though, that the government is forced to go public and explain that random superpowers and magically occurring Ferris wheels are going to be a fact of life from now on.

There are a lot of loose ends left hanging, though that’s to be expected for an adaptation of a manga that’s still in progress. Did Sana and Hatori recover their powers? What happened to Ichijō while she was out of sight? Was Naitō actually scapegoated? (“Lizard’s tail” means a subordinate forced to take the fall for a mistake, like a lizard shedding its tail to escape a predator.) But one thing I’m glad to see explained was the identity of the woman Sana saw when she was trapped by Minnie C. — none other than Sana’s future self.

Alice & Zoroku didn’t get off to the best of starts, but it has just gotten better and better since then. It was a great decision to make the premiere double-length, to get past the initial fights and show Sana and Zōroku’s relationship really start to form. It’s become some terrific science fiction that I can recommend to anyone. If the manga continues long enough, I hope we’ll eventually see more of it adapted.


Kado: The Right Answer #11 – With the nanomis-hein on exhibit everywhere and getting humanity further acclimated to higher-dimensional space, zaShunina decides it’s time to start absorbing the entire planet and transferring everyone to the anisotropic realm itself. But Shindō has a plan, and it relies on his reading of what zaShunina really wants. What could a bored 37-dimensional alien with technology far beyond Earth’s want? A true surprise for once — which is why zaShunina hasn’t tracked Shindō down and stopped him yet.

That surprise is that the new metal plating invented in the prologue is the key to creating an anti-phlegonic super-suit. The rest of the plan hasn’t been explained, but it apparently involves some heroic sacrifice, because people are all weepy and angry at him about it. This works better with Hanamori than Tsukai, since Hanamori has a known tendency to histrionics and frankly better chemistry with Shindō.

Shindō says his goal is not to kick zaShunina out but to negotiate with him. What form could the final agreement take? As shown by Dr. Shinawa’s reaction when Shindō explains what zaShunina is really up to, there will be some human who actually want to go to the anisotropic, and maybe that could provide enough material to entertain zaShunina’s people. And if not, maybe Shinawa could build them a Demon of the Second Kind.


Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul #12 – After a second episode’s worth of attempted escaping, our heroines are still not out of Charioce’s clutches, although they have managed to meet up with their friends. Favaro and Nina are delighted to see each other again. Joan and Kaisar still feel a strong bond as former comrades in the Orleans Guards…if that’s all they’re feeling. Rita is not looking happy about that.

Back on the surface, the hosts of Heaven park their flying saucer over Anatae and proceed to make war. Charioce sends his remaining demons out first to take the worst of it; the pasty white commanders of Heaven respond with a force of black angel dudes whose only lines are inarticulate bellows. (Somebody really did not think through how that was going to look.) Eventually El’s power tips the balance, and the defenders of Anatae are overwhelmed, but that’s all prologue to Charioce rolling out the superweapon he’s been holding in reserve.

What is the point of this episode, other than giving the director a chance to explain just how much he loves Steven Spielberg? The fight between Charioce and Heaven is just an argument about which deeply unlikeable person is going to be dictator of the world. Who cares who wins? That’s why Nina and company have been trapped inside the weapons, I guess — to give it some real stakes.

(Anime StrikeAmazon Video)

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