Megalobox #4 – Nambu, who is turning out to be just as talented as a promoter as he is a coach, decides to roll with the technical difficulties and make Gear-less boxing “Joe”‘s new gimmick. Okay, that may work for a while, but if they make it into the Megalonia tournament and are still trying to fight unenhanced against the likes of Yūri and his top-quality bionics, my suspension of disbelief is going to collapse utterly.
This does make Junk Dog’s situation extremely precarious, as demonstrated when he takes an unenhanced punch. Wait, no, it’s too soon for a brain-damage plotline, he’s just discovering the fear of going up against someone who can give him a real fight for once. Nambu talks him through it so well, you start wondering how Nambu ever lost touch with legitimate boxing and wound up consigned to the underworld.
The next two fights are more of the same; good decision to skip through them. But the fourth opponent seems to be someone who can clear up Nambu’s background. Given the dramatic reveal, I presume he’s another character adapted from the original Ashita no Joe.
Persona5 the Animation #4 – It’s finally time for the Phantom Thieves to get serious about taking down Kamoshida. But first we need to be reminded that this is a video game adaptation by having Morgana explain a bunch more rules. Also preparations need to be made, including a clever idea for getting around Japan’s notoriously strict gun laws: if Kamoshida can be convinced a fake gun is real, it’ll act like a real one inside his castle. It’s a neat trick to be able to pull, and I hope they find other ways of applying it.
Since Morgana has been established as the brains of this outfit, Ren needs something else to establish him as the hero. So it turns out that he can pop over to Igor’s place and requisition a new Persona, something that most people are unable to do. Also he picks up a new helper in Pixie, who doesn’t have time to explain what she does, but at least now we probably know who that blue butterfly talking to Ren six months in the future is.
The final battle feels rather dragged out, but finally Kamoshida is relieved of his “treasure” and immediately repents of his crimes. I find myself hoping that not every psychic lobotomy the Phantom Thieves perform is going to go this well, otherwise it may become monotonous.
Steins;Gate 0 #3 – Christmas: the season of joy, giving, and bad decisions. Despite Hiyajō’s warnings about remembering that the Amadeus system is a mere simulation, Okabe has quickly begun reacting to it as though he’s speaking with the real Kurisu. Several people do not think through the possible consequences of taking the person from an apocalyptic future who still twitches at the sound of aircraft, leading her into a dark room, and surprising her with a loud noise. And the writer decides to recall the regrettable transphobia displayed early in the original series.
Ruka is a trans girl. While Okabe was outwardly supportive of her at the beginning of Steins;Gate, he still regarded her as a male friend who just liked to cross-dress. He eventually suffered consequences for this attitude and had to fully acknowledge Ruka as a girl, and the way we first see him greeting her in this show suggested the lesson had stuck. Apparently not. Grrr.
Hiyajō looks like she’s about ready to revoke Okabe’s access to Amadeus. However, the simulation has already demonstrated a lack of respect for boundaries by abusing its access to his phone, so I don’t think Amadeus can be blocked for long even if Okabe wanted to block it.
Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS! #4 – A very slight episode this week as it tries to give Kyotarō’s teammates a little spotlight time. Ichiro is too forthright for his own good, Taishi is a romantic at heart, and Nanao is kind of a jerk when you really take a look at his actions. The monster of the week provides for some light swipes at reality TV, but nothing quite like the sharp edges the first season had when it took on the TV industry a couple times.
Kyotarō seems positively energetic compared to his usual self this week. The idea of having to fight the student council’s creations over and over seems to have provided him enough motivation to do something about it. If sending Ata that old picture was supposed to be the first step in making him chill out, though, it doesn’t seem to have had the intended effect.
Hakyu Hoshin Engi #14.5 – As promised last week, we get a recap episode. It’s a straight clip show recapping events since the start of open hostilities between Kongrong Mountain and Kingo Island, and reminding us that the visuals and music took a big step up after it returned from the Olympic break. I eagerly await another powerup after this off week.