Steins;Gate 0 #7 – Huge reveals from the first Steins;Gate are necessary to explain why Okabe is so twitchy around Moeka Kiryū and why he decides to go to his landlord for help after he and his friends have been terrorized by masked gunmen. Once again, it’s handy that no one except Okabe remembers all the things that happened in different timelines, allowing the necessary backstory to be delivered.
So he’s got some backup now, and knows who isn’t trying to kidnap Kagari, but that leaves a lot of other suspects. The use of English points strongly toward Dr. Reyes as the masked commander, but then why has Yuki coincidentally just suffered an arm injury? Is she in on the same plot? More likely, given the speed at which this show is moving and six-month run, it’s going to be much more complicated than that.
Speaking of coincidences: that news report about an earthquake in Russia. Minor plot point not yet recapped from Steins;Gate: someone wanted to spirit some crucial research off to Russia. How time travel could lead to actual tectonic movement, I’m not sure, but another possibility is underground tests of some new weapon. North Korea’s bomb tests are usually detected by seismograph, so the connection is bound to be on the Japanese mind.
And all of the above, plus whatever was happening to Amadeus, may be moot now that someone has changed time so drastically that Kurisu is still alive. A side effect, or does someone who was left alive know what led to her death?
Megalobox #8 – After a whole episode of begging, pleading, and grandstanding from Team Nowhere, Yukiko Shirato is finally worn down enough to give Team Nowhere literally half a chance at the Megalonia tournament. At least the show is honest about the arbitrariness of the decision, and it’s better than someone suddenly remembering a previously unmentioned technicality that allows them to rules-lawyer their way in.
However, this means that Megalobox has spent two whole episodes spinning its wheels. They are fantastically stylish wheels, but it’s weird that a show which is only running for three months feels such a need for padding.
One important technical point raised along the way is that Yūri’s Gear is an “integrated” model, which I believe means it’s part of his body now and never meant to be removed. The Ashita no Joe character that Yūri resembles starved himself to the brink of death to be able to fight in Joe’s weight class. If Yūri decides to meet Gearless Joe on equal terms, I could see it coming out similarly badly for him.
Hakyu Hoshin Engi #18 – Power escalation is inevitable in a shōnen fighting story, but even as those go, Hakyu Hoshin Engi has gotten pretty ridiculous. Bunchū has just shrugged off a small fusion bomb. King Chū, possessed by only a fraction of Dakki’s power, is able to instantly defeat four opponents which include the guy who was knocking mountains over a while ago.
Bunchū finally gets his backstory moment. The reason he’s so dedicated to maintaining the Yin Empire is… his crush married into the royal family a while back. Which does it a bit tragic that while he’s busy fighting the other Sennin to keep Yin safe, Dakki is using that selfsame royal family to wreck Yin.
Dakki is also checking in with someone who sounds suspiciously like Ōtenkun. The reason the parasite marks haven’t faded (note that one is still on Fugen) would then be that he isn’t really dead. That probably lines him up to be the next person Taikōbō will have to defeat after Bunchū.
Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS! #8 – I have to admit that the most memorable part of this episode for me will be the bit at the very end where whoever was responsible for the next-episode preview snuck in that editorial comment about the anime industry. Yes, despite the growing international profile of anime, most shows are still produced with infamously low budgets and insane schedules. Including, presumably, this one.
The main theme this week is summer vacation, which Karls has gotten some unrealistic ideas about from watching too much of an unnamed show which is clearly intended to be the long-running Sazae-san. And then, speaking of long-running Japanese traditions, the boys’ attempt at giving Karls a summer vacation experience is interrupted by a fanatical devotee of radio calisthenics. Then the usual things happen in the usual ways and it becomes difficult to get around the increasing feeling that reviving this show for a third season was a bad idea, especially if it meant having to change writers. Unless this one pulls out something spectacular very soon, this is going to be the season I don’t talk about when I recommend Cute High to people.
Persona5 the Animation #8 – With two bosses down, there is now a clear checklist for eradicating a Palace:
- Place calling card
- Sneak into Palace for confrontation
- Wait for badguy to finish ranting and morph into CGI that doesn’t mesh with the rest of the visuals (although not nearly as jarring this time as the first)
- Beat down badguy
- Retrieve Treasure
- Celebratory feast
It would be neat to see a formula as clearly established as this one get switched up, but since this is a video game adaptation, I wouldn’t count on it.
Next episode, I guess we start the cycle again. There are still three more teammates to recruit, according to the opening credits, plus the show has been teasing the arrival of the boy genius detective for so long that he’s got to actually show up soon. Before the end of this season, at least.