Steins;Gate 0 #18-19 – I’d forgotten just how wacky the whole Rube-Goldberg-esque process of getting the time leap machine to work was. Okabe and his friends didn’t just invent a way of passing information to the past because they were brilliant; there was a ridiculous amount of luck involved in stumbling across a way to make it work.
But the silliness is outweighed by Okabe seeing two more friends dead, the time machine destroyed, and Leskinen taunting him. Finally he realizes that he can’t just pretend everything is fine. But the only thing he can think to do is get back on the treadmill of trying to change things and seeing time simply work around him.
The problem now is that the destruction of the time machine is such a significant event that whatever happens, Leskinen and his rivals will know exactly when it happens and show up then. Changing events so that Suzuha and Mayuri escape at a different moment won’t work, because future Leskinen will find out and tell past Leskinen.
Okabe is still firm about time not allowing paradoxes like that, but he’s surrounded by them at this point. Kagari has already been sent back in time as Leskinen’s message to himself. There’s still the matter of the song with no origin. And if Mayuri is dead now, how can she adopt Kagari in the future? And what’s up with the fracture seen at the end of episode 19? Is that time itself breaking down?
Attack on Titan #42-43 – It’s about time we got some answers, and Attack on Titan delivers a metric ton of them. First, Erwin’s father is correct that someone wiped nearly everyone’s memories a century ago. Only the aristocracy was spared (or, people who were immune to the process were bought off with ennoblement to keep them quiet). The Reiss family has not only been ruling from the shadows, but passing along a Titan power. Grisha Jaeger stole it, as they see it, and then handed it over to Eren in a grisly suicide.
That’s not the only thing that’s been passed along— Eren appears to remember the attack on the Reisses from his father’s perspective, and at the end of episode 42 he briefly has a vision of being Frieda. So does he also have some form of the memory-controlling power, or are the memories part of the Titan package?
The big question now is what the major players have gained from their actions. What benefit does the secret royal family get from suppressing the knowledge that the Titans attacking them are really the criminals from another civilization outside the Walls? What the hell was Grisha thinking when he tried to murder the entire Reiss family and then left Eren alone, with only the vaguest clue to what happened?
The Journey Home #11-14 – Ellen’s home is definitely not Earth, but humans have managed to screw it up too, what with the terraforming gone wrong and the rampaging killer robots. Still, it’s her home, and as Midge and friends observe, it would be very wrong to spirit her away and force her to go to Earth. Unless, of course, one is the author, in which case it’s totally okay to go ahead and contrive a situation which gives her no other options.
So Ellen joins forces with Midge to scavenge a spare part that the Stork needs to lift off again, a small matter of retrieving it from a crashed ship surrounded by even more killer robots and basically a whole colony of Sarlaccs. Then it’s off to Earth and its promised glories— assuming it hasn’t been destroyed by a robot uprising too…
After a light episode or two, The Journey Home is back on form as a show that could not possibly have been made for kids if the characters were human. First there’s Ellen explaining that her arrows are made from the body parts of her dead friends and family, and then she and Midge are riding to freedom on a dead body, right after casually debating whether the person had been murdered or just committed suicide. Someone is really getting away with something here.
We Rent Tsukumogami #5-6 – It’s O-Hime’s turn in the spotlight as a nefarious bandit prowls Fukagawa, but in the end it’s all fake news. And then the story meanders back to Kogare-kō, who gets lost in the river after his owner falls in due to the effects of an ill-conceived diet plan.
The most interesting thread is the continuing story of O-Kō and Satarō. Since they’re all of the merchant class, Satarō’s mother’s challenge to O-Kō to prove herself worthy has nothing to do with the traditional maidenly arts and everything to do with business sense. It’s a real disappointment to have Seiji step in and fix everything for her. This should be where we see her step forward and shine, but it seems like this is to be Seiji’s story, and O-Kō will be forever trapped in the background.
Since it seems like the effort to trade up to something worth 80 ryo (about US$80,000, given the narrator’s information) was successful, that brings us to Satarō and Suō’s disappearance. More interference from his mother?
Persona5 the Animation #20-21 – Morgana turns out to do just fine on his own, thank you, even recruiting a new team member and getting further into the next Palace than the rest of the Phantoms can. But he misses having somewhere to belong, and everyone misses him, and many stale beats about getting back together are reiterated, and eventually things are back the way they were.
Then it’s time to do a full assault on Okumura’s Palace, and time for Persona5 to get very, very anime again. The boss is Robot Monster meets Darth Vader, and the new team member’s Persona is a Dumas villain with freakin’ machine guns, because why not. The Palace is a fabulous amalgam of Hollywood sci-fi of all ages, and it’s a shame the Phantoms’ run through it is rushed, because I would have loved to see more.
I presume it’s rushed because we’re approaching the endgame. The Phantoms are getting close to whoever it is they need to confront, and that person is scared enough to eliminate Okumura in gruesome fashion on live national TV. Now we should see whatever sets up the attack on the casino (which I assume now is another Palace), and hopefully get a payoff for Akechi’s involvement.