Muhyo & Roji premiere – Hey, ever wondered what a Shonen Jump take on criminal prosecution would look like? Here it is! When dealing with the world of spirits, exorcists are judge, jury, and executioner all rolled into one. Thus when Roji the “executor” encounters a spirit doing harm, he merely needs to open his tome of magical law, shout out the number of a relevant paragraph, and the unfortunate spirit is zapped right out of our world, skipping all the tedious business with witnesses and evidence and civil rights.
The excuse for ghost-smashing this time is a girl named Rie, whose best friend Taeko was killed in an accident at a train station and has morphed into a vengeful spirit pulling more people to their deaths. Taeko and Rie may have been girlfriends, but the only notable thing if you’re looking for a change from how anime usually treats lesbian relationships is that the paranormal setting means the story can pull out Bury Your Gays before moving on to the Psycho Lesbian.
Roji comes across as a barely civilized jerk, and Muhyo, his assistant, exists entirely to apologize for him. There’s little trace of a buddy-comedy dynamic. Rie is really the only likeable person in this show so far, and she exists to be a damsel in distress and have her skirt looked up. There are a few neat visual moments, but most of the animation is just adequate. Not at all worth the wait.
And that is finally the end of the premieres for this season. I hope spreading them out over an entire month is not a sign of things to come, because I’m more than ready to get back to regular-season mode. Here we go!
Steins;Gate 0 #16 – Mayuri likes to play the ditz, but she’s as sharp as anyone when it comes to non-scientific matters. While Okabe sinks further and further into denial, she’s putting the pieces she has together and coming up with something shaped more or less like Kurisu. And she’s thinking over her own choices, and how she might have inadvertently helped Okabe give up. (In the first Steins;Gate, just when Okabe is about to give up, the two things that change his mind are getting a message from his future self and Mayuri slapping him.)
Framing this is the approach of Tanabata, the festival commemorating a legend of two lovers, Hikoboshi and Orihime (Altair and Vega) separated by the River of Heaven (the Milky Way). When Mayuri says that someone else is Okabe’s Orihime, she means that he has a true love that is not her. I think, now that she knows about the time travel, she’s worked out that his Orihime is separated from him by something more substantial than a mere galaxy.
As Daru says, it’s a relief in a way that Okabe has found out about the attempts to recreate his time-travel experiments. Now they don’t have to hide it from him. But on the other hand, he hasn’t been convinced that returning to time travel is the right thing to do, and he’s ever more determined to join Leskinen at Viktor Chondria University, in the belief that that’s his way to a normal life. I don’t think he’ll be changing his mind until he arrives there and discovers what they’re really up to.
The Journey Home #7-8 – Contrary to what is stated in this episode, it is not necessary to get into the space bathroom to release bodily methane. However, farts in a closed environment are a known problem, which is part of the reason that space food is so bland. So our heroes’ desperate craving for takoyaki, or anything that isn’t standard space food, really traces back to modern efforts to keep space habitats from becoming too stinky.
But I won’t complain about The Journey Home slightly misinforming its heroes when it can get that much comedy out of desperately trying to open a door. And it’s realistic about the fact that a small amount of methane can’t do that much harm. I mean, other than the fire, the loss of gravity, and the slight damage to the navigational control which leaves them plummeting onto an unexpected planet.
So now they’re marooned on an alien planet (or post-apocalyptic Earth). Can things get any worse? Oh, I’m sure they can, and I’ll be enjoying every minute of it.
Attack on Titan #40 – Eren and Historia are even more valuable to their kidnappers than previously let on. The royal family isn’t in hiding through some clever subterfuge of their own, but because someone has usurped the throne. Someone who will threaten to kill the royals if they step out of line, but who seems to have some use for them. Thus Historia was allowed to keep living under an assumed name, but she’s been deemed too dangerous now to stay free. And with good reason, as Erwin is already plotting to use her as the rallying point for a revolution.
And Eren’s power can be transferred to someone more pliable by contriving to have him eaten by them. Which implies that Eren also came by this power by eating someone. Except he’s never been shown eating anyone in human form. So either something rather significant was left out of his first stint as a Titan in season 1, or that wasn’t his first time transforming.
This brings us back to the vague memories he’s always had of something important in the basement of his family’s old house. The house is in territory now infested with Titans, but if no town within the walls is safe for Levi’s squad, maybe they could finally try to find out what that’s all about.
We Rent Tsukumogami #3 – The focus shifts to Katsusaburō’s arranged bride, who is doing her best to be a grownup and put away her childish things. This inclues her old ornaments and the relationship with the unnamed man she was exchanging letters with.
The fact that he is unnamed suggests that the Rule of Character Economy is coming into play and the author is trying to delay the revelation. I’m wondering if Sanae’s paramour is Suō’s mysteriously disappeared owner.
With Usagi the rabbit comb taking the spotlight (usagi = “rabbit”, by the way), we learn a little more how tsukumogami take form. With Notetsu and Tsukuyomi, it was enough that they were used and cherished. But Usagi thinks she’s gotten a gossipy personality because there was a lot of conversation around her as she was used. This would also be why Nadeshiko, Sanae’s hair ornament presents as a young girl. (More double meanings: nadeshiko is a type of flower or, figuratively, a lovely girl.)
Persona5 the Animation #18 – As is traditional now, Persona5 follows up a boss battle with a bunch of random screwing around. I’m sure that chance meeting at the fishing hole felt meaningful in the context of the game. The beach party was inevitable at some point, and at least not too cringey as these things go.
The two themes that emerge are Futaba and Morgana re-evaluating their senses of self. Futaba is trying to make up for lost time, but Morgana seems to be losing hope of ever being human again. Even in his dream, he only remembers as far back taking on his Metaverse form. Despite everyone reassuring him that he’s not just a cat (I mean, dude, you can talk) he seems to be resigning himself to it.
Futaba also provides confirmation of the connection between her mother and the Metaverse. The person in the black mask is definitely connected with the people who faked Wakaba’s suicide note, and also with the mysterious psychological breakdowns that have been happening in the background for a while. That leaves the question of what the researcher who’s experimenting on Ren is up to. Is she part of the same group, or independent and unaware of all this?