Anime roundup 9/27/2018: Social Engineering

Attack on Titan #47 – Being Queen will surely involve a terrible burden of expectations and responsibilities, but for now Historia is happy to realize that it also means being able to punch anyone she wants to. Even Levi, who used to terrify her, but is a really good sport about it now that she’s the one who outranks him. I don’t know if that was supposed to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship or what, but it really doesn’t reflect well on Levi, does it.

Backing up a bit, before Kenny Ackermann dies, he has a chance to unburden himself to his newly acknowledged nephew. Doing so, he reveals an unexpected side to himself: he was a friend to Frieda’s predecessor (or so he thinks), and he wanted a turn with the royal Titan not to wreak more havoc, but to see if it would stop his urge to kill.

Since Uri knew about the Ackermanns’ history and heritage, I wonder if the display of submission was just another form of manipulation. Perhaps the special killing power doesn’t react to people who won’t fight back. I guess we won’t know for a while, with Uri and Rod both gone, and Eren not in any apparent hurry to unlock more memories.

(CrunchyrollAnimeLabWakanimAnime on DemandFunimation)

Persona5 the Animation #25 – The Phantoms quickly work their way through Sae’s casino. Ren picks up skills, Makoto gets inside information, and Akechi provides a suspiciously easy solution to an insurmountable problem. And meanwhile, they definitely have a mole reporting to the police. I’m still guessing it’s Akechi.

This episode felt very rushed, and very much like a videogame adaptation, this week. With one week left to go, this show still feels an obligation to cram as many game scenes in as possible, and it wound up almost disjointed this week.

But it did have some powerful things to say about how the criminal justice system operates in Japan, and nowhere is it more clear than in the image of the scales of justice being tilted by a pile of money. Everything said about how the Japanese courts work is well-known, but it is extremely rare to find such direct criticism coming from Japanese media. All the other things Persona5 has touched on when it ventures into social commentary are well in line with the attitudes of other anime shows, but this is the first time I’ve come across one confronting the court system.

(CrunchyrollAnimeLabWakanimAniplus HDHulubilibili)

Steins;Gate 0 #22 – After coming so far just to fail again, Okabe is torn between absolute despair and his oath to make things right no matter what. Eventually the scientist in him prevails and tries to look over the problem systematically. There are three enemies, two have been neutralized (we think), and so what about the third?

Which brings us to Kurisu’s estranged father. In the original Steins;Gate timeline, before Okabe and his lab started meddling with time, Kurisu’s father was the one who murdered her. He then stole her work and defected to Russia. When Okabe tried to stop the confrontation, the only thing that changed was that he inadvertently became the cause of Kurisu’s death.

And now he has to deliberately kill Kurisu, in the form of Amadeus, because she’s how Russia gets the rest of its knowledge about time travel, in the hope that that opens up the way for Mayuri to go back and fix her mistake. And if it doesn’t, then what?


The Journey Home #11 – While they still aren’t in sight of Earth yet, our heroes have at least made it back into human-controlled space. Or, at least formerly human-controlled space. It seems that humans abandoned all their space stations simultaneously, and this may somehow be connected with the bug busters going nuts. Robot apocalypse?

On this new station, the insects allow themselves to be welcomed into the peaceful utopian society that rules it, because those never turn out to have dark sides, especially not when the leader has a Fu Manchu mustache and an assistant with a creepy smile. The terrible hidden secret in this case is that the mice have an insane drive to perform pointless work for bureacratic overlords. (Message, kids, message!)

And what of poor Master Wang? Well, remember he’s able to survive powerful radiation, hard vacuum, and a hundred years inside a black hole. I expect he’ll be fine, and all we need to worry about is how much biological detail his reappearance is going to involve.


We Rent Tsukumogami #10 – Suddenly, the shop has been in imminent danger of being shut down by Seiji’s father’s creditors for some time! Boy, there is a plot twist that could have been introduced more gracefully. And with Seiji’s masterful ability to trade up, 20 ryo shouldn’t be that much of a problem, right?

At least this stumbling around brings us to a reveal of the place featured in the end credits, the Kanda Myojin Shrine, and a whole lot of gorgeous scenery with it. The shrine still exists today, although the current buildings date from 1934, having been rebuilt after, you guessed it, a massive fire.

This sets up a finale which is apparently going to involve some convoluted plan pulling all the threads of the story together. Hopefully Seiji finally manages to voice his feelings about O-Kō as well, but also hopefully O-Kō gets to make up her own mind about who she’s in love with.


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