Amazing Stories

Anime roundup 11/29/2018: Hidden Depths

Double Decker! Doug & Kirill #10 – Everyone wants to get their hands on the anti-Anthem bullet formula. It’s a military secret, which also means the military has done extensive research on Anthem and that hospital director who wants to explore military uses for it is behind the curve. It also raises awkward questions about where exactly Anthem came from, if the military knows more about it that anyone.

While Doug just wants to get some rest and heal up, he is dragged back into the plot when Deana and Kay’s investigation turns up something shocking: there’s a Ghostbusters fanboy somewhere in the art department! And also, people with terminal illnesses who come to the very hospital where Doug is convalescing have developed a suspicious pattern of dying of Anthem use.

It isn’t hard to connect the dots and find a sketchy attempt to use Anthem for therapeutic uses, but that as a front for anti-Anthem research is a real surprise. And, of course, the most shocking revelation of all is that Kirill is actually one heck of a scientific investigator given just the right motivation.

This seems to be the thing that gets him invited to join the military. At last, his hidden genius is being recognized? More like they want to keep an eye on him since he demonstrated last episode that he knows something he shouldn’t.

(CrunchyrollbilibiliFunimation)

The Girl in Twilight #9 – Once again, this show chooses to tell the story that is needed rather than the one that is expected. We do find out a little about the alternate Yū, but this is about Asuka the fighter, holding the line against Twilight in her world, and how the fight ends. One minute it’s hijinks with the adorable cadets, and the next, people are having their heads eaten by primal chaos and the last barriers holding Twilight back have been breached.

On top of the sendoff for Asuka, there are a bunch of revelations about the overall fight, the big gut punch being that her multiply lost little brother is somehow connected to the King of Twilight. Is the king one of him inhabited by something like a Clutter, in the way that some people are possessed in certain timelines and not others, or is the king connected to him in every world? Given that he seems to have vanished everywhere, I’m leaning toward the latter.

Asuka also mentions in passing that becoming an Equalizer is triggered by being in a world one can’t get along with. Which seems to explain how the Asuka from our world is failing to gain fighting powers, being the kind of person who can get along in any situation.

Then there’s the potential weapon, the “twilight amber”, which is a confusing way to translate it. In the Japanese soundtrack, it’s “akane amber”, and akane simply means bright red. (Similar to the Japanese title of this show, Akanesasu Shōjo, which means “the girl glowing/burning bright red”.) The “twilight” in the King of Twilight is tasogare, which does mean twilight, specifically at dusk, with a connotation of fading or decaying. One is a symbol of life, the other not so much.

(HIDIVE)

Zombie Land Saga #8 – Twice already, people have commented that either Ai or Junko looks familiar. But it’s Lily who’s the first to have direct problems with being recognized, because out there is her still-grieving father. For both of them to come to better terms with the fact, the whole band pitches in to do the one thing they can all do: write and perform a new song just for him!

Well, the one thing they can do other than actually telling him what’s going on, that is. Now that would have been a truly heartwarming story. I also feel cheated that we got very close to finding out how Lily wasn’t cremated and then the story lost interest.

As for Lily turning out to be trans, on the one hand, that’s a clever subversion of the old Bury Your Gays trope. On the other hand, trans kids facing the awful prospect of wrong-gender puberty deserve a better message than “Death would totally fix your problems!”.

(CrunchyrollbilibiliFunimation)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind #8 – The key to winning a fight in the JoJo universe is to figure out your opponent’s ability before they figure out yours. So Mista has the upper hand once he works out that he’s facing someone who can temporarily suspend Newton’s Second Law, and the badguy loses by not realizing that Mista can affect bullets other than his own.

The very best fights are ones where the viewer can follow along and have a chance to figure out the strategy in play, rather than things being resolved by some last-minute twist that comes out of nowhere. This is one of the best, as there’s time to work out that Mista is just trying to distract his opponent and give the bullet guys a chance to take over the one piece of ammunition left.

Meanwhile, the poor truck driver is finally released by Mista only to be commandeered by Giorno. He seems very resigned to his fate, as if he gets yelled at by random junior gangsters every day. Which I guess might actually be the case in anime Italy.

(CrunchyrollADNbilibili)

SSSS.Gridman #8 – Even monsters and humanoid weapons cannot hold back the inevitable school festival episode. Akane’s personal contribution is going to be her best Gridman-attacking monster yet, which she helpfully shows to the Gridman Alliance so they have a few days to argue about it and get their technobabble lined up for Gridman to be fully assembled and defeat the monster.

Luckily, the buildup is the interesting part. Shō and Rikka’s reluctance to believe anything bad about Akane turns out to have an explanation beyond the plot hammer: according to Akane, anyway, they’re NPCs. They were created along with the world they’re in to serve her, so resisting her goes against their programming. Does that include Yūta, then, or did he come into this world with Gridman?

Anti is starting to look like a better ally than Yūta’s friends. He doesn’t even bother attacking this time around. He seems like he’s just about done with Alexis and Akane and ready to go with whoever’s willing to give him a decent meal.

(Crunchyroll — Funimation)

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