Double Decker! Doug & Kirill #7 – For once Kirill gets to be not an idiot as it’s Deana who decides that the answer to the Valery conundrum for now is to just not tell Derrick. I’m sure that will go well. Actually, given that people in this show tend to be smarter than and average, I’d hope that either Derrick has already figured it out or Doug has told him, and that he isn’t upset either way.
More gender ambiguity is in store with the big reveal about Doug’s old partner. You may have noticed that people in this show tend to refer to other people as singular “they” a lot. This is because Japanese doesn’t require people to continuously specify the gender of other people. So the confusion about Pat, and who Doug had spotted last week, arise from speaking completely naturally in Japanese. The confusion about Pat’s age, though… well, if things are that bad for the poor, maybe this is a world where 12-year-old tough girls having a taste for whiskey isn’t considered odd.
Speaking of people who are smarter than they appear, Travis sounds for the first time like someone who has any business at all being in charge of an elite detective team. It is wonderfully balanced out by him transferring his body language to the stuffed bear.
In the larger story, we now know that Esperanza has changed its methods over time. Is that due to a change in leadership, in which case, is it about to swing back to violence now? Or could it have changed its mission?
Zombie Land Saga #5 – Whether or not this ultimately falls on the satirical or serious side of the idol show continuum, Saga Prefecture sure is getting its money’s worth out of it. Many of the locations and events featured in this show actually exist. Yes, the Gatalympics are real, and so is Drive-In Tori. For all I know, that was its real theme song. In fact, I’d be surprised at this point if it turned out not to be.
For now, Zombie Land Saga seems fairly comfortable with continuing to mock the machinery of the idol industry. Kōtarō is still clearly an incompetent bully, and I especially like the developing tradition where his pep talks lead to him getting smacked by someone once an episode.
The Girl in Twilight #6 – Ah, the traditional beach episode, where anime pauses to put all its female characters in skimpy swimsuits and maneuver them into vaguely lesbian-looking situations for the amusement of straight male viewers. Except in this case, The Girl in Twilight isn’t willing to stop the story for very long, so we get a fairly mild example of the genre.
I’m on the fence about whether the narrative really means to portray introversion as something that only happens to foreigners, because the overall point does seem to be that this is something that can be beneficial. It’s Chloe’s ability to resist the urge to go along that seems to be key to being able to see the subliminal messages being used to control everyone else. And if that’s where it’s going, I can’t emphasize enough how unusual this is for anime. It, like Japanese society as a whole, really does lean heavily on the message that people should be part of groups.
In fact, that seems to be an ongoing theme of the show. Misa hid part of herself because she wanted to conform to others’ expectations, and gained her power when she chose to stop doing that. Nana was going along with what society told her was the path to true happiness until she decided to find her own.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind #5 – Having made it through the final interview, the new hire is given a tour of Passione’s org chart and then dropped off at a team get-together to meet his new co-workers. This being JoJo, they’re having afternoon tea, discussing philosophy, and stabbing each other in the face over math. Well, they are teenage gangsters, after all.
Things turn more traditionally macho when Giorno is offered some light refreshment, but he makes it through with another burst of creative thinking. I don’t think jellyfish actually work that way, but I do think this is the author prompting us to consider how things can be sucked into a small space and seemingly vanish.
The next fight appears to feature someone with a very similar ability to make people disappear. Whatever it is, it can quietly remove him from behind the driver’s seat of a car in the middle of traffic (insert Italian driving joke here), and make Giorno’s comrades seemingly vanish from normal space altogether.
SSSS.Gridman #5 – Now this is a much more traditional beach episode. Girls put into fancy bikinis while the boys get to wear comfortable swim trunks, check. Finding excuses for girls to fondle each other, check. Body-shaming, harassment, and other sadistic hijinks, check. And yet, even though objectifying high school girls at this length is unpleasant enough, Gridman goes the extra mile and also manages to undermine the plot when, after heaven knows how many closeups of the tight contours of Akane’s top, it suddenly wants to claim she had a full-size iPhone stashed in there all along.
After that, the kaiju attack seems like a welcome reprieve. Except there isn’t much of an attack, because Akane is standing around complaining that Gridman isn’t showing. Most villains would be grateful to be up against heroes this disorganized, but no. At least this is enough to get at least one person on Gridman’s side developing suspicions about the origin of the kaiju.
One new piece of information for the viewers is what happened just before the mysterious meteors at the start of the show. That also seems to confirm that Yūta was already linked with Gridman before then, and it would be that attack which left him without his memory.