Anime roundup 3/14/2019: Off the Wall

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kemurikusa. #9 – Wakaba and the sisters climb what may have been Mt. Fuji at some point and confront another wall between them and Island Nine. Only this wall is infected, so they rest and regroup before making another attempt, which is when Wakaba goes for another nighttime walk and finds even more allegedly dead people. Or their ghosts, or their backups. Or…

It all looks like a coincidence arranged for narrative convenience until the moment that Ryō manifests in place of Rin. Having established that Ryō and Ryoku are sharing a body, why couldn’t they be sharing with even more people? What if the “First Person’s leaf” that Rin says she can’t use has copies of everyone’s personalities? It’s possible that the First Person is reassembling as the individual sisters die. The answers would seem to be in the “memory leaf” that Rin is guarding.

As long as we’re questioning what people really are, let’s take a look at Wakaba. Ryō says he “smells like kemurikusa”, which could just mean from the stuff he’s carrying, but it’s possible he’s just a differently manufactured synthetic person. The pattern visible on the green parts of his shirt is the same as the one on the walls. And while his name is spelled out phonetically in the credits, its most obvious kanji spelling is 若葉 “new leaf”.

If Rin is carrying alternate personalities who know more about how the world works than she does, there’s a possible explanation for Wakaba’s mysterious appearance. One of the other personalities might have taken control and set his creation, awakening, or summoning in motion.

(Amazonbilibili)

Dororo #10 – Back at the ancestral home, Tahōmaru has had it with all the secrecy and starts piecing together what happened a year before he was born. Then a monster appears in his territory, so he rallies the townsfolk and comes up with a clever plan to kill it. But just when his moment of triumph approaches, Hyakkimaru swoops in and slaughters it, like an RPG player showing up at the last minute to steal all the experience points.

It sure is a lot more fun watching people with normal human abilities go up against a monster, rather than someone who can kill it in seconds. This also serves to establish Tahōmaru as a basically good guy who cares about his peasants, and set up the inevitable understanding that pits brother against brother as a tragedy.

We also get the second person in as many episodes highlighted as clearly not a cisgender man. It’s not clear whether Mutsu should be taken as a trans man, a woman disguised as a man, or simply an unusual woman who has been allowed to take up a man’s profession due to personal talent or peculiar circumstances. When the English translation has Tahōmaru referring to Mutsu and Hyōgo as “brothers”, the word he’s using just means “siblings”. The translator may have inside information or they may just be guessing, as simulcast translators unfortunately have to do frequently. For now, any further discussion of Mutsu in this column before more information on this topic emerges will use “they” to indicate the uncertainty.

(Amazon — bilibili)

Mob Psycho 100 II #10 – As Claw beats back every attempt to attack it and finds the secret hideout, all of Shigeo’s friends pull together to save him again. Reigen, Dimple, and even the Bodybuilding Club get their turns to show how far they’re willing to go to protect him. They’d better, of course, because it looks increasingly like he’s their only hope against Claw.

The only other people who might stand a chance are Shō and Ritsu. Maybe the most worrying moment in the entire episode is when Shō comments that Ritsu has even more powerful latent abilities than Shigeo. In other words, if true, finding a way to send Ritsu into overload could mean even more devastation than Shigeo is capable of wreaking. And we’ve already seen from what he did to Shigeo that Shō was clearly never taught the rule about not calling up what you can’t put down…

(CrunchyrollbilibiliHami VideoLiTV)

The Promised Neverland #9 – Norman is ready to accept his fate to keep his friends alive, but Emma’s not ready to give up on him yet, and Ray turns out to be less cynical than he tries to be when everything is on the line. In one glorious burst of action, Norman defies Isabella, the demons, the entire system, and the laws of physics to make it over the wall. And then it turns out that whoever built this orphanage was not a total fool and included a moat.

The emotional highs and lows of this episode make it the best one The Promised Neverland has had since its premiere. Losing Krone and putting the escape plot out in the open has made an immense difference.

Speaking of Krone, what about her mysterious gifts? I know things have been busy, but it’s still odd that no one’s at least taken a minute or two to find out what these new objects are. Maybe they have, and we’ll get a little flashback next week.

(Crunchyroll — Funimation — HIDIVE — AnimeLabHuluWakanimVVVVIDAniplus Asiabilibili)

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka #9 – After going all in on action-movie clichés last week, this week is reserved for all the anime fanservice hijinks. Even the spirit world’s general is forced into a skimpy outfit and turned into an allegedly humorous sexual harasser before we’ve even gotten to know her.

After that, it’s kind of a relief when the Babel Brigade finally starts its attack. Faced with an immediate threat, the magical girls immediately gather and… talk. This may have been intended for the benefit of viewers who would otherwise be confused by the tactical decisions, but it unfortunately detracts from the attempt to turn deadly serious again, because if these are all serious military people, shouldn’t this all have been worked out in advance?

Or it may just have been padding to make sure next week’s episode gets all the actual fighting, which at this point can’t start soon enough.

(CrunchyrollAnimeLabWakanimHami VideoLiTV)

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