Anime roundup 3/12/2020: The Ties That Bind

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Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun finale – Iruma’s life settles down for the last part of the school year, letting him enjoy a routine of classes, home life, and hanging out with his unpredictable friends, and letting the viewer wonder what horrible thing is going to suddenly wreck it all. Which of course… but more about that next season.

It was nice to see Iruma get to settle in and just be his happy self for a while. This finale packed in everything else you could want, too: a callback to the longer arc where Iruma is definitely going to be Demon King someday, check-ins with all the significant characters, Asmodeus and Clara admitting that they can maybe just get along, and one more Valac family musical number. (Come to think of it, we never got to find out about Clara’s father and eldest brother. I’m ready to guess now that Professor Robin is one of them.)

This show dragged a bit in the mad bomber arc, and I’m still annoyed about the succubus episode, but it did come up with an excellent punchline in Iruma’s abrupt transformation into a moody adolescent. It sets up a whole new round of the misfit story. Plus Iruma’s going to have to alter one of his relationships anyway, since Asmodeus only had to serve him for a year.

This hasn’t been a perfect show, but the good outweighs the bad, and there have been moments of absolute brilliance. I for one will be checking out season 2, whenever that is.

(CrunchyrollAnimate GamerMuse Asiabilibili)

ID: Invaded #11 – As Sakaido and Anaido come to terms with who they are, and where they are, they realize all they can do now is buy time for Hondōmachi to uncover the rest of the mystery. That she is able to do, with the help of the Mizuhanome’s memory of Fukuda.

After eliminating Matsuoka as a suspect, Hayaseura was really the only plausible one left, so no great surprise there. But flushing him out then leads to the answer for where Asukai Kiki has vanished to, and confirmation that she and the Mizuhanome are essentially one and the same.

So we know now that Hayaseura created seven serial killers. He also created the unit that caught them, and he set up Narihisago to clean things up by killing the killers. What exactly was the point of this exercise? He just secretly wants to turn everyone into a killer and watch society collapse? Or does he have some other kind of mind control, um, in mind?

(FunimationAnimeLabWakanimbilibili)

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun #9 – Nene is kidnapped by the minions of Hanako’s evil twin, but it’s all a big misunderstanding. Sakura, Nene’s opposite number, just wants to share a nice cup of tea and commiserate about what idiots they hang out with. And then drop her into an extradimensional space where she’ll never find her way back to her own timeline and maybe get rid of a bonus idiot in the bargain.

But this leads to Nene popping into 1969 and running into a still-living Yugi Amane. An Amane who is distraught and very close to doing whatever doomed him and his brother, but an Amane who possibly can be saved.

It all depends on how the rules of time travel work in this story. One possibility is that it was an alternate timeline, where Nene can do whatever she wants but it won’t change her own situation. Or it could be like the memories connected to the yorishiro, just a recording of a moment in time. Another is that it’s a past which is already written, and we’ll learn that Hanako took a liking to Nene because she resembled the girl he met in 1969. And the last is that Nene has now changed the past, meaning she might be able to undo things so that Amane and Tsukasa live.

(FunimationAnimeLabWakanimAnimax Asiabilibili)

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magia Side Story #10 – After the latest Uwasa and its accessories are destroyed, high-ranking members of the Magius organization are ready to take out our heroines once and for all, but then Tomoe Mami reappears and tells everyone to cut it out and that’s that for now. So the heroines go mug shopping instead.

In addition to demonstrating Sana’s reintegration into society, as far she can reintegrate, the shopping trip gives us a chance to learn a little bit more about the magical girls. We know why Felicia likes cows (and why her costume has horns), and that Sana likes cats, and Iroha… apparently just really likes pink. The most interesting one is Yachiyo, who picks a motif of stars and moons. The stars match Yachiyo’s costume, and the moons go with Mifuyu’s power. It emphasizes that the two of them had a special bond.

(FunimationAnimeLabWakanimAniplus AsiaAnimate GamerbilibiliCrunchyrollHIDIVE)

In/Spectre #9 – As Kurō and the Steel Lady proceed to pummel each other, Kotoko whips out her laptop and starts arguing her first crackpot theory on the Internet. Tune in next time for Internet arguments #2 and #3!

This whole episode had the feel of the last third of a Mythbusters episode, the point where they’ve given up on explaining the original myth and doing actual science and are just looking around for an excuse to blow something up. Which actually isn’t a bad parallel: Kotoko and Kurō have abandoned any attempt to bring the truth to light and are just trying to find a story that will capture an audience. But also like that part of a Mythbusters episode, just making crap up is not really as gripping as searching for the truth.

I have to hand it to the directorial team here, doing their utmost to animate a story which has consisted of little but the same couple of characters talking for the last few episodes. I’m ready to endorse the idea that this should never have been transferred to a visual medium in the first place, but what’s done is done, they’re making the best of it, and I hope they all get to work on exciting and dynamic shows next.

(Crunchyrollbilibili)

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