Anime roundup 2/4/2020: The Endless Cycle

In this week’s viewing: Higurashi gets ready for another go-round, Attack on Titan goes in for another helping of revenge, and more!

Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU #17 – Life in Hinamizawa is good. Even when Tarano has an ominous invitation for Rika, it’s just to confess to the crime she would have committed but has mysteriously decided against. But Rika finally works out why Hanyū was telling her about the magic sword, and who her real enemy is, and how to prove it.

Also, suddenly half the adults turn out to have military ranks as part of dueling elite secret militas, and… what? I’m just going to nod and assume this is something that was fully explored in the original series, and GOU is just pointing out that it remembers that bit. At any rate, the sudden raid reveals how there could be a different killer in each loop. With a drug to immediately induce murderous paranoia in anyone, someone could pick whoever was handy that time around.

Satoko, though, wasn’t just channelling random delusions about what Rika needed to do for her nightmare to stop. She was the one who needed to be appeased. As she’s mentioned being treated at the clinic, this probably means she does have Hinamizawa Syndrome, only she has that along with the ability to chase Rika from timeline to timeline.

And she’s apparently ready to execute Rika and try again anytime it doesn’t work out. I don’t know where she was hiding that gun, but that would be the explanation of why she kept being found dead with a gun nearby. She was committing murder-suicide every time.

(FunimationAnimeLabWakanimAni-One)

Attack on Titan #67 – Before they can be overwhelmed, the Paradisians are away on their airship. But they have some extra baggage— not just a brand new conspirator, but an enemy bent on revenge.

Gabi is doing exactly what Eren would have done at the beginning of the series, had he had the chance to fight back as the Titans were attacking. Taught from birth to despise the outsiders, seeing her friends die and her town destroyed, she’s on a one-girl mission to do as much damage to her enemies as she can and she doesn’t care if it kills her.

Falco, though, is starting to be able to think outside of his system. He’s able to understand what the Paradisians are doing as revenge for the attempt to destroy them. He has an inkling of what the cycle of violence and hatred has done to Eren and Reiner.

He’s in the minority, though, as it turns out that Eren has not been the one masterminding the attack on Marley. Zeke Jaeger has been sending his own agents to Paradis for the past few years on the scout ships, and now has the Paradisians all excited about a new Eldian empire, while Eren is seen as more trouble than he’s worth.

(CrunchyrollAnimeLabWakanimAnime on DemandShahiid AnimeFunimation)

Otherside Picnic #5 – One minute Toriko and Sorao are celebrating a safe return from the Otherside, and the next they’ve somehow wandered right back into it. They quickly learn why Satsuki warned Toriko that the Otherside at night was too dangerous, as they encounter ghosts, lost soldiers, and a wandering construct made of biomechanical nope.

You would think one of the basic rules of Otherside exploration would be “don’t immediately wear anything you found there”, though to be fair, Toriko was drunk. Still, it’s new information that just about anything that has been there can pull you back in.

Kisaragi Station, the center of it all, is the subject of a recently developed urban legend. The key features are that someone is riding a train, and then winds up at a deserted station which technically doesn’t exist. Kisaragi is also the name of the second month in the old Japanese lunar calendar, which would be why the Marines are calling it February. (Although, being a lunar calendar, its months didn’t line up with Gregorian ones, and Kisaragi would actually have been early March to early April.)

The most puzzling denizen of the area is the Horned Man. He has no equivalent in Japanese legend that I know of, but he does have a suspicious resemblance to the Celtic god Cernunnos. It’s perhaps a sign that the Otherside has drawn from or influenced the beliefs of humans all over the planet.

(FunimationAnimeLabWakanimAniverseBahamut Anime Crazy)

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- #42 – Emilia is finally ready to face whatever is lurking in her old memories. At first, it only appears that she was loved and protected, but that giant black door that leads to nowhere is a pretty good signal that something terrible is about to be unleashed.

The most shocking development here is the appearance of Subaru’s past nemesis, Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti. In Subaru’s time, Petelgeuse (originally transliterated as Betelgeuse, but that has since been updated) was a high-ranking member of the Witch Cult, completely insane, and mostly focused on monologuing at Subaru and slaughtering innocents. He was defeated for the time being at the end of last season, but he was able to transfer into the body of one of his acolytes and escape.

In Emilia’s memories, he is a kind and handsome man with an unacknowledged mutual crush on her elven aunt. He makes it sound like he’s older than he looks, so he’s probably been doing the body-swapping thing for a while. And he knows that Emilia is someone incredibly important, which means he’s already familiar with some of the contents of the books that tell the future.

So, what happened to drive him mad? Or was he just better at hiding it back then? And who is this new, ominous guy who we are supposed to be terrified of but we’ve never met before?

(CrunchyrollAnimate Gamerbilibili)

Wonder Egg Priority #4 – Sawaki Momoe is a tall girl who cultivates a masculine look and then is depressed that just about everyone assumes that she’s a boy. But Ai is that special someone who can see that Momoe is a girl, and she pulls Momoe into the friendship that is forming among the Egg collectors.

I’m not sure where Wonder Egg Priority is trying to go with Momoe’s gender. It could just be a case of Best Friends See You For Who You Really Are, or it could be some kind of weird flailing about gender essentialism. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

But, with a look into Momoe’s dreams, we can start to see how the dream worlds are constructed. Momoe keeps winding up at a train station, and Ai kept winding up on a school roof when she was on her own, because those locations are associated with the deaths of her loved ones. Rika’s setting of a field of flowers might be where Chiemi died, or it might be inspired by the flowers at the funeral.

There is meaning in the weapons as well. The two fangirls have penlights which symbolize their pop fandom. Rika has box cutters, tied to her self-harm, but which could be a symbol of her rebellion against her life. Momoe has an umbrella, a symbol of romance when there’s a couple walking under it. Ai has what looks like a multicolored pen. Is she writing her way out of trouble, or does she think she harmed Koito with her writing?

(FunimationAnimeLabWakanimbilibili)

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