Another – Episode 3

Mei takes off her eye patch to reveal a green doll’s eye. She then tells him of the story from 26 years ago, with the additional detail that in the class picture after graduation, the dead Misaki was in the picture. Later, Kouichi asks Yukari about Misaki, and she chides him to never say that name in Class 3. He then asks his aunt about it and what class his mother was in. She blows him off, but does say that his mother was in class 3. The next day, on his way to meet Mei on the roof, Teshigawara calls him and tells him not to mess with things “that don’t exist.” That night, the nurse calls back to tell Kouichi that the girl who died was named Fujioka Misaki. The next day, he asks Mei about this, who says that she was her cousin. He then asks why no one acts like she’s there, and she says she doesn’t exist. Yukari then rushes out of a class, sees, Kouichi and turns around, then trips down the stairs and impales her neck with her umbrella, killing her.

Lesson: If your class is known for having students die, don't carry around objects that might impale you

Lesson: If your class is known for having students die, don't carry around objects that might impale you

So we have our first on-screen death, with Yukari getting offed in a rather gruesome and painful way, as she didn’t die for several sections after getting her umbrella shoved through her neck. I suppose technically she’s the 2nd death, as Fujioka could be considered the first, though it was off screen.

I’m guessing the “other part” of the story is basically that after the dead Misaki “graduated” – that exactly things like this have been happening: a disproportionate number of students from class 3 have found ways to get killed, which of course is getting blamed on the death from 26 years prior.

In any case, we found out that Mei wasn’t the Misaki that died in some way, so that clears that up. I’m also swinging back toward the line of thought that this is a series where things merely appear to be supernatural, but aren’t. Of course, that means that Mei’s comment that “no one else can see her” is merely a metaphor and not actually literal. Perhaps it’s because she shares a last name with the dead girl, and they ignore her for that, or because she seems creepy, or some combination.

Maybe it’s some attempt to “undo” the work of the class 26 years ago. Instead of pretending that the dead Misaki was still alive, this class is pretending that the real life Mei Misaki doesn’t exist. I think this is bolstered by the fact that I think Yukari was responding, not to seeing Kouichi, but from seeing Mei in the hallway. This plus the fact that Kazami seemed to see Mei on the roof, and that the class seems aware of her existence I think leds credence to the idea that Mei does, in fact, exist, but the class’s ignoring of her is so extreme that they have convinced themselves that she does not exist.

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Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing – Episode 13

Each side prepares for battle, and each side believes that they have the power of Exile on their side. Ades sends in the provincal fleets of nations they have annexed in as the first wave, but they get oblitereted by the Glacies’ vanguards. However, the vanguards get largely destroyed by Ades’ new weapons as Fam arrives too late to warn them. After Glacies’ ground-based anti-air weapons are destroyed, the Glacies’ ruling council falls back to their final defense: using the power of their Exile, which is buried in the ground. In response, Luscinia calls on Liliana so that he can use her exile in a counter attack. Meanwhile, Fam heads towards a Sky Pirate base to refuel, only to find it destroyed. After salvaging fuel, she rushes toward Kartoffel to warn them.

Dyan barely escapes Ades' new weapon, thanks to Fam

Dyan barely escapes Ades' new weapon, thanks to Fam

So it looks like the next episode we’re going to see the result of when an immovable object meets and irresistible force as two Exiles will face off against each other. Of course, it’s possible that Exiles are programmed not to attack each other, but if not, the battle may come down to which side knows how to use the Exiles better.

Meanwhile, it seems that Fam and Giselle have discovered evidence of yet another new Ades weapon: this one a ship that can fly higher than any other known battleship. The Sky Pirates kept their bases up high in order to keep out of the reach of these ships, but they are now in danger if that is no longer the case.

Meanwhile, Vasant really is beginning to doubt whether what Ades is doing is right, and we’ll see if she starts openly voicing that opinion in front of Sara Augusta soon.

I also find it somewhat suspicious that Luscinia sent in the provincial fleets in first, seemingly to know full well that they were going to get obliterated. It seemed like this was more of an attempt to eliminate an internal security risk – by destroying the fleets of the nations Ades had annexed – than it was anything else.

Six Years of Josh's Anime Blog

It’s been on and off I know, but over 1,500 posts and over 2,200 comments later, Josh’s Anime Blog is six years old. It’s kind of amazing that I’ve stuck at this (however badly) for as long as I have. It’s kind of weird to think that I’ve been going at this blog for longer than I’ve had my job. I was still taking classes in grad school when I decided to start blogging.

My blog is finally old enough to attend school!

My blog is finally old enough to attend school!

If I remember correctly, I wasn’t even really aware of other anime blogs at the time. My main connection to anime at the time was Anime News Network. I’m not even sure I could tell you how or why I got into anime at this point, or why DNA2 was the first show I watched. I actually think renting DNA2 was the reason I first signed up for Netflix.

In any case, after regularly celebrating this blog’s birthday, this is actually my first “birthday” post in about 3 years, because I always seemed to be in a hiatus around this time for the past couple of years. But I actually feel the best about blogging right now that I’ve been in a while, so…here’s hoping to more regular blogging.

Waiting in the Summer – Episode 3

After the events at the end of the last episode, Kaito is barricading himself in his room, and Ichika doesn’t know why, and Remon basically figured out that something happened and Kaito is avoiding Ichika. Ultimately, Kaito thinks Ichika rejected him while Ichika thinks Kaito found out she’s an alien. Thinking Kaito is sick, Kanna goes to visit him, and the two end up going on what amounts to a date, with Remon, Mio, and Tetsuro spying on them. However, their date ends when Remon gets careless and Kanna catches her taping them and chases after her. Kaito and Ichika then run into each other, and after Kaito runs away for a bit, they have a discussion, and find that they aren’t talking about the same thing, and agree not to say what the other is thinking. Later, Ichika jokingly asks if Kaito likes her, but Kaito’s reaction makes his answer an obvious “yes.”

It's just not Men in Black without a Will Smith look-a-like there

It's just not Men in Black without a Will Smith look-a-like there

Well, I guess this episode was somewhat funny with all the “zomg what are they thinking?” moments, and the date Kaito and Kanna went out was nice, since I hope they get together in the end (though somehow doubt they will). Otherwise, this was kinda another episode that let me down.

We have an interesting “love string,” if you will: Mio appears to like Tetsuro, who likes Kanna, who likes Kaito, who likes Ichika. The only one who doesn’t seem to have a crush on anyone else is Remon, and she just likes spying on everyone and making them do crazy shit (have I mentioned she’s just like Ichigo from Please Twins?)

Eventually – I hope – we’ll get to them actually filming their movie. Or anything else that moves anything that even resembles a plot forward.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 15

Samuel creates a beacon to attract all the Flame Hazes, but the Denizens try to hold back their attack, believing it to be an obvious decoy. Shana and Wilhelmina keep up the act by fighting Sydonay and making him believe they are trying to protect something. Centerhill and Margery then arrive, and once the Flame Haze evacuation is complete, Centerhill stays behind to sacrifice himself, allowing Shana, Wilhelmina, and Margery to escape.

I was wondering when Sydonay was gonna get off his lazy ass

I was wondering when Sydonay was gonna get off his lazy ass

So Centerhill appears to give us the beginnings of an explanation of why Yuji and the Snake’s plan is bad: apparently the consumption of Power of Existence by Denizens create disturbances which collect in the void, causing the storms and disruptions there. If the Snake creates a new world there, where Denizens can consume unlimited supplies of Power of Existence, those disturbances will rebound back onto the real world, having nowhere else to go, creating a disaster.

This, of course, would result in the destruction of the world, not the saving of us, as Yuji wishes. Whether this is the Snake’s true intention, which he is hiding from Yuji, or whether he truly believes he has somehow bypassed this problem, I don’t really know. Clearly Yuji believes he has solved this problem (or isn’t aware of it in the first place). In any case, it’s clear why this solution isn’t preferable to the Flame Hazes.

So it looks like Shana’s next goal is to meet up with the remaining three Gods of Earth and to convince them to join the Flame Haze’s fight. Centerhill didn’t seem to particularly powerful, though I don’t know if that’s because he held back, or if they use their power in a different way (in Centerhill’s case, in order to make it rain and to grow trees) I don’t know. In any case, I’m sure having the Gods of Earth can’t hurt their cause.

Another – Episode 2

Kouichi continues his attempted befriending of Mei, despite her warnings, which includes talking to her in the auxiliary library. Kouichi then visits the nurse from the hospital to ask if a girl had died the night he met Mei in the elevator. The next day at school, Izumi, the “countermeasures” officer interrogates Kouichi some more about his past in the town, and tries to tell him the “situation” the class is in before being stopped by other classmates. He then follows Mei home, but loses track of her. The nurse then calls back and says that she found out that a middle school girl, who was an only child, had died, and her last name was something like Misaki. Kouichi then happens upon a dollshop, within which he runs into Mei again, who offers to show him what is under her eye patch.

I'm still not exactly sure what this "countermeasures" officer does...

I'm still not exactly sure what this "countermeasures" officer does...

OK, so we know that a girl died, possibly with the last name of Misaki, and Mei said she was visiting her “other half.” So does that mean Mei is the ghost of that Misaki, or the Misaki from 26 years ago? Or maybe the 2nd Misaki was somehow a reincarnation of the original Misaki, so Mei is kind of both’s ghost? Or maybe it’s nothing.

I’m not totally sure why the classmates are reluctant to tell Kouichi about the class’s “problem,” and I’m not sure what happened at his first day changes the situation. Maybe the fact that he’s already seen Mei makes them more reluctant to tell him what’s going on for some reason.

Going back to some of my speculation from the first episode – I’m not sure if anything his mother or aunt did or didn’t do is the reason they associate Kouichi’s last name with death. After all, presumably they weren’t married yet (his Aunt definitely doesn’t seem to be) so they would have had their maiden names at the time, not Kouichi’s current last name of Sakakibara, so I’m completely at a loss as to why Mei told him they connect his name with death.

Also, something has to be up with that doll shop. Mei was carrying a doll to the morgue, so I don’t know if it’s just that she likes the dolls, or if it has something to do with what is going on in the class. Kouichi happened on a doll that he thought looked like Mei, so if Mei is the ghost or whatever of the Misaki that died, maybe dolls are made of each student that dies in the class? I don’t know.

So far we have a lot of mystery, but not a lot of clues as to what the solution is, and it just got even more complicated in this episode.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing – Episode 12

Ades has sent an assassination squad to Anatoray in an attempt to assassinate Alvis, but Dio protects her and escapes with her with his Vanship. Meanwhile, Fam, Giselle, and Millia have crash landed in Glacies, and one of Glacies’ pilots, Dyan, secretly rescues them and helps them repair their vanship. Dyan also tells the group that the disaster at the Grand Race is when Glacies decided to stop trusting outsides, and is why she thinks the idea of another Grand Race is foolish. Finally, Fam is able to leave, but immediately runs into fleets of Ades warships, causing Fam to turn around to warn Dyan.

Dyan find the rash Fam incomprehensible

Dyan find the rash Fam incomprehensible

This was a pretty interesting episode, I thought. It seems that Alvis may play a bigger role in the future, considering the assassination attempt on her, but we only saw her at the start of this episode.

Meanwhile, Dyan, who I think is the leader of Glacies vanguard force, seems to suggest that perhaps she and Glacies aren’t as cold hearted as they may appear. While Dyan still finds the trio’s behavior, especially Fam’s, nearly incomprehensible, she clearly seems to share some of their values, even if she tries to deny it. This certainly looks like it could be the start of cooperation between Glacies and Anatoray, especially with the Ades fleet on Glacies’ doorstep.

On a kind of side note, I hope if (when?) Funimation dubs this series, they keep the Glacies people speaking Russian. This episode would kind of be hard to pull off if they weren’t speaking different languages as the whole issue of Millia having to translate depends on that fact. It also just puts a finer point on the idea that Glacies is sees as different or separated from the rest of the world by their isolationism.

Waiting in the Summer – Episode 2

Ichika, in her spaceship, talks about dreaming of a certain landscape, when her ship hits debris, and crash lands on Earth. Back in the present, Ichika tries to explain what’s going on and somehow is able to convince Kaito’s sister and Kanna without blowing her cover. In fact, Kaito’s sister is so impressed she offers Ichika to stay there over the summer. The next day, everyone meets to talk about the film, but Remon ends up getting everyone drunk and then getting them to do crazy things by playing the King game.

Aliens: taking random trips to unknown planets based on scenery seen in a dream

Aliens: taking random trips to unknown planets based on scenery seen in a dream

Well, we find out why Ichika has come to Earth, and it’s actually kind of lame: she saw some scenery in her dreams, and somehow figured out it was on Earth, so here she is. We also learn that she’s pretty much stranded here. That doesn’t really explain how she was able to transfer into school, but not have a place to stay ready, though.

However, at the rate she’s being careless with her explanations and all, it seems like it’d only be a matter of time before she outs herself as an alien, at least one would think.

Meanwhile, Remon is pretty much Ichigo from Please Teacher/Twins to a tee, except she has a different name. Virtually everything else about her seems identical.

Otherwise…there didn’t seem to be much in this episode. This episode has kind of disappointed me a bit after two episodes, though hopefully it’ll get better. I kinda would like to see Kanna not get screwed with her feelings for Kaito, but I kind of feeling that’s where the series is going right now.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 14

The Snake of the Festival declares his Grand Order: He will create a duplicate of the current world, with an endless supply of Power of Existence. Facing a rejuvinated Denizen army, the Flame Hazes have no choice but to withdraw to where Wilhelmina has hidden Tendo-kyu. Distraught over the continuing battle, Yuji and the Snake further declare that the creation of this world will mean that the Flame Hazes will no longer have to fight Denizens. With the whole purpose of their existence pulled out from under them, the Flame Haze army is utterly routed.

A kick ass Flame Haze needs a kick ass outfit

A kick ass Flame Haze needs a kick ass outfit

So we finally find out what the Snake of the Festival’s plan is: to create an entirely new world, just for Denizens, where they can suck up on Power of Existence all they want without disrupting the “real world.” One can see why Yuji sees this as a seemingly perfect solution. However, it has the side effect of rendering the Flame Hazes obsolete and apparently there is a fear of some disaster occurring if such a world is created, which seems to be the primary reason the Snake was sealed away in the first place.

So I suppose pretty soon we’ll find out why this new arrangement isn’t all that great for the Flame Hazes after all (other than their losing their purpose). Maybe they don’t think it’s possible. They obviously seem to think it’s not the perfect solution the Snake thinks it is. It also seems unlikely at this point that Yuji will be swayed any time soon.

This episode was alright overall I guess. It was better than the last one, and we obviously learned a major plot point, but other than that it was mainly large armies throwing stuff at each other and talking. I do have to say that Shana’s new outfit is rocking, however.

Another – Episode 1

This is the second new series I’m picking up from the winter season. I’m not particularly a horror fan, but this seemed like a pretty well reviewed series so far, so I thought I would try it out. I guess if for some reason I don’t like it, I only have to put up with it for 12 episodes, but, of course, I hope that it’s good.

There is a story about Grade 9, Class 3 at Yomiyama North Middle School: 26 years ago, a girl named Misaki, who was the most popular person in the grade, was killed in an accident. The rest of her class, distraught by her passing, pretended that she never died, all the way up to her graduation. Now, Kouichi, who is transferring to the school due to his father’s job, is taken ill as the school year begins, and is visited by the class’s officers, though they seem to interrogate him more than wish him well. That night, Kouichi runs into a girl in an elevator heading toward the morgue whose name is Mei Misaki. At his first day of school, his classmates appear to be hiding something from Kouichi. Kouichi later finds Mei on the roof, who tells him that his classmates associate his name with death.

The mysterious Mei shares her last name with the murdered girl from 26 years ago

The mysterious Mei shares her last name with the murdered girl from 26 years ago

Well, since this is supposed to be a mystery, I guess I’ll try to do as much speculation as I can in these write ups.

I guess let’s get the seemingly obvious stuff out of the way: I don’t think there is any coincidence that Mei shares her last name with the girl who was murdered 26 years ago. Furthermore, she and the rest of the class keep their distance from each other to such an extent that the rest of the class doesn’t even seem to acknowledge Mei’s existence. I think the primary question here is whether Mei is a relative of the girl from 26 years ago, or merely her ghost. I suppose that will depend on what direction this show takes: will it take a more supernatural turn or will it only appear to be supernatural, but actually not be? Personally, I lean toward the former since that seems to be how shows like this work.

The second immediate mystery is more unclear: why would the class connect Kouichi’s name – specifically his last name – with death? It appears both his aunt and his mother attended this same school, though it’s unclear whether they were in class 3 (though my guess is that they were). We know that his aunt Reiko attended the school 14 years ago, but we don’t know about his mother. It’s possible that one or both of them are associated with some deaths that occurred in the class at the time, thus why his name is associated with death.

And now my first speculation on what is going on (and please no one spoil whether I”m actually right or not yet): Misaki’s death 26 years ago was by no means an accident. In fact, I have a feeling that students from class 3, either a significant portion, or perhaps the entire class, conspired to kill her for some yet unknown reason, and then used their behavior of pretending she had never died as a cover to act like they weren’t responsible. As a result, the “ghost” of Misaki, who at the moment is in the form of Mei, has taken revenge of members of Class 3 ever since. Kouichi’s roll in this story will be to uncover the truth of what happened 26 years ago and, presumably in the process, end the reign of terror of Misaki’s spirit.