Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 20

Wilhelmina is all depressed that she isn’t able to have lesbian sex with Pheles, and Margery Daw shows up to cheer her up. Rofocale is still roaming around somewhere when Ernest Flieder lures him into a trap and asks what it would take to implement Shana’s plan, but Rofocale says it’s impossible. But perhaps if something unexpected happened, it could. Meanwhile, the Flame Hazes appear to get the upper hand in the battle. Finally, Wilhelmina and Margery are able to isolate Sydonay from Yuji, and Shana overpowers Yuji and destroys his unrestricted method that was meant to create the new world.

Wilhelmina reveals that she likes being the Dom in the relationship

Wilhelmina reveals that she likes being the Dom in the relationship

It’s hard enough to comprehend what all is going on, much less translate it into writing. I’m not even sure what Rofocale is doing just wandering around anyway, and I”m not really sure what all his blathering meant, but it sounds like Shana wants Yuji and the Snake of the Festival to implement HER plan for the world instead, but that only some major event would cause that to be possible. One would think seemingly destroying the Snake’s unrestricted method would be something that could do that.

Bel Peol saying she doesn’t need protecting because she’s already done what she’s needed to do seems to suggest that she’s going to get it pretty soon. Also, I’m not really sure why Margery and Wilhelmina don’t just finish off Sydonay as well at this point. If he could get away from them, he would have done it already.

With four episodes to go, it seems a bit early for Yuji to be completely defeated. Whether that means he can still create his new world or will try to do it from scratch again, I don’t know. I’m guessing we may finally find out what Shana’s proposal is in the next episode in any case.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 19

Yuji tells Shana that he can’t be with her as long as she’s a Flame Haze, and Shana goes all spurnned lover on him. The two then continue to battle outside, apparently as decoys, as Margery sneaks inside to do the real work while Khamsin tries to bring down the tower Yuji has created, but Sydonay is able to save it for now.

Yoshida, meanwhile, considers what love means and has Shana cut Bel Peol’s restriction on her pendant and she calls Pheles. However, she isn’t consumed as the pendant uses the determination to sacrifice oneself to power it instead of the power of existence itself. Pheles then activates Johan, who basically tells Yuji he’s a pooh-pooh head because of his plan, and he, Pheles, and Yoshida escape in a hippie bus with the three Denizens Pheles met with a couple of episodes ago. However, Dantalion beings the next phase of the plan…

Did I tell you that using the pendant would kill you? SYKE!

Did I tell you that using the pendant would kill you? SYKE!

So they came up with a pretty clever way of having the pendant not kill Yoshida, which was basically that she had to truly believe she was going to die by using it, and this determination and focus of mind enabled her to use it using the power of that determination. Meanwhile, I’m not sure what Johan and Pheles are doing, other than getting away. I did kind of have to laugh at Johan basically telling Yuji a pooh-pooh head for now understanding how love works. Yuji, as of now, still seems undeterred, however.

The Denizen leaders, however, are concerned because they don’t like this turn of events, and the Flame Haze’s attack doesn’t make sense, which make them fear that they’re possibly missing something, which of course they are with Margery Daw hiding. One would think someone would notice that Margery hasn’t shown up yet eventually.

In any case, it didn’t seem like we got this far in this episode. Yoshida used her thing, which allowed Pheles to show up and take Johan away, but that’s about it, really.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 18

The Palace of the Stars finally arrives over Misaki City and Yuji begins to enact his plan. First, his need for Yoshida becomes clear: Yuji must first undo the tuning of the city that Khamsin performed using her image of the city. Next, in order to give the Snake of the Festival the full power he needs to create the new world, Hecate sacrifices herself. However, the Gods of Earth then show up and start blowing away many of the minion denizens that have shown up, while Wilhelmina and Shana arrive in order to face off against Sydonay and Yuji.

Maybe you should know what you're volunteering for before you do it...

Maybe you should know what you're volunteering for before you do it...

Well, as it turns out, Yuji did know about Yoshida and Pheles’ pact, and he has Bel Peol seal the pendant. I’m guessing that Yoshida will still somehow be able to use the pendant, but probably not until Bel Peol has been defeated.

Meanwhile…Hecate! NOOOOO! They just have her sacrifice herself just like that. We get a brief explanation of her purpose – namely to prepare for the Snake of the Festival’s return – but that’s about it. Just like that Hecate went from banging around her staff to being gone. I guess there goes my hope of her somehow turning around to the good side too.

This really is the beginning of the end of this series now. I figure we’ll have six episodes of massive fighting from here until the end (well, I suppose the last episode could be some sort of recap, so maybe only 5 episodes). We have yet to see Rebecca, Margery, and Khamsin show up, so I’m assuming they’re being held back in some sort of reserve for the moment.

I still have to wonder if The Spiral Organ has some how sabotaged the Snake of the Festival’s plans. He just doesn’t seem to be the type who would sacrifice the world in the long term in order to accomplish whatever goal they are trying to accomplish.

In any case, Yoshida seems to be kinda regretting her decision to help Yuji now which, one has to wonder what she was thinking in the first place. I know it’s Yuji, but he hasn’t exactly been on a trustworthy streak recently.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 17

Bal Masqué starts attacking airports across Japan, presumably to keep planes from flying since the Palace of the Stars is heading there.nIn New York, Shana and Chiara meet the three remaining Gods of Earth, who agree to join Shana on her plan to attack the Denizens. Meanwhile, in Misaki City, Yuji meets with Tanaka and Yoshida, saying his plan to create his Denizen paradise requires Yoshida’s help. Tanaka tries to talk reason into Yuji, but Yoshida still agrees to help him, over Tanaka’s objections. Yuji says he’s taken ever precaution to protect the humans from the coming battle, but cannot fully guarantee their safety.

Yuji tells his friends that he has this plan, and it's totally great, and he'll probably need to sacrifice Yoshida to do it

Yuji tells his friends that he has this plan, and it's totally great, and he'll probably need to sacrifice Yoshida to do it

It seemed to me that what Yuji was telling Tanaka and Yoshia was largely a lot of nonsense talk. Then again, he kept referring to “Yuji’s plan,” which I’m not sure he’s just saying to alleviate Yoshida’s worries or if Yuji is secretly operating his own plan along side the Snake of the Festival’s plan. In any case, the fact that it is “Yuji’s plan” seemed to be the factor that made Yoshida decide to help him.

Of course, that brings up the next question: in what manner is Yoshida supposed to help him? She doesn’t really have any power or influence, other than to either be held as a hostage, get consumed for some ritual, or if Yuji needs Pheles in some way, though I’m not certain whether Yuji even knows that Yoshida and Pheles have an arragement. I’d say chances that Yoshida has to call on Pheles is increasing, which means that the chances of her dying are going up too. Unless there is some cop-out and her “love” for Yuji somehow keeps her from dying when calling on Pheles.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 16

The Flamze Hazes try to rally now that morale has bottomed out, and after losing 80% of their forces. Shana proposes a new plan, but Sophie urges caution before implementing it. However, everyone spends the next hours considering on their own if they want to help her and they all, except Sophie, who has been recalled to Zurich, decide to follow Shana. But first, Shana must persuade the remaining three Gods of Earth to join them in New York. Meanwhile, Dantalion gets the Palace of the Stars flying again.

Everyone is still all-in

Everyone is still all-in

So, Shana proposed some sort of plan – a plan everyone seems to agree is a crazy gamble, but still their best chance of succeeding, even though we haven’t heard what it is yet. In any case, with 8 episodes left, we’ve got to be about read to enter the final arc. The first step in that is, as they said at the end of the episode, is to enlist the help of the final three Gods of Earth.

Meanwhile, we still don’t know what the Spiral Organ’s giant unrestricted method is, nor what Yuji wants him for in Misaki City, which is obviously where he wants to create his new world.

And we once again see Pheles, both briefly at the start, and confronting three Denizens. I somehow figured she would figure back into the mix, but it’s obviously not that clear in what way yet. I wonder if we’ll start seeing some Denizens oppose the Snake of the Festival over the same fear the Flame Hazes have: that his plan will not just ultimately destroy Earth, but the Crimson Realm as well.

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.

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.