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.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing – Episode 11

It’s a flashback to the Grand Race and our first real look at who Farahnāz Augusta, the previous ruler of Ades, was like. Giselle’s father, Atamora, wins the race, but a group of assassins assault the awards ceremony. Kaiser, Atamora’s flying partner, is killed protecting Farahnāz, and Farahnāz’s bodyguards do good work protecting her. However, the main assault appears to be a diversion as two of the very pilots attending the awards ceremony are the ones to ultimately assassinate Farahnāz. Fam then wakes up from her flashback, seemingly in the custody of Glacies forces.

Empress Farahnāz Augusta: The last hope for peace

Empress Farahnāz Augusta: The last hope for peace

So we finally get to witness the events that led up to Farahnāz Augusta’s assassination. Ironically, she ends up getting killed while trying to protect Millia. It’s hard to imagine how the Ades Federation could have possibly gone in a more opposite direction that what Farahnāz wanted it to after her assassination. She knew there might be setbacks, but didn’t want them to bring down the overall peace. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. Hopefully Sara Augusta’s main advisers, particularly Vasant, remember what Farahnāz had wished for originally.

I still wouldn’t be surprised if the assassination was orchestrated by people within Ades itself, with the prime suspect being Luscinia if that is the case. He clearly has a disdain for the Exile refugees, though it’s unknown whether he still felt that way before the assassination.

I also found it somewhat mysterious why Farahnāz had two bodyguards that looked suspiciously like Guild members. This was supposedly taking place before the Prester Exile even returned, which perhaps begs the question of who the Guild are from originally.

Waiting in the Summer – Episode 1

So this is the first new series from the winter season I’m blogging: Ano Natsu de Matteru, or Waiting in the Summer. This is from the makers of the Onegai series, and I liked Onegai Twins, and there didn’t seem much better out there to watch, so I’ll give this one a shot.

A boy, Kaito is out filming a night when a giant energy beam impacts near him, injuring and throwing him into a nearby river. A hand reaches out to grab him when he suddenly wakes up in his room the next morning, just fine. The next day, a red headed girl named Ichika transfers to his school. Kaito’s friend Tetsuro invites Ichika to be part of a movie (that Kaito hasn’t even decided to make yet) they’re making that summer, and she agrees, with Ichika’s first friend Remon agreeing to direct. Kaito’s other friends Mio and Kanna also agree to be in the movie. After school, Kaito accidentally invites Ichika to stay over at his house for the night. There, Kaito has a flashback of the night before and has a large rash, and Ichika rushes to help him. Then Kaito’s sister and Kanna walk in on Ichika, in a towel, kissing an unconcious Kaito, with an alien energy field around them.

It's time to meet everyone!

It's time to meet everyone!

So that was a rather long description, but a lot kind of happened in this first episode. It was rather obvious from the start that Ichika is some sort of alien, with her not really knowing how to act or even look in the area. We have no idea for what purpose she has come to visit the area, however, though it seems to be on enough of a whim that she didn’t even bother to prepare a place for herself to stay.

We then have Kaito, who is somewhat reserved, but is pumped about video recording. He also appears to have been healed by Ichika, and process that appears to be imperfect. One has to wonder whether this will be a continuing problem through the series.

Then there are Kaito’s three friends. There is Tetsuro, who so far is your standard guy friend who causes Kaito trouble by getting him into situations. Then there is Mio, who as of right now appears to be your standard shy Moeblob, and then there is Kanna, who shows flashes of tsundere and who has a pretty obvious crush on Kaito, and is clearly not happy about Ichika’s arrival and Kaito’s immediate attraction to her.

The influences of the Onegai series are clearly here. We have Remon, who is clearly designed after Ichigo from Onegai, and there is Ichika’s alien friend, who appears to be similar to Marie from Onegai. In a sense, even Ichika is more than a little similar to Mizuho, the red-headed alien character from the Onegai series.

Overall, this first episode seems pretty promising for the series so far. We have appealing characters and a developing plot line that doesn’t seem all that bad right now. Hopefully it stays on this promising track.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 13

Sophie’s forces continue fighting off the Denizens while inside the Divine Gate, Khamsin continues to fight Sabrac. Meanwhile, Shana and Yuji fight, when Yuji reveals that he is willfully working with Silver. The Snake of the Festival then happens upon Sabrac’s battle, and he is so taken aback by it’s greatness that Khamsin and Rebecca are finally able to destroy him. Having sensed that the Snake has been revived, Sophia attempts to destroy the Divine Gate, but Fecor, who apparently was merely mortally wounded, but not yet dead, arrives and blocks her for long enough for the Snake to return, before finally dying.

I've watched enough hentai to see where this is going

I've watched enough hentai to see where this is going

Really, this as a pretty lame episode compared to the past ones. Sabrac was finally destroyed, but it was mainly because he was so distracted by the Snake of the Festival that he didn’t give a crap anymore. Most of the rest of the episode was basically stuff we already knew. We got a glimpse of just how powerful the Snake is, but one could have surmised that by him being the God of Creation in the first place.

Really, the main thing that happened is that Yuji and the Snake of the Festival – finally – exited the Divine Gate, which means we may finally learn what the Bal Masqué is up to in the next episode. And then presumably we’ll start the final story arc(s) of this series and approach the final conclusion.

Finally Catching Up: Winter 2012 Shows

Now that I’ve wrapped up catching up on the Fall season, it’s time to look at the Winter season. I’ll of course continue Shakugan no Shana III and Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, so I’m looking for one or maybe two shows to supplement that. I’ll keep churning out episodes like I have until I catch up, which at this point may be pretty near the end of the season.

There didn’t seem to be a lot of interesting shows, but there were three in particular that peaked my interest: Ano Natsu de Matteru (aka Waiting in the Summer), Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (aka The Daily Lives of HIgh School Boys), and Another.

Waiting in the Summer is from the creators of the Please! series, and I loved Please! Twins, so that’s a plus. Plus the art and the synopses sounds interesting. Plus, it’s being simulcast on Crunchyroll, so I think I’ll pick this one up.

The Daily Lives of High School Boys, I was iffy on at first, but after further reading about it thought it looked interesting. However, this series ended up being about the only one which was both licensed and NOT being simulcast anywhere that I can see, and I have a “if it’s licensed, then I don’t download fansubs” policy. So, I would have blogged this one, but because it’s licensed but not “available,” I won’t be able to.

For Another, I’m really not a horror fan at all, but it has a good rating on both ANN and MAL, so maybe I could give it a shot. I suppose if I don’t like it, I only have to put up with it for 12 episodes.

So it looks like for Winter 2012, I’ll be picking up Waiting in the Summer and Another and we’ll see how it turns out.

Working'!! – Episode 13 [END]

Poplar is able to reach the broken dish report for the first time, making her brag that she’s finally grown. This depresses Souta, which in turn depresses Mahiru, which in turn causes Aoi to investigate. In the course of her investigation, Poplar tells Aoi that some day in the future she may have to quit her job. However, Aoi takes this as Poplar plans on quitting imminently and tells everyone in the restaurant. Soon everyone’s comments wishing her good luck cause Poplar to actually think quitting maybe a good idea, until Maya Matsumoto, Wagnaria’s resident normal person, gets Poplar thinking straight again. Meanwhile, Jun and Souta discover Poplar has only gotten better at stretching and hasn’t gotten taller.

Maya saves Wagnaria from the hordes of abnormal people who work there

Maya saves Wagnaria from the hordes of abnormal people who work there

I figured in the end it’d be something like Poplar was able to stretch better or got lucky or used a longer pen or something. And you’d think by now that no one would believe any rumor that Aoi started.

So we’re at the end of another season. Some things have progressed, at least a little bit. Mahiru and Souta’s relationship and Jun and Yachiyo’s relationship both seem to have at least gotten incrementally better. We also have the added element of Aoi’s brother looking for her. But other than that, we’re really no closer to knowing anything about Hiroomi or to Poplar getting taller. This season was good enough to watch as a reasonable level of entertainment, I guess, but much like the first season, it wasn’t anything to get too excited about.

So, I figure there is at least a halfway decent chance at a third season. I would have thought that they might tie some of the things up a bit more if there wasn’t. So what is it going to be called? “Working”!!’? Or maybe “Working!!?”? If there is a third season, I guess there may be a reasonable chance of me blogging it since I’ve already done the first two, though I suppose that depends on what’s airing at the same time. If I were still rating anime, I’d probably give this 3 or 3 1/2 stars out of 5. It’s reasonably, but not overly, funny, with a set of good characters.But it tends to drag on more than it should.