This Week: Kill la Kill, Nagi No Asukara, Miss Monochrome, Coppelion, Non Non Biyori, Gingitsune: Messenger of the Fox Gods, and Gundam Build Fighters.
Anime midterms are in this week, and some of their mothers may be getting phone calls.
Kill La Kill (Episode 6)
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Aikurou Mikisugi has all of the makings for being a much bigger enemy threat to Ryuuko.
And I’m not saying I do know any better either. But he clearly has been good enough at throwing folks off his trail that the Kiryuuin’s haven’t caught on to his double act even though he’s employed at Satsuki’s school (or have they), and his chauvinistic shenanigans are consistently ridiculous enough after hours that Ryuuko just gives up trying to get more information out of him this episode.
Which may well be his entire game; I feel he wouldn’t be deflecting inquiries with remarks about if she would make a trusted ally or not otherwise. Father Matoi is dead, after all, and he did only have this one other associate…
In either event, we get a double showdown with an Elite Four member via Sanageyama’s antics. First go around, he is defeated due to vision blocking messing with his mechanics, and so for the second he has his own eyes sewn shut. As a lot of this series has to deal with matters of perception and where gaze is coming from, I think his decision here is keenly important. While it’s not like Sanageyama was distracted by Ryuuko’s body per se previously (he honestly would have won that first fight had she not taken the gambit to cut off a part of Senketsu to blind his vision grate with), he was reliant on gaze to act and react.
Now that he has decided to remove that aspect, everything visually looks the same to him and their decisions will be made using other information. While the overheating mechanic has been given an ear previously with all the steam and whatnot these uniforms generate, it did feel at least a little unfortunate that was used to bring the second fight to a more abrupt end. However, Ryuuko was definitely going to lose that fight had it continued, as the toolset she has been using had no solutions to handle him.
The Satsuki fight was much of her preaching about her views on gaze, and in the Sanageyama fights he now potentially represents a lack of visual judgment. I’ll be interested in seeing what they do with the embodiment of the other Elite Four members going forwards as they surely will receive their own direct showdowns with Ryuuko.
Nagi No Asukara (Episode 6)
I wonder how chlorinated school pools interact with the type of mermaid biology this show has.
It’s completely irrelevant to anything else, as they don’t have any difficulties with it come gym class, but it’s a quirky little personal interest thing.
With Best Friend-Kun Kaname now seemingly in possession of a peer aged admirer of his own, the relationship pileup matrix of the main group seems to be complete. Maybe things will get more complicated (I’m sure they will), but at least everyone now has a crush on someone and has someone of appropriate age who has tingly feelings for them.
As bluntly as it was handled via the other girls in gym class remarking about her breast size and trying to play with her body, Chisaki did definitely get the attention of several of the human boys, including some who were ruder to our mermaids earlier. Now they suddenly want to help out however they can!
With how down she has been, and depending on how spurned she feels with the whole Hikari situation, I’ll actually be interested in seeing if any of this drags her into a less than healthy relationship the group would need to deal with. Alternatively, by spending more time with the mermaid group one of those rowdier human boys might become more interested in the culture and such, possibly causing some kind of personal divide in their own friendships as they treat these outsiders more welcomingly.
Miss Monochrome (Episode 7)
If I’m not entirely mistaken, I believe this is the most time we have seen Miss Monochrome actually at her convenience store job since the series began.
It also seems to be our intrepid Manager, energetic as he has been with coming up with and servicing new ideas towards her idoldom, was just feeding her tools so she would actually do her job.
I see what you’re getting at Mister Manager Maneo, sneaky sneaky.
The point he makes about her possibly needing vegetables as a defining “idol prop” is interesting though. Sure, it is a reference to Hatsune Miku and her leeks, but there is also more to that I feel given what the series has been making a go at thus far. It’s not like Monochrome as a character actually eats vegetables, for instance.
It would be something completely superfluous then, a mere gimmick over the more functional cleaning things she was doing previously in the episode that were not actually getting her any of her desired attention towards being an idol. It would serve absolutely no purpose other than branding. And that is what, effectively, matters in that line of business.
Given the slowly comedic little rural fantasy she has after that thought though, I would also watch an implied crossover between Miss Monochrome and Non Non Biyori in a tanuki calling heartbeat.
Coppelion (Episode 7)
My computer actually crashed twice trying to watch this episode. It’s a very occasional problem it has with Hulu advertisements every now and again, where they force my CPU to 100%.
I like to think it was my machine rebelling against this show.
Aoi frets a bunch about how useless she has actually been, which is at least nice to see her recognize it. By locking herself in storage while everyone else heads out to try and deliver a baby, I’m sure she’ll have to come in to Save The Day soon.
On a similar medical note, Taeko waking from the oxygen sleep tank she’s been confined to for some time now and then immediately told she is needed to perform surgery on Ibara because That Is A Skill She Studied We Did Not Tell You About was pretty much par for the course. We don’t even get a surgery scene or any kind of tension of if it wouldn’t pull through. Just, pop, there we go, all better now. Here’s some exposition about how Coppelion blood transfusions work, which requires the recipient to be of the same year as the donor.
By the same token, Haruto’s gun containing a neurotoxin bullet that kills in five seconds without a follow-up antidote shot (naturally fired at the under one second mark) is also pretty much unsurprising in its use and how much of a lead brick this program feels like.
Non Non Biyori (Episode 6)
Summer vacation is winding down, and with that comes the frustrations it can tend to generate in folks. Namely, increased tension from parents and children, such as in the Koshigaya household.
Though given the way it is portrayed, we are much more inclined to side with the mother than the child (in this case, Natsumi), given that her measured frustration stems from how her kid has been hiding her grades and report cards away and otherwise slacking off.
We also get a bit of a title drop, and the Koma plushie situation also hits critical mass.
Something I’ve noticed, this week was big on bringing stillframes back. Kill la Kill certainly continued to have them, Miss Monochrome stepped up this go around and also displayed their use, and we see them used several times in Non Non Biyori this week. Just an interesting little thing that crossed my mind.
In either event: Hotaru’s personal obsession with Komari manages to get parlayed into something summer homework constructive for the whole group after the initial awkwardness of the situation went over, which was a nice thing to see done with it. I figured the plushie mechanic from several episodes was going to come back around again, and while it didn’t fit into what I had predicted it would do I was pleased that it wasn’t just cast aside either.
The Challenge of Courage bit pretty much went as would be expected with Komari playing the scare maker (given her reaction to watching a scary movie a few episodes back), but the post-challenge fireworks were a pleasant sendoff for what should be the end of the vacation episodes.
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Fox Gods (Episode 6)
Two points I want to make for this week: Firstly, Gintaro himself is increasingly feeling like a combination Statler and Waldorf to his own program. I think it’s a good look for him.
Secondly, I think we’ve sufficiently skewed everything around to where Satoru would actually be considered the main character. That’s something I’m feeling is not so good of a look for the show in general.
He’s the transfer student pretty much all the girls think is super cute. He has fantastic grades. The new educational environment has a highly regarded kendo team he has already qualified to be on. Juxtaposed with that, sure, we also see his flaws regarding the walls he has built up around himself and his relationships with others.
But we’ve been fed so much information about him over the last three episodes, we know more about him than pretty much anyone else in the show. He even has gotten far more flashbacks and inner monologues. I just don’t find all his exposition very interesting compared to what this show could be doing with its fantasy materials, the shrine, or just any of the other characters.
Because I am nothing if not honest: I hit the pause button after he smacked the girls on the head and they apologized to him about it. I resumed after finishing my tea and doing something else for a while.
Now, I do not think he is going to go full Sento from Charger Girl Ju-den Chan on us.
But I also should not be having flashbacks to Charger Girl Ju-den Chan while watching my supernatural slice of life show.
Gundam Build Fighters (Episode 6)
Sometimes one feels like Rinko Iori, just giggling to themselves about what is going on in front of them.
Sometimes one feels like Reiji, making remarks about what on earth everyone is getting so worked up over.
Ideally, these episodes kind of produce a sense of both. It’s a pretty silly thing, after all.
China comes over to the shop for model painting, and they really are teasing us about what she actually bought. Every shot of her purchase before this has been done with it firmly held in a bag, and this time we only see a collection of loose and essential generic pieces held up for painting that we can’t really make heads or tails of individually. A lot of blue would seem to be involved given the workstation, but given how blue the new Gunpla that Sei breaks out this episode is, that could have just been from that project. Given the shot composition, we don’t actually know what colors China is using.
Yes, there’s the Bearguy stuff in the intro. But at least in the previous appearance of a Bearguy in Gunpla Builders Beginning G, it involved heavily modifying an existing Gunpla set.
Otherwise: Reiji gets all Gunpla existential after not getting to fight Tatsuya… and then gets to fight Tatsuya anyway, with finals next week. Not really surprising, hence why I get more focused on Bearguy.
Hangers is a weekly series containing my passing thoughts on currently airing anime productions. Opinions, as always, are subject to change.