Fourth Episode Roundup
Okay, so! Umbrella girl is ded. Hard ded. And we get the curse laid out for us finally, four moody episodes in. Apparently, someone in the Cursed Ninth Year Class 3 dies, and the curse is triggered – every month for the rest of the year one of the class members dies, or one of their relatives.
So let’s get this slaughterfest rollin!
But first, let’s have a scene where Main Dude has an uncomfortable chat with a nurse he befriended while he was in the hospital. She accuses him of having a crush on Creepy, which OF COUURSE he doesn’t! He’s just really interested in her and follows her around and asks her questions even when she tells him to leave her alone!
And then he runs into a classmate whom we’ve never met in the three previous episodes and they have a polite conversation. I’ve already forgotten her name, I care so little about her. Main Dude saves her from a falling pane of glass Final Destination-style and she weeps about not wanting to die. I assume there’s a big target on her back, and Creepy is aiming for her.
Naturally all of this talk of sexy, sexy death gives Main Dude unnatural urges, and he goes back to the doll shop. Creepy is there waiting for him, and she must have been writing in her Hot Topic journal just for him. “The curse has begun. Are you going to class tomorrow? Then I probably shouldn’t show up.”
Awww, she likes him!
Main Dude goes home to his usually cheery aunt being pissy because she’s been getting bad headaches. So, she’s definitely cursed. I assume her head’s going to explode magnificently.
Anyway, she reminds him that the most important thing to do in Class 3 is to follow…
Unfortunately, no one told Main Dude that talking to Creepy was one of…
And now he’s being shunned for starting up the curse. Aggressive Pigtails Chick turns out to be assigned the class duty of preventing horrible, horrible deaths involving her classmates, which tells me that the Japanese school system is seriously on top of their shit. I assume the country is swimming in grudge ghosts, though, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.
Annoyingly, Aggressive Pigtails Chick failed hardcore by not giving the skinny to Main Dude. Unfortunately, the writers forced her into the plot contrivance of not just fucking telling him that talking to the ghost girl in class is like firing a weapon randomly into a crowd, so I blame them entirely for her failure.
And this curse is legit. His nurse friend got smashed the FUCK up in an elevator. Just like last episode, the death happened right at the end of the episode – although this time it was more obvious. As soon as the nurse got in the elevator I knew she was toast.
I’ll say this for Another, the show does not pull punches with the death scenes. They are fucking gruesome.
Despite still feeling a little try-hard, now that the slaughter commeth, the show has picked up significantly. I’m honestly interested in where this is going, now. The actual horror is starting to grow, and I appreciate that.
Cold open on the latest two people in Purgatory Bar. This time it’s some D-list reality show celeb who actually remembers who she is, and some dude. I’m actually wondering how the hell they got to this place – the last two sets of couples were involved romantically in some way.
Anyway, they push the game roulette and are told to play a video game against each other. As the couple plays, the woman gets quite an unpleasant flashback of her life – a beaten wife who became the star of a “giant family” show. And the young man came from some sad broken family who never took to his step mom because he was bitter about his parents’ divorce.
Meanwhile, the Audience In tells the Pale Man not to fuck around with the people, as he does every time he feels it’s pertinent. The Pale Man refuses, saying it’s the only way to get people into tight spots, so that they show their true selves. And we see why, because when the celeb starts to lose the game, she beats the shit out of the young man. And then immediately regrets it. And young man realizes he was a little bitch to his loving stepmother.
This is really a surprisingly touching and kind of fucked up episode. And Audience In seems to be catching on to how this game is played. Gotta get to the darkest deep of a person to know if their soul is worth bringing back into the world. However, I’m hoping that the show moves away from a Judgment of the Week structure, because I’m way more interested in the lives of the people who run this joint. They keep giving hints, and I’d prefer if it went the way of a workplace dramedy.
The Devil is a Part Timer
Satan is all muscly and helping people out of earthquake rubble! The Hero is bemused and incredulous that Satan would help people!
Hero has a flashback to her agrarian feudalist childhood where she’s taken from her loving father by the church to be taught how to fight the demon horde and soon after her neighborhood is burned to ash!
Okay, that’s not as cute. Uuuh.
Yay, Satan’s Loyal General comes and begs adorably for forgiveness for not keeping him from quake injury! He begs for punishment!
The Hero’s friend from the call center reveals that she’s from Kobe, and lived through this earthquake – they share a touching conversation about people not really understanding tragedy when they haven’t experienced it!
Okay. Also not like. Light and cute. UUUUH.
Loyal General wept all night from despair at failing his general! The Hero falls off steel stairs because her heels have no traction! The high school girl who has a crush on Satan catches the Hero and Satan together!
See, the Hero was confronting Satan about his horrible atrocities in their own world, and weeping over the death of her father, as Satan regretfully says –
AAaaww HEEELLL. This show fucking TRICKED ME! It’s undergoing Cerebus Syndrome! It drew me in with Satan’s hijinks about figuring out the ins and outs of living in Japan, and now I care for all these characters!
*grumble* ANYWAY it turns out the nefarious person causing so much damage is Lucifer, one of Satan’s generals. Obviously not Loyal General, who is appalled. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I guess I’m gonna CARE about all of this now, and get EXCITED about PLOT DEVELOPMENTS.
Stupid, wonderful show. I’m not actually that annoyed – they’ve done well with the comedic aspects while also, surprisingly, building up the characterization, so the dip into more serious matters isn’t really that jarring.
Satoru is now experiencing a common theme in time travel media – can he actually change the future in big ways, or is he stuck on a rail of time? Are the murders he’s trying to prevent inevitable?
He’s made friends with one of the children who was murdered when he was a child, and has learned that she is physically abused by her mother. While slapping himself around for not realizing this as a child, at the same time he’s relieved that he gets a chance to change things, hopefully for the better.
What he’s not seeing is that by helping this girl, he’s already changed things. In a previous episode, he called out his deskmate for trying to get the girl in trouble by sneaking all of the collected lunch money into the girl’s bag. Now deskmate is sullen and standoffish, certainly different from the last time he lived through this. And the girl is slowly coming out of her shell due to his kindness.
Meanwhile, his mother is much more clued in about his life, thanks to his adult perspective – he knows it’s a good idea to tell the adults around him that something is wrong. His mother comes to his aid to get the girl’s mother to agree to a small date at a science museum, and recognizes immediately the trouble that the girl is in. He’s also gone to his teacher, and finds out that his teacher has already planned with the local child services department to try to pull the girl from her home as soon as an opportune time comes.
I really love that the show explores this aspect of going back in time as an adult into a former childhood. I think everyone’s wondered what they’d do if they were given that chance, and on the top of the tier is the sense that you’d deal with problems with more understanding and with a better grasp of how to solve them. Not to mention simply having the courage to do and say the things you were too afraid to do as a child – which Satoru does in spades. He’s constantly saying things aloud as he thinks them, because his adult mind doesn’t have the child’s fear and social anxiety. Basically, it’s a bit of wish fulfillment for the adults in the audience.
With caveats. There are things he’s still missing because his memory is from a child’s point of view. He doesn’t have a full perspective on just what needs to change for him to truly “win” against history. He thought by staying close to the girl, he could keep her from being taken. Thought that her death was the result of a depraved stalker serial killer, because that’s what everyone assumed. He succeeds in changing history, keeping the girl safe from being taken on the original date of her disappearance.
But then she doesn’t come to school two days later. And now Satoru must rethink his entire plan for changing history, and start digging deeper into what the hell is going on in his town. Start really analyzing things from an adult perspective.
This is getting good, y’all.
Uuuuuuuuuugh just pressed play and not looking forward to it.
We open on some teevee news guys who have been sleeping in their car to get all they can of the amazing news re: Albino Bishi Alien’s arrival and “negotiations” with humanity. These guys are just about the only characters that feel like actual people in this whole fucking show. They’re rumpled, they bitch to each other, and they talk casually about who the fuck Albino Bishi Alien is. I like them, and they’re adding much needed humanity to this emotionless nonsense.
Unfortunately for me, we cut away from the Reglar Reporter Crew and back to Master Negotiator. His name, by the way, is Shindo. How do I know this? Because everyone in the government of Japan shouts his name whenever he appears. “SHINDO!” they cry, usually with longing or hope. Master Negotiator must have left a trail of broken hearts and love stains throughout the various bureaus – then again, if he didn’t, I guess I’d doubt his abilities as a negotiator.
Anyway, Master Negotiator gives the weirdest looking hug I have ever seen animated to some dude from another bureau.
Listen, I can’t throw a video in this post without upgrading our plan, and I need you to see this. You MUST see this. WATCH THIS HUG.
After this show of…affection? Master Negotiator is told he’s in charge of talking to Albino Bishi Alien. He turns down the job and asks to be fired so that he can work for Albino Bishi Alien with no strings attached.
All of this is total nonsense to me, given that, since I have no fucking clue why Master Negotiator is so into Albino Bishi Alien aside from the magic vomit marbles. But everyone takes this in stride like this isn’t total nonsense. And apparently everyone in the world is losing their minds about the idea of how to deal with infinite energy sources. The UN is demanding they have control of the vomit marbles so that no one monopolizes them.
I mean, it’s not like the Albino Bishi Alien is making as many vomit marbles as he can as quickly as possible, and that a single vomit marble can power a whole city.
Oh, he IS!? And they CAN!? And all of this arguing is POINTLESS!?
Transporting in a car together to some other negotiation hub, Terrible Purple Haircut talks shop with Master Negotiator about the vomit marbles and believes that people are too evil to have them. Remember, she’s on the Japanese side of negotiation, and talking to her rival. About humans, which includes THE JAPANESE, not being worthy of infinite power. She’s as shit at her job as she is with choosing coiffure.
She’s also made fun of by Master Negotiator in private for…a video going viral of her giggling at the name the scientists give to the cube ship’s … shippiness. There’s ‘haha, isn’t this funny!’ music, and she blushes, and this isn’t at all totally unprofessional. I hate you, Master Negotiator. And your weird hugging.
Oh, fuck. There’s a quirky scientist on screen now. She’s young, wears slippers everywhere, and gets over-excited by everything.
NnnnNNNNNGH Fuck this I am OUT! I can’t stand this show anymore! AAAAAH!!
*Viciously deletes from Queue*
Oh, my GOD. What a release. It’s like removing an abscessed tooth. Goodbye, Albino Bishi Alien! So long, Master Negotiator! Get a stylist who knows how to fucking cut hair, Purple Hair!
Katsugeki Touken Ranbu
We open on UNDERCOVER SHOGANATES CHASING BISHI ACTION TEAM! Whataretheygonnadoooo??
Hide in the bushes. Like true heroes of time!
They escape the shogunates to Edo of the mid 1800s! Aren’t they excited!
They have to make sure some important surrender happens else WAR occurs! CompuFOX is ON THE CASE, showing slides to the Team and telling them their mission! And they wish to do their best on their FIRST TRUE MISSION AS A TEAM! EPIC MUSIC SWELLS!
Boyshorts McGee is caught out for his period inappropriate clothing, and he and Captain Hair are chased away from their stakeout. So far, so good, Bishi boys. Luckily later they get it together, and without needing to change their fabulous outfits, they manage to sneak around and protect the important so and so’s from history for a day.
But NOT SO FAST! CompuFOX has found an anomaly in history! Smoke assholes are on the way! BISHI ACTION TEAM – GO!
They fight one ugly sonofabitch smoke asshole who’s real fuckin’ strong! Oh, no, can the Team handle this shit!?
Despite itself, this fight is actually pretty well animated. Clinging and clanging and near misses and slow mos and all of that fancy shit. But it lasts barely a minute or two before a couple of the team run off to save history and instead of cool fights I’m forced to watch dialog and running and plots. Aw, maaaan.
No, wait, the episode is saved! Boyshorts McGee is fighting smoke assholes all over the place! But more smoke assholes begin to appear! Oh, noooo, will Boyshorts be okay!?
WOOO! Some new young man with white hair and a cheery demeanor explodes into existence from blue lightening! A new bishi has arrived, saving Boyshorts McGee from death! What weapon did he used to be before he was called on to fight time crimes!? Is his outfit as splendorous as the rest of the team? Will Time Crimes be thwarted??
TO BE CONTINUED!
Fourth Episodes – COMPLETE