yes, this is extremely late. So late that I even consider just combining two WRU together just for the sake of it. Hurray for procrastination!
“Gonna Cry a Bit”
Egami the wanderer makes another appearance, and his return draws all the focus back to the centrestage in the stadium which kickstarted his one year journey. He has became quite an interesting recurring character, and we just follow some snippets of his little adventure while the rest of the main casts develop in between the two Inter High tournaments. After this exit last week, Kong resumes his responsibility as the player coach for his teammates, to lead his headless chooks to their team matches. There’s a significant difference between the two years now. He is no longer the frustrated lone fighter, but someone who has a legion behind him to support no matter what. I just love the little interactions, ones that demonstrated so well just how much Kong has come.
The main dish of the week though is the ruthless dismantling of Sanada. It has been a long time since we last saw the highly calculated destruction from Smile. The way he took in the data for the majority of the first set, and just aims the weak point with great precision after he switches on, is both enthralling and scary to watch. The robot motif is getting stronger, and the massacre is as cold-blooded and heartless as it can get. Yet at the same time the show never forget to sneak in a great characterisation. Initially I thought the extra content with Yurie was to build on Hazama’s arc, but instead Sanada got a great epiphany once he faced up against the overwhelming odds. Life is about balance, and sometimes the extremely amount of dedication shown by Hazama is a strength in itself. It’s about choosing your own battlefield, and the Dragon reigns supreme on the blue table.
Akuma also makes a return to the scene, styling a fantastic pompadour and bringing the girlfriend along with him. He’s the one who knew about Hazama the best, being idolising him since the very beginning. Now that he resigned from the sport itself, he is looking at Hazama not as a senior, but as a fellow sportsman who is forever stuck in the curse of the ambition. He could see now the amount of responsibility shouldered, and the pain Hazama is enduring because of it. We have been given various hints as to why Hazama was so reclusive, and in some way by having a fresh clear new perspective, Sakuma just knows why he is acting this way. As hinted by his different to Sanada later on, it’s clear that Hazama is still fighting under the shadow of his father looming over his head.
Peco is the hero here in the story. Smile is waiting for his return, and he has since liberated Kong in the second time round. Even if he has this knee injury, he has to hold up his end of the bargain to bring back the Ping Pong hero to the Smile’s world. The flashback sequence at the end brings about great weight to their relationship once again. He has a job to do, and even if risking ending his career he would have to bring back the hero that was long lost to Tsukimoto once again. He has a job to inspire, and it’s a debt that he just pay back. It’s nice to see Tsukimoto smile whole heartedly when he was a kid, and I want to see it happening again at the end of the series
Nonetheless, we still got a hurdle to overcome. Dragon was shown to be a formidable force, but not without his own personal baggages. If the trend continue, Peco will have the biggest match in his hands. The knee injury won’t do him any good as a bargaining chip against Hazama, so he would have to prove it in his own ability. If the final match is poised to be a highly thematic one, this is one that will be the full on clash of the two opposite forces. If all goes well, we should have a great match up, and at the same time we are so in for a great cathartic moment to come next episode.
“Friends and Friends”
Here we go, the first step into the downfall. If the death glare at the end of the previous episode wasn’t clear enough, the proceedings during this episode is enough to hammer it right in. Throughout the series so far we witness just how much the relationship between Hase and Fujimiya has progressed. Even though it was painful to see her assume a foreign role at the beginning, the collection of physical emotional memories throughout those months meant that the amnesia issue is slowly becoming not much of a problem anymore. She could remember all the feelings attached to her words, and continue on the chemistry from before. Yes it’s not 100% recovered, but it’s never completely lost either.
What this episode is doing, is to show just how much progress is lost. The memory state is essentially back to factory reset. The contrast of emotion with the number 18 compare with one previous episode, is just too strong. It’s back to the very beginning, with only the cold texts on the diary remaining. Fujimiya is still acting the same on the surface, but the chemistry is no longer around. It’s monotone, it’s fake, and it’s just heartbreaking to see such thing being grinded to an abrupt halt so easily here. The only thing Hase can do is to start all over again, re-evaluate his own feelings toward her. Even if there is no more love between them for now it’s not due to animosity, and he still has the knowledge to make the second time count.
While the title relationship was on a hiatus right now, the support cast is getting more closer. We’d been shown numerous times that there’s something going on between Shogo and Saki from way back, even if the female side doesn’t remember too well of it. Even if it’s just very little steps with limited scenes available it’s easy to tell that they are making leaps and bounds on the romantic side. A flustered Shogo is always fun to watch since it contrasts nicely with his usual demeanor. It’s just feels kind of good on the side that, even if the main pair is facing a massive hurdle right now, we still have another pair to cheer for that’s making steady progress.
The past is the key here to unlock the future, and as cheesy as it sounds here now would be the most opportune time to go to the root of the problem and yank it all out once and for all. This is no longer a stand battle. This is about the relationship between the two we care a lot about. I just can’t wait to see how the story will tie everything up in the final two episodes.
“Invoke! Joseph’s Symbol”
Love and betrayal, unexpected loss and unexpected arrival, this episode just shows once again that this series is done by people who love their Super Robot. It doesn’t matter if we can’t agree on the loss, as long as we can be convinced that the person should be crying due to the emotional trauma then the characterisation has done its job. This episode is just gripping from the moment that first twist came, and the sombre mood kept the tension high throughout the rest of the episode. I like the fact that this series slowly build up a false sense of security in the new arc to totally crush it in this episode.
The BGM are loud as usual, but they are extremely fitting in this episode. After Ping Pong this show probably has the best use of OST this season, helped by the fact that the scenes often carried by huge abundance of simple raw emotions that are not too complicated to accompany with. I was holding my breath for the majority of the episode and just let the great sound direction carry it nicely. I always love a show with great sound direction, and this series knows which button to press at what time.
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler is a weird series. It’s having tonnes of fun using your common Super Robot tropes, both for comedy and for storytelling that’s actually interesting. There’s just enough passion and soul behind it while keeping firmly tongue in cheek. It’s both comical and GAR at the same time, and that’s a massive plus. The new school take on the old school tropes are just fantastic without going into the realm of wordy deconstruction. I just love the high energy nature of this show that doesn’t feel like it needs to go too over the top for the sake of it. It may not have much thematic message if at all, but from a pure entertainment value it’s brilliant.
“Koruni and Lucario! The Secret of Mega Evolution!”,”Lucario vs Blaziken! The Cave of Trials!”
I just love the MEGA arc started back in ep28. I forgot to write about it last week, but we were introduced to Koruni, the gym leader for the third gym. Her entrance leads to a great mini arc on the whole MEGA evolution in the game, and it’s going the same way in the anime as well. In the game she had two Lucario, and the player would be given one for a memorable 1v1 Mega Lucario battle with her later on after the third gym. Many had speculated whether Satoshi would receive a similar gift as well before this arc. Turns out, the writer for the anime has something else in mind.
She had a nice entrance in ep30, jumping in and demand to have her 99th pokemon battle for her Lucario. In ep31 in the mystery dungeon she would have to pick herself up and overcome the type disadvantage to win against Blaziken in order to obtain the mega stone. The first two episodes are setting things up for a potential chaos once again with her Lucario. There are some discordance between her and Lucario, and it’s bound to be the centre of her arc at least in the time being.
I just love Koruni. She’s both hot headed and energetic, and her chemistry with the fan favourite Lucario is just great. She’s like Satoshi, but in a female body. They both went into combat head first and ask later, and somehow she strikes up a better dynamics with Satoshi than Serena has yet to managed in the past 30 episodes. In some way however she’s probably too alike with Satoshi in that their personalities would overlap. While I really love watching them bouncing off each other’s energy, I highly doubt that she will be a permanent cast member after her mini arc is done.
“The Emperor and the Hanged Man Part 1”
Ok listen here. I know I expressed my frustration with part 3 before, but this is where everything is starting to get really good. As the title suggested, this is no longer a simple “cannon-fodder of the week” scenario, but a long 2 part where the opponents are formidable in their own right. While it may have started off with your usual JJBA style humour, and some extra outdated stereotypical depiction of India itself, the tone of the show changed organically back to a revenge story.
Jean Polnareff takes the centrestage once again in this mini arc, vowing to dish out justice to the one who killed and shamed his sister. Despite being a honorable fighter, he’s shown to be a hot-headed individual, and it’s his rash actions that caused the tragedy in this episode. The tension is here, and it feels great. Hol Horse is starting to feel like one great adversary, and there are some really great scenes in this episode. As this is only part 1, I can’t wait to see what the second half will bring. Sadly though that we might be one down in the main cast from now on.
“The Value of Memories”
After the calamity in last week’s episode, this one gets back on form. The premise is simple: finding magic fuel for the car to run further. However the meat of the story came at the second half where Toru goes through a part of his memory, and slightly hinted at the reasons why he became this way. With the final arc incoming, this episode prepared some time to help setting up the stage. At the same time it’s a rare character interaction moment between the main figures, and builds up a nice atmosphere for this volume to cover.
“Aoyama Slump Mountain”
This is a Aoyama Blue Mountain special, and what a great nutcase she is. Behind the soft-spoken nature she is even more eccentric than the big troll in the show that is Chiya. The first art is about Lize trying to act more ladylike, and the second is about Aoyama spending time in the Rabbit House cafe in alluring uniform. What’s hilarious about this one though is the offhanded mini skit at the start of episode suggesting that it’s Cocoa’s innocent remarks which triggered the most unusual phenomenon in the show: Tippy’s transformation. Chances are it is nothing serious, but it’s fun to see a show address it in a tongue-in-cheek way.
“Ack! They’re Taking My Dream Away!”
The story kicks in. After several episodes of fluffing around, building the world around the rural town and teasing the development of the world greater than the stage we are shown, it’s now to aim for the big elephant in the room. Here’s where the difference between the game and the show though, as much of the impact is lost due to the fact that the audience didn’t really strive for a discovery as much as the players. Nonetheless, it’s great to see how the story is going to end up in the final arc. I just hope that there is enough time for it and give us something complete as an ending.
“Hold onto This for Me, the Beauty Pageant Winner’s Name”
This show just has the most bizarre mix between the serious and the foolish, and when it hits it right there’s just enough charm and sincerity to the execution. This episode is both a weird satire and a faithful straight story on the whole school festival trope, especially the beauty pageant scenario. It was once again crazy and absurd, and goes down right to the wire once again. It’s fun, and it’s peaceful. Perhaps too peaceful at the moment. I just don’t know about this show. When it nailed the balance it’s certainly something unique and different, and for that I quite like this show.
“Tokyo Area Defensive Battle”
The clean out of the loli classroom, and this show is hammering in the xenophobic touch a bit too heavy to my liking at the moment.
“A Study of Ikusaba Hiiyo and Yoshino Saki”
More mysteries are revealed, and more past secrets were uncovered, and Yun is becoming more important than we initially thought she is.
“Proof She’s Alive”
A weird clash between the sadness of a friend dying, the pain of existence erased, and a swimsuit skirmish.
Expect WRU 11 in 2 days! This week and next should be busy now that I got a lot of stuff to do and on a break.