ERASED #9 – The glove box full of candy is the point at which I’m convinced that the viewer is expected to work out that Yashiro is the serial killer, if they haven’t already. Rather than puzzling over the unknown, we are supposed to savor the horror and suspense as Satoru evaluates him as possible stepdad material rather than realizing the danger.
This whole episode is a study in trust and sympathy and the abuse thereof. It starts with Kayo’s mother, who takes the offered narrative of a stressed-out single mother who is really a good person deep down, and puts on a brilliant performance of guilt and regret. Satoru is as ready to be convinced as anyone, until Kayo’s reaction, or lack of it, makes him realize that it is a performance.
Unfortunately there is no such help with Yashiro, who is turning out to be one darned competent criminal. Kids were using the same bus as he was to hide something? Doesn’t blink an eye, and even manages to make a joke about how only kidnappers would need a hideout like that. Satoru shows up to stalk the same kid he’s stalking? Offers him a ride. Candy bait stash suddenly revealed? Comes up with a great explanation on the spur of the moment that only leaves Satoru thinking he’s a little bit odd.
Yashiro is almost the right person to ask for advice on building trust, since he’s so obviously good at it. Ironically, it could boomerang on him by actually helping Satoru to save Aya.
Active Raid #9 – Not only did this deliver on last week’s promise of betrayal and idiocy, it did in fact involve politics a bit. Go figure.
What interest Logos has in keeping the incumbent governor in place is murky; what do they need from him? Or, conversely, what do they lose if someone else takes his place? With the dead challenger’s place being taken by one of his loyal staff, this looks to be an issue that will be hanging around a while.
Dog is made out to be such an overconfident idiot that it does become plausible for him to take himself out of the action by accidentally detonating the freeze-grenade after draining his powersuit. So much for an easy infodump.
We do at least find out why Rin’s little sister and her class president keep appearing in the story; he’s Bird and he’s cultivating Hinata as an indirect connection to Unit 8. Was this a reaction to Unit 8 getting in the way of their plans, or was it always part of the plan?
We also get another little hint about Mythos. From the balcony outside his place, the building he lives in looks like a typical Japanese apartment building with a futuristic skin. Some kind of incubator for supergenius mutant kids, maybe? In anime, this would typically turn out to be a government project, so maybe the governor has control over it.
BBK/BRNK #9 – As everyone fights each other to more or less of a standstill, Epizo announces that it’s time for a heart battle! Which involves no supernatural powers at all, just a whole lot of ineffective flailing and taunting.
Until the Magic Fist Bump of Telepathy, that is, when both of them download each other’s biographies, and Epizo sees something that makes him call Team America off. All the way to the end, he’s staying on the American stereotype– not very bright, but a good person underneath the bluster.
As the bubuki carrier train plunges onward through the ocean, because it is the most awesome train ever and of course it can go underwater, Azuma gets another hint that his mother wasn’t always the kind and wonderful person he remembers her as. It comes from Hīragi admitting that he didn’t want to be stuck as a subject to the heart wielder, always following orders like his dad did for Migiwa. But with Azuma being more willing to work alongside him rather than lording over him, he’s in.
As the team takes another collective step toward self-actualization, Ōbu levels up again, which is just as well because Entei has regained its mojo. It’s looking like the return to Treasure Island is being saved for the season finale.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans #22 – Tekkadan has suffered losses before, but this time it’s different. This time, it’s
a named character Orga’s good friend, so he goes to his room and sulks about it until Mikazuki comes by to slap some sense into him in a kind of a creepy way. I’m still debating whether Mika’s speech about “who do I kill next?” was supposed to come across as inspiring to viewers, or whether it’s just a reminder that some of these kids are going to need a whole lot of therapy when this is all over.
Mikazuki will certainly get his wish to kill again, as Fareed and Gaelio are planning to give Ein not just any old cybernetic control implants, but ones that benefit from the latest ongoing research. Sounds like Mikazuki will meet his match. Assuming everyone politely stands back and allows a one-on-one duel, that is, but we saw last week what the Tekkadan pilots think of polite combat.
Aside from Mikazuki, Merribit is the one showing the most concern about Orga. She frames it as trying to be a responsible adult and help the kids out, but it’s been clear for a while that she’s been developing a special connection with him. As soon as Orga turns 20 (the age of full adulthood in Japanese culture), I so expect them to get married. As long as neither of them suffers a sudden tragic death, which is known to happen…
Utawarerumono: The False Faces #22 – If there’s one thing that truly suits Haku’s talents, it’s a contest to see who can be more stubborn. Oshutoru never had a chance.
So he’s off to Ennakamui, or trying to be, along with Anju, who may yet recover thanks to Kuon’s herbal skills. (Kind of odd, isn’t it, that the imperial household staff doesn’t include anyone specializing in this stuff?) Which leads a whole lot of dangling threads and only a couple more episodes to resolve them all.
How is anyone going to find out who really poisoned Anju? None of the Pillar Generals seem interested in pursuing the matter, and no one in Haku’s group has any access to the palace now. Who put up that barrier around the palace, anyway? It doesn’t match up with any of the Yamato mask powers we’ve seen so far.
Also, wasn’t there a war going on? Was the whole thing abandoned when the emperor died, and the show just hasn’t gotten around to mentioning it? Is it possible that Tuskuru is pursuing vengeance? (Now, there would be an interesting explanation for Anju’s poisoning.)