Mikagura School Suite #6 – Much like its heroine, Mikagura School Suite is all over the place, following a peculiar logic which is impenetrable to onlookers. I mean, Eruna getting knocked out of the rookie tournament, that’s really important, isn’t it? Any sensible show would actually show that instead of allowing one offhand comment and then dropping the subject.
But hey, it works. And of all the surprises in the episode, the most delightful is seeing the first genuinely nasty person to appear in the show being defeated, not by Eruna as typical tournament arc logic would dictate, but by a suddenly badass Tonkyun. The ultimate humiliation, as he gleefully points out, is not just being defeated, but knowing you’ve been defeated by a supporting character.
Cousin Shigure quietly turns out to be pretty impressive too, having won the freshman tournament at a school full of jocks. And Kuzuryu, this week’s target for Eruna’s antidepressive magic, who could have probably beaten Shigure. I wonder if that rival school is going to figure in the story later on.
And for one final little unexpected moment, there’s that missing character who the credit have been telling us for six weeks will be a big part of the story. What kind of challenge is she going to present to Eruna? No idea, but I think we’ll all enjoy finding out.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders #42 – The closely guraded power of the younger D’Arby’s Stand is indeed the ability to read people, but it’s useless if he’s trying to read the wrong person. Jōtarō and Joseph win the game with a bit of misdirection and some straight-up old-school cheating. Very clever.
Dio concludes that D’Arby was defeated because he didn’t feel the absolute devotion that all the other henchmen have felt, and immediately fixes this mistake by rustling up a guy willing to behead himself for the cause. That is some serious commitment. It does rather spoil the moment for the viewers to be processing the information that this guy is named Vanilla Ice. (It may be a little harder to catch that the proper name of the cameo villain who pops up later is Kenny G. I’m guessing the legal department had concerns about naming villains for real people.)
This would all be academic except that, in the grand old tradition of adventure stories, Avdol, Polnareff, and Iggy decide to give up the chance to nuke the mansion while they can and instead go exploring. This is the first time Avdol has chosen to do something other than sensible thing, and it looks to be the last as well. Once again, he takes the full force of a Stand while saving Polnareff’s life. This one looked rather more final, though. I think Polnareff is going to be stuck with the guilt this time.
Congratulations, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, you’re the first show ever to kill off my favorite character twice. I just want you to know, I’m expecting one hell of a finale to make up for it.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan #6 – With Arslan and his companions still pinned down and plotting their next move, it’s once again up to Gieve to provide the heroism. Charged with sneaking the Queen out of the city, he works out the real scheme, gives a little speech about mistreating servants, and gets to cross swords with the mysterious Lusitanian general before escaping. This raises the question, once again, of how he’s going to wind up crossing paths with Arslan, since he seems to have enough of a sense of self-preservation to run away from anything that looks like trouble.
Outside the palace, the siege of Ecbatana grinds to its inevitable conclusion. With the home guard stretched too thin, the distraction of the burning palace, and the slaves rising up in all directions, it’s inevitable that the city will be overrun. Now Arslan has to reclaim a kingdom, not just defeat an army.
Step 1 is to corner Kharlan and learn what turned him against the king. Kharlan still seems to feel it was the right thing and holds no grudges against his other old comrades. Is it linked to the same past incident that left the masked general swearing revenge? (And, incidentally, with apparent issues about fire getting too close to him?)