Is This Really Happening? Is This REALLY Happening?
Back at episode 3, I reviewed Fox Spirit Matchmaker for HA and I said that this anime was building to be an anime to be watched. To be honest too, I watched up through episode 10 and then I took a break for a few weeks. Somehow I caught up this past weekend and I have to say that episode 17 is amazingly good. In fact, it is so good that the series is good enough to be my hot moment for this week. This is something that I did not think I would ever do, but hear me out.
While the theater bit is starting to get a little bit dry because you realize you are watching backstory and the plot itself is not moving forward, it is providing really important, enjoyable context. This new villain who is the head of the organization is a real thrill. He/She/They are the one who killed Touhou and Koko in a previous life. Thus we see them trying to come full circle again. The brother Sashi is going to be a massive problem though and he is giving me full Zoisite vibes, so fingers crossed there. The villain tries to steal the void tears while trying to kill an old Touhou and Koko. However, Koko destroys it with the void tears by controlling them. It ends up killing Haku, sadly. With their last breaths, they try to do the spirit matchmaking and Touhou is killed by the villain who did not die. However, Koko reveals that they have already done the vows 25 years ago when they refined the void tears. The item that they used was his eye which is just what they wanted to happen. Then when Touhou was killed, the eye would disappear and the villain needs Koko to be alive so that they can refine the tears. No such luck it seems!
Then, Suusu and Haku realize that they are actually the incarnations of Koko and Touhou respectively. Finally, in steps Sashi. Next week is going to be good.
I am not going to lie, the series did start off a bit rough, but after episode 10, the series really takes off and gets a lot better. Clearly the studio knew what direction they were wanting to take the series by that point. Don’t let the beginning turn you off as the rest of the series gets a lot better, a lot more interesting, and with proper depth now provided as well as a tragic backstory, there is so much more to enjoy with Fox Spirit Matchmaker.
War Is Inevitable
Juuni Taisen has been a thrilling death game this season that reminds me a lot of Battle Royale what with the way it discloses a character’s backstory instead of just killing off characters and forever leaving them nameless like so many other anime death games. This week’s latest episode was a real treat as we get to know Sharya, the monkey, more. We see that Sharyu was in the middle of negotiating a peace treaty between two warring nations and rather than get them to stand down, she appealed to the soldiers who had been fighting for generations, which is an interesting idea. Of course, it was no surprise to see it fail since she didn’t take into account that war is not about the small people, it’s about the egos of the countries, as we’ve all seen in real life. So yes, the two big nations squashed the rebel army that had formed of the fighting soldiers who just wanted peace and have their own country.
It is in this flashback and Sharyu’s brief monologues that we can really get to know and like Sharya. She’s the idealistic individual who wants to save everyone and thinks through all of the options, of course, this has caused Niwatori to become weak and essentially, it led to her death in episode 2. Sharya is that character you kind of want to root for, but as my quote goes, war is inevitable and that rings true with Sharyu’s flashback. This saying also makes me worry that Sharyu will be a character who will ultimately die, although whether or not this springs hope in characters like Nezumi is unpredictable. I just don’t think Sharya will survive, and as such, we see Nezumi and Sharyu face off the Snake and the crazy Rabbit at the end of episode 4. Like I said, war is inevitable and Sharya is up against our scariest character right from the start.
The situation is getting out of hand for these kids, and every episode we get to know a little better their intentions. In this episode we finally see Haruto making a move to conquer Hatsuki —other than acting like a dog lover— as we see them out for a date after some last minute cancellations. So… did Haruto finally man up and confess his love for Hatsuki? Yes, oh yes he did! But the answer was that word no one wants to hear after a kokuhaku: “gomen”. We’ve all been there, maybe even on both sides, so this confessions always hit close to home one way or another; that’s why kokuhaku is always a great event in anime love stories!
To be fair, watching Mio’s heart breaking is not a pleasant feeling, so why are we suffering with the results of Haruto’s kokuhaku? Man, this episode left me thinking about what are my actual shippings and how can I consider myself happy with this anime; I want Eita to end up with Ena, the photographer, so this means that pairing Haruto with his dream girl (Hatsuki Morikawa) would not only break Mio’s heart but also leave her like a sad single lady… but pairing Mio and Haruto would do the same to the sweet Morikawa. As for now, it looks like Hatsuki is planning a trip and that’s the reason she has to put love on hold, but is that really the reason? Also, what will happen between Eita and Mio? Feels like there’s no right answer and we will have to cope with our feelings either way...
A Dream Come True
In this episode, we continue to see the girls all maturing and growing out of their awkwardness, albeit without being fully aware of the circumstances.
Sylphin, Ebina, Kirie and Umaru all end up spending Christmas Eve time together, when, suddenly, Sylphinford asks if the girls have a special someone to spend the night with and they, of course all say no. Super excited, Sylphin invites them all over to her place for a Christmas party!
Once there, the girls notice there’s an extra place set at the table and Sylphin says it’s for none other than.. UMR!? Sylphin then sparklingly gushes on and on about UMR and how she has helped her realize that making friends isn’t about beating them at games but just to have fun with them, and in fact, it’s thanks to UMR that they can all hang out like that, since she -much like the Ebina and Kirie- didn’t know how to make friends.
Umaru has no recollection of agreeing to this and is wondering what she’s going to do, and so the party goes on. Eventually, Sylphin falls asleep and the girls all write her thank you notes and leave without waking her up. Walking home with Ebina, Umaru receives a message from Sylphin for UMR inviting her to her party. Apparently the networks were too busy and delayed the message’s arrival. Umaru tells Ebina she forgot something and rushes to back to Sylphin’s on her own.
We are then shown a flashback to Sylphin’s childhood when her dad, dressed up as Santa, asks her what she wants for Christmas, to which the little girl responds “Japanese friends!”. Fast forward to now awoken Sylphin, happily reading her friends’ notes and a bit sad that she passed out.
And then… A voice calls “Sylphin!” from outside, and when she opens the door, it’s UMR! In a Santa costume, no less! She apologizes for being late and asks to come in. The sparkly-eyed Sylphin can’t believe her childhood Christmas wish is coming true, and with joyful tears in her eyes, she welcomes her gamer BFF inside.
This episode has several great moments, but this was definitely the most moving one!
And that is it for this week! Thank you for staying with us until the end. What did you think? Did you see any of the hot moments that are discussed here? Be sure to let us know below!!