This week is a bit different for Kakegurui. Rather than focusing on Yumeko who is an active competitor in this gamble, the episode focuses on Sayaka who is obsessed with winning in order to stay by Kirari’s side. Her meltdowns are amazing and she works desperately to try and win. However, try as she might, Yumeko is still always one step ahead of her and yet again, she wins. We get a cute flashback scene to how Sayaka became close to Kirari and honestly? It was a bit surprising. While flashbacks are common in any series, meant to evoke emotion, this one was shockingly sweet and cute for a series where when you lose a bet, you might lose all of your fingernails. As jarring as it was, the slap back to reality was also jarring. Sayaka lost, as expected, and with nothing else to do, she gets ready to throw herself from the building as promised. While Season 1 was dark, Season 2 is taking things a bit more lightheartedly. We see this with Kirari not only jumping after Sayaka, but also jumping with her.
The bizarre part was seeing Kirari so disarmed. We end with a moment of fanservice, and then that’s it. Or is it? Something is needed to flush out these votes, shout-out to the Ukai (cormorant fishing) reference as I lived in Gifu, Japan for three years, and thus, a new event is to be held with a 100 vote entry requirement. You know Yumeko is going to bite.
Melodrama at its finest
Well, we all knew it was coming and it finally did. And no, I don’t mean the sex going on between characters all of a sudden, as awkward looking as it was in 3D Kanojo: Real Girl. What I mean is Iroha finally getting ready to leave. I don’t really get why Hikari is so surprised considering they both agreed to only date for half a year until she moved. Then they threw in the fact that Iroha has some sort of tumor or something wrong with her head. Yup, makes perfect sense.
Not really. First of all, how could Iroha be going through so much and never tell Hikari nor ever let it show that she was experiencing something so difficult? We have been able to see Iroha go to the doctors here and there, but are there really no tell tale signs? I think they just wanted to add a handful of melodrama on top of what was already going on in 3D Kanojo: Real Girl. It has been such a melodramatic season so far, and this episode really takes the cake. I can’t say that I’m enjoying it this season. I’m more or less looking forward for all of this nonsense and fluffy shoujo-ness to be over.
One of the highest points of the past week has to be the wholesome tenth episode of My Roommate is a Cat. Sure, every episode of this anime is intended to be funny yet cute and sweet, but this time there's more than meets the eye. Having kids cheering a depressed young adult up is nothing new to anime, even when it comes to a kid cooking the meal... so why is it different this time around? Well, just because the second half of the episode is nothing but Haru's point of view, which makes things come full circle.
This is about a boy who doesn't even know how to cook for himself, but at the same time, he finds in his cat the perfect company and the excuse to do something that feels so natural for the most of us: eating. In fact, it's not until a kid tells him how good she felt cooking something healthy for Haru that he realizes how bad the food they both have been eating is, and how happy one feels when cooking for someone special. On the other hand, Haru never lacks a plate of food, but she's always worried about her owner's eating habits, only eating when she knows there's something for Subaru and always willing to save some food for him... even though she always ends up eating the whole bowl. For us humans, feeding our pet is just the way it goes, but it's so sweet to see how innocent the cat is!
OK, this feels like cheating because it's 2 moments in 1, both sides of the same coin. Then again, this is full of slice of life and iyashikei anime tropes, but who cares? If you need to warm your heart, you can always go back to this. Extra points if this makes you want to cook for your pet!
What having a heart means
Sword Art Online: Alicization episode 22 was pretty much all over the place this week. Chudelkin--our small clown man--died pretty dang fast to Kirito’s extending blade but it was pretty darn cool to see him brandishing his old Sword Art Online garb for a brief second during his massive strike. The Pontifex then realizes Kirito isn’t from their world as she initially thought which makes Kirito out himself as a human from outside the system to the rest of the team, though they didn’t seem to care too much strangely. While Kirito and Pontifex share a long--and we mean long--conversation about how quickly her world could be annihilated by those outside, she ends the speech with an ominous warning of how she can counter anyone interfering with her world from the outside. Pontifex proves this by summoning a sword golem made entirely of weapons with divine attributes. While Alice and Kirito are struck down with one hit, Eugeo is about to die when an unexpected third party enters in the form of a small spider named Charlotte. Those not privy to the light novels for Sword Art Online” Alicization will no doubt not have the same emotional feedback from seeing the small spider die. It gave Eugeo opportunity to use the final dagger to summon the other Pontifex and allowed Kirito and Alice to be healed quickly. It was strange to have such an emotional moment thrown in when Charlotte’s role has been all but downed to one segment in the anime--she has a larger voice and presence in the light novels--but we still felt a bit of sorrow for the NPC savior. While Sword Art Online: Alicization 22 didn’t deliver the emotions I think it was going for, it did still provide a powerful set up for a dual between two very powerful beings shaped from the same mold.
Final Preparations and Revelations
Though Naofumi initially agrees to speak with Melty, after confirming that she is indeed a member of the royal family, he turns her away. Their time in the capital is further soured when Naofumi attempts to break his party’s level cap, only to be denied by the Church. The Shield Hero’s party searches for a way to increase their level on their own, discovering further issues caused by meddling from the Bow Hero in a northern country. Naofumi confronts the Bow and Sword Heroes, with Itsuki refusing to believe he could have caused such damage.
As the next Wave and the last few episodes of this season approach, it is interesting to see what role Melty and the Queen will continue to play. That they regret the actions done to the Shield Hero is clear - but how will they remedy the situation, beyond simple apologies? Perhaps Melty can help with Naofumi and his party’s level cap problem, since she seems to be well-respected by all. Plus we want to see more of her!
The dynamics between the four Heroes has begun to shift, but it seems that some of the Heroes are still rather immature. After all, the Spiderman quote from Itsuki reveals how much of a kid he still is, with a short-sighted vision of justice - although it was great to see Naofumi laugh in that moment! With new recruits for Naofumi’s party, we’ll have to see how the Heroes manage the Wave in this next episode!
War is Hell for Young Dororo
Emma, Norman, and Ray’s intricate plan to escape Grace Field House has come to a screeching halt. Norman’s rebellious spirit has crumbled ever since his discovery that the other side of the wall is a sheer drop into a giant chasm, and now he’s ready and willing to accept his death. Emma and Ray desperately plead with him to stay, but he leaves with Mom and presumably dies at the hands of the demons. His two friends are heartbroken and stew in their depression for weeks, the days ticking by until Ray’s shipping date...
Now, I haven't even read the manga and I know that Norman can’t possibly be dead. Remember that scene from episode 4 where he tricked Ray into outing himself as the traitor? This kid is a 4D-chess-level master of manipulation and wouldn’t give up his life this easily. Whatever strange room Mom led him into at the gate won’t be enough to outsmart this charismatic genius.
That said, it’s clear that all three kids have fallen into despair. They’ve been making so much progress up until now, and seeing their greatest hope of escaping vanish so suddenly is understandably crushing. But with leads like the owl symbols in the library books and the bridge that leads out of headquarters still left unexplored, who knows what will happen next?
A Momentary Reprieve
The group prepares for their final fight as they rest before the climb up to the red tree. The group arrives at the base of the Red tree and decides to rest after a long battle with the Red Bugs. Rin, Ritsu, the Rina's and Wakaba finish off their remaining water supply to prepare for their last battle. With the end of their journey drawing to a close, Rin and Ritsu have a heartwarming moment where they share their admiration and thank each other for being there. In the morning as they are preparing to leave, Ritsu and the Rina's decision to stay behind because they ran out of energy and would only be a burden. As Rin and Wakaba start their ascent, Ritsu and Rin reveal that they actually stayed behind in order to fight off the horde of Red Bugs that were approaching.
Episode 10 of Kemurikusa was an emotional rollercoaster. With their journey drawing to a close the girls are forced to say goodbye as they try to stop the red tree once and for all. Going immediately from the heartwarming scene between Rin and Ritsu to the moment where Ritsu and Rina stay behind to sacrifice themselves was too much for my heart to handle. The girls have worked so hard to get here and knowing how much they care for one another it was painful to watch them say goodbye for possibly the last time. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next two episodes as we see the fate of Ritsu and Rina and if Rin and Wakaba are able to destroy the red tree and bring peace to the world.
That's all for this week! Tune in next week!