We’re still basically in setup mode with Shakugan no Shana, though the episodes are moving briskly enough to be interesting. Outlaw is preparing for the climactic battle with Bal Masque in Tokyo. When I see anyone try to organize flame hazes, I’m always reminded of the old adage about herding cats – clearly these are folks that prefer to be free agents. But they’re continuing to use Satou as a hostage in an attempt to force Wilhelmina – who’s intent on a rescue mission for Shana – into helping out. Outlaw toadie Ernest Flieder tries to enlist Wilhelmina’s old pal Rebecca Reed to the cause, but instead the hot-headed Rebecca busts Satou out of the joint (setting off the sprinklers a few times in the process) and heads off to Misaki so each can help their respective flame haze in trouble. I’m interested to see who the “unexpected person” that appears before Yoshida is – could it be Khamsin, with who she’s already established a connection? Also if interest is seeing how a powerless Shana is going to fight back against Hecate, who seems determined to kill her against the wishes of the guy who’s theoretically her boss, Snake of the Yuji. Indeed, a good time for a cliffhanger.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 06
This was the episode where a lot of the Gundam terminology started to make my head spin a little bit, something I suspect wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d managed to watch a little more of the earlier material over the years. It was a pretty decent entertainment on the whole, though I was struck by how strange it was that a seemingly wealthy and commercially viable city has random mobile suit battles between ancestral enemies popping up randomly downtown. Of course Fardain does have a seedy underbelly – quite literally – in the Hooverville that’s sprung up beneath the outer level of the colony. When Flit gets involved in the battle in an effort to protect a comically heroic local and his adopted daughter, Emily at last begins to see why he wants to fight – which is progress, I suppose. A mecha battle series with a pacifist worldview is interesting on its face, and that’s what we have here. After a UE shows up Flit is blamed for destroying the city, while at the same time Grodek – who we learn had a family wiped out in a UE attack – is trying to trade military blueprints for warships from the crooked colony administrator so he can wipe out their base. It’s hard to take any series as moralistically black and white as this one too seriously, but it’s still decent fun to watch in that throwback, Saturday-morning way that drew me to the material in the first place.