Shakugan no Shana has really hit its stride, with the last few episodes offering up arguably the best run since the first season. I confess, I didn’t expect Margery and Satou to be the first main couple to get it on, but since it’s been a cougar-heavy week in anime I guess it fits. She even declared her love for him, which is a pretty large leap for Margery’s character. I feel this one ending in tragedy, but we’ll see – in the meantime at least Satou has taken a big step on the journey to manhood. Meanwhile Shana, newly powered up, leader her core of 4 elite flame haze through the gate to track down Snake/Yuuji as Sophie and her gang try and press their advantage before the larger armies of the Crimson Real return to the defense of the Palace of Stars. Crimson generals are dropping like flies lately, with the fearsome Decarabia seemingly the latest to bite the dust. I rather liked him and I hope he isn’t dead – I guess it showed the desperation of his position that he was willing to put himself on the Earthly battlefield at all, but if he’s gone he certainly went out in a blaze of glory. It looks as if it falls on Stolas to lead the Crimson forces if Decarabia really is dead.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 11
In a way I almost feel sorry for Emily, as she’s so hopelessly outclassed by Yurin in every way as a character. Emily has the thankless “wife” role, it’s true, but Yurin has it all – more exotic background, prettier, demure, mysterious and affectionate. It sure looked as if Flit’s heart was officially stolen this week, judging by the looks on their faces as they frolicked sylph-like in the woods of Minsry Colony. I know the general consensus is that Emily is a lock to win, because the next-gen protagonist in the series is a blonde, but it’s going to play as a pretty hollow victory. As for Yurin, we learned just a bit more about her – like Flit, she lost her family to a UE attack, and now she’s been adopted by a rich iconoclast on Minsry. None of that, of course, explains her psychic abilities.
That rich iconoclast is Alzack Birmings (Nishimura Tomomichi) supposedly an old friend of Don Boyage who lives in a huge mansion in the woods and for some reason looks exactly like a 17th-Century pirate. He agrees to let his vast resources be used in support of Grodek’s plan to attack the UE nest in an abandoned Federation base. As Flit and Yurin pursue their innocent romance in the sylvan glades the others are planning the attack in Birmings’ mansion, but the fly in the ointment is a squad of Federation goons who arrive to capture Grodek. Crikey, it’s the rozzers! But Flit manages to rescue Grodek using the Gundam and the plan is back on, with Madorna recruited to implement the AGE system’s suggested upgrades to The Diva. All seems set for the showdown, but I’m still wondering what Birmings is hiding – I sense some serious hidden agendas there.