Weekly Digest: 6/4/12 – Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Kimi to Boku 2, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_34_[720p][10bit][A29E6478].mkv_snapshot_11.10_[2012.06.04_13.19.38] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.16_[2012.06.04_15.56.30] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.53_[2012.06.04_20.41.26]

Come on Girls, just admit it – you’d do the same thing, if given half a chance…

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 34

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[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_34_[720p][10bit][A29E6478].mkv_snapshot_20.39_[2012.06.04_13.29.06] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_34_[720p][10bit][A29E6478].mkv_snapshot_20.52_[2012.06.04_13.29.27] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_34_[720p][10bit][A29E6478].mkv_snapshot_21.18_[2012.06.04_13.29.52]

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is upon us – Asemu (Toriumi Kousuke) is indeed back, but you can call him “Captain Ash”.  He’s leading a band of pirates called Bisidian who hang out in a cursed part of space called The Sargasso, attacking Federation ships.  There was an extreme “Star Wars” vibe to his whole encounter with The Diva, with Kio detecting his father’s presence from far away, and Flit once they’d come a little closer.  Asemu’s intentions this time seem to have been to test both his father and his son, and the “Super Pilot” who’s now a Super Pirate is every bit the genius of mobile suit combat he was when we last met him.

Asemu was suitably cool, GAR and pirate-ish with his scruffy beard and gravelly voice.  Plus his Gundam, “Dark Hound”, was a bit of a monster, sporting all kinds of cool options and extras as Asemu ran rings around his son in order to test his combat skills.  It also came in handy in saving Kio when the Vagan showed up.  But I’m a bit unclear on just what’s up with his motivation.  If it really is as simple as purging the Federation of turncoat ships who’ve sold out to Vagan, I’ll be a bit disappointed.  In the first place, why?  Surely there are more efficient ways to battle infiltration in the Federation.  But mostly, I was hoping there was going to be a real contrast of philosophy with Asemu and Flit, with Kio caught in the middle.  If they’re just too warriors fighting for the same side using different methods, that’s a lot less interesting.

In any case, Asemu left behind a present for Kio which I assume is some sort of code for the AGE system – but perhaps it contains some sort of message indicating why he decided to leave his wife and family and become a pirate, if not to oppose the Federation’s goals.  There’s also the matter of Fram, who reveals that she’s the sister of someone who died under Zaehert’s command in addition to a mole inside his organization.  It looks as if there was be a schism forming in the Vagan high command, perhaps between hard-liners wanting the extermination of humanity and Ezelcant’s faction wanting a “peace on our terms” solution.  if so, that will be much more compelling if a similar split exists in the Federation.

Kimi to Boku 2 – 10

[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.33_[2012.06.04_15.47.46] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.22_[2012.06.04_15.50.35] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_05.05_[2012.06.04_15.52.18]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.06_[2012.06.04_15.54.19] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.30_[2012.06.04_15.54.43] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.49_[2012.06.04_15.56.02]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.18_[2012.06.04_15.56.32] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.35_[2012.06.04_15.56.48] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.04_[2012.06.04_15.58.30]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.47_[2012.06.04_15.59.13] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.11_[2012.06.04_15.59.37] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.20_[2012.06.04_15.59.46]
[HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.58_[2012.06.04_16.02.24] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.56_[2012.06.04_16.05.22] [HorribleSubs] Kimi to Boku 2 - 10 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.06_[2012.06.04_16.08.32]

It’s funny how in this non-romance slice-of-life, Chizuru’s courtship of a basically annoying tsuntsun girl has become easily the most compelling nugget of actual plot and character development, and one of the more endearing romantic subplots in anime for a while.

Maybe it’s because it was rather unexpected overall, or maybe it’s just a lack of competition in the romance department (there’s some quality in anime romance at the moment, but not a lot of quantity) but more, it’s just Chizuru’s dogged, relentlessly cheerful pursuit despite the fact that Mary almost never throws him a bone.  He just never gives up, this kid – but we’ve seen that before.  What sells it for me is that Chizuru is always smiling and laughing with Masaki no matter how much she disses him, and always going out of his way to take care of her despite an almost complete lack of gratitude on her part. 

This has definitely been a stronger season than the first, but if there’s a flaw to it I think it’s that Chizuru remains the only one of the main cast who’s really dynamic character – both in the literal and the dramatic sense.  Even a few minor supporting characters evolve and change more than the other four guys, and with a few exceptions (mostly surrounding Yuuki) they mostly serve as comic relief.  They’re good comic relief, don’t get me wrong, but Kaname, Shun and Yuta just don’t evolve at all.  I’m happy with this as a show about Chizuru and his highly entertaining sidekicks, but part of me still hopes we see more.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san – 09

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[HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.29_[2012.06.04_20.35.02] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.23_[2012.06.04_20.37.56] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.10_[2012.06.04_20.39.43]
[HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.57_[2012.06.04_20.40.30] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.23_[2012.06.04_20.40.56] [HorribleSubs] Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.17_[2012.06.04_20.41.50]
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Ah, the Great Race of Yith – should have seen that coming with a body-swapping episode.  I must confess that as stupid as it presents itself to be, Haiyore! is very clever in the way it weaves Lovecraft and his oeuvre into modern anime tropes, and this was no exception. 

Honestly, though, once you get past that initial entry this was just another body-switch episode – though admittedly one with somewhat sharper comedy than we’re used to seeing.  Before that we had a shopping trip highlighted by Cthulhu as Mahou Shoujo Evil Luhy  (“I have gorgeously arrived!”) and Nodens as starts of a hero show, and Hastur buying pajamas (“You’re  the one taking them off me…”)  Once we got to the actual switching of bodies courtesy of visiting Yith Isuka – who mistakenly swaps Mahiro and Nyaruko and ends up in the wrong body herself, Kurei – things go pretty much as you’d expect.  Nyaruko certainly does exactly what you’d figure she’d do first – she takes Mahiro’s body into the bathroom and jerks off.  Kukko sees this as an opportunity to have her why with Nyaruko’s body.  And Mahiro generally acts irritable and tries not to peek at himself.

Maybe the best part of the ep, though, was the work Asumi Kana and Kitamura Eri did switching roles – I actually didn’t realize at first that the bodies had kept their “native” seiyuu, because each one was doing a very credible impersonation of the other.  As for “Nyaruko’s” decision to use Mahiro’s body to confess to herself in front of the class, well – if you want to get remotely serious for a millisecond, that was pretty pushy even by her standards.  Exactly why Mahiro keeps pushing her away.  And just why was Yoichi absent from class along with “Kurei”?



  1. s

    If females actually experienced what Nyaruko did in that bathroom, maybe, just maybe, they'd understand why guys can be so retarded at times and perhaps start to sympathize with us… T_T

    Aside from the novelty (not really) of the whole body-switch gag, I enjoyed this episode because it had more of Kurei, who I thoroughly enjoy. That mole under her lip is SO cute, and the VA fits the role perfectly. I also don't know what's the significance of Yoichi being absent, but it's most likely is connected to Kurei (worried about her/likes her?).

  2. A

    I love Chizuru and Mary; she should give up on Shun and give Chizuru a Chance. Overall I believe ths episode did help give a small conclusion to their relationship before the last episode… :(

  3. A

    I had no clue that the VA's didn't actually switch. That's astounding!

  4. A

    "It’s funny how in this non-romance slice-of-life, Chizuru’s courtship of a basically annoying tsuntsun girl has become easily the most compelling nugget of actual plot and character development, and one of the more endearing romantic subplots in anime for a while."

    Amazing! You took the words right out of my mouth! I was thinking precisely the same thing myself this whole time and I think you've described the reasons behind it really well. While Chizuru was kind of annoying in the first season, he's really come to his own in the second season and right now I honestly think he's one of the most honest, endearing portrayals of the energetic sidekick boy in recent memory.

  5. A

    I don't watch Haiyore Nyaruko-san or Gundam AGE but I'm a huge fangirl of Kimi to Boku and I just have one thing to say… YOU BETTER TELL ME WHY YOU HATE SHUN SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!!!!!! HE'S ONE OF THE CUTEST AND SWEETEST ANIME BOYS I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY 13 YEARS OF LIFE BUT YOU BASH HIM IN EVERY REVIEW >.<!!!! I love your blog but this has got to stop!

  6. A

    Personally, I agree with what Enzo says. While I do like Shun, he's probably my least favourite character out of the five boys because his character never really develops. And while I get that he's meant to be the nice one, he comes across to me as irritatingly naive at times. For me, at least, he's the least realistic boy in the group.

  7. I also might add here, I don't think I bash Shun at all – he's a national treasure after all. But the fact remains that he's completely unchanged (apart from the hair) for two seasons, just like Kaname and Yuuta. Don't shoot the messenger, here. It's not that I dislike any of them – I'm just pointing out what I see.

    P.S. Your caps lock key appears to be stuck.

  8. B

    I like Kimi to Boku quite a bit but this season has been disappointing for me on several fronts. The most important of which is that my favorite character from S1, Kaname, appears to have been dropped as a main character altogether, and is now just a background set piece. They haven't given him any time at all, instead focusing, IMO, way too much on Chizuru. If this show ends up with a 3rd season then I certainly hope it will stop tunnel visioning itself into focusing on one character and give us more of the others.

    Nyarlko was hilarious as always. The scene just after she got out of the bathroom was seriously lolsy. I knew what she was doing as soon as she got up to leave the room, of course, but the way they handled it afterwords was super funny. I also agree with what she said at the beginning of the show about starting to question Mahiro's masculinity. You get swapped into a super hot chick's body and you aren't even going to explore a little bit? Really now? Starting to think Hastur might really have a shot here after all.

  9. If there were any doubt which side of the plate Mahiro swings from, he'd have succumbed to Hastur's charms long ago.. I think he wants to be a pure pure boy and choose the time and place of his deflowering himself.

    I love the focus on Chizuru because I find him the most interesting character. But the other guys need a bit of development, as they're a bit stagnant overall.

  10. B

    That's mainly what I'm saying. I like KtB better as an ensemble cast like in S1. This season has been less ensemble, more Chizuru and sometimes Yuuki. The stories they are telling are fine but the character focus has shifted too much from S1's winning formula for me to consider this season better. It's still good, but I prefer season 1.

    And I know Mahiro isn't actually gay, I was being tongue-in-cheek. It's just ridiculous that we're supposed to believe this guy is a normal teenage boy. I was a very well behaved kid when I was a teenager and I would have jumped at this chance in a heartbeat. I know that for narrative purposes a show like this can't do certain things, because the status quo is God and anything that might change it is absolutely forbidden, but it just strikes me as completely unbelievable. Yes, even in a show about Cthulu mythos space aliens, I expect some degree of believability. Not from the situations, obviously, but at least from the characters. Having them behave like real people would be nice. It won't ruin the show, I still think Nyarlko is one of the best of the season, but this situation was beyond what I consider reasonable for a male teenager. Kind of a more annoying version of Shun now that I think about it.

  11. b

    Yea, most of the cast in KtB really lack a personality. Granted they're still boys, but you'd really hope that they'd begin to change? But if Chizuru and Yuki's character developments are any indication, the maybe only time we would see a change in their personality is if something big, like romantic interest, starts to happen. Shun, Kaname, and Yuuta all haven't really experienced liking someone in the present time yet.

    Chizuru and Mari are very interesting precisely because neither character is perfect. Chizuru is loud, annoying and immature, while Mari is quiet, shy, and immature. Basically a typical couple in their early teens. I kinda like the development that its bringing to the two characters, though I'm not particularly fond of either character.

  12. Loud and immature, sure, but most teens are. I like him a lot because he's relentlessly upbeat, and he has a good heart. Plus by the standards of this show, his energy is even more vital. Easily the best character here, from day one.

  13. B

    Kaname has in fact had a love interest. I can't blame you for forgetting it because it was waaaaaay back in season 1 and they have since seemingly forgotten this particular subplot, but there was an episode where they made it plain as day that he liked his neighbor's older sister. Would have really liked to have seen that expanded on in this season :/.

  14. I didn't forget it, but I don't think it even qualifies as a "love interest" because it was played so vaguely in the first place, and quickly forgotten. You'd be just as accurate to say his love interest was his Kindergarten teacher or his mother.

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