I’ll say this much for Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, it’s definitely embraced the stupid unreservedly again. I think the humor is about the same as it was in the first season, but a little bit of the novelty has worn off. It’s still funny and I’ll stick take eps like this one over the times Haiyore! gets too bogged down in character drama, but a little bit of the magic seems to be missing, at least for me.
That said, I continue to enjoy seeing Kuuko try and work through her feelings for Mahiro. It’s obvious she’s insanely jealous – the logical question being, of who? But of course the answer is, both of them. She wants to have Nyaruko’s baby, and she wants Mahiro to have her baby (I’m pretty sure he’s not thrilled with that idea). It’s quite the triangle – everyone gets to have someone else’s baby.
In terms of plot, the endless running gag with foreshadowing continues, and Mahiro continues to be a step off the pace in that respect. It looked as if we were getting The War of the Worlds – aliens succumbing to Nyaruko’s cold (I’m surprised she didn’t insist Mahiro take her temperature with an old-time thermometer, and not the oral kind) – but instead, we got something akin to Mars Attacks. Or I guess Venus Attacks is closer to the truth, though the right tune (“The Messenger From Yuggoth”) is just as effective at making Venusians’ heads explode.
Mushibugyou – 11
Things are continuing to get bigger, wilder and definitely stranger on Mushibugyou. This is another one of those sleeper shows that appears to have almost no following in the English-speaking fan community (despite getting a CR simulcast) but I’ve pretty well given up on trying to relate that to a show’s quality. It is what it is.
If there’s one disappointment for me this week, it’s that we didn’t get to see Kotori-sama take out that massive Insect Hunter. Mamoru Miyano is having lots of fun playing the fusty bureaucrat but I suspect once those twin katana come out, he’s a sleeping tiger awakened (and the results appear to back that up). There was plenty of action apart from that though, with pretty much everyone from both sides (who wasn’t killed off last week) getting their shot.
The banner headline is of course Jinbei’s WTH transformation into the Mothman Prophecies come to life, which seems to have something to do with him having unwittingly chewed on one of Kuroageha’s hairs (where’s Kiri when you need him) – I’d speculated it was her leaking magic, but this is close enough. Whatever the cause, this Jinbei is easily the strongest character we’ve seen in the series, Mugai included – he was catching bullets without a problem and throttling opponents with his ponytail. Naturally Kuroageha missed the kind simpleton who’d showed her such kindness, but she should have been happy enough that he saved her life (though he appears to lack discretion in that mode, as he almost took out his allies in the process).
There’s an awful lot here still shrouded in mystery, though we’re getting bits of exposition every week. Apparently Mugai is the current Insect Hunter leader’s brother (literally or figuratively I can’t say) and turned his coat while on a mission to assassinate her. The I.H. legitimately seem to feel their cause is just – they claim Kuroageha destroyed their village – so I’d love to know just what turned Mugai’s mind. There’s also the matter of Sanada Yukimura turning up, and voiced by Suwabe Junichi no less. Just what is the legendary Sengoku warlord (and anime subject) doing in Edo-period Mushibugyou? He refers to Kuroageha as “Princess” and refers to the King awakening, apparently at this giant hive. The plot thickens, indeed – I’m glad we’ve got two cours and even there it’s beginning to look like a tight squeeze – this show is much more plot-driven than it first appeared.
Next week looks like a winner too: the return of Koyama Rikiya as Jinbei’s father, and perhaps a training episode.