Well, I suppose we were due for something of a down episode with this series. And while we got one, relatively speaking, I think that’s as much a credit to the consistency of the series as an indictment of the episode itself.
There wasn’t much new revealed this week, as had the linear conclusion of the Maya-Ami feud storyline. The wrinkle is that the alien hoax was the red herring, and the dead cow – as I thought – the real story. The culprit? Chupacabras of all things – where’s Asuna when you need her? – as this show continues the occult magical mystery tour. There were a few problematic elements with the execution. First of, for me, seeing Ami crunched in the jaws of a giant chupa would have been enough to send me into a fit of panic. For all concerned, there seemed to be a bit too much calm and deliberate in the response. And how is it that Ami ended up being unhurt after what had to be several hours in the clutches of the chupas? Maybe they didn’t like her blood, but it almost looked like she was being used as part of a religious ceremony. And, given the interest of the Vice-Principal and her flunky in covering up the incident, that might not be totally out of the question. I hope we get a little further explanation of this as we go. Second, the whole feud between Ami and Maya seemed a bit of a yawner to build a cliffhanger around.
On the other hand, we got to see Fumiyaki take a few more baby steps on the road to GAR-ness. And Smile’s giant wrench – introduced without a shred of comment – was a hilarious addition. And we got to see that JK, in addition to his dowsing (and piano!) skills, isn’t at all useless in physical combat. It was all good fun, but I’ll be pleased if we see a return to the main storyline and relationships next week.