The massive infusion of plot continues with this episode of Witch Craft Works, which is following the pattern many such madcap series do in losing much of the comedy over the final episodes in favor of action and drama. That’s not a transition I was looking forward to, but so far WCW is doing pretty well with it.
Perhaps the most notable development here is that the Tanpopo gang actually manages to do something useful for once. It’s interesting given that they’re Tower witches that when they finally impact the story it’s in thwarting Weekend’s plan, but the premise given is that they’re doing so to pay for rent. As for Weekend, she proves to be a pretty nasty piece of work indeed – because of the Workshop contract no humans may have died in her bomb attack which totally destroyed the city, but other witches aren’t so fortunate – and Weekend thinks nothing of strapping bombs to them and using them as hostages to try and get Rinon and co. (who frankly seem in over their heads) to hand over Honoka.
Speaking of Honoka, he too finally proves useful, though in his defense it isn’t the first time – but none of it has really been through his own efforts. Kagari’s plan is to have him form a new contract with the city (effectively filling in for her mother), thus giving the Workshop witches back their power. Apparently he has enough of Evermillion’s “white stuff” inside him to make a go of it, but this still somehow represents a poetically perfect way for Honoka to save the day – he does nothing but stand there, let his body be invaded and then fall asleep in Kagari’s arms.
The logic behind the plot which seemed so random and orderless for eight episodes is holding up pretty well – things actually more or less make sense – but there is quite a tangle of confused loyalties here that you need a scorecard to figure out. Chronoire, for example, represents yet another Tower witch who’s effectively fighting against them, in her case seemingly because she values a good fight above all else. Maybe it’s simply a matter of the Workshop witches representing order and the Tower chaos – and thus, when the chips are down the Tower witches are pretty much all liable to go their own way.
Tonari no Seki-kun – 10
This episode marked a bit of a change of pace for Tonari no Seki-kun, as for the first time an outside intrudes on Seki and Yokoi’s private little world – though that world is not quite what she imagines it to be. That outsider is Gotou Sakurako (Satou Satomi), the girl who sits behind Yokoi and dreams of befriending her.
The limitless imaginations of middle-schoolers, boys and girls alike, are certainly a staple theme of this series. Seki’s caper this week is a rather simple one – desktop golf during art class. The funniest part of this sequence for me is how mortified Yokoi is after inadvertently foiling Seki’s perfect putt on the second hole (which is on her side of the desk) by intercepting the ball with a handout – she apologizes profusely and all but begs for forgiveness. She really is in this too deep to ever get out.
The real hook of the episode isn’t Yokoi’s reaction this time, though, but Gotou’s. Thinking back on “that rumor” (presumably an offshoot of the shoe locker incident) she internally transforms Seki and Yokoi’s innocent if absurd exchange as the pantomime of young lovers, complete with a makeout session under the desk. She even imagines the flag (golf, that is) to be a secret signal between the two lovebirds. I suspect we’re going to see further developments on this thread before the series is said and done.