Diamond no Ace – 51
Thanks to a change in lodgings (with the sisters gone, I’m in a hostel) you can add crappy internet to the list of challenges facing my blogging prospects this week. I’m going to do my best to keep up but the next couple of days are going to be rough, especially when it comes to returning shows like Daiya no A and Argevollen. Bear with me.
We finally got the pitching order for the Inashiro game, and it’s more or less as I expected – Furuya first, Tanba second, and Kawakami and Eijun on the bubble. It’s be interesting to see how an over-amped Furuya deals with his combination of adrenaline and nerves, but as always it’ll be more interesting when he gives way to Eijun (eventually). Judging by this episode it’s going to be a while – we got through one out (a sacrifice) in the top of the first. But this is a big game, so you had to figure it was going to be a drawn-out affair.
In many ways this struggle revolves more around Mei than any of the Seidou pitchers anyway – he’s certainly the dominant figure going into the game. It’s been pretty heavily foreshadowed that his Achilles’ heel is his mental toughness, and the plan of attack is indeed to try and shake him up. And it works more quickly than I expected, with a combination of switch-hitting trickery, baserunning and luck leading to a quick run with Yuki coming up to the plate. Starting off by surprising me in the first inning is a good sign that this game is going to be an interesting one, and with Wakana in the stands it could just get a lot more interesting in the late innings.
Shirogane no Ishi Argvevollen – 13
Argevollen starts off its second cour with another solid episode, continuing a strong run that peaked with the best episode of the series to close the first. We have a new character added to the mix, Namie Portman (Uchida Maaya), a rookie pilot and kouhai of Tokimune who’s been added to Unit 8 to pilot the Seiran – the new mech that seems to be the top of the line for production (non-prototype) units.
Portman has other seemingly more important roles, however, in goosing the arcs of Tokimune and Jamie – so it remains to be seen how important she’s going to be in her own right. She’s a love rival for Jamie (who’d never admit it of course) and she offers Tokimune a chance he’s never had before, to be a leader. And he responds pretty well on the whole, both in training and in Namie’s first live combat action. This is an important turn for Tokimune’s character and so far the results are encouraging.
Generally speaking there seems to be a growing sense that Unit 8 is finally being acknowledged as the only Arandas unit that’s accomplishing anything positive on the battlefield. We all know that there’s something less than up-and-up about the Arandas leadership and Cayenne specifically, though, so I’d take that with a serious grain of salt.