Credit where it’s due – Takamatsu and Yokote-senseis have really mastered the art of upping the ante this year. They started by establishing what looked like a barely-changed version of last year’s format, then proceeded to deconstruct it thoroughly. And since then, they’ve managed to top themselves time after time when it comes to plain old preposterousness. And the series has really thrived for that – I guess you could call it “preposperity”.
For starters, this week seems to eliminate any doubt that the Beppu twins are indeed space teens – or at the very least, teens who used to live in space. They enjoyed their time on Earth, and who could blame them? They could blend in there, and they had tennis legend Maximum Goran to watch over them. Whereas in Andromeda (where they have to relocate after their dad is transferred) they’re bullied and mocked for their human appearance and emotional ties to Goran. So their current kidnapping of Gora makes sense from their perspective – and I love the creepy stalkerism they exhibit where Gora is concerned (“I want to tie him up.” “Well, I want him to slap me.” “You have weird tastes!”).
Seeking new ways to blow up the premise, Yokote and Takamatsu turn to some old friends here, starting with the Seitoukai. They’re happily studying (Shakespeare and Latin) in London, but a parade of ill omens (to Westerners) convinces Kin-chan that bad things are about to befall At-chan. And when Atsushi doesn’t answer his mail (because his sumaho has fallen into the toilet) Kinshirou actually bundles his mates on a plan and takes off for Japan – which, as it turns out, is a very good thing.
This is when (believe it or not) things start to get really silly. First off Dadacha shows up for no reason to gloat an tell the Battle Lovers exactly what’s going on with Gora. That allows them to capture and torture him (enough to get him to pee himself) into leading them to VEPPer and Coffin Prince Goran. There anime battle cliches are traded ruthlessly until another old friend, Zundar, shows up. He’s been demoted to a bean-counter role and is struggling to meet his child support payments – which he confides to Dadacha, who turns out to be his younger brother. How are a porcupine and a flying squirrel brothers, you may ask? You may ask it, but I don’t have any answers.
The rest is just pure silliness, as Zundar declares his big comeback as a producer by staging an idol battle between VEPPer and Battle Lovers, with the home audience deciding the winners with their votes (which turn into attacks against the other competitor). Things are looking grim until Kin-chan and friends in Caerula Adamas arrive to save the day, and we’re left with what looks like a monster showdown in next week’s finale. This one is going to be tough to top – but like Journey, I don’t stop believing anymore where Binan Koukou is concerned. They’ll pull it off somehow.