Last week, there was no weekly anime review, so these are one week late. We get the final for UN-GO and the mid-series episodes for Chihayafuru, Fate/Zero and Last Exile: Fam The Silverwing. Technically, this review is one week late, but since Japan doesn’t broadcast new anime the week of New Years, it all balances out.
Chihayafuru, Episode 12
This episode was a bit of a mix for me. It had both character development and the setup for the next stage: National Karuta Tournament. First, it follows two different storylines: Chihaya’s teacher not recognizing karuta as a “real” sport and her family only caring about her sister. Both get resolved before the end of the episode but while Chihaya sees that her dad keeps a newspaper cut of her victory, we don’t really see them being less centered on her sister.
As for the teacher, she decides to really involve herself with them after she sees Oe-chan talk about the poems and what they mean and the team’s efforts in training.
Now, I wonder if Arata will show up at the tournament or not. He’s like a non-character so far in the show. Especially considering the love triangle between him, Taichi, and Chihaya.
UN-GO, Episode 11
The UN-GO story has come to an end. The ending was pretty good, although it was a bit convoluted in places. For example, we didn’t need an Inga vs Bettenou ray-of-light fight sequence. It felt a bit out of place. Anyhow, I accurately guessed who was controlling Bettenou and why. Too bad we couldn’t exactly see what the characters thought of the guy’s action to try to win a woman’s heart. Beside that, I would have preferred if they didn’t mute the ending conversation between Rie and the Defeated Detective. It seemed like it was quite interesting.
Now sure how well this show will survive a re-watch, but I found it pretty entertaining and a nice change of pace from what I usually watch.
Last Exile, Episode 10
Last week was a recap episode and this week is a “let’s end the first half with an evil cliffhanger” with a lot of off-models.
Lots of stuff happened in this episode, and lots of interesting information was given. First, the episode opens with the creation of the Turan-Anatoray-Sky Pirates alliances close to the Glacies border. During the festivities, our main characters (Fam, Giselle and Millia) find the delicacy of the Urbanus’s coffee. Then Dio presents them to Alvis and tells them that she’s Anatoray’s controller. He also gives an interesting piece of information: the controller of Exile is passed down from mothers to daughters and if a controller dies, it goes to the nearest female blood relative. In other words, Liliana is still alive, because Millia isn’t an Exile controller.
Liliana show up right there, having allied herself with the Ades Federation. This measn that all 14 ships that Fam stole now go back to Ades, through Turan’s Queen. Fam wasn’t pleased by this. And with those ships, Liliana attacks the Silvius, but not before some of Ades elite death squad made it aboard. At first, Fam wanted to “steal” Liliana back, but Millia told her she was doing this of her own will. They then encounter Alaunda (Ades’ guild-type dude that always hangs with Luscinia), but Dio interferes and a Jedi duel starts with red and blue sticks! This prompts Fam to escape from the Silvius on her vanship with Millia and her Navi, and a book that Tatiana wanted Millia to have.
The episode ends with with all the good guys in trouble:
- Fam’s vanship is damaged by Ades’ combat vanships, but some Glacies vanships are close by. It’s not too hard to guess where this is going.
- The Silvius is sinking, after the Ades death squad killed a lot of crew members (a lot more graphics than in the preview episode too) and shut down the engines. Although, the water tight doors have been sealed, so they are just going underwater for a while.
- The Ades federation started an offensive on the Sky Pirates.
Now one last comment about this episode: I wrote 14 ships were present from Millia’s fleet: the Anshar was no where to be seen. Where is it? Also, what is in that book that Tatiana wanted Millia to have? It was given in such a strange way, with Elio throwing it at Milia at the last minute before they take off. It also has no title, so we can’t guess what it is about. And why give the book to Millia now, of all times? Maybe Tatiana knows that might not be able to get them back anytime soon. And finally, if Dio/Tatiana knew that Liliana was still alive, this means they always knew that Milia had no power. So why were they supporting her? Could they be using Milia for their own agenda? This episode raised all these questions and the preview for the next one suggest it’s a flashback episode to the Grand Race that happened 10 years ago, so I don’t expect any answers soon.
This show is really starting to form a complex plot and it seems that the happy days are now far behind.
Fate/Zero, Episode 13
This episode was mostly character-focused and, for a change, the focus is on Rider/Velvet and Caster/crazy dude. The Rider/Velvet interaction was pretty good; they make a good team. Rider can act like a proper big brother when he wants. The Caster/crazy dude part was more stuff about God and how he doesn’t care and crazy dude saying that God was just a scenarist and he created both good and bad scenarios and that’s why he was so cool. Caster is now a proper convert to that mentality and decides to create a gigantic monster in the middle of the town.
The first half was rather slow, but not exactly boring. It just went a bit in a circle over Velvet’s inferiority complex. The caster part was boring, those two guys need to die. They are just plain evil and crazy.
The episode ends with another team up: Rider, Saber, and Lancer against Caster’s monster.