My shows for summer have already been chosen.

Not long now until my Spring shows end. Well, Sakura Quest is still roughly halfway through and I’m beginning to get addicted to its charming and non-pretentious manner.

Continuing from last week’s episode, Shiori shocks everyone by deciding to take charge and deliver a local dish to advertise Manoyama after the Board of Merchants announces their planned reveal date that  clashes with the local summer festival. Although, quite frankly, she didn’t exactly do much in the way of leading; Yoshino is still Queen, and thus, much of the focus is still on her, from her begging that Riri be a part of the project, to taking part in that ridiculous ‘interactive’ somen piece, with pieces of somen flying at her.

This episode also concludes the mini-story of Shiori’s sister Sayuri getting together with the local French chef, and shows that she is as much of an airhead as Shiori is. As I said, the charming and non-pretentious way this show and its characters have come across has actually turned this into quite a good show. Saying that though, this is by no means one of their better shows…so far. I think that it would take me another rewatch of the entire show to get me totally absorbed with the characters, the town and the story itself. Sakura Quest isn’t Shirobako is any form; by episode 9 of Shirobako, I grew to love pretty much everyone…it’s now episode 9 of Sakura Quest, and I still can’t warm to about half of the characters, and Manoyama is hardly the kind of town I’d want to visit, let alone live in (…but this is coming from a city boy).

While Sakura Quest will be continuing into the summer, Little Witch Academia is close to ending. It has already begun with the tearjerker episodes.

Professor Ursula tells Akko that the sixth word is close. It is the shortest Word, but it is also allegedly the most powerful. This week we also learn that while Croix is not that interested in gathering the Words herself, she is prepared to take them by her own means. While Ursula tells Akko to be patient and wait for the right time to collect the Word, Croix decides to send her off into the dangerous Arcturus Forest to find it anyway, almost as kind of bait to get Ursula/Chariot’s attention.

I am actually very very disappointed in this main antagonist. Croix has, so far, not really given us any indication on what she plans to do when she seizes the Grand Triskellion for herself, or even how she plans to obtain it. Perhaps I have too high expectations after thinking of Ragyo Kiryuin and her grand schemes. Compared to her, Croix just looks like a jealous Luna Nova alumni who just discovered how to use a computer, and is just bored of magic.

[nerd alert: The Triskellion is actually a motif formed by the spiral more associated with the Isle of Man, a remote island between the UK and Ireland. It is also noteworthy that Luna Nova Magical Academy is meant to be on the Isle of Man as well.]

So taking out that, this week has begun to focus on the relationship between Akko and Ursula. I originally thought that Akko would never find out that her idol was hiding the whole time, but something tells me that she will find out pretty soon. It already breaks my heart knowing that Akko will be a little more than upset with her, since the two are like concrete now.

Speaking of close relationships, a considerable amount of time has passed in Saekano Flat since their game was published. It took a whole half of this week’s episode for Tomoya to apologise to Megumi. She was right in that every time he said he was sorry, it sounded empty, shallow and meaningless…much like a lot of apology scenes in other anime shows that really wind me up. See her lose her steely, emotionless manner in this episode was worth it; this happened when Tomoya noticed that, over time, she was enjoying being a part of blessing software more than the others combined…even Tomoya.

It’s approaching the end of the school year, and Tomoya already has a plan to make a second game, Megumi seems very keen to be co-producer, but what about everyone else? It also means Utaha will be graduating soon, Eriri still has artist’s block and who knows where Michiru is now. I’m assuming that the remainder of this season will focus on either the build-up to the new game, or to pad out time to have Utaha’s graduation as the final episode.

Over on Haibane Renmei, Rakka’s ‘depression’ arc effectively ends in this episode, when she is rescued from the well by the Communicator and passing Toga merchants. She is still very much conflicted with what happened to Kuu. In her long conversation with the Communicator, she debates on whether she is genuinely Sin-bound or not; in reply, he presents her with a riddle that he calls ‘The Circle of Sin’:

One who recognises their sin, has no sin.

Rakka interjects, by suggesting that if she believes she has no sin, then she is a sinner. The Communicator is a character in Haibane Renmei that is forever mysterious; we never know his real name, or whether he is Sin-bound himself. As he leads Rakka out of the woods, he says that Rakka’s doubts may show what it really means to be bound by sin but I’m not entirely sure why Rakka has this belief that she is Sin-bound, because she can actually remember the dream she had, unlike Reki, who has been trying to remember hers ever since her hatching.

As she returns to Old Home, Rakka comes down with another illness. This one, however, is brought about because she touched the Wall. The next episode will surely be about her recovery, and perhaps a little more on Reki, as the ending of this episode suggests that, while she is okay with saying she is Sin-bound, there is a little more that she is hiding.

This episode is one of the more thought-provoking episodes so far. Rakka’s dialogue gives serious suggestions that she lived in a past life, had a family, and something/someone brought her to this walled town as a Haibane. This could possibly suggest that she died and has either been reincarnated here, or that the walled town is some kind of purgatory. The real truth is never revealed in the show, but I have always thought that the town is purgatory.

It’s been a long time since I’ve properly seen Haibane Renmei. It’s a show I recommend to anyone, so thanks again for choosing this 🙂