A couple more episodes to go...

Perhaps you had a good holidays, eating lots, getting drunk, watching bad movies, and maybe getting the time to watch some anime. I’m actually writing all of this before Christmas Day so I don’t have to panic and everything.

Most of the shows I’m watching aren’t ending yet though. I knew there was no way Brave Witches could end just yet, but Hibike! Euphonium 2 just had to sneak in one more episode. This week was the Nationals episode, as I suspected, and everything that happened in the last 11 weeks has been put to bed. You’d think KyoAni fans would be surprised by their result, but I wasn’t. I still think that the fact they even made it to the Nationals was an accomplishment itself. Now that the third-years are bowing out, will there even be a 3rd season? I don’t think there will. Actually, I’ll go as far as saying I hope there won’t be one. The band have achieved their goal of making it to the Nationals, and even though they didn’t get the result they wanted, they’ll all go home happy. Besides, all great shows know when to end at the right time…there was no way a third season of K-on! (covering Azusa as club president) would have been as successful as its predecessors.

The second-year/third-year drama has dissipated completely, Nozomi and Mizore are BFFs again, Asuka went back to her usual self, Kumiko and Mamiko made up in the most adorable way, and Reina got the opportunity to let her feelings be known to hipster-sensei…in the most humiliating way possible and I couldn’t not laugh, especially when Ribbons ‘cheered her on’.

KyoAni do have this pattern with their shows with the entire plot ending in the penultimate episode, and the final week will have something shoot off in the different direction. It worked for K-on!, Chuunibyou, Amagi Brilliant Park, and many more, so it’s no different here.

Going back to Brave Witches, Hikari is being transferred to Suomus, feeling much better about what happened last week…although Takami is still avoiding her. I did notice so much backlash in the aniblogging community; Takami has officially been labelled the bitch of the show, after her poor behaviour towards the MC, her little sister of all people. So she will have to have a lot of making up to do, unless Hikari is really that naive. It’s only a shame that, at this point, I’ve kind of stopped caring about how the show will end next week.

The chief antagonist, a large Neuroi storm, is identified, but the mission to destroy it goes wrong when it regenerates, wipes out the ground assault and heads for Petersburg, to potentially destroy the city. From what I can judge at the end, Hikari thinks Takami will use the same power that sent her into a coma to wipe out the storm. But jumping off a train into the snowy forest for what? To find a Strike Unit? Well every Strike Witches show has a happy ending so the finale will see the storm destroyed and sisters reconciling.

This week saw the last of Long Riders! though…well, for a while anyway. Although I think by the time the February episodes come, no one will even care anymore…not even me. As for this week, well Ami and Team Fortuna finally got around to finishing the event, although I really feel that they padded the episode out for as long as they could. Catching up so that the event would end in time, celebrating, and reflecting back on how much fun they had…this took up pretty much the entire episode. Ami’s sister, Emi, is suddenly developing an interest in cycling and the final two episodes will most likely cover that, since they are essentially at a dead end now. They can’t go any further.

Sangatsu no Lion is still winning, and ends its first half with a quiet tribute to the new year. This year hasn’t exactly been great for Rei; while a losing streak and the ghosts of foster siblings’ past have come to haunt him, he has met the Kawamoto sisters.

I think that, after the very interesting Christmas episode last week, this was as equally an interesting New Year episode. This week Rei comes down with a cold, and is immediately kidnapped and sent to the Kawamoto residence to recover. It is there, while the new year comes in, when he learns that their mother played a very large role in the house (and strangely, their father is never mentioned), and with Akari effectively taking over, Rei realises that he is not the only one who feels totally lonely. Even with taking care of Hina and Momo, Akari doesn’t have the opportunity to live the life of the average young woman her age does. She even tells Rei that she is very grateful that the two met the way they did. A previous episode showed that part; Rei was dumped outside a bar after an unpleasant shogi party, so Akari found him whilst going home from work, and nursed him better.

Even though we are seeing this all through Rei’s eyes, Akari played a more central role this week. Of course she’s too old for him, so we won’t be going down that route, but a close sibling-like relationship has strengthened over the course of the Fall season. When reading the manga, it was at this point where I stopped, so I don’t know how the relationship between Rei and the Kawamoto sisters will develop. It would be stronger and more comforting than his original foster family, I can guarantee that.

This season has been considerably more comfortable than the last, not counting Occultic;Nine, of course. I want to take it easy in the Winter so I don’t burn-out again.