We fall down, so we can get back up again.

I’ve been criticising Occultic;Nine for a good while, so give me some strength now. I’ve tried my very best, but here’s what I’ve found out so far about the characters…I think:

  • The writer of a failing affiliate blog has been blamed for the murder of an esteemed but crazy professor, and is being forced by a voice in his bag to do very strange things.
  • An eccentric young police detective is chasing every lead he can to solve the murder, while going off on his own investigation of something I’m not quite sure of.
  • A locodol (local idol) hosts a tacky fortune-telling show online. The twist is that she genuinely can predict the future. She also has her own interest in the affiliate blog.
  • A cursed young teenager is able to cast black magic and curse others in exchange for payment. Although, aside from the fact that she had a traumatic childhood, I don’t know much about her.
  • An eager meganekko reporter (for a science magazine), who had a close relationship with the professor, is chasing leads on occult stories, although her editor refuses to let her go any further, as she has no proof.
  • An airhead high-school girl, with impossibly huge breasts tries to cling onto the affiliate blog writer as much as she can, although she may not be as dumb as we think.
  • The professor’s son. A college student who rejected his father’s new ideas, and is completely sceptical in every way.
  • A doujin artist (who probably does BL), who wrote a story based on the murder the voice in the blog writer’s bag told him to arrange. She can also predict the future apparently.

That makes 8, so where’s the 9th? I’m sure the light novel is so much better (it’s on J-Novel Club, by the way…and of course I’m plugging it!), and I know these characters all sound great; on screen they would be too, so I don’t blame the character design. I’m sure the light novel writer is regretting the decision to let their work be animated.

I will say, though, that Occultic;Nine is slowly making more sense, and there are characters I actually like (the meganekko reporter and the locodol). Aside from the professor’s murder, we now have this bizarre mass suicide to talk about. Which gives more food for thought for not only the detective, but the reporter too. Don’t worry; this show isn’t on Glasslip-level just yet, though. Oh, and they still won’t slow down in terms of talking.

Wow! That was a lot. I felt the show had to be covered in some kind at least, as I’ve been skimming over it a lot…like I have with Long Riders! Well…that was delayed last week, so coverage for that show had to wait. Coverage for Long Riders! here isn’t as strong as it really ought to be; the reason for that is that it’s not as exciting as the other shows I’m doing for this column. I mean you can’t get that excited over cute college girls riding cute bikes (mountain, road, hybrid or foldable) around cute areas of Japan, while they eat cute food and drink cute coffee with cute patterns on their cups at cute restaurants. You’d think that I’d have more of a problem with something as mundane as this than I would with Occultic;Nine (that revolves around an actual story) but I don’t.

Perhaps it’s down to my own sudden interest in road cycling that has somehow developed (it wasn’t a result of this show, by the way). Here, our dim girl Ami is learning the basics of cycling the hard way, with her muscles cramping out of nowhere (something that happens when people begin exercising suddenly, of course), but unnamed mystery cool girl has now influenced her to spend even more money (which should really be for surviving at college) to get an expensive road bike and equipment. Well mystery girl does have a point, in that switching from foldable to road makes a huge difference.

I still don’t like the animation in Long Riders! though. The characters all seem to move in too wooden in manner, and the 3D (what there is in a show like this) isn’t all that well done.

This season, next to no show can beat the animation quality of Hibike! Euphonium 2 right now.

The Mizore-Nozomi arc is now over, and oh, did it end with a bang!? It was all a case of pure misunderstanding. Mizore was the only one who didn’t know Nozomi quit, and as the two of them had such a close relationship, she felt incredibly guilty for all the people who abandoned band club, and thus her oboe performance fell flat… Poor Ribbons seemed to be painted as just someone who just stood in their way; this week was a time when I genuinely felt sorry for her. Also, so many at the beginning of episode 1 (myself included) were thinking that Asuka played some integral role in all of this, but (as always) she remained completely neutral. In fact, throughout the entire show (this season and the last one), Asuka has done a very good job in not siding with anyone, even with her third-years. This is clearly why the viewers have dividing opinions of her. It is now clear that she is so much more of a calculating person than we all think. Is she really someone who only wants to win for the club’s sake, or just for her own sake?

No Brave Witches this week, as it’s been delayed. At least it’s making some good progress. Sadly, though, it seems Sangatsu no Lion hit another filler this week. Although we have one solid reason on why Akari decided to welcome Rei into her house; it’s because she simply has a habit of picking up ‘strays’. Before it was animals, like the cats that roam the house, so it came as a shock to Hina and Momo when she brought home the thin, sick and anaemic Rei who had been dumped out onto the street after a party. Other reviewers were quick to think how Akari is acting very much like the older-sister type to him…she’s seen him at a serious low, and yet has been more than fine with helping him getting back up again. Meanwhile, Harunobu will wind up being a regular at her house too, as Akari has somehow developed a bizarre crush on round and fluffy things…

Changing the subject, some more mini-flashbacks arrive, and it’s suggested that Rei’s past is much more complicated than we think it is. I mean, even at this point, we know next to nothing about either his birth parents or his foster family. The next episode previews that we could well meet his foster family again, but how would they react in seeing him again? Would it be them who was pushing him away, or the other way around?

So Occultic;Nine is possibly getting better (emphasis on possibly), we’re starting to get into more detail when it comes to Hibike! Euphonium 2 (and a new arc too), and I’m still a little depressed on how slow the story is progressing in Sangatsu no Lion. This season isn’t as bad as I initially thought it would be. And that’s a very good thing.