Hyouka 13-14: Cooking with Fire

Houtarou for the win, giving Mayaka the crucial ingredient in the cooking contest, landing the Classics Club plenty of publicity. But out of personal victory, comes the (hopefully) final straw leading the club to investigate the mysteriously “borrowed” items across campus, the latest being what was to be the Classics Club’s ladle, replaced with a note promising its return. Maybe solving such a public mystery will get the club publicity for their anthology.

The cooking contest had more suspense than I anticipated, and I was hanging on the outcome. Watching from the edge of my seat as Mayaka was in a frenzy to try and finish strong for the club after missing the first ten minutes of her round was exhilarating. Then to see Oreki throw out the 7 minute save, the product of a few lucky trades no less, was amazing. Probably the first time Hyouka has gotten me this excited outside of an unsolved mystery. Although I’m not surprised Chitanda was such a skilled cook, when she was sitting in the second chair, that’s where I considered most of the potential for the Classics Club to be in the cooking contest. But Mayaka surprised me a bit, pulling off something so random using so few odd ingredients was very interesting.

The anthologies still haven’t moved enough and the publicity doesn’t seem to be spreading through Kanya Fest as much as Satoshi would’ve hoped. Like I said earlier, solving a high-profile mystery like the “Jumonji” thefts might give them the spotlight to move more anthologies. I also wonder if “Jumonji” is supposed to be a reference to the story about a magic board game (had a movie with Robin Williams) and is more kanji wordplay. Or I’m completely off and will be happily surprised when Oreki blows my mind with the true meaning.

Hyouka – BeldenOtaku’s Photobucket

Accel 13: Welcome to the Accelerated World, Chiy-err, Lime Bell

Finally, maybe now Chiyu will stop being a distraction to the action in following Accel World now that she can just tag along and stop complaining about Haru and Taku playing (…pipe dream?). But despite her eagerness to kick butt and take names, Lime Bell’s power is even more special than Chiyu could’ve imagined. She’s one of only 3 healers in the history of Accel World, highly sought after and valued players. The only other remaining healer is now a king of a legion of his/her own. With a little defensive boosting, she could become an invaluable asset in Nega Nebulous, which could help overcome what they lack in numbers. And perhaps alleviate some of the falling on his own ass that Haru seems so keen on.

Along with a newly donned Burst Linker, the group also sees a new crop of freshmen enter the school as they move up into the same class. Though at first it seemed as if there were no Burst Linkers in the bunch, Taku’s kendo opponent seems to show beyond ordinary speed and responsiveness, but even then, Haru found no sign of another Linker on the school’s network. Now, pardon me for poking holes, but is it such a stretch that they’d be using the Global Net to avoid being easily spotted? If I walked into a network with 4 Burst Linkers already present, I wouldn’t broadcast the presence of a new guy either. That or find a way to keep my avatar from appearing on the fight list.

Haru and Taku are also on the line for the territory fights in the coming week while Kuro-sempai is away on a class trip. If they can make use of Lime Bell’s healing ability, they’ll do fine, but then again, it may not be the best thing to reveal such a key power before she’s had a chance to get some experience in the mechanics of the Accel World. I foresee at least one kidnapping attempt, maybe a concerted effort to simply keep the healer out of Nega Nebulous. I wouldn’t put it past Chiyo to consider leaving Accel World, but then she’ll commit to stick with Taku and Haru in her hopes of returning to how it was when they were kids.

Accel World – BeldenOtaku’s Photobucket

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: Episode 13??

Back with a surprise I found on my reader deck, the 13th episode of the Spring 2011 series Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. If memory serves, this was the final episode that got cut from airtime because of the earthquake disaster. I’m a little ashamed I forgot about it. But I’m also a little miffed about having to wait a year to see this.  The final, definitive episode of what’s hopefully Denpa Onna’s first season (second season please! I must have more Erio!!)

This final episode attempts to wrap up the story the series followed a year ago around Makoto, Erio’s cousin, as he gains, and losses, adolescence points through socializing with friends like Ryooko and Maekawa, helping his cousin Erio who had some traumatic experience and now lives as an outcast believing she was abducted by aliens, and surviving his strange aunt Meme. At the festival (that Makoto helped to bring to their side of town by playing on a baseball team with Maekawa and hitting a home run, potentially with esper powers), Makoto meets with Ryooko and treats her to a reward for winning her basketball game in the 12th episode. Still keeping the amazing animation and fanservice, we’re given a visual treat and more inside jokes that’ll make you want to rewatch the entire season (oh, I want to so bad right now…I miss the good ol’ days).

Later, Makoto meets up with Erio in top of the shrine hill, where he and she gaze at the stars…until Yashiro makes her appearance. She declares that she’s got some truth to tell Makoto, and goes through her “Boy Who Cries Wolf” anecdote, leading up to more unbelievably convincing proof of her esper powers….BRINGING DOWN A METEORITE IN FRONT OF THE SHRINE, EXACTLY THREE STEPS AWAY FROM WHERE MAKOTO WAS STANDING AND YASHIRO TOLD HIM TO MOVE AWAY FROM!!!! If she’s not an esper…she’s got incredible luck.

In a state of shock and awe, Makoto spends the next few days nulling things over, was she an esper? Or maybe an alien? Did she know the meteor was coming and arrived to warn Makoto, saving his life? This again raises questions about Erio being an alien as she once claimed. In the end, he settles for simply not knowing, life will continue, and so will his journey through adolescence, he has the whole summer to look forward to, after all.

I can’t begin to explain how emotional I’m getting being able to see Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko again, I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia, or just amazement at how developed Makoto and Erio have become. He used to be such a socially inept transfer student, and she used to be an antisocial shut-in, but just look at them now. I’m more curious about this town that I was a year ago, especially finding out Yahiro took her pseudonym from the shrine in the city, which was known for meteor strikes. We (or perhaps just I) need a second season!….please?

Until next time,
- BeldenOtaku

(I’m definitely re-watching Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko again soon :3)