I came to the realization the other day that, due to a tagging error, I never did a follow-up review for Maria Holic Alive. What a terrible egregious oversight on my part! I'm here to remedy this situation.
Maria Holic Alive
The rainy season is upon the students, and Kanako finds herself spending a great deal of time inside the dormitory, watching as those around her play some very specific games of cards. Then, cleaning duty enlightens Kanako to her filthy existence, and her need for a personal maid. Later, the students reward themselves for a job well done, but Kanako decides that she wants to be rewarded for putting forth little-to-no effort.
Ah, this show. I hesitate to label it "random" because I find that to be a lazy word, but it does encapsulate some of the traits of slice-of-life anime series, though it puts a decidedly dark, rude or sinister spin on things. And everything is, of course, punctuated by Kanako's nosebleeds. As before, this will never be good, but I find it stupidly entertaining most of the time. I even see that Mariya has started to back off a bit, which is a welcome change.
Will I continue watching? I'm sure I will, though it's not top priority.
Makoto indulges his cousin Erio in more of her alien-centric babble. At his new school, he meets Mifune, a quirky, genki girl, and Maekawa, a tall, feminine girl who's prone to motion sickness. He considers himself pretty lucky to have held conversations with two girls two days in a row. Later that night, he bikes to the sea with Erio, who attempts to float away. As they return, they meet Maekawa, dressed in a sandwich costume. Makoto learns a bit more about Erio and her 6 month disappearance.
I always get suspicious of a show when female characters start popping up all over the place. It's really kind of sad when a strong female presence in a show generally indicates that its quality is going downhill, but the truth is that, strangely enough, the more female characters there are, the more a show is about the guy at the middle of it all. Unfortunately, Makoto isn't very compelling as a character and neither are the two classmates who were introduced here. I'd desperately like the series to be focused on Erio and her story, perhaps with Makoto teasing some information out of her and the people of his town bit-by-bit, but I have the sneaking suspicion the story will degenerate to hijinks soon enough.
Oh, and I should probably mention that the theme song, as poorly-sung as it is, has been in my head for 3 days now.
Will I continue watching? Probably not, unless I hear something good about the show later on from someone else.
Kimimaro participates (more specifically, is forced into) his first "deal" in the Financial District, and is nearly defeated due to his ignorance. He's saved by his "asset," a creature called Msyu, whose appearance is based on Kimimaro's potential future. Back in the real world, Kimimaro begins to see black currency all over the place. The bank notes are issued by Midas Bank, the bank of the Financial District. Kimimaro unknowingly confronts one of the most powerful figures of the financial district while working at one of his part time jobs.
The first half of this episode is a fantastic, high-stakes battle between Kimimaro and a veteran entrepreneur. While I can't say much for Msyu's personality (she's the type of bossy, loud female character that gets on my nerves), I'm curious to se how her partnership with Kimimaro will unfold in the future. What's interesting about this show so far is how it's able to combine so many familiar tropes (young male lead down on his luck who has hidden reserves of special power, a mysterious battle game, etc.) and yet mold them around a premise which continues to be compelling. With the Midas currency slowly leaking into the real world, one begins to wonder what sort of dealings are going on and what hidden goals there could be.
Will I continue watching? This has been a good deal of fun so far, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Seikon no Qwaser 2
Miyuki continues to be upset following Sasha's sexual assault, causing a rift between her and Tsubasa. A girl named Jita appears to be a spy, keeping watch over Miyuki for someone higher-up as well as harboring suspicions about Sasha and Hana. In the virtual world, Tsubasa challenges Sasha to a duel and wins after releasing her full power. Jita then attacks Sasha, who gains new insight towards his goal.
UGH. I knew it was a questionable choice to watch a second episode of this, but I figured I ought to do so as part of my duties. I can't unsee it. There are multiple sexual assaults this time around, this time against Sasha him (her?) self. EW.
Will I continue watching? I want to dig a giant hole, toss this show in, drop a few hundred atomic bombs on it and then bury it until the end of time.
Naoya, the man from the human world lucky enough to be captured by Judit and brought to the land of the succubi to be princess Lotte's harem-member, learns some more of the details about his future employment. Lotte continues to be standoffish, but Naoya learns why; she had a bad experience with a man at a young age (and it's not what you think), and this led her to hate men and grow apart from her mother. Naoya does what he can to make nice, including getting Lotte some of her favorite milk and making Lotte a new stuffed animal to replace the one she lost as a child.
So, this episode sort of suggests that "sucking the life seed" of a man might not exactly be what we're all thinking (but I haven't been completely convinced otherwise). It also sets a precedent for Naoya's behavior, which is more father-like than sexual. Thank goodness. This still isn't the show for me, but I have to give it credit for not being a complete gross-out like some other series I've seen lately.
Will I continue watching? Unlikely, but I will say that it doesn't seem to be as terrible a show as I might have feared.