Onihei is undisputed my anime of the season. This episode also proved that it didn’t need CG to portray large crowds, only to do it again but hey, milestones and they were able to pull off a number of crowded scenes without CG. Anyways, the last three episodes now have been absolutely fantastic and I really hope this string of great episodes doesn’t end.
Unfortunately, the other shows ranged from status quo enjoyable to a bit disappointing.
Onihei (7): We open with a flashback of a scene where a bullying child by the name of Otomatsu outwits a shopkeeper after paying for a purchase and immediately breaking his items. In the present, Heizo has trouble repairing his relationship with his daughter after he reprimanded her for ruining dinner but he is quickly called to the scene where a captured member of a group of thieves has been talking his way out of judgment. Heizo sees the young man in question and recognizes him as Otomatsu and we return to the flashback where after Otomatsu left the scene, the young Heizo followed him and saw the extent of his burn scars. Heizo follows the boy home and witnesses his abusive father and mother who could only sit and watch her son get beaten. Heizo steps in and beats the father a bit before making him promise that he’ll never hurt his own son again. Should he break this promise, Heizo tells Otomatsu to seek him out at his residence. In the present, Heizo greets Otomatsu by name and the latter laughs and reveals that, much to Heizo’s own surprise, Otomatsu’s life of crime was in fact Heizo’s fault. He reveals that after Heizo left, Otomatsu’s beatings continued and his attempts to reach him at his house proved unsuccessful. One of Heizo’s subordinate corrects him, stating that Heizo was at Kyoto, but Heizo dismisses the excuse and continues hearing Otomatsu out. In the end, Otomatsu killed his father after his mother finally intervened during one beating but she rebuked him for killing her husband. Heizo is unable to come to a decision while Otomatsu is escorted to his cell and witnesses Ojun and Hisae playing. Otomatsu learns that Ojun is actually adopted and was a daughter of a thief. He feigns guilt and promises to confess his crimes but requests to see Ojun again. Otomatsu yells at Ojun of her true parentage and she is stunned to hear the revelation. Heizo hears this and forgives his subordinates but Hikojyu reports that Ojun has gone missing and police squad split up to find her. Heizo is able to find her by the river where she tried to catch the fish for him for dinner in apology to her mishap and the next day, Heizo explains this to Osomatsu and the latter is stunned to see how the two are still family and sheds tears. Heizo himself has trouble holding back his own and instead of opting to work under him, Otomatsu decides to face execution. Heizo hugs the young man one last time and bids him farewell.
Masamune-kun (8): Masamune finds that his photo has been taken away and realizes that Neko must have taken in it in that brief moment where he took Yoshino outside of his room. Masamune meets with Aki with the latter bringing him the clothes that he forgot at her summer villa and his inattentiveness with his thoughts being all over his photo has Aki leave him in the store. Masamune calls up Neko and is invited to her house and after combating the anxiety of entering a girl’s abode alone, he quickly sets off to find the photo. He feigns using the bathroom and enters her room littered with empty pill bottles. He finds a familiar manga and he then finds Neko behind him but not particularly angry by any means. He asks her if she took the photo and she willingly admits that she’s been found out and produces the photo from her cleavage. Masamune asks why she did so and she states she couldn’t resist after seeing something so cute and she says that it’s the porky Masamune she found cute instead of Aki. Masamune is stunned over the statement on how anyone could possibly find his older self cute. Neko makes her advances and goes for a kiss and Masamune begins to accept it all, but soon comes into his senses and declares that he’d like to focus on his plans than continuing whatever relationship he has with Neko and leaves the house. Neko is heartbroken and in the arranged pool meet-up later on, the crew hears that she was nowhere to be found. I never felt that Neko was a bad character but damn, after this episode and knowing that the next one will be focused on her, I’m changing my tune since I’d rather just have more bickering with Aki and Masamune.
Seiren (8): Shoichi follows his sister, her friend, and Tooru to the Comic Market to promote their handcrafted items and cosplay-wear. Tooru faces the fear of crowds and the hungry cosplay photo-goers and it’s up to Shoichi to keep her confidence high and also make some sales since he’s assuring Tooru is only one of his duties in his overall assignment. Tooru’s confidence does become shaken and Shoichi, along with his sister helps her out. Their stand gets some traction but in the end, they perform acceptably and later celebrate at the cafe Tsuneki works in. Tsuneki is a bit irked but comes clean with her part-time job. As they all prepare to go home, a stray comment from Shoichi has Tooru a bit upset and he takes the initiative to chase after her and they finally are able to reciprocate their feelings. It’s a strange thing to be feeling relieved that this got a good ending instead of expecting it to be the norm. Tsuneki’s arc made everything else seem better in comparison but where it matters, Tooru’s arc is unconditionally the best in Seiren. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s all great since most of it still felt awkward and while the most cases of that still exist in Amagami, I’d still say Tooru’s is the weakest when compared to every route from Amagami itself, which is a shame because I liked her design the most compared to the trio we’re getting this cour. Also, Shoichi’s career choice as a bus driver after being good at an arcade game? Just come on.
Demi-chan (8): Kusakabe and Satou have a conversation about gag manga and the former tries her best to hide the fact that she’s really into the genre while Satou herself seems like an enormous fan herself without thinking twice about her “reputation”. The 2nd half focuses on the examination aspect of school life with Hikari’s lackluster scores, Kusakabe’s average abilities, and Machi’s high-ranking marks. Hikari is prompted to study harder after the harsh realization that their trio is not all full of average-joes or dumbasses and also to get Takahashi to praise her some more. The others get the same idea and all work their way up to the Top ranking bulletin while Hikari only gets an acceptable score that let’s her be free of supplementary lessons. Not the most standout episode of the bunch but still an enjoyable one where we get to see another side to Kusakabe.