Here in the third episode of The Familiar of Zero, there's a big boost in the quality as the humor really picks up.
We begin with Louise forcing Saito to clean her clothes, which he complains about. He then makes some comments about Louise's breasts being "Zero" which of course only makes her angrier.
Later, Saito gets brought down to a kitchen, where he has a man in charge of the kitchen who wants to kiss him. After that funny scene, he's back up with Louise, who attacks him with a riding crop (another funny scene).
Saito is then seduced by the very attractive Kirche, which only causes Louise to get angrier at him (she's quite a hothead). She then takes Saito on a trip, only to be followed by Kirche and the Yuki Nagato clone Tabitha. She buys a very cheap sword for Saito, who wielded a sword so well in the previous episode.
Kirche uses her attractiveness to get a great sword for a cheap price, and she brings it to Saito in trying to get him to choose her over Louise. Saito has to choose between the two swords, and thus the two girls, Kirche and Louise. But before he makes his choice, the cheap sword Louise bought begins to talk to Saito, talking in a humorous fashion. Saito then chooses the cheap sword as a result, and Kirche is angry over it.
It was a funny, upbeat episode, which was a big improvement off the rather uneven couple of episodes to begin this series. I think it seems as if the series is finding its way here with all the humor at this point.
The series takes a darker turn in this episode, going from the quixotic quest of ending a cold war by finding treasure, to an all-out gunfight as Allison & Will try to escape.
We rewind to last week, where Allison & Will were given uniforms by a woman, in order to pose as soldiers from Sou Beil (the "Evil Empire"). They wear these uniforms to a military headquarters, where they figure the old man from episode 1 has been taken. They are correct, as they find him and then dupe a couple of stupid soldiers into going away for a bit so they can spring him from his jail cell.
However, as they try to escape, they run into a man hilariously named "Lieutenant Love Letter," as Allison says in her broken English. This apparently is the man who wrote love letters to Allison, as explained in episode 1. This man talks with them, and Allison & Will use that distraction to escape.
But once they meet up with the old man whom they sprung from prison, he tells them to get a plane from the hangar. The plane has only 2 seats. There are 3 people. Guess who's not coming?
So the old man, who stole a gun, shoots at soldiers trying to prevent Allison & Will's escape. It's pretty obvious at this point that the old man is going to die. He runs interference for a while, before inevitably getting shot and going down. And just like that, he's gone.
But Allison & Will escape, heading off to find this mythical treasure that supposedly would end a war. Somehow I predict that won't be the case, but that's their goal. And "Lieutenant Love Letter" is told to chase the two and hunt them down, providing the hook for the next episode.
Overall, I thought it was another good, solid episode. I'm really starting to wonder why this series never received a dub - it seems like it's good enough that it deserved one.
So I went ahead and bought the OVA of Kill la Kill. I was hoping to get it signed, but that didn't work out. It was part of the final volume, which included four prior episodes.
In this episode, Satsuki first wins a fight against Uzu (The Monkey), but Ryuko notices that her heart is not in it. As a matter of fact, she is preparing to destroy Honnouji Academy, since it has served its purpose of defeating Ragyo. But suddenly the Elite Four find themselves attacked by doppelgangers of themselves, apparently much more powerful than them.
So the good old teacher has "DTRs" for the Elite Four to use, but after failing with them, they shun them and use their own attacks. Meanwhile, a fake Satsuki is attacking Ryuko. What's the cause of all this?
As it turns out, Rei Hououmaru (the dark-skinned assistant to Ragyo) has captured both the real Satsuki and Mako. And she wants revenge for what happened to Ragyo.
But as it looks like Ryuko is going to lose, she hears Senketsu's voice, and Senketsu magically machinas a new pair of scissors to Ryuko. It's a rather cheap way for Ryuko to win the battle, but that's what we get here.
So eventually Ryuko and the Elite Four win their battle, and Rei stabs Satsuki. But Satsuki offers Rei a part of her new world, and Rei breaks down and accepts it. It's a rather weird way to go about it, especially after Rei's flashback that comes earlier in the episode.
In any case, all the characters leave on boats as Honnouji Academy is no more. And Satsuki cuts her hair - a tragedy in itself. And that's a wrap on Kill la Kill.
This episode was very entertaining, but at the same time it had its problems. The moment where Ryuko magically heard Senketsu's voice and got scissors out of nowhere was certainly all too convenient. And why Rei suddenly breaks down and cries after stabbing Satsuki didn't make too much sense, either.
Overall, it was a semi-good way to end the series, but it could have been better. I'll accept it, though, as an action-packed if confusing way to wrap things up.
It's rather embarrassing to admit that I wasn't paying much attention during this episode, getting lost in a game of chess (the word "lost" is key). Thus by the time of Kirito's surprise arrival at the end of the episode, I was completely out to lunch.
I can summarize pretty plainly what happened: Zekken, actually a girl named Yuuki, has summoned Asuna to join her guild. Why? Well, they have only a limited time to beat a boss and get their names inscribed on a wall. Why would they only have a limited amount of time to do it, though? Maybe that's something I've been completely spoiled on, because of "that guy" at Matsuricon.
They begin their battle, and things aren't going so good. Fortunately, at the very end of the episode, Kirito finally shows up on the scene, ready to help. And I finally woke up from my chess nap and paid attention, but the clock had run out on the episode.
So I can't really say anything bad about the episode, although I may have paid more attention had it been more exciting. It was average to a tee, and that's about all you can ask from SAO II at this point.
As I predicted, Michiko & Hatchin completely threw away whatever storyline occurred in the last episode and replaced it with a mundane, banal story about Hatchin meeting a girl and presumably joining the circus. You can't make this stuff up.
I was so bored by this episode that I decided to play a game of chess during it. While trying to multitask, I ended up losing the game due to an error made only because I was still watching the show. But Michiko & Hatchin offered me no relief, it was still as boring as ever. When your main characters are this unlikable, you don't care what happens to them. That's exactly what's happened with Hatchin, who is one of the most unlikable characters in the history of anime.
I have nothing positive to say about this episode, or this anime in general. I'm still torn over which character should get the automatic bid in next year's Anime Bracket: the hateable Michiko or the even more hateable Hatchin. One thing's for sure, they're not getting out of the first round.