Shakugan no Shana III – 08
This was very much a continuation of last week’s fast-paced episode, and seems to confirm that we’ve moved past the setup phase and into full-on conflict. That battle is playing out on many fronts, with the Crimson Denizens attacking Outlaw all over the world and the flame haze in a bit of a disordered retreat. Fortunately, Khamsin has allied himself with Rebecca (who seems to have a habit of getting drenched at least once an episode) and Wilhelmina, and plans to aid in their rescue mission to the City of Stars. One thing about this season of Shana is that it’s an avalanche of new characters in a cast that was already huge, and I confess I can’t keep all the names straight. The fish-faced Crimson Denizen who’s been left in charge of the army that stayed behind to defend the City of Stars seems to have outsmarted Sophie and Outlaw, who were planning on a surprise attack while their branches were being routed by the overconfident Crimson Denizen attack forces.
But another new face has joined the party, and that’s Centerhill – one of the “Four Earth Gods” who’s clearly a flame haze and looks like a Native American, but is effectively neutral – along with his three fellows – in the battle. For now, anyway – the hint is that if he doesn’t like what The Snake of the Festival gets up to, the Earth Gods may intervene, and the hints are that they’re ridiculously powerful. They’ll have to go some to beat Khamsin, though, who finally gets jiggy with it and beats the hell out of the City of Stars in what I suspect is a diversionary tactic for Wilhelmina. Meanwhile Shana and Yuji have been reduced to a somewhat ceremonial role for a while, with Shana a hapless prisoner and Yuji off with The Trinity to seek out his true body.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 08
Another satisfyingly rousing effort on Gundam this week, gaining points for some nice GAR moments and losing them for the predictable ending. But not too many – I’m not watching this to be surprised, and it was never in doubt that the Zalam and Euba leaders would join forces against the UE (thanks to Flit’s stern glare). The battle itself was pretty well done, with Flit and his newly buffed out red Gundam “Titus” finding even it’s nasty self overpowered by 3 of the newly adapted UE. Fortunately, the guy who’s proving himself something of a master of grand entrances, Woolf, makes another one. With a hearty “Yo, Flit – that red Gundam’s lookin’ pretty hot!” he arrives in his new G-Exes, equipped with cool light sabers, to finish the UE off. I’m not sure if his new suit is specifically connected, but the same mobile suit mechanic that designed it is doing work for the “Dark Merchant”, Yark Dole, who appears to have access to all sorts of Gundams, if Grodek’s mutterings are to be believed. As the last couple of eps have been very action-driven, I suspect the next one will be a little more low-key and focus on exposition.