Hello one and all. Welcome to the penultimate  My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X episode! I hope we didn’t confuse you too much with the switcheroo last week. You see, I ran out of To Your Eternity reviews to post and Crow was kind enough to switch weeks with me to help with my scheduling. 

I have to say, although I wasn’t crazy about the last arc, all in all I thought To Your Eternity was a solid series and I’m looking forward to the second season. In fact, I may not have been watching much this summer but what I managed to catch was pretty good. I think MHA is wrapping up one of it’s best seasons to date and switching to the villains’ perspective for the closing arc is inspired. And I’m having a ball with Vanitas. I saw this YouTube video Why The Case Study of Vanitas is Pure ART, I Assure You and I have to agree. It’s brilliant… no really! I’m glad to see a lot of people agree.

What are you guys wrapping up? Are there any shows that you’re going to miss after next week? Anything you’re looking forward to in the fall? I’m going to binge Tokyo Revengers as soon as the season is up!

I’m not sure if there’s anything this season that really is unmissable (at least that I’ve watched episodically, but there’s quite a few shows I plan to binge still). I think Heion Sedai no Idaten Tachi is probably the show I’ve had the most fun with and it was such a surprise because I went in not expecting much.

That said, I’m also not watching anything terrible this season with Realist Hero perhaps being the flattest anime I’m currently watching and even that is perfectly watchable. So I guess I”m just looking forward to seeing how the shows I’m watching conclude, trying first episodes of the new season, and doing binge catch-ups of everything I haven’t been following.

Kageki Shojo!! is probably the show that most surprised me this season. That, and Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S feels like it gets better with each episode. I’ll second Irina’s mention of MHA — the last several episodes in particular drew me in. 

One thing I just noticed: None of us mentioned this show. I’m really curious to see what you thought of this episode.

Ok so now for the show we’re actually here to talk about.

I’m not sure what happened between episodes but it seems Catarina remembered to be actually worried about Keith. And Larna suddenly realized that letting a bunch of school kids carry out a dangerous kidnapping investigation might not be the most reasonable move… It took a few episodes and at least a week in universe but I guess the characters decided to react in accordance to the events. 

Now, a cynical person might just chalk it up to lazy writing and some plot contrivances but I don’t think so. Hear me out, guys. I think the writers of the show read our reviews! Well, at least our last review. They saw our complaints about how Keith was being mistreated and they responded! Because we are the most important fans to please. Clearly. Am I right?

Absolutely.

Actually, I was quite annoyed that Catarina was suddenly all desperate to free Keith and couldn’t wait another minute after they’ve spent days just kind of wandering about and eating a lot. I get that Larna did finally tell her that he was kidnapped, but she really had an instant change of heart.

Then again, so did Larna. After first saying the kids couldn’t carry out the rescue, on Catarina proclaiming she was going to anyway, Larna’s just like, ‘oh well’. And off they go. 

Which I could swallow if only they hadn’t pulled it off so easily. I mean, going in unprepared without waiting for back-up seems like the perfect opportunity for something, anything, to go wrong and for one of the characters to actually face something resembling a consequence. But no, not that kind of anime.

The part of my brain responsible for plotting threw up its hands somewhere during this episode and stormed out. I have no idea where he went. I hope he comes back soon, because I kind of need him!

But… I get this is a comedy. I get I should give it wider latitude. But I think the moment that sums up my frustration with this episode was the shot of the Generic Bad Man (number 3 or 4; I lost track) charging at Gerald. Gerald, a nobleman trained in the art of the sword, threw his cloak aside, posed, and slowly drew his sword.

What’s this slowly stuff? The dude was charging. There’s no time for the Dramatic Pose of Marvelous Effect! That’s a myth anway!

I completely disagree with this. Comedy should not be given a wider birth and isn’t just badly written by default. I think people often look down on comedies as lesser entertainment because they assume people are more forgiving of them but just like any other genre, there are some masterfully written comedies and badly written ones.

If for some reason I haven’t entirely made my case about the readers reading our posts, I have more proof. Sora. We complained that he was a bit dull last week and BAM! They give him a big badass hero action scene with quippy one-liner and close-up of his roguish smile. ‘Cmon, that’s obviously for us! Crow has been all about Sora since the first minute we saw him!

Although I have to admit, I thought he looked a LOT better in his butler outfit. I can’t explain it. Was it the glasses, the actual clothes. Am I that superficial? Oh gawd…do I actually have a thing for kidnappers…

The butler outfit and glasses were a better look for Sora. They made him a little more distinct and he really rocked those glasses. In the casual clothes and without the glasses he kind of blends in to the background characters too much.

Still, I’m with you in that his action sequence was very cool. 

At least it would have been super cool is Gerald hadn’t pretty much instantly followed suit with his own and he had a cape swirl as he dramatically lunged in with his sword moment. I’m a sucker for a good swirling cape.

Didn’t mean to disrespect the cape-move, Karandi! I withdraw my comment about the cape. The slow motion sword drawing action, though, was just too much for me!

Martial-Arts Action Sora gave the episode a much-needed moment of realism. And yes, I’m stretching the meaning of “realism” very, very, very far. 

But I have to express some concern about Irina and her unusual affection for kidnappers…

Anyways, the team finally finds the mansion Keith is being held in and they sneak in pretty easily. Take out three seemingly random guys equally easily. We even had Maria bring them back to life so we don’t have to think about the fact that three of the main characters are murderers now. And then we got introduced to a secondary antagonist working under the main one. This guy was already mortally wounded for some reason and survived just long enough for a nice big exposition dump. I gotta say, everyone seemed very unphased by his story and the fact that they just watched a man die. Like no one batted an eye. For some reason, Marie didn’t even try to help this guy.

I’m not a big fan of important characters getting introduced this late in a character drive show. Although I suppose the girl might be important next season or something. What did you guys think of the two baddies and the whole plan?

Keith’s brother was pathetic. His backstory was lame and really only emphasised that he was pathetic. I don’t know if the girl took him out or what actually happened to him and what is worse is that the anime never made me care.

As you said, not even the main characters seemed concerned about him bleeding out on the floor while cursing Keith.

They certainly didn’t tell us what happened to him in the aftermath so I guess we all assume he actually just died and nobody cared.

The girl also didn’t do enough of anything to be more than a potential returning threat. We know nothing about her other than she’s got dark magic and she’s a bit loopy, and really if and when she returns they will either need to actually flesh her out a bit more or she’ll just be random antagonistic character who exists to stir up trouble.

I liked Sarah. Or at least, I liked the idea of Sarah. This world has dark magic, and it follows that Sirius wasn’t the only one. I’d love to know more about her, but I don’t think I’ll get the chance. 

Other than that, I’ll agree with Irina’s dislike of characters introduced as she and Keith’s brother were. Will also second Karandi’s observation that she’s really just a potential recurring threat.

I’m not sure the series is at its best when it portrays villains.

So after the weird guy kicks it, they just sort of immediately open a bookcase and find Keith ensnared in dark magic. Once they put their minds to it, freeing Keith was pretty easy. I had forgotten Keith’s backstory but we got a refresher. His little kid voice is very cute. 

I remember Crow using the expression “as the plot dictates” and I think it applies to the mirror thing really well. I guess I shouldn’t have made fun of them for doing a bit of leisurely accessories shopping during their rescue mission. It was apparently the absolute right move!

Can I go on a rant?

I’m going to have a small rant.

The mirror? Like really. The one magical item they absolutely needed to free Keith from a spell that’s never been used before and they didn’t know about and Gerald just happens to have bought it because Catarina thought it looked nice in the market place.

I get coincidences happen but this one is just seriously bad writing.

They are travelling with Larna. Queen of the magical devices. If she’d just happened to have a curse breaking mirror in her bag of tricks I would have found that a little convenient but it would have made logical sense. 

I don’t even have a problem with Catarina’s tears being some kind of catalyst for activating it. But come on plot! The odds of random accessory being bought suddenly being the only solution to an unknown problem are staggering. It wasn’t even a magical accessory. Because at least then having an unknown use might have worked a little.

This right here was the moment that if I’d had a flippable table near me, I’d have flipped it.

Okay, rant done. Because I get this is a comedy and we’re not really endangering our characters, and what does it really matter where the magic whosit comes from… But it really bugged me while watching.

Karandi, I like your rant better than the mini-rant I had earlier! But they’re about the same idea. I can forgive plot issues in a comedy faster than in a drama or thriller. But a comedy that also has a good plot? Those are pure gold. 

The series seemed to have a better handle on the mechanics in the first season.

After that the episode got a bit more lighthearted. Catarina gets kissed against her will a couple of more times but she also gets an adorable puppy. I think that’s a fair tradeoff. 

I also legit laughed at one point and it has been a while since this show made me laugh. During Keith’s possessed fever dream, he either remembers or imagines his birthday and Geordo gives him a present from all of them. It’s a plain white shirt. Like 6 teenagers from very rich families got together and really made an effort to find the perfect gift and they came up with a plain white shirt. That was hilarious! 

Any favourite moments for you guys?

For me it was a toss up of Gerald’s cape swirl and the puppy. Seriously, that was cute. It actually made me smile, which given how mad I was at how this situation resolved in the end was quite a feat.

Thought for a new spin-off series: Let’s have Catarina and the puppy run away from all the would be suitors, just travelling from town to town and trying all the cakes in the kingdom.

Oh yeah, I’m watching that!

I think my favorite moment was Anne’s reaction to the puppy. I particularly liked her reaction to the puppy disappearing into Catarina’s shadow. It reminded me of how Shinobu Oshino could hide in Koyomi Araragi’s shadow. And that reminded me of Tsubasa Hanekawa, which was a relief! Then I remembered how she knew her own limitations — “I just know what I know,” which reminded me that the plot in this episode didn’t know what it didn’t know and, well… That’s probably TMI at this point.

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6 thoughts

  1. So, now we know that A-chan’s role this season is to congratulate Katarina every time one of the game’s love interests directly confesses to her. Prince Gerald earlier, Keith this week. If we have ~three episodes per arc, does that mean the rest of the group is going to take up another cour? I can’t wait for Mary’s confession

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