A new chapter in the Maya-Bunmei relationship has started.
Last episode left us with a cliffhanger: Kozue, after undergoing a controlled near-death experience, seemed to wake up from the experiment a different person. A few seconds after walking out of the lab another Kozue showed up on the monitors, this one much like the Kozue we’ve come to expect. That being said, I had high hopes for this week’s episode.
We open to a scene where Maya and Ami are testing Kozue’s eyes (seeing as how she didn’t need her glasses after walking out of the near-death experience bean machine). She scores 3/3 on the eye examination, yet, when Maya shows her various pictures of the occult she fails to name any correctly. Seems like something is strangely amiss.
Speaking of which, I haven’t seen an eye doctor in a while…
Wow, she can actually see. =3=
During class Ami asks Maya, via paper notes, if they should ask Bunmei for help with Kozue’s case. As expected, Maya is reluctant even think of him let alone ask him for help. If I was in her shoes, I think I’d feel the same way. Bunmei has repeatedly shown us all how worthless he really is, especially when people need him the most (as in helping them from crazy moth-like creatures). Obviously, they get caught by the teacher (who just so happens to be “Abe-sensei”) who confiscates their notey-communication.
Writing notes is srs bsns.
Why can’t they just text?
After school, Ami and Maya decide to try and make Kozue interested in the occult again, seeing as how her current self thinks the occult is just a bunch of tomfoolery. Maya’s theory is that what happened to Kozue is the same as other cases of people having near-death experiences: they come back changed somehow, either personality wise or with a strange understanding of something that couldn’t be understood before. Through various lame attempts, we learn that Maya and Ami suck at acting, are very good at making costumes in short periods of time, and genuinely care about Kozue’s well being. Bunmei on the other hand goes to Mikaze’s to eat grub and stare at her. Mikaze, however, has other plans for Bunmei. Remembering his promise to taste her concoctions, as well as to ask Maya if Mikaze could open a shop on the campus grounds, Mikaze wants Bunmei to taste all of the items on her menu. Good luck bro.
Looks painful, though I am a guy…
My hair used to look like that guy’s on the left.
If I cropped this it would have an entirely different feel.
After eating himself to near vomit-dom, Bunmei decides to call Maya (via future phones) to try and reconcile their differences and build a working relationship between them. Maya outrightfully refuses, though after Bunmei brings Kozue up, she decides to give him one more chance.
Bunmei being himself.
Be honest girls, how many times have you made that face?
That chance being a one time opportunity to bend a spoon in front of Kozue. We all know that his powers are long gone, but Maya tells him that faking it is okay too; she just wants to try everything possible. And after a faking gone wrong, and while she (Kozue) starts to talk about how the occult is lame and shouldn’t be taken seriously in any way, she starts to BAW. At first no one knows how to react, but it’s there that Maya realizes what exactly is wrong with Kozue.
*Insert DBZ charging grunt here*
What a punk; he made her cry!
Supposedly Kozue still loves the occult, she just doesn’t realize it. When she was bad-mouthing the occult her body reacted differently than what her mind told her. Her body, her soul, still loved the occult, though for some reason her brain couldn’t remember that. Maya theorizes then that when Kozue went into limbo during her near-death experience, she left her “occult-loving” part of herself there while the rest of her returned to the body. The solution? Go back into kirakira-land and return Kozue’s lost portion back to her body.
Japanese people are bat-shit insane, I’m sure of it.
After enlisting the help of JK and Smiley, Maya and Ami plan to use the bean machine to travel back into near-death land and fish for Kozue’s occult-loving-self. However, on the night the operation was to unfold, Bunmei shows up and asks WTF they are doing. Hiding behind the excuse of “I’m your teacher,” he decides to go instead of Maya, who tells him right off the bat that she doesn’t care what happens to him as long as he gets Kozue back to normal. As Bunmei and new-Kozue “die” again, Bunmei’s life flashes before him, as well as on the monitors, and shows important moments from when he was still a child star. Unfortunately for Bunmei, Maya is the only one that knows he’s from the future and that he really is that spoon-bending-Fumiaki-kid. Everyone else just think’s that he’s crazy. I have to admit, if I didn’t know that Bunmei was actually current-time Bunmei, I would think he’s crazy too. Or more accurately, a creepy stalker guy that follows a child-star and learns about his life. QQ Bunmei. From what we see, we find that Bunmei’s relationship with his mother is nowhere near pleasant, seeing as how she (Okaa-san) is all for Bunmei’s reputation as a star, and none for his life as a child.
Please note the toilet there…
…because after exchanging views…
…Bunmei climbs into it.
I don’t know if any of you watched Bruno, though you should. I think that Sasha Baron Cohen is definitely a cool guy with the biggest bollocks I have ever seen, literally. He reminds me of a few of my friends. There was a segment in Bruno where he acts like he’s a child-talent agent and holds interviews for children that want to be child stars. He asks a few parents of preening child-stars if they are comfortable letting their children do this or that in a commercial or a movie. Obviously, he pushes the envelope, asking if those so called “parents” would be okay with their children being in pseudo-sexual poses or scenes and other awkward and embarrassing settings. What surprised me is that most of the parents agreed, caring less about what their children were going to be doing and more about the attention they’d be getting. I remember one parent saying something to the effect of “she’ll do anything as long as she gets some screen time.” Anyway, Bunmei’s mother reminds me of those parents, so drunk on their child’s fame that they would do anything to make them even more popular. As these visions show on the screen, Maya feels a sort of parallel to it, seeing as how she was never able to be close with her father due to his obsession with the occult. My only problem here is that she skips over the obvious differences in their respective situations: Bunmei’s mother was absorbed in making him more famous, being caught up in her own want for fame, that she was living vicariously through her son; Maya’s father was so focused on the occult because he knew it would help save the world. Whereas Maya’s father got angry at her for disrupting his studies, Bunmei’s mother was angry because he wasn’t doing what she wanted him to. I personally think that Maya’s father was correct in his line of thinking, but Bunmei’s mother wasn’t. I feel that the only time its acceptable to forgo a child’s development is when you’re trying to ensure that your child even has a future to live in.
And this is how parents of famous children become famous.
They just wanted some ice cream. Or was it love? Didn’t matter either way. >:]
After getting a glimpse of the new-millennium world, Bunmei finally finds the lost Kozue and confronts her. After some emo-shit, the scene wraps up in a totally foreseeable joke that leaves everyone, including the audience, stunned at its audacity.
War of the Worlds, anyone?
The next day (I’m guessing) Maya finds Bunmei on the roof of the school and (literally) extends her hand to him in appreciation. She refers to him as Fumiaki in this scene and she relays that she’s readyto be part of a team with him after the whole Kozue incident. Perhaps she feels indebted to him, or maybe she’s starting to believe in him after his (first) act of being useful. The episode concludes with Mikaze selling her foodstuffs at the school and Bunmei helping her out (before being yelled at by Maya.)
Aww, bawwy make up scene.
End Thoughts: Though I had high hopes for this episode, I felt let down. All-in-all I liked it, but it didn’t reach that “OH SHI-”-ness that I expected it to. After the last episode’s cliffhanger I thought that I could expect some REAL occult related phenomenon, like what we saw in the first episode. My own theory with the whole different-Kozue thing was that her real tamashii was left in limbo while another spirit possessed her body. Normally possessing a body is hard, because the body’s real soul is there fighting the invading one, but with a vacant body, the possessing spirit has no real hindrances (well maybe the body’s rebound, but the mind is always about 9000 times stronger than the body). I thought that would have made for a much better story-arc but, alas it wasn’t. Boo!
The one thing I missed the most in this episode was Kozue’s ^A^ face, which luckily returned after Bunmei went to the “otherside.” However, I personally thought that corrected vision (boy I’d love that) and a healthy understanding of the occult was an improvement, but this is an anime, and I guess character stability is more important than maturity. -___-
As for Maya’s new appreciation for Bunmei…If I was in her shoes I wouldn’t be so eager to rebuild a friendship with him. What “small” thing he did for Kozue in this episode isn’t even close to repaying all the crap he’s done (quick recap: being annoying, faking his status, leaving Mikaze alone in the caves, running when Maya need his help, having no fashion sense, and having lost his powers). I am hoping though, like how Kozue had a change in personality, that after venturing to save Kozue, that Bunmei also had a change. Not necessarily a personality one though: I’m hoping his powers have returned. From the whole mother-son relationship that we saw in this episode, I have an itching feeling that he lost his powers while still young. I mean, why else isn’t he known in his own time? I’m thinking he basically willed his powers away (because we all know the mind is that powerful) so he could have a better relationship with his mother and so he could grow up as a normal kid. Though I also have a feeling that his mother didn’t like that and did something she shouldn’t have.
Lastly, as the series continues, I am increasingly less suspicious of the fukukouchou (vice-principal), and more suspicious of Mikaze-san. As Kyo pointed out a few posts ago, she seems to pop up at just the right moment and has easily seduced Bunmei to do her whims. Now, with her food stand, she has a legitimate reason to be on the campus grounds where she can do who knows what. I just feel the vice-principal is too idiotic to pose a threat to the future of the world and Mikaze’s perpetual goodie-two-shoes vibe is unsettling, but I guess we’ll have to watch more episodes to see how it plays out, eh?
Preview: Is that a UFO (pronounced “u-fo” instead of “yu-eff-o” because Japanese people love to pronounce abbreviations)? I hope so. I feel like this show is too light on the supernatural, I WANT MOAR! And flying Kozue grasp!
Seems like I was guest reviewer for Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin this week. Hopefully, this lives up to the reviews Kyo has done, though we might be doing collaborative posts on this from now on. HURR HURR. We’ll have to see. Till my next post, PZ!