「まんま亜美～ヤ！」 (Manma Ami~ya!)
I was suspicious of the cow last episode but still wasn’t sure what to make of it either way. Well lo and behold, it comes back in full force with hordes of chupacabras in tow to finally give us some occult stuff again. What I appreciated the most this episode though was the follow-up to the fight between Maya and Ami, and how these green, blood-sucking, goblin-looking creatures encompassed their eventual reconciliation. To that end, the humor was abundant as usual, with Fumiaki providing a fair share of it due to his forced participation in Ami’s rescue.
One moment he’s eating his nightly curry and melting in his seat from Mikaze’s touch, and the very next moment he’s plucked from the entrance door and thrown into the back of a truck and driven off to fight chupacabras. Amazingly, he actually proved his worth by covering Maya’s back, which I would’ve expected to win him some brownie points but Maya didn’t think so with the hair-splitting way she returned the favor. Leading up to that, I’d even say there was a bit of fan-service when Ami was snatched up at the shine where she was trying to make up with Maya and had the huge chupacabra sink its teeth into her. Between the time it took to round up Shige, Smile, and JK’s help and to track down where Ami was actually taken, I’m surprised she wasn’t sucked completely dry by then. In fact, she didn’t look too worse for wear even when she was surrounded by tons of baby chupacabras. Something didn’t add up there, just like how her white shirt was magically missing after Maya pulled her up. In less time, Kozue looked much more anemic than Ami too, which may or may not be due to her knack for getting possessed and whatnot.
Logistics aside, this episode felt a lot like the first one, where things happened quickly without too much explanation. As such, the plot was fairly simplistic and only really held together by the drama between Maya and Ami built up the week before. I wouldn’t consider it a complete wash however, seeing as Maya got all flustered over being knowledgeable about the occult world, JK got his moment to shine again with his dowsing rods, and Shige got to kick some serious ass with his improved nail gun a la Hirano Kohta in HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD. No real headway was made in terms of Nostradamus’ Key, but the series has emphasized time and time again that Chihiro and her black suit associate are likely connected to it in some way. They’ve been doing a pretty snazzy job with the cover-up of all the real occult stuff that’s been happening, so they’re looking like the prime suspects at the moment. Mikaze’s been somewhat quiet as well, so I haven’t taken her actions off my radar yet either. Next time it looks like we have a new kid joining the mix, whom JK doesn’t seem all that pleased with. Another possessed spirit perhaps?