「ペンギンと少女」 (Pengin to Shoujo)
“Girl and Penguin”
The action is back as esper yakuza get in on the fun.
Not A Suspect…Until Now
Last episode featured Azuma & Rinka dumping young thief Kuroi Kobushi (Aizawa Mai) on the police and saying “She did it!” before running off. Without evidence that she did anything. Those of you who pointed out that the police taking her into custody based on the accusations of a suspect would be the height of idiocy, and luckily, the police agree! They just took her to the hospital because, ya know, unconscious. Fortunately, Kobushi-chan was nice enough to make herself a suspect by assaulting a couple of police officers. So that was nice.
Rapid Improvement of Power Control
I liked how Wolverine Papa – his real name is Urushiba Rindou (Inada Tetsu), though I will be exclusively referring to him as Wolverine Papa, for obvious reasons. Or Wolverine/Magneto/Super Saiyan Papa, but that’s cumbersome – learned how to control his powers (mostly) so quickly. Like Rinka, it was one early snafu and then he figured it out. That confirms that this is not a story about people coming to terms with and learning how to use their powers. That can be interesting sometimes, but it can also quickly become tedious. This is about people with powers and how they use them. A steep learning curve would just keep us from getting to the fun for too long.
A Loving Parody
Western parodies, in anime? I’m glad that being plugged into Western pop culture for so long is finally paying off in the anime world. It’s clear that original creator Segawa Hajime is a fan of certain Western properties, and is parodying the crap out of them. Here we had the Ghostbusters, and Leonidas from 300. (Not sure if Buddah Yakuza is from something.) Those got a quick laugh, but I was disappointed that they weren’t more faithful to the characters they stole from. Leonidas Yakuza was okay, but the Ghostbuster Kidnappers were nothing like the Ghostbusters we love (rest in peace, Harold Ramis). They were just bullies.
Those were just opportunities to throw in a reference to stuff Segawa-sensei probably enjoys. Wolverine Papa, though, is a loving parody. The hair and Magneto powers were one thing, but when he showed us his own version of Wolverine claws, I had to laugh! That’s a loving send up, and it’s nice to see what with how X-men-ish the whole series is. It means Segawa-sensei is riffing off something he enjoyed, not claiming to have come up with it all on his own, and I thoroughly approve of that.
Who Wants To Be A Hero
Azuma’s backstory made me laugh, but not in the good way. He just suddenly starts monologuing about his backstory, and it was dark. Oddly, off-puttingly so.
Azuma’s desire to become a hero of justice – what is this, Samurai Flamenco? I should finish that show sometime – was at least consistent. For Rinka, it came out of left field a bit. She was reluctant at first, then seemed to be into it, then reluctant, and then all of a sudden she’s lamenting that she couldn’t be a hero. Her brawling in Edoyama Murasaki’s (Tadokoro Azusa) house – wait, was that girl always this small? Hmmm… – seemed more like her defending herself and helping out while she was there then a hero thing.
Honestly, I’m hoping they take the same route they took with their powers – a little uncertainty, and then fuck it, all in on the hero business. This doesn’t feel like a good show for angst. Let’s get past it.
As for the fight against the esper yakuza, the most interesting part was the other teleporter – the teleporter girl from episode one/the ED, I assume – and his or her ability to catch (or create?) the esper fish. I like the idea that it’s all up to some ineffable but visible force who gets the powers – and one that may be triggered by great desire. The fish has decided, and it decides that this girl…!
While I would have liked to see Wolverine Papa go on a rampage, I have to admit that him going for the stomach knockout, only for Rinka knee him in the face was great! The big strong guys don’t have a monopoly on the action here, even if it would have been smarter if they all went in. Oh well, I guess the children have to leave the nest eventually, and fly off into a building full of yakuza. Erh–that one got away from me.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – After saving the flying penguin, it’s hero time when super-powered yakuza kidnap their new loli friend. Also, parodies & arson #東京ESP 03
- Where does Azuma keep that crow head? o.O
- So Rinka can’t phase through people. Good! She’ll still have some challenge in fights.
- I feel compelled to note that Wolverine Papa has the manliest boxers of them all. Also, that six-pack. He looks like he could eat steel.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Temporally unfocused, Fast, easy, guaranteed, Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t, and Writer, author, full-time author.
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