This week we start with Rin as he makes his way through Toshima, avoiding Gunji and Kiriwar … *twitches in agony at Gunji* yo-your…your head…it looks so small…on top of those broad shoulders. They are still looking for Takeru, Keisuke is running around town searching for Akira, who is standing in…is that Shibuya? I think that’s the Shibuya district or whatever’s left of it anyways.  Akira is sitting outside the steps of a building when he hears footsteps – Rin comes running around the corner and yells that he finally found Akira. Huh…is it just me or…*squints* does the art actually look…kinda good at that shot…?

Rin comes to stop before him, tiredly panting that he’s really worn out. Akira asks if he’s been searching for him, Rin replies that it didn’t look like he was coming back so yeah and asks if he’s alright. Rin scolds him that he had told him to not get involved in anything that would get the Punishers on his case before saying that they should go. Akira asks where? Rin scolds him for not listening and tells him to the hotel that’s on neutral grounds. He takes Akira’s arm and tells him that Keisuke will meet them there too. On the way to the hotel, they pass a group of guys who are talking. And okay THAT is not fair *points at the guy who first notices Rin* HE looks better than Akira! THAT IS NOT FAIR. WHY does this random guy get better shiny art than the MAIN GUY?! *gets wacked by a harisen* OUCH I’m JUST SAYING fo’ pete’s sake…tch

The man with the power mullet really long orange hair turns around and is surprised to see Rin in Toshima. Meet Tomoyuki~ He walks up to Rin and greets him before turning to Akira. As he catches a closer look at him, he quietly gasps before turning back towards Rin, saying if he can get along with Akira or not but Rin takes a step forward to stop Tomoyuki. The latter comments that Rin isn’t really cute but Rin tells him to shut up and they brush past him. Tomoyuki gets mad and yells something to the point that for a guy who betrayed his friends, he shouldn’t be so cocky and proud. Rin stops briefly before he resumes walking, Akira following him.

Keisuke is still walking around town before he tiredly leans back against a pillar and sits down. Rin and Akira are making their way back quietly and Rin clearly has been effected by the meeting with Tomoyuki and he apologizes to Akira. Akira brushes it off, even when Rin asks that he isn’t going to ask him anything. Rin sighs and Akira tells him that he  doesn’t have to tell him anything if he doesn’t feel like it. Rin sighs and rubs his head before commenting that he really came off as uncool/lame right there.

At the hotel, Motomi is sitting on the sofa at the far end and turns around when he hears Rin’s voice. URGH. *shudders* Am I the only one who gets TOTALLY FREAKED OUT by that..that look of Motomi? He looks…very…evilish. He looks fine with the side profile but from the front? YIKES. Anyways, Rin is surprised to see Motomi there and asks where Keisuke is. He hasn’t made it back yet, much to Akira’s … irritation and he is ready to go look for him when Motomi comments that Keisuke was really worried, which makes Akira pause. And look who just stumbled in through the doors.

Huh….*tilts head* again, is it just me or…is the animation kinda…better in this ep than before? I mean Keisuke right there, his design actually looked…decent. And Akira back when he looks back at Rin with the sun behind him….hmmmm improvement in designs, a good sign. Keisuke asks if Akira’s alright, as the later drops into the free sofa. And is his usual cool self. Keisuke apologizes for not being able to find Akira. Err..unless yer a BLOODHOUND, that’s a stupid apology aite? Now sit yer sorry ass down before I bust into more insults 😛 Rin sneaks over from behind with a bag filled with Solid and water. Solid is like portable food/rations that are kinda like space food I’d say. In different flavors such as green curry and omrice~ (Akira likes the omrice if I’m not mistaken~) You can exchange your pig tags at the counter for stuff you want like water, food, medicines etc etc. Urgh Motomi *begging voice* PLEASE stop grinning like that, ITS TOTALLY freaking me out! Rin proposes that why don’t they all have some fun together.

Rin leads the others up a VERY DANGEROUS staircase, ACK STOP STOMPING AT IT RIN, its totally gonna fall apart! On the rooftop, the four guys watch the sunset and the amazing view and Rin explains that he found this place by coincidence. Err…this scene…they changed it from the game..I’m not sure if I like it though…Rin pulls out the food and says that it’s his treat and they all dig into the food…as much as you can dig into such food in any event 😉 And they spend the time away by discussing the merits and flavors of Solid (bleh you couldn’t PAY me to have the green curry one! That red meat one that Rin was having MAYBE. Omrice…yeah sure…) Come nightfall, Keisuke’s conked out like a babe and Motomi thanks Rin before he heads off.

On the street level, our favorite bishi is doing some clean up and looks like its been a rather through cleaning up of the trash for the night as he corners the last man against the wall. Oh Shiki-sama *fingertips against her lips* you look so good right then and there….The man takes a shot of the Line as Shiki coldly watches. He watches and waits as the man slowly gets back on his feet, taking hold of his sword as the man stumbles forward. Crazed guy tossed a bunch of pipes at Shiki but he easily cuts through them before cutting through the man’s torso as though he was cutting through butter with a hot knife. Oh Shiki-sama, yet again you look so good!

Rin is going through his old photographs as Akira is just sitting quietly and enjoying the night breeze. Rin inquires if Akira used to be Bl@ster and whether he was with a team or as an individual. Akira says that he entered on his own and Rin confesses that he used to be there too – team fighting.  Rin comments that he liked the previous version of the game better and Akira agrees with him.  Rin says that he joined up because he liked the scrimmages that used to happen and that you could show case your individual strengths. He felt that you could find out your nakama that way, fighting each other till you’re in bad shape but still be glaring at each other in the end…and still being friends in the end. He puts away the pictures saying that in the end, he admired such people. He comes and crouches down before Akira, staring at him for a moment before grinning and saying that he really likes Akira’s face. He tackleglomps Akira and hey hey hey, get off the man before you know who comes and something bad happens. While those two are goofing off, another man down on the streets had stumbled upon Shiki’s handy work.

He runs away yelling, “It’s Shiki!” and Rin hears the cry and stands up, his face deadly serious. He run off, Akira yelling out his name before he at..tem…t…HOLY…SHIT. *gawks at Rin’s acrobatics* He’s not a human, he’s a frickkin monkey! Or the more logical conclusion that he’s MAD for parkour! Akira runs out the hotel, as the whole hotel is chattering about Shiki. Akira catches sight of two guys turning around the corner of a building and he runs in the direction from where they came, thinking “Shiki…just what/who are you?” He yells for Rin as he runs and pauses at the head of an alley as he catches sight of a figure stumbling forward.

The bloody figure falls face first and Akira slowly takes out his knife, staring into the darkness of  the alley.  Footsteps and then a familiar figure finally comes to stand before Akira – hello Shiki-sama~ Akira holds his knife out in a defensive pose as Shiki recognizes him as the trash from before. He adjusts his grip on his sword before slashing at Akira, who easily manages to dodge the attack. Shiki is slightly impressed before he regroups and attacks again, this time managing to land a blow on Akira’s forehead. Akira falls back and stares up at Shiki for a moment before his sword comes rushing down. He raises his own knife to block and manages to hold it with difficulty before Shiki asks if that’s all he’s got. Akira gets pissed and tries to lunge at him but Shiki knee’s him in the stomach and gives him a round house kick to the ribs that has Akira flying through the display window of a nearby shop.

Shiki saunters over, stabbing his sword into the ground (? Or is it the display window part?) before he comes to stand before Akira as he tries to get back up. He takes hold of Akira before flaming him hard against the far wall, asking that he’s still swing his knife around though he knows that he can’t win?  PUSH HIM DOWN SHIKI PUSH HIM DOWN!!!! Ahem….Akira raises his knife but Shiki takes a hold of his hand, commenting that Akira must really want to die and grips it tightly, to the point that Akira is forced to drop the knife from his hand. He glares at Shiki before he tightens his grip, saying that as he (Akira) wishes, he will kill him. Shiki slowly tightens his grip on Akira’s throat but the light haired man still manages to hold on and glares back at Shiki, managed to choke out that Shiki should just kill him already. Shiki leans forward to whisper in Akira’s ear that he’s trying to be pushy even when he’s on the losing side? Shiki comments that a dog should stay a dog and bark like one.

Akira raises his hand up to Shiki’s shoulder but he can’t push the man back as he taunts him, saying that if Akira were to beg and plead for his life, perhaps he’ll change his mind. Shiki moves back as Akira manages to get a few inches in but then Shiki slams him back against the wall. Shiki is taken aback by the fiery glare that Akira has directed towards him and comments that that is quite an arrogant gaze an…ho ho~ the guts on this boy~ *eyes Akira with admiration* He lifts both his legs up and kangaroo kicks Shiki in the shoulders, forcing him to move back. Akira stumbles forward as he attempts to stand up but manages to get his knife back in his hand. He holds the knife out towards Shiki, muttering that as if he’d act that way…

Shiki stands before him, impassive and cold as he takes a few steps forward to stand before Akira. He lets out a small amused laugh before saying that he’ll come and play with Akira again, when he’s in better shape. On his way out, he grabs a hold of his sword and walks away into the night. Asidhaoisghdasid THAT WAS SO HOT. And that is one badass longcoat, Akira manages to stand up and he glares in the direction where Shiki walked off and mutters to himself, “So that’s…Shiki….” YES BB BOY~ THAT IS SHIKI~ The incredibly awesome and amazing and kick ass and bad ass and bishounen SHIKI-SAMA~ His sword fighting skills rival no one else in this game and then there *gets wacked twice with a harisen* WHAT?! I can’t praise my favorite character in the game?  . . . say what? That’s favoritism? BUT he’s just that awesome! It’s a fact of life! Much like the sky is blue and…oh alright alright, I’ll try to tone down the gushing…TRY. Keh, everyone’s a critic~

This ED…hmmmm, not as much fun as the last three ones.

Score: B+/A+

I AM HAPPY AS A CRICKET~~ FINALLY I can say that the animation and designs were much better this week than before. SO many scenes when I had to pause and stare and admire the characters and the shading. I think  the key is to do heavy shading, that adds more depth to the image. Though the thing that KEEPS throwing me off is Gunji’s neck tattoo – I know its all around his neck but it kinda looks weird animated. But wuuuuu *holding back her tears of joy* the Shiki Akira fight – IT WAS GOOD. It was ACTUALLY decent! Err except the few Akira close up shots when he looks flat out DEMENTED. But still, all in all I was enraptured by this episode. Either I’ve TOTALLY gotten used to this style or the animation is really improving and I’m leaning towards the second option.

Story-wise, we’re at the brink of the plot but nice little tasty morsel of intrigue that’s been tossed our way about Rin. Who were the guys that Rin blew off? And that thing about him betraying his old team and that they’re dead. And Rin’s reaction towards Shiki, WHAT is the story there, I bet you’re wondering. Well you’ll have to wonder away alas for a good many episodes before THAT back story comes out and it is good~

Augh I HAVE to spazz in delight over the Shiki Akira fight just a bit more! I LOVE that they lengthened it out from the simple clash in the game. If I recall right, in the game it was simply Shiki and Akira glaring at each other over their respective weapons before Shiki pulled away saying that Akira’s gaze was really interesting. THIS? SO. MUCH. MORE. BETTER *runs around squeeing in delight* Though God DAMN it, don’t tease a fujoshi by leaning in THAT close and whispering stuff Shiki! I was hoping “Kiss him!” or something. Hey, a girl can dream XD But over all, it was awesome to see a more length fight and I GOTTA say this. I’m loving this anime! Akira. In the game I felt that “Okay you SAY he’s a Bl@ster undefeated champion but the boy’s gotten his ass kicked and handed over to him left and right. He doesn’t really SEEM like he’s the fighting type. Here? Okay so maybe not undefeated champ but he can TOTALLY hold his own.

I mean, he got a hit in on Shiki! Okay so it didn’t lead to any bleeding wounds but still, he managed to catch Shiki off guard by that kangaroo kick and get some space. THAT made Akira’s stock rise about 60 points in my book. Very very kool *thumbs up* Next week, FINALLY the damn plot will start a crack a lacking. With Takeru and Kesisuke and Rin. How I wish I could say more but I shall le waits till next Thursday~!

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Obsessive fangirl type. Loves a good romance story, likes her yaoi and shoujo with good art and good story. Also very much spazzy.

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