April 17th, 2014.
Super Robo-Samurai Love-Story!
Solid story, solid characters, exceptional pacing. Let’s see how long before Smile unveils his might and takes on King Kong, who dethroned Mr. Peco.
1) Reintroductions. Retreading Old Pathways:
1) Peco is a whiny brat. He’s used to always winning, so he values his winning as an important core of himself, and now it’s been taken away from him. This is why Smile always lets him win, but him being like this is also a result of Smile letting him win.
2) Interesting, Peco is introduced again. In a manga, it’s a form of recap. Is this a nod to the manga-source, or showing us a “new Peco”?
Kong introduced again. Kong is in rage, Peco is in dire mood. And Smile unlike both of them will show no emotion.
3) Hm. Smile is locked in a closet, so he’s weaving a tale that he wants to be there. Smile doesn’t show feelings, he wants to be like a robot. He doesn’t want to be released. He doesn’t want to be found. He doesn’t want others to see his shame, and to give his tormentors access to him again.
Oooooh, that was young Smile. Smile seems cold, but he thinks of himself as someone with fire flowing through his veins, he thinks of himself as a hero (ally of justice). Smile is biding his time. He has glasses and seems calm, right? He’s Superman. And then he’ll go all-out. He’s hiding his true self from the world.
2) Relationships are Hard. Two Tales of Unrequited Love:
1) 5 am, “I’m proposing to you here.” “No problem, I’m the devoted husband kind.” First, it’s nice to see that indeed, the coach knows what’s up, and had picked up on it, after all, I began seeing how things are between Smile and Peco from his off-hand comment last episode. Second, he’s such a charming old man ;-)
2) “Sucks to be you, getting harassed by the upperclassmen whenever I skip.” And he keeps skipping, what a friend!
3) “Nonsense! What good can high school English do for anyone!” - Says the English teacher. Now it makes sense why the coach keeps spicing his speech with English words. And what he cares for.
4) “Ping pong and English are both just ways to kill time until I die.” Wow, Smile sure is something. He’s a kid, and he’s just sulking. What happened to the kid with fire in his veins saved by flying birdman? :D
5) Wait, is this coach his devoted husband, or his devoted mother? Sure is devoted, though.
Oh my, “Virgo” and pink for the teacher-coach’s introduction ;-) Well, he’s fired up with the desire to win, with feeling he can finally bring forth change and victory, I guess. They also spoke of it being Spring, so it might be pink for the sakura trees near Fuji mountain.
3) An Ode to Non-involvement, with life:
1) “I’m only in it for the fun. Fun is enough.” You don’t look like you’re having fun. Tying it up to what you said before, Smile, it seems to you “fun” means “Not suffering”. You’re doing Ping Pong or English, things with rules, to run away from suffering.
2) “I don’t want to sacrifice things or drag people to win.” I see, it’s like when I played tennis, he wants the endless back and forth, what people use to warm up. He wants to lose himself in the endless flow, which one side winning would break.
3) More introductions. The gopher. Oh, that’s a badass, so the gimp from Pulp Fiction.
4) “For me, it’s simple. I hate losing. So I want to win, and I don’t care what happens to the other side.” “That’s a cool line, Peco. I’ll root for you.”
LOL. You never know whether to take Smile’s word for anything, with his deadpan voice, but man, Peco indeed has “Type A” personality, the sort you need to win. Now we just need to implant Peco’s personality in Smile’s body.
4) Full-Robo Samurai-Showdown!:
1) Time for a face-off! Oh man, but Coach is a smart one! Smile says he doesn’t care about winning, and what Coach is trying to teach him is the drive to win, so even if he “loses” to Smile, he’ll achieve his goal. In actually agreeing to play, Smile gives Coach what he wanted.
2) A shift to the butterfly, this is like Wenge and his coach’s analysis of the game, something taken straight out of a samurai manga.
And we even have analysis from the sidelines, as well as the coach’s narrative. This is exactly like samurai shows :D And they take it seriously, Peco, Smile and Coach, the serious fighters, the one who fight, rather than just play in dojos. Coach is putting on an act, and the regular students don’t understand it’s psychological warfare.
3) No hero, full machine? Accept your weakness, and turn it into your strength, rather than hoping to change from one end of the spectrum to the other? Hm. Hmmmmm.
4) As Coach is defeated, it’s a love song, his defeat is Smile’s serenade to him. He didn’t care about the victory, as much as the game being played, which is exactly what Smile wanted to keep going. Yes, their game is a dialogue of sweet nothings to Coach, even as it’s the crunch of metallic boots for Smile.
5) Smile says he wants to be like Peco. Peco doesn’t care about his vanquished enemies. Smile thinks that’s cool. Smile defeats Coach and just leaves.
Post Episode Thoughts:
This was one of the most beautiful samurai fights I’ve
read watched in a very long while.
Coach is a great character.
Smile is pretty great as well. Peco is having his eyes being opened, now that the blinders are removed. This was a great episode. Kaio came, but he didn’t care for little-boy Peco, only for cold-robot Smile. Cold-robot Smile, which houses a nuclear reactor within his heart. Superman bird? The nuclear reaction will burn you up, cold fission for you!
Smile’s power is from accepting who he is, rather than denying it. Change, or lack of it? Uncertain. Need more data.