(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)
Last two episodes had been an arc, and the culmination of a thematic thread – Ryuuko hadn’t had a nice life, she’d always been used, and constantly her decisions which she had thought were her own had been revealed as the machinations of her parents. Continuing with the “Clothes are Original Sin,” we have the parents’ original sin, as well as “Sins of the parents.”
Ryuuko was filled with self-disgust which progressed to self-hatred and sabotaging her own life, until the power of friendship and self-disgust that’s been too large to bear had brought her back. It’s now time for the two sisters to finally join forces.
More interesting was Satsuki being revealed as not entirely honest, she says she will do anything to obtain her goals, including lying, and perhaps this too is such a lie. Well, let’s see what the two sisters can manage.
(Note: Earthquake warning makes for less than ideal screenshots. I’ll look into fixing it after going to sleep and waking up. It’s still 4 am as I’m typing this, and we’re not done just yet.)
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Ryuuko’s Back!:
1) You’ve messed with the wrong girl, dude. Covered in her heart’s blood, fulfilling the theme of self-hatred, she had cut out her own heart, she had sacrificed herself, so she could become a
noble warrior berserker once more.
3) Ryuuko looking all-powerful, all the limiters are off; that’s quite the hero-porn we have here. All the limiters are off? Nope, we still have some power-ups to go, such as when Ryuuko wields the complete scissor, perhaps against the building-cloth that Nui had been constructed? Probably.
4) Nice seeing that Ryuuko face again, without the bloodshot tired eyes, even if I can’t say that notion is all too sanitary :3
2) The Power of (Shounen) Friendship!
1) Ah yes, the regular sides and speech – “It’s better to feel, even if it means you’ll be sad, and misunderstood, than to live in an unmoving world of false “togetherness”.” So many shows with the same “plot-conflict,” but honestly, it’s only there to move the characters, so it doesn’t really matter that much.
Also, the talk of “incomprehensibility” is so very Ryuuko. Ryuuko is one who always charges ahead, who doesn’t try to make sense of the world, or of feelings, or her place in it. That is why she was so quick to break, when she was forced to rethink things she’d never thought of before. To Ryuuko, the world is something you smash through, and little else. But they had been nice to her, which she can’t comprehend why. But they’ve been nice to her, and that’s all that matters. Ryuuko will now do what she knows, which is charge ahead, to protect these weird friends of hers.
2) Awww, such a shounen scene, with some amusing and goofy bits:
- Ryuuko is still drunk with the reversed roles with Satsuki, so wishes to punch her, to pay her back for all she’s done to her, and because shounen heroes talk and make friends with their fists (just as Satsuki did with 2.5 of her 4 generals).
- Ryuuko is more about testing Satsuki’s mettle, so holds back her punch.
- Ryuuko fought alongside and can respect the shounen-spirit of the Elite Four so will not punch them with her full strength.
- The Elite Four’s dignity will not allow them to either let Satsuki be punched, or to be treated as something other than they are, if you’re going to punch them, then punch them all out!
- Ryuuko recognizes and accepts their shounen hero, their ridiculous nature, which isn’t the same nature as Senketsu and Mako’s, but that of her own.
In the end, it’s all about friendship :-) And the fist was sort of a shounen-friend-making-fist as well.
3) Very interesting. Satsuki realized she’d been manipulating Ryuuko, the other schools, and Nudist Beach, just as her mother had done, so she couldn’t defeat her. This is also a reprimand to their father, who tried to defeat their mother using her tools. Just that? No. It’s also a reprimand to Ryuuko. As I’ve pointed in the past, Ryuuko thought that she was tearing down Satsuki’s system, but her actions had always beencompletely within the system, helping her remove the weaklings, gather more information, and support the “might makes right” mentality, so of course she couldn’t defeat Satsuki. But for “Straightforward Ryuuko” that had probably been too much of a headache to think through ;)
4) “The World is beautiful because it’s filled with things beyond our understanding, like friendship!” Satsuki please :3 Well, friends!
3) Soul Sisters:
1) Dunno about you, but it seems pretty monstrous to me :P Well, I guess that’s the power of “Friendship!” in shounen shows for you. Ryuuko can now fight with her allies as if she is one, because in her cloth the blood of all three mixes. This show is now about sisters. Ryuuko is a spirit sister to Satsuki and Mako, who stand for humanity, and had turned down the spirit-sister that is Nui, which stands for clothes. Now all that’s missing is for Senketsu to be a girl as well :P
4) Kick-ass Mako is back! To be honest, it made me smile, it made my heart swell. Mako in her fight club outfit and attitude had been one of the highlights of the show. That spunk, that vigor. Probably my favourite design of the show as well.
4) Miscellaneous Symbolism and Clothes:
1) Junketsu’s remains. Slithering like the snake. Interesting, being red, it’s the wedding sheet alright, after it had been used on the wedding night, as proof of the marriage’s consummation. Ryuuko had became a killer, so it did what it set out to do, too bad she’s killed herself who would wear Junketsu. Furthermore, Junketsu is “pure”, being stained by blood now it had lots its self.
2) Senketsu isn’t just a tool, he gets to decide whether Ryuuko will chase after Nui or not. Partners <3
3) Talk about a sore loser. Harime Nui can’t permit the notion of her being fallible, she didn’t ask to be saved, by a lowly human Spit. Thing is, in her attempt to look so superior, she comes off as petty and small, as the very worst of what it is to be human.
4) The nudist spirit makes for a nice piece of symbolism, shedding everything that is unnecessary, remaining clean of conceit for the battle to come. Being willing to do anything? Hm, Tsumugu had been willing to kill Ryuuko in the past, but if you shed all your clothes, you’re a human underneath, what will be left if you shed even that humanity? No, you can shed things, but it’s important to note what is necessary.
Shorter Asides / Notes:
- Surprise, motherfucker! (Literally? :O)
- Who doesn’t like a good price-saver? ;-) Nine for the price of two, you can do it mountain-man Gamagoori!
- The Puppeteer makes his entrance! Demon-spiler clothes so very fitting.
- Life-fibers are space bacteria :< That was sort of cool, and funny. Very gonzo. I like it.
- Big eva-cloth of the depths! I don’t know, it really reminds me of something… ah yes, Raava, the Light Spirit. Except evil, and stuff. Or perhaps a big shark kraken entity of doom.
Post Episode Thoughts:
This episode had been a fan-service episode. No, not in the “tits and ass” sort of way (though it certainly didn’t lack in that department), but in the sense you get in series just before they reach their finales, or in action flicks just before and/or after the big show-down – you have all the jokes that reference what had happened thus far, you have the characters you love getting to be sock-knocking cool.
It’s hard for me to talk about this episode on its own, because while it was cool, and it had me figuratively fist-pumping at times, and it also had some moments that made me chuckle or go “Awww!” which hadn’t been too common with this show, it’s very clearly a build-up episode for the fights to come.
The shounen content may have been a bit too thick, but I think it’s intentional. Hey, I did keep stressing how everyone in this show is a shounen hero since at least episode six, with the first fight against Sanageyama, and it was obvious friendship was going to save Ryuuko from Junketsu, so we don’t get to complain when they play with the trope by taking it to its limit :)
It was a nice episode, but I want to see the final fights, and boy do I hope they’re fully animated (a boy can hope, right).