May 13th, 2014.
No Friends. Only Family, and Enemies.
So, we met a new girl who seems to not have emotions, and she and Rentaro took a liking to one another. Too bad that she had been sent to assassinate the person Rentaro had been hired to guard. We also have “politics” and power-hungry despots, international world still exists, plans for moon deathbeams, and solid action sequences. Let’s see what this episode brings to bear.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) A Nice Moment Before Dusk Sets:
1) Tired girl. Feeding the little girl. Wiiiiide. This is like a slice of life show. Who dropped a bit of Usagi Drop in Black Bullet? And yeah, I know why it’s there, especially after noting his opponent, the hidden sniper, is “dangerous”, as opposed to this girl. This girl, as a person, is helpless and cute, but as a tool, she is a dangerous adversary. She is someone who had been robbed of the opportunity to be “just a girl”.
And yes, Rentaro doesn’t have the opportunity of simply being an “older brother” either. He will have to fight with the girl he’s being kind towards right now.
“Rentawo-san, mo(r)e pwease.” – I’m melting.
2) “My life is nothing but pain.” – Tying to the above. BTW, you want to see little girls in pain being the premise of a very good show? Try Gunslinger Girls.
3) Ah, before it was Tina against Seitenshi, in whom Rentaro is interested due to her secrets, and with whom he has a business relationship. But now? They’re going against his childhood friend, against someone who is akin to family to him. They’re making it personal, so the clash will tear Rentaro from within, and beemotional. Much better than him against some mooks he dislikes, such as Seitenshi’s head bodyguard.
2) High-school Hi-jinks:
2) This is the student council president’s room. Well, she’s also the heiress to a large arms manufacturer, I guess :<
3) Miori please… Honestly, not a fan of Kisara and Miori as they are in the show. We’ve got the little girls and Satomi to give us enough comic reliefs, and at some point it feels as if the serious and gruesome bits are reliefs from all the (not very good) comedy :P
4) What? Whaaat? “Though you’re rude, you are quite the gentleman… You lack the nerve to push through a woman’s hesitation and make her yours.” – Yeah, that’s so riddled with contradictions I dunno where to begin.
5) “Holding hands is hard, cause it’s like we’re a c-couple! H-hurry, I’m so embarrassed I could die!” – So, we’ve done moe slice of life this show, so now we’re in full RomCom mode? :P
3) Serious Face Time:
1) Defeat Kagetane, jump from position ~120,000 to top 1,000. Not bad, not bad.
2) “Next”, “Ayn Rand” – Hue hue hue! Also, “The Four Geniuses” – sounds like a coalition of super-villains.
3) Tragedy strikes! The phone falls just as Tina was being told Rentaro’s name! But here is the question – yes, it’s going to strike her and surprise her when she finds out, but suppose she had found out now, over the phone? Would she have gone through, having composed herself? I think in this case her finding out wouldn’t have reduced the emotional weight of the conflict, and perhaps would’ve even increased it.
4) “Prepare yourself” is a weird thing for an assassin to say :P
6) Welp, they really are dumping a lot of Kisara-information on us right now. This isn’t “character-growth”, as Kisara isn’t changing. It’s not even showing us her nature, but them flat-out telling us her motivations. She wishes to erase the Tendo name, and we’ve seen how she feels about her grandfather. She is fueled by revenge, and with a bum kidney, has a limited lifespan ahead of her. Honestly, we’re creating cyborgs, can’t we fix one girl’s kidney? :P
4) Sacrificing Ourselves; Offering Up Our Humanity:
1) “I do what I do for honour, and if it means I die for it, then that is my destiny.” – Seitenshi is treating herself as a tool, and her life as disposable. Just as she had said she’ll treat Rentaro last week. She has a goal, which is the safety of her city, and she will sacrifice lives, and the humanity of people, to attain it. She sees herself as a Cursed Child, so to speak. Born to fulfill a duty.
2) Cheerful in the face of danger, putting on a brave face, that she and Rentaro will be reunited again. That’s our Enju. That’s also what we call “Death-flag”, as experts.
3) Ooooh, Tina Sprout is one of the top hundred. “Owl” – makes sense, with the nocturnal bit. So, both a Cursed Child and a mechanized soldier? That sounds like quite the deadly combination…
4) Yes, the symbolism here is clear, blood splattered over a phone saying “Enju”. Well, she’s one of the two main characters, don’t give up on her yet :P
Post Episode Thoughts:
Well, Rentaro, for Enju, or over Enju? You know he’ll do it, kill Tina Sprout, die, or even tear out his own heart.
This was an… interesting episode, in terms of mood and pacing. We’ve had moe slice of life, we’ve had RomCom, we’ve had some physical gags, and then we moved to action. Of course, the first half was there to imbue the latter half with emotional weight. So we’d see the choice both Tina and Rentaro make, of what they give up, or how much their determination will see them through.
To see how Tina and Rentaro are willing to be tools, and put aside their humanity, because of their humanity. I still wish the Kisara and Moira bits had been done better, and especially the Kisara motivation-dump, we didn’t really need to hear of her kidney situation as well here, and her hatred for her grandfather could’ve been a bit more subtle at this point.
The whole bit with “The Numbers” reminds me of Claymore, and even Toaru Majutsu no Index. A quick and dirty way to impress upon us just how strong someone is. How stark the difference. How do you even measure that, anyway?
Still, the action was solid, and I liked the cute bits a lot :)