Momoka, who has had some success with her voice-acting, is stuggling with capturing the voice and character of a little kid, so the Sket-dan invites her to join them in a series of childlike activities to recall how it feels to be young again. Later, Himeko and Momoka injest a mysterious cola that shrinks them into three-year-olds. Council members Kikuno and Unyuu also drink the cola and transform. It’s up to Bossun and Tsubaki to watch them until Chuuma makes the anecdote.
Apparently the writers couldn’t resist another Muppet Babies episode, only this time involving all the girls. Like the episode where Bossun shrunk, there’s a very nice texture and palette and smoothness to the animation. This episode distinguishes itself with much more action, including the girls chasing a cat, and Bossun chasing a truck on a bike (this seems to be a recurring thing in anime).
I am not a fan of chibi-style anime, which is basically how the three-year-olds are drawn here, but still enjoyed the episode. Besides the quality animation, there were plenty of funny moments – Himeko pretending to be a sumo wrestler, then hilariously trying to reach her hockey stick, for example. Or the return of the mustachioed PapaSwitch(TM). And the twist at the end where the antedote nets the girls the bodies of 27-year-old women, overshooting the mark. And of course, the fact that all of this kidding around was for naught: Momoka has to voice an infant.
Having gained access to the prison via capture, Shion and Nezumi must climb a mountain of dead and dying bodies in order to reach their ultimate destination. As they progress through the prison, Shion starts to hear Safu, and he becomes virtually possessed by a force that drives him towards her, making him calm, cold, and merciless to the security guards. He snaps out of the trance and the two meet up with Safu, as was planned by Elyurias.
Nezumi hopes beyond hope that the Shion he entered the prison will be the same one who leaves, but that grows less and less likely as he’s exposed to its visceral horrors. I can’t imagine why such unspeakably horrible measures need to be taken to preserve No. 6, and the systems in place seem to dwarf any possible human effort to oppose them. Of course, the power of Elyurias seems to be beyond the power of those who run No. 6. One would hope, that is.
This episode is full of quick, kinetic action sequences, as we finally get to see Nezumi do what he does best. But for all their efforts and good intentions, I can’t help but feel that Elyurias – whomever she/it is – may not be altogether benevolent herself, and that Shion and Safu are merely her instruments, carrying out her will without a shred of their own. If they were themselves, they certainly wouldn’t kill, and yet, here they are, killin’!
The days get chillier, and Rin gets sick with fever for the first time under Daikichi’s care, catching a stomach virus that kicks her ass. The ordeal scares the crap out of him, but Hitani is there to help him keep his cool and nurse Rin back to health. With so much proximity, the two parent-and-child pairs are starting to rely on each other more and more, making the group even more closely resemble a family.
When I was a kid, getting sick just plain sucked; enough that you can bet I didn’t care how my parents felt. In fact, I remember them staying calm most of the time, and I can recall several occasions when I thought I was getting sick but they assured me I either wasn’t or it wasn’t that bad. Of course, when I was Rin’s age, I’ll bet they were just as doting (and the same nervous wrecks) Daikichi and Hitani are here.
He knows she’ll get better; that these things happen, but there are often moments when he seems to despair. Hitani is right there to advise him though, having dealt with this kind of thing with Kouki. She proves to be an incredibly caring woman here, and it speaks volumes about how close she and Daikichi are that she knows she can show up without warning and help out. These events only reinforce my prediction that they’ll grow closer still.