The title of this episode was “Tragic Irony”, and I can’t really argue with its aptness. Not only is the sleepy Tina the would-be assassin of Seitenshi and Kisara, but she’s also an initiator and mechanized soldier. Her promoter (or master as she calls him) appears to keep her at arm’s length, letting her take care of business, and so far she seems quite up to the task.
But yeah, even Tina and Satomi themselves seem to be saddened by the fact that they’re actually mortal enemies. She wasn’t putting on a pesona when they hung out; she genuinely liked him and was grateful to know someone kind, a kind of person she’s interacted with too infrequently. But regardless, both of them are professionals with jobs to do, and neither is backing down from the other.
The blow might’ve have been heavier had there been more than a superficial connection between the two, such as one saving the other’s life, or learning more about each other’s pasts. Instead, their friendship only lasted a total of a few hours, tops. But I’m glad the show didn’t string out their mutual ignorance longer than it did, as it allows things to keep moving along. And the tragic irony still stings.
What also stings, or rather itches and irritates, is the show’s penchant for unimaginatively-staged infodumps. Satomi’s sensei (who also apparently “built” him) is this week’s Font of Exposition, with an assist by Seitenshi, who dug up info Tina way too quickly, even for someone with her resources. Between that and the tedious competition among Kisara, Enju, and Miori for Satomi’s attention, well…let’s just say these aren’t the show’s strengths.
Rather, Bullet is at its best when it casts aside the catfights and lengthy explaining and gets serious. Whether it’s the seriousness of Satomi and Enju’s bond, or the seriousness of the mortal peril they end up in, good things happen (for us) when the characters and the show get down to business. Take the final moments of the episode: Satomi calling Enju and becoming relieved when she picks up. I was waiting for her voicemail message to crush him, but it’s something worse: Tina picks up for Enju, saying…nothing at all.