Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de – 08

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Whoa…now that was one roundabout, unexpected, novel way to propel the story forward! This was a very tricky episode that, at first, made me think the show was going to forget all about Hatoko in lieu of introducing an entirely new group of young people with superpowers, led by Hajime…which is exactly, what it did…at first. This was an episode that asked for our patience, and then rewarded it handsomely.

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First…Fallen Black, Hajime’s “gang”, is much like the literary club, only they’ve been on the front lines of a war for some time; a war between humans with superpowers, ostensibly fought for the enjoyment of…fairies. That’s right, fairies are responsible for giving everone powers.

That…well, was definitely unexpected, and more than a little ridiculous, but there it is. I’m willing to accept it, if only because it makes Hajime’s baffling phone call back when he had lunch with Jurai make perfect sense! Nice bit of continuity there, and demonstrate’s the show’s willingness to veer from a linear timeline when it’s called for.

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Ultimately it doesn’t really matter how these people got their powers or why. What matters is that Jurai and the others aren’t alone in possessing superpowers, and this episode greatly expands the show’s world. Those others with powers aren’t simply sitting on their hands worried about why they have them or what to do next; they’re using them in furtherance of this war against “F”.

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We also see Hajime in his element as Fallen Black’s leader, and there’s a lot of similarities between him and Jurai, including the fact his powers aren’t necessarily the most powerful, but he’s definitely the most charismatic and the others feed off of that. Just take Hajime’s second-in-command Hitomi (kind of a green-haired Tomoyo), who rushes into a situation without fully assessing things, and almost gets into big trouble with a feral urchin, when all she needed to be pacified was some candy!

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But what the heck does this have to do with Hajime and his cohorts suddenly accosting Hatoko last week, do you say? What evil plans did they have in store fore her? Well, that’s pretty cleverly weaved into this Fallen Black story, as the attack from the little girl actually does injure Hajime.

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Knowing that one of the members of the heretofore ‘unblooded’ (i.e., non-participants in the war) literature club, which he refers to as “Virgin Child” has a healing power, he asks Hitomi to use her power of hypnosis to let him avail himself of that power.

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Only…they get the wrong girl: Hatoko rather than Sayumi. That’s right, there was never any ill intent; that was all our conjecture. So yeah, these guys may have a few battles behind their belts, but they’re not perfect!

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What is perfect — maybe too perfect, verging on overly tidy, considering the weight of last week’s conflict — is how the Hatoko dilemma is resolved. As promised, Sayumi awakens the next stage of her power, interestingly enough starting by taking roll. With Hatoko missing, the club is not complete, so she uses Route of Origin, Ouroboros Circle to restore the club to wholeness, meaning Hatoko teleports back into the club room safe and sound.

Hatoko is woozy, but it’s not as if she forgot everything that happened. Still, she’s much like the Hatoko we’d known before that rant, which isn’t surprising since she’s the kind of person who suddenly blows up and then is all better again. Her frustration did boil over as a result of her feat that Jurai was being taken away from her.

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Tomoyo senses this and fesses up to having started writing light novels, and had been asking for Jurai’s advice. Not that that was all it was, but for the purposes of appeasing Hatoko and avoiding another incident like last week, she’s going to say that’s all it was!

Jurai also apologizes to Hatoko, who apologizes to Jurai, who apologizes back, etc., and voices his gratitiude for her always listening. As far as he’s concerned, she’s always ‘understood’ him, with ‘understanding’ in this case meaning more than just getting what his word salad means.

In any case, a lovely example is offered when Hatoko takes Jurai’s hand into hers and notes that it’s warm. Jurai has a very chuuni explanation for that warmth, but Hatoko corrects him/translates: it’s warm because he’s Ju-kun. Bawww.

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This episode started out in Bizarro-InoBato Land, in an entirely different time and place and people than the previous seven episodes, but gradually eased back into the show we knew. Of course, last week was also totally different in that it suddenly created what looked like a potentially very serious rift in the group and a new external threat.

Turns out the rift wasn’t that big of a deal and mostly repaired once everyone, you know, actually talked with one another openly and honestly. And while the ‘threat’ wasn’t quite that, Fallen Black’s actions led to Jurai and Hatoko making up.

All’s well that ends well, and this episode ends with the next stage of Jurai’s power awakening after exerting himself trying to open a bag of chips of all things. Sooo random.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

3 thoughts on “Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de – 08”

  1. InouBato may just have set a new standard for how not to develop an unexpected, narrative looping reveal. What could have worked as a spontaneous ‘ah-ha’ just came off as totally random.

    The problem is, this show has never been about the mystery of ‘why’ Lit Club has these powers, nor have we seen any hints to a greater world around them (except for Hajime’s various scenes) aaaannnnnndddd lit club is still not involved by the end of it. They don’t even suspect a greater world by the end of it and Hajime basically tells us that its unlikely they ever will.

    All of these decisions completely conflict and deflate any significance or connection we could have or develop for the greater world. It’s an entirely superfluous side cast and event (again, minus Hajime) and the goofiness of the Fairies/Battle Royal/F make it even more disposable

    No argument with your rating or review but maaaaaannnnnn was that a bunch of random, hand-wavy clean up :>(

    1. Another problem is that it felt so late in the run of a 12-episode show to be revealing things like this and spending so much time with an entirely new side-cast. This kind of episode would be more appropriate in a two-cour show that had more room for side-stories. That’s mitigated somewhat by the fact the Hajime story happens parallel to the lit club’s story, but it’s still precious time spent on people we just aren’t as interested in.

      Also, the fairy thing is one of those cases where I had wished the mysteries had simply remained mysteries. We got the why, and were left wanting, saying, basically “Hmm…how ’bout that.” Much of my 8 is due to the show’s ability to entertain through Trigger’s sheer visual flair and inventiveness (the little feral kid in the Akira-style chamber was a highlight); I just wish that flair had been utilized to service a less slapdash resolution to what felt like a very real impasse between Hatoko and Jurai.

      1. If Hajime had been more a part of the show from the beginning — at least appearing in every episode, even if only in passing — this could have worked, even so late in the show. If we saw all these characters in the background, even with no context, I would buy it and, as Preston’s been saying, I’d suddenly have to give it a wow!

        but man… nope? The one phone call flash back isn’t enough.

        Kinda reminds me of Craft Work Witches, now that I think of it…

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