Rokka no Yuusha – 10

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What’s this? Why, it’s a frantic Adlet pleading his case to a skeptical Fremy as she points her gun at him and barks in absolutes! What is this, the eighth time we’ve seen this scenario? Still, the words exchanged between these two is the overture for an episode in which almost every character takes a slight to major detour from their established character paths. In Adlet’s case, when warned he’ll be shot if he lies, he decides to confess his love to an utterly bemused Fremy. You can’t say the lad lacks guts!

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Then it’s Mora’s character’s turn to take a kooky turn, when she uses her mountain echo ability to spread a blatant, vicious lie to Tania, Goldof, and Fremy: that Hans is in critical condition after being attacked by the Seventh. I’m not sure what to think about her decision to condemn Adlet, because after ten episodes we still don’t really know who Mora is or what she believes in. Her character is much like the barrier: an amorphous cloud of fog that does whatever the plot needs it to do to up the drama. She lies to make things harder on Adlet, but why is she so convinced he’s the seventh?

Beyond Adlet, Hans is the only voice of reason—a welcome departure from his own blind suspicion earlier in the show, resolved because he knows Adlet is innocent. Mora orders Chamo to guard him, and when Chamo tries to kill him, Mora stays her hand with mere words and the threat of more than a spanking. As I thought, the only person Chamo fears is Mora, even though she’s technically weaker.

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That’s not even as ridiculous as the change that occurs in Nashetania once she hears Mora’s broadcast. She starts to laugh and smirk like a common villain—teasing the possibility she’s the seventh after all—before telling Goldof she’s looking forward to her latest new experience: killing the man who betrayed her: Adlet. After all the accusations thrown Adlet’s way, she chooses now to react so dramatically? Sorry, it doesn’t add up.

Negotiations once again go south and Adlet must flee a pursuing Fremy, but when Mora joins in and tries to kill an surrendering Adlet, Fremy fires a shot between the two, defending Adlet and pissing off the increasingly violent, unreasonable Mora.

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While Chamo, Mora, and apparently Tania and Goldof can’t listen to is reason, but not Fremy. And in the face of all the reason Adlet is throwing at her—even proving her innocence with his master’s fiend-detecting spray, like he promised—she’s not fighting reason like the other so much as fighting back her own heart. After her mother betrayed her, she vowed never to believe, and therefore love, anyone ever again. Adlet has all but forced her to change that policy, as she becomes the second person after Hans to essentially side with him against hotter heads.

As for Nashetania, who closes out the episode with a demonic stare and cloud of blades, she seems more brainwashed by Mora’s lies than particularly hot-headed. But her rapid change in personality also happens to reduce my suspicion in her being the seventh. If anything, Mora is looking more and more like the enemy of the six, what with her reckless manipulation of the others.

And now, as things currently stand, Adlet, Hans, and Fremy—the three scrappers of the group—are now in a loose alliance. I won’t count him or them out, even if I doubt he and Fremy will get the storybook ending.

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GATE – 10

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Itami’s awkward situation is resolved when a “rude” cell phone interrupts Rory’s advances. Moments later, the three special forces teams converge, and Rory takes them all out as they take out one another. So in effect, Rory ends up getting off; only as a demigod, and not as a human.

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The group then goes back on the run, commandeering a van and booking it for Ginza, where the visitors are to pay a visit to the memorial honoring the victims of the special region’s initial invasion attempt. Kuribayashi way way way overreacts to her CO’s ignorance of the situation by pulling a goddamn gun on him (one would think such actions usually warrant court martial).

His ex-wife uses the web to make sure there will be a big enough crowd of fans waiting for them in Ginza to dissuade the bad guys from making any further attempts to kidnap the visitors. She also shows she knows Itami to a T when she accurately describes just how each of the three visitors appeals to him, whether it’s Tuka’s looks, Rory’s personality, or Lelei’s vulnerability.

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The less said about the U.S. president speaking directly to a covert field agent—without any organizational distance or attempt to achieve plausible deniability—the better. Sorry, but a sitting president is more likely to be jizzed on by a salmon than be this idiotically close to this sensitive and covert an operation.

“Agent Graham” is introduced as one of the only survivors of Rory’s massacre (why she spared anyone is also beyond me), and he still tries to salvage the situation by attempting to pluck one or more of the visitors from the streets of Ginza, where the throngs of fans have amassed and been parted like the waves of the Red Sea by Rory, resplendent in her gothic lolita garb.

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Itami, Kuribayashi, and Tomita escort the visitors to the memorial, with all eyes and cameras on them, foiling any designs Graham may have had. Kuribayashi also bumps into her sister, a rookie news reporter, and report everything they’ve been through and everyone who has been chasing them on live TV. Within minutes, all of the CIA agents in Japan are arrested—which almost makes up for her pointing a gun at Itami earlier.

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After praying at the memorial, the group goes back through the gate and returns to the Special Region base. Itami is exhausted, wishing he’d been able to go on an actual vacation, while the three girls all look back on their visit with fondness, whether due to the dazzling technology (Lelei), the shopping (Tuka), or the opportunity to kill lots of people (Rory).

Pina, on the other hand, took something else away from her visit to Japan: they are an enemy her empire will never be able to defeat, and if her empire fights a war, they will not only lose, but be utterly destroyed. She vows to head back to the capital to put an end to the war once and for all. Something tells me she’s going to run into some opposition…probably from some old men.

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Charlotte – 10

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After all the shock and intrigue of last week’s masterpiece, this week started off a bit slow and rigid, with Shunsuke telling Yuu and Nao the story of what happened after his time leap.

He returned to a time a couple of years before the three of them are captured, tracks down his trusty friends Kumagami (or “Pooh”), Shichino, Medoki, Maedomori, and helps them expand a syndicate of ability wielders. However, something always ends up going wrong, everyone is captured or killed, and Shun has to time leap and start all over.

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The re-re-re-built syndicate starts to become more wealthy and secure thanks to gambling winnings, but Shun learns that he loses a bit of his vision every time he leaps, and when he goes blind, he won’t be able to leap at all.

So he makes his last leap count, by working to set up a school to educate and protect ability wielders until they lose those abilities, including his brother and sister. To further protect them while working behind the scenes, his friends help him erase all memory of him from Yuu and Ayumi.

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That brings us back to the present, where Shun announces the next mission is to save Ayumi. He may not be able to time leap anymore, but if Yuu uses his true power, “Loot” (or “Plunder”) to steal Shun’s power, than he can time leap and save Ayumi. And that’s exactly what he does.

Being back in a time when his sister is alive—something he took for granted the last time around—is ample motivation to save her this time, and he moves forward with confidence and a solid plan to save her not only from “Collapse”, but from Konishi the knife-wielder as well.

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Yuu also finds an understanding ally in the Nao of the past, who has been through a lot less things with Yuu at this point. Still, she believes his story about time leaping without complaint, and also accepts his thanks for her saving him when Ayumi died before. It doesn’t matter that she won’t actually have to save him from himself in this timeline if he saves Ayumi, because the fact she did in the previous one is the only reason he’s still alive, free, and there, in a position to save her. Yuu understands this, and makes sure Nao knows how grateful he is.

As for the Ayumi-saving caper itself, he steals her Collapse ability without a hitch, while he, Nao, Yusarin and Joujirou all go undercover at Ayumi’s school for a coordinated attack. Yusa and Jou are immediately indisposed and taken out of the equation due to their respective fame and suspiciousness, but then again, they both serve as good diversions for the bulk of the students, giving Yuu and Nao room to work.

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And work the plan does: Konishi stalks Ayumi once more with her click-click-clicky knife, but Yuu is there to stand between the two. He breaks all the windows behind Konishi, and an invisible Nao kicks the knife away and snips away Konishi’s bangs. Konishi retreats, her warning received loud and clear.

With Ayumi safe and by Yuu’s side, he encounters Pooh and Medoki on the streets, who offer to take him to his brother. I was certain there would be some kind of mistake, Steins;Gate-style, that would prevent Yuu from saving Ayumi once more, but everything went off without a hitch.

It was almost too easy and quick a resolution, but it was still a very satisfying episode that covered a lot of ground and still found time for little moments of comedy. Now, with Ayumi apparently safe, there’s still plenty of time for Yuu, Shun, and the resistance to accomplish even more for the cause.

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