Attack on Titan – 46 – Playing to the Crowd

The Rob Reiss Big-Ass Titan is coming; there’s no getting around it. And it’s attracted to huge groups of people, so it’s avoiding villages and going straight for the densely populated Orvud District, which Erwin keeps UN-evacuated.

Using the citizens of bait may at first seem to run counter to their first mission to protect the people, but if Orvud is emptied the Titan will head to the main wall and possibly break all the way through to Mitras.

I assumed we’d get some kind of Battle of Helm’s Deep-style all-nighter siege, but dawn arrives far quicker than I expected, but both the wall defenses and the Scouts are as prepared as they’re going to be.

They’ve got a plan. Historia isn’t sitting on the sidelines to let her future subjects bear the brunt of the battle; she’s on the front lines, against Erwin’s urging. She muses that if she’s to be accepted as the new ruler, she must earnit with deeds, not simply lean on her name.

In a nice nod to the opening, which IMO is the best of any Titan season, Eren notices a trio of kids not unlike him, Mikasa and Armin back in episode one, on a similarly lovely day, before the Colossal Titan attacked.

Showing Eren looking behind his back and seeing who he must protect is a nice move, and the three kids are the first citizens who I actually want them to protect (a bunch of others are annoyed they have to carry out an evacuation drill).

As for Eren punching himself until the weak, ineffectual, useless brat within him is “gone for good”, that doesn’t work quite as well, but I like the fact that he’s inspired by Historia’s transformation into one of the strongest among them.

When the Rob Titan reaches the wall, no amount of artillery bombardment does much good, and he puts his hands on he top of the wall and stands up, revealing his face and half of his head has been sheared away.

The Scouts shoot more gunpowder into him, and Eren transforms into a Titan to personally deliver another load of powder directly into the very large and open head cavity, thus destroying the core from the inside.

This is where the wheel is broken and history doesn’t repeat itself; the three kids are scared, but their homes and families are spared the cruel, gruesome fates of Eren’s, Mikasa’s and Armin’s.

Even more significant, the fates conspire to make Historia, not Eren, the public savior of the day, as the assembled masses watch in awe as she delivers the killing blow to the Titan core high over the city, before landing in a wagon.

Little do they know she just had her first—and last—fight with her dad. And she won.

When she rises from her fall, she promptly tells all within earshot her name, Historia Reiss, and her position: their ruler. It’s yet another badass moment in perhaps the best character arc Titan has yet delivered. She achieved what she set out to achieve: gain credibility with the people and legitimize her claim to the throne though great heroic deeds.

Meanwhile, Kenny bleeds out against a tree not far from the destroyed Reiss caverns, his entire team destroyed in the fracas the night before. Levi arrives to confront and possibly arrest him, but takes a look at Kenny’s burns and wounds and declares him beyond healing. Kenny isn’t so sure, and presents a syringe of…something. Is that Titan serum? Whatever it is, Levi needs to be on guard.

Advertisements

Overlord III – 03 – No Mere Village Girl

This week dispenses with Nazarick entirely and stays focused on Carne and Enri in particular as she suddenly faces a multitude of challenges as its de facto leader.

The young goblin Agu reports that he and his fellow tribesfolk were running from the Giant of the East and the Great Snake of the West, who in the absence of the Great Beast of the South (AKA Hamusuke) are gathering armies to fight the King of Ruin.

Carne Village may well be unable to escape getting entangled in such a conflict, and when the battle comes to its boundaries, they need to be ready. In an odd bit of timing, Beta Lupusregina has paid Enri a visit, and offers to ask Lord Gown for help, but Enri wants to first see if the village is capable of handling its own affairs.

Later that night, the Goblins capture several Ogres who Enri is able to convince them to fight for her, thus bolstering the defense of the village.

When Nphirea informs Enri he won’t be able to accompany her to E-Rantel tomorrow, Enri laments that she may be the only one in the world in her current situation. When they cut to another person in such a situation, Lord Gown, I half-expected him to sneeze, since someone was talking about him.

When Enri reaches the gates of E-Rantel, she’s quickly arrested and brought in for questioning. The wizard on duty identifies some powerful magic both in Enri and in the trinket Lord Gown once gifted her, which she learns is worth thousands of gold.

Just then, Momon enters the room, has a quick side-chat with the wizard, and Enri is released, just like that. It’s nice to have friends in high places, and nothing is higher than Adamantite.

Enri visits the very bureaucratic Adventurer’s Guild having to plead poverty, or at least tell them her village can’t bear the cost of the protection it will need without a subsidy from the city, acknowledging it won’t cover the entire cost. Enri drifts off while waiting, but when she wakes up, everything seems to be arranged, almost as if the attendant had been threatened to assist Enri or else…

Upon exiting the city (where goblins dare not enter) Enri gifts her protectors with stout new weapons. Upon returning home, she discovers a kind of “reverse coup”: everyone has conspired to agree that she and she alone should lead the village. It’s an honor she never asked for, but one for which no one else is better qualified.

Even Beta believes that, but as Enri is being officially installed, Beta hovers high above, laughing, when Yuri Alpha arrives beside her. While we had witnessed Beta being all buddy-buddy and helpful with Enri, here we see a different side of her; a sadistic side.

Now that things are going so well for the village, she really wants to burn it all down to see everyone’s faces. I wonder if Lord Gown would approve, if Beta is just having a moment, or if she truly hopes to watch the village perish. I for one hope she’s disappointed, and Enri and her ragtag defense force can hold off whatever’s coming from the forest.

3-gatsu no Lion – 31

Rei is enjoying a big feast with the Kawamotos before he heads off to Osaka for the Newcomer Tournament final, but Hana isn’t. She can’t eat a bite; her stomach hurts. It’s because she’ll be heading off too: to Kyoto, on a multi-day class trip.

Rei immediately knows why Hina is feeling the way she is, and gives what advice he can to help ease her pain, since he’s felt it too. He vividly imagines the hell she’ll have to face while on the trip, ostracized by her peers. She’s going into battle just as much as he is. And like him, she wants to win.

When Rei meets Kawasaki Junko, the game records of his semifinal match with Nikaidou have already said a lot about the guy (except that he looks really old for someone 26 and under). Knowing he couldn’t beat Nikaidou in a quick game, Kawasaki did everything he could to lengthen it, knowing Nikaidou’s health would give out and the match would be his.

Knowing this is how Kawasaki wins fills Rei with rage, and he almost plays right into his opponent’s hands when a voice inside him stays his hand: it’s Nikaidou’s words ringing out: don’t attack, defend; take care of your shogi and yourselfPerservere. It’s what Nikaidou did, even though he failed. It’s what Hina is doing in Kyoto.

Back on course, Rei contains his anger and focuses it on persevering, on enduring the mind games Kawasaki is playing, and by focusing on the shogi, and when the match is over, Rei is the new Newcomer King, while Kawasaki is a fief in the land of losers where he deserves to be for his callus, unchivalrous play.

Rei does not savor the victory long, because he knows Hina’s still out there battling. After a fellow player gives him some stomach medicine Shimada recommended, Rei races to Kyoto by bullet train, and using Hina’s class trip schedule, combs the shopping venue where her class is supposed to be.

Then he remembers his own times of loneliness during such trips, and how a mall full of laughter and fun would be the last place he’d be. Instead, he searches the river, the place back home where she’s always run to be alone.

Her reaction to Rei suddenly appearing there, just when she was about to start crying, is hard to put into words. Poweful? Sure. Heartlifting? You bet. When he was younger, Rei had to face many battles alone.

Now he knows how much better he’d have fared if he had someone beside him to make things even a little more endurable, and happens to have someone in Hina who he can ensure won’t endure her battles alone.

All it took was being there—in that particular time and place—to be hugged, to be a font for her tears, to remind her she isn’t fighting in vain, and that it’s going to be alright.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau Dropped

It is with a not-particularly-heavy heart that I say adieu to Children of the Whales, a show that just hasn’t been doing if for me the last couple of weeks. Its appalling lack of focus and momentum, the blandness of its many characters, and its thoroughly incoherent mythos (glowing hands, anyone?) all conspired to sap away any interest I might have initially harbored. To sit and watch the show try to flesh out and humanize the magenta-haired sadistic murderer who’d been nothing but a detestable jerk this whole time…yeah,  I’m out.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – 07

I asked for the battle to finally begin, and I got what I wanted…sort of? As intimidating as the looming Skylos appears out of the sandstorm and as meaty the score sounds, the battle largely lacks punch. Neri’s song is nice, I just wish more were going on while she sang it. As for the return of Mr. Pinkhair, lets just say I wish he’d stayed out of this; he’s a thoroughly uninteresting, annoying “crazy killer warrior.”

I am somewhat relieved this battle isn’t as large or lopsided a slaughter as the first; the Thymia-armed defenders, many of them kids, get their licks in before, say, one fighter lets her guard down and gets stabbed by Pinky.

The Elder who wanted to sink the whale also gets an excellent death, getting cut right down the middle of his face but using his momentum to send the two attackers plummeting to their deaths with him, saving several children.

Suou finds the elder, but before he can say goodbye properly, Pinky is there to torment him. Pinky is everywhere! How does he cover ground so quickly? At any rate, the Kamiya Hiroshi-voiced Shuan is poised to rescue Suou by giving Pinky a good fight. Not this week, though.

The raid on Skylos goes all too predictably well at first, until half of the force walks straight into a just-as-predictable trap right when they thought they were nearing the finish line. They all get slaughtered, though Lykos hung back, sensing said trap, while Ginshu guards the door with a wounded Nibi.

It would seem Falaina’s raiders were allowed to have their fun; now the hammer of Skylos is poised to come down on them, and hard. The commander was quite clear that all should be annihilated, even Lykos, despite her brother’s status.

Chakuro—I haven’t mentioned him yet, have I?—really doesn’t want to fight or kill, but did a decent job with his defensive magic. It’s clear Team Falaina is going to need more of it if what’s left of them are going to survive this thing.

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – 06

The people—specifically the youth—of Falaina prepare for battle. After a certain age even the Marked can’t use Thymia, so they’ll be depending on children to fight, many of them quite small, and like everyone else, tought their entire lives not to use their power to hurt people.

They must unlearn all that pacifist conditioning and learn to kill, which is what their enemies will be experts at right out of the gate. A seldom-seen elder makes sure Suou understands what leadership is: he’ll be sending children to kill and die. Suou seems to. I mean, what’s the alternative; just sit around and wait to be killed?

One Falainan who’s never had trouble hurting people with his Thymia is Ouni, and he mentally prepares for the task ahead with his old friend Nibi, who welcomed him into his gang when they were kids when Ouni showed him that things like the Bowels weren’t really that scary.

There are scary times ahead, but it certainly seems that Nibi will be by Ouni’s side for them. Whether that spells the end for him when they infiltrate Skylos and try to kill its Nous…this isn’t the episode about that fight, but the final build-up to it. And at that, it works generally well.

As one of the people going on the infiltration mission, Chakuro will be doing more than simply witnessing events, he’ll be a direct participant in them; forced to use his infamous “destroyer” powers for actual destroying; maybe of the Nous, maybe of fellow humans, maybe both. It’s uncharted territory.

Fortunately, Lykos will be by his side, and while her gradual falling for Chakuro was both inevitable and predictable, it sure beats her having no emotions at all, even if, as she says, “feelings get in the way.” It’s true! But without feelings, would life really be worth living? I mean, what are we doin’ here, trying to win a stoicism contest, or LIVING?!

While preparing for the battle that may decide the fate of many a person, as well as that of the entire Mud Whale, the show remains content to keep us in the dark about Neri and her apparent twin, Ema, or what is up with her angel wings of light.

Suffice it to say, she’ll play a more satisfying role educating Chakuro on the secrets of the Mud Whale perhaps nobody knows besides the elders; and some stuff that even they might not know. But for Ema to start spilling the beans, Chakuro has to come out of this in one piece.

The villagers throw sand at each other in a tradition called the “sand returning” which kicks up those who have been lost into the air. In a touching scene Lykos witnesses Chakuro doing this for the late, dearly departed Sami.

After that calm comes the storm—a sandstorm, of course! Skylos can be heard before its red lights can be seen, but the great battleship doesn’t fully emerge quite yet; we get the credits. That means next week will be the battle – no more procrastinating!

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – 05

This week Chakuro and his friends locate the nous at the core of Falaina that apparently every sand ship has, are interrupted by three elders who bring archers to kill the nous, thus sinking the Mud Whale, but Chakuro manages to convince them not to, though they do manage to shoot Lykos in the leg.

After that, Suou is freed and Taisha’s aides gather to his side, he meets with Lykos, who tells everyone about the eight ships the empire has and how there could be other countries out there, and Suou gives a speech to the rest of the Whale’s population that they’re going to fight and defend until they can find allies.

That’s a good amount of material in one episode…so why the heck did it feel to me like virtually nothing happened? I suspect it’s at least in part due to the overall presentation, which has felt lacking in urgency and peril since the surprise attack that ended episode two.

There’s also the fact that the Mud Whale feels like such a small and static setting whose leadership seems to change on a dime with little to no repercussions. The rest of the population is treated like one united faceless entity that cheers at the prospect of Ouni joining the defense force.

Perhaps most troubling—and contributory to my waning interest in this show—is the protagonist Chakuro, whose defining character trait is a guy who says a lot—both to others and through narration—but does very little, while Lykos’ is simply “girl who developed emotions” and little else.

As a result, it feels like I’m watching a set of thin and fairly generic characters caught up in a world that’s groaning under the weight of its convoluted (and at times, random-feeling) mythology.

Right now, that’s just not grabbing and holding my attention as much as the other Fall shows I’m watching. Maybe next week, when the defense of the whale begins in earnest, I’ll be able to muster more enthusiasm.

Kekkai Sensen & Beyond – 03

Just after daydreaming about that horrible day Michella went blind, an out-of-it Leo bumps into a big bully who takes his wallet containing Michella’s allowance. Chain witnesses Leo in a bind, but apparently has other matters to attend to.

Steven and his maid Veded prepare a super-classy dinner soiree, while Zapp is recruited by Tracy to find her oriental shorthair cat Mizaria…or she’ll cut his dick off with magic.

So yeah…lot’s going on this week! But hey, it’s not Hellsalem’s Lot if every day that ends in “-day” if a lot’s not going on. Did I mention Count Gigagigafutmassif is on the move…and that he’s taller than any skyscraper in the city?

What has always enhanced the already lush texture of KS&B’s great variety of stories is how they intertwine in interesting ways, much like Durarara!!. The fortunes of the various Libra POV characters this week also vary wildly as the episode progresses.

Zapp immediately runs into problems trying to find Tracy’s cat, and while Leo arms himself with a stun baton to get his wallet back, the bully just slugs him and uses his own baton on him. Of course, Leo can defeat him at any time with his eyes, he just doesn’t feel right using them for self-serving purposes…even when failure means Michella going without.

As for Steve, his snobby dinner party goes positively swimmingly…until he goes into the kitchen alone, turns around, and every one of his guests is pointing a biological gun at him. Fortunately, Steve is not one to get so easily ambushed, and took steps to ensure he could use his ice magic to get the upper hand anytime he wanted.

Steve also doesn’t bother handing his guests over to Libra, instead relying on his own special squad to “take care” of them in ways of which Libra’s leader wouldn’t necessarily approve. Bottom line: You come at Starphase, you best come correct.

These amateurs did not. Steve also rethinks whether he’s been enjoying ordinary life too much, considering his duties and the nasty enemies those duties can sometimes create.

Chain clearly saw Leo getting tossed by the bully, but takes a backdoor approach to getting Leo’s wallet back: she turns on her charm (wonderful stuff from Kobayashi Yuu here), promises a good time if the brute can beat her in shots, then drinks him under the table with ease, grabbing not just Leo’s wallet, but the bully’s toady.

It was nice to see a baddie put in his place with something other than brute force, even though Chain could have obviously dropped the guy anytime she wanted. This way was more fun for her!

Alas, Chain did Leo’s work for him, which means he never managed to get one over on his bully. It’s just as well; considering the handicap he demands of himself (no use of the eyes), he’s just not a fighter, nor should he be.

Since his toady was robbed by Chain, the two have to pay their bar bills with…their bodies, leaving them as nothing but heads hopping about in glass bulbs, to be attacked by…Mizaria!…who is then picked up by…Veded!, who finds her way back to Steve just as a united Leo and Zapp pass by.

Speaking of fortunes, we never see Zapp actually retrieve the cat and return it to Tracy, leaving the status of his manhood in tongue-in-cheek doubt. The closing shot—of Chain paying for her big night with a long prayer to the porcelain god—was pitch perfect way to close this fun, diverse outing.

Attack on Titan – 06

titan61

I wasn’t all that enamored of Armin’s extended whimpering at the beginning of this episode, but his realization that not only is it a cruel world where the strong slaughter the weak, but it has always been so; he just had to lose his best friend to realize it fully. And messed up as he is, he can still look at a desperate Hanna performing CPR on her clearly-dead Franz and think stop…he’s already dead. I am weak. We are weak. But we don’t have to fall to the strong today.

While Armin laments the apparent loss of Eren and the rest of his unit in its entirety, Mikasa bags her first Titan (or at least the first Titan we see her bring down), an “abnormal” that runs a lot faster than the others and was about to go to town on a throng of evacuees who weren’t able to escape because a haughty merchant is blocking the gate with his wagon full of goods.

Mikasa’s job is to kill Titans, but she’s killing Titans to save lives, not goods. So she clears the gate a blade less than an inch from the merchant’s eye, then goes back to work killing Titans once the evacuation can proceed. Her superior wonders what the hell this kid went through to become so tough and unyielding. I too have been wondering where she got her seemingly superhuman strength…and how she, and Ackerman, came to live with the Yeagers.

titan62

The show enlightens us with a gut-punch-riddled flashback. Armin’s assessment of the cruelty of the world is felt firsthand by Mikasa, whose loving mother and father are murdered right in front of her eyes. They prepare to sell her into the service of old perverts, as she’s a rare (if not one-of-a-kind) “oriental”. And that’s exactly what would have happened, had Eren not tagged along with his dad on a house call to the Ackermans.

When Eren realizes what has happened to the parents of a girl he was going to meet for the first time (and was going to weigh whether to be friends with her based on “how she acted”), he goes off on his own to rescue her, achieves entry to the criminals’ hideout by pretending to be lost, and then kills two of the men holding her, one with a knife to the gut at the door (just how Mikasa’s dad was killed), the other more viciously with a spear-broom.

But there’s a third man, and once he has his hand around Eren’s throat, it falls to Mikasa, who had always abhorred the inherent cruelty and violence of nature. Eren gives her the rundown: Fight, or die. Win, and live. That’s it. With the knife in her hands, a switch flips: she’s the strong one here; the man busy with Eren the weak one. With overwhelming force, she fights and wins, and she and Eren live.

titan63

The two kids are shell-shocked in the aftermath of that ordeal, but Mikasa is still in tune with reality enough to say she’s cold, and ask which is the way back home. Eren and his dad welcome her into their home, which becomes her home. Eren gives her his warm scarf; perhaps the same scarf she still wears in the present.

Eren is her everything; he saved her life, and woke her up so she could save both of them. He’s the reason she’s alive, and the reason she fights, and wins, and continues to live. As long as he’s with her, she can do anything, and goshdarn it, I believe it. But what if he isn’t with her? What if he’s Titan chow? I know he isn’t, because, well, this isn’t Gurren Lagann and he’s not Kamina…but she doesn’t know that yet.

That aside, this was a tremendous flashback episode that helped humanize and further deepen our understanding of our favorite character in the show by a mile so far. I daresay it was worth arresting the momentum of the last couple episodes.

9_brav2

Attack on Titan – 05

titan51

When Eren ends up all alone with the Colossal Titan, he wastes no time attacking it, using his ODM gear to climb all over his body and delivering a blow to the back of his neck as he was trained to do. But Eren doesn’t have his revenge today; the Titan merely disappeared as mysteriously as he’s twice appeared. Just a couple of footprints where the enemy once was. And he’ll surely be back whenever he feels like it.  There’s no resolution, no catharsis…no glorious victory.

titan52

Now in the heat of battle, Eren is the only one among his contemporaries who seems to have his shit together, and that’s because, as his instructor noted, he’s never seen anyone work with as much purpose as Eren. He’s singularly motivated to defeat the Titans, and hard-headed enough to let that drive drown out his nerves, if only partially and temporarily.

He tries with all his might to relay to those around him the importance of forgetting about what they have at stake and focusing on their immediate duties. Armin and Mikasa are brighter than Eren, but those extra smarts put them at a disadvantage here. They waver; they overthink. Eren has to headbutt Mikasa to snap her out of her feedback loop. “You’ll be fine. We’re all going to make it. Now get your ass moving.”

titan53

Eren’s comrades on the battlements were conspicuously absent during his skirmish with the Colossal Titan, and not just because they were flung far away, but because they were to a man paralyzed with fear. Jean, enraged his transfer to the interior has been postponed, fumes about having to share his fate with a “suicidal maniac” even though he played all his cards right to get the cushy life he wanted.

Well, everyone, including Eren, learns this week that life isn’t fair, and life for the humans of AoT is a constant cycle of false security and horrendous massacre. No inspiring deeds or words from Eren can change that, but they are enough to motivate Eren’s comrades to follow him into battle. That…doesn’t go well.

titan54

AoT is gradually starting to train me that Eren’s words about defeating the Titans and saving the world are, so far, just that and nothing more: words. And words are wind. Not a single Titan is shown being decisively killed. Eren and his mates look really cool dramatically swinging around the city, then Eren gets a bit too close to a Titan and loses a leg.

That leg is like our hope that victory is possible in this battle, but that Titan is this show, heartlessly snapping that hope up the blink of an eye and turning everything to shit. One by one, his comrades, who had enough lines (albeit mostly death flags) earlier that they’re not just pure redshirts, are plucked up by Titans and…the rest is left to our imaginations.

titan55

Rather implausibly, Eren doesn’t let the loss of his leg (and whatever other injuries he sustained during his deceleration) stop him from literally snatching Armin from the jaws of death, only to be snapped up himself, losing an arm in the process and being swallowed, to Armin’s infinite dismay. Holy Crap, I thought to myself: the protagonist got eaten in the fifth episode.

But the Titans don’t care who you are, how much money or power you have, what your plans for the future are, or why you’re fighting. They’re only interested in what you taste like. I’ve seen few shows where it’s being a thinking, feeling, loving human being sucks this much. Where mankind has been portrayed as this damned and ineffectual. And AoT’s just getting warmed up.

9_brav2

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – 07

parasyte75

Shinichi lands from the jump he began last episode and turns to find a parasyte… just not the parasyte he was expecting. As it turns out, Shinichi discovers he’s not alone in this crazy world: Uda Mamoru, a cry-baby but moral fellow, is also in an alliance of sorts with a parasyte.

Uda’s situation is a bit different from Shinichi’s, in that he lives in a rural area and hasn’t run into any other parasytes yet. On top of that, his parasyte (simply called Parasyte — it didn’t want a name) comes off as generally more up-beat than Migi. Maybe even ‘nice?’

parasyte72Oh Yeah! Mikako is in this episode! I guess.

You see, Uda fell into the water during the transformation process and Parasyte had to save his life from the get go. Sure, he probably would have died if he’d tried to just eat Uda’s brain, but that thought process, and Uda’s love of movies over books, has lead to a quirkier, less edgy relationship.

And for goodness sakes! His face is delightful!

parasyte73

Uda and Shinichi quickly become friends and Uda promises to warn Shinichi over the phone if he encounters another parasyte, which happens about 5 seconds later and then there’s a show down with Shinichi’s Not-Mom on a cliff.

Unfortunately, Migi has just fallen asleep and Uda is stabbed through the heart very quickly. So Shinichi has to go it alone… albeit with a sword-hand Migi left him at the last minute.

parasyte71

In simple terms, Shinichi wipes the floor with Not-Mom. While he has a moment of pause when she shields herself with her brun-arm, Sinichi’s new speed and reflexes let him see how simplistic not mom really is.

In fact, the hybrid’s appear to be smarter than pure-parasytes in general. Uda survives because Parasyte understood Not-Mom’s attack pattern and moved his heart elsewhere. Uda even lands the killing blow, as a courtesy to Shinichi.

parasyte77

Soon there after, Shinichi is reunited with his dad, has a nice moment where they sort of indirectly come to understand each other, and Mikako gets totally left behind because… wait why was she introduced as a character in the first place?

I’m not even sure Shinichi remembers her name…

parasyte74

So it was a good episode but I can’t figure out how it deserves anything higher than an 8? Honestly, between the multi-character voice overs, the DBZ style ‘flurry of fists’ fight animation, and the completely obvious and predictable outcome of all this build up, none of episode 7 was notable.

Sure, Shinichi finally got to be mister bad ass and Udo/Parasyte were a cute duo, but I’m scratching my head over Mikako and Not-Mom. I was waiting for some twist to happen with the first, and bewildered why the later was still hanging around this remote town AFTER she’d already gone to Tokyo.

Maybe we’ll get some answers later on but I don’t get the feeling we’ll see Udo or Mikako again, which just made the last 3 episodes feel like a fetch quest style ‘whatever’ side mission.

8_ogk

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – 06

kise61

Shinichi’s not-mom may have stabbed him through the heart, but obviously our protagonist can’t die a quarter of the way into the show. I mean, he could, like this guy (spoilers!), but I’d rather he stick around, and obviously so does Migi, since he won’t last long without a living host. His revival is a “how, not if” situation. But that doesn’t meant the “how” won’t change both host and parasite.

kise62

I like the juxtaposition of Shinichi on the floor dead with a scene at school in which a concerned Satomi is grilled by another classmate who seems to be into him. This is all the drama Shinichi would have had to bear had he never “met” Migi. High School Drama, with rumors and innuendo and love triangles, not creepy-as-fuck monsters and massive internal injuries.

kise63

Migi’s manner of reviving Shinichi is plausable within the construct of a show in which a character like Migi exists. The stabbing last week could have been construed as a cheap cliffhanger we knew would be resolved relatively simply, or the show intended it to feel like just another day in Shinichi’s Hell. It must also be pointed out that if Shinichi ever shows his chest to a physician ever again, there will be questions. Many, many questions.

kise64

Poor Satomi has the worst timing this week (you could say, timing-wise, she’s…snake-bitten), as she stops by Shinichi’s just as he’s leaving to see his father at the hospital on the island where he and mom were staying. Satomi’s no fool, and sees that Shinichi is troubled by something; for Pete’s sake, he looks like he’s aged ten years! Dying for several minutes can do that.

kise65

Shinichi’s relative cold shoulder isn’t just a factor of him wanting to protect her from the truth; he’s simply so emotionally on edge right now he simply can’t deal with something from his “normal world”, right now, which must’ve felt like it happened hundreds of years ago. His dad is in the hospital, his mom is dead, and he’s through with being Mr. Evolved Sensibility. He wants revenge.

kise66

Did you notice how differently Shinichi’s father acted when his son was there, as opposed to earlier, when he was recounting his crazy story to the cops? He talks of a monster murdering his wife, but both the detectives and doctor believe he’s mixing reality and nightmares after suffering a head injury falling into the sea. A perfectly logical explanation. When Shinichi sees him, not only does Dad not want to cause a fuss in front of his son, but truly believes the explanation the others gave him.

When Shinichi mentions a monster, his dad just assumes he got the idea from an erratic phone call he made. In any case, Shinichi remains utterly alone in his knowledge of the Parasytes. Not that his dad’s continued raving would have accomplished anything. Two voices speaking about things like this carry no more weight than one.

kise67

While staying at the inn owned by the family of a cute schoolgirl who he met on the boat to the island, Shinichi ponders his next move, and Migi finally awakens with important news: In his current physiological state, he now has to sleep four hours every day, and cannot be woken, even in an emergency. That’s bad news for Shinichi, who chose the inn specifically because it was within Migi’s detection range, but he can’t detect anything while asleep.

Still, Shinichi makes it clear that despite what his biology is saying to Migi, he no longer considers him an enemy, but a lifesaver and an ally. Admittedly, Shinichi could just be saying this because he doesn’t have a change against Not-Mom without his slippery friend.

kise68

The innkeeper girl Mikako pretty much falls for Mr. Tall-and-Dark during his visit, and again, Shinichi simply has no time for love, as Migi finally detects a Parasyte. Shinichi rushes after it after only getting half of Mikako’s directions, but it’s all good because Migi further merging with his body has not only bestowed upon him heightened senses, but increased speed and strength. Are Not-Mom’s days numbered…or is Shinichi mistaken about the Parasyte Migi detected even being her?

9_mag

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – 04

kise41

Our fourth taste of Parasyte starts off tense and gross, with A-san and Migi initiating a furious battle of fleshy, sharp-pointed protuberances as Shinichi struggles to see what’s going on. But Migi is only defending; it’s up to Shinichi to take that sharp chair leg and attack A-san.

kise42

That means walking through a constantly-moving forest of limbs and trusting that Migi won’t mess up and let him get torn to shreds. Once again, Shinichi, welcome to your new life: constantly in mortal danger, and having to make decisions you never thought you’d be faced with, like “It’s him or us.”

kise43

Migi’s plan works perfectly, exploting A-san’s arrogant assumption that Shinichi won’t participate in the battle. This is a guy who had sex, and yet still doesn’t understand that two are stronger than one; he’s a lost cause. Oh, and the blood spout Shinichi makes is super-gross!

kise44

It doesn’t kill him, though. Fortunately, Shinichi can walk away from this not only alive, but knowing he did not take a life. He just made that easier for Tamiya-sensei, who senses A-san coming for her, fills a lab with oxygen, and jumps out the window. The explosion finishes A-san off.

kise45

Then…things kinda settle down, though unfortunately, there’s no interaction between Shinichi and Satomi this week after he was very brusque with her last week. And funnily enough, Tamiya-sensei’s “quiet, normal life” experiment isn’t blown by her role in destroying A-san (though you’d think arson experts would have noticed organic remains in the destroyed lab). Nope, it’s blown by the fact she’s an unmarried pregnant woman!

kise46

Tamiya-sensei isn’t interested in trying to fix this mess; it’s easier to simply start over with a new host and “life.” To that end, she essentially tells Shinichi and Migi that the truce is over, and even reveals her weapon form, in another super-creepy transformation. It doesn’t look like our hero and his hand will get out of this one, but at the last second Tamiya reconsiders and spares their lives. Why? Not clear yet.

kise47

Then, one morning Shinichi wakes up missing his whole arm, and learns of a fresh terror: Migi can detach from him for a maximum of three minutes. Having a sentient hand is disconcerting enough, but knowing it can hop off whenever it wants for a morning walk? Even more unnerving. Stay attached to me, dammit!

kise48

Meanwhile, Tamiya-sensei’s mother visits her, worried sick, and almost instantly realizes that she’s not her Ryouko, but an impostor. When Mom tries to call the police, Tamiya is forced to kill her, but she’s surprised and vexed to no end: how did the old woman know?

kise49

See? The internet corrupts everyone! Anyway, Satomi first hinted at it by asking Shinichi if he was really Shinichi, then later switching hands with him, and then further reinforced by Shinichi’s mother’s increasing unease. It would seem people with strong emotional bonds, like love, in both Satomi and Shinichi’s mom’s case, seem to be able to sense their loved one isn’t themselves. Of course, Shinichi is still mostly himself, but still enough of something else that both of the main women in his life notice.

kise410

With circumstances being what they’ve been, Shinichi owes Migi his life several times over (even if in most cases Migi is the cause of the mortal peril to begin with); his alliance with the parasite in his hand hasn’t really been that big of an issue. The issue, besides not getting killed by other parasites, is a much heavier weight than Migi will ever be, and that’s the truth.

He chose not to reveal it to his parents, because let’s face it, as kind and loving as they are, they could very likely recoil and disown Shinichi on the spot. His mom is already suspicious of whether he’s even the same Shinichi she got burned with hot oil protecting. He can only conceal the truths for so long before the weight crushes him; it must be shared. Will Satomi be a different story?

7_mag