The more the gang learns about Tatsumi Kanji, the more they realize he isn’t the tough delinquent he appears to be. In the TV, Teddie’s nose leads them to a bathhouse where Kanji is holed up, but it’s a very threatening and uncomfortable place for Yu and Kosuke. Even with four personas, the shadow’s a tough cookie, protected by masochistic bodyguards who absorb physical and magical attack. Yu has to use the power of the velvet room to merge two personas, while Kanji himself brings down his own shadow. Kanji then joins the gang.
We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we actually missed Teddie and the TV world. We’re also glad they switched things up a bit. The gang has numbers and plenty of brute force, but Kanji’s shadow is a horse of a different color. He was like one of those RPG bosses who’s a tough nut to crack, because your usual tactics prove ineffective or even beneficial to the enemy. He takes everybody out of their comfort zone, even managing to get under the skin of the prim-and-proper Yukiko by insulting her outfit of all things (Yukiko was particularly fun to watch this week). Heck, even Yu flinches once or twice, which is a lot for him.
Another nice plot device (for lack of a better term) was the cute phone strap Kanji made by hand for a little kid. It’s a symbol of his love of “cutesy shit”, and his intense need to be accepted – even if it’s as a tough – brings him inner turmoil that boiled over this week. Seeing that strap made him step back from the shadow’s taunting and accept him as a part of his personality. He admits to being a pansy for lying to himself and creating the delinquent persona as a shell to hide behind. Finally, this episode still had plenty of comedy, but managed to balance it with the drama more than last week.