Wow, for a show where death is played up for laughs so much, I’ve been really impressed at how its still been able to use it in powerful, dramatic ways.
So… those thigh high leather boots… do they really bend at the knees in real life? I’ve always thought of them as pretty stylish, but assumed they’d be terribly uncomfortable to wear. Also, rumor is Ootonashi was Light in his previous life. Is it any wonder he got sent to purgatory?
Did you see how quickly Kanade stopped tapping her pen as soon as Otonashi mentioned mapo tofu? Is that a flag trigger? I’d think not (actually, will this be the first Key story that goes without a romance blossoming? I would love that.) Last of the questions, did anyone else think the new school president, Naoi, looked like Naoto from Persona 4? To a fucking T, I’d say.
The removal of Kanade from power has created a new problem: Naoi. Who Yuri discovers has a soul himself, and has been existing in the world, by beating NPCs up without anyone knowing (who are those "anyone’s" though?). His plans are a little fuzzy though, but he apparently considers Kanade to be enough of a threat to imprison both her and Otonashi for going on that illicit mapo tofu binge. Yuri and her gang engage in a battle with Naoi, but they learn that his tactics are a lot more devious, as he’s willing to use the NPCs as canon fodder to maintain the upper hand. I assume NPCs disappear when they "die." But seeing as they’re not human, I wonder why Yuri has put them off limits. It seems like one of those arbitrary good guy "bump up the difficulty level" tactics. To be honest, I’m not even sure why they challenged Naoi. Shouldn’t they have tried to recruit him instead? Were they trying to make him disappear? But that would be impossible since they can’t really die… unless they had a limited amount of lives, which doesn’t seem like it’s the case. I could definitely use some more background info.
As they discuss how to escape, Otonashi realizes the cruel truth about why Kanade is a loner, although the logic is a little wonky. If Kanade is the pied piper of this world, how is it that she’s able to lead her friends into oblivion, without disappearing herself? Unless that’s her purpose for existing. To be a kind of shepherd. To change subjects though, I think Kanade needs to work on her weapon designs. I’m not sure a trident is a step up from her regular blade. And I don’t know how in the world she planned to use that flower. Maybe she could roughly bludgeon people to death, but the wind resistance on that thing has to be massive. Although I guess the rules of physics don’t exactly apply to her.
I’ve thought of Kanade to be a regular person, the same as Yuri and everyone else, who was able to develop special powers. So I wondered if Naoi had any supernatural powers up his sleeve as well. His choice was surprising though. Hypnotism. Truly a weapon of destruction. Whereas Kanade’s weapons have an element of self defense – none of which could permanently erase someone, it’s fascinating that Naoi went straight to the erasure method. And for a second there, I really thought Yuri might bite the dust.
Hiroshi Kamiya gives a tour de force as Otonashi. His concern for Naoi might have seemed out of the blue, but I think Otonashi more than anyone else in the world, seems to value the "life" they have in this purgatory state. I also liked seeing Naoi’s backstory. Sure, it was a little sappy, but I’m generally not a fan of one-sided, cardboard character "villains" unless they’re really over the top, like Ladd Russo or Charles vi Brittania. Naoi was just sort of… a power-hungry dick who needed some more parental love. Well, that’s fair. It’s always the kids with crappy families that grow up to be murderous sociopaths. He didn’t disappear by the end of the episode, but based on his memory and Otonashi’s accepting him, there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for him to exist anymore.
Hopefully, the show’s going to reveal more about this world as it goes along. I just don’t know whether I can trust Yuri’s conjectures, Naoi’s conjectures, or even Kanade’s conjectures – should she ever explain anything.
On a completely separate note, this is your last chance to vote for Rabbit Poets in the aniblogtourney. It’s a real close match, so your vote counts! Just do it quick, because the clock runs out in a couple hours or so. Thanks!