Man, this episode brought a lot to the table. It’s actually a bit daunting as I’m not sure where to start.
For the first time in a long while, we have an episode that is entirely free of flashbacks. It allows the plot to move forward and it does so by leaps and bounds. The show was spinning it’s wheels for a while, but this put that to an end pretty abruptly.
A fair bit of focus is put on Kotori, who had been relegated to the background for a long time. It was kind of shocking to see her walk into Tokiko’s blood bath. The way it was shown, I assumed that it was a dream, but it turned out to be all too real. Kotori was always one of the more sympathetic characters, but you can’t help but feel bad for her as you watch her brain snap like a twig.
It was nice to see both Fuma and Kamui rush to her aid. Kamui actually shows emotion and acts like a human being for once. It was refreshing. Heck, even when he’s wangsting about the guilt he feels, you still feel bad for him. He doesn’t come off like the putz that he did way back when the show started.
With Kotori in shock, fate decides that it’s time for Kamui to make up his mind and choose a side. The information is conveyed to him via video of Tokiko that was filmed before she gave birth to the sword. While it does provide more insight as to what each side entails, I don’t get how Kamui is shocked by this. He’s been told about this, like what, three or four times now? It’s heavy, sure, but the look of shock on his face shouldn’t be there. Credit where it’s due though, it was still a pretty dramatic telling of how things could play out.
I’m still not sure why anyone would join the Dragons of Earth. Tokiko says that while our civilization will fall, new ones will rise and that this new future is what they are fighting for. It’s something, but I’d still be hard pressed to join them. New age or not, wiping out humanity isn’t something you sign on to lightly.
You want to know what’s weird about this episode? This whole time, people have been trying to sway Kamui towards joining the dragons of heaven, but then this episode turns around and paints it like a bad thing. Sure, he’s only doing it to save Fuma and Kotori, but it’s enough to get the job done.
Of course, once Kamui makes up his mind, Fuma immediately turns heel and declares himself to be the dragon of Earth. This plot twist was well done, but it really hammers in the complaint that I’ve had about the whole “twin star” thing. What difference did any of it make if there was going to be one champion for each side regardless of what choice was made? Even free will takes a back seat as Fuma becomes a completely different person. He even kills his own sister, rather sadistically I might add.
I’ll grant you, it makes for nice character conflict, and it was interesting to see Kamui on the losing end of the fight for once, but the ideas conveyed here just raise so many questions that it becomes distracting.
I also couldn’t help but notice that yet another female character sacrifices herself for the men. I’m surprised Jezebel hasn’t torn into this series yet, even I’m starting to raise my eyebrow at this particular “theme”.
There’s a lot to like about this episode. It was refreshing to see some plot advancement and we had some major shake ups to the status quo. It did get a bit heavy handed on the emotional stuff at times, but there was still some good points on that front as well. It’s just a shame that the plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Still, I remain intrigued as to how things play out from here, so there’s that at least.