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Kekkai Sensen & Beyond – 09

「マクロの決死圏 後編」 (Makuro no Kesshi ken Kouhen)
“Desperate Fight in the Macro Zone Part 2″

If last episode was all build up for this one, then was it worth it? Probably mostly, and this one was better constructed besides, because there was less faffing about and more focus on the central conflict of this mini-arc: the one inside Riel-san. Both figuratively and literally.

That’s a big thing, because while last episode featured scenes that, even in retrospect, remained pointless—no, we did not need to see Sonic rescue the cat to know Leo could do a trickier version now, not when the difficulties weren’t explained until this episode, and what was all that time spent on Dog/Deldro? They were hardly there this arc—the only scene that at first seemed out of place was the Werewolf Bureau girls’ night out, until it became clear that it was setting up Sonic’s hero moment, which slid it right back into the “necessary” column. Plus it was funny, which is always a plus.

Riel’s story ended up being rather touching, as it dealt with the issue of loneliness, friendship, and how Riel let his negative feelings cloud his vision until he forgot what was truly important. I was struck by how Riel’s story is similar to either that of a drug user who spirals out of control (someone offers him the fix, and it takes him places darker and deeper than he ever imagined) or an angry young man who’s radicalized into committing great evil (Riel’s negative emotions made him a bomb waiting to explode, if only he had the power—and then he was given the power), though both shake apart in various ways (he retains some level of control until Gemnemo tries to hijack him like he’s a bus, and he never intended to commit any kind of evil, he just didn’t want to get stepped on/keep running away). Granted, Kekkai Sensen wasn’t interested in plumbing those themes so much as experiencing Riel’s loneliness, which is where the focus stayed, and as a character study it was satisfying in the end.

I heartily enjoyed that Sonic, of all people characters, got to be the big damn hero (trope!) this time. It’s almost a mundane level of silly by Kekkai Sensen standards, but what can I say, I’ve got a soft spot for the rascally monkey. Especially since it led to Zapp ranting, Chain looking deservedly embarrassed, and then Zapp getting a Werewolf Bureau hit job after it became clear he was mouthing off without justification. Once again, Zapp is a bully, and the best way to use him is to abuse him. Kekkai Sensen understands this well.

Next week is the K.K. episode, or maybe not, the preview two episodes ago that seemed to show a Dog Hummer ep incoming was total bupkis, so who knows. Also, wasn’t Michella supposed to be a big player this season? I can’t wait until they try to do plot in the last two episodes. It’s gonna work about as well as it ever does (see: not really).

Random thoughts:

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Preview

December 3, 2017 at 4:21 am
9 comments »
  • December 3, 2017 at 7:19 amaprub

  • December 3, 2017 at 3:14 pmqwert

    “I can’t wait until they try to do plot in the last two episodes. It’s gonna work about as well as it ever does”

    They’ll manage to squeeze everything into the last episode, but they’ll need ten extra minutes to do it so we’ll have to wait another three months to find out.

  • December 3, 2017 at 5:41 pmzztop

    Some viewers I asked say they prefer S2′s more episodic approach, saying it’s properly giving justice to the spirit of the source manga by exploring the various characters and setting of Kekkai.

    “As the story went on, I kept getting the feeling that the anime didn’t really care about Kekkai Sensen(‘s spirit) as such, and was just using the setting as a convenient background to its original and mostly completely unrelated story. (I don’t necessarily mind original characters/stories in adaptations, but here it was really weird and they just didn’t gel.)

    As to why this show is not doing that, my guess is that the original characters and storyline mostly came from Matsumoto Rie, as a sort of “LISTEN TO MY SONG!!” The new director/staff on the other hand is more interested in the Libra characters and the setting. I can’t say I mind, I’m enjoying this show immensely and I’m happy that these fun and charming characters finally get the attention they deserve.”

    • December 3, 2017 at 7:27 pmStilts

      That’s fine. They’re entitled to their opinion. I just think they’re wrong, and even if it’s totally a taste thing, it doesn’t work for me.

      That’s why I prefer to go into anime without having read the source. Then I can enjoy it for what it is, regardless if it’s faithful or not. Not that I still can’t tell half the time, but what matters is if it’s GOOD, not whether it’s the same. And on that mark: the feeling of the characters, and of Hellsalem’s Lot, is the same in season one as it is here. The spirit was captured. All Matsumoto-san did was give us an overarching narrative to the season to keep more viewers interested, and then executed the rest well. That’s why it was so great; it improved upon the source material by taking into account the changed medium. This season never did that.

      • December 4, 2017 at 7:25 amKurik

        I am with you with prefering not reading the source material…As long as a story is good I am not concerned with the source. I have mentioned it before that I have S2 is my preferred season as its episodic and each of the characters are explored more. S1 just whetted our appetite – this seaon is filling our bellies. S3 desert!

      • December 4, 2017 at 12:46 pmMockman

        Put me in this camp as well. I enjoyed season one. This season… not so much. To my awareness, Riel isn’t even a character, so why would I care if his story is explored? Note, you can get deeper into the characters and still have a story but you could have just told me that this Riel guy had issues and I would have believed it. They didn’t need to hit me with two episodes to let me know. If this character has any importance, this could have been addressed in a crappy flashback while a real story was being told.

        And while the next post refers to S3, perhaps there is a Freudian slip in there, calling the show a ‘desert’ :)

      • December 5, 2017 at 1:32 amK

        Jesus Christ you are arrogant, their opinion is wrong? God fucking damn. Sorry your precious waifu whito wasn’t in this season and they’re sticking with the manga. You know, the manga that even made it possible for this anime to be made. Jesus you are so full of your goddamn self.

  • December 4, 2017 at 9:55 pmK

    Moral lessons –

    There’s always a bigger fish.

    It’s lonely at the top.

    Being you is most rewarding.

  • December 9, 2017 at 7:43 ampokpokza

    This ost called “The world goes round” from Kekkai Sensen depicts the show perfectly.
    “The world goes round no matter, it’s the only truth we know!”
    This show is beautiful as it shows human and metahuman tenacity toward weirdness and lives in such a chaotic harmony. Normally when you get into a show, you are looking for the story and character development, but in kekkai sensen both aspects intertwine perfectly because this show is the story of the town and its people not about Leo, the shounen protagonist. Why make a story about 1 person when you can show how wonderful the world really is around him.

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