「光と絶望の境目」 (Hikari to Zetsubou no Saikaime)
“The Boundary Between Light and Despair”
After the somewhat brief introduction of Hotsuma and Shuusei last time, it was nice to see what the wielders of “God’s Voice” and “God’s Eyes” are capable of right away. Other than that sole purpose, this episode felt pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things, simply because we have some soon-to-be-forgotten Mid Villain causing a ruckus and being dispatched almost as quickly. There were some pretty clear signs that the little girl (Itou Kanae) was going to end up being the one possessed too, so nothing story-wise was particularly a surprise either. Still, the aforementioned abilities in this relatively action-packed episode made it pretty entertaining to watch.
Admittedly, I did find it kind funny how Hotsuma’s sword is named “Master Stroke”, but the amount of fire-based damage he dealt to all the mud puppets with it was pretty cool. Luka on the other hand sure showed him up by summoning a dragon, Salamander, to do his bidding in style, which reiterating the “don’t mess with Zess” notion. As for Shuusei’s barrier-type ability, I couldn’t help but draw similarities between it and the Seals (Fuuzetsu) used in Shakugan no Shana since it also shifts an area of battle to an alternate plane of existence. In any case, I was somehow expecting Yuki’s God’s Light to free the little girl after the darkness within her heart from not being wanted by her parents allowed her to get possessed, but it turns out that Shuusei still had to help with the exorcism.
In what was a fairly straight-forward episode, I did appreciate how they slipped in some foreshadowing at the very end with Takashiro mentioning how it pains him to deceive Yuki. They’ve made it fairly obvious that there’s more to the whole Giou/Duras battle than we’ve been led to believe thus far, so it’s good to know they plan on working towards those signs sooner rather than later. At this point, part of the deception seems to be how he’s allowing Yuki to be placed in danger to help awaken his abilities further, but there’s reason to believe it extends beyond that. For now, it looks like Yuki’s going to be brought to the Giou’s Twilight Mansion, so it’ll be interesting to see who he runs into there.