「“二人”ということ」 (“Futari” to Iu Koto)
“What It Means To Be a ‘Pair'”
Finally some Opast level action! After the slow change of pace with Yuki getting settled into his new life with the Giou clan, I was looking forward to seeing exactly what a high level battle in this series entails. For the most part, this episode involving Shuusei’s rescue delivered just that, showing how Hotsuma wasn’t much of a match for Ashley on his own. It was pretty hard for him to put up much of a fight when he was constantly caught in her hair, but she didn’t have too much difficulty stopping his attacks with her bare hand either. While Yuki was busy trying to heal Shuusei, what I did find odd was how none of Ashley’s attacks on Hotsuma were even close to fatal. With him completely restrained time and time again, she had more than enough opportunities to put a swift end to their fight. Given how she’s pretty sadistic and was relishing in Hotsuma’s suffering over the thought of Shuusei choosing to die, I gather she was merely toying with him for the most part though.
Still, she didn’t really given any indication that she was holding back, even when Yuki dove in to protect Hotsuma from what should have been a fatal blow, so Hotsuma’s lack of any serious injuries came off as rather convenient. I say that because in retrospect, their initial fight felt like nothing more than a means to drive Hotsuma into a corner so that he’d call out to Shuusei to wake him up and allow them to team up again. It was a bit cheesy how they started boasting to Ashley about why Zweilt Guardians fight in pairs soon after, but it was pretty cool to see them work in sync and cover one another to take her down. As we haven’t really seen anything quite to this degree from Tooka and Tsukumo just yet, I could sort of understand why the whole pair thing was strongly emphasized here. My only qualm is that it felt a little too scripted, though I was surprised to see Luka come in at the last second to stop Ashley’s desparation attack and kill her off. At the same time, I was actually sad to see her go, since she was proving to be a seductively evil villain whom I would’ve loved to see more of later on. It never hurts when she’s played by Ueda Kana either, who hasn’t been getting very many roles as of late despite how awesome her voice is.
Anyway, they were foreshadowing that Luka was going to make a timely arrival during the first half of this episode, so it was only the impact of his entrance that came as a real surprise. Finishing off Ashley looked way too easy for him in comparison to Hotsuma and Shuusei’s tandum attack that failed to do so, but I gather it was to show just how powerful Luka really is. At that point, Jekyll and Hyde didn’t serve as much more than a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things, leading us to the arrival of Reiga. As this is now the halfway point of the series, it was nice to see Yuki finally learn who Kanata really is. After all of Reiga’s failed attempts to lure him over to his side, I was starting to wonder if his latest one was going to be the last. Well luckily for me, that seems to be the case, plus we get to see what Reiga can really do in the face of Luka, two Zweilt Guardians, and the late arrival of Takashiro. I’m all for the character development in this series, but I’m not the least bit opposed to the action aspect picking up drastically with this type of confrontation. The preview suggests that there will be a lot of blood spilled too, but retains the suspense by not showing whose it is.
* Note: I won’t be covering this series anymore as mentioned in the Summer 2010 Schedule, but may say some final words about it when it’s over.