If there’s one thing to be thankful for this episode, it’s that the arc involving Ishihara and Sasaki appears to be a done deal. However, just when things were finally taking a turn for the better, Mario lashing out at an angry drunk lands him in police custody again. What’s worse, this time it looks like he’s going to be tried as an adult and potentially be locked up for seven years. With the way things concluded last episode, I’ve been wondering what sort of trials and tribulations the boys would be in store for after overcoming their biggest ones together, but I was surprised to see how quickly it went back to the “life behind bars” bit (…and literally a trial). I don’t particular mind that this series is turning out to be a “prison anime” since it’s not exactly something we see every season, though I was secretly hoping it would start out as such before breaking out of its shell and becoming something more. In a way, the start of this arc with the new challenge before Baremoto and the others of trying to save Mario from a life in prison almost feels like this is what the anime will conclude around.
Hopefully that won’t be the case since there’s still Joe’s sister Meg I’d like to see some more story about after seeing a bit of foreshadowing in the new ending sequence, but I won’t be too bent out of shape if they don’t get around to it. This series could have easily concluded at thirteen episodes if they just left out the recap one, so anything that happens now to test the boys’ brotherly bonds is just gravy. While Mario is behind bars again, the fact that the five others aren’t changes the scenery enough to make it a totally different problem they’re facing. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what Baremoto’s plan is this time around, since I can’t really think of any way to save Mario from being prosecuted right now save for busting in with a tank like Suppon suggested. What I absolutely loved seeing this episode though was how they all banded together to save Mario without any second thoughts or hesitation whatsoever. Watching them walk out of the bar and all be on the same page was moving in a way, because I couldn’t help but wonder if I have any friends who would the same for me or vice-versa. It’s one thing to be a friend, but it’s something else altogether to never abandon one and risk getting thrown back into jail yourself. This is especially true for guys like Heitai, who’s completely clean now and has a respectable position in the Self-Defense Forces.
Somewhat overshadowed by Mario’s predicament was Setsuko’s arranged marriage to help save her father’s business. I’ve more or less become okay with the idea of Mario having feelings for her now, seeing as he feels Setsuko still has An-chan on her mind, so naturally I’m all for her ending up with him over some random guy she doesn’t even like. I’m sure Sakuragi would feel the same way, especially now that Setsuko sees Mario as an embodiment of his spirit. He’s still a too bit emotional about protecting those he deems important — such as his boss — but that too is very similar to how Sakuragi was. Speaking of which, I get the feeling that Mario’s boss partly fired him to save him from having a potential run-in with the police, which would’ve worked if he didn’t go back later on to formally apologize. Their new hurdle looks like it’s going to be the public prosecutor intent on getting Mario sentenced to the maximum seven years, who just happens to be played by Fullmetal Alchemist‘s King Bradley, Shibata Hidekatsu. Interesting enough, the Kogure Yoshitaka guy whom Mario beat up to land him there is played by Yoshino Hiroyuki, i.e. Kimblee. It seems like those two are bad news regardless of which series they’re in!