「乱戯ノ塔」 (Rangi no Tou)
“Tower of Confusion”
I almost thought I was watching The Tower of Druaga again when Minaka announced that Minato had sixty minutes to get to the top of Teito Tower. The difference was, it turned out to be frantic race up 108 floors that they had to climb using stairs alone. The amazing thing is that Minato didn’t tire along the way and kept up with Musubi, Tsukiumi, and Kazehana just fine. Equally as amazing was Homura showing that he wasn’t in any sort of a pinch at all and could free himself easier by setting his whole body on fire. While the preview last time pretty much spoiled the cliffhanger by showing him no worse for wear, the way he single-handedly chased off Akitsu and Taki actually made up for it… a bit. If nothing else, it did emphasize that he’s a changed Sekirei now the he’s been winged by Minato, which was one of the big things that happened during this sequel. His actual role following that display of power turned out to be rather small though. Not that it really mattered, as the rest of the episode played out in a fairly scripted manner with Minaka setting up mini bosses in the form of the Disciplinary Force to hold Minato up — all in the comfort of his private room on his PSP.
While somewhat cookie-cutter, I didn’t particularly mind the one-on-one fights that were staged along the way. I sure wouldn’t have minded playing the super-deformed Sekirei fighting game version of what Minaka was seeing either, because it looked pretty cool spin on Capcom’s Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, a.k.a. Pocket Fighter. If there’s one thing that this anime original conclusion is doing well, it’s providing a ton of fight scenes in the final stretch. Granted, the setup leading towards that got a little overdramatic when Minato was hesitantly leaving Kazehana and Tsukiumi behind and believing that they’ll be fine on their own. Still, the fights themselves weren’t too shabby. Kazehana versus Benitsubasa got a lot more attention than Tsukiumi versus Haihane, whereas Karasuba versus Mutsu didn’t get quite enough in my opinion. I definitely would have liked to see how far things would’ve gotten between two of the original five Sekirei, which was pretty funny as well since Mikogami had no idea whatsoever about their history together. It seems all he cared about was the fame that would come with having defeated a Disciplinary Force member, unaware that she’s the leader of it.
Admittedly, it was a pretty anticlimactic when Matsu and Kusano reached the server room and disabled all the traps Minaka had set up throughout the building, resulting in the Disciplinary Force retreating like they were ordered. A shame to say the least, as I would’ve liked to see Kazehane give Bentsubasa a good ass-kicking again like she did back in episode three, especially after she was locked up in a small room and unable to use her wind to its full potential. The same goes for Tsukiumi after she was locked in a room and about to be crushed. Despite what Takami had me believe, the trap that Minaka set in the server room didn’t turn out to be that scary either, thanks to Kusano being around to keep the spiky electrical machines at bay. As such, the real surprise is that the crazy M.B.I. president went and activated the self-destruct that he had built into the tower. It sure as hell seemed uncalled for when Minato and Musubi weren’t anywhere near the top floor, plus the Sekirei outside had started fighting amongst themselves like he was hoping for. Talk about excessive measures all to prevent Minato from getting some M.B.I. technology to save Chiho’s life.
With some major landscaping happening as a result of the tower’s collapse, I’m at a loss on where this series is headed even if it does see a third season. For now, the focus seems to be shifting back to the vendetta that Karasuba has with Yume, which she’ll realize through Musubi’s inheritance of her spirit. However, I somehow get the feeling that it will remain pretty open-ended as well, meaning the only real thing that will be resolved is the situation with Chiho. So um, was blowing up the tower really necessary?
* Note: Sanada Nishi’s Sekirei, Kuzuri, Kujika, and Shijime actually spoke up in this episode, but they don’t really have any set seiyuu to play them yet. Instead, it’s just one of the extra voices for the other nameless Sekirei we’ve come across.