「ワンモアナイト」 (Wan Moa Naito)
“One More Night”
Given Alma’s past, it’s easy to see why he’s not used to being close to other people, but I can’t see how anyone in their right mind can impose a one-meter comfort zone on Ruri — especially when she comes with a lunch packed for two. Missed opportunity notwithstanding, I still enjoyed all the innocent Alma x Ruri moments that came about. What threw me off was Ruri’s clingy tsundere-like behavior, which I haven’t really gotten a sense of up until now. It almost seemed out of character for her, wanting Alma to react a certain way and giving him ample opportunity to call her back, so it was oddly amusing as well. As I’ve expressed already, I really enjoy watching their innocent relationship play out, even though I’m not anticipating it’ll get anywhere profound. It’s always something to look forward to, since Wakana’s not really establishing much of a presence for herself.
I sometimes wonder if I’m taking these scenes the wrong way though, since I found Ruri’s disappointment a lot more humorous than anything else. I wasn’t banking her getting depressed as a result. In hindsight, it is the perfect setup to get Alma regretting that he turned Ruri away now that Night’s kidnapped her. It also serves as motivation for him to rescue her, while Ruri is still stuck in a rut thinking that Alma only perceives her as a nuisance and won’t come to save her. So as far as emotions go, what started out as a lighthearted affair has become the backbone for the upcoming episode(s). The only problem I had with it all was how everyone was surprised that Night’s back when they were fully aware that they haven’t seen the last of him. It’s like they forgot about him after driving him back that one time.
Depending on how you want to look at it, Kenmi doesn’t appear to have any ulterior motives anymore, given the amount of concern he showed for Ruri’s well-being. However, he still has questionable methods in his research facility, judging from the way Night was “treated” against his will. From Night’s flashbacks, it’s pretty hard to give Kenmi the complete benefit of the doubt. There’s also the matter of his Number Zero experiment (Nojima Hirofumi), who looks like he’s losing control of himself more than anything else. To help stabilize Cyclops, Kenmi was hesitant to get high-grade gems from Ruri too (presumably), suggesting that he want to keep what happened a secret from her. Aside from maybe his nonchalant SP, who appears to go by the name Arakune (she’s not listed as such in the credits), there hasn’t really been anyone from Kenmi’s facility shown it in a positive light. As such, I still perceive Night and Fei as victims in all of this rather than aggressors.
Naturally, I have to draw the line somewhere though. Kidnapping Ruri and using her body — likely her blood if Fei was any indication — to develop a serum against the effects of the Ashi is pretty borderline villainous. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder if this will lead to the moment where both Night and Fei come around, assuming that Ruri learns what they were subjected to and has a revised opinion of Kenmi. Judging from the title next time, it looks like I’ll find out soon enough if that’s the case. Ruri was hinted to be a Yoshi in episode three, so I may not have been too far off the mark about her stabilizing Night’s powers.
* It probably goes without saying, but Arakune is turning out to be a really awesome character. She doesn’t seem to have a care in the world yet fights incredibly well in her Anti-Gem Suit. She’s one tough cookie too and wasn’t really fazed by a sword through her forearm. I wouldn’t be surprised if her popularity started skyrocketing.
* Full-length images this week: 07, 09, 20, and 35.