OP2: 「輝跡 -kiseki-」 by 南里侑香 (Nanri Yuuka)
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「真実のヨシアシ」 (Shinjitsu no Yoshi Ashi)
“The True Yoshi and Ashi”
I’ve never seen an anime swap its opening and ending themes with new sequences to go for each, but somebody at Sunrise seems to have had a change of heart seven episodes later. Surprisingly, Nanri Yuuka’s “Miracle” seems to be better suited as an opening theme. I just find it funny how both singles are already released and are referred to as what they originally started as. I gather this isn’t a temporarily switch either, since the new opening sequence looks like a “proper” one.
On a somewhat related note, I’m wondering about the decision to drop all the build-up from the previous episode where Ruri thought she was a bother to Alma. Part of me wants to chalk it up to her professionalism given the situation, but it didn’t even come up as an afterthought the entire episode, making it seem like it was dropped altogether. Alma didn’t even have it weighing on his conscience either, and was fully committed to rescuing Ruri just because. At the moment, I’m giving Sunrise the benefit of the doubt under the assumption that Alma and Ruri’s misunderstanding will come up later on in the series, but I do feel they could have given us some indication that it hasn’t been completely forgotten.
In retrospect, that was my only minor gripe with this episode. The rest of it turned out to be the beginning of a crossroad for our protagonists, as they ultimately have to decide whether to believe Night and Fei or Kenmi. From our perspective, it’s pretty clear that Kenmi isn’t to be trusted and that’s without taking into consideration how Night and Fei are seen alongside Alma, Ruri, and co. in the new ending sequence. From Alma and Ruri’s perspective, it’s much less apparent though, which I’m actually quite happy about. Following this latest incident, it would’ve been really easy for Kenmi to show his true colors when he was suspected of experimenting on Sacred Takers, but he showed a little depth and complexity to his character by proving to be more conniving, which more or less saved the story from oversimplifying itself further.
As for the real draw of the episode, it had to be Fei hands down. I was already pretty intrigued by her character and perceived her as a victim in all this, but the added revelation that she’s a Yoshi (i.e. Good Stone) like Ruri puts an interesting spin on things. For one, it helped explain how she was making serums for Night from her own blood. It also made the similarities between Night/Fei and Alma/Ruri more apparent (albeit under very different circumstances), which opens the door for a better understanding between them. Given how kindhearted Fei proved to be, even surprising Ruri when she put a band-aid on her, it was pretty easy to side with her. The nail in the coffin was learning that her brother is Kenmi’s Subject Zero. I had a hunch about that being the case after she brought up how Kenmi killed her brother, but it’s kind of moot now since they already confirmed it. In any case, once Alma and Ruri learn about what happened to Fei’s brother, I think we’ll be well on our way toward an ultimate showdown with Kenmi.
Looking back on the past seven episodes, I’m a bit disappointed at how the scope of the story seems to have dwindled and that side characters like Wakana still don’t add anything to it. However, I am optimistic about some added depth in the upcoming episodes, particularly the next one featuring a flashback about Alma’s mother. The new opening sequence also shows Alma and Ruri during their childhood, so the backstory that was hinted at way back in episode two should be coming up as well.
* I seriously hope they went back and picked up all those precious stones from the box that Kagami handed Alma.
* The scene with Alma on top of Ruri is pretty funny when taken out of context.
* Only one full-length image this week.
ED2: 「stone cold」 by FictionJunction
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