That’s not to say this arc was particularly bad, seeing as how they turned around the generic plot of taking over the world into one man’s quest for vengeance gone bad… which is, ok, still a little generic. But I’ll admit the surprise was refreshing, and parody-like with the characters almost mocking the fake plot. I couldn’t really get into the whole thing though. While the “twist” was great, the downside that came with it inevitably left the antagonists little screentime to develop. There was definitely potential for sympathy with Monarch, but he stays as a two-dimensional angry man who simply needs an ass whupping. The Fox guy also plays out exactly as I called it when he was introduced, so no variety there, except to reveal himself again when future arcs call for it. The girl in between it all remains the Disposable Woman, though to be fair, her gender didn’t really matter. Again, that’s only because there was hardly any time to develop the relationship between the three except a meager picture of them sharing a lunch one afternoon. However, the plot had layers, was weaved between multiple characters, revealed relationships between our protagonists, and put down the building blocks to support future arcs. Written down, a story arc like that sounds rather successful. So like I said, not particularly bad.
A unique point to reflect on from recent eps is that the reason for which you fight always beats an inferior reason, despite all odds. It’s like the moral backbone of the show, and sorts out justice from injustice. Or so it shows. There’s actually a viewer’s bias, since we hear everything from the Wolf’s POV. We’re repeatedly told that the Dog clan is complete shit when they simply have a different way of doing things, such as efficiency vs dignity. But who defines dignity but the one stating it? One could say the Wolf clan is shit because they’re hypocrites. Banding together to fight a common enemy might be reasonable normally, but it should mean losing your honor since you’re not fighting your own battles. As such, the Dog clan is no less dignified, hence why I remarked in episode 3 that it made no sense if the aim was simply getting the bento. It’s the preference of how that happens that varies, and that’s subjective. There are also those that break the morals of what’s “humane,” but of course the Wolves are quick to label those as Dogs as well. There’s some connections to religion here, if not humanity’s terrible inability to accept difference in general. To be honest, it’s more likely that the Dogs are more of a trope than anything meaningful, but having not read the source material, I can’t say for sure. Alternatively, the emphasis on importance of Wolf pride is by no accident similar to the bushido code, where honor is king. As it stands, this POV is treasured in the show so far, and while as a homage to samurai is cool, it’s overdone (but what do you expect when it’s from Japan?). At this point, it could be considered even narcissistic. But if down the road the view is questioned, it could very well be seen as a deconstruction of Japanese values, if not asian culture in general, which would be awesome.
The best result of it all is that generic villain #9465328 is begone! Satou is also oddly rising the ranks, having even beat Shaga in a one on one duel, completely undermining her title and weight as a character. So why is that not an important development? No battle shown, no reaction given. Very curious. Pretty sure he’ll get a title easy to ridicule as well. In any case, I genuinely look forward to the direction the rest of the story will take, and with a light arc authors generally start out with cleared, there might be some unique plotlines yet. And if not, welp, it will just join the thousands of other anime from wasted potential due to stupid choices from up top.