「Dance with Undershaft phase.2」
After spending its first two episodes building up, Perfect Order finally lets everythin’ go in its third episode. And to say the least, words can’t really describe this episode or my reactions to it. But really, when your method of retaliation is using a bomber to literally blow your enemy to smithereens, what can you say?
In the end though, if there’s something that comes to mind, it’s how the bombing not only served as a fitting send off for R, but as a symbolic representation of Koko and the sides hidden behind her smile… her facade. Because if there’s one thing this episode demonstrated, it’s how despite her skill, her successes, and her seemingly unshakable resolve to achieve world peace… deep down inside, she’s just a “scared little girl.” She fears for the loss of those close to her, and she fears becoming the kind of heartless dragon that she hates, hunts down, and whom she’s seemingly trying to erase in her quest for world peace. And they’re things she fears so much that she not only has Jonah as a shackle to try and hold her from becoming a monster, but as a kind of exit valve, as his death would supply her with a reason to become a monster as well. Not only that, but it’s blatantly obvious now that despite the fact that the people around her have a duty to protect her with their lives, she still tries to hold on to them—believing that they’ll always be with her and feeling an incredible sense of pain if she loses any of them. Heck, she even tells R she doesn’t care he’s a spy!
And it’s this illogical view, combined with her paradoxical attempt to obtain world peace while being an arms dealer, that make Koko officially one of the most complex characters I’ve seen in quite a while. And that’s without mentioning the fact that she’s female, which just further reduces the number out there for comparison. There are just so many layers to her character… and well, it’s astounding not only to see her in action, but how the show just manages to do a superb job in slowly unraveling those layers, one by one. And when you realize that she’s just one of many in this series with a complex, layered foundation, you just have to tip your hat off to how amazing Jormungand has been as a whole, and how well Perfect Order has fared in only three episodes.
Shifting back to R for a moment, it was mentioned by a few viewers and somewhat anticipated personally that he would end up sacrificing his cover and/or his life to protect Koko, and that’s exactly what happened. From that respect, it wasn’t anything too surprising per se, but the fact remains that seeing him actually come to Koko’s rescue and fight off Hex… seeing him die shortly after succeeding in assisting Koko’s escape… really hit the emotional heartstrings. And it’s just hard to believe that just like that, we have the first (and probably not the last) death in Koko’s main squad. Things really just hit another level in Perfect Order, and I’m loving every minute of it. It’s sad that R had to go, but the whole context of it all… the interplay between Bookman and Hex… the comments by both R and Hex that Bookman’s underestimated Koko and that his plan’s not going to work… it’s not only intriguing, but definitely a cut above the norm in terms of complexity.
Looking forward, the quote “time waits for no one” just comes to mind. And it’s true, because it sure looks like there won’t be much time for Koko and the team to take a breather. There are just bigger things at play and there’s just no time to reminisce until the objective’s accomplished. Some old faces return next week, and I might bear a resemblance to a broken record at this point, but I know I’m eagerly anticipating it. And with that, I’ll leave it at this… short, sweet, and ended with a moment of silence for the fallen R.
ED: 「真実の羽根」 (Shinjitsu no Hane) by やなぎ なぎ (Yanagi Nagi)