「何やら企んでいるようであり」 (Naniyara Takurande Iru Youdeari)
“You Seem to Be Plotting Something”
If there’s one thing you need to understand from this episode, it’s that even mages need to collect supplies (gotta buy em flashy underwear)… at bargain prices only New Year’s sales can give. Mahiro finds this out the hard way this week, and it sets up for some nice comedy that only the super strange pair of Mahiro and Samon can give us.
Suffice to say though, this was one of those times where Zetsuen once again demonstrates how it’s anything but another show. Despite the overall seriousness of the story line and the fact we have a world that’s in any shape but normal, it just manages to sneak some pretty darn hilarious moments in—all without making it seem out of place either. I mean, more than half the episode had me laughing at some point in time—especially the moments where Hanemura calls out Mahiro for his “sister complex” (how bout that reaction?), both Hakaze and Mahiro simultaneously realize they’re in love, Evangeline has to make that lightning escape after Hanemura overuses his power, and when Hakaze’s so flustered about realizing she’s in love that she just nonchalantly gives permission for Takumi’s plan. Just some funny stuff.
Notably though, Zetsuen also continues its trend of being anything but predictable (and in a good way), as we constantly shift between moments of seriousness and comedy all throughout this episode. In the end though, nothing trumps that last twist where we’re made to think Evangeline and Takumi’s planning some epic, super serious plan… and it ends up being a public debut of the Mage of Exodus clad in some ridiculous outfit. Granted, the overall intent of the plan is quite serious in that it will help them find out more about both the Tree of Genesis and Tree of Zetsuen, as well as the extent to which they can control the world’s logic, but I couldn’t help but laugh at that last scene regardless.
Moving back up a bit though, I found the whole discussion between Hakaze and Yoshino to be quite interesting. I’ve mentioned this before, but their whole whole dialogue about “how a billion people disappeared, but the people there are just living on with no sense of danger as if nothing happened,” just feels like a powerful commentary on human nature. On one hand, it’s sad that humans are the type of species that will inevitably forget about things, even if like the Zetsuen universe, that event involved a billion people disappearing overnight. On the flip side though, it’s also a testament to human resilience and our ability to cope with adversity. Just another one of the many paradoxes that make up our existence.
Along these lines, another interesting topic of discussion pops up from Samon and Mahiro’s conversation:
“Suppose the world was destroyed and a God appeared before you. Would you prefer that it say you could have done nothing to change the outcome? Or that, had you not given up, you might have affected the result?”
It’s an intriguing question without a doubt, but the big thing here is that Samon and Mahiro—despite the obvious strangeness that comes with them associating with each other and being on “the same team”—are actually quite similar in how they just both don’t know when to give up. It really is true what they say. Sometimes birds of a feather flock together, but other times, it’s exactly because you’re too similar (and/or remind you of/have a trait you hate about yourself) that you just hate someone.
Overall, I gotta say I don’t have a single clue where Zetsuen’s going to lead us at this point. Normally I’d be making a big stink about how this wouldn’t bode too well, but with the skill this series has accomplished its twists and plot development, this is one of those rare scenarios where I’m perfectly fine with not knowing where the series is headed despite it being mid-way through.
Some other random things: