「とおく群衆を離れて」 (Toku Gunshu o Hanare Te)
“Far from the Maddening Crowds”
Well, would you look at that. I mentioned it as a possibility last week—albeit an unlikely one—but it turns out my prediction was right on the mark. Satsuki does end up wearing Senketsu after all’s said and done, and it sets the stage for the fight we’ve been expecting for a while now. At the same time, this fight brings everything full circle—we’re back where we started—and there is no backdrop more fitting than Honnoji Academy to finish things off.
All things considered, it looks like we’re in for an action-packed finale equivalent to (or in excess of) what we’ve come to expect from this series. At the same time however, this confirmation comes with a bit of irony, as it also highlights the same developmental weaknesses I felt were present previously. While the episode ends up entertaining overall, it must be noted that Matoi was not a major reason why. Rather, Satsuki and Co. end up carrying a lot of this episode—something that seems to have become the norm as of late.
Indeed, the big thing for me this week is how much they hammered in Matoi’s inability to accept that she’s made of life fibers. On one hand, it’s entirely understandable—that’s a lot to digest in a short time—but at the same time, it’s something that nullifies the resolve she had only a few episodes ago. Considering how vital that was for her development then (and her ability to recover Senketsu’s pieces), it’s a bit hard to stomach that she can be so easily unhinged. Not only that, but the fact she reacts this way makes her comments and reassurances to Senketsu about him not being just a tool (also just a few episodes ago) especially disingenuous. The second the equation flips against her, she seems to just ignore the sentiment she felt previously, and all notion of calming down and listening to her “friends” too. Worst of all, she assumes they’ll look at her a certain way despite evidence to the contrary, and these are all things a main character should be doing at this stage—especially since much of her development has centered around those same friendships. Considering also that the pinnacle of unwavering resolve in Satsuki is ever present, the fact is, Matoi just doesn’t look as good when compared and contrasted.
Granted, the aforementioned doesn’t necessarily make much of a difference (the action respects are still quite good), but it was something I felt should be mentioned regardless. Even action-oriented series need to have a story to link things together, and it has to be said that some of the pieces here don’t fit that well in that context. At least though, we get a pretty cool revelation in regards to the The Naked Sun this week, and it was a nice touch to see Takarada making a triumphant come back too. Looking forward, what can I say? Fun times are ahead—even if getting here wasn’t as smooth as it could’ve been.
Full-length images: 06.