Well, there you have it folks. The merry go round that is the cycle of life has come full circle for everyone involved, and I must say that I quite liked how this episode turned out. It might not have been the most surprising—I think almost everyone suspected the link between Shibazaki, the man he was investigating (Dr. Mamiya), and the events here—but it was raw, it was emotional, and it was filled with its own share of dramatic moments.

Contrary to our expectations, everyone does end up coming out alive—though I thought things were going the route where only Lisa would die, which really would’ve been a twist—and the ultimate in betrayals ends up almost taking out Nine and their trump card in the process. With all of this happening amid a rainy and appropriate backdrop, it’s only fitting that Kanno’s compositions here really ended up carrying the major scenes this week, and gosh darn, I can’t overstate how much I’ve missed her as a composer.

All things considered, I’m honestly at a loss when it comes to describing this episode in words, because it’s the kind of episode you really have to see and experience for yourself. Just describing it in words simply doesn’t do justice to the distinct atmosphere this series has when it gets things just right—the motorcycle scene from a few episodes ago was another example—and for me, this episode hit that point in regards to the whole ferris wheel scene between Twelve and Lisa. At this point, it’s an undeniable fact that the latter is and always has been an integral part of this series—and for this I haven’t really disliked how her character has developed so far as much as many others—and this was (I feel) the moment where she really came into her own as an individual character. Granted, she could’ve been developed better and probably should’ve reached this stage at an earlier point in the series, but I’m a big believer in the ultimate result being able to compensate for some initial hiccups, and I’d say this went at least some ways toward that.

The question that remains however—as always—is what’ll happen from here. If we’re to take the revelations we saw here at face value, it’s all but confirmed that Five, Nine, and Twelve don’t have much time to live, with Five potentially already on her way out. In the case of Nine, he’s running around with an atomic bomb that shouldn’t even exist while being hunted by the entire police force in the area, and it all comes together to highlight the brevity of time not only the characters have, but people have in general.

The fact that Aoki’s also on his way out just emphasizes how our lifespans are but a drop in the bucket when compared to time in general, and it’s a pretty powerful stuff if you think of it from that perspective. One could argue the series isn’t about terrorists and ideologies as it is just leaving your mark in the short time you’re alive (and to not regret anything), and it looks like our main cast is well on their way into doing so, even if Nine ultimately ends up failing in his mission. After all, it’s quite clear the new generation see Sphinx as kind of a “cool” figure to follow and imitate, and even if the tides of time will change that later, it doesn’t change the fact that they’ve made a mark—even if it may not exactly be the one they intended. Here’s looking forward to a climactic last two episodes.


  1. Ferris wheels, Kanno, and heartfelt confessions. Couldn’t ask for more.
    Five still hasn’t evolved into much more than a plot device but at least she’s a very sinister one.
    It’s been a bumpy ride for sure Zephyr but enjoyable.

  2. Even though some may complain that the plot is rather old and worn and rather obvious, it’s still well executed so far. The one twist was that the real intent of 9 and 12 seems to be outing that the Japanese Gov is making A bombs and not to just outing the fact of the Athena experiments. The latter is bad enough but A bombs? A real no-no in Japan.

  3. Very good episode confirming that the past few episodes were a fluke; should alleviate fears that the show overall would be a flop. The biggest selling point here has to be the tight storytelling though, Watanabe has executed a simple storyline the best way possible. I likened Zankyou to Evangelion earlier and this episode helps to solidify it, you’re not watching Zankyou for any particular deep or philosophical discussion, the enjoyment comes from identifying the references used and imagery employed; if anything it shows that well organized, original shows with simple stories are still possible.

    Besides the Ferris wheel scene the best part had to be the atomic bomb inclusion though, did not see that coming of all things; building one yeah, but not actually stealing one. Watanabe is certainly growing temerarious of late in ideas considering the earlier mention of Hiroshima, the 9/11 imagery, and Japan’s current membership in the NPT/changing views on nuclear power; to put it simply, developing a nuke when a signatory to the NPT would effectively render the treaty null and void and radically alter the geopolitical landscape; even North Korea of all places had the sense to withdraw from the treaty before testing its nukes 😛

    With two episodes left I’m really looking forward to see how this ends now.

  4. hmm, it’s visually a great episode, but story wise, the backstory reveal wasn’t much of reveal. We’ve already figured out most of it, except what the drug did, and who survived/how long they have left, which wasn’t answered or hidden, otherwise it was just a confirmation of what we’ve pieced together. Plus we got that young cop acting as an outrage cipher, so that was a bit tropey.

    imo, I still don’t think Lisa’s progressed as much of a character just from this episode, all she did was apologize and tell Twelve to save himself, unless that’s what you’re referring to. I suppose that’s a very minor improvement. Five is still psychotic, and it’s a wonder why her handler wasn’t aware of what she was doing.

    having said that, it’s not like I think this is a flop by any means. loved the music, the visuals are always great, and the story line, while formulaic, is still very engaging. Let’s see how this finishes.

    Impel Down Hippo
  5. Nine really should have just shot Five when he had the chance back at the airport =/ Anyways, gotta love how the, er, JSDF(?) open fire’d at the guy with an atom bomb strapped around his shoulder.

    1. Much like a pokemon, test subjects can only be caught when their HP has been lowered, that’s why they need the bullets.
      Also, and I may be very wrong about this, my understanding of nuclear bombs does not include a situation where a bullet could set one off.

  6. So, that’s how the matters stand…
    I was right to call the “secret science project involving highly intelligent orphans being experimented upon”.
    But, what really stole the show was that the Sphinxes have stolen a prototype of a-bomb developed by Japan in secret , and of course in violation of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and probably also of national constitution, which allows only self-defence forces… There is no wonder US intelligence became involved… Geopolitical implications are off the chart!
    So 12 and Lisa re pretty much captured, and 9 is on the run (note – he didn’t seem to be running with bomb, he probably either abandoned it or hidden somewhere again). All of the Athena project survivors are probably dying out, anyway, which means no happy ending possible, and Lisa only one likely to survive (if the intelligence doesnt eliminate her as dangerous witness to whole scandal).
    In the end, even if the Sphinx trio (I include Lisa with them!) will fail to realise their plan, there is a chance their (probable) goal of bringing those responsible for inhuman experiments of Athena project
    to justice might get realised thanks to Shibazaki. All they need to do is send the story to as many newspapers as possible. As Watergate shows, once certain level of scandal gets out, it is impossible to stop the avalanche of events. I can even imagine the story being used as spectacular media show to keep the even bigger scandal, the secret nuke, hidden under wraps.

  7. Funny how Watanabe explained 5, 9, and 12’s bland, boring, and cold personalities by revealing that they’re actually savants. That explains it! But the fact remains…they’re still boring characters.

    Despite that, I actually enjoyed this episode.

  8. Oh hey look. The plot driver is driving the plot.
    I sincerely hoped that Lisa were a savant as well that needed to be “awakened”. She could be a missing-but-not-dead Seven or Ten or some other awesome number. But this episode confirmed my worst fears in her being the “pawn-est” of them all…
    The things I would do to see a Lisa vs Five war of intellects.

    Petit Orenji
  9. Lisa may very well end up to be the key to beating five, normal people don’t understand how smart people think, but it’s vice versa is also true in that smart people don’t understand the logic and reasoning behind how normal people think. Putting this in by having a simple tactic that Lisa comes up with can result in multiple different ways of beating Five including making Five over think what they are doing and over analyze it coming to the wrong conclusion, or simply just confusing her as to why Nine would do something like that

  10. A question…
    In the titles of the episodes, there’s always a letter in red, while the others are in black. Capital letters are the red ones:
    1. fAlling
    2. call & response (& is in red)
    3. search & destroy (& is in red)
    4. breAk through
    5. hide & seek (& is in red)
    6. ready Or not

    I don’t know much about this show. I’m sorry if this has already been covered in the previous comments.

    Can someone explain?


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