「アドラステアの鍵」 (Adorasutea no Kagi)
“The Key to Adrastea”
Sometimes, anime does not do enough explain itself, and ends up garbled. Sometimes, anime explains itself too much, and becomes a boring slab of exposition. But sometimes, an anime goes out of the way to explain itself, and then just ends up more confusing than before it began. Such was my experience with this week’s Dimension W, which had a revelation moment that I could not quite get my head around. Something something MEMORIES OF THE UNIVERSE something. It could just be me though; I’m trapped in an awkward position of having a mediocre level of science knowledge to parse it all. If I knew more, I could probably wrangle together a plausible theoretical explanation, and if I knew less I’d be free to let it go over my head. This is not really a concrete complaint, mind you, because I can’t really work out a good reason why all the technobabble sounded like bollocks to me. Perhaps it’s because the first thing I thought of was Kara no Kyoukai which had a similar idea about THE ORIGIN, but that was powered by mystical mumbo jumbo that doesn’t gel well with a science fiction setting. Still, no good reason.
I was actually thinking that Dimension W was going in an entirely straightforward direction up to that point, though. We get more flashbacks thanks to convenient dream sequences, but those keep in line with what we know of each character’s backstories (for those with backstories anyway). Salva (I’m beginning to remember his name now, but don’t ask me for the rest of it) in particular was our newest major addition and had something of vague motivations, so more development for him is welcome. The coup (or ‘popular uprising’, depending on how you spin it) is tragically par for the course for central Africa, but it’s Salva’s role in it that’s the important part. I know we’re supposed to be sympathetic for him, but I can’t help but be coloured against him, considering how he’s has a worse relationship with his loyal retainer than Kyouma has with Mira. So while he calls the coup an instigation of foreign labourers, I saw it as his slave economy needing the requisite crackdown. I don’t think any number of dead siblings would swayed me over at this point. Maybe he’s supposed to be ‘complex’ rather than outright sympathetic, but I suppose I can wait for him to speak for himself if and when he wakes up.
Loser gets some backstory as well, and nothing unpredictable as well. Ex-scientist, dead wife; it’s all very standard fare. In fact, wives die a lot in Dimension W; for all the guys and gals with commitment issues out there, I’ve got good news for you. Of course, Loser’s story isn’t quite complete yet, and he’s yet to explain his burning hate for Kyouma, so there’s still some material left for next week. I’ve been enjoying how Dimension W has been tying up all its characters’ backstories together, and would like to see the results of that. Sure, it’s a more impressive trick when it’s down with the lines of a longer form story, but getting the plots to converge properly is one thing anime doesn’t always do well—plots tend to split and bloat instead—so it’ll be good to see Dimension W actually wrap things up for this arc so the series can end neatly.
All that said, here’s yet another new character (Kaji Yuki), who seems poised to be our main antagonist. He’s got far too much going on all at once—scientist, agent provocateur, trippy dream ghost, when I’m having trouble even remembering his name (he’s ‘frog-face’ until further notice, by the way). Sure, his weirdness is keeping the plot from being too straightforward at this point, but I almost like the predictability of Dimension W. Sure, having characters confront literal shadow-selves is a bit too cheesy, I think Dimension W has some degree of self-awareness—I got a genuine chuckle when Kyouma, after punching his shadow in the face (because Kyouma), is surprised that that wasn’t the part where he wakes up. Predictability isn’t necessarily bad; conventions are conventions because they work. Of course Miyabi pops up again; I’d be offended if she didn’t.
So yeah, while this was a good episode, enough of this quantum physics being powered by the memories of elementary particles or whatever. Let’s just go back to fighting giant robots next week. That, I get.