「蘇る悪夢」 (Yomigaeru Akumu)
Woo, what an episode. It’s quite the thriller we had, mostly thanks to Suddenly Zombies! Well, technically there’s always been zombies on this island, but thanks to the power of science there’s much more aggressive ones for our heroes to play with. This is good, because zombies, like butter, make everything better. More unhealthy for everybody involved, but objectively better. Sure, Mira gets to cannon a robot, there’s a big fight between Loser and Captain Marvel going on, but nothing compares to good old night of of the living dead. Since this arc has mostly been about Kyouma confronting his past, the undead theme is actually quite appropriate, whether it be with the ghost of a dead lover, or having to put down your reanimated buddy. And of course, there’s also those who just won’t stay dead and, if you wanted to branch out a bit, fey goblinoids.
The other good thing about zombies is that they make it very easy to identify who the villains are. When it was just a bunch of foreign mercenaries, you’d distrust them but you weren’t sure if they could turn out helpful to the hero, so you’d reserve judgment. But when they’re unholy tech abominations, that’s an easy shoot-on-sight. It’s why they’re so popular in videogames as well; zombies are always monsters and always good for killing without remorse, like Nazis. Nazi zombies? Even better. And if you’re after a villain with a bit more agency to hate, one can always channel that dark side energy towards the guy who makes the zombies. Be it in fantasy or sci-fi, creepy necromancers are universally reviled. In our analogy, he’s Hitler. And punching Hitler always feels good. That said, we’ve only really seen him in action for at most an episode, so I can’t really work up a strong opinion about Kyouma potentially murdering him in a fit of passion. Yeah, killing is wrong and it’s stylistically appropriate for Kyouma to adopt a Batman rule, but hey, Hitler. I suppose it was to showcase Mira’s new role as Kyouma’s morality pet to reign in his berserker rage. Something of a literal pet, actually; it’s clear why Mira’s so adorable now, she’s a puppy incarnated as a robot. I don’t know why the show makes such a fuss about the technology behind her construction; Japan already had AIBO.
Besides the fun and games, the plot was also sped forward with lots of little developments worth thinking about. The Americans turning on the party makes one wonder whether any of the hired Collectors are actually in it for the bounty. The Mexicans are AWOL, and if the mole siblings turn out to be dastardly assassins who have been biding their time as well, I’d laugh. Lwai having disposable bodies makes one wonder if even his brain is robotic—and whether Salva managed to get his hands on all of Dr Yurizaki’s experimental bodies. And of course, we now have a clear idea of the Macguffin, and it’s a doozy. If they made such a big deal about a double-coil in episode 01, a triple (or so it looks) must be totally crazy. Maybe Mira & co have already found it; just have the wise men follow the light of the star.
By the way, ‘Adrastea’ is not just a moon of Jupiter. It’s also an alternate spelling of one of the epithets of Nemesis, the Greek goddess of divine retribution. It means ‘from whom one cannot escape’. How lovely.