「不遜な虜」 (Sondaina shuujin)
“The Pompous Prisoner”
This week’s Kuromukuro started a slew of new character arcs and ambitions, but to mixed effect.
First and foremost, we have a guest today. Fusarnie’s introduction and subsequent interrogation catalyzed all the right sort of developments. Don’t get me wrong, what he had to say was hackneyed and terribly boring. Are the bad guys really no more motivated by generic world-conquering goals than anything else—to a delusional, self-righteous extent? How many times have we seen this sort of structure in the past? Kuromukuro offers little to no deviation in this sense. I’m thoroughly hoping there’s more to these villains than moustache-twirling.
That being said, his relation to other characters set in motion a lot of interesting narrative components. We finally learn more about what’s haunting Kennosuke’s past—what’s troubling and haunting him. I’m a little disappointed to see that he wasn’t as close—at least in developed friendship—to the princess as we were initially led to believe. The fact that he only really barely knew her right before the closing battle makes his loss a little less severe—traumatic nonetheless, but not so much the personal injury that often sparks investing character motivation. As with Fusarnie, I hope there’s more to this than meets the eye.
I’m also really not a fan of headband’s own personal arc. Him and his band of merry men have not been relevant or crucial to the plot—or even our central characters—in really any way shape or form. Furthermore, there’s really not much to like about them—they aren’t entertaining in the slightest. Why then, does the show insist their pertinence? As far as I’m concerned, this could just be more time and care spent on the show’s central cast. However, I’m totally open for the show to prove my criticisms wrong, and totally incorporate them in legitimately clever ways. I’m especially interested to see how their physiological parallels will play out—could it be that Kennosuke is more similar to them than he thought? Could he really have been one of them in the past, unbeknownst to himself? We’ll just have to wait and see.
I’m a little concerned at the episode’s closing events though. We just came back from a battle with this guy, and now we’re heading back into a fight with the exact same guy? It seems a little redundant and rushed—there’s no need to dive this soon into the action, especially after we made such leaps in the narrative.