「捕食/悲劇と喜劇」 (Hoshoku / Higeki to Kigeki)
“Devouring Prey / Tragedy and Comedy”
After receiving some hefty revelations previously, Lostorage slows down this week to let us ponder over the concentrated crazy that is Bookmaker. We have known for a while just how insane the guy is, but given the plentiful number of reaction faces this week, it seems that was just scratching the surface. Bookmaker deliberately tracked Shouhei in the hope of watching Chinatsu crush his hopes and dreams, but when that gambit failed, got devious and stuck him (and a thoroughly oblivious Rio) into a prisoner’s dilemma instead. When Piruluk finally confronted him, Bookmaker outright crushed her, all the while merrily enjoying the sexualized banter and jabs at Piruluk’s true (and consciously suppressed) personality. I’m slightly surprised Bookmaker did not actually turn out to be one of the first generation LRIGs like Piruluk given his blackness, but considering his penchant for psychological torment (which is above and beyond what Ulith or Akira were capable of), it does make sense. More and more this guy is turning into the final boss of the show.
Shouhei of course was our boss’ victim this week, who literally took his white knighting with him to the grave. I personally never liked Shouhei—mostly over his creepy attachment to Chinatsu and emo-esque personality—but damn, the battle with Rio was certainly a horrific bit of cruel and unusual punishment. Bookmaker was right that Shouhei had some level of obsession over Chinatsu (he certainly crushed on her hard), but I doubt it was to the degree our sadistic matchmaker espouses. Hell the poor guy used Chinatsu to artificially recover his memories, promised to leave her alone after, and refused to “kill” Rio. For all his weaknesses, Shouhei definitely did not deserve his fate. I particularly liked too how Shouhei’s LRIG Donor expressed clear remorse over his disappearance, starkly highlighting how depraved this whole game has now become. Donor’s reaction is interesting too because it suggests not all LRIGs want their freedom that badly, some apparently (whether due to their imbued memories or Selector interactions) are perfectly willing to support their Selectors. It will be curious if Donor or any other “living” LRIGs (besides Piruluk) expunge Bookmaker’s little sadist party and also decide to seek a final solution to this despairing game.
With Shouhei gone too we can now expect some serious fireworks between Chinatsu and Suzuko. Chinatsu was clearly showing signs of breaking last week, but those signals were strongly reinforced here, first with the sparse memorial to our cute pixie Selector-cum-LRIG, and then with Shouhei’s sudden disappearance. The girl is all but openly doubting her choices now, with only Meru apparently keeping her committed to her goal. Considering Bookmaker is now itching to see how serious Chinatsu is to obtaining strength and destroying Suzuko, it’s not long before Chinatsu will be forced into making a permanent decision regarding the matter. That timeframe may be shorter than we think too, given that next week’s preview title all but gives away the upcoming premise. Schedule it in boys, Suzuko versus Chinatsu, the fight is on.
I’ll be disappointed if Hanna’s role in all of this is over, it cannot just be as simple as win, get a free memory, and be done with the game. There must be something else.
Either Bookmaker has some insanely powerful cards (with delayed effects), or else he has the ability to warp the Battle Space. Both options aren’t good.
I’m hoping that block collapse is an actual card, and that it’s fittingly called “Blockbuster” or some pun. Because if you have cards called meat or some kind of food items, I think puns should fit in naturally. 😛
Also, slightly lengthy post ahead. Even though I think Satomi’s further madness, wild expressions, and picking up Chinatsu’s slack for very loose innuendos are good, he does a thing I really hate which is “I’m going to tell you how you feel, and this will make you mad/sad.” Shouhei should know full well whether or not he did anything to the crazy levels Satomi claims, so that should be ineffective, and Piriluk looking into Satomi’s heart to see the bad guy is a veeery bad guy kind of detracts from her adamant nature. It mostly seems like stuff to make Satomi be presented as stronger, which is a fine direction, but much of how they handled it, most parts came off as annoying.
However, I’m almost willing to look over another instance of two coins being lost in one battle for no explained reason, just because I imagine they didn’t have time to have Shouhei lose two battles and wanted to have a one coin vs one coin battle with Rio for a big climax. It clashes with established rules, but it is a major event that I still enjoyed.
But still, this episode is very much hit-and-miss for me. Because this is an episode where major events happen, but the way they lead up to them feels too scripted.
Satomi fights Shouhei over a video of him and Chinatsu together, even though it’s just a video with no audio and he should know they were interacting a bit, but this especially peeves him off.
Shouhei’s double coin loss.
Hanna has to feel more sad about leaving her brother behind, despite it showing that she tried to search for him.
Chinatsu has to rush to see these two battle, even though she’s seen what the results are and someone suicided over it, but takes this specific moment to act.
Suzu is okay, I’ll say that lol.
But that’s the impression I get where they had events planned for this episode, and by golly, they’re going to get there by any means necessary. But they’re good events, it’s just the lead-up doesn’t seem like it should be progressing this way. So all in all, an episode I’m mixed on, but I’m eager to see how it ends. Especially if Hanna, like you said, gets involved again.
If you bet a coin to use an ability and lose the match, you also lose the coin(s) you bet in addition to the standard coin you lose for losing the match (So, if Souhei used his coin ability once and lost, he’d lose 2 coins. 1 he bet for the ability and another as a result of losing the match)
That would be fine, but we’ve seen instances of people betting coins, and still only losing one before this. So yeah, it’s still kind of weird, but I guess they changed the rules to that…sometimes.
Alternatively, the bet coin cannot cause you to drop to 0, meaning if you start with more than 1 coin, then you will always end the battle with at least 1. This kind of safety feature is not uncommon in game rules, so it would not be particularly unusual to see it in this game. It is consistent with what we have seen so far.
…You know what, that actually works for me. A safety net creates enough semblance of sense for me to go with that.
I can somewhat understand Shouhei losing it, he was wound up already before the “meeting” this episode and was smitten with Chinatsu for a while now (even if not fully realizing it). It’s not so much that Shouhei wanted what Satmoi does, but that he felt something more for Chinatsu beyond simple friendship, and Satomi deviously picked up on it. Shouhei’s reaction largely comes down to embarrassment at being called out, he emotionally lashed out and paid the price.
I also wonder what’s up with this? Is Kiyoi sick and/or dying? Is she somehow more closely connected to the game than others and actually taking some sort of damage?
Was wondering when I saw the shots as well. I think both are because she was so angry she was hurting herself. In the first picture, it was front clenching her fists too tightly. In the second, it was biting her lips.
This, Piruluk was definitely hurting herself out of frustration and rage.
Sadly I want to see Chinatsu suffer more for the crap shes done.
Guesses about the LRIGs that are left:
Genuinely cares about their Selectors: Riru, Donor, Piruluk
Evil manipulator: Meru, Mommy, Carnival