The lack of consistency in Akko’s development has been an issue throughout the recent batch of episodes. In some, she catches on quickly to why it is necessary to adapt and change how she thinks on impulse to help out or accomplish her goals. In others, like this one, she charges headfirst in every issue, and doesn’t learn her lesson until she gets herself and others in deep trouble. For this one, she decides to go against Ursula’s warnings about climbing the Wagandea tree that spews out hazardous spores, and outwardly defies and distrusts her because she doesn’t want to let her do the things she wants like Croix does. It felt like watching a child get upset that their mom for not letting them eat ice cream for dinner like their aunt does. The next-to-last word revealed, “Lyonne”, is meant as a lesson for Akko to appreciate what Ursula does for her (akin to how Lyonne came to Chariot), but I’m having doubts now since “Mayenab Dysheebudo” clearly meant nothing to her. “Ursula won’t let me go up the doom tree for a duration longer than today!? I’ll just rush up there anyways!”
And then there’s the case with Ursula. I still feel for her and the dilemmas she faces as she tries to protect Akko from the fate and despair she fell into, but now it seems like it’s doing more harm than good to keep all of her secrets away from Akko. Even though Lyonne awoke from Akko learning to appreciate Ursula for her concern to protect her, what made Akko so prone to deception was that Croix could make up her own story about Ursula’s secrets to fill in the blanks in a way that makes her look like she doesn’t even want her to see Chariot for more devious reasons. I understand that does mirror the insecurities that come with not wanting Akko to see that meeting Chariot would mean finding out why Chariot lost her yay and became the teacher she spent most of the series looking down on as a pushover. Still, at this point in the game, Croix was more than comfortable manipulating Akko into turning against Ursula based on the information she kept from her, and if Akko knew more about Ursula, she wouldn’t have tried so hard to climb up a tree that Croix wanted her to do to get back at Ursula for being chosen by Shiny Rod.
Speaking about that, one of the important aspects of the episode that makes up for Akko’s lapse in judgement was how much we learned about Croix. Whoever called the football riots as an important plot point won that bet because one of Croix’s pet projects turns out to be a mind-controlling app that channels in on the anger and passion that people feel about sports. We also see how Tiny Croix reacted when Tiny Chariot was chosen to be the Shiny Rod’s wielder. It was a mix of anger and compassion that also confuses me about Croix in the present day. She was gung-ho about having a ton of her mechanical minions attack Ursula, but was worried when Ursula was losing consciousness during a fall to the ground, and looked even more concerned when Ursula talked about saving Akko from the pollen. The mixed signals combined with her plan to break the Grand Triskelion with a mechanical Shiny Rod are going to be interesting to see unfold within the next episodes. Also, looking forward to the PS4 game that just got revealed.