「竜頭蛇尾 (後攻)」 (Ryuutoutabi (Koukou))
“In Like a Dragon, Out Like a Snake (Part 2)”
The tension has been building for the past couple episodes as the Snake/Dragon twins step into the spotlight, namely because the present day events have been way far into the backseat for these two. Seeing who will fall next or how the events will unfold in the Zodiac War are brewing through a slow-drip, resulting in two episodes of flashback that aren’t heavy with depth, yet have a light enough body to make for a smooth cup.
In words not typed up by someone fanboying over coffee, the show’s break from the war to focus on the twins prolongs their eventual demise, but seeing into their flashbacks really hit the nail on the head on how awful they are as people. Ino had her fair share of issues and people were already calling the show “edgy” based off of her past hobby of turning her sister into a murder machine. Nezumi’s ideals also had that feel to it as well, but he’s been laying low enough where it’s not the sole perspective we follow. But this episode’s flashback with the twins are the only place where I cut myself on the edge. You don’t get any edgier than smugly lecturing a once blind kid about the meaninglessness of human decency after revealing you were responsible for his brother’s death to his face.
They were smarmy enough as is from last episode’s flashback, but this time around, we see what they really do when they rob people, and how they enjoy giving away their spoils to cause more chaos for kicks. Like watching mobs fighting over bills they toss in a town square or giving away stolen goods that ended up getting an entire village shot up for taking. The episode’s main kicker was how they used their “charity” to get a slap on the wrist in court for torching an experimental facility and then burning down the hospital they were moved to for more money.
Honestly, if we were going to have two episodes of flashbacks on a specific character, the twins would’ve been the lowest on my list. There wasn’t anything compelling about them as people other than Snake contributing to his own blog on reptiles while Dragon was in court. If we got an episode of Snake finding reptiles to blog about or his writing process, that would’ve been more compelling than setting buildings on fire using Birdemic-quality flame effects.
The episode was also stingy with present-day developments, but we found out that all Tora had to do to not get caught of fire was to throw her jacket off. Ushii also confirmed the theory that fire is the Achilles heel in Usagi’s necromantist powers as a zombie will be rendered unusable if set of fire. It does make me question why Usagi relied on Snake for so long given his weapon-of-choice is spewing fire everywhere. It’d make sense that he kills psychotically because if he was methodical, Dragon’s ice machine would’ve given him a better advantage, and Snake would’ve been easier to take out as the least intelligent brother of the two. Nonetheless, with the pattern that happens with eager-to-play contestants, Dragon won’t be doing himself any favors by sticking his neck out now of all times.