「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.



  1. Most character backstories in the anime are anime-original expansions – in the source novel, character origins are condensed into a single profile page at the start of each chapter; they’re very basic explanations.
    Ex. Boar’s profile in the novel only states she tricked her sister out of being a participant; the anime adds more detail to the statement to become a significant backstory as seen in Ep 1.

    Fun fact is that Rabbit was never given a profile page in the novel, leaving his origins a mystery there. It’ll be interesting to see if the anime tries to give him a backstory.

    1. I would LOVE it if they gave some sort of backstory to Usagi in this. He’s not particularly a favourite of mine, but it’s a bit sad that all he has in the novel is a ‘details unknown’ in an empty box. Not even a real name. And honestly I’m just curious to see how he could have become the way he is now.

  2. Yeah, the twins are pretty awful people. Though, in contrast to Inonoshishi, whose actions I simply found downright horrifying, there’s a certain something about Dragon and Snake’s antics that kind of just leave me thinking ‘what the hell…?’ over the sheer ridiculousness of their particular kind of cruelty. I guess describing them as ‘edgy’ as you do is probably the right term for them.

    I honestly wish that this episode ended at the point where Show Spoiler ▼

    because honestly I feel like that would have made a great (and funny in another ‘what the hell…?’ kind of way) cliffhanger. Still, I guess that means all the crazy is reserved for the next episode though, which’ll be fun.

    Random sidenote, I’m not sure what you mean about you fanboying over coffee (start of the second paragraph). I might just be being dense but I have no idea what coffee has to do with anything here =P

    1. Yeah, it was ridiculous how elaborate they got with their plans to steal from the wealthy AND play cruel pranks on the poor to take it out on both of them for laughs. That would’ve been quite the note to end the episode on.

      The coffee fanboy stuff was about the first paragraph where I ended it by comparing the storytelling with slow-drip coffee. It’s a method of cold-brewing coffee that’s gotten attention with the popularity of cold-brews. It produces a mellower cup that’s smooth and ideal for lighter roasts. I prefer bitter dark roasts, but recent trends are moving towards methods like slow-drip and pour-over for a cleaner cup of coffee with more citrus/berry notes.

  3. I suppose one could also look at the flashbacks as showing just how dark human nature can be, either with the warriors themselves and/or with others. Even Misaki’s flashback wasn’t spared with her ceasefire method only resulting in the third country getting annihilated. So even if Snake and Dragon were trying to help rather than doing it for shits and giggles, the results still would have been the same (primarily the one with the villagers quickly ending up fighting each other through greed over the money).

    1. Why are they the worst? To me they feel more like tragic heroes, resigning themselves to the shitty state of the world. They enjoy their little competition, but whenever they tried to create additional value i.e. make the poor to benefit from it as well, that always backfired.

      1. While I wouldn’t say they’re the worst, exactly, I’m not so sure they’re tragic heroes as such either. I agree they’re more or less resigned to the state of the world (both generally their world specifically, as Zodiac warriors), and certainly one of the points they make about general morals not necessarily being applicable to their world is, well, a good point. And since they can’t do anything about it, they just roll with it the ‘best’ way they can.

        But…I really don’t think they even particularly care about being good or being bad, or even that their good deeds backfire all the time. Most of their actions seem to be either motivated by amusement or money, or both. Admittedly there was a little glimmer of some sort of caring, what with the parallel drawn between those two orphan brothers and the Tatsumi brothers themselves, but even that was kind of short lived when they drove up to the burnt hospital and made a point of taunting the little brother. If they were troubled by the state of the world at one point, they certainly aren’t any longer.

        So really, both things are true. The world they are in is warped, sure, but they themselves are also warped.

        ((Though, I also think a comparison of Monkey’s and Snake/Dragon’s views would be awesome to read))

      2. @Aki-Chan
        I don’t think they were taunting him, rather it was meant as a lesson of a sort. ‘Get real and stop believing in hero tales’ = Every person has a bad side and you should not treat anything at face value.

  4. I think you totally misinterpreted the brothers’ actions and the theme of this episode. It’s not about the two protagonists we got this time being warped, but rather the world itself being an awful place, where giving away candies does not turn the lives of beneficiaries for the better. It’s a shame, because I would really like to read an analysis comparing Monkey’s idealistic approach to the more cynical (but far from nihilistic) view of Snake and Dragon.

    1. The world is an awful place because scumbags like them decided it´s not woryh saving so they ake it worse. They clearly love the world as it is because it´s playground for psychos like them.

  5. My impression of the twins’ Robin Hood act wasn’t that they were consciously trying to get people killed for kicks but that they were giving away their ill-gotten gains for the sake of it because they thought it was funny, without thinking or caring about any consequences. They didn’t care about the money, didn’t care about the people, didn’t really care about anything. Giving that money away also gave them some cover from others who might try to reel them in, as seen in the courtroom scenes.

  6. My interpretation: the twins are jaded by how things worked out.

    They were honestly trying to do good deeds, but were disapointed with the outcomes everytime. Look at the flashback where they thow money money into the crowd (11:35), don’t they honestly look happy while distributing the money? By contrast, do they look happy when people started fighting over it? Did they really need to go through the effort to dressed up like Santa Claus when giving money to orphans? (could they really have antipated the money would stolen by the orphanige director?)

    Dragon’s tone during those flashback seems bitter (how would you feel if someone praised all your failed attempts at good deeds?). Yes, they did their good deeds “just to kill time”, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t honestly well intentioned.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *