「末来の選択」 (Mirai no Sentaku)
Oh boy didn’t this week just throw the lid off on everything. From Steins;Gate alternate world chicanery (with some SAO mixed in for good measure) to pseudoscience mind abilities to shapeshifting to showcasing undefined characters and even a bit of—dare I say it—logical design in how this story is run. Ok maybe
hoping reaching too hard on the last point, but there’s no denying: SnS has finally found its plot (the not Satsuki plot) and the focus of its immediate future.
Normally after a twist like last week’s cliffhanger I would be surprised discovering Clive is not actually Clive (until he is), but given the material SnS is throwing around of late I’m not really. The show has shown a strong predilection to sticking with simplistic developments, so Clive turning out to have a complex motive in mind when apparently backstabbing Haruto? Yeah not happening here. Much easier having the real enemy impersonate the guy so we can keep those allegiances straightforward and thinking to a minimum. Also because we then wouldn’t have the real shock of cute pirate girl actually being a trap which is going to ruin my happiness for the next few nights. Goddammit I want my cute pirate girl as a girl!
Now to be fair the enemy twist isn’t that bad, it set up the real driver in the red stone and Elicia (more that in a bit) and plays well with SnS’s underlying theme in friendship and camaraderie. The big irk for me lay rather in Haruto’s little multiverse adventure. Asahi’s Sense allowing one to see all potential futures and choose the one they wish to pursue I can get, but where in the hell does this translate to sending another person to another universe and allowing said person to then return to their original universe—and simultaneously back in time? You can have ridiculously crazy abilities (as SnS has already shown off before), but at least drop something which specifies the limits, especially those outside of immediately apparent bounds. I may have my fair share of issues with the Sense system and its lack of proper explanation, but at least Satsuki and the like have explained (more or less) the boundaries of their powers—I don’t see best girl suddenly going glowing sword master for example. Nitpicking it might be at this stage, but this moment shows just where SnS falls short and how with a few simple narrative changes it could be noticeably improved overall.
In the end however, SnS has somewhat kept it all together by at last revealing the mystery. Well, most of it. As suspected Senses can function in real life, with Union and Re’Union in fact built on this premise for the purpose of “awakening” Senses outside of the game. Asahi it seems was the one lucky (or unlucky) enough to wind up possessing the ultimate Sense, causing our good friends Gnosis (who I firmly bet are the developer Pleroma Industries) to try and find a way to take the power for themselves. Cue Elicia who managed to seal Asahi’s Sense, is apparently is Subaru’s secret eighth member (because she cannot be Nozomi with that appearance), and who will likely be getting a proper explanation—finally—in the near future. With the red stone fragments verified holding the key to awakening Asahi’s Sense we have an immediate goal to work towards, and with their locations more or less tied to Subaru artifacts (ex. Haruto’s sword), a reason to indulge in Asahi’s dream of party reunification.
All that’s left to immediately figure out is when our next cutie pie in waiting is going to join this party, and when the next nameless Gnosis figure gets to set to crash it in the name of one red stone.