「這いび寄る悪夢」 (Hai bi yoru akumu)
Well I think we all know who the true loser will be once SnS is all said and done. Takanori falling on his sword? Haruto actually suffering like only the main male protagonist can? Asahi, well, doing the usual? Please, when it comes to loss only the bestest of girls will do, and Satsuki in true childhood friend fashion had to pull that short straw. Oh, story developments this week too? Yeah I guess there’s something there, but seriously: my heart, my soul.
At this stage the only real question remaining for SnS is how it intends on wrapping things up. There’s no doubt we are in for a whopper of a “go read the damn light novel” cliffhanger next week, but whether that’s one inserted before or after Asahi’s real world status is properly revealed is (as a running theme at this point) anyone’s guess. With Gnosis seemingly unable to actually secure Asahi’s in-game being in any way (a pretty big point for such a seemingly all-powerful and wide ranging organization), there’s clearly something important holding them back and forcing the likes of clown boy and fake Medea to engage in emotional manipulation, something specifically tied to explaining Asahi’s current status. It could be as simple as Asahi’s Sense requiring her to willingly choose a side (explaining the psychological focus) or a side effect of whatever happened to the smiling cinnamon bun, but whether we get that answer next time and thus something tangible on the show’s central mystery? Yeah I’m not holding out hope. With Elicia, arguably one of SnS’s key characters (and likely the missing seventh Subaru member), still void of any explanation it’s not likely we’ll see significant story movement, especially with a new breed of cliffhanger to currently deal with. Might not be exactly one step forward and two steps back, but it sure feels like moving in reverse.
In comparison the only place SnS hasn’t really tread water of late has been its relationships and I must admit, this aspect keeps pleasantly surprising me. While the characters remain agonizingly cookie cutter with their archetypes down pat (press F for Satsuki), there’s something to be said about SnS actually having its characters pair off and more or less stick together. Yeah sure Takanori’s rescue of Nozomi might have been a little cliché, but actually going for the girl instead of moping for years gets kudos from me—nothing says inner strength like a willingness to move on (life lesson here folks). Even Asahi and her quarrelling with Haruto shows a more complex side than simple love-hate, giving some critically needed depth to a show largely cruising the shallows. Probably not enough overall to make up for what’s bound to be a story cutting off just as it gets started mind you, but given SnS’s narrative predilections, I’ll take all the fun I can get.
Considering all the confusion, chaos, Satsuki depression, and ever so slight amount of relief bound to come with next week’s ending, sticking with the happy thoughts isn’t that bad of an idea.