「策・略」 (Saku Ryaku)
It’s not easy being Yuuta.
But then again, Anti doesn’t exactly have it so good either. Common denominator? Akane is pulling the strings in both their lives. We only have five episodes left, but so far Amemiya-sensei and team are still in the process of making Akane more despicable as far as I’m concerned, not less. If indeed a redemption arc is in the cards (and while it was always a pretty sure thing, Yuuta’s words this week seemed to confirm it) they’re running out of time to make it remotely believable.
If anything, this ep also confirmed (it’s done a lot of confirming these last two weeks) that Alexis is the source of the problem. It so happens that he’s apparently every bit as despicable as Akane, and he’s the one with the power to give her petty hatred physical form. The thing is, though, the fact that Akane is a “God” because of Alexis’ power doesn’t exonerate her in the least as far as I’m concerned. She’d be every bit as evil in his absence – she’s just be frustrated and ineffectual about it instead of a destroyer of worlds. Probably the head bully in her school year.
Anti is the prime mover in SSSS.Grdiman this week, which makes an interesting change. He actually goes to school to try and get Yuuta to call out Gridman, but all he gets out of the encounter is Yuuta’s bread. Oh, and the secret to actually calling out Gridman – which he then manages to persuade Alexis to help him do. Meanwhile Yuuta is sharing the details of his encounter with Anoshiras II with Shou and Rikka and the Chuugakusei squad – not that it does him a whole lot of good.
I’ll say this – Rikka and Shou don’t exactly cover themselves in glory with the way they respond to Yuuta’s story. Shou at the very least has inside information (that Borr also has, as he lets Shou know in no uncertain, kicky terms) that should tell him that Yuuta is telling the truth. But not only does he choose not to reveal it (even after his careless words almost cost Yuuta his life earlier) but he dismisses Yuuta’s version of events. Rikka does too, but her attitude is more just generally cold. There’s a past here, we know that, but her treatment of Yuuta – Shou’s too – doesn’t do either of them much credit. Considering that Yuuta is the one risking his ass for them time after time, he deserves better friendship than he’s receiving right now.
Fortunately the Junior High armory are true friends to him – maybe they have no choice because it’s the actual reason they exist, but they genuinely seem to care. Max confirms Yuuta’s story, and though Vit and Borr try to convince Rikka and Shou respectively to confront Akane, it’s Yuuta who ends up doing so (after chickening out the first time). Akane invites herself into her room and in a rather creepy scene, tries to seduce him (interpret it how you will, it’s a seduction either way) to join her side. Yuuta refuses of course, because he has genuine ideals and empathy – but he agrees to join her for a meeting that will explain how she makes kaijuu.
That Akane chooses to have that meeting in the restaurant owned by the parents of the girl she murdered (real human or not, it still feels like murder) for smashing Yuuta’s bread is evidence of just what a sick fuck she is. Yuuta never does eat the fried rice so we’ll never know if it was poisoned or not, but he does get to meet Alexis – which should eliminate any doubts in his mind that the threat is real. All this is interrupted by the arrival of what seems to be a UFO – and since Akane has nothing to do with this one, she’s rather peevish about its arrival.
This is one of the best combat sequences of Gridman so far. It once again shows that the absence of background music most of the time really amplifies the impact when Amemiya does choose to use it. Vit finally joins the fray (he seems amazed to have been suggested – by Borr) and this gattai turns Gridman into an airborne mech. Alexis notes to Akane that the stronger the hate, the stronger the kaijuu – and since Anti hates Gridman more than Akane does, his kaijuu is stronger. And it’s a strong one indeed, but once again the combines force of Gridman and a weapon is stronger still.
At some point I’m assuming Anti is going to come to hate Akane and Alexis more than he hates Gridman – at least that’s what would surely happen if he were a human boy and not a kaijuu. But as a creature who was born expressly to destroy Gridman, is Anti really capable of that kind of growth? It’s being put to the test – the mistreatment he receives at their hands is truly sickening, and I’m more than ready for him to come over to the light whenever he’s ready. If indeed that happens I sense it’s going to be a major moment of transformation for the story.