At this point, the political turmoil happening the background of this series took centerstage, embroiling Matoba and Tilarna in a conspiracy that goes further than Cole and his wife, Marla, all the way to the heart of the city. With two of the mayoral candidates down, the stakes have never been higher and, of course, the remaining candidate, Tourtes, makes for an obvious suspect. His stance seems to rely on an anti-immigration platform, which would give him motivation to assassinate his competition with “Semani” gunmen, yet after a charged session of questioning between him and Tilarna, Matoba wasn’t convinced. When he was dragging Tilarna away before things could get too heated, Matoba asked Tourtes if he was an Earthling or a politician first, and the man admitted that he was a politician first. Roth, Matoba’s former police chief, had been fiercely protective of his identity as an Earthling, but perhaps, for Tourtes, his platform is exactly that – a platform. He’ll use the rhetoric he believes will help him win, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t against Semani immigration, some part of it is just appealing to a very specific voting demographic. In any case, while Tourtes wasn’t the mastermind they were looking for, the short meeting between him and Tilarna and the resulting conversation between her and Matoba where he assured her that her presence has changed the people on their lives for the better had such a strong impact that the conclusion to this series may have been very different if they’d never met.
The storytelling and pacing in this episode were tighter, and the animation was sharper. It was honestly impressive how parts from each of the individual cases have come together to form the foundation for a fun and multi-layered finale. On that note, Marla really did step into the mayoral election, playing the widow card for sympathy while also espousing a more liberal, tolerant position on migration that would undeniably be a boon to the Semani people. Of course, Tilarna and Matoba suspected foul play immediately, but just when they found evidence that Marla not only knew the assassin that killed her husband, but very likely had an affair with him, they were taken in by the FBI. Except! Another twist! All but one of the agents were being puppeted by the necromancer, bringing the story right around to its beginning.
「TWO WORLDS, TWO JUSTICES」
With Tilarna suffering the Leia Organa treatment from Zelada and Matoba being subjected to a beating, there’s little doubt that this is the end game. What followed, though, was a culmination of everything Tilarna has learned from her interactions with humans. While Zelada tried to make a case that humanity would destroy Semani if they came to love it – an argument that admittedly has some weight to it, though our track record with hate’s not so great, either – she defiantly refused to ever join him. Humans, in her experience, are not all black and white, nor are they incapable of change. Even Matoba barely tolerated Tilarna at the beginning. Everyone has dreams and motivations and hobbies and flaws, which at heart, are what bind us together. After this was affirmed verbally, Tilarna and Matoba managed to do it symbolically as well when they traded weapons in a visual confirmation of their status as equals. It’s been many episodes of culture clash and bickering, yet somehow these two came out of it friends and partners. The motion and color and emotion of the scene was like nothing I’ve seen from this series before and if this was were the budget from those episodes with wonky animation went, it was well worth it.
Although the main pair were without a doubt the draw of this series, with their evolving dynamic that at times seemed to almost serve as a microcosm for the wider racial tension between the humans and Semani, the side characters deserve praise, as well. Not a single one looked or acted the same, and was in possession of a rounded personality in addition to their quirks. Cecil was, to my mind, an absolutely fantastic example of how someone can maintain an amicable relationship with an ex without letting it define them. In fact, I think the show mentioned her relation to Matoba maybe twice. After that, she was a friend to both Tilarna and Matoba, as best exemplified by the cat switcheroo two-parter a while back. Then there’s the fact that the other members of the precinct actively contributed to solving the case, whether it be from conducting research on a bulldog tattoo or going undercover to investigate a lead. The last time I saw a group of unlike personalities work so well together was probably Mustang’s group in Fullmetal Alchemist. I’m still impressed that the show took the time to show them bonding at a pool and barbeque, whinging about their loves lives, and spending time with friends or family outside of work. This series took its time to develop relationships and pile on intrigue, so that when it got to the end and Tilarna was faced with letting a murderess go free to possibly benefit her people we, the audience, were invested. For once, I had no idea which choice she was going to make. With that said, while I’m sure Marla would make for an excellent mayor, it doesn’t seem wise to trust the word or the policies of a woman who would have her husband and an innocent woman murdered in cold blood. By killing Zelada, Matoba finally achieved revenge for his partner, and by turning in the photo of Marla and the assassin, she avenged her friend. It’s a very neat ending, come to think of it. Tilarna made up with the cop who badmouthed her in a frankly adorable scene where she made him spin around three times and bark (on Matoba’s advice) and the adventure continues. But then, what better way to end a Western-inspired fantasy cop show than with your heroes running off into their next grand adventure?