「兄の意地」 (Ani no Iji)
“A Brother’s Determination”
This was basically watching a boxing match on TV while a commentator explains all the subtle nuances and terms we, as viewers, might not understand right off the bat.
Shinra is head to head with his little brother, Sho, who we know has a connection with the Evangelist. According to Sho, his Adolla Burst is much stronger because he’s blessed by the Evangelist. By his graces, he can manipulate time by “stealing the heat of expansion.” Let me be honest and say that a lot of the ‘science’ or in this case, convenient explanations, are difficult for me to comprehend and I wonder if it’s because they just make no sense at all. With each additional explanation comes a whole set of “huh? What was that now?” I feel as though the science behind the abilities themselves isn’t entirely necessary.
Personally, combining poorly explained scientific theories with a very subpar description of the belief systems only adds to confuse me. I can’t speak for everyone, but I do wish there was a consistent, if not, more profound explanation of either. If I had to choose, I would rather the latter than the former and simply explain their abilities as “Divine Intervention.”
We didn’t get a good view of what the rest of the Company 8 is up to, however, the episode did bring us back to the 1st Company to introduce us to a fire soldier called Onyango who is pulled out of retirement after what went down with Rekka and the bugs. Why though? It seems to have to do with the events surrounding Shinra’s family home burning down. But aside from that, we have yet to know. Apparently, being a few episodes away from the finale means we needed to add more mystery to the mix.
With all the talk about Adolla Link, Adolla Burst, the other dimension/world, I can’t imagine us needing more mystery. Things aren’t as clear as I’d like them to be, but that hasn’t put a damper of the series for me. I know I’ve sounded quite pessimistic throughout this post, more like a rant than an analysis, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying the story. I can tell that it’s a lot more focused on developing the characters, introducing new dynamics, and pushing some fierce battles our way. And this episode is a prime example of that. Shinra never stops believing in his baby brother. I believe his idea of ‘catching’ and ‘playing tag’ with Sho, is so he can remind himself of who this fierce opponent truly is and what he means to him. He keeps playing the role of the big brother because he has no other choice if he wants to save Sho rather than completely annihilate him. It’s actually quite endearing and it’s a refreshing take. It keeps their battle, Shinra’s goal, and their relationship ‘light’ without adding intense drama like many other shounens do.
There are just so many questions still to be answered. I’m waiting for characters we met in the early episodes to return (Joker), I’m waiting for someone to tell me who destroyed Iris’ convent (was it the Evangelist?), and so much more. How many powerups can Shinra have? And why does it have to be so convoluted? Through his Adolla Burst, he can connect to this other dimension where his burst exists in the first place? And with his Adolla Burst, he can Adolla Link? And through his Adolla Link, he can then link to Sho, who is linked to the Evangelist, thus the power up? And then I wonder why I’m confused. If you’ve got a simpler explanation, go ahead as I’m about to scour the internet for the answer.
But for now, it seems like the Devil himself has taken Shinra over. With absolutely no regard for his life, he’s still playing tag, in it to ‘catch’ his brother and protect him, as he promised his mother so long ago.