OP: 「Into the Blue’s」by (ACCAMER)
「半分人間 (HALBER MENSCH)」 (Hanbun ningen)
Before I get into the episode, I definitely need to bring your attention to the OP. Did you skip it? Go check it out. Not only do I think it qualifies for best OP of the season because of the music, but it provided a glimpse into the adventure awaiting our two rookie heroes.
There’s clearly a large number of eccentric characters coming our way, cities that surpass the easy and rustic look of Liverchester (the trash-filled town Echo is from), and challenges that I can’t wrap my head around just yet. The OP alone has given me hope for what’s to come and opened a world of possibilities I’m looking forward to exploring alongside Echo and Mu.
In this second episode, our two comrades are met with the Earless, once again. They’re pushed into the darkness of the wilderness to fend for themselves, and they do a pretty good job of it until Echo gets lured in by a trap set by our new antagonists: The Three Noise Sisters which include Stür Neubauten (Hisaka Yoko), Ein Neubauten (Ohara Sayaka), and Zende Neubauten (Kurosawa Tomoyo).
I can’t say for sure these women present a real threat to our duo, but they’re a welcome cast of personalities. Extremely quippy, mysterious as much as they are a 3-stooges kind of trio, they added quite a bit of color to the episode. I can’t say I followed much of their ramblings off the bat, but I think it’s part of the charm. Most of what they say to Mu comes out in riddles and their interaction with Echo was, well, kind of sweet.
However, it would be nice to get a little clarification on the battlefront. These three can control the Earless? Or did they create an illusion to urge Mu to find her true power, her true potential? At first, I thought the illusion and changing landscapes were a result of the ‘Merle Forest’, from the story Echo was told by the townspeople when he was young. But after taking a few minutes after the episode to analyze the scene, I realized these three most likely created the abandoned buildings and amusement park as an illusion to keep Echo trapped in. I just loved how that whole scene was disrupted by Echo’s fanatic antics though! It brought a nice touch to an event that could have become much darker.
I did a little extra research, and thanks to the wonderful Reddit, I found out that the sisters are heavily inspired from an old 80s german band called Einsturzende Neubauten, hence their names. And their constant reference to “Let’s do it a dada” is one fo their songs. I’m assuming these little embedded cultural references will be many as the show progresses, which recalls a lot of what I watched a few seasons ago with Carole & Tuesday.
Moving away from my tangent and back into the show, the sisters talk about Mu as though she’s the only thing left from ‘the Collapse’, another mysterious event we have yet to know about. Does she hold some kind of power or remnant of a secret ability they’re trying to unleash? This subplot is a little convoluted at the moment but I’m sure it will render some solid episodes.
The Three Noise Sisters weren’t the only interesting point of the episode. We find out a little more about the Earless, not everything, but enough to create a stir. I made the mistake of thinking that the Earless were part of some weird alien species or radioactive monkeys of sorts. But turns out, the Earless are people. They’re the result of failed Players. There isn’t much more about this right now, but it will be interesting to see how this backstory develops. I assume it has something to do with the fact that music is no longer part of the world or its people but can only be found in Players.
Although, I might be wrong about music not being part of the world anymore. When Mu hummed a tune, Echo became curious. He had never heard anything like it before, meaning music was never part of his world, of Liverchester. Perhaps, since the event ten years ago that left Liverchester in ruins, music was simply no longer part of the town’s life – banned.
And finally, we get a second ED, already! Might we be getting a new ED after each episode? Well aren’t we spoiled.
That said, what’s to come next? Some Hime-sama and a retired Player?