「緑の四月」 (Midori no shigatsu)
Sometimes with adaptations we get to a “if it’s not working for you by now”, point – where it seems to me that if a new viewer hasn’t clicked in, they probably aren’t going to. Who knows, no one can predict how anyone else will think or feel, but it strikes me that we’re there with Kami no Tou. It’s not as if there isn’t a lot more development and a lot more twists to come (there are, to excess) but this episode represents the appeal of the part of the series the anime will cover in a very elemental way. This is Tower of God (Part I) at its most essential.
This was also the episode that for me most closely captured the experience of the manhwa. It cut very little for starters. It also had big-time animation director (and director, period) Masahiko Murata in charge of the episode, and it was easily the most stylish and lavish of the bunch. It’s clear that these events were being built towards as the series’ first big crescendo, and it worked big-time. And a lot of resources both of narrative and budget were set clearly aside for it with that in mind.
Anak is the main plot driver here, just as she was last week. Now that she’s sat on the throne she can’t get off without the team being disqualified (which they’d know if they read the rules) much to Shibisu’s chagrin. Hatz is the trusting sort – he believed Shibisu’s “killing arts” performance – but Shibisu’s main weapon is certainly his mind. That, and he has no qualms about punching a girl in the face – which, I’d contend, was exactly the right thing to do under the circumstances as she was going to “stab him a little”. Hatz’ swordsmanship is enough to hold the fort – and the crown – against the first challenger, but that’s when things get serious.
You know how viewers and readers complain when a series has an overpowered character? Well, SIU seems intent to test the idea of what will happen when you take a clown car full of them – any one of whom would elicit such complaints if they showed up in most shounen action series – and throw them in a blender together. Laure finally rumbles into action, and reveals himself to be a “Wave Controller” (yes, there is something Nen-like about these Shinsu users and their ability types. Where’s Hisoka when you need him?). He’s capable of clearing the decks easily, but that gets Anak’s blood up, and there’s no question now that both of them are wide awake.
A wave controller, an ignition weapon – it’s no wonder Khun decides it might be best to sit this bonus round out. Bam’s Black March is literally quivering with excitement (sorry Rak, not because of you – but I love that you thought that), and there’s a good reason. Anak’s weapon is a relative – each are part of the “13 Month Series” (hers is Green April). That, of course, makes her a Princess of Zahad just like Yuri. She and Laure have their fun, but his teammates have seen enough and drag him from the arena.
And that would be that – no one else seems keen to challenge the lizard girl – but Anak has sensed the presence of the Black March. She forfeits the game in the process of going after Bam, but clearly the crown was no priority for Anak. She demands the weapon from Bam, who refuses (having promised Rachel never to betray anyone, “especially a girl”), and seems about to take it by force before Lero-ro intervenes to restore order (and not even Anak can ignore him). She offers Bam a wager with the two weapons as the pot, but he again refuses – leaving him with her open-ended promise to “kill him and take it anyway” when the crown game ends.
The whipped cream on top of the chocolate-chip pancakes with maple syrup (sorry, I just had a sherried Scotch and it was really decadent) is Khun finally revealing some badassery of his own. With Anak off the pitch he sees no reason to hold back now, and none of the other teams look to have a ghost of a chance – bar one. This is surely Rachel, though Bam tries to believe otherwise, but who is this girl (Suegara Rie) who mouths “Imposter!” at Anak? Could she be…. another badass?