「閃撃の撃墜王」 (Sengeki no Gekitsui-ou)
“Ace of Flashing Strikes”
Oh boy where do we even start this week. Answers? Return to the present? Nina effectively putting Lynn down for the count? Oh we got it all. Well, except for the whole origins of Alcia part mind you, but sometimes it’s good splitting up the carnage.
While all the theorycrafting concerning Licht’s transformation and descent into madness hearkened towards interesting tangents for our albino voyeur, reality proved less than imaginative. As cutie pie Nina indicated at the start no change would be forthcoming: Licht successfully powered up, went on a killing spree, and became that which he vowed to break from. Of course, there’s always the possibility the response was stronger in the original timeline—i.e. Tokikaze and/or some others could’ve easily died without Jail and friends to assist—but we pretty much got the same outcome as before. Except for Nina really showing what’s she made of in the final quarter. Love, sexy times, and baby making? Three hundred year wait or not, you know full well that memory is going to stand the test of time.
The really interesting part this week though lay outside of physical desire. The Count mechanism has now been largely revealed, with it—ironically enough—being a binding contract made to a particular conviction for the purpose of acquiring Althing-bestowed power. It’s fairly easy to know how it works in practice given previous reveals—i.e. higher the Count, the better the hyperspeed output—but Schmerman’s talk does raise two prominent questions: how do the other Counts emerge from this arrangement, and what happens when this Count goes to zero? The other Counts are basically assigned, randomized, and mean nothing in the face of shounen powerup for example, while this Count is personally chosen and accepted. Personally I’d wager the other Counts are a fully intentional part of Alcia’s design to bake in those Malthusian population carrying capacity principles being espoused like mad—i.e. create a Darwinian “survival of the fittest” environment—but considering Schmerman’s own history and how it compares to the present I’m a little hesitant to think that’s all there is to Plunderer’s modern day world.
There’s at least one more twist waiting in the wings for Plunderer, and the only question is how further it upsets the status quo. Well, that and how a big a family Hina has in mind, but I think we won’t have to wait long for answer on that one.