「潜魚狩り(前編)」 (Sengyo kari (zenpen))
“Underwater Hunt”

There are definitely times when Kami no Tou starts to swallow its own tail, and this episode is one of them for me. What do I mean by that? At the best and worst of times there’s a distinct geekiness to this series – a sense of the author getting swept up in the pomp and complexity of the world he’s created. That’s definitely one of the series’ charms (I can think of other excellent shounen that do this to a degree, but no two in quite the same way). Because, of course, when it works you get swept up in his enthusiasm as a reader (viewer). But boy, you do have to embrace the silliness sometimes.

I don’t think anyone should feel compelled to the this week’s setup too seriously. After getting approval from the administrator (who again notes how delicious he looks) Bam and and Rachel and allowed to proceed to the next level of the test. They’re stuck inside a shinsu bubble and their goal is simple – be eaten by the queen of the adorbs “net dolphins“. Yes, being eaten is the goal – but only by the dolphins. If the barnacle goblins with their herds of wetworms or the striped earthpigs or worst of all the bull eat them first, they lose. And so, of course, does everybody else.

As for the support team, that’s pretty much their role here – keep the wrong creatures from eating Bam and Rachel before the right one does. Everyone slips into the slot their positions dictate, with Khun (as ever) directing traffic. Even little Narae gets into the action eventually. The Jahad princesses seem, as usual, more interested in noodging each other than the test, and Rak (back to full size) chafes at not having the opportunity to hunt or fight anything himself. As for Shibisu (one of the all-time anime schlimazels) he draws the short straw again and winds up facing down the bull while Anak and Endorsi foot-wrestle.

As always, the conversations between Bam and Rachel are interesting. And they have plenty of time to talk, since they have no active role in this test at all. Bam reveals that the administrator asked him what he wanted at the top of the tower, and the first thing that popped into his head was Rachel’s face. The second was the cafeteria, with everyone eating together. This is the Bam that Shibisu says he wants to protect – the innocence he possesses is a foreign phenomenon in the tower. Bam is indeed, as she says, having fun. But Rachel is as inscrutable as ever in her reactions.

The wrinkle her is Ren, our onigiri friend. If he’s to be believed Yu set this whole thing up so he could destroy Anak, the bogus princess – and he does rather relish taking her down, as a helpless Endorsi looks on. Ren has the same ability Narae does, anima – but he’s powerful enough to use it on the bull, not just a skyfish in a jug. What isn’t made clear is whether Anak is being obsessively hunted down this way our of simple disgust over her existence because she actually poses a threat, but it does seem pretty obvious that the King of the Tower isn’t someone you want pissed off at you.

8 Comments

  1. I didn’t understand how the test works. I mean, I hope there is more, otherwise Bam, the one to be tested is doing nothing more than have faith in his friends, what kind of “advanced” test is that?

    Chris
    1. The explanations for the test were confusing, but I didn’t bother to rewatch.

      So will creepy Ren even get out of what looks like a costume?
      Rachel sure likes to amass those death-flags.

      boingman
  2. Totally agree that this test-thingy is way too complicated. This is where a good editor strips the writer down for not stripping the scene down. If you’re spending as much time explaining the scene as running the scene, you did something wrong. It’s not the mark of a poor writer, on the contrary, it’s a very common problem and is why professional editors are really important.

    On it’s face, it’s too weird that the key people being tested are required to do nothing. The true test may be a hidden one but that doesn’t excuse not giving them an excuse of an action role. If Bam wants to be Rachel’s legs, make him use his. The only key thing here is that while it seems Rachel could sit in this bubble all by herself, she hasn’t made any friends. Friends are Bam’s value-add.
    Additionally, there seem to be too many extra “mobs” involved and it’s not clear why some of them are included. I have to hope test proceedings justify each type, but then, the story has yet to justify why some of the additional characters are still involved. Some feel like spot-fillers.

    Danny
  3. Is she inscrutable? I think she was being honest when she complained that Bam’s wretched existence brought her down once his novelty wore off. She isn’t egocentric enough to be interested in someone who is apparently naught but a reflection. Worse still, his helplessness meant that she was stuck with him (unless she abandoned him). But seeing the recent activity — and recall that she essentially hid in her room unless dragged out — and the camaraderie which has developed between Bam and his friends, she is compelled to cast aside her earlier conception of him.

    As for the questions around the test’s peculiarities… the point of the test is not to push Bam and Rachel upward and onward. That is the motivation for everyone to participate and split up. I didn’t think about this during my initial viewing but I just watched it again (along with the prior episode) and I can’t help but think that Paracule is a willing tool here. Maybe he wasn’t fibbing when he said last episode that he too was trying to ‘motivate’ everyone to help Bam.

    As for Anak, from Jahad’s perspective, she is a threat — previously dormant but now active. He seems pretty nutty about controlling the outlandish powers that exist in this part of the tower.

    I’m curious about what really happened to the silent choco eater and am eager to see what Yuri-hime does when she lands. Another great episode albeit one filled with mayhem and misery. I think next episode is gonna be a monster.

    Mockman
  4. Anak’s problem is that Jahad is a control freak and probably a narcissist. Per Endorsi he hand-picks the girls/women who will become his “princesses”, and Anak’s mother betrayed him by giving birth to a daughter with the power of his “princesses”. In other words, Jahad didn’t choose to grant Anak her power, and this hurt his ego to the point that he ordered a hit on her.

    That’s my take on it at least.

    anon234
    1. It is kind of needed though. To become a Jahad princess, a portion of Jahad’s power will be transferred to the princess. And it is proven (as we see with Anaak) that Jahad’s power can be passed through by birth.

      Uncontrolled childbirth by the princesses will lead to uncontrolled passing down of Jahad’s power and such will surely bring chaos to the tower.

      Though it is true that Jahad is a control freak.

      Theoria
  5. I don’t get it. How long has Yuri’s squad been trying to get to the testing area? It seems like several weeks already. I almost forget about them every time before there appearance.

    nixx

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