「仲間と仲間」 (Nakama to Nakama)
“Companion and Companion”
Now we’re back to the present day with Peach Boy Riverside as Sally has to choose whether to go with the friend with a scary worldview or the antagonist who presents his loftiest ideas first. While this lose-lose scenario would suck for Sally regardless, this episode’s biggest strength is the action-packed fights it presents.
Sally might have had the chance to solidify her ideals, but this episode was just a friendly reminder that both choices were horrible. Right when she chose Mikoto, he ran off and let her know he was serious when he admits he loves murdering ogres and demihumans and would be willing to flash his peach eye at Sally if she aimed to defend demihumans on the path of peace.
Sumeragi is also a flaming bag of dog poo with how much he tries to dangle over Sally’s head for the express purpose of confusing her. He acts like he’d be happy to give assistance, but changes his mind once he smugly mentions how she sided with Mikoto and acted like Hawthorn’s life was in her hands if she didn’t acquiesce to his demands. Fighting him might’ve seemed like a sound decision that supports her resolve for co-existence, but it only gives him more incentive to be smug and beat her up after mocking her for trying to use a power she never gave the time to understand.
The highlight of this episode though is Hawthorn’s fight against Todoroki, where he has to think fast if he has any chance of fighting against an ogre with a wooden sword. Although a piping hot tea kettle would’ve been more effective against Todoroki, Hawthorn using the backstreets to his advantage was a pretty clever twist I wouldn’t have expected to work as easily. He also had a crazy disposition about the situation as he decides to risk certain death to charge at Todoroki while he’s getting ready to fire his lightning attack.
With how many details from recent episodes have been tied to what was mentioned in this episode, I can see what they’re trying to do by having a ton of flashbacks to add context to what’s going on during this huge climactic set-piece. But at the same time, you’d have all the context you need if it was just structured normally. It’s not much of an artful Pulp Fiction-esque narrative when there is more value gained than lost by piecing the plot together in chronological order. And even though everyone’s in a tight spot during this episode, I can see there being even more whiplash once we flashback to the time we find out who Winny is.