「戦禍と恨み」 (Senka to Urami)
“Horror and Resentment”
This week’s Peach Boy Riverside concludes the big fight that Todoroki’s crew was having with the denizens of the coliseum town. But as the fights start to wind down, some of the characters begin to realize how silly it was that they ended up getting roped into fighting each other.
What this episode helped to solidify is how important it is for Sally to keep pushing for peace, knowing how ridiculous it was that everyone was either misled into fighting or instigated a fight out of sheer resentment. Hawthorn knew he could easily have calmed Todoroki down to avoid the fight by clarifying that he never killed Carrot and that she was alive this whole time. But because Todoroki killed a family man he just met, suddenly, he risked the lives of himself and those around him so that he could have a slight chance of murdering Todoroki out of revenge.
Never mind that he could’ve called off some of the other attacking ogres, because somehow NOW we care about when people kill other people in this universe. If there’s any justification for Todoroki joining them, it’s definitely because you could build a diagram of how each member of Sally’s friend group had wronged each other by murdering those close to them.
Deep down, it also feels meaningless because of how much of the problem rests on humans being horrible in this world. The ogre Shinki reveals as he’s dying that he only fights against humans and chooses not to align with Carrot because they were prejudiced to him and the only beings who gave him any kind of acknowledgement or pity were other maligned ogres. It’s understandable why the ogres would hold grudges against humans that could be easily dispelled if the human side hadn’t already shunned ogres.
It’s why Sally’s big crusade oddly makes sense since most of the fights that have happened are among characters who honestly would have befriended one another had circumstances not pushed them to fight. Hawthorn already admitted to that much, and Shinki would’ve been happy to join Carrot if it meant he could be shown the same kind of compassion he experienced with ogres.
On the flipside, it’s also why it’s so easy to manipulate each side into murdering each other. While humans can rely on prejudice, the ogres are gullible enough to be wheeled and dealed by someone as duplicitous as Sumeragi. Yes, he’s charismatic. Yes, he’s kind enough to assume Todoroki’s friends went to heaven as he punched him through the chest when most edgy shows would’ve had him say, “Tell the gatekeeper of hell that I sent you,” or “You can join your friends in hell.”
But he’s also very bad at hiding his poker face the moment he feels alone. Sally falls for this too when he decides to respect her gumption and let her go without answering a single question of hers. Just because it takes basic critical thinking and reading between the lines to realize Sumeragi’s intentions doesn’t mean it isn’t a dick move to engineer fights between gullible people through vague technically correct details.