「夏と修羅」 (Natsu to shura)
“Summer and Shura”
Is it more important to be interested in what happens in a series, or care about it? Sonny Boy makes me think of such things. Ideally you’d want both of course, but I think that ship has pretty much sailed here. There’s no question this show is pretty smart, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a little too concerned with making sure we know it. It’s funny – there are so many dumb anime these days, and the LN-driven trend of spelling everything out for the audience starting from the title is disheartening as hell. But while Sonny Boy is the antithesis of all that, it just doesn’t quite click for me. I’m happy it exists, but not as happy as I’d like to be.
So this time around it’s a girl with an ability, Monologue, which is basically mind-reading as far as I can tell. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen this girl before but I have no idea what her name is (Shura?) or even if she’s been given one – if she has I can’t remember it. She keeps the ability secret because she fears she’d be ostracized if people knew (which is probably true). In a rather conventional teen romance twist she’s in love with Asakaze, who’s in love with Nozomi (and Aki-sensei’s boobs), who’s in love with Nagara. All of which Monologue Girl knows of course.
Some developments of note – Asakaze really is a pathetic person. I mean we knew that, but he’s small a small boy – shallow as a mud puddle and obsessed with nothing but his own baser feelings. He makes a very useful tool for Aki. who’s truly a vile and objectively awful person. Acting under orders from God, she and Asakaze go on a mission to kill War (remember him?). Of course in order to kill war you have to create death, which is a foreign concept to these worlds – except, didn’t that business with the not-twins last week already introduce death?
I’m not sure on the whole killing war by creating death thing, to be honest. In basic terms the idea that these kids are in eternal stasis implies that only by having death as a structural force can they be truly alive – maybe that’s where that’s headed. Speaking of death, things aren’t looking so great for Nozomi after she tumbles into a virtually bottomless chasm and Asakaze – acting on instinct and impulse – doesn’t act to save her. But she probably isn’t actually dead. I mean, it’s Episode 10.
The other interesting turn involves the cats. Kunihiko explains to the others that the cats each have a role to play in the Nyamazon ability. That’s something in and of itself, especially given that the cats are using their own code of ethics to keep the ability from being abused (the first thing Mizuho does when she finds out is ask for a duplicate of herself). But it also begs the question (I know, because Nozomi asks it) of what Mizuho’s actual ability is. Perhaps to test this Nagara and Mizuho each order a chicken from Nyamazon, and slaughter both – but the one Mizuho ordered apparently comes back to life. Death is seemingly here to stay, and Mizuho’s power may be to cheat it. Which would mean, theoretically, that before death existed she had no effective power at all…