「思慮なき力は自らの質量によって崩れ去る。」 (Shiryo naki Chikara wa Mizukara no Shitsuryou ni Yotte Kuzuresaru.)
“Force Without Wisdom Falls of Its Own Weight.”
Only one way to really sum this episode up: well-deserved. Alright, and incredibly fun and cathartic to boot, but definitely deserved given the preceding buildup. From the depths of torture to a face to rival Kikyou’s best, it truly was a nice week for Youjitsu – and we still got next week for spice.
In terms of the Kakeru beatdown there’s honestly not much which can be said. Kiyotaka did what we’ve all known he was capable of, Kakeru found out the hard way just who he was messing with, and Kei wound up getting suckered even further into the hole of crushing hard. Nevertheless it wasn’t all too paint-by-numbers: I quite enjoyed how Kakeru broke more from realizing all his efforts, all his poking, prodding, and antagonizing did absolutely nothing to Kiyotaka. Kakeru is a deliberately designed caricature of unbridled violence and the veritable definition of a blunt force tool, but Kiyotaka is the proof that the ultimate weapon isn’t violence itself – it’s violence rationally applied and without any shred of emotion. There’s no greater fear for the brute than a man wholly unaffected by his power because it shows just how prominent his weaknesses truly are.
Of course outside of the physical beatdown we also had the mental and this bit for me is slightly less appealing. It might be down to pacing and chopping, but the speed at which Kiyotaka was suddenly responsible for setting everything up was somewhat out of left field this time around. Take Kei’s setup by Kiyotaka for example, it would’ve been nice to get some foreshadowing of this if only to better establish something was moving behind the scenes (similar to Kei’s shipside bullying bit which did have a few teasers). Likewise it shouldn’t have been too challenging to give some hints towards Kiyotaka pushing Kakeru into his natural inclinations since, you know, they wound up being central to this arc. Youjitsu maintains a good deal of intrigue with its various scheming and mind games (it’s why I enjoy this series), but there’s a few moments like this where it certainly could be better.
At least we won’t have to go much further for new and interesting showdowns to help improve things with though; considering Suzune is set up by her brother of all people for inclusion in the student council, rest assured next week’s finale – and the forthcoming third season – won’t be hitting the brakes anytime soon.