Welp, didn’t do no homework this week. Looks like I’ll have to rely on the episode’s own merits and a little dash ofinspiration … well, maybe a generous dollop of inspiration to fill the airtime. New arc, I’m guessing! The party’s over, sharktooth is dead, and the overarching plot has progressed six or seven centimeters. Meanwhile, Kiri and the Queen have taken it upon themselves to fully earn that PG-13 rating, pulling off a scene that I feel only slightly weird calling one of the strongest moments of the series. In an effect similar to how this show frequently acts as an unintentional parody of its ostensible genres, the show overall kind of represents that wacky contradiction of so many anime – it’s consistently and resolutely stupid and ridiculous, but its core revolves around these moments of well-directed awkward intimacy that come off as inconceivably superior to virtually any other stabs at the topic. Honesty really is the word with this show – it’s dumb and self-indulgent in a way that reveals a mangaka being kind of maybe a little bit unwisely honest with his audience, and all of its best moments revel in the relatable honesty of this show’s One Good Thing, the relationship between Iwai and Kiri.
That said, I don’t think we’re getting any of that this episode. Even if the previous episode hadn’t devoted the last act of its running time to stampeding their relationship forward, we just ended a “significant” plot arc. I get the feeling we’re now reentering exposition territory, and the show will proceed to set up the dominoes for its next arc in the only way it knows how – incredibly ineptly. If there’s anything legitimately praiseworthy awaiting me in the next 23 (okay, for me it’s more like 45) minutes, it will come as an honest and cherished surprise.
Thus, inspiration .
0:17 – WE KNOW YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THIS
0:57 – Oh hey, that’s another thing I like about this show – a clearly physically frail girl being self-assured and knowing/articulating what she wants. Female characters showing emotional strength and resolve is something we need more of – but again, in one of the many bizarre ironies of this show, half of its scenes also tend to revolve around Iwai being restrained or almost molested, sooo…
1:17 – Oh man, dem happy snuggles. Aw yeah
2:03 – This show’s attempts at thrilling mysteries are so adorable. Am I really supposed to care about her hair not growing back, Crime Edge? What could this possibly mean?!?
3:41 – There she is. Our mysterious OP loli. And so the endgame begins
3:51 – And she drops like fifty bloody knives on the floor. Mystery: solved!
4:28 – Did she really have to be naked for that scene? C’mon Crime Edge, Loliball starts in a month. You’re slightly better than this
I do like the disembodied voice getting in that extra little bit of pointless world-building narration about these incredibly fascinating not-quite-Killing-Goods
5:02 – I’m glad the camera was there to assure us her crotch landed okay
5:37 – Wait, is this episode actually gonna be about the adorably awkward aftermath of their newly intensified relationship? Because I could watch that show all day
6:46 – “I should go somewhere where there’s a lot of people.” “Sure, I’ll go shopping for you in a place with lots of people.” I feel like even talking about this plotting makes me actively stupider. But hey, if it gets them back together, fine
7:45 – Oh jeez, a loli with two fangs? Somebody call the OreImo discussion thread
8:03 – And Iwai freaks out about being called onee-chan. I am a fucking psychic
8:09 – And she’s a tsundere ahahahahaha
10:08 – The Zewulfa! Of course! Seriously, speculative fiction writers? Don’t do this. Every time you introduce a fantastical element into your story, there better be a good goddamn reason for it. If you’re writing about why the wielders of Segurthorgor must harness the Light of Hibbledibibbledi to prevent Zimpop from summoning the Belshugga, nobody is going to give a shit
10:36 – That was the least masculine sprint I think I have ever seen. Seriously, rewind to 10:32 or so and let Kiri’s limp-wristed jitter-walk play. Poetry
10:37 – Yet again, Iwai’s crotch survives the landing
12:03 – Goddamn, see? The show spends five freaking minutes establishing a routine loli opponent, and then tosses off fifteen seconds of Kiri endearingly struggling to internalize the relationship lessons of the class trip. What is with this balance
12:11 – What is up with Kiri’s pants? Are they like, jeans with leg warmers on the outside?
12:45 – I also agree that the backflipping knife-throwing loli assassin is more important than your girlfriend’s hair at the moment!
14:04 – “Her small body and soft skin… there’s no doubt that she’s still a child.” Kiri please, I’m already hot and bothered as it is
14:51 – I’m fairly certain the Naruto run doesn’t actually make you go faster, loli Kirino
15:47 – “Unlike your ridiculous scissors, my Killings Goods were made-to-order.” That’s a pretty neat trick! Oh wait, I just thought of something… you know what would make for a pretty good fabricated Killing Goods? A fucking gun
16:23 – This fight is intensely silly and also surprisingly well-choreographed
16:45 – Wait, hold the fuck up, since when can Kiri do crazy backflips and shit?
16:56 – I’d watch it
18:37 – Dat plot thickening. So, in a normal show where I was actually invested in the narrative proceedings, this father stuff would be a pretty solid call on the writer’s part. Dramatic developments can’t just be generically dramatic, they have to reflect on and illuminate the characters involved, and dredging up dark family secrets is a fairly cheap but routinely effective way of scoring on that count
Of course, this show isn’t actually about families, it’s about awkward and misunderstood sexuality. So either this father-daughter stuff is about to get super weird, or else the writer just read in a book somewhere that this is how actual writers tell stories, and goddamnit if he’s gonna be put down by those hoity-toity writers with their coherent storytelling and their understanding of thematic structure
18:57 – “I really wanted to remain cool in your eyes.” This, on the other hand, is perhaps the first time an episode of this show has articulated and stayed true to a single thematic idea for a whole 20 minutes. Their shedding of the expectations they put on themselves to artificially be of worth to each other (her with the hair, him with his displays of bravado) is a great idea, and this episode’s insistence on making a coherent point of that relationship shift is, well, very surprising. Sorry, Crime Edge
20:35 – Wait, so the witch’s name is actually just Witchy? Goddamnit Crime Edge, I just spent like two whole paragraphs respectfully analyzing you and then you go and pull some shit like this
20:59 – But enough about murder. Puppies!
Man, Lolino is pissed.
So yeah, signs point to this resolving with Lolino learning to respect bonds in general and expand her definition of family, but who gives a shit about any of that? This episode had a knife-flinging loli assassin doing the dance of death with a suddenly incredibly limber Kiri, along with mutual relationship troubles regarding Iwai and Kiri’s inability to satisfy their lovers, insofar as those abilities correlate to “ability to grow hair super good” and “ability to murder people with barber’s shears.” Structurally, it pretty much did everything I expected, and set up our last few episodes of sheer insanity fairly solidly – but I certainly wasn’t bored! At this point, if worst comes to worst they could just murder a character every episode and skid into an at least reasonably entertaining conclusion – it certainly wouldn’t betray my expectations or anything. Although, trimming the cast like that might cut into the storytelling potential, even if the shear audacity of the decision results in some immediate buzz.
I’m sorry. I’ll see myself out.
Seriously though, I do think I’ve earned some kind of severance package.