CONQUEST TIME. Sorry I’m late on this one – I came down with some kind of terrible affliction this weekend, but I think my head is finally clear enough to work through the pain. I’m very excited for this episode – both the preview and the spoiler-happy internet have primed me to expect some crazy revelations, and last week’s episode already displayed the show’s themes coming together beautifully. Masks were flying off left and right, White Light and Zvezda each made their philosophy that much more clear, and Jimon once again demonstrated he’s still not quite comfortable with his new family, even as he deliberately spurns his old one. Jimon’s in the classic protagonist spot here – at the fulcrum of both the show’s two “families” and its ideas on family in general, he’s also the least aware of all the forces sparring around him. He’s the kid caught in the crossfire of a feud much larger than himself. And as the personal is the political in Sekai Seifuku, the squabbling parents hanging over his head might just fighting over the fate of the world itself.
Let’s get to it.
0:08 – Now they explain this world’s backstory? You’re pretty funny, Sekai Seifuku
0:51 – We spend an entire episode derping around at the hot springs, and then suddenly the civil war catches up with our protagonists. It actually makes sense given this show’s priorities are far more focused on its characters than its world, but it’s still some entertaining whiplash
1:18 – Oh no the worst Kate face
1:46 – Oh god. The worst thing they could have done
3:57 – Now that’s just uncalled for
5:44 – Uh oh. They really are running out of masks
6:04 – Kate’s not doing much good. Without her home, she’s pretty much acting on her immediate whims as a little girl
7:39 – It was always unlikely they’d succeed, but before they had confidence and momentum on their side. Now they barely have a chance at all, and they’re being individually offered an easy way out. This is when it’s hardest to stick together as a family – when you know they’re probably wrong. Jimon didn’t believe in the choices or methods of his old family, and so he ran away. What’s different now?
7:55 – Was he honest back then? He seemed genuine, and knew it was a silly thing to say, so he wouldn’t have said it otherwise.
8:09 – The plausibility of the goal doesn’t matter. He’s committed to these people. Better to be wrong together than to abandon his family
8:26 – She takes off the mask as she surrenders her power. White Light doesn’t allow for family or emotional honesty, and so taking off your mask is a sign of weakness. Neither of the two younger members actually believe this, though
9:06 – You could also link the masks to childhood, as well. Their old leader has “graduated” from White Light, and now works within the city’s government. In that case, Zvezda might still use masks because they can’t compete in the real world, only the childhood one
9:16 – Oh jeez I promise I typed that last one before I saw this line. Way to make that super-overt, Sekai Seifuku
9:39 – It’s all one family. It’s all personal
10:16 – She’s still got her confidence, at least. Always their greatest weapon
11:19 – Cigarette smoke! Their only weakness!
12:16 – You can only run away from home for so long. Zvezda’s fort is pretty close to a treehouse already
12:32 – This is great. Yeah, it’s not like his son’s identity would be a secret or anything
12:56 – Time to make a choice, Asuta. You’re the only misfit with another home to go back to
13:14 – Beautiful. Perfectly fits with the impossibility of world conquest, too – it doesn’t matter what motivates your family, they’re still family. You support them. You might reprimand them or get angry at them or whatever, but you don’t mold them and you don’t abandon them. That’s Kate’s greatest power – seeing the worth in people, and accepting them for who they are
14:00 – Kate is a great leader. And this is a great scene
15:00 – This is what Kate was warning them about. When you make it impersonal, horrible things happen
16:38 – And White Light has been devoured by the impersonal. Hurraaay for corporations
18:15 – Pretty great. Damn adults, telling you what you can and can’t do, hogging all the power in this world
20:24 – A good spin, also putting her thoughts in line with not judging your family
20:35 – “We’ve lost the trust of the people. All that’s left is power.” She only has the mask, with no human being left behind it. So she takes off the mask and throws it away
20:48 – “The world has gone crazy. Do you still want it?” Waddaya think this entire episode’s been about, Renge?! Of course Kate accepts the crazy, flawed, mixed-up world!
22:20 – Fight, Asuta!
Oh man, that episode was so good. This show is pulling together so well! The characters all had great moments, the actual story kicked into overdrive, and the themes of family, identity, and the nature of childhood are all tying together in a neat and frankly heartwarming way. Not sure I’ve ever liked this show more, actually – episodes three and four were great, but the events of the last two episodes have made the overall show great. It’s a weird, quirky story, but it’s got a lot of truth in it, making it very poignant as well. I’m excited to see how it ends.