Welp, time for terror. Twelve’s betrayed Nine in order to save Lisa, Shibazaki’s learned the truth, and Five is as ridiculous and show-warping as ever. Let’s see what happens next!
2:17 – Hah! Great way to start an episode. “I wanted to get caught” is currently the most overused trick in the thriller book, but hey, no-one’s ever accused Zankyou’s overt narrative of originality
3:00 – And yep, the classic interrogation scene and everything. Well-chosen hair once again making for great framing. I’ve heard that anime’s usual wild hair choices are often intended to make their characters stand out, but Zankyou manages to make fairly human-looking hair (well, outside of Five) do a whole lot of visual heavy lifting
3:13 – Nice shot
4:04 – And there goes any lingering chance of Shibazaki and Lisa being related. He has a normal family, he’s just distant from them, I guess
4:16 – A very loaded line in this show. Yeah, kids grow up so fast – but in this show, kids become adults the moment they do something unforgivable
5:33 – A funny concept. Sphinx have been “building trust” with all their various smaller acts of terrorism, and are now asking to be allowed a turn to speak in light of that trust. It’s hard to be heard!
6:34 – Another nice shot. Things aren’t looking great for ol’ Shibazaki. His choices directly echo the chief’s “I will take complete responsibility” from the last scene – he’s sent his partner away to take the blow himself
7:30 – Nice animation of her movements here. Well-chosen moment
8:00 – Alright, I guess we’re going there. Japanese nationalism, regaining a sense of “pride” and power. Couldn’t be more relevant, considering the current ascendance of right-wing rhetoric. It’s a very Japanese issue, but also one we’re seeing across Europe, too. We live in an age of mistrust
8:07 – Friggin’ nationalism is the same all over. Japan’s obviously in a very specific quagmire when it comes to this “national identity” stuff, but I’m perfectly familiar with this kind of tough-guy groupthink posturing in the States, too
8:54 – A very apt way to put it. Tying back in with Oedipus, as well as the general “childhood rebellion” theme. This show can be pretty graceful when it wants to!
9:13 – And here’s the USA’s own motive, making sure they maintain control. Japan is essentially the “unruly child” in a larger-scale conflict, with the Japanese nationalists attempting to demonstrate their voice in the same way Sphinx have been forced to. There are no equal power dynamics here
9:32 – A key line. This episode’s really pulling things together
11:42 – Aww. They’re classic beats, but I like these guys. Their friendship works for me
12:33 – Another perfect line. Echoing Five’s “do you think those boys have a future?”
12:53 – Yep. And yet both they and Nine have similar desires – Nine wants to expose the injustice of how Japan has been treating its children, which will in turn prove to the American government that they have been too lax with Japan
14:59 – The motorcycle’s been a symbol of freedom, but family ties you down. Gives you responsibilities. Even if you try to run away from the world
18:11 – Had to happen eventually. Five can only turn this show into her own personal Hollywood movie so many times
19:09 – How it often works. We make enemies of each other, because we can actually see each other. Those pushing us down are distant faces
20:16 – Sad line. Like in the last episode, these kids can only express feelings for each other through the violence they’ve internalized
Oh man! I really loved that episode – I’d always assumed the “kids abducted by a secret organization” part of the narrative would just provide a convenient way to establish these kids as products of their society, but actually tying the creation of that organization to existing issues of Japanese nationalism pulls the whole damn show together. It makes the interference of the United States significantly more graceful and purposeful, and lends the entire show more poignance and relevance. Fantastic choice!
I also actually enjoyed a scene with Five for perhaps the first time in this entire show – she’s always been more ridiculous than the show’s other elements, but her exit was a legitimately affecting moment. I obviously don’t think her overall influence on the show has been a positive one, but at least she left it with style.
And now the bomb’s set! Tokyo’s gonna explode! Everybody’s gonna die! That’s what happens when you try to silence people – they end up doing something drastic. I’m very excited to see how everything ends.