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This episode was really good, but not for the part I was expecting. Having Yumeko lose a game is a development that I welcomed, but I feel like it’s undermined by the student council president’s intervention. I understand that the point was probably to set her up as a worthy opponent for Yumeko, but it cheapens Yumeko’s loss.
Someone like Yumeko, who is willing to throw caution to the wind in order to increase the excitement in the game, should lose games naturally (in my eyes, at least). It’s not really a matter of realism. I just think it fits her insane and volatile nature. I feel like I would have been perfectly fine watching her completely deconstruct the game to point where she even convinced her opponent that she had won just to fall to chance…but maybe I’m alone in that thought.
All of that being said, I thought the progression of the game was presented in a really interesting way. First off, Mary is shown losing the game, and we’re given insight into her thoughts as she’s losing. I was going to criticize her for believing that the game was fair despite the obvious disparity in winnings, but Yumeko later acknowledges Mary’s inability to find the cheat and incorporates it into her own analysis. Yumeko acknowledges that Mary is skilled enough to see a cheat that heavily influences win percentage (like the one that Mary used herself) and is able to conclude that the cheat must only slightly favor her opponent.
And let’s be honest. The minute the game was shown to have a dealer shuffling the swords, it was pretty obvious that she was the one manipulating the outcome.
Another “setup” piece of this episode was the explanation about house pet gambles. It’s stated that house pets are allowed to force a game as long as the bet is “reasonable”. That’s sufficiently vague to suggest that there will be a future abuse of that rule. Now that Yumeko is a house pet, she’s perfectly positioned to be responsible for that abuse. We’ll see how that one turns out, though.
House pet Yumeko is here for no reason in particular. *cough*
Overall, this was another fun episode. This series has been pretty enjoyable to watch so far and I’m looking forward to seeing more.