Carole & Tuesday Episode 16: Starting the recovery process

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Carole and Tuesday check the results for their single

I question the setup in this episode a bit, but I think that the emotional payoff works out in the end. I’m not entirely sure what to make of recent episodes. The major point in this episode seemed to be that the debut single for Carole and Tuesday was released, but that didn’t seem to amount to much. Still, getting background on Gus isn’t too bad, and I can only hope Flora plays more of a role in the show moving forward.

Carole and Tuesday find a band

Given how much the girls typically struggle to make things work, it’s kind of funny to see something just work out for them. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with them randomly finding a band, but I do somewhat question the idea of the band helping them out for free.

Angela gets some protection

This “knight” business with Angela is being drawn out more than I expected. That being said, this week’s episode seems to throw an interesting wrinkle in it by having Angela get a message after she meets with the prime suspect.

Gus tries to help Flora

I like that this episode shows Gus being a good guy. His encounter with Flora makes his relationship with Carole and Tuesday a lot more reasonable. Also, his story of betrayal makes his fear of recording labels understandable. He also seems to have a fairly warm relationship with Flora, so I think it would be cool to see him together with her in the future.

Flora falls into hard times

Past that, I think Flora’s story didn’t seem like much. From side research, it seems like she was based on a real musician, so I guess I can’t be too upset.

Carole and Tuesday pay homage

That aside, I do like that Carole and Tuesday cover Flora’s song out of respect for her. It was a great way of bringing things around. Also, it felt like a small part, but I also liked that Flora’s attempts to sing along in the end don’t overpower the girls. It just sounds like a normal person trying to mimic a song.

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Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 5: Fairy magic

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The group examines Waletta

I guess the extra episode is meant to show off more of the combat in this series. Honestly, I’m still not sure I’m convinced on the mystery aspect so far, but the series has been entertaining so far. I do like the general principle behind the mysteries, but I get a sense that too much is kept from the audience to make Waver look more impressive. It’s funny to see him in actual combat this week, though.

Waver speculates

It seems to me that most of these stories revolve around Waver immediately coming up with the right answer and spending most of the runtime proving himself. I don’t mind this approach, since it emphasizes evidence over just coming across the solution.

Gray's secret is revealed

I think Gray’s story is interesting, even if I also think it’s just a way to inject Saber (Arthur) into the story again. At least, she seems to have a legitimate reason for being a clone of Saber. It seems like that was actually her intended purpose.

Reines is used as a catalyst

Reines and Waver have a surprising amount of give-and-take in their relationship. Given how smug Reines tends to be, I’m totally okay with this.

Waver figures everything out

This again? How many of the mysteries in this series are going to be caused by the supposed victim? To be fair, the mysteries have some distinctions that give them their own layers, but it’s strange how similar they are at a fundamental layer. Maybe I’m just reacting more to the idea of researchers doing sketchy things.

Gray uses Rhongomyniad

Oh look, it’s discount Excalibur. That aside, I think my favorite part of this stormy fight was Shishigou’s interaction with Waver in the middle of the fight. In comparison to the other abilities used in the fight, Waver uses some fairly wimpy magic blasts.

Bungou Stray Dogs Episode 37: Race to the end

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Dazai warns the boys

While I understand how much this episode had to resolve with both Pushkin and Fyodor, I think the events largely felt rushed. Atsushi and Akutagawa’s fight against Ivan felt like it should have been an episode climax on its own, but it largely feels like a backdrop for Dazai’s search for Fyodor. I say this mostly because I felt like Akutagawa and Atsushi were at a crossroads of sorts, whereas Fyodor’s capture seems more like a temporary setback for him.

Dazai helps direct the search for Fyodor

So, I have a question after seeing how this episode concludes. Was Dazai’s search for Fyodor meant to be a smokescreen for the audience or for Fyodor? It clearly works as a smokescreen for the audience, but it’s more impactful if he was trying to fool Fyodor. However, I guess I don’t see how it could have been the latter…

Atsushi gains a new ability

Watching Atsushi and Akutagawa forced to work together and combine their abilities is very much a cool moment for the episode. This is partly why I wish the episode would have taken more time for this fight. I feel like this new combined power could have been explained better with more time. From what I can gather, Akutagawa is giving Atsushi more reach with his claws, but there has to be more to that.

The group finds Pushkin

This may be a weird question, but how exactly do they get rid of the virus? From later scenes in the episode, it’s highly suggested that Dazai was never on-site, so it doesn’t seem like he could have touched Pushkin. I know that Pushkin surrenders in this scene, but the bosses punch him before he does anything, so it doesn’t seem like he would have willingly dropped it. Does it just go away when Pushkin is knocked out?

Dazai meets up with Fyodor

Seeing the shocked expression on Fyodor’s face was actually pretty cool. He doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would take defeat well. That aside, I like the fact that Fitzgerald is used to defeat Fyodor, because it gives a solid reason for focusing on him earlier in the season. The Eyes of God that he steals are used in the finale to wrap things up.

Akutagawa threatens to kill Atsushi

The final scene between Atsushi and Dazai is nice, but I kind of wish that it had been used to tie the present day events with the flashback at the start of the season. Atsushi and Akutagawa seem like decent analogues for Dazai and Chuuya. Both pairs work well together despite having very antagonistic personalities. I think linking the two together would have given the opening flashback some more meaning.

Final Score: 7/10

A fun season with a lot of solid action, but the story starts to feel rushed in the end.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 12: In a flash

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Tanjirou chastises the boar

Comparatively speaking, I found this week’s episode to be more fun than last week’s episode (I can’t imagine why). While the episode definitely treads into some weird territory with its “magic blood”, I liked what it did for its characters. Even Tanjirou seems to have a decent growth moment in this episode, as opposed to skipping through it.

The boar is not a gentleman

There’s not too much to go on for the boar man in this episode. It’s clear that he’s more of a loose cannon than the other characters, but that much was already obvious. The episode also seems to imply that he’s not a Demon Slayer in the same sense as Tanjirou and Zenitsu.

Zenitsu strikes

I’m not entirely sure if this moment makes up for Zenitsu’s display in the previous episode (and in this episode), but that attack was pretty awesome. Additionally, I like the use of thunder as a theme for his character. As opposed to the consistent flexibility of Tanjirou, Zenitsu is clearly someone who’s only useful in a pinch. Similar to his thematic namesake, he strikes in an instant and disappears immediately.

The demon attempts to regain his status

It’s still too early for Tanjirou to face one of the Twelve Kizuki? Let’s put him against a former member as a stepping stone. Honestly, I’m not too sure about the whole “marechi” thing in this episode. It implies that the Twelve Kizuki are just a bunch of demons who drink special blood, which I think makes them feel questionable as enemies.

The crow appears

The birds in this series are amazing. That aside, I do like that the brother’s struggle to survive in the demon house inspires Tanjirou in his later fight. I think it comes off as a bit archaic to refer back to being the firstborn, but it’s an interesting way to motivate Tanjirou as a character.

Tanjirou becomes one with water

It feels a bit late for Tanjirou to be learning this, but I don’t think it’s a bad development for him. It’s nice to see him actually learning through battle, rather than just having the skills. Also, he seems to do a good job of analyzing his opponent in the fight. We saw the beginning of this in the previous episode when he starts to watch the tsuzumi strikes, but I do like to see Tanjirou using his head in combat.

Being Nezuko is suffering

I feel so bad for Nezuko…

Summer 2019 Previews

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The season’s roughly wrapping up, so I figured I’d go ahead and write this. It’s about that time. As always, the summary’s at the bottom.

Dungeon ni Deai to Toaru Kagaku
  • Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka II – I barely remember the first season for this series, so I’m on the fence for the second season. I don’t remember having the best impression of the first season. Either way, I doubt I’d write anything about it.
  • Dr. Stone – I tried reading the manga for this series a while back, and I didn’t get too far with it. I got the impression that the series tries to oversell its “science” angle, which didn’t appeal to me much. And despite being a post-apocalyptic setting, I feel like the characters are too ridiculous for me to take seriously. Who knows? Maybe manga just wasn’t the proper medium for me to experience this story.
  • Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou – I’ve read a decent amount of the manga for this series, and it’s not a bad concept. It perhaps gets closer to “edgy” than it should, but I liked the idea of the protagonist literally crawling his way back up after being cast out as useless.
  • Vinland Saga – I might pick this series up as my historical fiction series of the season. I’ve seen the manga everywhere in bookstores, but I’ve never taken the plunge and read it.
  • Enen no Shouboutai – To be honest, I don’t particularly find the firefighting aspect of this series to be too appealing. It seems to have a fairly standard setup for its genre, so I’m a bit hesitant. Maybe I’ll end up picking between it and Dr. Stone.
  • Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator – To be fair, I preferred Railgun over Index, so I might end up giving this series a shot since it’s in the same setting.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 to Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki
  • Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 – I’m surprised this series got a second season, but I think I’ve made my thoughts on the first season pretty clear. It’s based on a manga that I eventually got tired of reading, so I don’t know if I’ll follow along on the anime side.
  • Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – I never got around to watching the OVA episode that came out for this, but I’m sure I’ll have time before the series airs. Assuming this is actually a full series rather than a single episode, I’d be down to watch it. A mystery revolving around Waver Velvet seems fun.
  • Isekai Cheat Magician – Once again, I’ve read the manga for this series (I’m really painting my manga tastes into a corner, aren’t I?). It’s kind of an interesting take where the main characters are each imbued with extreme ability in very different aspects of the magic in the world.
  • Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru – Ahem…seems wholesome.
  • Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki desu ka? – I suppose this series gets the long title award of the season (though, it’s a close race). It’s kind of a funny concept, having to deal with your own mother within a game.
  • Kawaikereba Hentai demo Suki ni Natte Kuremasu ka? – This feels like a familiar concept for some reason. Anyway, it seems pretty goofy, so I might just have to judge from watching the first episode. I got nothing.
Maou-sama Retry to Symphogear XV
  • Maou-sama, Retry! – It’s another familiar concept, but it looks like it might be worth a shot. Wow, there really is a lot of fantasy settings in this season.
  • Kanata no Astra – I have a bad feeling about this. Honestly, I like the idea of watching a class attempt to survive in space with limited resources, so I’m very likely going to watch the series. However, this visual style brings back memories of Girly Air Force for some reason, and that didn’t go great.
  • Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo – Sure, why not? It seems wacky enough.
  • Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] – I’m really not looking forward to watching another death game given how much I’ve been burned in the past. I might be receptive to being convinced to try this one, but I’m not currently planning on it.
  • Uchi no Ko no Tame Naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru Kamo Shirenai – I’m going to gush a lot about this series because I really enjoyed the light novel. It’s pretty much a fluff series set in a fantasy world, but I found the world and characters to be particularly compelling. It’s a series tries to ground itself in some very real issues, so it’s perhaps not as bright as it might seem at times.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV – I’m only leaving this in here to note that I didn’t expect this series to go on as long as it has. I haven’t seen recent seasons, so I’m probably not watching this one.
BEM to Granbelm
  • BEM – From the premise alone, I’m not sure where the horror tag is coming from. It sounds like an interesting concept alone, but that tag makes me think it’s just going to be grotesque display of discrimination. Perhaps the main characters are involved in some gruesome murders or something. It’s hard to say.
  • Given – I typically enjoy slice of life series that revolve around music. What could go wrong?
  • Cop Craft – I don’t generally mind buddy cop anime, so I’ll probably try this series out. I would be lying if I said that the sci-fi aspect of it wasn’t appealing as well.
  • Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e – I’m having a hard time with this concept after being burned by Fairy Gone, which seems very similar. I’ll consider checking it out, I suppose.
  • Granbelm – It feels like it’s been a while since I watched a mecha series. What could go wrong?
Joshikousei no Mudazukai to Re:Stage
  • Joshikousei no Mudazukai – I don’t have much to comment based on this premise alone. It looks like it could be a fun concept for a comedy series.
  • Machikado Mazoku – It’s a simplistic setup, but I’m guessing this is meant to be a gag anime. It might be worth checking out for something lighthearted in this season.
  • Kochoki: Wakaki Nobunaga – I’ll probably hold out and see how this series pans out. The whole “bold interpretation” bit is really sticking with me, and I’m suspicious.
  • Try Knights – This feels like a hard pass for me. I’m not particularly interested in rugby as a sport.

Summary

General thoughts – This season feels a lot more fantasy-heavy than some previous ones. It’s a genre I like, so it’s not like I have problem with that. As an overall approach, I’m probably going to try to watch fewer shows overall, but we’ll see how that goes. I feel like I say that every season.

Potentially covering – Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo, Vinland Saga

Definitely watching – Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou, Isekai Cheat Magician, Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zenai Kougeki, Kanata no Astra, Uchi no Ko no Tame Nareba, Given

Maybe watching – Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator, Maou-sama Retry, Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo, BEM, Cop Craft, Granbelm, Joshikousei no Mudazukai, Machikado Mazoku

Information and images pulled from Anichart.

Bungou Stray Dogs Episode 35: A secret duel to decide it all

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Ranpo chooses to fight

I guess the fight between the Port Mafia and the Armed Detective Agency wasn’t a lie after all. This week’s episode had some surprisingly entertaining interactions despite being mostly action-focused. I’m curious to see where this plot line is headed, since it’s looking grim.

Ranpo asks Atsushi to find Katai

It’s kind of weird for Ranpo to be the one gearing for a fight. I’m also not sure I like the fact that he conveniently gives Atsushi an out from the decision. Sure, it doesn’t necessarily go anywhere, but it seems like a quick way to cut off the conversation.

Katai is shot

Given the fact that he appears in the opening, I have a hard time believing that Katai is dead. I’m going to guess that Fyodor has him captured to keep him out of the fight.

Ranpo tricks Chuuya

Seeing Ranpo trick Chuuya was pretty awesome. Despite having no real combat effectiveness, Ranpo manages to neutralize a large threat from the Port Mafia with some help from Poe. It definitely took me a while to remember that Ranpo has no abilities, but it’s a cool scene.

Akutagawa sees himself in Kyouka

I definitely didn’t expect it, but this is a nice moment between Akutagawa and Kyouka. Akutagawa in particular seems to be softening with his interactions with Atsushi, so it’s nice to see him acknowledging that Kyouka has found her place. I like the idea that he sees himself in her and wishes her the best, even if she chose the other side.

The president meets with Mori

I was expecting the virus to fully incapacitate the two leaders, but it looks like we’re getting an epic fight instead. I’m curious to see the president in action a bit more, to be honest, but I look forward to seeing the fight overall.

Carole & Tuesday Episode 5: The big time

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The girls need money

It’s nice to see another wholesome episode, as the girls finally get something they could call their first performance. I also think it’s interesting that the series seems to focus more on its side characters than its main characters. We get weekly montages of the two girls interacting, but I feel like I understand what drives characters like Gus and Roddy more than Carole or Tuesday. I’m sure there’s still more to come, but it’s a fascinating thing to note.

Everyone ignores Gus

The opening of this week’s episode made me realize that the last two ideas were Roddy’s ideas, so it’s nice to see Gus’s input here. Even though Gus inevitably fails to set anything up himself, it does give a sense that he had the right idea all along.

Tao has some trust

I’m also enjoying the disparity between the girls and Angela as we continue to see more from her perspective. There’s this sense that Angela’s past gives her the advantage, which ends up working out for pacing. Her progress is marked by industry veterans and important people, which means that she has less trouble making progress. As a result, her screen time goes down, allowing the focus to naturally shift to Carole and Tuesday.

Roddy tries to vouch for the girls

I liked seeing a bit of Roddy’s thought process in this episode. I’ve been wondering for a while what motivates him, and he goes into it a bit this week. As he pretty much states, he mostly comes off as a fan with a general sense of adoration. He wants to help because of that, and he just happens to have some connections that come in handy.

Carole and Tuesday perform for the bar

Carole and Tuesday’s performance was a nice one. It’s nice that we get these weekly performances, and I like the atmosphere of the series. If I were to make one comment to the contrary, I’d say that this setting feels like it has a lot of potential for exploration that hasn’t really happened yet. It’s still early, though, so it’s more of what I’d like to see.

Tuesday's brother leaves

Tuesday’s brother was also surprisingly interesting in this episode. He initially seemed like he might take after his mother, but he ends up leaving Tuesday alone after he finds her, seemingly content to know that she’s okay. I like this idea that he could be an ally in the future, and it breaks from the character archetype I was expecting. I think it might have been cool if he’d taken the opportunity to talk to Tuesday before leaving, but it’s kind of a small point.

Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 5: Learning the ranks

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Urokodaki confronts the demon

With the series taking a step back from the fighting aspect, I think it’s starting to get more interesting. The emotional scene of Tanjirou’s return in this episode was nicely done. I did get the impression that it’s glossing over some things, which is surprising given that the episode starts with a repeat of the battle in the previous episode.

Tanjirou watches the demon die

I’m glad the series is maintaining this idea that Tanjirou sees the demons differently. It makes a lot of sense given what he’s seen in Nezuko, but the episode does a good job of showing it in smaller interactions. Whenever he kills a demon, he looks on the demon with pity. Despite the hatred he felt for the demon in the previous episode, he only hopes for the best for the soul forced to become a demon. It could make him a better character to watch in the future.

Tanjirou searches for answers

It’s almost comical to see Tanjirou attempting to interrogate demons as he’s cutting them down. I have to give him credit, though. He definitely knows where his priorities are.

Only four survive

Hey, look. The characters with distinctive character appearances survived. But in all seriousness, I’d be curious to see how the butterfly girl survived the entire ordeal without any dirt or scratches involved. Additionally, a later scene mentions that there were five survivors, rather than four. In the opening, we saw a guy wearing a boar mask, so I guess it’s probably him.

Also, why does it make sense to give the applicants the demon-killing swords after they’ve finished the test. How were they meant to fight the demons otherwise? I thought that Urokodaki said that only a certain type of sword could kill demons.

Tanjirou tries to pick the right ore

I’m a little miffed that the episode skips over this scene with the ores. I got the sense that this is meant to be an important decision, and it effectively amounts to Tanjirou solving the problem with his magic sense of smell. Also, how did the others choose?

Nezuko greets Tanjirou

This scene definitely handled the emotional aspects well. The surprise of seeing Nezuko awake is coupled with her proactive attempt to greet Tanjirou. It really does separate her from the demons we’ve been seeing in the past couple of episodes. In addition, Urokodaki gets a strong contribution to the scene with his own greeting.

Also, I think I’m okay with the idea that Nezuko sleeps to recover herself without having to eat humans. I just hope the year-long time frame isn’t a recurring factor.

Tanjirou gets his sword

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Tanjirou’s origin makes him special somehow. I think he’d be more interesting if he wasn’t, but I can go with it. As for the color of his sword, we don’t really get much in this episode. Do the colors have general themes behind them?

Dororo Episode 15: Parting ways

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Dororo tries to stay a bit longer

This week’s episode felt like a strange, mixed bag. I thought that the general story was excellent, but the execution felt lacking. On the more obvious side, I felt like the animation in this episode was noticeably shaky compared to previous episode. But more than that, I thought that the general pacing of the episode was a bit forced, to the point where the message was potentially distorted.

Dororo investigates the warehouse

As I’ve said in previous episodes, I like seeing Dororo act independently. She eventually calls out to Hyakkimaru for help when she gets into trouble, but she ultimately gets out of the situation without him. It does a great job of setting up the ending of the episode, when she chooses to part ways from Hyakkimaru.

The villagers sacrifice the orphans

I also liked the idea that the villagers were directly responsible for the death of the nun and the orphans. I don’t know if the episode really makes it clear why they did it, but it does set it up well. While outwardly nice, the villagers are shown to be clearly guarded around Dororo, indicating that there’s more to the village than the lord himself.

Dororo reunites with Hyakkimaru

What I thought was less clear was Lord Sabame’s role in whole ordeal. He’s shown in the same scene that depicts the nun’s death, but Dororo seems to imply that the villagers acted without his intervention. Additionally, the aftermath scene heavily suggests that he sacrifices himself to stop the fire that Dororo started, which could mean that he was just trying to help.

Hyakkimaru regains another organ

It’s been a while since Hyakkimaru got an organ, and this one was a bit gruesome. I’m still a bit underwhelmed by the fight with the moth, since Hyakkimaru just kind of confronts it and immediately kills it. It did manage to escape him a few times throughout this story, but this is kind of a weird climax. Also, I wonder what the implications of getting his spine back are. Does he have faster reflexes now?

Dororo questions her actions

I quite enjoyed seeing Dororo question the pair’s actions by the end of the episode. While it’s true that the villagers committed a heinous crime, it’s hard to truly say that they deserved to have everything burned to the ground. Even though Dororo wasn’t directly responsible for the fire, it’s interesting that she questions whether their arrival ultimately ruined the town.

Dororo leaves Hyakkimaru

I think that seeing Dororo leave Hyakkimaru behind in her frustration makes things interesting as well. While her run-in with Itachi clearly gives Hyakkimaru a reason to “save” her and prove that he cares for more than killing demons, I appreciate how she acts upon her own doubts.

Bungou Stray Dogs Episode 27: The real god

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Dazai chastises Chuuya for using brute force

This story doesn’t really have any brakes, does it? This week’s episode basically blazes forward from the setup in the first episode. I like how this arc is shining the spotlight on how broken Dazai while he was in the Port Mafia. He makes jokes, but he doesn’t have the goofy attitude we see in the present. I also like Chuuya’s addition into the story, since it would probably be less interesting if it was just another prequel arc solely devoted to Dazai.

Dazai is annoyed at doing more work

The episode starts off from where it left off last week with Chuuya and Dazai facing off against some armed mercenaries. I do like how the fight acts to contrast the two. Chuuya takes a more direct approach, relying on his overwhelming strong abilities to take out multiple foes. On the other hand, Dazai’s power only works against those with abilities, so he tends to avoid combat when necessary.

Dazai confronts Chuuya

However, I think it’s more than just a brains and brawn scenario. As we see later in the episode, Chuuya is perfectly capable of piecing together the evidence. It seems more like he prefers the direct approach, which is likely aided by his ability. So, he isn’t just dumb. I think that’s why he’s able to work well Dazai, and it explains why Dazai calls him lazy.

Dazai cruelly kills the soldier

The episode also reveals a more sadistically cruel side to Dazai, which I think is interesting. He goes through the effort of asking for permission to finish off the dying soldier, but he also displays a sick sense of pleasure while shooting him.

Randou is busted

Given how few characters were introduced in this arc so far, it wasn’t particularly hard to guess that Randou was the one behind the recent attacks. The whole thing with the sea was a nice touch, but I wasn’t too surprised. I’m much more curious about the fact that Chuuya claims to be Arahabaki.

Chuuya talks about Arahabaki

Again, there aren’t too many characters in this arc, so there are only so many options for this Arahabaki thing, but I’m looking forward to seeing how Dazai reacts to it. He seems a bit taken aback in this episode, but I’m guessing he had some kind of suspicion. After all, he asked the other Sheep members for more details about Arahabaki after already deducing that Randou was behind the recent attacks.