Caligula Final Episode (12): That seemed a bit excessive

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Well, this series was a mess, but we made it through. I don’t think this final episode was that bad, but the show overall felt like it skipped around too much. Maybe it’s just the inevitable limitation of the game adaptation.

This is the kind of line you’d expect before a character death. Aria definitely disappears before Ritsu confronts Mu, so I guess she disappears along with the corrupted Mu.

Any particular reason why this story had to be said now? It doesn’t contribute to battle, but I guess it’s just so we can get that one epilogue scene.

My biggest complaint with this episode is Thorn. She’s really not convincing as a final antagonist, and I find it hard to just accept that she was masterminding everything in the background. Maybe I’m expecting too much.

Noooo, the only relationship we actually saw in Mobius!

I guess we’re referencing back to the first episode again. If I had known that this was what the psychology in this series was amounting to, I wouldn’t have focused so much on it. Anyway, I suppose Ritsu standing on “Blind” to indicate his intentional ignorance in Mobius. And maybe Mu is supposed to be the “Hidden” secret that he keeps from others.

There’s something off-putting about this ending. When you step back and think about it, Ritsu literally just destroyed the bad AI and replaced it with a fresh one. Doesn’t that seem a little sketchy?

Final Score: 6/10 Promising at first, and I could kinda see what the story was getting at. But the story itself felt like it was skipping a lot, which made me really focus on the moments that seemed to be wasting time. “Emotional backstories” often felt like quick tidbits to garner sympathy (other than Ritsu’s story).

Caligula Episode 11: Hey, some actual answers

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This week’s episode was better than I was expecting, mostly because the show is starting to make some sense. I think I’m probably too far gone with this series to call it a redemption, though. There are still plenty of things that I thought were questionable.

Honestly, the “true Ritsu” reveal wasn’t the most surprising thing, but I respect how it was portrayed. I was thinking that it was weird to see the real life Ritsu speaking from the perspective of the Mobius Ritsu. However, I think the idea is that we’re hearing the thoughts from the Mobius Ritsu while the camera is focused on the real life Ritsu. They’re both technically in the scene, after all. I can get behind that.

This news report really bothered me. The fact that Shadow Knife used the Virtuadoll app should have been made clear when he first contracted the Astral Syndrome. His death does nothing to link him more to the app because it’s not like he was using the app while he was unconscious. So, I don’t see how this development is further proof of the connection between the app and Astral Syndrome. If anything, it’s just an indication of how severe the stakes are.

Oops, it looks like I spoke too soon last week when I concluded that Thorn was controlling Marie. I honestly hadn’t considered that she was secretly Wicked. I must not have been paying enough attention. Either way, I guess it’s a boss fight?

I’m still going to take a partial win for guessing that Ritsu imprinted on his psychiatrist. Given what we’ve learned about the real Ritsu, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the therapy sessions are a more likely explanation for the psychology interest in Mobius.

Hooray? Kensuke was a good guy after all? He seemed too easy as the traitor anyway.

Character background stories!

Given the way Thorn talks about Ichika, I suppose she’s someone who liked Ichika from a distance and was sad about her suicide.

Darn, I guess Aria’s not evil…

Also, I’m still not convinced about Ritsu as a main character yet. The real life Ritsu states that he has changed, but he’s still charging ahead on his own.

Caligula Episode 10: That really escalated quickly

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This show’s really leaving me in a constant state of confusion. I was mostly okay with the idea of spending the episode going through each character’s background before Mobius (because it’s about time), but then the grenade flew into the room and all bets were off. It doesn’t help that most of the character stories had to be done quickly to get through each of them, so some of the stories ended up feeling incomplete.

I like where this idea is going. Aria’s missing? Excellent!

If this series ending at episode 12, then this is absurdly late in the game to be doing introductions. It’s pretty common for game adaptations with large casts to cover each character in the context of some sort of battle. It might be overused, but there’s an argument to be made for that approach over this group session. This episode feels more like grinding things to a halt to do something that should have been handled already.

Shougo’s story feels like a tamer version of the one from Re:Creators, but his reaction is way more exaggerated. How dare he chicken out from a suicide pact? What a monster?

This idea of interpreting suffering and “personal hells” differently is actually really interesting, but it doesn’t go anywhere. Where’s Ritsu when you need him?

No comment.

Is it just me or does this explanation from Izuru add absolutely nothing to the previous explanation to IkeP?

Okay, what?

Given that Thorn was listening to the entire conversation, I think it’s pretty that she’s in control somehow. But that was some entrance…

Caligula Episode 9: All that to set up a trap

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This show is still a mess, but I’m willing to say that the scene at the end could be interesting. At the very least, the introduction of a traitor in the main party suggests that the lack of teambuilding so far is intentional. Maybe these guys are not supposed to trust each other. That being said, the show definitely continues to feel like it’s relying on information (or knowledge) that it hasn’t actually presented.

I might be putting too much thought into this idea, but I really want Aria to be secretly evil. I know it conflicts with revelations from later in the episode, but I like the idea of having her manipulate things from the background. Otherwise, her role seems a bit weak.

This conversation about what each character will do after leaving Mobius actually brings up a good point. We’re 9 episodes in, and I honestly don’t feel like I could answer that question for any given character. It’s kind of an awkward display of how little we know about these characters.

Kotarou and Shadow Knife have a bit of a weird interaction. I can’t honestly say I side with either of them. On the one hand, Shadow Knife is clearly taking his grudge too far, but Kotarou’s rigid sense of righteousness also rubs me the wrong way.

Ahh, yes. This guy clearly has a rock-solid form of justice. Totally fair!

I mean…okay. I’m not actually sure how much we gain from learning this.

How fun would it be if Thorn was somehow trapped in Mobius because her real self died after Shougo failed to save her? I doubt that this is the case, but it would fit with what we know so far.

So, Ritsu betraying his friends and opening the door makes for an interesting development. However, I hope there’s more to it. He doesn’t seem believable as a total traitor, at least not one who feeds information to the Musicians.

Caligula Episode 8: Does this count as filling the gaps?

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This episode was a really weird one. It goes back to help fill in the gaps from the previous episode, but the stories that were presented for IkeP and Izuru both felt incomplete. More importantly, I still don’t see any reason why this episode couldn’t have preceded last week’s episode. I couldn’t point to any part of the episode that benefited from messing with chronology.

IkeP was technically the focus of the episode, but his story felt pretty dull. It’s never really spelled out, but it seems like he has a typical background of being laughed at by girls.

Given this guy’s reveal in the previous episode, I’m kinda disappointed in hearing the story of how he actually joined the Go-Home Club. He just…joined. There’s no real fuss about it.

Okay, I suppose life just sucks for the Musicians without Mu. I’m not going to lie…it was entertaining to see, but it doesn’t really do much more than that.

Was this episode supposed to count as a background episode for Izuru? I didn’t feel like I understood what his deal was. Did he hate the attention he got from his face in the real world? Still, I’m glad that the episode at least explained his weird response in the previous episode. I think it might have been when someone was asking him if anything happened while he was buying the meatballs.

Hold on. Is this a setup for a final battle? The timing feels like it could work out if every character had a spotlight moment in the fight.

Caligula Episode 7: Break time

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This episode really seemed to emphasize the lack of urgency in this series. The episode was mostly nothing except for Ritsu’s encounter with Mu, but it basically ends with the main characters saying they were waiting for something to happen anyway. I’d be fine with a slow pace if it didn’t feel like the series was blatantly skipping things too.

While it was a bit dumb, I thought the Rescue Man stuff with Kotarou was pretty funny. At least he was doing something. Everyone else seems to have passed the month without doing anything to train for upcoming fights.

I can’t keep track of these people because they all gained powers at the same time. Marie is just a regular person who hasn’t noticed the truth of Mobius, right? I guess this will be relevant later.

I’m curious whether there’s more to this scene where Thorn tells the Musicians that they’re bringing Mu back. We just saw Mu in a conversation with Ritsu, so I’m wondering if Thorn is just misleading the Musicians as well.

The similarities between Ritsu’s memories and Mu’s own words seem to suggest that Ritsu is responsible for Mu’s creation. It would explain why she cares so much more for him over everyone else in Mobius. There’s also the possibility that Ritsu is related to that person in his memories, but it wouldn’t explain Mu’s own actions.

I was also entertaining the idea that Ritsu’s interest in psychology isn’t his own. Maybe he’s projecting the mindset of his psychiatrist. That thought may be stretching a bit too far, but it would make things interesting.

Wait, when did this guy join their team? Wasn’t he with the Musicians? Did I miss an episode?

Caligula Episode 6: The team is assembled already?

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I still don’t feel like I know what’s going on with this show, but this week’s episode felt like progress. The mass awakening is nice because it seems to indicate the beginning of the actual show, but it’s kinda odd that this is happening in episode 6. Surely, the series isn’t stopping at episode 12, right?

I was a bit skeptical about Kotono’s responses at the beginning of the episode, but she makes up for it later. Her earlier arguments are just about a fake world, which isn’t really a strong case against living in happiness. This scene where she talks about running from problems holds a bit more weight in my eyes.

I didn’t expect for everyone to gain their powers simultaneously, but I guess I’ll take it. Some of these characters haven’t really been set up at all, so I didn’t think they’d be able to go through the Catharsis step.

This show definitely isn’t Persona.

Wait, was the Shogo part of last week’s episode just some sort of flashback to his real life? He’s already awakened his power, so I would assume that he already remembered his past life. So, is he actually saying that he wants to go back to reality because he’s a murderer in reality?

I was going to laugh that Ritsu’s the only one who doesn’t get his powers, but I guess he just needed to be special.

So what? Is Ritsu personally related to Mu? She called him out in particular.

Caligula Episode 5: Finally some powers

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I’m really having trouble defending this series. It’s nice that this episode seems to mark a return to the fighting, but the episode definitely felt as if it had multiple stories going on simultaneously. I’m guessing this is just another consequence of being a game adaptation. This stuff’s happening, but it’s not making much sense.

So, let me see if I understood correctly. I gather that Kotono appears as a Digihead because she’s a brainwashed puppet in the Musicians’ water park scheme. That effect is separate from her ability to see Aria, which indicates that she’s regaining her memory. I feel like this could have been explained better.

Fun at a water park? Ritsu sure has his priorities straight.

Cheap joke, but knowing about masochism is pretty reasonable for someone who studies psychology as much as Ritsu does. Am I just supposed to believe that Kotarou doesn’t know anything about Ritsu yet?

This scene seems like it’s meant to be tangentially important. Why does being called a middle schooler bother Ritsu so much?

Wait…you’re just going to tell everyone your evil plan?

As ridiculous as this competition is, I have to admit that it was pretty entertaining.

Seriously, what’s going on with Mifue’s mom? She just randomly finds her mother in the background of the episode. To be fair, Shougo’s side was even worse. It looked like he was trying to stop a suicide, and we just have to watch without any background knowledge.

I think it’s kinda funny that Kotono unlocks her power before Ritsu does.

Caligula Episode 4: Music wars

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This week’s episode had some nice explanations for the Mobius world. I’m not sure I really liked how the Shounen Doll stuff played out, but I still think the overall concept of the show is interesting. Also, I guess everyone’s pretty much gathered together.

Well, this reference was not what I expected to see in a show like this.

I like the idea that Aria helped Mu create this world. I’m curious to know what they really are, though. Are they just AI vocaloids in a future setting?

I think it’s interesting that the Digiheads are brainwashed humans. I figured they’d just be computer-generated sentinels. I wonder how this concept could be used in a future episode.

So, you’re saying you activate Catharsis by facing your true self…err, repressed feelings.

Part of me wants Aria to be secretly the evil one all along (in the sense that she’s using the main characters to regain her powers). I feel like I should remember this random side comment about her memories being unreliable.

I was kinda hoping that Shounen Doll was brainwashing Suzuna to turn her into a Digihead or something. As it stands, Suzuna’s experience seems more self-contained, so that idea would make her seem more relevant.

Caligula Episode 3: Magical dreams

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This series is still at a weird point where I like a lot what I’m seeing, but the presentation weird enough to make me feel apprehension. The core behind the events of this episode seemed okay, but the timing seemed really awkward. Also, I think the story doesn’t set itself up enough, so a lot of Mifue’s background comes out of nowhere.

I guess this is a cameo for all of the bosses? Okay then…

This scene where Mifue attempts to act cute just to receive a blank response was funnier than I expected from this show. Definitely a good laugh.

I really felt like this scene didn’t quite go far enough. I think Mifue’s thing with her mother is interesting, but it didn’t quite add up. I understand that Mifue demonstrates her dislike of fat people, but the link with her mother is a bit shaky. If her mother’s intentionally starving herself, why is Mifue responsible? Did Mifue influence her mother’s decision to avoid overeating?

Additionally, SweetP’s “attack” felt like it was missing something. Does Mu only grant wishes based on the true feelings of the person making the wish? Is that an established fact? If not, SweetP’s claims are empty, which is kinda important from a viewer’s perspective.

After an episode showing brief glimpses of Ritsu walking through the town, it seems odd that the ending shifts the focus back to him. Was the ticking sound effect just supposed to indicate that time was enough to change his mind?