Re:Creators Episode 12: Welcome to the Thunderdome

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I honestly wasn’t expecting to see more to Sota’s story this week. I think his actions make a bit more sense now. I admit that Sota’s past does bring up a bunch of points for discussion, which makes it interesting. This episode kinda hyped me up for an epic fight between all of the creations, but the conversation at the end of the episode made it sound like the event is still further down the road. It looks like we’ve still got some more characters to introduce. Altair’s team is looking a bit thin.

I guess Alicetaria doesn’t have any good company now that Mamika is dead. Also, this scene seems to act as a minor introduction to Blitz, who has been rather mysterious up to now.

This scene seems pretty damning for Sota, but I still see no particular problem with his actions. It was probably easier to forgive him when his only crime was inaction, but the scene shows him actively pushing Shimazaki away in the text conversation. That being said, I find it hard to fault him because all of the negative events surrounding Shimazaki came from independent sources. Sure, you can argue that Sota was the one person who could have pulled her out of her dark place, but I don’t think it’s correct to fault him for not being in the right mental state to do that. It still seems like an honest mistake to me.

One last farewell…

I can get behind Matsubara’s assessment of the situation. While Sota might not ultimately responsible, his guilt shows a willingness to take responsibility for what he did rather than make excuses for himself. It shows that he has grown from the encounter, which is all you can really ask.

Is it finally time for Alicetaria to actually think about her position?

I’m willing to give Alicetaria’s creator some leeway in this situation since I probably wouldn’t be able to think straight either. That being said, I have issues with how little responsibility he takes for his story when faced with his protagonist. Maybe it’s meant to parallel with Sota’s story about Shimazaki or something. I just don’t understand how he can sit there and say that Alicetaria has more control over the outcome of her world than he does when he writes it all.

Another possible explanation is he’s acknowledging that Alicetaria’s world would continue to exist after he stops writing about it. If he never planned to write a story about how the world gets saved, he could be saying that Alice will be the one to do it when he stops scripting her.

I hadn’t really thought about it before this point, but this is actually a really cool concept for Altair’s character. Basically, she has no legitimate story and is instead recognized by the “audience” as a sort of meme character. Because of that, she can be inserted into any story, which explains how she is able to interact with creations and pull them into our world. Basically, it’s not enough that she has multiple secondary creations. The audience accepts that she is that type of character. She effectively exists to be a reference.

Darn, I was a bit premature with my attempted explanation last week. I guess we finally get the explanation for Selesia’s power now.

You’re going to join the good guys?

So, the protagonists’ plan is to create the crossover character cage match that this series was meant to be? I have no problem with this. I’m actually just curious about the fact that they call it a “story world”. Are they creating another world to spare our world from the stress of that many powers being used? They also make it sound like they’re trying to make it a spectator event, so I’m not sure I get how that would work.

A new character!

Little Witch Academia Episode 24: Closing the loop

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I stand by my disappointment with how this story has gone, but I still think that this episode did a decent job of wrapping things up. I didn’t really have any issues with Chariot and Akko’s reconciliation. On the other side of things, I’m not sure how I feel about Croix turning into a redeemable character. I would have been more convinced if last week’s episode didn’t set her up as a perpetually jealous character who was sabotaging Chariot from the beginning. I guess I’m just not convinced. Anyway, we’ll see how everything goes next week.

I don’t doubt that improving magic with science is possible in a world with magic, but it’s still a pretty funny thing to say.

Wow…they even added a lightsaber hum. This scene went full Star Wars.

I’m so surprised about this entrance that I’m questioning why Chariot didn’t bring in the other professors earlier. Though based on her reaction to their entrance, Chariot probably didn’t call them here.

Despite a huge boost of energy from human emotion, Croix still needs to drain the leyline of its magic. It’s probably because it makes it harder for the other witches to stop her or because she needs even more energy, but we’ll save that for later explanation.

Also, how convenient that Akko and friends are in the leyline when the magic goes out, which put them in Arcturus Forest in the very first episode. It’s like we’re coming all the way back around.

I wasn’t expecting a physical object to represent the world reconstruction magic, but I guess it’s just a stick.

I would say something about this scene, but I’ve met people who think this way, so I really can’t complain.

The one time the big death machine doesn’t have a self-destruct sequence…

This might actually be interesting. At first, I assumed that the Noir Rod went crazy because it received too much negative emotion, but I wanted it to be linked with Croix’s own emotional instability. Since Chariot never once triggered the Fuel Spirit, she’s probably doing the same now. So the Noir Wand probably isn’t rebelling against its master. It’s targeting another source of Fuel Spirit energy.

We really are coming full circle.

This feels like a familiar message…

I have to admit that the brief silence and “clicking” sound effect that happens right before the magic fully activates made me wonder if the spell would work on the first try. It was funnier than I expected it to be.

Hold on. We need to solve one last crisis before we’re done here.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 11: What am I missing?

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This episode was just frustrating to watch. There were a couple of interesting revelations, but I didn’t come out of that episode with a very good impression. I think a lot of it has to do with a general “is that all there is to it?” response to everything that gets revealed. Anyway, next week’s episode is the ending, and it seems like we have a determined plan for the main characters. Let’s see how it goes.

I guess they made it a point to show that Zero and Thirteen diverge on the incantation for this spell. Since Zero is the creator of magic, I’m assuming that she changes the spell based on her knowledge of the underlying nature of magic.

I literally have no idea what’s going on with this magic battle. Thankfully, there’s some convenient mouth blood to tell me who’s winning.

Here’s what I don’t understand. If Zero rejects all magic in Wenias, how does “spreading the knowledge” again allow the Sorcerers of Zero to regain their magic? Don’t they already have that knowledge? Also, Albus is unintentionally proposing that the Sorcerers of Zero should be the sole authority deciding who gets magic and how it will be used. Maybe she’s just trying to trick the Sorcerers of Zero into following her plan, but it seems like a questionable idea at face value.

I get that Mercenary isn’t supposed to be that smart, but this reveal doesn’t feel like much…

Eh…I’m willing to grant you this cheap laugh. Fine.

I’m a bit conflicted about this scene. On the one hand, I think it’s a great revelation that Zero purposely put mistakes into her grimoire in an attempt to control its power. On the other hand, I didn’t really need to see a flashback of the first scene in this episode just to point out the fact that the incantations were different. That was pretty noticeable the first time I saw it.

Well, that was easy.

Is this just a convenient way of giving the Sorcerers of Zero a way to find Albus as she attempts to set up the giant magic circle? Why does Albus even hold out the map if she doesn’t need it? The other possibility is that she’s now lost without the map, but I’m hoping that’s not the case.

This might be a weird question, but where the heck did the Sorcerers of Zero in this scene go? They were surrounding Holdem and Albus before they were restrained by vines. They never appear again for the remainder of the episode.

I wasn’t going to say anything when the gem camera was first introduced, but this scene has forced my hand. Before Albus tests the camera with her hand, she is clearly angled away from Thirteen, but he is still somehow the only person on the projection.

Huh…I wasn’t expecting Thirteen to show remorse.

Also, you know what might be fun? What if the novice witch who started the plague was Albus?

What does this prove? Even if Thirteen annuls Albus’s contract, every other contract remains. Even if the Sorcerers of Zero are currently hunting Albus, I’m sure she still feels devoted to them. It’s not like she would eradicate them all by killing Thirteen.

Re:Creators Episode 11: Stop bully

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Wow, this episode felt like a lot of information. While I was a little disappointed in the predictability of Sota’s backstory, it’s nice to see it out on the table. The conversation Sota has with Rui in the first half of the episode was a great motivation for the reveal. I’m almost willing to say that Sota’s secrecy was worth it. Either way, we’ve hit the halfway point and it seems like we’ve come so far. I’m really curious to see where the series goes from here. It feels like we could easily have a final episode next week, so I’m looking forward to see what else is in store.

Given what happened to Selesia in last week’s episode, it’s a bit of a dick move to open the episode with Meteora. I know it immediately cuts to Selesia, but I still wanted to point it out.

Yeah, those seem like two relatively equal events.

I’m not sure if we’re going to get a full explanation, so I’ll give it a shot. Since everyone initially accepted the design after seeing the picture on social media, Selesia was able to gain the abilities depicted in the image. The reason the power went away was probably because there wasn’t enough of a story built around the power for the readers to accept it as part of the story.

There’s something about Matsubara’s line here and the specific terminology that’s used to describe the influence of the readers that makes me feel a bit excluded. It makes it sound like the reader truly has to see the life in a story in order to give life to a Creation like Selesia. I’ve never been one to think that way about a story. But then again, maybe it’s enough just to see the humanity of the fictional character and identify the traits that map to yourself. I can do that.

Huh…I hadn’t noticed because Rui didn’t have much of a role before this episode, but he’s actually perfect to have this pep talk with Sota. Most mecha anime protagonists start as whiny brats who are then thrust into the heat of war. As someone who has made it through this process, Rui would know Sota’s feelings better than anyone else.

It’s a bit strange that Rui thinks this way, but still prefers his own world. You could say that the very act of coming to this world has opened that same ability for himself. Now, he’s no longer constrained by the god of his world. But maybe that’s not case. I guess Rui will eventually have to return to his story and save his world. That path is already set. He could choose to forsake it, but it goes against his character, which is also set. There might be an interesting discussion about will in here somewhere.

An earlier screen showed a monitor with the words “Auto Drive” on it. Does Rui really need Sota to grab the phone for him if he’s not driving the Gigas Machina? Is this scene put here just to make a joke about mecha pilot bodysuits?

Woohoo! Finally!

First dates…

Seriously? Did we really need this? It’s bad enough that they’re able to get to these rafters without trouble. This random forced tension just feels strange. It’s almost like they’re trying to tease the suicide in Shimazaki’s future.

I’m sure it wouldn’t have fit Sota’s character, but I would have found his hesitation much more believable if he had instigated the online witch hunt against Shimazaki’s work. Of course, I can understand why he would still feel guilty for not being able to help his friend, but I guess I don’t see that as a crippling level of guilt. I guess my mind is a bit strange because I would see Shimazaki’s success as motivation to do better myself.

Little Witch Academia Episode 23: Renewed hope?

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This episode had more worried for a bit. I was disappointed with Chariot’s story in the beginning of the episode, but I liked Diana’s conversation with Akko near the end. I guess I was expecting a bit more from Chariot’s background than what we got, so it felt like wasted potential. That being said, I’m still curious to see where the series will go with the final Word. Based on the quote from the Shiny Chariot card that Diana gives to Akko, I wonder if the final Word has to do with trusting someone else. Maybe Akko needs to entrust the final Word to Diana in order to make it work. That could be a fun way to end things.

Diana’s on the case! Since Diana knows that Ursula left to find Akko, her actions make a lot of sense. I always appreciate scenes like this.

This seems familiar.

This explanation of Chariot’s backstory is overall pretty disappointing so far. First off, Croix’s dissent is literally boiled down to jealousy about the Shiny Rod. The earlier reveals suggested there was more to Croix than that, but it seems like that’s all we get.

More importantly, I feel like there could have been more interesting ways to explain Chariot’s use of Dream Fuel Spirit. At the end of the day, Croix is just the ultimate villain of the series, tricking Chariot into using unsafe magic. I was thinking that the nature of her shows might force her to resort to using an alternate means of fueling her magic, since she couldn’t carry a Sorcerer’s Stone around with her. Alternatively, there could have just been a darker side to Chariot in the past…that would have worked too.

This entire scene suggests that Chariot only used the Dream Fuel Spirit on one show. I get why that might weigh on her conscience, but that seems like an honest mistake.

I’m not sure I’m willing to buy into this “more magic means more entertainment” idea. It feels like a general lack of resource management and creativity from Chariot. I suppose it’s stated that she isn’t a great witch, so that might make sense. I wonder if this scene is trying to suggest that Akko succeeds in that respect, using what little magic she can muster to provide entertainment.

She knows!

Ouch, Diana is coming up pretty big in this scene. I found it impressive enough that she didn’t flip out at Ursula taking her magic as a child. This line is just adding even more.

Diana’s probably the best character to find Akko in this situation.

I like how the scene blows past this revelation. It adds to the story, but there’s no reason to dwell on it.

I’m enjoying this conversation between Diana and Akko. Diana’s position is almost like a future state for Akko. She can see the paths that Akko and essentially gives her preference.

You could say that Diana believes in Akko’s heart that believes in her.

I can’t see this ending well.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 10: The master plan

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I think my complaint with this week’s episode is the same thing I said last week. Characters seem to appear for no reason and do things only to be tossed aside after that happens. And while I don’t think Thirteen is a convincing antagonist, I will admit that he was at least set up as the antagonist. I still don’t understand how the blood contract works, though. Presumably, the contract is the reason that witches disintegrate when they try to attack him, so how are they going to be able to kill him? I’m assuming he doesn’t expect them all to come attack him one-by-one and disintegrate. Anyway, I guess next week’s episode is the big finish. I have no idea what will happen in the final episode of this series.

That’s very discreet, Mercenary.

Yeah, that makes sense! Plus, you have gravity on your side! We’ve even seen Mercenary fall down the cliff once already.

I’m willing to accept that Zero is still upset about Mercenary’s unwillingness to return her feelings, but she sure does go through a spectrum of emotions in this scene.

Thirteen’s not very creative with his traps, is he? It almost feels like this could have been foreseen…

I haven’t been keeping track of the distinction between “sorcery” and “magic” in this world. I’m pretty sure Zero created magic, so is Albus suggesting that they deny all magic and then spread it again? What does that accomplish? Is she just saying “we’ll do it better this time”?

I was pretty sure that Thirteen was Him, but I couldn’t accept that everyone in the Sorcerers of Zero could follow someone they had never seen. Since Thirteen was obviously an enemy of the group, I expected that most of the Sorcerers of Zero would know him as the Sorcerer of the State. If this series wanted this reveal to hit harder, they could have at least given some form of justification for a group that could follow a nameless leader.

I’ll admit that using the blood contract to trick the witches into killing themselves is clever. However, it makes the Sorcerers of Zero even more idiotic if they swore a blood contract with someone they’ve never seen.

This is some series “old guy ex machina”.

I think this scene is meant to show that Thirteen isn’t truly evil, but I dunno how willing I am to agree. The witches in the cave leave a big hole in this argument. How did they die if Thirteen claims innocence? Also, I would have been more willing to accept that the Sorcerers of Zero were themselves responsible for all of the horrible things they did if we hadn’t just seen them receiving an order from Him. You expect me to believe that Thirteen never gave similar directions?

This might be the one part of the episode I didn’t mind. Mercenary uses his head for once and uses the limited information that Thirteen gave him to beat him. I don’t even mind that Mercenary basically gives away his plan while he’s figuring it out. Anger is a difficult emotion to control, so Thirteen probably didn’t even realize how much he was being manipulated.

Sigh…I guess this has the same amount of validity as Thirteen’s statements.

This scene seems familiar…

Re:Creators Episode 10: Power of the people

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This episode seems to mark an introduction for the creators as more active contributors to the story. I’m looking forward to seeing what implications this will have for the series, especially since I wasn’t expecting it to be a temporary effect. I also don’t really mind giving Magane a weapon. She made a lot less sense in the cast as a non-combatant, so having Hangaku gives her means to participate legitimately in combat. I just wish they could have set up Mirokuji a bit more. I didn’t expect him to fall for Magane’s power again after having it explained to him just last episode. Next week is the halfway point for the series. I’m hoping it’s fun.

I suppose it makes sense for Alice to be the most seasoned fighter in the cast given her frustrating mental abilities. Plus, Mirokuji comes off as a street fighter in comparison.

Help Selesia? What’s going on with Selesia? I’m going to assume this is a mistaken translation.

As much as I find Magane’s character interesting, it makes no sense that she’s alive. She’s fighting unarmed against Mirokuji and Hangaku. Just how strong is she supposed to be?

I’m not sure I’m fully convinced by this scene yet. I understand how Magane could figure out who Hangaku is based on historical knowledge, but I don’t get how she figures out that Mirokuji sees her as a curse. That being said, I guess it’s not completely relevant to how Magane seems to be trying to capture Hangaku.

I’m glad to see that Sota’s finally doing something. I wonder if it would have been more effective to say that we, as readers, feel an even greater sense of helplessness when reading stories like Alice’s story because we can’t do anything to change the outcome. That’s the line of thinking I would use. I guess Sota’s argument about looking up to Alice works too.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand how Alice’s mind works. I get that her construction of Mamika’s death is consistent with the information that Altair has been feeding her, but I don’t get why she chooses to ignore the lying nature of Magane. She was probably the most insistent about the fact that Magane is a pathological liar. Eh, I guess I have to accept that grief sucks for anime characters. I also can’t completely blame her. Sota and Meteora could have put a lot more effort into disputing the claim that Meteora killed Mamika, but they give up on that pretty quickly.

Wow, these are some mad hacks from Altair. I guess she brought everyone into the world, so it would make sense that she has some control over them, even if it’s limited to their tools. To look at it from another perspective, though, I want to point out that Selesia’s attack didn’t really make sense from the beginning. Why would you aim at the point of a lance?

I’m curious…is this entire sequence meant to just break Alice? I don’t understand how she can continue to serve Altair after this unless she just snaps.

Aww man. The mecha finally gets a chance to fight and it has to fight a clone of itself.

There’s a message about needing the readers to work together with the content creators to build a true story in here somewhere. There’s probably also a statement in here somewhere about the number of otaku and news bloggers are responding to an image posted in the middle of the night.

We finally figured out how to hack these characters! Now, we can get to the cool stuff.

I look forward to seeing the explanation for this.

Little Witch Academia Episode 22: The truth

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Phew…that was a hell of an episode. This second half of the series has really been a completely different series if you compare it to the first half. I was definitely not expecting the Shiny Chariot reveal to play out like this. I take back every complaint I made about Ursula’s reluctance to tell Akko her secret. This reveal does such a great job of explaining so many elements of the series, like Akko’s lack of magical skill and the general disdain for Shiny Chariot in the magical world. It even explains why Diana lost her magic as a child. I’m glad that this series was hiding such an interesting underlying story. I’m definitely curious where this goes, because I’m guessing Chariot had a reason for using the Dream Fuel Spirit. Croix’s not completely off the hook yet.

You sure about that? There are still three episodes left? You probably don’t want to rush it.

I’m sure that Croix has a hand in all of this, but it’s still pretty silly that countries are going to war over the outcome of a soccer game. That would definitely never happen in real life…right? Plus, the whole “goal/no goal” thing makes it sound like it was a dispute about a decision that the game officials made. Why would it spark enmity between nations?

Am I the only person who’s a little too suspicious about the fact that Ursula says “almost” here?

I would get mad, but they showed us Diana in the scene right before this one. It was practically a given that she would intrude on this meeting right as Ursula was about to tell Akko about Shiny Chariot. We have to save that for the climax, right?

The “almost” strikes! Nice to see that last week’s episode didn’t magically fix everything.

They’re friends now!

Using youtube videos to spark controversy? Where have I seen this before?

Also “discription”.

While I don’t disagree with Croix’s statement that the anger comes from within the citizens, I’m pretty sure we’ve already seen evidence that she was provoking them. Anger is a normal thing, but she threw gas on the fire.

I’m kinda curious about what the master plan is. You gather a bunch of magic and do what with it?

It’s happening!

Come again?

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 9: Picking up the pace

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While I understood some of the reasoning in this episode, a lot of the plot developments seemed really sudden. I can see why Albus might be on board with eradicating magic now, but the change seemed a bit abrupt as a reaction to a random comment from Mercenary. Similarly, the plan is devised and put into action without much discussion. It’s almost like the series is rushing towards an ending. And if Zero rejects all magic, do they still need the Grimoire?

Also, I don’t mind the rivalry between Mercenary and Holdem, but I wasn’t a big fan of how it was presented in this episode. At the rate the series is currently going, we could be moving towards an actual resolution, but we’ll see how it’s handled.

This is going to be an annoyance in the future, isn’t it? Also, this initial discussion about Albus makes it sound like she was just faking her gender to hide her identity. It also made it sound like she naturally looked androgynous, so this was easy to do. That’s as minimal as an explanation could get. Surely there’s more to it than that.

There’s no way the Grimoire is in the hands of some random mob character, right? Do we even know any other characters that could have the Grimoire?

If this mysterious “Him” turns out to just be some dude, I’ll be very disappointed. They’ve been pretty guarded when referencing Him and it’s not like there are many characters in this series.

So…the big plan is a giant transmutation circle under the kingdom. Where have I seen this before? Either way, this plan seemed to come out of nowhere.

Weird…this handles the inconsistency I noticed from last week, but it still doesn’t explain why Mercenary seemed to react in pain. Was he just reacting to the sight of it?

How are they going to get back to that place if they were teleported to this city? I guess Holdem followed them, so it can’t be too far.

I’m not sure I like the mirrored banter between Holdem and Mercenary. Also, didn’t these guys hear the witches say that they can’t harm Mercenary? What was that guy even going to do?

I thought we were done with this guy. Honestly, I was expecting them to say that Mercenary was attached to Zero enough to allow for the divination, but I guess they couldn’t set him on fire.

Wait, they’re already starting on the giant magic circle? I’m guessing they’re not planning on getting more than two circles done before Mercenary rescues Zero.

Why did Albus use chalk for the first circle when it’s apparently so important to make these circles hard to erase? It’s not like there weren’t trees available.

These guys go from ally to enemy really quickly. How did the mysterious “Him” even know that Albus was trying to dispel all magic in the kingdom? Did I miss something?

Mercenary seems to be having fun.

Re:Creators Episode 9: Element of chaos

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I know that Magane’s got a bit of a weird personality, but this episode really made me like her more as a character. Sure, she introduces a lot of chaos to the series, but I find her behavior to be very consistent and reasonable based on her goal. I was also surprised that Mamika actually died. It gives this series a good chance to show us how they’re going to treat character death. Anyway, I think I say enough in the rest of the post, so I’ll leave it at that! Next week, Alice might end up defecting or something…

Magane seems like she would be the most interesting character to find a dying Mamika. Sure, we might want Alice to finally come to her senses, but this is an encounter between the most developed character in the series and the newest character. Also, did she just eat a blood-coated corndog?

Mamika could give at least part of her message to Alice here, but instead chooses to say her name multiple times. She was at the riverbed with Alice, so she should know better than to trust Magane, but I guess she’s probably not thinking straight due to the general lack of oxygen to her brain. Plus, stories need misunderstandings, right?

Wow, Mamika actually got an on-screen death. That’s pretty definitive. I honestly wasn’t sure whether they’d actually let her die. Of course, there’s always the possibility that she gets brought back as an enemy later since Altair’s able to reach into other worlds. But that’s definitely not going to happen…

This misdirection fits Magane’s character, but Alice’s reaction to this is frustrating. Also, Magane specifies that Mamika’s message involved someone who’s “actually trying to destroy the world”, which Alice should really suspect because she already knows that Altair is trying to destroy this world. Magane wouldn’t know that, so she wouldn’t be able to tell that Mamika says “they were right” to indicate that Altair means to destroy every world, not just the one they’re currently inhabiting. This is why I think Magane’s behavior makes sense while Alice’s behavior doesn’t. Maybe just use the trauma excuse…

While this is kinda funny to watch, I have to point out that we’re watching Magane brag about how easily she tricked Alice without technically lying. Surely this isn’t difficult to accomplish.

I quite enjoyed watching Magane’s breakdown of Sota’s body language and her subsequent deductions. Even if she’s somewhat chatty, she certainly adds to the show with it.

So now Magane’s blackmailing Sota into misleading Selesia? I can’t even get upset with her because it’s really Sota’s own fault for being in this situation.

I know this looks like a simple statement that Magane watched her bleed to death, but I wonder if the “so much blood” part is meant to make fun of the excessive blood trope in anime.

Oh boy…another reason for Sota to beat himself up inside…

Mirokuji’s here to save the day! I knew I was right to believe in this guy.

He still hasn’t told Meteora about his connection Altair, but I’ll take this as a sign that he’ll be doing it when the battle dies down. Finally!

What exactly does Meteora mean when she says Magane can reverse cause and effect? Is it just a world-bending power? And does the effect have to relate to the lie she forces the target to deny?

That can’t be good.