Well, that got real dramatic really quickly. I’m not surprised that the story took this turn, but I didn’t expect it to be quite to this level. I’d say the flimsiest piece of this puzzle was the part about stopping Shunsuke from time leaping to stop the plan. I get careful planning, but surely there was something that could be done, choosing a different driver, for example. The explanation I would have accepted from Shunsuke is such: I’ve already experienced the failures of time-leaping multiple times to prevent a single tragedy, so I don’t want to risk losing the time leap ability forever to potentially repeat that loop. As it stands, I think he accepted the enemy’s demands too easily, but maybe that’s just me.
I get the idea of making things look bleak by sealing the time leap ability, but at this point, the eventual happy ending is going to seem even more unrealistic/unbelievable than a normal happy ending. I guess it all depends on how important Kumagami was supposed to be as a character…I personally liked his character, but he does possess many of the traits of a side character. It’s highly likely that he just gets to remain dead. That being said, these shows are known for wrapping everything up nicely, so I’m not really holding my breath. I do wonder how they’re going to pull this one off, though. If it were me, I would make it have something to do with the fact that Yuu is the only person capable of remembering the events before his brother’s time leaps. It’s an anomaly that they even acknowledged this week, so I would try to make it relevant somehow if I were writing the story.
So this week’s episode resolves the time leap stuff. While I’m willing to concede that the details of Shunsuke’s power make sense and that many of my questions from last week were answered, there is an important question that was never answered. How did Yuu regain the memory of what happened before the time leap occurred? This week’s episode reinforces again and again the idea that no one can remember anything that happened in a timeline other than their own…why is Yuu different? My guess is that it’s a plot device and something that the producers hoped wouldn’t be noticed…is that too pessimistic? Honestly, I don’t even think it was necessary for him to remember that, but still…
A happy ending for all this week, right? However, there are still three episodes remaining. The show could go back to business as usual…it seems hard to do, though, since Yuu suddenly has this enhanced power and the ending of the series would definitely end up being weak. There needs to be some kind of goal, right? Maybe Yuu really tries to become a savior of sorts by joining Shunsuke and trying to take powers away from people to keep them from scrutiny. The other option is that Yuu becomes targeted in the final three episodes…maybe he has to time leap again to save himself. He flaunted his powers in front of the crazed girl this week to save Ayumi…what’s stopping her from telling people about his abilities?
I can’t say I’m completely surprised by the cop-out that the show has decided to use. Of all tropes, time travel is probably the easiest method used to fix tragedies and in a show about supernatural powers, it’s not too far-fetched. I think the more interesting fact from this week’s episode is that Yuu’s real power is that he can steal the power of any ability user that he possesses (I’m assuming that he actually stole the baseball player’s power without realizing it).
The reason I find Yuu’s power interesting is there is an implication of martyrdom in his power. Because the power is the only thing that interests researchers, Yuu is solely capable of saving every ability user in existence…by forcing all of the researchers’ attention on himself, he can free everyone else.
There are still a few things I don’t fully understand from this week’s episode, though. For one, why does everyone seem to remember what happened in the alternate timeline? Did Shunsuke simply tell them or does his power allow for some memories to remain? If so, does that mean that Kumagami’s ability to identify the ability user is simply his memory of the time in the lab? And does that mean that people from the lab remember the experiments and the ability users? I suppose Shunsuke could have found a way to erase their memories as well, but it seems like a Herculean task.
These questions may all be pointless given that Shunsuke is preparing to explain himself next week. Hopefully, we get some good answers, though. The biggest answer would be “why haven’t they leaped again to save Ayumi?” Obviously, they want to, but they can’t for some reason. Maybe Shunsuke can no longer use his power…does that mean that Yuu will have to do it instead?
I’m assuming the point of this week’s episode was to ease Yuu back into his life. Anyone else getting tired of the “Yusarin spells”? They’re actually pretty cringe-worthy in my opinion (and I mean the spells themselves as well, not just reaction from the fans). That aside, is this new character Sala Shane just supposed to be a temporary aside for Yuu? I can’t imagine she’d stay on the main cast considering her position. Additionally, I’m guessing that she’s past adolescence and is therefore not a candidate as an ability user (though she could potentially be a former ability user, which would explain her blindness).
Given that this week’s episode was more of a sidebar into Nao’s specific story, I guess we’re being left to stew about the events surrounding Ayumi’s death. Maybe next week, we’ll start to find out what the water guy’s connection is to all of the events that are happening. Finally, a music-related side note. Yusari’s song this week…I guess I’d say it lacked the punch that Girlsdemo had in Angel Beats. I somewhat agree with Nao’s original evaluation (not the exact score, just the fact that it was lower). Also, this episode has made me curious enough to try to listen to post-rock…might update on that next week.
Jumping in a little early this week for this show (though it’s still pretty late in the game). This week’s episode pronounces Ayumi dead and follows Yuu’s descent into madness as a result. It’s fun to watch and all, but not necessarily surprising (maybe it’s just a really common Western trend). Descending into violence and isolation to “numb the pain of loss” isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but I really did like putting Nao in the picture. I imagine she was trying to approach the healing process from two different angles. On the one hand, I’m assuming she was at least partially behind the string of visitors trying to prod Yuu back into the world, but on the other hand, she silently watched him and gave him the time/space to recover.
Since Key (the studio) is no stranger to reversing character deaths, I’m not going to analyze Ayumi’s death too much (I was never attached to her character anyway). That being said, I’ve seen some speculation online that her death was faked so that scientists could do research, and I want to mention that because I think that theory has merit. It would give a clear end goal for the series, so I don’t think it’s a bad direction. That being said, I’m assuming next week is business as usual, but maybe we’ll finally get to see more on what this water guy’s involvement in everything really is.
Well, this week’s episode sure upped the drama intensely. I’m still curious whether Ayumi’s sickness was just conveniently timed or somehow a precursor to her gaining the power. That aside, though, did anyone else find the drama in this week’s episode to be too forced? Ayumi’s friend basically attacks her right after they are introduced in the show. Another interesting scene from this week’s episode is the apparent confirmation of the water guy’s power…based on Nao’s reaction to this week’s target, it sounds like the guy only points to the target’s current location on the map. This, of course, begs the question: what if they move?
The lack of an actual on-screen death scene seems odd, but the preview for the next episode (search around for it if you want to see it) seems to heavily suggest Ayumi’s death…though to be fair, that could just be an intentional ruse. The scene also shows Yuu in a hospital, which could explain the blood at the very end of the episode. Last thought for the day: is the water guy going to start becoming more relevant? This is based on the final scene in the episode showing him standing over the rubble.
So despite the fact that the soaked guy theoretically points out the location of the flying guy, the group still goes through the trouble of spending two nights camped out in a mountain to lure the guy out…seems legit. I suppose this is what you would call a “team bonding experience”? There was also a brief moment where Yuu seems to find a sense of familiarity in the music of Nao’s favorite band, ZHIEND (which I’m assuming is supposed to be a Japanese spelling of “THE END”…which probably has some deeper meaning I don’t care to examine). Is that familiarity supposed to suggest that Yuu’s lost friend is this blind composer? The memory was triggered by listening to the music, after all…
Given that we only saw the flying guy in this episode for about 4 minutes, he’s likely another character that will forever be lost in the ether. I feel like I’ve given up learning these new characters’ names. That aside, I can’t imagine that Ayumi’s sickness at the very end of the episode is a coincidence…doesn’t the timing seem awkward? Maybe it’s the birth of a new power or something…
Another day, another ability user successfully recruited. Isn’t this show on the verge of becoming too episodic at this rate? The main concern is that most of these recruited characters, like the photo guy, are just being tossed aside after they agree to join. The ED song for this week’s episode didn’t even change after recruiting the pitcher, so he’s likely got no role in the future episodes either. It would be nice to know what the pitcher’s limit to his power is, though. Telekinesis seems like too strong of a power to not have some restriction. Also, has anyone figured out what would happen if the soaked guy pointed to a target’s location on the map and the target moved?
Am I supposed to be analyzing into Nao’s request for Yuu’s power at the end of this week’s episode? She seemed to hint to Yuu that she was testing something about the pitcher, but the scene makes more sense as a test of Yuu’s power somehow. I can’t really imagine what she could have figured out just from watching him do something he’s done quite often now, though. Maybe we’ll find out on the next episode of “Let’s see how we can incorporate pizza sauce into every food known to man”.
So this week’s episode introduces a new character, Nishimori Yusa, who has a fairly mundane ability of being possessed by her dead sister Misa. However, while possessing her sister, Misa is able to use her own power of pyrokinesis, which raises a few questions about the nature of these powers. In most cases, supernatural powers are manifested within users based on their body’s physical structure (for example, I believe mutant powers are coded in DNA in X-Men). Because of that, powers should not generally be transferable.
So how is Yusa able to use Misa’s ability while possess? This fact suggests one of two possibilities. For one, they could both have the “potential” to use the powers, but only Misa knows how to execute it. The second possibility is that the ability is linked to something ephemeral, like a soul. While this possibility is harder for me to swallow (I’ve done an entire post on why I think the soul is bogus), it makes more sense in this world because you already have to accept the fact that Misa has to be able to linger around her sister somehow.
I’m sticking with this show for now just because it seems like the best of my options in this season. That’s not to say that a lot of the other shows in the season are bad…they can be perfectly enjoyable without being post-worthy (my MyAnimeList account shows everything I’m actually watching). However, this does mean that I will probably be spending each week harping on the supernatural elements of this show…fair warning.