Release the Spyce Final Episode (12): Graduation day

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Tendou watches the mission remotely

This episode had some good moments, but it’s pretty much the ending that I was expecting. As much as it makes sense given the setup so far, having everything just work out for the best in the end is still frustrating to see. I get that the nature of being a spy involves heavy misinformation, but this episode really didn’t add up for me. Maybe I’m just putting too much thought into it.

Explaining the evil plan with the gas

I still don’t understand the gas. In the earlier episode, we saw it completely change Goe’s behavior, but it eventually wore off. Based on this explanation, the effects should be permanent by the time the subject is receptive to commands. It’s possible that the gas hadn’t reached the level of applying permanent effects at the time of the original test, but that would mean that we end the show knowing very little about that initial experiment.

Mei reveals herself as a double agent

As I’ve said before, I have no issue with Mei being a double agent. The part that doesn’t fully make sense to me in this big reveal is the antidote for the special jelly. Hatsume isn’t told about the betrayal until right before her fake death, which means that Mei wouldn’t have been able to confirm that Hatsume had a working antidote readily available when she first took the poison.

Mei blows up a fake corpse

What exactly was the point of a fake corpse if it just gets destroyed in the explosion?

Tendou reboots the device

I know I’m not supposed to root for the bad guys, but Tendou rebooting the Gekkako device while the good guys were monologuing is honestly my favorite part of the episode.

Momo defeats Tendou

Also, I quite liked the fact that Momo isn’t bothered by Tendou’s taunts while they’re fighting, especially when Tendou reveals that she knows about the death of Momo’s father.

That being said, Tendou definitely fell down a dark chasm after being defeated by Momo. In anime terms, that means she should be alive.

Yuki chooses to graduate

I don’t have a problem with Yuki’s decision to graduate at the end, since the show has been foreshadowing it for a while. I would have preferred a bit more setup for her choice to remove her memories, though. From the perspective of the audience, it makes sense to end the show in that way, but it doesn’t fully add up for her character to make that choice. The only reason I could think of was that she wanted to completely split herself off from Tsukikage to remove Momo’s reliance on her.

Yuki gets her memories erased

With the combination of the last scene in this episode and the fact that the granny is revealed to be a former member of Tsukikage, I’m curious whether the graduated members truly lose their memories. Momo shoots Yuki off-screen, which could easily be a deception. Additionally, Yuki has spent the entire series lying to Momo, so it wouldn’t be a surprise that the extent of the memory erasure bullets is also a lie. Who knows? Maybe it’s just the scientist in me refusing to believe that there are magic bullets that can selectively erase everything about Tsukikage.

Final Score: 6/10

Fun atmosphere with solid music. I think this is a show that’s more enjoyable when you don’t think too hard about it, which makes it a poor match for someone like me.

Release the Spyce Episode 11: The apprentice retaliation

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Momo having some trouble focusing

It’s time for the final showdown, I suppose. This week’s episode certainly seemed to undo a lot of the drama from the previous episode, with Yuki’s survival being a fairly quick reveal. Project Gekkako’s looking more and more like the evil plan from Kingsman, since I’ve made that reference before. I guess we’ll see how everything turns out in the end.

Mei lingers over Fuu for some reason

Mei definitely made a strong case for herself as a double agent in this episode. The way she lingers over Fuu in this scene seems to indicate that she’s whispering something to her apprentice, and she clearly touches Goe’s restraint, which is later revealed to be loosened. It’s weird, though, since Fuu never gives away what Mei might have told her. The only explanation I can think of is that Mei revealed that she’s going to sacrifice herself in order to stop Tendou, and Fuu is trying to save her at the expense of the plan.

The master plan is to spray the brainwash gas

Given what we’ve already seen from Tendou’s experiment with the gas in a previous episode, I don’t see how this evil plan was supposed to be difficult to guess. Is this supposed to be surprising in any way?

Yuki makes it back

Yuki’s return isn’t particularly surprising, but it does make Mei’s betrayal more confusing. If we assume that Mei’s a double agent, then it would make sense for the mentor trio to know about it, which is why they were eliminated in the previous episode. Now that Yuki’s back, you’d think she’d tell everyone. I get the feeling that this is just so the audience doesn’t know what’s going on, and that would bug me if it’s really the case.

Tendou can't be stopped

At this point in the story, I would be much more impressed if Tendou turned out to be the true double agent. It doesn’t fit with the fact that Mei keeps trying to cozy up to her, but it would actually be cool if Tendou was revealed to be a Tsukikage agent who’s been in cover this entire time.

Theresia can't decide if she will be a traitor or not

I did like seeing Goe attempt to continue her mentor’s quest to befriend Theresia, but I still get the impression that Theresia is just a sideshow. Once again, Tendou’s attempt to kill Theresia after her fight is hard to believe, since we’ve already seen Yuki return from the dead. Maybe Hatsume shows up to stop her from bleeding out.

Mei is looking for information

Once again, Mei continues to come off as a double agent by probing for information from Tendou. It’s hard to believe she would go through this much effort if she truly betrayed her friends.

Release the Spyce Episode 10: The big reveal

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Pretty suspicious scene

This episode definitely escalated quickly, but I honestly don’t believe it for a second. For what it’s worth, I thought that the handling of the traitor wasn’t bad. The series chose someone who was plausible as a traitor, but generally unassuming, which makes the betrayal scene work. I just personally have trouble believing it, so I’m seriously guessing that the series is building up towards a double agent scenario where everything is actually part of Tsukikage’s grand plan.

Byakko joins the fight

I know that Byakko has gone through her redemption and everything, but I had trouble with this scene. The girls were just talking about how they needed to keep the operation a secret between the seven of them to avoid a potential leak. Even if they trust Byakko now, she used to work for the enemy, so it seems incredibly dumb to tell her about the operation.

Momo asks what Yuki's plans are

Ahh, the classic. Talking about plans for the future right before the big fight.

Momo ferrets out the massive lies

I know it makes sense from a continuity perspective, but it’s super awkward to watch this woman pretending to be innocent when we’ve seen her multiple times as the ultimate big bad. But at least they’re finally using Momo’s lie detector powers again, right?

Mei betrays the group

I have to admit that Mei’s carefree attitude does fit well for a traitor. That being said, I still get the sense that having her as a true traitor doesn’t work well with the rest of the story. The way she blows Hatsume up seems way too overt to me, and it provides a mechanism to allow Hatsume to escape undetected. It’s also suspicious that she takes Fuu for herself and drinks the gel so readily despite the fact that they already isolated it from Theresia.

Momo watches helplessly as Yuki is struck down

Having Yuki’s defeat mirror her mentor’s defeat is annoying as repetition. But as I said from the start, I don’t really believe it. Most of this speculation is coming from the fact that I don’t want to see her die in the same way as her mentor, but I’m also suspicious of the way the camera pans above her at the end of the episode.

Release the Spyce Episode 9: Story time

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Yuki never takes a break

Relatively speaking, I thought this week’s episode was mostly okay. The series immediately addressed the weird scene with Yuki and Momo from the previous episode in a way that made sense, and showed decent background for Yuki. I’m still not feeling great about the whole traitor mystery, but I no longer see Yuki as a walking death flag. I guess that’s something, right?

Yuki talks with Hatsume about Theresia

Wow, the series is really dragging out Hatsume’s progress with Theresia. At this point, I’m starting to see it as being similar to the slacker type you might find in the workplace. Every week, we get a reminder that she’s “working on it”, and we’ll eventually reach the end of the series, when she actually has to deliver.

Yuki and Momo hang out together

Yeah, this totally seems normal for high school girls.

Yuki's mentor jokes around

You know, part of me wanted Nagaho’s offhand joke here to be a hidden message. Usually, jokes like these have a grain of truth underneath them, so I was expecting some reveal that she actually had an incurable disease.

Moryo will take over the world

I get that this show plays on a lot of spy tropes, but this scene seemed particularly strange to me. It felt like it was saying that Moryo is the typical evil corporation with an unexplained goal to take over the world. And for good measure, they’re going to use satellites to do…something. Are these guys really just “the bad guys”?

Nagaho faces off against the mystery woman

That being said, this fight scene was surprisingly good. Even though the characters were moving quickly, it still felt like a reasonable set of attacks.

Yuki watches her mentor die

Part of me is a bit worried about this scene. Having Yuki’s previous mentor die off-screen in the explosion gives the show an out. There’s a non-zero chance that Nagaho gets revealed as the traitor to squander a lot of the suspicions from the rest of the show. Maybe I’m over-thinking it, but it’s a nagging feeling.

Momo comforts her mentor

The show also makes me fairly certain that Yuki won’t die, even if the preview seems to suggest otherwise. Since we’ve already seen Yuki lose her mentor, I think it would be super weird to force the same situation to happen again with Momo.

Yuki zooms and enhances

That’s a hell of a way to do the old “zoom and enhance” trick.

Release the Spyce Episode 8: Making new friends

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Hatsume and Theresia face off

This week’s episode was hard to watch. It seemed like it had a lot of good things going on, but the pacing was just too erratic to keep focus. The episode tried to continue the story with Theresia, introduce and resolve Goe’s self-esteem issues from the previous episode, introduce a completely new character, and introduce some friction between Yuki and Momo. As a result, most of these developments felt like they didn’t get the setup they deserved, starting with the very beginning of the episode. Theresia and Hatsume face off for some reason, and the poison Theresia drank a couple of episodes back is removed without an issue.

Obligatory beach episode happens

Random montage is random. I suppose this is the obligatory beach episode…somehow.

Viking ignores the girls

Honestly, I thought that Ouka was a pretty good character. Her self-isolation made sense given how she was forced to do, and the way she got excited about Vikings was surprisingly charming. However, introducing her and resolving her story within the span of a single episode makes me think that she’s never going to show up again.

Ouka shows off her helmet

Okay, there’s technically no evidence that Vikings actually used horned helmets (because they’re not actually that useful in battle). Evidence suggests that the notion of the horned Viking helmet actually came from later stories about the Vikings, and a real Viking would likely know that. But hey, this series takes a lot of liberties with history (especially with that “spies” and “spice” etymology thing), so it could once again just be part of this world’s setting.

Shisa agent talks about Ouka's situation

To be fair, I think the best foreshadowing in this episode was the whole thing with Ouka’s grandfather. This scene clearly suggests that the grandfather is the captured doctor. In a later scene, Ouka describes her failed attempt to save him, but an old man who is clearly her grandfather is shown standing over her. I’m okay with that type of subversion and foreshadowing.

Yuki plays with the selfie stick

There’s something hilarious about watching Yuki, the most serious spy, instinctively using a selfie stick as a weapon.

Goe faces off again Ouka

Goe’s story in this episode was actually fine as well, but I wish that her story was more closely related to the rest of the episode. It makes sense that she would be afraid to fight or use Spyce after going on a drug-induced rampage in the previous episode, and it makes more sense that she would be able to overcome it with the help of a friend. Maybe there’s something about betraying your friends that links her to Ouka, but I honestly didn’t see it.

Also, the fact that Goe succeeds in befriending Ouka once again makes me think that Hatsume’s own attempt with Theresia will fail. Goe even goes so far as to say that Hatsume will surely succeed at the end of the episode. That has to be a flag.

Yuki lectures Momo

I’m really not sure about this scene. Is it meant to show that Yuki actually cares for Momo more than she lets on? Is it actually meant to be a moment of rationality? It doesn’t seem to fit with everything else Yuki has been teaching Momo. Add in the fact that Yuki notices that the Spyce is less effective for her in this episode, and I have to once again bring up the idea that Yuki is being set up to die soon.

Release the Spyce Episode 6: New allies and enemies?

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Bad guys looking at a screen

There were certainly some strange moments in this episode, but I liked a decent amount of it. I especially thought it was cool that the main characters immediately acknowledge how suspicious Theresia’s transfer was, and Hatsume accepts the conclusion without making a big fuss out of it. Momo seemed to step things up in this episode, which is nice to see, but I got the sense that she kind of fizzled a bit.

Hatsume making friends with Byakko

Part of me wonders if Hatsume’s relationship with Byakko is meant to suggest that she’ll fail to make amends with Theresia. Honestly, the overwhelming majority of the evidence suggests the opposite, since Theresia is on a clear path to redemption, but it just doesn’t sit well with me if Hatsume just befriends everyone.

Young Theresia learns about betrayal

This scene was hard to watch for me. This line was so unbearably obvious that it almost didn’t feel worth mentioning. Yeah, I get that Theresia was a child, so she probably wouldn’t understand that Hatsume wouldn’t have control of the conversation until after her ransom was paid. Either way, this isn’t the most interesting backstory.

Hatsume and Katrina talk about traitors

This conversation really throws a wrench in the traitor idea. Katrina was one of my initial suspects for traitor since she’s so far removed from the rest of the group, but it seems weird for her to call attention to it. Maybe she wants to gauge the group’s suspicious, but it’s still drawing attention to a conversation no one was having. Of course, Hatsume could also be the traitor, so who knows?

Momo and Goe arrive

I was somewhat disappointed in this scene. Momo seems to correctly deduce that something is off with Theresia, so she forces her way into the situation to give Theresia less room to move. That was a great move which shows Momo proactively contributing to the group, so it’s nice to see. It just…doesn’t really go anywhere. Momo ends up siding with Theresia later, so it almost seems like the scene is leading up to a lick later. The scene felt a bit wasted to me.

Theresia gets upset with Hatsume

Theresia, you’re kind of showing your hand pretty early. The group was already suspicious of her, so her animosity towards Hatsume should be a big flag, right?

Big bad covered in blood

So…why did we need to hide this woman’s face again? Do we even know who she is? Based on the sword she uses and her apparent connection with Tsukikage, I would guess that she’s the agent who used the sword before Momo, but I’m not sure that gets us much.

Release the Spyce Episode 5: Surprise birthday party

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I’m still not sure why this episode didn’t happen before the previous episode, but the episode itself was a lot more entertaining than the previous two. I liked the jokes in this episode, so it ended up being more fun. I’m still curious where they go with this traitor thing, but I think I can be reasonably satisfied watching this series if it continues being like this. The overarching story doesn’t seem super interesting so far.

The fact that this episode seems to jump right back into the story left off from episode 2 makes me feel like I was right about episode 3 being standalone. The continuity would make more sense if something happened to either Fuu or Mei, since it would mean that they’d need to resolve their relationship quickly. It’s possible that we’re heading towards something like that, but it doesn’t really fit the show’s tone so far.

They’re really milking this traitor thing. I wonder how important it is that we can see the hair color of the “mystery” woman. It’s hard to tell since the conversations tend to be super cryptic, but it doesn’t seem like she’s the traitor. That would mean that there’s some other reason why we can’t see who she is. My guess so far is just that she’s related to one of the characters, with Hatsume being most likely based on hair color.

It’s a small scene, but I found it charming that Momo worries about the train fare even when she’s in spy mode.

I also think this exchange between Dolte and Momo is great. It’s not every day a raging zombie asks you if you’re a spy, right?

I guess this scene is meant to push the yuri relationship between Yuki and Momo by forcing Momo to share Spyce, but it still feels like a bit of a throwaway scene. Momo drops her Spyce in the middle of a mission after all, so this seems like an incredibly light consequence.

This is probably my favorite joke in the episode. In a mission that takes place on Momo’s birthday, the bad guys ask whether the power goes out because someone is having a surprise birthday party.

It’s nice that Yuki is still suspicious of the science company and all, but it does feel like it devalues the rest of the episode a bit. Also, the fact that Momo’s overworking doesn’t do much to impair her in this episode makes me question why that was important. I don’t know…it just feels like this show spends a lot of time to push things that don’t feel impactful in the end. Is that weird?

Part of me wants this show to be grittier than it is. Momo’s idolization of Yuki makes me really think that something should happen to Yuki. It’s the same with Mei…this series is just asking for character death.

Release the Spyce Episode 4: Character building?

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Was it just me, or did this episode seem chronologically confused? The episode seemed to lack continuity with the last three episodes, which shared a more common theme of getting Momo up to speed. The previous episode ended with the group capturing a member of the enemy team who was using Spyce for some reason. Even if she lost her memories, you’d think they’d be following up on that in some capacity, but there’s no mention of it. I guess I just got the impression that this episode was designed in such a way that it could be dropped in at any point in the series, and that bothered me.

It’s kind of a shame, too, since I think it’s potentially interesting that Fu works desperately to offset her family’s financial troubles. Her background does a decent job of explaining why she has such a serious personality, and why she tries so hard to do her job(s). The overall theme in the episode that she just wants to impress Mei is a bit generic, but Fu seems mostly fine as a character.

I do have to admit that Fu and Mei are good together. Mei’s joke about losing her vision when showed the expenses is pretty funny.

I get that the bad guys in this episode were just low-level drug dealers, but I’m a bit annoyed that Fu gets away with this. When she acts alone and trails the dealer, she really deserved to get caught. With how much confidence she has in herself, she seemed to be asking to get taken down a peg.

I know the uniforms are bulletproof, but they still survive this.

I’m not sure I get the whole thing with the guitar pick. The beginning of the episode makes it pretty clear that Fu gave Mei the pick, and it’s not hard to guess that it would help patch their relationship. I just got the impression that Fu goes off to think things over, and then comes back with a reconciliatory gift, without much explanation. I guess it might be more realistic, but it feels a bit empty.

This fight almost feels like an afterthought. But hey…masochist drug dealer. Why not?

Release the Spyce Episode 3: Memory wipes galore

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This week’s episode was a bit weird. I don’t really have a problem with Momo running into trouble in her first mission, but the comedy of errors she goes through is a bit hard to swallow. And as a general note, I think the technology in this series is just far enough outside the realm of possibility that I’m having a hard time suspending disbelief. I think it’s meant to be a nod to old-school spy movies, but I didn’t really grow up on them.

Multiple events are labeled as Momo’s “first mission” in this episode, so I don’t really understand what the true first mission was. However, I would have been pretty happy if the episode had stopped with this eclectic ramen chef. It’s a reasonable mission for a newbie to handle, and Momo’s mistake makes a lot of sense. She lets herself get overwhelmed by situation and doesn’t keep her cool for the good of the mission, which is something you’d expect from her lack of experience.

From that point, Momo’s mistakes start to escalate without a really good reason. I assume the episode was going for the idea that she screws up by trying to over-correct her previous mistakes, but I don’t like the way it’s presented. She just feels like she’s doing dumb things, rather than intelligently linking it back to the last mission.

So…a brothel, huh? I really wasn’t expecting that from this kind of show.

I don’t know if this scene was attempting to build character on the enemy team, but I didn’t get that sense. I still don’t even get what the bad guy syndicate is trying to do overall, so it’s hard to sympathize with a henchman.

I don’t really get the point of giving the fake name “Peach” if Momo ends up using Fuu’s real name. Didn’t they have code names in the first episode? What happened to those? No one ends up calling Momo on this because they end up capturing Byakko, who also loses her memory. That kind of bothers me.

This is kind of a weird thing to say unprovoked. The fight itself is okay. It’s not spectacular, since most of the attacks are impossible to see, but I guess it wasn’t bad.


It’s really weird that both sides just have convenient memory wipes everywhere. I’ve seen some fan theories that say that Momo might be a memory-wiped sleeper agent. Given how prominently amnesia appears in this series, I would honestly welcome a development like that.

Release the Spyce Episode 2: Training mode

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Honestly, this episode was pretty fun to watch. I’m sure if I really thought about the whole spy organization, it would make very little sense. But the show doesn’t really take itself too seriously, and I’m enjoying its tone and characters. Sure, the episode is mostly training montage, but I think it does a great job of getting past the formalities of inducting Momo into the team while showing off more of the other characters.

I know it’s such a minor thing, but Momo’s facial expressions are amazing.

Didn’t they wipe the memories of the police officers in the previous episode? Sounds like a great relationship they have there. Also, I can’t help but point out that I couldn’t find any relationship between the words “spy” and “spice” in English, but that might just be a suspension of disbelief in the world of this series.

I really liked Hatsume’s demonstration of the spy gadgets in this episode. It’s pretty standard for a spy movie to have a scene like this, but the energy Hatsume puts into her explanation makes it a lot more entertaining.

The Spyce only works on young girls because…well, we need some excuse to revolve the show around cute girls doing spy things, right?

While this whole scene with the poisoned tea is a funny scene for a spy lesson, I think it’s a little weird that Momo mindlessly eats all of the food she’s given for the rest of the episode (like the meal Yuki gives her at the end). What exactly was the point of this lesson?

I’m a bit worried about this whole business with the traitor in Tsukikage. It seems like it would add excessive drama for a series like this, and I’m not a fan of having one of the main girls betray the rest. I’m kind of hoping it’s a double agent situation, but we’ll see. I guess it could always be the retired woman who owns the shop.

I’m shocked this doesn’t work. That training montage must have been really effective.

We did it?