Kokkoku #6 – Who’s the scariest member of the Yukawa family? Is it Tsubasa, who discovers he has it in him to suffocate another person to defend Makoto? Is it Juri, who unnerves even a hardened thug and has Makoto suddenly looking at her as an authority figure rather than almost a big sister? No, it’s Takafumi, who may be a hopeless loser to everyone else, but is able to summon enough evil intent to have three Heralds trying to stop him in a matter of moments. That is something the family is going to need to talk about when they get a moment.
Juri’s power is able to save Tsubasa even when he’s started to transform, but not Majima’s parents when they’ve been transformed for years. Majima’s brother looks like he might have hung on just enough… but I’m betting on him lasting just long enough to die in Majima’s arms.
That’s four Heralds down now, which brings us back to what the Genuine Love Society has been contemplating for most of the series. What happens if Stasis is completely cleared of Heralds? What exactly did Sagawa mean by “the deeper parts of Stasis” that couldn’t be explored before?
Hakumei and Mikochi #5 – Hakumei has been trying to work her way into the local builders’ association, and she finally gets her big break when everyone is mustered to help repair the wall along a major thoroughfare. In the course of the job, she is able to impress the builders not just with her skills, but also her intelligence and prudence.
In passing, it’s revealed that community gossip thinks Hakumei and Mikochi are a married couple, and Hakumei’s sort-of-denial is to explain that she’s female too. Just as in modern Japan, the language can be very ambiguous about people’s genders, but it’s taken as a basic fact of life that women do not marry each other. Although the plot then proceeds to treat Mikochi as Hakumei’s wife by having her come to the work site and help cook for the crew.
And Hakumei, who was rootless and wandering until she met Mikochi, has definitively settled down. Being accepted into the builders’ association, she’s now a part of a community in a way that she never was before.
Hakyu Hoshin Engi #5 – In the typical shōnen series, the hero and his friends start off with obvious talent but much work to do to refine and build their abilities. In this story, everyone has started off at power level 9000, so it’s a good thing they believe in keeping warfare civilized and respecting the authority of mundane governments, which are also things that tend to fall by the wayside in the typical shōnen series.
Still, it’s episode 5 and people are already casually knocking mountains over and even remarking to each other that they seem overpowered. This line of thought is probably what has led Taikōbō to conclude that the world would be better off if his people could step back and be a lot less involved in it.
But first he has a revolution to organize. This puts him on a collision course with Bunchū, who’s all for removing Dakki but wants to preserve the empire. Taikōbō’s judgement, however, is that Yin is doomed and the best that can be done about it is to minimize the inevitable chaos and bloodshed. Dakki will surely be doing all she can to keep the two of them arguing.
Beatless #5 – Lacia is easily able to sneak herself and Arato into the building, because this is a future where all the security systems are deaf. But the effort to extract Kengo is complicated by the reappearance of Snowdrop and her AI-reprogramming petals. And she turns out to have further abilities, such as absorbing other androids. (Well, all the raw materials for those petals have to come from somewhere, so I’m glad to see conservation of mass being respected at least.)
But after the drama is over, it sounds like all the hIEs have been working together. Kōka even thanks the chairman for protecting the humans under her care before destroying her body (you would assume her personality is backed up somewhere). And you know what that means? It means Arato has been set up. It means that his chance encounter with Snowdrop was not chance at all, but Snowdrop and Lacia working together to maneuver him into this situation.
Why him? Well, remember that Arato’s father is a person of great interest to hIEs, being an AI developer and all. That brings us to the question of why we’ve yet to see him. Is he living away from Arato and Yuka because he’s too wrapped up in his work, or is he a prisoner, a mind-controlled slave, some post-human biomechanical construct, or secretly dead? We’re not likely to find out next time, unfortunately, as we’ve been promised a filler episode due to the Olympics.