No Guns Life #15 – As Victor demonstrates that Inui is no match for him, Mary comes to a decision and rescues herself. And then everyone settles down and digs into a big heaping plate of backstory.
The Victor leading Spitzbergen both is and isn’t the Victor Mary knew. Giving himself two cyborg sub-brains led to one of them splitting off into a separate personality when he was confronted with the shocking reality that his military research was actually being used to kill people. But some aspect of that personality must have already existed, unless Emmet was coincidentally brutally murdered by someone else.
Victor is cagey about where his original body is being kept, but it’s a good bet that it’s in the hands of one of the major players in this story. My guess would be Berühren, providing a link between Victor’s research and the more successful Harmony implant that Tetsurō is carrying. It might also play into how Tetsurō wound up funding Spitzbergen before being turned into a guinea pig, assuming that part of the story is true.
But we’ve also learned something about why Inui works alone: not only was he one of Japan’s superweapons, he was tasked with hunting down and killing the others. It’s implied in Victor’s flashback that some of the Extendeds enjoyed killing a bit too much; could that be the reason that the other Gun Slave Units were destroyed? Or were they, like the truth about the Norse Scott massacre that we learned last season, just too embarassing to admit the existence of?
Deca-Dence #3 – Natsume absolutely wants to be a Gear, Kaburagi has come around to agreeing to teach her, so cue training montage. But the fortress is soon faced with a complication it has apparently never dealt with before: uneven terrain!
A couple asides from Kaburagi suggest that the Gadoll aren’t random monsters but part of a managed process. The first is when training Natsume at the “nest”, when he reflects that this is actually a designated training area where new, beginner-level Gadoll are constantly being spawned. The second is that he understands Pipe as a glitch, like some weird graphical artifact in the corner of a video game where something didn’t render properly.
But if the Gadoll are created, deliberately or semi-deliberately, what is the point of going through all the motions of fighting to recover the oxyone? Well, one possibility is that the Corporation doesn’t control that process. Another is that the bots find it fun and it works as a reward and a distraction from the daily grind. But another possible answer is that Deca-Dence is going to go hard anti-capitalist, and end up on a message that the individual struggle for resources is all an illusion and there is enough to go around if people can share equitably.
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- #28 – Despite the ominous vibes, Echidna just wants to bring a little excitement into Subaru’s life. Stung by his lack of interest in her encyclopedic knowledge and her sketchy tea, she nevertheless announces that she’s arranged for him to face the next test with Emilia. On the other hand, the Sanctuary turns out to be less a refuge and more a great big trap.
Roswaal’s plan was apparently that he could fight his way back out of the trap, but it falls to Emilia to do that instead. Here we see that Subaru has partway learned his lesson about not always acting like he’s the main character; it’s Emilia’s chance to shine, to be the leader who reassures everyone and then goes to face the test. Subaru has simply been dragged into it due to Echidna’s meddling.
On the other hand, next time Subaru loops through that encounter with Echidna, I expect he’ll realize that he really should have asked a few questions while he had the chance. But first, he has to jump further back than we’ve ever seen before, to face the life he used to live in our world.
Appare-Ranman! #4 – Xialian is so ready to prove herself that she will give up her job for a chance to challenge a professional driver. When she proves herself to be the better racer, she earns the respect of the men watching. A little. Enough for them to do the absolute minimum to give her a few moments in the spotlight, anyway.
I’m sure the writers felt very bold about showing a woman challenging male dominance in the 1890s, but making her the only woman of note in this story so far is no less a condescending pat on the head.
And that looks like all of the driver backstory we’re going to get until the race starts. The tale of the three outlaw drivers will have to wait for another time. I’m going to guess now that this “Gil the Butcher” will be the mysterious guy with the snake tattoo who killed Hototo’s family.