Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- #29 – Subaru gets a chance to imagine a trip back to his former life in our world and a chance to talk with his parents again. Just like with his experiences in his new world, it slowly dawns on him that his own attitude has been a big part of his problems.
Anime has its fair share of dead, absent, and just plain horrible parents. It’s refreshing to see that Subaru has two present, loving, understanding parents who are doing their best. Or had, anyway. He can have as many do-overs as he wants in his current life, but in ours he’s permadead and no longer able to let his family know that he’s realized how much he should have appreciated them.
Very little of Subaru’s former life was shown before now. We only knew that he was a shut-in making a midnight run to a convenience store when he was hit by a truck (anime’s standard way of setting off a reincarnation in a fantasy world), but we didn’t know why. Now there’s a clear continuity between his former life and his behavior when he was first transported to his present world. Neither one was willing to conform to the narratives he had planned out for himself.
Deca-Dence #4 – Natsume gets her moment to shine in combat, impressing the Gears and getting her chance to become a full member of the military. And then Kaburagi suddenly orders her to give up her lifelong dream for reasons he won’t explain, because that always works.
Kaburagi has learned that the Company has decided for an impossible battle that ends in a rout and a massacre. Possibly even the destruction of Deca-Dence itself. Natsume recalls her father showing her pictures of the remains of another mobile fortress, which means that this cycle that keeps repeating over the centuries could include a small group of survivors being driven out of the remains of their home, conveniently coming across another fortress, and building up a new generation of Gears and Tankers until it’s time for another mass die-off.
Who would survive such an event? Natsume would seem to have fairly solid plot armor, and I would guess her old classmates so that she has some helpless people to protect. Kaburagi the cyborg has already been told that his survival is part of the plan, but I could see him arranging for his current puppet body to die in an attempt to spite the Company.
No Guns Life #16 – No sooner is the matter of Victor sorted out than Kōbo turns up, and the whole cycle of hostage, surprise escape, big fight repeats. Only in this case Kōbo’s boss shows up to arrest him, because apparently he got a little too friendly with Spitzbergen when pursuing his own goals.
For the second episode in a row, Mary looks like she’s just there to be threatened with violence for a bit, only to take control of the narrative. Inui is letting her make her own decisions about how to handle Victor. And what she’s decided is that alternate evil Victor is wrong, and she’s ready to tell him why. It’s easier when she knows Victor’s main personality is still out there too, although I’m still betting that they’re a package deal, and the one can’t be shut down without killing the other.
In order to face Kōbo, Inui is forced to reveal even more secrets of how his Gun Slave Unit machinery works. Mainly, he reveals that his chest cavity contains… an extra pair of arms? Really? Maybe what’s in there is actually some kind of limb-replacement micro-factory. That would make a lot more sense than carrying spare arms around in there for years.
Appare-Ranman! #5 – All the racers are invited to a prerace party, where the last remaining major characters are introduced, Hototo gets another lead on the man who killed his family, and then everything devolves into chaos. Because, anime or Western TV, there’s really nothing that says “1890s America” like a gunfight breaking out in a crowded room.
Appare-Ranman! has some genuine attempts at nuanced depictions of people with a variety of ethnic backgrounds. And then there’s TJ, sauntering up in his dreds, his loud clothes and his boom… gramophone. I guess someone decided to take a mulligan the day they came up with his character concept.
Then there’s Gil the Butcher, who has a whole organization of people who kill for him. And who wears an odd mask. And who has a car named for Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain, who wears an odd mask and was sacrificed to back in the days of the empire. I think it would be too big a leap at this point for Gil to turn out to be a literal deity who now walks among men, but he could be someone who thinks he is.
It is mentioned almost in passing that Gil, TJ, and Dylan are the three remaining members of a famous band of seven gunslingers. And if that stirs memories of a famous samurai movie and its equally famous cowboy remake, yes, in both those cases there were only three survivors.