Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- #34 – Subaru decides he has a question for the creator of the murderous bunnies, so Echidna agrees to let the spirits of the other witches appear. From this he learns a number of things: most of the witches are nuts, the author likes Greco-Roman mythology, and yes, there is a way to take those rascally rabbits out.
He is able to finally form a plan of attack, which lasts maybe a couple minutes before he is yanked back to physical reality for yet another new twist. Now the Witch of Envy herself is manifesting in the Sanctuary, bringing in a poisonous-looking mist which may take out everyone before the killer bunnies have a chance to get there.
Most of Subaru’s resets have operated like the one at the beginning of this season, where he pops back to his save point and the only thing driving changes in the timeline is his choice of actions. Things are really all over the place in this case. It’s like someone else is getting to rewrite events at the same time. Though, in the case of Satella’s appearance, there’s a small chance it might have been due to Echidna letting the other witches appear.
Whatever’s going on, Subaru is now on his own. No more free information from Echidna until the day he calls out for answers with a desperation yet unmatched in his quest. So, I give it 3 or 4 episodes until it happens.
Deca-Dence #9 – The Corporation sends the troops in to quell the prison rebellion, and things get ugly fast, with Sarkozy eventually deciding that both he and Turkey should pay for their mistakes with their lives. Kaburagi and Natsume have a much easier time of it breaking into the Gadoll factory thanks to Jill’s hacking and Kaburagi’s cheat codes. But then Natsume picks an awkward moment to ask just what the heck is actually going on.
Kaburagi has had the option all along of explaining what was really going on. Instead, he’s chosen not to so now he’s facing having to explain it inside a building which is probably going to explode soon. No sympathy for him there.
But that moment also emphasizes Natsume’s vagueness as a character. Her dad was researching old ruins and putting the clues together, and she herself saw the Gadoll pop back into existence right after the battle at Mount Everest. But she’s apparently had no internal thought process about all of this. No attempt to figure out an explanation, no urge to dig deeper, just an endless holding pattern waiting for Kaburagi to return and take charge of the plot again.
No Guns Life #21 – Tetsurō concludes his argument with Wachowski by ever more implausibly surviving what should have been fatal wounds, thus proving that he is right, his cause is just, and destiny (or the author, at least) is with him. Meanwhile, Kronen shows up for no particular reason other than he needs to have his own duel with his former classmate.
Wachowski and, in the past, Tetsurō were the idealists; Kunugi freely admits that he’s not so much into the terrorism thing specifically, but the money is good. And he confirms what has long been suspected, that Berühren has been funding both sides of the argument for a while.
Also meanwhile, Pepper pumps up Inui and Seven up to fight each other. It does kind of take the wind out of all the attempts at complex social commentary when the story just comes down to a couple of superpowered cyborgs duking it out. But we’ve been promised this fight ever since the opening-credits sequence on the first half of this show, so I guess they’ve got to go through with it.
Appare-Ranman! #10 – From North Platte onward, it’s a race between all the cars and the train, with Gil the Butcher employed to make sure the train wins. Instead, he summons his minions, wrecks the train, blocks the way across the Missouri, and then proceeds to methodically grief everyone in the racing field, like the year 2020 given human form.
You know, when you hire someone who is known as “the Butcher”, you should probably expect that they’re going to use the job as an excuse to cause as much mayhem as possible. Yet Unnamed Plutocrat Guy is as surprised as anyone that Gil’s plan turns out to be to just use this as an excuse to kill a few people and then demand the prize money for himself.
What happened to the wacky-racing show that was here to cheer us all up? Was it always planned to turn this dark, or did the pandemic-induced delay cause it to be rewritten to go in a new direction?