Anime roundup 2/17/2022: Strange Bedfellows

Attack on Titan #81 – As the Wall Titans make their leisurely way out of Paradis to bring eventual destruction to 99.9% of humanity, the Paradisians have more urgent concerns, like the fact that they’re still swamped with other Titans due to the Marleyan attack. And so they have to fight their former comrades who will never come back, and Falco, as the latest inheritor of a named Titan, becomes a prize to be fought over.

Falco represents a chance to save one person. Some people, like Gabi, would prefer that person be Falco, but Conny reaches the end of his ethical rope when he realizes that that person could be his mother. He has never before been the sort of person who would countenance feeding a child to a monster, except the monster could turn back to his mother and the child is The Enemy to him.

So the theme of this episode is that war makes lots of people do things they didn’t expect they could do, and most of them are bad. In addition to the situation with Falco, Mikasa and Armin find themselves having to kill their beloved old commander, after he has been transformed into a monster himself with no hope of coming back.

But not quite all the unexpected developments are bad, as Gabi discovers when she saves Kaya’s life. Gabi has come to understand better what it means to kill fellow human being, and she’s able to express remorse. In turn, Nicolo and Kaya have room for, if not forgiveness, then some understanding of Gabi as another victim of the war.

(CrunchyrollFunimation — AnimeLabHuluWakanimAnime on DemandShahiid AnimeNetflixLaftelmeWATCH)

Ranking of Kings #17 – With the basement dealt with for now, Bojji and Kage rush off to find the next wave of trouble, which consists of Black, Red, and Zokku, who are no match for Bojji, and Ouken, who unfortunately is.

This occasions another flashback to the war of succession in the Underworld. Desha, Despa, and Ouken’s father was an actual god, who was obsessed with immortality but did not actually have it, since his sons were able eventually to kill him. But Ouken then somehow spontaneous became immortal and went mad.

There are two possible ways to look at this. One is the was Despa previously explained it, that immortality necessarily leads to insanity. But another is to look at the parallel with Bosse and Daida. Could Ouken actually be inhabited by Satun, and be insane just because Satun already was?

This also brings us back to the mysterious treasure that every top-ranked king chooses and which inevitably causes disappearance or madness. Could that be a form of immortality as well, and is it the same form, with the kings being possessed by some other intelligence?


Sabikui Bisco #6 – Bisco and Milo make good time to the subway, running across Tirol the peddler again, because it is fated to be so. Or rather, because the author had a use for her again. It turns out that she’s also an excellent mechanic, from a previous job with a company so well-known it had a chance to work on a piece of the legendary Tetsujin.

Tetsujin is apparently involved with the Rust, because everyone who worked on it came down with Rusting and Tirol ran off before she was next. On the other hand, the childrens’ village last episode was built in a piece of Tetsujin, and no one there had caught Rust. Does it just not affect kids, or is there something more to it?

Tirol really gets a chance to shine here as a character. Her backstory is far more layered that Milo’s or Bisco’s and its effects are far more complicated. She’s thinking about giving up, but she hasn’t yet, she’s learned a lot about the world and how to survive, and she may have her first friends ever. Whereas the heroes are singlemindedly driven to find the Rust Eater, save people important to them, and then just get on with the lives they’re comfortable with.

Already it seems like they might be at the end of their quest, having reached the home of the Rust Eater. But Pawoo has caught up with them at the worst possible moment, and there’s got to be something that keeps the story going for the rest of the season.

(CrunchyrollFunimationWakanimShahiid AnimeSushirollBahamut Anime CrazyLaftelmeWATCH)

Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department #5 – The Monster Development Department has a new proposal to request additional resources, but it has to get signoff from every single executive in Agastia, who have to be tracked to their secret lairs. The department also has to do some damage control after the incident for White Alligator, which means Dr. Sadamaki crosses paths with an old classmate whose career hasn’t turned out quite so well.

In Japan, one does not put a signature on important documents. Instead, one has a personal seal which is used to stamp them. The term “stamp rally” refers to collecting commemorative stamps, but is also used by analogy to mean having to get a document stamped by many different people.

The quest that Wolf and Tōka set out on gives a chance to see more of Agastia’s quirky leadership, which is fun, but also unfortunately provides an opportunity to threaten Wolf with more harassment. The jokes might have worked better if the show weren’t taking such obvious delight in depicting what Wolf fears will happen.

Meanwhile, on the inter-company relations front, the essence of the interaction between Sadamaki and Dr. Hōen is that she has committed fully to the traditional Japanese work ethic, and is barely able to comprehend an organization with a more enlightened approach to work-life balance. The argument between them is one playing out all across Japan right now.

(CrunchyrollShahiid AnimeSushirollBahamut Anime CrazyLaftelmeWATCH)

Tokyo 24th Ward #6 – The powers that be dismiss Kunai as a random terrorist, but he gets the last word in with a posthumous video which the ward’s only TV channel is somehow persuaded to play before reviewing. This convinces Kōki’s father to let Kōki in on the secret of the next generation of Hazard Cast, which, as probably everyone suspected by now, was built by incorporating the brain of his late sister.

But she’s not the only one in this freezer. As it turns out, Kōki’s mother was a brilliant computer scientist who worked on this project until for some reason she quit to be a schoolteacher in the very same school that would later burn down. I don’t know what to make of this for now other than it looks like this show is lifting plot points from one of the most famous anime series of all, Neon Genesis Evangelion, which also deals with a certain amount of reality breakdown and also features a protagonist whose dead mother has left behind something of herself in a supercomputer.

Meanwhile, Ran’s old idol Zeroth is still out there and his tags do look very much like Carneadas’s symbol. What’s he done to get mixed up in all of this? No idea there either.

(CrunchyrollFunimationWakanimAIS PlayAniplus AsiaBahamut Anime CrazyLaftel)

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