Attack on Titan #84 – The people who are the last hope of saving the world have assembled, so it’s time for them to put aside their differences, make a plan, and work together to see it through. Or it would be in a gung-ho military story, but we’re talking about Attack on Titan here, so of course none of this can be easy.
Instead, everyone manages to go maybe an hour or two before they start airing grudges, throwing punches, and generally trying to relitigate two thousand years of history plus all their personal traumas. And eventually everyone has to admit, at least inwardly, that they’ve done terrible things, some of them to the very people they’re now trying to ally with. (Okay, everyone except maybe Onyankopon.)
If Attack on Titan has one specific message, it’s where the discussion finally rests. It first showed up when Grisha asked Eren Kruger which version of Eldian history was the true one, and Kruger said it didn’t matter. The point, this all says, is that you can’t audit the entire life of every person, or the the history of every people, to come up with precise balances of moral credits and debits to determine which one person is in the right. What matters is the harm happening now, and what needs to be done is to stop the cycle of violence completely.
Sabikui Bisco #9 – Barely alive, with only a small amount of anti-Rust medication to keep them both going, Milo and Bisco take shelter to recover. To Milo, this moment looks like an opportunity to try to set Bisco up with Pawoo. To Bisco, it’s the perfect time for a suicide mission.
For Kurokawa, it’s time to give his prisoner a big tour of his whole evil plan. Luckily for the viewers, that includes a little more explanation about Tetsujin. Or rather, the Tetsujins, since there were several of them that landed in Japan, letting off huge blasts and spreading poison that would linger for decades. I think we’re all clear on the metaphor here.
But Bisco reappears, body literally falling apart, and declares his intention to take down Kurokawa at any cost. Which he does, the cost turning out to be being eaten by a lakeful of Rust himself. Which means that this show has now killed off its title character. If that sticks, that is a very bold move.
Sabikui Bisco had been hinting from the start that it would embrace the cliche of the dying mentor— but with Jabi, the obvious choice since he’s the old guy in a story aimed at teenagers and already seriously ill with Rusting from the very start. Instead, it’s killed off Bisco, Milo’s mentor.
If this gets undone by the end of the season, I’ll hardly be surprised, but I will be disappointed.
Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department #8 – Agastia is hiring, and like any big organization, it gets a lot of candidates who might be a good match and a lot who aren’t. This includes Mizuki Karen, giving up her chance at a healthy workplace to chase her codependent relationship with the temp recruiter, and two magical girls who might have done better had they done a little more research.
Reo seems in some ways to be a little too prepared to join an evil organization bent on world dominance, but we can just chalk that up to her knowing her industry very well. Hopefully. Yūto, on the other hand, is not cut out for a life of duplicity at all. Neither is their employer, since it seems like Megistus’s feelings about the ethics of hiring child soldiers should have been easy to find out. Also, a point to the author for managing to work that bit of commentary about magical girls in.
After that fun segment, Miss Kuroitsu turns back to tokusatsu tropes, dropping two big ones on us in quick succession. The first is the hero’s sudden powerup in his time of need (and Tōka is right, it’s so common that they should have anticipated it). The second is putting family on opposite sides of a fight. This show never made a point of not having revealed Blader’s real name, but once he’s sitting at a home with a nameplate reading “Sadamaki” out front, the entire horrifying truth becomes clear in an instant.
Sadamaki Kenji’s older brother isn’t just working for the organization that’s trying to destroy him, there’s bound to be some sibling rivalry now about their respective jobs. Hajime went to college and got a fancy degree and has parlayed that into a stable job at a big company, whereas Kenji is working odd shifts at a bento shop. Sooner or later, we’re going to see Kenji getting pressured to do more in his civilian life.
Ranking of Kings #20 – Kage’s, Bojji’s, and Miranjo’s mothers have all come to the riverbank as if to remind us that one of the flaws of this story is it tends to repeat itself a bit. But it means we do get to see more of Bojji’s mom and learn that she really was an awesome woman.
This also knocks loose another flashback, which hints that there may indeed be more to the story of Gyakuza than just a bunch of people being inherently horrible. When Miranjo is on the brink of death after having Bojji’s mother killed, the demon says, “This is the second time you have betrayed me.” The price of that is that she is now damned. The price of the first might have been the attack in Gyakuza. It doesn’t quite explain what the nature of the betrayal was, though. The demon doesn’t appear to have been involved in the attack on Bojji’s mother.
Back in the present, Bosse has finally chosen to intervene. One moment, he’s magically healing everyone— a power that Daida must have inherited from Hiling, and was never encouraged to exercise, apparently, because it’s not manly and kingly— and in the next, he’s quietly and methodically working out how to imprison Ouken in eternal torment. That last part is probably the most horrifying thing Ranking of Kings has yet shown.
Tokyo 24th Ward #8 – RGB is presented with a novel dilemma: protect a whole bunch of people from collapsing cranes, or save the person who gives their life to repair the system that lets those people live. The catch is that the single person is Carneadas himself.
Or herself, as it’s clear the moment we see that Carneadas in person is wearing Tsuzuragawa’s motorcycling suit and scarf. As she (maybe) dies, she confesses what the whole ruse was about: Kōki’s mother realized that the next-generation Hazard Cast system had a fatal flaw, and no one wanted to tell Kōki’s father about it, so when he built it anyway, an elaborate plan was hatched to shift the blame away from it.
So the whole thing is a classic idiot plot, unless we can presume that Kōki’s father wouldn’t have listened anyway. But it would have been a stronger story if people in the know had at least tried.
This does leave unanswered how the system could make such a specific prediction about the crane collapse and the lightning strike in the first place. And then, despite its confidence, how it still had a blind spot about Tsuzuragawa dying anyway.