Anime roundup 3/17/2022: Big Trouble

In this week’s viewing: Attack on Titan breaks out the giants again, so does Ranking of Kings, so does Sabikui Bisco, and more!

Attack on Titan #85 – Having managed to make common cause with their former enemies from Marley, Mikasa, Armin, and their comrades now face the much tougher task of facing down their old friends.

This episode takes the time to show them really thinking it over. Where about 9 out of 10 stories that come to this point just go, “welp, our old buddies are Bad People now, fire at will,” the former Survey Corps members get the chance to stay out of the fight and pretend they had nothing to do with it, and then when they make the explicit choice to take part in it, they try very hard to have it not come to shooting.

But Floch is just too paranoid for anyone’s own good, and the fight is on. Armin and Conny have to very deliberately and personally kill people they’d been hoping they could make up with after everything was settled. Hange, Jean, and Mikasa too have to kill their old friends. Even Reiner and Annie, even though they were Marleyan agents, are now fighting people they once trained with and who Reiner at least still has some friendly feelings for.

The whole party has also had to confront the paradox that to bring peace to the world, they’re having to engage in violence. There’s really no answer for that, other than what Magath says— that this time around, they need to make sure what happened is remembered so that mistakes aren’t repeated.

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Ranking of Kings #21 – The moment has come for Bojji to face the final boss of the fight for his kingdom— King Bosse, that is. After everyone else is warned away by Despa (except for Dōmas, who has to demonstrate every now and then that he’s still an idiot), it’s the rightful heir versus two usurpers in one body.

And what an epic fight it is. Ranking of Kings has picked up some of the top talent in the anime industry today, and they have excelled themselves yet again.

The fight also seems to settle Miranjo’s fate. With her last ally gone and the mirror broken, she is damned to a very personal hell in the belly of the demon she was working with. There she will rest alongside the little horned kid she knew when she was a child. I think that must be a younger version of the demon, much as a younger version of Miranjo was able to exist separately in the void where Daida’s spirit has been banished to.

Miranjo’s story still isn’t all filled in, though. We don’t know what the first betrayal of the demon was, or why nearly getting killed alongside Shiina was a betrayal. I’m guessing the first betrayal was revealing him to the Gyakuzans, and that that might have been what precipitated the attack on her and her mother.

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Sabikui Bisco #10 – With Kurokawa dead and his minions in retreat, there are just one or two matters to address, like the big pink elephant which is going to be shooting balls of corrosive destruction out its trunk if someone doesn’t deactivate it right quick (good work on that, Pawoo). There’s a memorial service for Bisco to plan, a mushroom to cultivate… and then suddenly there’s a weapon from another era standing up and marching across the land.

In a matter of moments, the entire habitat of the Rust Eater mushroom is gone and all of Japan is in mortal peril. Not only that, by the end of the episode, Milo realizes that somewhere in there is Kurokawa reborn. Which means, on the one hand, that there’s a chance Bisco has somehow come back to life too, but on the other, all of Imihama’s territory is in deeper trouble than it’s ever been before.

I’m not sure how inhabiting a poisonous mecha body fits into Kurokawa’s plan to get rich off the pharmaceutical biz. Maybe it doesn’t; maybe, since he’s been established to be a big geek, he just thought it would be cool. But it is disappointing, like I said last week, that this show is taking back what would have been an incredibly gutsy narrative move.

(CrunchyrollFunimationWakanimShahiid AnimeSushirollBahamut Anime CrazyLaftelmeWATCH)

Miss Kuroitsu From the Monster Development Department #9 – Nothing is quite as it seems in the shadowy world of monster-building. A trip to the ocean for alleged serious business purposes turns into practically a day off. And then Tōka stops at a seemingly innocent izakaya only to discover that she’s stumbled into a hangout for retired villains.

Miss Kuroitsu‘s “aquatic research” segment has just about everything that gives anime beach episodes a bad name. It’s basically an excuse to stick all the adult-female-presenting characters into bikinis for the camera to ogle, interspersed with not terribly funny hijinks. At least it has the decency to put Lady Akashic into an age-appropriate swimsuit, which I would not trust just any anime to do.

The second half of this week’s episode is full of retired villains telling old war stories, which I’m going to assume are all shout-outs to famous moments in tokusatsu shows. Unfortunately this is one for the hardcore genre fans. I loved the retired magical girl, though.

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Tokyo 24th Ward #9 – Once upon a time, the future Suidō Kanae was a promising young AI researcher, her future husband was an idealistic corporate scion, and the future 0th was… okay, I’m not sure. Kanae’s colleague? Boyfriend? Personal sheriff?

Everyone’s lives are changed by a series of injuries and deaths. First there’s the accident which creates Tsuzuragawa’s sense of obligation and reprograms Kuchikiri’s brain, giving him his nom de graffiti. (“Kuchikiri” is written 口切, so you can see from that how it mutates to “0th”.) Next is Kanae’s death, undercutting Tokyo 24th Ward‘s intended sympathy for the marginalized by once again leaning on the stereotype of the crazy attacker from the bad side of town.

And finally, there’s Asumi being mortally wounded in the school fire. If there is one big reveal this episode, it’s that Asumi hasn’t just had her consciousness rebooted, she was never dead to begin with. She’s alive and having nightmares about possible futures. And so all this time, RGB has genuinely been getting calls from the real Asumi.

(CrunchyrollFunimationWakanimAIS PlayAniplus AsiaBahamut Anime CrazyLaftel)

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