The waiting is the hardest part, as Tsukumo spends his time unconscious and everyone waits anxiously around him.
What They Say
That Which Is Fleeting, Strong, and Precious
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The fallout from the previous episode is causing quite the emotional unbalance among the group as everyone watches and waits patiently at first for Tsukumo to recover. Hardest hit by it would be Toko, but it's really Yuki as having anyone injured on his behalf wounds him just as greatly, if not more so, because it's something he doesn't want done. There's a good scene where Luka conveys his emotions to him in offering to take on everything that he can that Yuki can't carry. This is a stronger statement and scene in general than most relationship shows ever show so there's a lot to be said about how well this angle of the show is being played. Their relationship is fairly obvious in its early stages but I love how open and honest they are about certain feelings.
With Tsukumo slowly waking and the real threat finally understood, everyone that's left around is all set to take on the threat and are pushing to do so against Takashiro. What's really surprising is that not only does Takashiro not give them a fight, but he intends to go with them and to use his abilities and knowledge to break Ashley's barrier so the others can get further in. It's fairly obvious there's a good chance that he won't catch up with them afterward, but it's good to see some strength from the group overall, a real sense of unity and cohesion, as they deal with the threat at hand. And even though I'm convinced that Takashiro is truly a bad guy in some way and will be a main threat down the line in an imaginary anime episode that will never exist since the series won't last that long, right now his role is spot on in building up the team and being an active member/leader with a sense of seniority to him.
A good chunk of the episode focuses on the main group once they're inside of Ashley's barrier that Luka gets them through. It's got a fairly strong carnival feeling to it, taking place at night and in an area where there's lots of lights and rides, but there's a huge amount of darkness and oppression to it. It's highly foreboding as the visuals slowly sink in and the trio decides on the best way to deal with it. The end focus right now is just to free Hotsuma from what's happened and that leaves Shusei and Yuki to go right to him because Luka is going to try and go all out against the creatures being sent after him. Like a lot of the show, most of the time is spent on the build up rather than the actual encounter itself, but the moments we do get of the fighting are strong and visually fun to watch as it has a sense of style about it.
Uraboku doesn't exactly do anything new here, but it's pretty much set itself in its style and pacing since the beginning so we know what to expect even as it ratchets up the intensity of it all. The effort to rescue Hotsuma proceeds in the kind of controlled exercise you expect it to be where everyone is filled with emotions and expresses them solemnly to each other before going off to do what's needed. Most of the fighting is given over to Luka which is welcome since he's fun to watch while going wild, but Shusei gets some good moments as well as he works to both protect Yuki while going after Hotsuma. They're all driven by purpose, but Shusei more so, and that pays off with how he handles the situation and the kind of controlled intensity that he has.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.